Know and remember

by russlife


It took me much longer than I thought to write this post as it still hurts. At first I wrote two pages in Russian, but looking them through it occurred to me that it’s too much for foreign readers and not all of that must be translated. I decided to give only the facts without long descriptions as people abroad simply don’t know.

The 22nd of June is the Day of Sorrow for us – on that day German fascists attacked our country. And this year on this day we have visited Adjimushky, the quarries. That’s where about 20 thousand people hid from the fascists when they came in May 1942. Almost all of them got killed.

To fulfill this action of murdering fascists pumped poisonous gas inside the quarries, threw aviation bombs (I saw a place which had 18 aviation bombs thrown upon it), poisoned water in the wells by throwing the dead together with wounded soldiers in them and simply shot people including children who tried to get outside.

But people inside the quarries didn’t just sit and wait to be killed. They fought for their lives trying to get weapons to get food and water. Imagine two groups of people getting outside, one is determined to fight with the fascists, the other fetching water meanwhile. After the wells were poisoned they found some wet places (the water in the stone), where drops were, they put some buckets and other stuff to collect water and share it for everyone. But it was not enough so they chose a group of the strongest men to suck water out of stone. And these men sucked until they got their lips destroyed and spat water in flasks to share among everyone. People shared all the food they managed to get, they learned how to build primitive shelters from gas, they managed to make operations without any medicine but starvation, illnesses, bombing and poisoning left only 20 people alive by October 1942.  That’s when the fascists came – with dogs hunting those people in the quarries. After this hunt there were only 7 people left alive who were sent to concentration camps where they died.

I cannot describe my feelings so painful it is. But I’m writing this for people to know and remember. Because when we forget, history repeats.

P.S. In the first picture you can see the monument on the top of the quarries – it’s the entrance of the museum – showing exhausted people struggling for their lives: an old man, some young men, a woman with a child. In the second picture you can see some bucket gathering water drops. I took pictures given in the free public use from Wikipedia as I was too shocked to make any pictures of my own.