Look, dear readers of the “Military Review”, what a good composition sent me third-grader Anja Razdina from the village of Terbuny. It seems that there is nothing “Ahov” in this work. But it is especially valuable in that it is not written for publication and not for any patriotic competition. Just a girl took and sincerely wrote. Because the primary school teacher of this school not only “provides educational services,” but “in an old fashioned way” educates its students, tells them about the Great Patriotic War not in spring days, but all year round. Yes, of course, in Aniva’s work there is an adult hand, most likely, a parent’s hand. But this is doubly good, it should be so.
I corrected the text quite a bit, you can say, went through a very rare rake. I was afraid to break the warm “grand” syllable. I hope you will also have a warm feeling when you see a little naive, but completely pure children’s
“Our family has not become an exception, we have our hero, our veteran of the Great Patriotic War, and although the fourth generation of descendants has been growing up since then, my great-grandchild’s baby’s heart is also proud of his great-grandfather.
In the house of my great-grandmother Maria Antonovna Gavshina (she is now 86 years old) there are home-made frames opposite the dining table, and there are different photos in them. But one immediately attracts the eyes of the one who comes into the house. This is a photograph of her brother, Nikolai Antonovich Astafiev. She looks like a strong-willed, courageous man in the military uniform of a colonel. It seems to me that Nikolai Antonovich’s eyes are a bit sad, but there is no doubt about whether he lived his years rightly. And there were not so many of them for a man – only fifty-four. And they ended with a sudden heart disease, which overtook the great-grandfather in the city of Lviv. This city awarded him the title of Honorary Citizen, where he served in recent years.
And this life began in the Second
Turbuni in a large Astaf’ev family (my father had eight brothers), on the Gudovka. So used to be called Sadovaya Street. Their family laid a huge garden and bred bees. The family was very friendly, all children are accustomed to work and help each other (my mother brought them up according to the rule: only labor can generate love).
And then all of a sudden everything collapsed. The first trouble came in 1930 – his father was killed. The sister died after typhus, her mother miraculously survived. In 1939, the elder brother was killed at the Synteskauchuk plant in Voronezh. And great-grandfather Nicholas remained the eldest son, the support of his family.
And then came 1941. Terbunsky district quickly became a battleground. In early 1942, the great-grandfather was drafted into the army. He was sent to the school of junior commanders at the demining department. People in this profession need to have the courage, patience, discretion and be able to keep their fear under control. But all this Nicholas was taught not a very fair fate. And after six months of study – Stalingrad. Sappers were constantly in the heat, sometimes under continuous two-way fire. During the offensive of their troops, they ensured a safe passage through enemy mines, with the retreat of their troops in the shortest possible time, established barrage minefields, making it difficult for the enemy. For the liberation of Stalingrad, his great-grandfather received his first medal, but only eighteen. The latter – for the liberation of Prague, there he met Victory in the rank of captain. He was injured, but his great-grandfather tried to get back on line as soon as possible.
Nikolay Antonovich three times awarded the Order of the Red Star, had two Orders of the Great Patriotic War – I and II degrees.
What I had to endure in the war, I know from great-grandmother. Most often, she retold the story of the crossing of the Dnieper. During the offensive, the great-grandfather was among the first soldiers to cross the river. I managed to gain a foothold on a small frontier. The mass crossing of troops began, and the enemy opened a merciless fire from all the guns. The ferry was ordered to be canceled, and already crossed – to go back. Boats with our fighters scattered in chips. The river was boiling. But the great-grandmother said that it was no longer a cold dark blue night water, but a scarlet human blood. My great-grandfather survived miraculously, their boat, left without the helmsman, carried the current away. And the great-grandmother said that his mother’s prayer had saved him.
The great-grandfather himself did not dedicate the children to his memories. He told all this only to his mother and sister. The great-grandmother said that at that time he was crying. It’s hard for me to believe it when I look at a photo, but I know it’s really so.
And in peacetime my great-grandfather often took a camera and walked to the street. He, who had seen so much death, wanted to capture life. He liked to photograph his countrymen, and then he showed and printed pictures, made frames and gave to people. Almost every family in their street has photographs taken by them.
Now our generation of “digital” children is growing. I do not understand how people used to show film and how the image was made on it. However, I can not explain modern technology. But I have an interest in the yellowed photos from which our great-grandparents look at us. Although I hardly understand how old age and youth fit together – for me they are young. And together with this interest, stories, instances from their lives of our ancestors are revived. It’s a memory. Let the self-made frames remain to the photographs. This is also a memory. “