My grandfather, Nikolai Valeryanovich, was an ideological Komsomol member, although most of the villagers were skeptical of the ideas of the revolution, to put it mildly. As a result, several local guys with the permission of the district authorities created a commune, moved across the river and began to live separately from fellow villagers.
Nicholas, who became an ardent atheist after the revolution, before leaving his father’s house, chopped up old icons with an axe, which his parents carefully kept. His father cursed him for that.
After a while, a wave of dispossession swept through the village, several families were expelled. A collective farm appeared, which was joined not only by young communards “because of the river”, but also (most often out of fear) by the majority of villagers. Including Nikolai’s parents.
However, they did not communicate with their son. The village council knew this and unsuccessfully tried to reconcile family members, and then they spat and simply began to breed them in different areas of work.
Further, the fate of Nicholas developed like many of his peers. Great Patriotic War, severe injury at Stalingrad, write-off clean.
He returned to the village as one of the first front-line soldiers and became chairman of the village Council. His parents had already died by that time, having never reconciled with their son. Then Nikolai made a mistake, spent 5 years in the camps. He returned to the village again, worked as an ordinary collective farmer.
Over time, many villagers began to soften their attitude to religion. Nikolai also swore with such “apostates” to the point of hoarseness. He did not change his position until his death. It was only in the last year of his life (it was already the 1980s) that he began to think about something. When he died, the body was washed. And they saw it on Nikolai Valeryanovich’s neck… the cross!
Here’s how it happens: a communard who chopped up ancient icons, denied the existence of God all his life, still believed shortly before his death.