By Vasily Grossman
Paperback booklet. heritage. purple military
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Additional info for A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945
According to] Lieutenant Yakovlev, a battalion commander, the Germans attacking him were completely drunk. Those they captured stank of alcohol, and their eyes were bloodshot. All the attacks were fought off. Soldiers wanted to carry Yakovlev, who was heavily wounded, to the rear, on a groundsheet. He shouted: ‘I’ve still got my voice and I am able to give orders. ’ Sultry morning. Calm air. The village is full of peace – nice, calm village life – with children playing, and old people and women sitting on benches.
Grossman’s marriage, frequently interrupted by his absence in Moscow, did not last long. Galya had left their daughter with his mother, because Kiev was the epicentre of the famine and the child stood a far better chance of survival in Berdichev. Over the following years, Katya often returned to stay with Grossman’s mother. Writing started to interest Grossman rather more than his scientific studies, but he needed a job. On his eventual graduation, he went in 1930 to work at Stalino (now Donetsk) in the eastern Ukraine as an engineer in a mine.
A yellow dust cloud above the road. Faces of old people and women. Driver Ivan Kuptsov was sitting on the back of his horse a hundred metres away from the position. When a retreat started and there was one cannon left, German batteries rained shells on them, but instead of galloping to the rear he rode to the field gun and rescued it from a swamp. When the political officer asked how he had found the courage to commit this feat of bravery in the face of death, he answered: ‘I’ve got a simple soul, as simple as a balalaika.
A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945 by Vasily Grossman