Pyotr Masherov was born as Pyatro Mashera on February 13, 1918 in Shirki village (today’s Sennsky district, Vitebsk region) into a poor peasant family. According to the family tale, the great-grandfather surnamed Macheraut was a solder of the Napoleonic army, who stayed on the territory of Sennsky district and married a peasant girl.
The Masherov family was relatively small: father Miron (died 1938), mother Daria (died 1942), brother Pavel (1914 – 1988, military commander), sisters Matryona (born in 1908), Olga (born in 1924, doctor) and Nadezhda (1930, doctor). The children learnt from parents about diligence and neatness; such important things like exceptional kindness, perseverance in achieving their goals, modesty, love and respect to other people also were laid down within the family.
Pyotr was the second son. He was light-eyed and fair-haired boy with a broad smile on a freckled face. Together with his elder brother, they were participating in various kinds of mischiefs and sometimes were punished by mother. Pyotr was fond of sports from the very childhood. During winter, he got to school using self-made skates and skis. He also liked singing. Through adolescent years, he had even attended voice-training classes.
In 1937, his father Miron, was unfairly arrested and exiled to Gor’kovsky region, where he died soon. Pavel and Pyotr took responsibility for the family.