Often one could see such a picture near Volgograd: a car heading for the Moscow highway suddenly turns abruptly to the steppe. It was the passengers who saw from afar a touching figure, which they called so: “Girl with a flower”, and they considered it their duty to visit her. It was an unusual memorial dedicated to the feat of the soldiers of Stalingrad. Unusual and история his creation.
In the 70 of the last century, journalist George Pryakhin wrote in Komsomolskaya Pravda about the fact that struck him. In the Gorodishchensky district near Volgograd, he was shown a huge field - 400 hectares, which since the war was called "dead land". On the ground covered with wormwood they did not plow or sow. Locals avoided this field side. Every inch here was lined with mines and shells.
Newspaper correspondence was the impetus for the beginning of the patriotic action, which took an incredible scale.
In the 1975 year, speaking at a meeting in Moscow, the 1 th secretary of the Volgograd Regional Komsomol Committee Vladimir Katunin said that Komsomol members would try to bring the Soldier's Field back to life.
The memorable date was approaching - 30 anniversary of the Great Victory. Cabinet V.A. Katunina became the center of "brainstorming." Vladimir Katunin, an active and talented man, suggested not only to neutralize the Soldier Field from the dangerous traces of war, but also to build a memorial complex on it. In one of the collections of memories, he found a letter from political leader Dmitri Petrakov, who fought in these places, which the brave warrior sent to his little daughter Lyudmila in Ulyanovsk. Vladimir Katunin intuitively felt that this gentle fatherly letter would help revive the new memorial complex. But how it will be, nobody knew yet.
At that time, endless disputes about the appearance of the future memorial to the city came from Moscow Komsomol worker Viktor Baibikov. By the way, Victor Baibikov was one of those who invented and developed the popular tracker's idea in our country. Baibikov invited the architect L.M. Levin, one of the authors of the famous Khatyn memorial. Reflecting on the appearance of the future memorial, all those gathered re-read the letter of political instructor Petrakov, which had taken heart. And here his majesty intervened. As Vladimir Katunin recalls, at the time of heated debates about the future complex, a girl Lena Gordeeva, the daughter of one of the secretaries of the Komsomol Regional Committee, entered the room. In her hands she held an apple. Seeing a teenage girl, architect LM Levin said: “There’s an idea!”
In the center of the memorial, he proposed to put on a pedestal a figure of a girl with a flower in her hands: as if she had come to the scene of the battle to honor the memory of her father and his fellow soldiers.
At the foot of the pedestal, they decided to place a triangle of front letter, political officer Petrakov, carved out of stone.
These lines are carved in stone:
“My black-eyed Mila! Sending you a cornflower. Imagine: there is a battle, a circle of funnels, and here a flower grows. And suddenly another explosion, cornflower is torn off. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. Mila, Dima's dad will fight against the Nazis to the last drop of blood, to the last breath, so that the Nazis do not treat you like this flower. What you do not understand, Mom will explain. "
This memorial composition was performed by sculptor Alexei Krivolapov.
In ravines near the Soldier field, explosions thundered again. Hundreds of sappers and volunteers, reserve soldiers, who received special training in the army, passed with probes every meter of land. Captain Yury Vorotetsky, the son of a front-line soldier who fought at Stalingrad, led the engineer. As it is written in one of the reports, Yuri Vorotetsky subsequently subsequently led one of the tractors through a cleared field. According to the recollection of Vladimir Anatolyevich Katunin, a gray strand appeared in the captain's beautiful dark hair. During the 3 month, the sappers removed and defused 6,5 thousands of mines, shells and bombs. And then they set up a funnel, into which they threw off the remnants of defused bombs and shells: welded together, disfigured pieces of metal stuck out of the ground reminiscent of a powerful explosion of war that claimed hundreds of lives. This site was called: "Buried War."
Next to the figure “Girls with a flower”, a charred tree rooted in the ground, on which buds never swelled. And it also became one of the symbols of the memorial, and then a place of pilgrimage.
Many who visited the memorial, and above all - the children, tied pioneer ties, colored ribbons, children's bows to the branches of the tree. And the dead tree seemed to revive in the multi-colored brilliance of these bright, unexpected, modest gifts.
Nearby, a mass grave appeared in which the builders of the memorial buried the remains of the soldiers who were found during the clearance of the Soldier field. There were still trenches and trenches. Helmets pierced with bullets and shards, also found in these places, were placed on a memorial plate over the mass grave. They were subjected to careful restoration so that the rusty metal that had lain in the ground would not scatter from the steppe winds, the sun and the cold.
Thousands of volunteers worked on the memorial building - these were student groups led by Alexander Denisov, young workers of Volgograd factories. Construction work went on for days. A mobile power station was installed on the site. V.A. Katunin remembers such a case. One of the construction participants in the late evening had to urgently bring the details to the site.
In the center of the city, he stopped a taxi and arrived at the construction site of the memorial. The taxi driver flatly refused to take money for the fare: “Who do you take me for? You are working for the memory of fallen soldiers, and I will take money from you ?! ”So he left.
And one more symbol, which, according to the authors, separated the military part of the memorial from the newly restored Soldier Field. It was decided to put tractors on the plowshares of the plowshares, which will be the first to pass along the Soldier's field, neutralized from the deadly metal.
Olga Sgibneva, one of the construction participants, later wrote: “The work on the construction of the memorial continued day and night. The meals for the children were organized by the management of the poultry farm of the sovkhoz farm named after 62 st army. Fighters of student groups worked for free, on pure enthusiasm, cleared the construction site of the monument. Carried on the wooden walkways dozens of cubic meters of land. The formwork was made on a stretcher and over one hundred cubic meters of concrete was brought and laid on the same walkways. ”
Subsequently, Olga Sgibneva will write: “The Komsomol taught me not to be afraid to do what I do not know how!”
I foresee skeptical smiles of modern youth, and yet I will try to tell about the situation that prevailed at the Komsomol rally, which was held in Volgograd in September 1975 of the year. To be precise, this event was called so: "All-Union rally of winners of the campaign in places of military glory." However, in my opinion, the word campaign in such a combination gave formalism. But this movement itself was lively, creative, united millions of veterans and patriotic young people.
In Volgograd, organizers of the best public museums that appeared everywhere in schools, institutes and factories, timurovts who selflessly helped veterans in household plots and household affairs, search engines who in towns and villages cared for mass graves, were invited to a rally from all the republics restored the fate of the dead soldiers. At the All-Union rally was scheduled to hold a conference. Delegates had something to tell each other, share experiences.
Even if there were any serious omissions in the work of the Komsomol, the investigative work, which covered millions of schoolchildren, students, workers of various professions, as they say, atoned for the other sins of formalism, in which, of course, the Komsomol was rightly reproached.
But the Komsomol remained in the past, and the tracking business units remain alive to this day, and this work continues, new public museums are being created, search engines continue to travel to the battlefields.
So then, in 1975, in Volgograd, at the All-Union rally, such a constellation of brilliant names gathered that even the opportunity to see and hear these famous and glorified people became an unforgettable event for the delegates. Marshal of the Soviet Union V.I. arrived at the rally. Chuikov, who commanded the divisions that fought in the city center and in factory districts; Marshal of the Soviet Union I.Kh. Baghramyan; Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel-General I.M. Chistyakov, commanding troops who participated in the encirclement of the German troops at Stalingrad; famous submariner Hero of the Soviet Union, Vice Admiral G.N. Bachelors and other military leaders.
Twice Hero of the Soviet Union A.I. Rodimtsev showed the delegates of the congress a place on the Volga slope, where his dugout was on the days of the fighting, and Ya.F. Pavlov led them to the house, which in the days of defense was named after him.
September 18, 1975. A solemn moment has come. In front of the Soldier Field, as if Tanks before the battle, a line of ... tractors lined up. For the first time 30 years after the war, plowshares here will plow the land. The best tractor-volunteers who came from all the republics of the country took their places in the cabins of tractors - there was such a time and you should not forget about it. And the words - friendship between nations were not then an empty phrase. Machine operators who came from Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cuba also climbed into the cabs of the first tractors. All were united by the Soldier Field.
The journalists asked the tractor drivers: “Was it scary for the first time to drive the tractor across the field, which was recently called dead?” And they answered frankly: “Of course, they believed the sappers, but the excitement rolled by itself.”
The last command is given by Army General M.I. Cossacks. The first tractor goes to the Soldier field. He is led by the Hero of Socialist Labor, the young tractor driver Maria Pronina.
Delegates rally opened a special beauty. On the steppe burned by the sun, the first red stripes of the plowed land appeared. And here and there, thin roots of steppe grass flashed. “Wow - survived in the midst of fire and iron!” - the delegates of the rally and builders of the memorial who surrounded the field were surprised.
Only now the whole panorama of the unusual memorial has opened. And in the center is a fragile figure of a girl who brought a flower to her father and his fellow soldiers.
I had a lot to see in my life monuments and memorial complexes. Often they were similar to each other. But the complex, built near Volgograd, which is based on a true story, is one such, special. In the city he was immediately loved, he became somehow his. Hundreds of thousands of people worshiped here the memory of the heroes of Stalingrad.
Soon Lyudmila Petrakova was found, who in 1942 wrote her father's letter from the Stalingrad military frontier. She worked all her life in the Ulyanovsk river port. Lyudmila Dmitrievna told about the fate of her father. He survived at Stalingrad, although in battle he was seriously wounded. The family received the funeral in the summer of 1943. Major Petrakov died, freeing the city of Eagle. Lyudmila Dmitrievna brought a photo of her father. On his face there was such a special expression that I had previously encountered in photographs of front-line soldiers: the look of a man who seemed to be anticipating his fate in a war, and at the same time, in his eyes - strong will and inflexibility.
Lyudmila Dmitrievna brought pre-war family pictures to the city. Together with my mother - a woman of rare beauty, they look at the lens carelessly.
... When I last visited this memorial, the sound of grasshoppers was heard among the concrete slabs. It was a real hymn to the revived field. Life goes on!
And before the New Year, sad news came from Volgograd. There is no longer a girl with a flower on Soldier's field. He was destroyed by a vandal in pursuit of non-ferrous metal.
His name appeared in the crime bulletins. But I don't even want to call him. Vandal himself deprived himself of his name, patronymic and surname. He came to Gorodishchensky district in search of metal for sale. Finding nothing suitable, he saw a sculptural image of a girl. The sculpture was made of gypsum and sheathed on top of copper sheets. The vandal struck with a hammer, the sculpture fell and split. Copper plates became its prey ...
How much has come together in this story - the unselfishness and creative work of hundreds of people who built the memorial, and cruel barbarism, the memory of heroism and self-interest. Two streams of time collided at this frontier, as if the link of times had broken up.
And nevertheless I want to believe - the hero-city will revive the memorial loved by all! And the Soldiers' Field will not become just a memory of vandalism and unconsciousness. And again we will see the outline of a fragile girl with a flower in her hands from the Moscow highway.