Ukraine War Day #75: Happy Victory Day!

Dear Readers:

Wishing everybody a happy Victory Day to celebrate the Red Army defeat of Nazi Germany. As events have shown, in the past few decades, the ideology of Nazism was not fully defeated. The fascist ideal — the dream of dominating other people through violence, and thereby living at the expense of their labor and resources — has captured the minds of many people in Europe. These lost souls project their longings for authoritarianism onto the doomed state of Ukraine and its doomed, narcissistic leader, Zelensky. Fortunately, the rest of the world — Asia, Latin America, Africa — has not fallen prey to this blue-yellow sickness, as people continue to toil away in a productive manner and don’t necessarily buy into the Ukrainian B.S.

Immortal Regiment

In 1944 the Red Army set about to liberate Kishinev from the Nazi grouping in Bessarabia and eastern Romania. Germany’s Romanian allies were, if anything, even more vicious than the Germans themselves. The Germans killed ordinary people because they believed it was necessary. Ethnic allies like the Romanians and Balts killed ordinary people because they enjoyed it; because they were filled with hatred. They were not satisfied to simply murder ordinary, helpless people, they also liked to torture and rape them.

Soviet troops enter Bucharest on August 31, 1944

There was an entire branch of my family tree which hailed from Bessarabia. They had dwelled there for centuries, in the Kishinev and Tiraspol area, with some branches migrating north to Poland. They were not landowners nor aristocrats. They were tailors, milkmen, cobblers, farmers. As the decades went by, their children worked hard and improved themselves with each generation; became veterinarians and then doctors; and lawyers. One of my immediate ancestors studied law and moved to Moscow, where he quickly joined the Revolutionary underground, and participated in the October Revolution. Two decades later, in 1938 he was purged and shot, on Stalin’s orders. In a way it was a blessing for him, because he didn’t live to see what happened to the rest of his family, when German-Romanian troops invaded Bessarabia in 1941.

His son, a young man of military age, miraculously survived. Growing up incognito in an adopted family, he managed to escape to Lvov and thence into the Soviet Union. He was a member of a Communist underground group so his comrades helped him escape into Russia. However, being the son of an “enemy of the people”, even these connections would not have saved him from Stalin’s retribution. In order to survive, he cunningly changed his name and concealed his identity, so as to fool the NKVD. He enlisted in the army and fought against the Nazis. Thus, I can claim this ancestor as my own Immortal Regiment. He actually survived the war, he survived Stalin, and he died a natural death in his old age.

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18 Responses to Ukraine War Day #75: Happy Victory Day!

  1. colliemum says:

    Wow! What a family history, yalensis! It’s stories like those which move history into the realm of family, and make these wars far harder to forget.

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    • yalensis says:

      My family history is even more complicated than that, I only sketched some outlines, because I can only hint at the details. If I told the entire story, people would think I was making the whole thing up. When I was growing up, our parents kept many secrets from me and my siblings, all to protect us (allegedly!) But one simple truth is that we had an ancestor who fought on the correct side of the war, in the Soviet army, and whom we could be very proud of, even though he was a bit of chameleon and an imposter; for reasons which we only learned later.

      Later, after we had grown up and the truth came out, especially about the ancestor who had been shot by Stalin, we wished they had told us everything earlier. After all we could handle the truth. (And now I understood why I had always, instinctively, hated Stalin, ever since I was little, even before I knew about this family secret!)

      Plus the speculation about our ancestors sometimes led me and my sibs into false theories, when the truth was actually more liberating, in many ways. That’s about all I can say about this.

      But Happy Victory Day! with all my heart… It’s your victory too, Dear colliemum!

      Like

  2. nicolaavery says:

    С днём Победы Yalensis

    Like

  3. Stephen T Johnson says:

    Our cause is just. Victory will be ours.
    Happy Victory day and defeat to fascism!

    Like

  4. My family history is what I rely on – not media. My father, born in Russia 2 years after the revolution, to a mother that had lost her husband 2 weeks prior, had so many stories as did my mother born in Yugoslavia. Ironically, I was born in Germany but left there at 2 months. I’m planning to write a book – or a blog like you are. Those years were horrendous and people who don’t study history or haven’t heard it from those that were there don’t have a clue. Dad was captured by the Nazis. He, blessedly lived to 98 1/2, although I’m still trying to locate relatives. Ty for the continuing coverage.

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  5. Fern says:

    Thanks for this post, yalensis, and for the fascinating snippet of your family history. I think many families have these extraordinary stories – I’m a bit of an amateur historian and have done a lot of family research. I’ve generally been in awe of our ancestors – in the main, remarkably resilient people who had to cope with massive social and economic changes as well as local conflicts, world wars and revolutions all the while trying to maintain some sort of hopefully happy private lives.

    Happy Victory Day and, in a world gone mad, may any Russia reader be assured that many of us in the West know how much is owed to the Soviet Union in liberating Europe from fascism.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Fern! Our ancestors truly were awesome, when I look at the generation around today, one can only shake one’s head. The collective IQ has definitely gone down, not to mention the moral compass. The fact that our ancestors could live through these horrendous wars and hunger and hard times, and still have the hope to raise families, which is why we are here!

      Yes, a lot of people in the West still recognize the sacrifice of the Soviet people, despite persistent attempts to downplay it and rewrite history. The great thing about the Victory is that it is a prize to be shared among all those nations and ethnic groups who contributed to it. Those who were on the other side — well, that’s their problem. What I really can’t fathom is people like those Ukrainians who shared in the victory but then spat it out and decided they’d rather identify with the losers. That doesn’t make any sense to me!

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  6. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    ‘The Germans killed ordinary people because they believed it was necessary’

    Don’t give them too much credit, they were having great fun too.

    One wishes that your relative’s generation had been the last called upon to fight, but the cretinism of certain politicians has now caused the tragedy of 41-45 to be repeated as a farce.

    May this be the last time.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      I know. And here is the really aggravating part: Current Russian generals are basing their strategies (for encirclement, etc.) on the same tactics they have studied in the history books from the Great Patriotic War. Involving THE EXACT SAME CITIES: Izyum, Popasna, etc.

      It’s almost like we are trapped in this insane Groundhog Day in Hell, where this generation is doomed to repeat the exact same maneuvers, the same flankings, the same bombardments, fighting against the same Nazis, suffering the same deaths…
      I don’t want to sound frivolous, but it almost is like a video game, in a way, one that keeps going around in a loop…

      Like

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.

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        • yalensis says:

          What are you quoting, Pavlo? It sounds familiar but I can’t place it.

          Babylon 5?
          Lord of the Rings?
          Servant of the People?

          Like

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            Apologies, that was JM Barrie in Peter Pan. This quote or variations of it have also appeared in Battlestar Galactica and Lexx.

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            • yalensis says:

              Battlestar Galactica! That’s what I was thinking of. Okay, so Peter Pan said it too?

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              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                I don’t recall it from the book, but the author is supposed to have said it, and it was spoken in a 1953 film adaption.

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              • yalensis says:

                There is a philosophical/sci-fi theory out there, according to which the history of our universe is like a giant loop, or possibly into several recursions deep.
                I read an even scarier theory once, that all of us are just characters (or pawns), in a higher-dimension video game, being played by higher-dimensional beings. Where the rules of the game were set in advance, so we can’t break out of this recursion until it executes to its completion.

                Like

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