“We were sleeping one night and we woke up because of a terrible noise. All three of us came up to the window. We were looking out of the window and we could see so many explosions that we couldn’t tell whose artillery was firing. Then we could hear an explosion in the corridor and fragments wounded the three of us.
I was wounded above the knee. My sister was wounded under the knees. And it made life quite impossible for us because we couldn’t even go out any longer. My brother was wounded in a calf and immediately after he was wounded the rubber shoe he was wearing got filled with blood. But he got some bandages and bound his wound, and then he bound my sister’s and my wounds.
But several days later, when he wanted to put on a new bandage, he couldn’t remove the old bandage. Then he got and melted some snow, which helped him to remove my bandage, he saw that there were some worms. He brought some more snow and gave it to me and all this snow helped me to cope with this sore, with this inflammation. My brother and I were the worst hit. We had really bad inflammation. My old wounds keep aching.
(Later that month)
My brother was lying on one side of the bed, I was lying on the other side and my young sister was between us. The only thought we had was where to find something to eat. We were so hungry. I can’t imagine now myself what I lived through. We simply stayed in bed and were lying all day silently, clinging to each other. Trying to keep our sister warm. We would turn our faces to her and press ourselves to her body.
And we could hear somebody shouting. ‘Why are you knocking on the door? Don’t knock. Maybe there are Germans inside, they’ll shoot us. Throw the grenade!’ But one soldier did open the door, and to start with they couldn’t make out who was inside. But we began to scream: ‘Don’t kill us! We’re Russians!’ The solder who was first to come in shouted ‘There are children here!’ When they came in and saw us, they burst out crying.
– Valentina Krutova, a Russian child who survived the Battle of Stalingrad by hiding in rubble and living in abandoned buildings and sheds.
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.