Yuri Gagarin - Early Life

Early Life

Yuri Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino near Gzhatsk (renamed Gagarin in 1968 after his death), (now in Smolensk Oblast, Russia), on 9 March 1934. His parents, Alexey Ivanovich Gagarin and Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina, worked on a collective farm. Despite being identified in reports by the word usually rendered in English as "peasant", they weren't "peasants". Anna Timofeevna was well known as a voracious reader, and Aleksej Ivanovich as a skilled carpenter. Yuri was the third of four children, and his elder sister helped raise him while his parents worked. Like millions of people in the Soviet Union, the Gagarin family suffered during Nazi occupation in World War II. After a German officer took over their house, the family constructed a small mud hut where they spent a year and nine months until the end of the occupation. His two older siblings were deported to Nazi Germany for slave labour in 1943, and did not return until after the war. In 1946, the family moved to Gzhatsk.

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