Everyone knows: The Great Patriotic War ended on May 9 with the complete defeat of fascist invaders and capitulation of Germany. The scarlet banner flying over the Reichstag symbolized the triumphal completion of the four-year national struggle.
Senior Lieutenant Annamamed Kudymov, who was born in the collective farm “Sovet” of Tedjen District, met the Day of Victory – May 9 – near Berlin. Red Army soldiers mop up remaining Nazis who had escaped from the city – the encounters continued, the war continued. The company learnt a surprise news about victory on the battlefield: “Who won? When did you win? The enemy is here, a hundred meters away …”
Worn-out soldiers saw the Victory Banner only in a day. And then they allowed themselves to take a deep breath: “It’s over!” The stern faces of the men who had lost the habit of laughing were lit up with shy, unsure boyish smiles.
Senior Lieutenant of the antiaircraft artillery regiment No.1359 Annamamed Kudymov took a deep breath, as it were, at once the fresh air and squared his shoulders. “I’ll go home. To teach guys. At the school”. His fellow soldiers looked at him, and gradually the armor of soldiers, which seemed was bounded into the skin, started to melt, opening metalworkers, auto mechanics, peasants, musicians…
But plans to return to peaceful life, to his beloved work, to his profession, were destined to come true only 300 long days later. There was still an enemy, gone from punishment, scattered, preparing to harm on the sly, to nullify the success of the Great Victory.
First, the soldiers patrolled Berlin. They were in charge to keep order, protect peace of the brothers-soldiers and the peaceful population, who were tired from bloodshed, cruelty and death.
– Dad said that he had never seen so much food as in Berlin. They did not feast on the approaches to the city. They were ready to exchange boots for a handful of sauerkraut. And before that, the last crumbs of bread were shared with liberated prisoners of a concentration camp, who, after a long hunger strike, could not eat even this small piece. In Berlin, they checked the basements for the presence of fascists hiding and found whole racks of canned food, pickles. He was always surprised with this,” Bahar, the youngest daughter of the hero, says.
Soon after, their regiment was sent first to Belarus, then to Ukraine – underground nationalist groups that helped the fascists to sow evil in the occupied territories, disturbed not only the command, but also civilians. They no longer wanted war, blood, death. They did not want to be afraid.
A year has passed in a military regime on the ground, which should have been peaceful long ago. But now fascism and intolerance have taken root in those who were supposed to fight against such ideas.
It was a hard time. It was intolerable to suspect those who had recently defended from a threat from the west. Here is a girl, very young, helping her mother dig a garden at the hut. Would she really prefer the victory of fascism?
Or is this old man, that drags his leg along, going to the well with a small bucket? Would he be happy to a collapse in the multinational state? And the boys with unexpectedly grown-up eyes, would like to kill those who are not like them?
Multinational regiment, consisting not only of Turkmen and Russian, but also of Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tajik, Armenian, Georgian, Lithuanian, Azerbayjan, and Estonian soldiers – the sons of their Fatherland, could not understand why one nation should dominate over another.
– It was funny when we just gathered. The country is big, there are many nations, but it was the war that opened our eyes to that. That we all live in one big country. That Kazakh are not better than Turkmen, and Russian, for example, better than Tajik. That we are all equal. We can all learn something from each other.
In 1946, the command decided that the task was fulfilled – peace and order were established in the territories. The regiment was demobilized. Finally, after the fighting in the northern regions, Senior Lieutenant Annamamed Kudymov was able to return home – to the hot, sunny Tedjen.
But at home, it was necessary to fight for a better life, for the liquidation of devastation as well. He pitched in with the same perseverance with which he fought at the front. The same perseverance that helped him to recover after missile wound. To get back home.
As if derisively of the missile wound that threatened him to remain childless at all, Annamamed Kudymov and his wife Aksoltan had nine children. The house has now become crowded and noisy, which always caused a smile to the hero who grew up in the orphanage.
For his wife and daughters, the father was the strongest, most reliable man on earth. Sons tried to follow his example. During long dark evenings, they sat down around him and asked to tell about his life. He did not hide anything, believed that children need to know everything in order not to repeat the mistakes of others.
He told about everything, including the fact that they stood and watched how a German woman spoiled her children with poison, just to avoid being taken prisoner by the Red Army. It was the order of the commander – the woman was free to choose how to deal with her family.
And about how they were one hour late to reach an unknown village, lost somewhere in European forests, and there was already no one to save – only revenge for senselessly ruined lives.
Annamamed Kudimov spoke a lot. And nine pairs of eyes were staring at him intently, absorbing and memorizing the harsh science with every cell.
Soon the respected teacher had brides and sons-in-law, followed by grandchildren. He never talked about the war to the big-eyed kids. He just described the war using common phrases, like, it was scary, and that I wanted to go home. He always believed that the education of children was the care of their parents, and therefore he devotedly loved each member of the large family. Loved and protected. Even from the echoes of a terrible war.