Military Review

To share heat and cold with the earth ... Women, teenagers and old people fed the country and the front

To share heat and cold with the earth ... Women, teenagers and old people fed the country and the front

In 1941, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and the Kuban were under enemy occupation. The burden of supplying the country with food fell on the rear areas. But in rural areas, the number of able-bodied people decreased by almost a third compared with the pre-war 1940 year. Almost all trucks, tractors and horses were sent to the front. Field work had to be done manually. Women, teenagers and old people became the main labor force in the village. The diaries and memories of that time from the Ufa archives allow us to imagine how it all happened.

The war destroyed the whole range of rural life, the usual routine: children began to adult, cows - to horses, women girdled with belts, took wrenches in their hands, sat down at the tractor ...

A village without a man was defenseless and unsettled. In the peasant farms, in addition to the basic work on the field and in the forest, he knew how to do everything little by little. For this there was a tool - an ax, a saw, a hammer, a plane, a chisel, a chisel, pincers, an awl and a trench. Only for the special complexity of the tasks called a stove, roofer, glazier or konoval. Peasant versatility and kept the economy. The war also showed that there was nothing to replace it with — a woman with her dexterity and her cares would hardly fit into a man’s burden.

From the memoirs: the women mow the grass by the road, and their braids are not repulsed. They are noticed that the “navels,” that is, the transverse arms, are attached to the spit incorrectly, and the women respond: “There is no one to tie them up.”

M.Sh. Fatykhova, chairman of the collective farm "Idelbuy" Dyurtyulinsky district of Bashkiria

Another memory. In the open air lie piles of flax, which they sowed in the spring, in the autumn they managed to put them in a pile, but they didn’t remove them with the beginning of the muddy road, they left to rot, not having pulled out the flaxseed. Nearby in the middle of the field some cars, cultivators and seeders that have grown into the frozen ground are rusting - they remained in the middle of the field in winter ...

Before the war in front of each village house in bulk lay logs brought for cutting. It was the most favorite place of children's games and fun. Now there was no aspen or birch reserves in front of the houses, there was burning brushwood in the heating, and straw in the treeless areas.

Zakhireli, transferred without care apiary - in the middle of summer the grass was wild above the hives. The trees in the gardens, too, sensing the weakness of the master's hand, began to deaden either one or several branches at a time, and sometimes an entire apple tree would dry out at once.

The foreman of the female tractor brigade, F.K. Kagarmanova. Dyurtyulinsky district, 1942

Haymaking in the village was considered one of the favorite activities. It was held together, united the villagers in the same field. The whole world went out for haymaking, stood nearby, with each other, in moments of rest - jest. At noon, we went together to stir up hay and break the swaths. Together they returned to the village with songs ... Now there was no more such haymaking, and if a song sounded too loud in the village, they reproached - “you sing, but people have grief”.

According to the recollection, the most difficult thing was to survive the winter months. Windows almost single-frame in the huts, always frozen. There was not enough firewood, and some village families, in agreement, wintered under the same roof. In the huts, where two families lived, the children were placed six to seven in a row. They almost never quarreled among themselves, they told each other fairy tales, read verses aloud, and riddles. When adults read letters from the front, the children listened, rejoicing and experiencing with everyone.

In the fall, snow covered entire fields with ripe, but not harvested, ears of corn. It is recalled that one year near the village a whole field of millet went under the snow. In the spring, hungry fellow villagers went there to collect spikelets. From flour from overwintered grains, diseases began.

The wife of the front-line soldier Tarif Valitov remained at home alone with four children. Their cow had a habit of calving very late. The children looked through the frozen windows into the courtyard and everyone waited for the cow to settle. The eldest daughter said: "You, cow, sometime stay and rejoin, but rejoice after our death." And so it happened - without waiting for calving and milk, the children were poisoned by frozen grain.

The symbol of a hungry year is the grass of quinoa. But at the end of the war they started talking about new food - fake leaves. They were dried, threshed in a hand mill, flour was baked cakes. They said that they would not tear the throat like a tortilla cake - a mash made of rotten potatoes harvested in the spring.

The monotonous winter life seemed endless. Anxiously awaited the arrival of spring - warm, bright, nourishing. In the spring, teenagers plowed the land, harrowed arable land, and old men manually sowed the fields. There were not enough tractors, horses, workers ...

Children and adolescents were thrown into full swing into adulthood. Village children, growing up and so early, the war immediately put on a par with adults. Adulthood was not advancing in the usual way for the boy to adult trades, but because in the house he was becoming the only peasant. If, before the war, a teenager who wanted to mow and cut firewood before the time was specially restrained, now the privileges of childhood have disappeared.

Due to the lack of teachers, children were not allowed to go on vacation for three months, but for five months - from May to October. Many people left school. This was more often due to hunger or lack of clothing.

Village children of wartime. The village of Ishkarovo, Ilishevsky district, BASSR, 1942,

“For classes there were no books, notebooks, or pens with pencils,” recalled Ravil Yalchin, a resident of the Fedorovsky District of Bashkortostan. - Many of my classmates in September could not come to school - there were no clothes and shoes; only cold, hunger and poverty in every home. In the fourth grade, by the end of the school year, three students remained. Our power, modest and intelligent teacher Badi Khamzovna Yanbulatova asked us to invite the rest of the students to take the final exams: only nine people gathered. So we passed the final exams and finally completed our studies. ”

The boys, starting with 9-10 years, grazed cattle, fished, went into the woods to cut down a suitable tree and make an ax, knit the tops, cut down pine needles, dragged the bark. Girls for the same years have already spun, learned to weave, weave and sew, helped on the mowing, knew how to knead bread and put pies. Fourteen-year-olds were considered adults, demand and a sense of responsibility were appropriate. Teens could sow, harrow, and some helped and mow.

Memory. A student of the Ufa Aviation Institute, Nailya Teregulova, during the summer holidays, is sent to agricultural work in the village of Buzyurovo, Bakalinsky district, where her cousin lived. With her, she took the hotel - 400 grams of cut sugar. When a four-year-old neighbor girl came to her relatives, they decided to treat her. But the girl did not even know what sugar was, she began to play with these pieces ...

Sending parcels to the front. Dyurtyuli, 1942

Little remained in the village of tractors, a little more - combines. But who should work? At the beginning of 1942, in Bashkiria, there were a shortage of more than three and a half thousand tractor drivers, about one and a half thousand combiners. Urgently organized courses at MTS for women. Instead of the usual caps from the wheel looked out multicolored kerchiefs ...

Together with women and teenagers, old men took to the fields. Newspapers wrote: on the collective farm "Kyzyl Bairak" of Karaidel district, ninety-year-old Faiz Khasanov was grazing horses at night, and during the day went out on haystack and mowing bread. From old men organized brigades of mowers and reapers. On the collective farm “Yangi Yul” of the Chishminsky district, eighty-year-old Taifa Imasheva went to the harvest every day without sundays ...

More than four-fifths of the cultivated area in Bashkiria was cleaned by hand or by simple sweepers. The machinist mowers worked without changing the entire light part of the day. Horses could not stand, they were changed every four hours, people also worked for fifteen or eighteen hours.

But people still did not have enough. Then, from July to October, the population of all cities and workers' settlements of the republic mobilized for harvesting work. The beginning of studies in universities and technical schools was transferred from September 1 to October 15.

... They took for the onset of spring every wind from the south, but spring still did not come. The wind direction changed, but in the April air it smelled of February dampness. Then came May. During the day it was raining, at the very end of May night frosts became frequent.

On arable land at the State Farm. Tsuryupy Ufa district. 1944

Spring sowing began later than usual. At the beginning of May, selective field work began in only a few central regions. Massive sowing in the western, southeastern and northwestern regions of Bashkiria began after 9 in May, and in the northern and trans-Ural regions at the end of the month. By the beginning of the sowing of horses and tractors in the villages almost no more. The areas for sowing had to be prepared in the spring - in the fall the fields were not plowed.

In Fedorovsky district, in the south of the republic, 12 began sowing on May. The rivers had already returned to the banks, the water remained only in barrels on the sides of the road, and the landmarks on the sidelines, which marked the winter route, were still stuck.

The lands of the third brigade stretched at the foot of Myshagyr to the crest of the Nine Tents. The brigade consisted of girls and teenage boys who harrowed their feet, leading the horses on occasion, and seventeen-year-old Ravil Yalchin, who was in charge of the older one, was sitting on the only horse seeder in the brigade. Rabig Abdrakova and sixteen-year-old Agzam Kulushev worked as grooms, and Gainizap Valitova and Rakiya Mustafina carried grain to the Sterlitamak elevator on two pairs of horses. Each of the workers received daily welds for lunch from crushed oats with husks.

Tractor driver E.P. Tashkinova Andreevskoy motor and tractor station Ilishevskogo region BASSR

To work in the field you need a shoe. Boots took care. Ravil Yalchin recalled that grandmother had old Saryks with lotus-shaped patterns. Together with the trousers, patched on the knees, they gave him such a look - it is embarrassing to look in the mirror - but nothing can be done ...

The tractor at the machine-tractor station somehow collected, but not enough fuel. When two old brigadiers appeared on the collective farm who had returned for an amendment, the whole village asked the military registration and enlistment office to give them a reservation.

Work in the fields was from dawn to dusk, and the tractor drivers worked at night. There was a sixteen-year-old Askhat among them, so tiny that it was not visible behind the wheel. Those who are older will sit under a barrel and watch: the motor hums, the light moves - it means that Askhat is plowing. But it happened - the light stopped, the motor stalled, the tractor was standing, the lamp was on, and the tractor driver with the hitch got under the warm engine to warm up and fell asleep. They will be stirred up - they will work a little more. Older waving their hands and sit behind the wheel. "It was with such eagles that the agriculture was waged in the war."

The girls in the brigade, in spite of hunger and fatigue, were laughable, the Yugoslavs, in their eyes shone the natural thirst for life. Sang: "Soviet form - one hundred grams is the norm."

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  1. blizart
    blizart April 27 2015 06: 14
    Somehow the famous Gala, the wife of Salvador Dali, was asked: "Why do the creative intelligentsia of the West often have Russian wives?" To which she replied: "Because Russian women can go all the way!" I look at my Russian wife, at her calm, confident position, and I am proud, and I'm not afraid of anything.
  2. Hagakure
    Hagakure April 27 2015 06: 33
    Indeed, the horse will stop racing, it will enter a burning hut ... Neither add nor add.
  3. semirek
    semirek April 27 2015 07: 10
    I have an aunt, Varfolomeyeva Maria Grigoryevna, the whole war on a tractor in Altai, the Plotava beet farm. I have been living with me since 21, and is still alive.
  4. testerman
    testerman April 27 2015 07: 59
    My wife's grandmother worked in drilling as an assistant driller, the same way as a woman, in the Tuymazinsky oil field instead of her husband. The husband at that time was at the front. Having experience in this area, I can assure you that the work of the driller is not very easy, especially in those hungry years.
    I bow to the stamina of the character of the people of that time
  5. bistrov.
    bistrov. April 27 2015 08: 34
    I didn’t find war or the most hungry for 40 years (I’ve been since 1952), but the dugouts in which people lived, I remember, I remember from stories and rotten potatoes, they called it nausea in our Oryol region, they made the same smelly one I also remember starch, the pre-war Fordson-Putilovets tractor (pictured above), where my aunt worked as a tractor driver, I remember the hardest work in the field and on haymaking, I myself experienced what it means to be in a bent state from 8-00 to 20-00 under the scorching sun on the field, or pea mowing by hand at the age of 14, together with adult peasants, when the rib went beyond the ribs due to unnecessary ambitions, all this was real, the adaptability of the Russian man was huge, it was not without reason that the Russian was good, the German was dead.
    1. Aleksander
      Aleksander April 27 2015 13: 24
      Quote: bistrov.
      rotten potatoes, it was called nausea in our Oryol region

      Pancakes made of rotten potatoes were called "Upchuck" in the Smolensk region during the war.

      I am reading an article and I understand that everything is known by comparison; to my mother in the military Smolensk region, this life, described by the author in Bashkiria, would have seemed simply FAIRY. Robbed by the Germans, swelling from hunger in a dugout without food and firewood, living off of rotten potatoes, alms, forests, they could only dream of a Bashkir village.
      Many villages were simply burned, the youth was driven to Germany ... The first spring after the liberation, they plowed on women and boys ..

      The author’s remark is strange about the inability of women to mow, about their inability to harvest firewood — a woman in the village was practically able to do the same thing as a man, and even mow and chop wood, much less ...
      1. zubkoff46
        zubkoff46 April 27 2015 21: 24
        In the Kursk region in the spring of the 45th, my mother with five or six peers was harnessed to a horse plow - nobody canceled the plowing plan on farms. A boy walked behind a plow. And plowed.
        In the article on the very first picture, look at the horses: all the ribs, swollen knee joints are visible - an extreme degree of exhaustion. Tax ...
  6. Internal combustion engine
    Internal combustion engine April 27 2015 09: 46
    Here are some that say that on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army was starving. Yes, no. The Red Army had enough food. But in the rear, indeed, the first years of the war were for many hungry. Especially for women with young children whose husbands were at the front. Father talked about this. It was difficult, but no one felt alone. Collective farms helped people survive. Father from nine years old worked on a collective farm.
    1. zubkoff46
      zubkoff46 April 27 2015 21: 26
      It was hungry in the countryside until about 1955-56.
  7. kursk87
    kursk87 April 27 2015 11: 40
    The great Soviet people defended their country, their independence both at the front and in the rear. This is the victory of our courageous ancestors, which we must remember and not allow anyone to doubt the exploit of the same women, children, old people of that difficult time !!!
  8. Tatar 174
    Tatar 174 April 27 2015 12: 12
    I read and tears in my eyes ... All this I heard from my grandmothers and parents who experienced everything that is written. Do not bring more of this in Russia!
  9. fomkin
    fomkin April 27 2015 13: 55
    It is difficult to overestimate the feat of the workers of the rear. It was they who forged a victory at the front. Women, children replaced the men who had gone to the front. A terrible evil embraces when some bar try to deprive us of historical memory. Moreover, their dads usually stayed in Tashkent. I allow myself a little digression into the past. Mother told how during the war they lived in the Siberian city of Achinsk. People swelled from hunger, everything went to the front. She survived and saved my brothers, the youngest being born on June 26, 1941, simply by a miracle. She was lucky and got a job at a meat factory. And there, of course, not publicly, it was allowed to grab some blood, which did not go into business. The elder brother had the most vivid impression of those times — he found a crust of bread in the mud. We all honor the feat of Leningraders and I bow to their courage. But why have I never heard thanks to the Siberians, who lived, though in the deep rear, but drank in full. Sorry if you can give in to emotions.
  10. Maiman
    Maiman April 27 2015 14: 00
    A low bow to all who worked in the rear who passed this test with hunger and cold, bringing victory closer, A LOW BOW TO YOU FROM THE SACTS OF LIVING NOW ETERNAL MEMORY
  11. cosmos111
    cosmos111 April 27 2015 14: 56
    not only fed and clothed the front ..... but also bought equipment for the front !!!

  12. AlNick
    AlNick April 27 2015 16: 12
    Two grandmothers, an aunt who worked on the collective farm during the war and father-in-law who did not go to the front by age (born in 1928), but worked in logging in Siberia, were awarded the medal "For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945."
    1. zubkoff46
      zubkoff46 April 27 2015 21: 29
      My grandfather, Sasha, was not called to the front by age, but ours retreated to the Labor Army when they retreated. He returned from there in '45 with such a medal. He was a good blacksmith.
      And my future mother-in-law (Stavropol) in 1942 was forcibly sent to dig trenches near Stalingrad. She escaped from there because of the feedlessness, worn out clothing, unbearable labor and conditions. I walked home on foot at night, because during the day special riders of mounted militia were caught in the poor steppes. They gave deadlines for the unauthorized abandonment of the place of work.
      I’ve joked all my life over her that with such a mother-in-law the equestrian police could not control it.
  13. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 April 27 2015 19: 04
    My mother was born in February 1943 in with. Iglino near the city of Ufa, the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and was the 11th child in the family, where there were 14 children. They were lucky because her father was the chairman of the collective farm, the order bearer, the red partisan, the hero of the Civil War. But even so, her older sister was forcibly drafted into the labor army, from where she was dying of hunger and deserted, for which she was later convicted. Mom talked more about the difficult and hungry post-war life. The article reminded me of this. Thank.