Antonova, Evdokiya Ivanovna
Great Patriotic WarSo many stories are written about it, so many songs are sung , so many words are said… So many tears are shed because of it. This part of history will never disappear from our memory because it remains in the souls of those who were in that hell and those whose relatives died at the front line. For every Russian it is very hard to think and speak about this war as it brought too much pain. Nevertheless, it is worth being spoken about because it is not only our pain, but our mistake, as well. Probably, when discussing the great Patriotic War, we will understand the value of peace, friendship, love and will finally learn how to save these great values. Moreover, we have to remember and honour those who fought for life and freedom of the Russians, because only due to them we have the country we live in now. The contribution of each participant of the war and worker of the rear is really invaluable.
I would like to tell you about my great-grandmother who was at the rear during the Great Patriotic War and endured many troubles. Her name is Antonova Evdokiya Ivanovna, she was born on the 25th of April, 1922. Unfortunately, she died two years ago, but during all her life she told me many facts and stories, shared her feelings and emotions.
When the war broke out, my granny was only 19. Youth is considered to be the most romantic period of life and this wonderful period of life was full of pain. Evdokia Ivanovna and her family (parents and three sisters) lived not far away from Smolensk, in a village called Budnitsa. This area was occupied by German soldiers rather early and during the whole war was under German or Russian soldiers, in turn. The situation in Budnitsa and near-by villages was difficult. As my grandmother said, they did not know what would happen and that was the most awful thing. No matter who owned the village, one thing remained – burglary. Both Russians and Germans stole from the people. Everyone stole from people – Russian and German soldiers, partisans and whoever else. Quite often soldiers were searching houses for food and clothes, and once they took away the cow and since then the family had neither meat nor milk. To save food from being stolen people had to bury it in the ground. When the village was under control of the Russian soldiers all the young people (mostly they were girls) were sent to dig trenches. My great-grandmother and her three sisters were among them. as they had little food they were suffering from it and falling ill, and my great-granny’s two sisters were going blind. it’s not a secret German soldiers were extremely merciless towards the enemies, especially during the first part of the war. They didn’t feel sorry even for women and children. Once they sent all the young people of Budnitsa to a house and locked the doors. They wanted to burn it down. My great-granny said that time she lost her hope to survive and prayed God to save her soul. But suddenly Russian troops which were bigger in number began their attack and German soldiers left the territory retreating. Lives of many people were saved by chance.
Such cases were not rare ones, Germans were awfully severe, merciless and inexorable. Once a group of partisans tried to save the territory from the occupants and attacked them at night. They killed the guard but the Germans set the alarm and partisans had to escape. The next day Germans shot ten people from Budnitsa. My great-granny said it was the way Germans treated lives of Russians taking ten of them for one German person killed. Undoubtedly, life of people in wartime was very hard for soldiers fighting at the front so as for the people working at the rear. Those who went through this hell understand that war is terrible destructive and merciless and it should never repeat.
Russian version: Антонова Евдокия Ивановна