and former worker in the Magnitogorsk steel plant in 30's
following interview was conducted as a part of the documentary
program Yanks for Stalin concerning American aid in the
industrial development of the Soviet Union during the 20's and
I am Alexander Nikitovich Loznevoi. I arrived at Magnitostroi,
in early spring of 1933. I arrived in house slippers; it
was warm there in Belgorod. It was very cold here, and I
could not buy shoes because I was very poor, but I got by somehow.
Later I was issued felt boots, at a time when in Moscow there
was a monopoly on felt boots; they all went to the army
in 1918. They brought these boots to us, and we did very
well in them in the summertime. They breathe well, they
don't get sweaty, but when there was water on the ground, they
were very bad.
pay was very low. I dug ditches for water pipes and heating.
The quota was 8 cubic meters a day per person. We needed
to meet this quota in order to receive 800 grams of bread.
If we didn't make quota, we received only 600 grams of bread.
We were fed once a day, only lunch. There were no real mess
halls, only kitchens on wheels. You could eat breakfast
wherever you wanted to, but finding food was impossible.
There were no food stores, except for the ones that served those
with ration cards, which weren't given to everyone, only to the
model workers, the best workers. So everyone tried to become
model workers, in order to eat better.
those times, we never saw such things as sausage, eggs or milk.
We had only bread and broth. We would go the settlement
where the American engineers lived, where there was a huge food
store. Hams and sausages hung in the windows, and we would
stare through the glass, but we weren't allowed to go into the
store. But we went away somewhat satisfied; at least we
had gotten to smell the food for a while.
general, I came here because there was terrible starvation in
Ukraine. Approximately 15 million people died there when
collectivization began in 1929-30. This is because they
drove the cattle to a region where there wasn't enough food, and
the horses and oxen just died. People ate the seed, some
was taken by the Government Confiscation Program, some was taken
by the military, saying that they needed to feed the army.
There was starvation, and my mother told me to come here.
She had heard that they were giving out bread. And I was
happy that they were giving out bread here. That was most
dug ditches, and later I learned masonry. First I carried
bricks in a basket, you know those baskets, 10 or 12 bricks at
a time, up to the top, while they were laying rows built out of
bricks. You probably saw such a basket in the museum.
That was hard work. There wasn't even a simple winch.
Everything was done by hand. The pick, shovel and axe decided