Kiev / Ukraine
Transportation with Russian livestock wagons towards the frontline
Muntjan G. Ivanovich
“I didn‘t know that the war would be so horrible. I didn‘t think about my future. I only said one thing. I said “This is my address, if I get killed, please, tell my mum”.
Donezk / Ukraine
Training behind the frontline
Eliza I. Makarenko
“I was 12 years old. In the middle of the night the police came and took us to the train station. They beat up the people who refused to leave their houses. We went to Zaporozhye by train, where my brother died. Then they sorted us according to our nationalities. Even though we were Russians of German origin, they took us to a camp. It was horrible. We saw how they buried people alive.”
Sloviansk / Ukraine
“It was my first battle as a soldier. At 3 o’clock the combat started, at 6 o’clock half of them were either dead or wounded.”
Raya L. Lischenko
“I was very little, about 5 years old, but I remember everything. The Germans burned down every second house. First they were searching for men to kill. Later they started killing everybody. Women and children. A German soldier threw an artillery shell into the bunker where my grandmother was hiding. My grandfather’s place was also burned down. When he left the house to extinguish the fire, the German soldiers killed him, too. His body was burned along with the house.”
Novocherkassk / Russia
Advance towards Kuban.
Kukoz F. Ivanovitsch
“I once met a German soldier. He was an old man whose leg was injured very badly. He was laying on the floor and was saying: “Hitler kaput, Stalin kaput“. I thought that maybe he was hungry and gave him some bread. When he asked me to shoot him, I couldn't do it and left him.”
Rostov on Don / Russia
Advance towards Caucasus.
Anna I. Kirilenko
"I was 15 years old when I was brought to Germany. I was IN a long row of naked women. One can forget everything, but not the humiliation. Not that! They shaved our head and looked at everything, the hands, the fingers, the ears, everything as if we were horses. The women who were healthier had to work, the others were killed straight away. The whole night I was crying."
Near Slatki / Russia
Severe fighting in the Caucasian region.
“I was 5 years old during the occupation. There were local children and children who had been evacuated from Leningrad. In a short cut from my school to my home I saw small children from Leningrad being killed by German soldiers.”
Sigishoara to Macea / Romania
“I was taken to the prisoner’s of war camp in Russia by train. On the way I got typhoid and dysentery and was left in Sigishoara. After I got better another imprisoned soldier asked me if I wanted to escape with him. We destroyed all our papers and went to the train station. Every day before dawn we would jump off and hide somewhere until the evening. We survived by going to remote houses, begging for food.”
“I know about a German imprisoned soldier who was hidden by a couple from St. Martin. They gave him civilian clothes and showed him where it was safe to cross the border. It was rare that someone succeeded. The border was well protected and many got shot during their attempt to escape.”
Near Ceske Budejovice / Czech Republic
Capture in a forest.
"On May 28, 1945 the German soldiers were fleeing the frontline. Five German soldiers with badges of honor came to our village. Two villagers who carried only wooden sticks imprisoned them and took them to a camp 20 kilometers away."
Near Zlata Korunia / Czech Republic
Rejection at the Russian—American zonal border
“At this street everybody came past who tried to escape towards Germany. First the Hungarian soldiers who had fought for Germany came along. The Americans rejected them at the border and brought them back to the Russians. The Russians took all their jewelery and watches. Whatever they didn’t need, they stamped into the earth. Afterwards they shot the Hungarians. I could see that on my way home from the bus.”
Vienna / Germany
Walk towards the prisoners camp for German soldiers.
“In the last camp where I was held, every morning I got a bucket and a shovel and had to go to the cesspits. They were as big as a room with beams laying across the top. Not one day passed without a body lying in there. Either dying or already dead and I arrived to put
bleaching powder to disinfect on top. I was 24 years old and weighted 55 kilos.”