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Facing Stalingrad: Portraits of German and Soviet Survivors [EN]

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A cura di @reislaufer.

Facing Stalingrad presenta dodici interviste a testimoni diretti della Battaglia di Stalingrado, dove la 6ta Armata, comandata dal generale Paulus, venne accerchiata e distrutta in seguito all’Operazione Urano.

What was the most terrible moment for you in Stalingrad? Can you remember?
We were so afraid we often shat in our pants. It was impossible. Honestly.
We just had an awful time. We didn’t need to wash our dirty trousers. We couldn’t wash them. And when we had shat through our pants we got new ones from the dead.
-Johann Scheins

While we were in Stalingrad, before the Encirclement, a so-called field library turned up. One of the books in the library was Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. It was a very thin edition made of very thin paper. The book cover was very flexible, you know. And I had never read the thing, you know, at least when I was in Germany, even though I was chief of a firefighter squad. But then in Stalingrad I had the opportunity to read the book. Well, I put the book in my map bag. And when I was taken prisoner I didn’t give the book a second thought. That’s how I came to be carrying the book with me. I was sent to the prison in Beketovka and the sentry searched me. He had the book in his hand and asked: “Chto takoe?” – What is this? I said “Eto Bibel”. – It’s the Bible. “Nu, puskai.” [OK, no problem] -Gerhard Hindenlang

Let me tell about good Germans. In our Ukrainian cob house there was a German. And he’d say “Baden!” – “let’s go for a swim!” And we’d go. He had a motorcycle. Another one invited us over once: me and a girl of 12 or 13. He sat each of down on his knee, hugged us, was telling us something for a long time. Then he gave us chocolate bars. He was visibly moved. You could see he had Kinder: a Knabe and a Mädchen – a boy and a girl. That goes to show that I saw some good Germans in Ukraine. But I also saw bad ones there.
In Ukraine they were in general merciless. I saw people hanging from gallows: both partisans and civilians. What was their crime? The placard would say “partisan” and something else. I saw that. Right next to the church.
-Boris Serafimovich Kryzhanovsky


Immagine da Wikimedia Commons.

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