Correspondence. December 1941

We cannot celebrate our New Year here physically. Everything goes on as always. I would like to receive a letter from you, but the mail does not keep pace with us, and I haven’t had letters for more than a week. Everything I write you does not have proper sequencing. It is caused by a number of reasons: It’s dark, crowded, rather cold, I’m tired and I...

15 Декабрь 2014|Shelyakhovskaya (Gruzdeva) Maria Aleksandrovna

Anxious Letters

I thought letters from you would be just about to resume coming, but, suddenly, the news: “Tikhvin has been surrendered to the Germans”. Again an obstacle… A few days ago I lost my wonderful driver, with whom I had traveled about 3 months: there are many reasons to suppose that he perished together with the truck. It is horribly sad, he was an excellent fellow.

8 Декабрь 2014|Shelyakhovskaya (Gruzdeva) Maria Aleksandrovna

About Liudochka

She was picked up by first-aid men. They could barely tear her from the body of the dead woman. The girl called herself Liuda. She was silent, only her shoulders were jerking. At first Liudochka did not answer any questions, only asked everybody around her: “Where is my mammy?” People around her sympathized with her, tried to comfort her, and we, girls, cried bitterly.

1 Декабрь 2014|Korneyeva V.M.

«I have never seen so much unbearable grief…»

Since the first days of Hitler's occupation, when on the territory of Estonia concentration camps appeared, my father considered it his Christian duty to visit them regularly. The Germans did not prevent him from doing that. Father used to take me with him as a boy server. I have never seen such unbearable...

24 Ноябрь 2014|Ridiger Aleksy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

There Is a Desire to Say So Much

The letters I write you are poor: there is no time, I am tired and a little coarsened. You forgive me for this. You are not receiving letters from me now, since from 4 through 22 or 23 I did not write you. Do not worry at such intervals. If there are no letters, this is not so bad, actually. I already wrote you that if anything happens, they won’t keep...

17 Ноябрь 2014|Shelyakhovskaya (Gruzdeva) Maria Aleksandrovna

Photo-report from Sachsenhausen concentration camp

Sachsenhausen was a Nazi concentration camp, located near the town of Oranienburg in Germany. It was built in July 1936. Up to 60,000 people were imprisoned there annually during some years. At Sachsenhausen more than 100,000 prisoners died or were killed in a number of ways. There Nazi officers were trained...

10 Ноябрь 2014|Photo-report by Chernakov Gennadiy

The Last Letter from Mother to Son

Many people amazed me. And not only the vulgar, the angry and the illiterate. One was an old teacher, retired, 75 years old, he would always ask about you, send his regards, say about you: “He is our pride”. And those cursed days when we met he didn’t greet me, but looked away. And then I was told that he said at a meeting in the commandant's office:...

7 Ноябрь 2014|Grossman Ekaterina Savelyevna translated by Iliashenko Olga

British Women in War

In December 1941 unmarried women aged 19 to 30 found themselves conscripted. They were joined by many more married women who volunteered. Women could chose between a job in industry and the auxiliary services.

3 Ноябрь 2014|Risbey Peter

The Women’s Voluntary Service in Britain

The work quickly diversified and the organisation soon changed its name to the WVS for Civil Defence. The work of the WVS was organised in close cooperation with Government Departments and Local Authorities. One of its first tasks was to evacuate one and a half million children from the big cities to the...

3 Ноябрь 2014|Risbey Peter

Family Archive: The First Autumn of the War

As letters travel for about three weeks, one gets some strange impressions from them. I receive letters from you which were written when I was still in the rear, while it is a month already that we’ve been at the firing line. How much time, it seems, has passed since.

27 Октябрь 2014|Shelyakhovskaya (Gruzdeva) Maria Aleksandrovna

From the Gruzdevs’ Archive

I haven’t received a letter from you yet, but I’ve received a telegram. In Leningrad, although I haven’t been there since your departure, everything is as before: the fascists are not flying as far as to the city, and probably won’t fly as far. In my situation everything is as before. I shoot all day long, at a shooting-range as yet. Today I shot 5...

20 Октябрь 2014|Shelyakhovskaya (Gruzdeva) Maria Aleksandrovna

The Family Archive of the War Years

Our future Dad and Mama started writing their first letters to each other as early as in the peace time, in 1933. At that time they both had just finished the first year of Leningrad State Pedagogical Institute named after A. I. Herzen, where they were studying at the Department of Language and Literature.

13 Октябрь 2014|Shelyakhovskaya (Gruzdeva) Maria Aleksandrovna

About My Service in the USA Navy

We had two boiler rooms in operation, we had two engine rooms in operation, and my responsibility was to keep the boiler rooms repaired and ready to go. We had one boiler room, it was out of commission. It was down, it was apart. But nothing was said about getting it ready and we didn’t give it much thought. But 24 hours later from the time that...

6 Октябрь 2014|Tennant Charles

Overseas Shipment and Combat Group Assignment

I was assigned a new crew, whose pilot had broken a leg playing volley ball. They were in the mid phase of their training. It only took a short while to blend into the new crew. They had been well trained and since I was repeating a month of training, with an additional hundred hours of flying experience I...

29 Сентябрь 2014|Levine Ray
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