Mikhail Gorbachev: What I remember is a pre-war village, and the life of the peasants, since I myself come from peasant stock.  It was a very poor village, the housing was very poor, and so were our clothes, and there was a great deal of work, and even more anxiety.  So this was a very serious life experience for children.  And then of course there was the war.  We lived on the German-occupied territory.  That too is part of my memory.  The front passed through our village, and then was pulled back, and then moved forward again, and this was all happening right in front of our eyes, the eyes of the children. Thus, you see, I belong to the so-called “children of the war” generation. The war left a heavy mark on us, a painful mark. This is permanent, and this is what determined a lot of things in my life.