War/Suffering By Alex Bykov
World War II veteran from Belarus Knostantin Pronin, 86, sits on a bench as he waits in hopes of finding other men from his unit at Gorky park during Victory Day in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2011.
This picture made me sad. To think that there will be a few less friends from your unit until that one year you’re the last one, just waiting.
OoC: .. ;w; *hugs Vale before lying down and sobbing her eyes out*
My chest is acting up again. ;n;
Some time back I watched a French film titled Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas), which was about the famous Christmas Truce that transpired on the Western Front of World War I. This was an informal ceasefire that occurred spontaneously on Christmas Eve, and it included exchanges of gifts, a few matches of soccer, and even the singing of Christmas carols. Needless to say, it was a remarkable, if sadly short-lived, event. How often do we hear of soldiers in the midst of battle deciding to not only lay down their arms, but also mingle with one another in the spirit of brotherhood?
Though I learned about this touching event years ago, I had never seen or heard of any cinematic portrayal of it (the movie was released only in 2005). The film is not groundbreaking or extraordinary, but it gives an intimate view of a horrible and tragic conflict that is punctuated by a spark of human decency. I found it to be a solid and inspiring tale, and I recommend that you all check it out, or at least read more about the event in question. Any story about the deeper goodness of humanity emerging in even the most blighted conditions, effervescent as it is, deserves to be told and known.
A Soviet war memorial carved from an outcropping at the Brest Fortress, located in what is now Belarus. It commemorates the heroic but ultimately failed defense of the city against overwhelming Nazi forces, which earned it the designation of “Hero Fortress.”
Throughout the war, Brest remained a symbol of Soviet resistance. The nation of Belarus, along with Ukraine, bore the brunt of the invasion: it lost anywhere from 20% to 40% of its population, including all its major cities. For this reason, Belarus is said to produce the most WWII-era media in the world.
Notice the significant lack of men after age 65? That is mostly a legacy of World War II: the Soviet Union, which did the bulk of the fighting in Europe, lost anywhere from 17 to 26 million people, most of them young men. An entire generation was nearly wiped out in some of the most brutal and large scale combat in history.
So to this day, Russia has a sex-imbalance (as do Belarus and Ukraine, where most of the biggest battles in the war took place). Russia’s population would be approximately 3 to 4 times higher were it not for the horrific toll of WWII. However, high rates of suicide and alcoholism also contribute, perhaps in relation to the trauma stemming from the war and Stalin’s oppression. That’s a scale of death and devastation few societies have ever know.
Members of the French Resistance, World War II.
Soviet Red Army, World War II.