Shklyaev, Dmitri Aleksandrovich

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Shklyaev Dmitri Aleksandrovich, 1987
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I would like to tell you about my grandfather, Shklyaev Dmitri Aleksandrovich, about the hardships he had to overcome during the war, which was merciless and cruel to everyone. When the war began my grandfather who was born in the village of Debyosy in Udmurtia, was quite young; he was full of strength and hopes for the future. He had finished the Debyosy Teacher’s college and had worked as a teacher for a few years. He was appointed to be a teacher in Arikovskya school of the Debyosy district where he taught Physics and Maths. In 1940 my grandfather graduated from Izhevsk Teacher Training Institute and began to teach in Debyosy school. In the same year he had to serve in the army. The service was in the frontier troops in cavalry in the town of Peremishle of the Lvov Region, which is in the west of the Ukraine. He wrote to his relatives that it was very hard in the army but interesting. Though he trained a lot physically he at the same time made his mind work – he did different tests for the external officers. My grandfather dreamt of continuing his studies during the army service, he was promised to be sent to a higher educational institution in Moscow. It goes without saying that when the war began the western frontier suffered most of all; it was the first to be attacked by the enemy. The troops of the Red Armywere badly armed, so it was very difficult to resist the enemy’s pressure. They retreated with great losses. The unit where my grandfather served was many times surrounded by the enemy but then they managed to escape. Once my grandfather together with many other soldiers were taken prisoners. It’s difficult to imagine what they went through during the captivity – humiliation, insults and suchlike. They experienced awful starvation and cold. As a result he became a disabled person of the first category. After his attempt to escape my grandfather was transferred to one of the concentration camps of Austria where the prisoners were kept in the most inhuman conditions. They slept on bare plank beds in the buildings which were not heated even when it was very cold and they ate refuses. Many of them died. But due to the soldiers’ friendship, mutual help and support my grandfather survived. Unfortunately, none of the attempts to escape was a success. And only on the second of May in 1945 the concentration camp was freed by the Soviet Army. This date became my grandfather’s second birthday. After the liberation my grandfather could not return to his home land for two years. After the interrogations he wasn’t taken to prison, he was sent to serve in Kutaisi of Georgian Socialist Republic. He was demobilized in 1947. After the military service, when he returned to his native land, he couldn’t find a job immediately because of his captivity. But in the end he was sent to Shudzyaludskaya school of the Debyosy district to work as school head of studies. He devoted all his life to children. Little by little he was promoted more and more and finally became the education inspector of the district. His work was highly appreciated – he was awarded the title of the Honored Teacher of the Udmurtia Republic. But his pupils’ love was his greatest award.

Russian version: Шкляев, Дмитрий Александрович

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