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Russian memory . . .

 
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Russian memory . . . - 5/30/2013 10:39:07 PM   
rnickelson

 

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Shuffling through some paperwork, I realized that I bought a car exactly six years ago today. This brought back the memory of the test drive with the salesperson, Oxana. Making conversation, she revealed that she was a native of Russia; I had already deduced that by her accent. I replied that I spoke no Russian, but I did speak a little German. Hearing this, she bristled noticeably. Obviously trying to control herself, she indicated her distaste for that language "because of what they did to us in the war."

I indicated that I knew what she was referring to, and I dropped the subject quickly! Wow--someone in her early 40s, with no firsthand knowledge of the war . . .
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RE: Russian memory . . . - 5/31/2013 12:02:36 AM   
carlkay58

 

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I had a Russian friend from Kiev. She was even younger but still had real problems with Germans. It was also interesting to hear her Russian Mud stories. It really is as bad as the history books describe and she said that it continue for four to eight weeks at a stretch every spring and fall.

(in reply to rnickelson)
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RE: Russian memory . . . - 5/31/2013 3:35:47 AM   
Maximeba

 

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In the late 90's I worked with a woman who was a child in Germany during the war. She knew I played ww2 games and we never talked about ww2. She was a mild natured person, but one day she let it all out. Her brother fought in the battle of Stalingrad. They never heard from him once the battle started. When the war ended he never came home and they thought he was dead. In 1948 there was a knock at the door. She answered the door and there was her brother still in his original uniform. A happy ending for a very sad peroid of time.
The other odd thing was she thought the wrong side had won the war and even tried to bestow virtue on Hitler. She just couldn't bring herself to acknowledge the evil that I percieved was spreading through her country. I worked with her for several after, and she never talked again about the war.
Both sides suffered terrible atrocities at the hands of each other, hopefully we will never see anything like that again.








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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/1/2013 9:02:51 AM   
randallw

 

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No information on why the brother suddenly shows up in 1948?

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/1/2013 12:18:10 PM   
el hefe


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Within the past several years, a US infantry battalion took part in the May Day military parade in Moscow. It was a historic event because it was the first time that a foreign military unit had participated in the Red Square military parade. Since I read this in the English version of Pravda (I think), the comments in by the onlookers were very interesting. There were a surprising number of comments which associated the US and NATO as fascists. The only reason I could think that anyone would have this association was that the Soviet propaganda in the Cold War had tied Germany and NATO as one in the same. There was still a fear of a NATO fascists invasion lead by the Germans in the 21st century.

Trey

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/1/2013 3:03:30 PM   
rrbill

 

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Let's just say, "Glad its over." We won, good.

Discussion of war crimes, atrocities, excessive destruction, etc. are useful so that these issues can be moderated in future conflicts.

Seems today that most people think only the other guy does it.

Glad that there are active US investigations from time to time. Don't think we get them all, though.

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/1/2013 10:45:24 PM   
Maximeba

 

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quote:

No information on why the brother suddenly shows up in 1948?



He was a POW. I guess the Russians were still upset with the German 6th army over Stalingrad. If you remember, the Russian ask the Germans to surrender before Stalingrad became a bloody mess for both sides. If I remember my history channel, 100k Germans surrender and only 5k ever made it home. He was a POW for awhile but he was one of the lucky ones to make it home.

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/2/2013 12:25:30 AM   
rosseau

 

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What strikes me most about Stalingrad was the brutality of the NKVD toward their own. Anthony Beevor documents this well in Stalingrad. But losing was not an option, either. Just glad I wasn't there.

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/2/2013 4:47:02 AM   
delatbabel


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Remember this -- WWII didn't happen in the USA. It's all very well for you to sit around in Cincinnati or Buffalo and wonder about the longevity of the Russian memory of the war, but it wasn't the case that 25 million Americans were killed by German troops invading on the east coast and occupying everything from there to Denver. If it did then you might understand, but it didn't.

Stalingrad might have been brutal, for both sides, but if the German armies made it all the way to Tashkent then it might have been even more brutal.

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/2/2013 8:23:49 AM   
loki100


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Beevor is not actually that reliable a historian

if you want a Soviet view of Stalingrad (warts and all - it contains no shortage of instances of disdain by the nomenklatura for the ordinary soldiers and vice-versa) read Vassily Grossman's semi fictional Life and Fate (all the better as he was actually there - also it was banned in the USSR for some 15 years after he wrote it). What is clear is that the claims of Beevor about mass intimidation and in various western films (I can't remember the name but that silly one about two snipers) have little basis in reality.

as to the scale of the war well in the late 1980s I was lucky enough to get a climbing permit to climb in the Pamirs. Afterwards, for reasons of the complexities of Soviet bureaucracy we ended up in Bukhara. The war mememorial for the Great Patriotic War had over 10,000 names - this for not a particularly large city (probably around 200,000 at the time) which of course had never actually been fought over.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 6/2/2013 8:25:18 AM >

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/2/2013 2:40:55 PM   
bob.

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

as to the scale of the war well in the late 1980s I was lucky enough to get a climbing permit to climb in the Pamirs. Afterwards, for reasons of the complexities of Soviet bureaucracy we ended up in Bukhara. The war mememorial for the Great Patriotic War had over 10,000 names - this for not a particularly large city (probably around 200,000 at the time) which of course had never actually been fought over.


About that, this reminds me that I read somewhere on the web (forgot where exactly...) that 99 % of the men in the Soviet Union that were 18 in 1941 got injured or killed during the war. Could that be true?

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/2/2013 5:41:44 PM   
morvael


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quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

Remember this -- WWII didn't happen in the USA. It's all very well for you to sit around in Cincinnati or Buffalo and wonder about the longevity of the Russian memory of the war, but it wasn't the case that 25 million Americans were killed by German troops invading on the east coast and occupying everything from there to Denver. If it did then you might understand, but it didn't.

Stalingrad might have been brutal, for both sides, but if the German armies made it all the way to Tashkent then it might have been even more brutal.


Imagine the war from our perspective: we have been steamrolled from the west, then from the east, while our allies sold us because of having to use one evil to win over the other evil. And it's questionable which one was the lesser of the two (one was more cruel, the other lasted longer and killed more people). My German grand-grandmother refused to speak German at all after 1939 (like the admiral, Unrug), though it took the communist government to cause grand-grandfather's premature death. Second grand-grandfather was killed in a German camp, because he was an educated Pole. My other ancestors are from Byelorussia, so I know about their "eastern perspective" plight at the hands of both regimes. All in all, unhappy times for everyone living in these lands in Central Europe.

< Message edited by morvael -- 6/2/2013 5:42:49 PM >

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/2/2013 11:57:32 PM   
Maximeba

 

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quote:

Remember this -- WWII didn't happen in the USA. It's all very well for you to sit around in Cincinnati or Buffalo and wonder about the longevity of the Russian memory of the war, but it wasn't the case that 25 million Americans were killed by German troops invading on the east coast and occupying everything from there to Denver. If it did then you might understand, but it didn't.


Delatabel, you are correct we could never truly understand all the pain and suffering. I would never be so presumptious to claim I could identify that sort of pain. The loss of 300k in 1 battle would be every person in the city of Buffalo wiped off the face of the earth. The loss of 25 million (some say 40 million) Russians would be the loss of every person in New York, Pennsylvania, & Ohio state. Staggering!!
On a lighter note I have the pleasure of being the son-in-law of a 92 year old ww2 soldier. He is still very active and goes out to dinner with us every Wednesday night. He fought with Patton in Europe. One night my wife and myself went over to his house to play cards and he brought out his ww2 scrap book. It was an amazing collection of pictures and writings and if I get him in the right mood then it is an amazing collection of stories.

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RE: Russian memory . . . - 6/3/2013 4:53:28 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

Remember this -- WWII didn't happen in the USA. It's all very well for you to sit around in Cincinnati or Buffalo and wonder about the longevity of the Russian memory of the war, but it wasn't the case that 25 million Americans were killed by German troops invading on the east coast and occupying everything from there to Denver. If it did then you might understand, but it didn't.

Stalingrad might have been brutal, for both sides, but if the German armies made it all the way to Tashkent then it might have been even more brutal.


Imagine the war from our perspective: we have been steamrolled from the west, then from the east, while our allies sold us because of having to use one evil to win over the other evil. And it's questionable which one was the lesser of the two (one was more cruel, the other lasted longer and killed more people). My German grand-grandmother refused to speak German at all after 1939 (like the admiral, Unrug), though it took the communist government to cause grand-grandfather's premature death. Second grand-grandfather was killed in a German camp, because he was an educated Pole. My other ancestors are from Byelorussia, so I know about their "eastern perspective" plight at the hands of both regimes. All in all, unhappy times for everyone living in these lands in Central Europe.
warspite1

The story of the Second World War is full of so many heart rending episodes, but the fate of Poland is amongst the saddest. I am so grateful to the Polish servicemen that fought alongside their RAF, RN and army counterparts in all the main conflicts of the "western war". The RAF memorial in North London is a fine, and totally deserved, tribute to the Polish airmen that fought with us. It is just so sad that that their sacrifice did not result in the free Poland that they fought and died for.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/3/2013 4:55:36 PM >


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