In January, the icy days in the dozens of don farms came joyful news about release. “Now we are going to Rostov to lock up the Caucasian group of Germans in the new boiler. We are in a hurry. Yes, we are in a hurry - writes Grigory Chukhrai. - The population of the liberated villages meets us as liberators. Cry, baptized. Finally!".
When the Germans were going to celebrate the New Year, the Soviet offensive began.
How many misfortunes and misfortunes ordinary people had to experience.
She also found her long-time diary records of a meeting with Yuri Alexandrovich Petrov, who in 1947-1950 studied at the seven-year school of the Tselinsky grain farm. Entered the military school, graduated from it as a military civil engineer with the rank of lieutenant. He commanded military construction units in many parts of the North Caucasus, the Volga region, and the Central European zone of the USSR. He left the service with the rank of colonel, lived in Rostov-on-Don.
We talked for several hours without interruption, we recalled the war and post-war years. He remembers a lot about the release of Celina in January 1943. Yuri Alexandrovich has been seriously ill lately - heart has let down, but he did not give up - he dictated his memories to me.
War with children's eyes, 23 January 1943 of the year
Decades have passed since that day, and this day is so memorable to me, as if I had experienced it only recently. On this day - January 23, 1943, the villages of Celina and Tselinsky State Farm (now it is the village of New Celina) were liberated by the Red Army troops from the Nazi invaders. Soon all the Don land was liberated. Such memorable days brought the holiday of common Victory over Nazi Germany closer. I remember the hope with which the population of the villages of Celina and Tselinsky grain farm of the Red Army arrived! Then, in the winter of 1942-1943 of the year, we still did not know about the victory of the Soviet Army at Stalingrad, and that it is now uncontrollably moving forward, freeing its land by land, span by inch. We understood this by the mood of the German soldiers and officers, and by the general situation that prevailed these days in their troops arriving from the east.
By changing their moods, both adults and even children could understand that something had changed during the war. The presentiment of change was created by the fussy situation in their troops and how quickly they moved - battered, with beaten equipment - now in a westerly direction, only lingering for a while in the village. That sense of master, a sense of boundless contempt for the population in the occupied territory, has changed markedly. An expression of thoughtfulness or detachment from their faces no longer descended. Obviously, for the first time they began to understand all the destructiveness for them of the war started by them. For the first time, they began to think, probably, about the fact that they no longer see victory anymore.
After a victorious march to the Volga in the summer of 1942, the Germans were crushed by the defeat of their troops.
Increasingly, we heard from them: “Gut, womb,” and when Italian or Romanian units passed through the village and stopped to wait, you could hear: “Hitler Kaput ...”. From us, children, all this could not escape.
The one who lived in the village of Celina or the grain farm during the war years, survived the occupation and the years of devastation caused by the war, he will never forget the experience.
For six months, the Nazis raged on Tselinsky land, bringing people grief, misfortune and death. And a few years after the expulsion of the fascists, the consequences of the occupation affected the lives of the people. The plundered, blown up, burnt earth is what the fascists left behind. Hunger, cold, lack of the most necessary for human life - all this had to be overcome, restoring a destroyed economy. In such conditions, grain growers had to prepare the land for grain crops. And it had to be done in the absence of everything: seeds, prepared equipment, people.
For me, memories are not only clear about the 23 day of January 1943, but also about the years of war that I experienced in Tselinsky State Farm, months of occupation, and the years of restoration of the economy destroyed by the Nazis. And over the past decades, the memory keeps the images of people with whom I had to communicate, significant milestones. The events of those years and days were perceived by my childhood memory under a kind of special psychological state caused, most likely, by constant tension from fear, hunger, cold, from waiting for something unknown, from frequently changing events.
These years, in addition, were for me and peers years of school childhood and adolescence, when events were not only perceived, but also evaluated. Generally speaking: each child had his own destiny, each child captured his own memory in his memory, but what united all children was common in destinies - so this is the grief and hardships that befell everyone.
Along with adults, children endured all the hardships of war: they came under bombing, died, starved, saw all the excesses of the fascists in the occupied territories, and survived the difficult first years of the restoration of the economy destroyed by the war. Now the war can be remembered keenly, probably, like me, my peers, who were at that time witnesses of the events taking place in the village, and sometimes their participants. What I want to tell you is my personal memories, my personal perception of the war.
Among the photographs are familiar faces, and the photograph of Semyon Kuzmich Debely transferred me to the time of my studies at the incomplete secondary school of the Tselinsky grain farm, where he worked as a military instructor and physical teacher for several years, allowed us to recall schoolmates and teachers.
I remember his lessons in military affairs. The girls were engaged in sanitary work, the boys threw grenades, learned to crawl and bayonet fighting.
I remember the commands that were given to us: “Long if! If you were short! ”, And now we, the students of ten or fourteen, were supposed to rush with a rifle on a stuffed reed and prick it with a bayonet.
The whole class studied chemical warfare agents: mustard gas, lewisite, phosgene, diphosgene, and ways to protect against them. Studied rifle weapondevice grenades and more. Engaged in drill training.
In physical education classes, we often surrounded the teacher and asked permission to play lapta. And very often in physical education classes we played lapta. Allowed Simon Kuzmich us to play because lapta is a purely sports game.
When I first heard the word "war"
I first heard about the war in the village of Rebrichansky, Oryol district, Rostov region, where our family lived then. In June, 1941, suddenly in the life of the village something has changed dramatically. Concern, anxiety appeared in the faces of the people; they appeared on the faces of my parents.
For the first time I heard the word “war” from women who gathered in groups on rural streets and talked about something. Here I heard the word “war” and the story of some iron birds that bombed our cities. Perhaps women have not yet seen airplanes in their lives.
About how serious it is, we realized when the war touched our family closely, and my father received a summons to recruit into the army. The next day, we accompanied the father to the village of Gundorovsky, from where he was supposed to go by train to the destination.
There were already many people on the platform. Everywhere there was a woman crying and parting words: "Come back alive." Mother could not let her father out of her arms for a long time. The separation was difficult, as if she already felt that she was seeing her husband for the last time. Soon the squadron was served, the team rang out, the departing boarded the wagons and the train left.
Father, Petrov Alexander Samoilovich, I remember very vaguely, as if through some kind of veil. I had to communicate with him, not through his fault, quite a bit. I was very small when, in 1937, he and some part-time teachers in the village of Bogoroditsky in the Razvilensky district of the Rostov region, including Boris Nikolayevich Dobrotvorsky, my uncle, were denounced by the denunciation, were arrested in an unknown direction. In the winter of 58, they were released “for lack of evidence” and returned home.
In June 1941 of the year - with the beginning of the war - the father was drafted into the army. These four or five months I could communicate with my father. I remember this communication only in fragments: here we are fishing - on the ponds in the village of Rebrichansky, so I go to his class during the lesson, the children laugh, and my father tells me to wait. But one of the schoolchildren puts me at his desk, gives me paper and a pencil, and I sit and draw.
I also remember that my father played the mandolin, and his favorite song was the Ukrainian folk song: “I would take the bandura”.
My father is missing
Our families lived in the village of Bogoroditsky until January-February of 1941 - before the arrival of the fathers from prison, and went to different places of residence, where before the start of the war our fathers worked as teachers. My dad went missing 3 on November 1941 of the year in Crimea, when their part was surrounded between the villages of Alushta and Sudak.
Along with brief information about my father, I received a fragment of the list of names of people who were surrounded by my father. The sheet was written hastily, obviously, by an army clerk who announces irretrievable losses.
In the list of fragments appears 17 surnames. All 17 people were called up by the military commissariats of Rostov and the region. The fate of my father and others will no longer be known, obviously never. All of them appear in the list of irretrievable losses. The fact that the father went missing, the family learned only in the 1943 year. Until that time, we were firmly convinced that he is alive and is about to send news.
When father went to the front
After my father left for the front, the life of our family changed dramatically. From this moment on, the terrible shadow of the war touched the whole way of life and life of our family. The war has changed the lives and destinies of not only our family, but also the entire population of the country. A few days later our family moved to a new place of residence - in the Tselinsky grain farm of the Rostov region.
We, the children, did not know then that before leaving for the front, father and uncle agreed to unite our families so that those who survive will take care of both families. Such agreements between related and close families were often made at that time.
Portrait of Lermontov with a German bullet
Through Boris Nikolaevich’s family, we very quickly made new friends and acquaintances. Since our family lived in the village of Rebrichansky in the apartment at the school, we had school furniture, so we arrived light in the apartment, taking with us only our own and our father's belongings. The neighbors and friends of Dobrotvorsky helped our family to settle in the 2-room apartment. We found furniture and other necessities in life. The decor of the apartment, the interiors rather resembled a small city apartment where the owner was a person with good taste. It was the apartment of a man from the “city”, a real intellectual.
Boris Nikolayevich had an education corresponding to his profession, moreover, he, a native Muscovite with deep Moscow roots, was an enthusiastic man, read a lot, played the guitar well. I drew this information from the stories of his wife, friends, remembering him.
When he came home after the hospital to be treated, many of his acquaintances and friends came to our apartment. Books for Boris Nikolayevich for that time, in my childhood concepts, were numerous. They stood on the shelves, on the dresser, on the bookshelves. Some of them, as I remember, were an old edition, in leather bindings with gold stamping. I am sure that now they would be of great value. There was a lot of ancient literature, which my uncle was fond of. A special place was occupied by children's literature. Here I saw the colorfully published books of Samuel Marshak, Korney Chukovsky, Sergey Mikhalkov and other writers and poets. Mikhail and Lipa and I were already able to read by that time, and some poems of these poets knew by heart.
Unfortunately, all these spiritual values were destroyed - the Germans burned most of the books in the yard, which we did not have time to hide.
In the second room, in the wall between the windows, under the paper plate of the loudspeaker, hung a portrait of M. Yu. Lermontov. He was under glass with a bullet hole. The portrait was shot during lunch by one of the young German officers who stayed with her for a short rest. At lunch, a quarrel arose between the Germans. One of them grabbed a pistol and wanted to shoot at the other, but the neighbor on the table managed to hit the arm with a pistol, and the bullet went higher.
Wounded German soldier broke his legs
My memories of Boris Nikolayevich are pretty clear and detailed, because in May-June 1942, he came home on leave after treatment at the hospital and spent almost a month with us, the children. Obviously, having seen the horrors of war and realizing that he could in any battle suffer the fate of thousands and thousands of fallen Red Army soldiers, he wanted to have time to talk with us as much as possible. We were constantly nearby, wherever he was, and he, too, with great unwillingness, let go of us.
At home, surrounding him, we listened late to his stories about the war, others stories. The narrator he was beautiful.
He talked very little about the war to children, and talked more with adults on this topic.
Few members of the fighting then came home from the front for a leave, even if it was wounded. The story of his injury, we still asked him to tell. Then they learned that the uncle was a sanitary instructor. During the battle, he made bandages for wounded soldiers and pulled them from the battlefield. In one of these battles, when my uncle was bandaging our soldier, a wounded German soldier with a burst of automaton interrupted his legs. Above raise the machine at the fascist did not have the strength. After treatment in the hospital, my uncle was still slightly limping.
Farewell to Boris Nikolayevich, who was returning to the front again, was not easy. By that time, some families in the grain farm had already received "funerals". Not only relatives, but also neighbors and acquaintances said goodbye to their uncle. When he left, he left the family a soldier coat and a shovel.
Boris Nikolaevich died in 1943, near the city of Zaporozhye. In the "burial" is precisely indicated his place of burial. It lies in a mass grave, over which an obelisk is installed. Among the names of the dead is his name - Boris Nikolayevich Dobrotvorsky.
Our families received the news about the death of the Pope and Dobrotvorsky later, and there were still nearly two years of anxieties and bombings, the occupation and liberation of the village of Celina.
After we finally settled down and began to settle down, we began to get acquainted with our neighbors. Next to us, in the western end of the building, lived a school teacher. It was a man above average height, fat. He walked in a brown leather jacket. For some reason, many teachers used to wear leather jackets. Unfortunately, I do not remember his last name, first name, or middle name. We rarely spoke with him, perhaps because he seemed to have no family.
In the 1942 year, at the end of school hours, he and some other families who lived in the state grain farm were evacuated, and after the invaders were driven out, not all of them returned to their apartments. What awaited them on the roads, in new places of residence, what is their fate - is not known.
Next to us lived the family of the Masleevs in the structure: elderly spouses whom we called grandparents, their daughter Nadya (Aunt Nadia) and her son Gennady (Gena, Gesha).
Grandfather Masleev, or as we called him “Grandfather Masley”, was a master of all trades. During the day, he could be seen anywhere in the village with a tool box in his hands. It was he who laid many Russian ovens and stoves in the courtyards for cooking and baking bread, which were destroyed by the Germans, and built canopies over them; it was he who equipped the new covered well, from which we all took water: the Germans covered the old well with some kind of poisonous muck, and it became impossible to drink water from there.
"Aunt Nadia" - Gena's mother - we guys were delighted. On the first day on arrival at the grain farm, I saw her behind the wheel of a car. She worked in the garage of the grain farm as a driver and drove some official who, possibly, lived in our building, because he left the car at our building. This man usually walked with a briefcase and was dressed in a white suit, white canvas boots and a white cap. For some reason, we guys have a negative attitude towards him.
I remember the incident incident with this official: once Nadia drove him to the house, and the rear doors of the car jammed. He had to get out of the car through the window of the car. He did it awkwardly. We stood nearby and looked, and someone gave advice.
By the beginning of the harvest of grain, Nadia first moved to a wheeled tractor, and then to a heavy tracked tractor CTZ. The tractor was without a cabin and an awning over his head, it was arranged simply - the engine, the tracks and the seat.
During the harvest, she drove a combine or two-combine harvester for this tractor. In the movies about the Great Patriotic War such tractors tow heavy tools. When Nadia drove up to the building on any car or tractor, we surrounded her and, not looking up, looked at how she was making minor repairs or starting the car, or wiping the parts, and were ready to fulfill any of her requests: whether to give a key or any That detail, or something to wipe. At the same time trying to get ahead of each other. She was dressed in a jumpsuit, which then dressed female mechanics, and looked like the heroine from the movie: "Tractor drivers."
Gena Masleev, the son of Nadi, was older than us, but sometimes he took part in our games. His greatest desire was to become a naval sailor. By sea and the sea service he literally raved. Gene will leave to fight to the front as a young boy and die in the Black Sea.
How the Germans destroyed the white grove
Later, I myself could already roam the grain state farm and become more familiar with its sights. In those years, I was amazed at the construction of a grain farm. All the buildings of the village were sturdy, brick, under a tiled roof; the buildings were buried in verdure. Improvement was thought out: roads, sidewalks, leisure parks, residential and public centers, economic and industrial complexes. Everything was so well-groomed and clean that it seemed to have just been erected.
In the eastern part of the village there was a large grove of white acacia, in which a state-owned apiary was located in a clearing. All this grove was cut down by German soldiers.
In the grain farm before the war, there was an incomplete secondary school, a bath and laundry complex, a bakery, a power station, a mixed goods store and a canteen with a hairdresser and snack bar. Now the canteen served the pilots of a military airfield, which was based in the village of Celina. In the state farm there were electricity and radio networks. Stoked the room with stoves. Plumbing and sewage systems were obviously envisaged, but, in my opinion, they did not have time to carry out the construction. I judge this by the fact that the brick water tower was built, the reinforced concrete water tank was tied with pipelines that went down into the pit of the tower to the pumps. However, there were no pumps, no supply or distribution water networks. There was no water intake, from where it would be possible to take drinking water. All the amenities at that time in the grain farm were on the street. We took water and carried it with buckets from a common well.
In the spring or autumn thaw life in the villages was somewhat hampered by the fact that the top layer of chernozem smelled to a great depth and turned into mud. Automobile transport could not walk, and all the goods were transported through the mud with tractors on sleds, the runners of which were made of logs with rounded ends.
We watered the soldiers with cold well water
Railway station. Here we have been almost daily. I was very attracted to the building itself. So the station was beautiful, according to my perceptions. It was built in 1916 from good-quality materials in the most likely pseudo-gothic style.
On the west side of the station there was a water tower, a mixed goods store, an underground water tank.
Here we saw off and met the trains. The trains came mainly with military cargo. Under the tarpaulin, the contours of the guns were visible, tanks. Sometimes armored trains passed. These steel boxes with protruding guns and machine guns delighted us with their power.
We really wanted to go inside them.
Sometimes a steel door was opened, and an officer in a helmet came out of it, as tankers wore then, in a leather jacket, re-fastened with belts. Often there were trains with teplushki, in which the soldiers were traveling. We brought with them buckets of cold well water with cups and watered the soldiers. The soldiers talked with us, thanked for the water. We told them the names of our fathers and asked if there were any among them, or maybe they heard something about them? With such questions, we turned to the soldiers of each teplushka passing trains.
From the soldiers, I heard couplets to the tune of a song that Klavdiya Shulzhenko often sang on the radio: “Blue handkerchief”.
I well remembered the words of some verses: "Junnux 22 bombed trenches, And the hawk, dear friend, Junkers chopped off the tail." And again: "June 22, at exactly four o'clock, Kiev was bombed, we were told that the war began."
These couplets then sang the whole village.
The movement of freight trains was intense and uninterrupted during the war years.
Soviet exercises in 1941 year
In the summer of the same 1941 year, we watched the exercises, which were conducted by the troops. The exercise consisted in organizing an attack on a settlement. This is how the military explained to us, who stayed with us to rest.
One morning, we heard some kind of buzz, and everyone - adults and children - poured out of the houses behind the sheds into the field, from where there was a buzz. What we saw just mesmerized us. From the first estuary with bayonets at the ready and shouting: “Hurray!”, An enormous mass of soldiers ran toward us towards the central manor, while an armored train moved parallel to the attacker from the east, towards the elevator and fired from guns and machine guns.
The grain farm in those days was literally filled with troops and equipment.
And in our apartment the officers stayed for a while or a short rest. Then these military units left, and new ones replaced them. So it was almost all summer 1941 of the year.
Sometimes a group of German planes flew high above the village. These planes flew either east or south. The rumble of engines was different from the rumble of our aircraft. Hearing him, in the first days I was frightened and ran closer to the house.
Then, like the local guys, I got used to it - there was no bombing yet.
The war was coming closer
In September-October, the corps had openings near the buildings for shelter from bombing, the windows were criss-crossed with paper strips - it was necessary to observe the night blackout. It was clear from all directions that the front was getting closer and closer to the borders of the Rostov region. Alarms that warn of the danger of raids, began to sound more and more. More often, alarms began to be filed from October-November 1941, when German troops approached Rostov-on-Don, but were rejected and entrenched along the Mius River. Short frequent beeps of locomotives, which stood at the railway station, served as alarm signals, as well as sirens of the power station of the grain farm.
Special alarms were given by locomotives with longer beeps.
July-August-September only our heavy bombers TB-3, which were based on the Tselino airfield, flew over us. Children and adults called these aircraft bombers. Bombers were low-speed, poorly maneuverable, so they flew mostly at night. For low speed pilots called them "turtles". But, since in the 1941 year there were few aircraft that could withstand the enemy aircraft in all respects, the existing aircraft did a great job. Us, these planes were fascinated by their size.
For heavy shelter aviation several earthen caponiers were made at the airport. They were made in the form of a horseshoe, the height of the earthen rampart reached three meters. While there was no bombing, we - the team of guys - went out onto the road leading to the 5th division of the grain farm, and watched the take-off and landing of aircraft and how fighters perform aerobatics.
Several more I-16 fighter aircraft were based at the aerodrome. During the daytime they covered the airfield from the air. At night, he was guarded by anti-aircraft guns in the form of quadruple machine guns and a searchlight.
Anti-aircraft guns, searchlights and sound absorbing installations - everything was mounted in the truck bodies. Operators on sound absorbing installations then called "hearers". All this equipment daily passed by our buildings.
Not far away from their weapons, anti-aircraft gunners, projectors and hearers came to the dining room with their installations.
The dining room was behind the hull number 8. When the planes started flying at night, we went out onto the porch and watched the red and green lights moving in the sky at the ends of the wings. Sometimes the aircraft flew quite low over the hulls. They flew almost every night, if the weather allowed.
At night, we admired the game of searchlights: three or four beams were running across the sky, trying to catch and not let go (lead) the enemy's plane, and then the chains of tracer bullets from the four-guns ran to the cross-beams.
Memories of the airfield, of the planes and resurrect the tragic incident that occurred in September 1941 of the year (or in May 1942 of the year?). The day was sunny, warm; the disciples were sitting at their desks when there was a strong roar. At recess, the entire school poured into the courtyard to find out the cause of the incident. Seen all shocked: about 200 meters from the school lay smoking debris of the aircraft. I clearly see the tail of an airplane with a red star. The crash site was cordoned off by pilots. They put the wreckage of an airplane on a truck. It was an I-16 fighter; there seemed to be no other fighters on the airfield at that time. Is the pilot alive, I do not know. Immediately we saw the cause of the tragedy: the pilot drove the plane at a low altitude and, making a U-turn, hooked the wind vane of the “windmill” (as we called the wind farm, located in the economic zone of the grain farm). The water pumping height was 30-35 meters, the weather vane was placed at a considerable distance from the wind wheel. Both the tower and the weather vane were made of powerful steel structures. From school to the farmyard, the grain farm is very close, so the pumping station was clearly visible. Now her weather vane was severely bent. With such a weather vane, the pumping station stood for many years. Perhaps the pilot took some measures so that the plane did not fall on the school, but this is impossible to know.
Whenever I saw this pumping station with a curved weather vane, I had a picture of the past in front of me.
Summer and Autumn 1941, my mother worked in the state farm. Head of the vegetable economy A. Ya. Sasov.
He was both an agronomist and a breeder, and tried to introduce new cultures to the Don land. I judge this by sugarcane crops in his gardens. Sasov died at the hands of a policeman, when he was walking from the execution of the next task of the underground workers in the rear of the enemy.
I learned about sugar cane from local guys when they treated me to a slice of this plant. When cleaning the lobules, the inside turned out to be a juicy, springy rod of white color and sweet in taste. Then my mother took me with her to the garden, where she was collecting sugar cane and squeezing it. Everything looked very simple, yes, probably, mechanization was not required here; crop volume was not for industrial processing.
The deceased Sosov was a master of all trades, but now his hands are numb in the breezy December wind and will never be able to touch the ground he loved. His countrymen remember how he himself designed and made a device for the extraction of sweet syrup from reeds.
All mechanization consisted of two wooden shafts with handles, under them was a chute, through which a greenish liquid flowed into a bucket. Two women twisted the shafts with their handles, and one laid the cleaned cane stalks between them. When filling the bucket, the liquid was poured into a large cast iron vat mounted in the furnace. The liquid boiled and turned into brown syrup. I had to try it: it was sweet and with some pleasant taste. Was there anything else added to the syrup, I do not know. As I was told, the syrup went to the hospital for the wounded.
Several women cut the stalks, incising the lowest knee of the link of the stem, after which it broke. The reed stem resembled a reed: the same division into links, the same long leaves. The difference was that the reed was thicker and taller (somewhere up to 3-meters), ended with a dense panicle of seeds of brown-purple color. The whisk looked like the tip of an ancient spear.
Old-timers still remember how Sasov brought out new varieties of watermelons. Watermelons were called “Sasovskys”. Collecting the harvest, he selected the best varieties and distributed them to the population for free, but he also requested that all the seeds of these watermelons be returned to him.
Germans bombed badly
Late autumn arrived and winter followed. Has come 1942 year. More and more often raids were committed on the airfield, touching and the village of Tselina. Increasingly at night the siren of the power station was crying. Despite the cold, at night we fled to the crack, where neighbors were also slaughtered. From the gap they watched the night bombing of the airfield, the work of searchlights, saw the trails of bullets, heard the explosions of bombs and the roar of airplanes. We were very scared, barely restrained desire to run into the house and hide under the bed. At the grain farm, not a single bomb has yet been dropped.
They fell on us in June or July of the 1942 of the year. Bombs, in the amount of eight, fell between the railway and the workshops, practically, on a wasteland. They did not damage the office building, the fuel depot, which was located near the fall. The Germans managed to blow up only one vertical steel tank with fuel. Fuel has ignited from the fragments of fallen bombs; its walls were all hewn by shrapnel. From an explosion when ignited, it literally tore it in half, and the steel sheets were fancifully curved. In this form, the tank stood for a long time. Some of the guys fell under this bombing, but survived, because, having heard the whistle of the bombs, rushed to their heels and managed to escape from the zone of defeat.
We counted the number of dropped bombs in the craters when we went to Tselina. Past these craters were every day. These pits did not fall asleep for many years. They just swallowed by rain and melting snow in spring, without interfering with anyone. I don’t know other cases of the fall of bombs on grain farms. Bombs did not fall on the railroad and elevator. At least, I do not remember a single such incident and did not see any signs of destruction.
The results of the same airfield bombing saw with my own eyes. Once we went out with the guys on the road, from which the airfield was clearly visible and from where we always admired airplanes, we saw that one of the German bombers was lying on the ground: the chassis was not visible, the nose part went somewhere down, and the tail unit was high. The plane was shot down and got into a deep bomb funnel.
"From the thunder of thunder, from the bullet of the flying ..."
Bomb explosions, machine gun shooting, searchlights - everything was more and more often, we hid in the cracks. In such cases, we, the children, and the parents stood in one of the corners, where the icon hung, on their knees and in unison said the prayer: “From the thunder of rattlesnake, from the bullet of a volatile ...”. So it was, probably, in other families.
Then came the Germans. Much has been said about their atrocities: they robbed, took away all the provisions and warm clothes, shot at the denunciations of the Communists and ordinary families who fell into a raid. For a long time a half-crazy woman walked through the village’s streets and asked to find her son and husband. They were shot before her eyes, but she refused to believe it.
Front approaching. And suddenly, on the radio, they reported that the Germans had entered the village, and soon a detachment of German troops appeared in the local church.
The Nazis shot civilians who were close. Mom quickly gathered scarce belongings and loaded them on a cart, harnessed a horse, and Masha was tied to a cart by feeding the cow. Late at night, along with other farmers, we left our houses, our farm and drove off.
From cold, wind and rain, from the enemy hid in dugouts, especially when they heard the roar of airplanes. But food supplies, horse feed ended, our cow Masha saved the little ones, “Mafen'ka” - this was what her neighbor boy called her, every time when her mother, after milking her, was pouring milk. Once out of the dugout in a nearby village, to somehow get food. Several kilometers passed, and here, out of nowhere, the Germans on motorcycles. Shelling began. A lot of my fellow villagers died, children and women scared. Those who had not yet managed to get out of the forest hid, the Germans searched the area and left. And we, coming out of the shelter, came to that terrible place, and there were several dozens of people lying there, we buried them, poured a mound and returned to the dugout. Autumn was coming, and behind it was winter.
The Germans were stopped at Stalingrad and driven off in the winter.
Eremenko and Khrushchev sent a report No. 0017 to Supreme Commander JV Stalin about the results of the offensive in the period from 1 to 16 in January 1943:
“The troops of the Southern Front, continuing to develop a successful offensive, in the period from 1 to 16 in January of this year. they crushed the enemy's Tormos grouping and continued to deliver successive blows to the remnants of the Kotelnikov group of Germans supported by the SS Viking division deployed by the enemy from the North Caucasus.
Overcoming the stubborn resistance of the enemy, clinging to natural frontiers and large populated areas, and reflecting the desperate counterattacks of his infantry and tanks, the heroic forces of the front continued to push the enemy in a southwesterly direction, destroying his personnel and equipment. The enemy showed especially stubborn resistance at the turn of Zimovniki, Kuberle, Kuteininovo and in the area of Arakantsy, Alifanov, Bethlyants.
As a result of the fifteen-day fierce fighting, the troops of the Southern Front drove the enemy to the west bank of the r. Seversky Donets and the southern coast of the river. Manych
Territory to r. Seversky Donets and r. Manych on the whole front must be considered cleared of the enemy. (TsAMO RF. F. 64. Op. 505. D. 82. L. 83).