On the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, we’d like to share with you the memories of Dr Alex Cherlin, our principal physicist who was a child living in Russia at the time.
What I remember, of the Chernobyl disaster
At the time of the Chernobyl disaster, I was 12 and I was in the 5th grade of a secondary school in Tashkent. We used to have information meetings before the classes started. One morning (I don’t remember when exactly), our teacher told us: “A few days ago, a catastrophe happened – there was an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station.”
But, the first time I heard that people from areas not near the reactor were affected was after I had moved to Israel and I met people from those parts of the former USSR.
There was a girl from Kyiv who had scars on her throat because of the thyroid treatment which she had to undergo. There was a young couple from Minsk who was advised to wait for a few years before they started to try for a child.
My mum’s best friend’s husband volunteered to be one of the Chernobyl liquidators (who dealt with the consequences of the explosion). These heroic people were the first line of defence in dealing with the dangers. He became quite ill and underwent many medical treatments. I think it’s very important to remember these people today. Without their heroic efforts, the consequences for the whole world would be much more severe.