Animals at war
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Khokhlova Ekaterina Konstantinovna
My grandmother Katya is 95 years old. Russian beautiful woman. A face with wrinkles that betray such a difficult life path behind his shoulders, kind eyes, hands folded in humility on his knees. She never condemned anyone, did not impose her opinion, she prayed fervently and sincerely for everyone. She was 17 when the war began. My father immediately went to the front. The elder sister followed. My grandmother was also eager to leave, but my mother would not let me in: “As I am alone with small children, I need an assistant,” she complained. There were five more children in the family, small is smaller. The tanks drove into the village of Staro-Mikhailovskoye without a fight, the German soldiers scattered to their homes in search of Russian soldiers and looting. Mother hid her grandmother and sister in the cellar, fearing violence from the daring Prussians, who felt they were masters in a foreign land. Having torn the lock into the cellar, the German saw two girls huddled together, trembling with fear. He looked into the frightened children's eyes and regretted, did not touch, apparently, he remembered his own. Fighting began on New Year's Eve. The snow turned scarlet, corpses lay everywhere. The village passed from hand to hand. To help the family, my grandmother got a job on the railway as a tanker for steam locomotives. Echelons of military personnel (military echelons) went to the front, taking away military equipment and artillery. The soldiers were transported in the same trains. When planes with a black cross appeared in the sky, they announced their barracks position. People were hiding from the bombing in barrels of water. Later, my grandmother with the same young girls blew up German trains. "Was it scary, grandma?" “Of course it's scary. People, guns - everything flew in different directions. But we covered our face with our hands so as not to damage the beauty (smiles). What endurance must one have to talk so calmly about these horrors of war ?! And at the same time not to become bitter, not to become embittered, to remain a loving mother, grandmother, great- and even great-great-grandmother. Later, my grandmother was transferred to work in the frontline zone in Kaluga, where she unloaded coal. The hardest work paid off in full: the ration was given out for all the young members of the family: a little flour, cereals, a handful of sugar, salt, matches, soap and mixed fat - a modest prosperity fed the whole family. In 43, during the retreat, the Germans burned entire villages behind them. The turn came to Staro-Mikhailovskaya. The distraught mother (my great-grandmother) jumped out of the hut and rushed barefoot through the snow towards the Germans, shouting in despair: "Pan, Sieben Kindern!" (Sir, seven children!). The German who was taken aback by such assertiveness, who had begun to set fire to our house, the last one in the village, retreated in shock, and did not finish his dirty deed. The house, burnt, but intact, served as a haven for the cold winter for an entire village. Our family was lucky: they survived the famine, my grandfather returned from the front wounded, but alive. And we, children of peacetime, every time we meet, we ask grandmother to tell about those distant times when the meaning of life was in life itself.
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