Memories of veterans of the Great Patriotic War

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19495 0

Mikhail Lukinov


Germans grabbed me, started to beat me with rifle butts, knocked out my pistol from my hands, and when I fell down, started to beat me up with their boots. I did not understand everything that they were shouting, because I had other things to mind. Besides that, they were speaking too quickly and did not pronounce the words till the end; they kind of swallowed the endings. But alas, I could well understand the general meaning: “It was him who was shooting! We should kill this swine! But not here, let’s do it behind the barn, there is a hole there.”


6800 0

Vasiliy Kotov

In 1943 I was sure in my defense. And I was sure of my commanders, too. Even the weakest lieutenant in '43 knew much more than a lieutenant before the war.


10792 0

Nikolay Kolesnik


One time our own aviation flew over and bombed the Germans with no mercy. I managed to flee in the general chaos. With many precautions I was able to reach Dnepropetrovsk by train. From there I traveled on foot to Novomoskovsk. The town was burnt to the ground but my mother was alive. She hid me in the hayloft, because the Germans were shooting all new arrivals. Two weeks later the local partisan-underground members...


7139 0

Serge Abaulin

In the summer of 1944, I once again experienced the desperate hell of war. The temperature was up to 30C. To attack, it was necessary for us to go through the woods where Germans had set up obstructions, which they set on fire as we approached. The flames were as if in a blast-furnace. The caustic smoke caused pain that "ate away" at my eyes…And in this nightmare, in addition to being under enemy bombardment, I - the gun layer - had to aim precisely!


230987 0

Nina Erdman


Some older soldier had dug himself a small hole and was sitting in it. He said, "What are you crawling for? Jump in here!" I jumped. I could not sit there for too long! I sat for a little. I said, "I can't stay any longer!" I crawled forward, got a wounded soldier, and started crawling back. I crawled back to the trench, but there was a chunk missing from the soldier's head.


5021 0

Maria Stepanovna
Nidilko

The first baptism of fire was the raid of the scout group into enemy positions in order to find out the system of firing emplacements and capture a “tongue”. The group had been active within enemy positions for 3 days, and the mission was accomplished. During a skirmish my fellow countryman, Mikhail Nikitin, was severely wounded. He was the first soldier I ever carried away on my back.


13392 0

Mariana Milyutina


On June 22 we had an exam. Well, when I heard on the radio that the war had begun, I thought: "That's good, maybe they'll at least give me a passing mark!"

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We would walk around and flaunt our bravery, our disregard of threats to life. But it was not complacency or a manifestation of immaturity. We consciously went to fight and die for our country. Every one of us was a volunteer and realized when leaving the ship, what future was in store for us...
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They didn't even curse around me at the front. These were normal, regular soldiers, and not some kind of intelligentsia. There weren't any affairs at the front.

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We had the right to advance, but if we wanted to retreat - sorry. We would stand to the death. The Germans counterattacked frequently. After there was an unsuccessful attempt near Narva, they struck Libava. And when they retreated, they didn't spare ammo, burned everything. By that time only eight of the twelve soldiers in my platoon remained. It was then necessary for me to get behind a machinegun. The no man's land was only sixty meters on my right flank. On the left flank it was 600-700 meters. All of a sudden, a splinter fragment that was shot by a "donkey" mortar...
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