Documentary film about the war years… Even now, about seven and a half decades later the end of the bloodiest of all wars in the history of mankind, these old black and white tapes cannot be watched without emotions. The camera impartially captures the real tragic events, but, while watching it, you feel such pain in your heart as if everything that happens on the screen happens to you directly.
After all, you know that this soldier in a long overcoat, who fall to the ground not so showy – is not a cinema hero, but a real young solder, who was looking at you just a second ago.
That the bombs that fall from the sky are real bombs that carry real death, that the ruins are not decorations, and the blood is not fake paint, but the real human blood.
Plaster figurines of children destroyed by the fragments of shells, which had recently decorated the fountain in Stalingrad are one of the memory cards of the past war was.
The crippled children against the background of the destroyed, blackened city, as a reminder of yesterday’s peaceful life. And there are these boys and girls in white suits and dresses, firmly holding hands, like the little defenders of mutilated, but not surrendered city, from which only ruins remained.
Stalingrad … The name of this Volga bastion, in the middle of the war, was well known to all. The attention of a huge country was riveted on this city. Looking with hope to the funnels of the loudspeakers, people in cities and villages from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka, listened to front-line reports with bated breath: how is it in Stalingrad? And they sighed with relief when they heard that the fights were still going on, that the city was not giving up.
The fate of each of the republics of the former multiethnic state was related to the outcome of the battle on the Volga. It was from here, from the walls of Stalingrad in February 1943, the countdown of the war began. The wave, which reached the Volga shores, stopped for a while, and then, gaining strength, drove the invaders in the opposite direction.
At the cost of the inhuman efforts of all the defenders of the Volga fortress, the bastion survived , but the cost of the victory was too expensive – the lives of hundreds of thousands of fighters. Among those who defended Stalingrad, there were many of our fellow countrymen – the Turkmen men. Their feat of arms is not forgotten.
Turkmen soldiers took part in all the major battles of the Great Patriotic War without exception, having fought from Moscow to Berlin. In total during the period of 1941-1945, more than 300 thousand of our countrymen fought against the German fascist invaders.
They fought with dignity, showing examples of courage, heroism and dedication. As part of the regiments, rifle and cavalry divisions formed in Ashgabat, the Turkmen soldiers took part in defensive battles on the outskirts of Stalingrad, and in the city itself, defending every house, every street. Many of them died defending Stalingrad. Here, on the banks of the Volga, the first Turkmen general, Yakub Kuliyev, was mortally wounded.
Many Turkmen soldiers who took part in the defence of Stalingrad during its siege by German forces were awarded the medal “For the Defense of Stalingrad”, for fortitude and courage performed. During the Great Patriotic War, to become a “Full Cavalier of the Order of Glory”, a holder of each of the Order’s three classes, it was necessary to display at least three glorious feats of bravery, courage and fearlessness in the battle. In Turkmenistan, 15 soldiers attained Full Cavalier status. Six out of fifteen participated in the defence of Stalingrad. In total, during the Great Patriotic War, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, was awarded to 104 Turkmen people, for heroic feats.
Thirty fighters who participated in the defence of Stalingrad have become holders of the Gold Star medal. Some of them received military baptism of fire and military training in the Battle of Stalingrad. The title of Hero of the Soviet Union for participation in the Battle of Stalingrad was awarded posthumously to Lieutenant Annaklych Atayev. Another our countryman and the future Hero of the Soviet Union Pena Rejepov displayed feats of courage and heroism in the defence of Stalingrad.
In addition, we have to mention the military doctors, nurses, and aid-men who provided medical assistance to wounded soldiers on the Stalingrad front. In the very first months of the war, 248 doctors and 662 paramedical personnel, including 140 graduates of the Turkmen State Medical Institute of the year of 1941, went to the front from Turkmenistan.
A young military surgeon Sachli Dursunova is among them. She made a course from Stalingrad to East Prussia and, being in the most dangerous areas of the fighting, saved the lives of hundreds of soldiers. In the heavy, bloody battles for the Volga bastion, a military doctor of the 81st Cavalry Division, Jora Faiziyev, was killed. A large group of doctors and nurses from Turkmenistan were awarded the medal “For the Defense of Stalingrad”.
Turkmenistan gave every support to the front – it received and accommodated evacuees, created evacuation hospitals, opened boarding schools and orphanages for children of refugees and orphans from the occupied areas. Echelons with food and warm clothes for soldiers were sent to the Stalingrad front.
At the expense of internal resources, the strictest economy and overtime work, the labor collectives of industrial and agricultural enterprises, railway workers, and residents of Turkmenistan assembled machines, agricultural equipment, tools as well as donated money, jewelry and valuables, warm clothes, food, academic and fiction books.
All this was aimed to restore the industrial enterprises, collective farms, educational institutions, culture, medicine of Stalingrad and the region. On March 28, 1943, a train of 66 wagons with equipment, inventory, and gifts was sent from Ashgabat to the hero city. Along with echelons, teachers, communication and medical workers went to Stalingrad to work.
On the eve of the 65th Anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, the Encyclopedia dedicated to this historic battle, which determined the outcome of the Second World War, was published. The volumes of this grand edition, in the creation of which the archivists of Turkmenistan took an active part, gathered under one cover all the participants of the battle on the Volga, those who have fallen and those living. Six decades later, they still stand in one line, leaning on the pages, as if with shoulders to each other, as in those, distant winter of 1943 in the trenches of Stalingrad.
Black-and-white film footage… They not only reproduced the heroism and tragedy of the events of those years, but also accurately determined the main colors of the war.
Black is the color of sorrow, misfortune, the color of the dresses of soldier’s widows and mothers, the color of burned cities, the color of smoke above the pipes of concentration camps, the color of crows circling over the battlefields, the color of blood-blackened bandages on the faces of wounded soldiers.
White is the color of gardens in spring season, covered with flowers on the branches of fruit trees, the color of purity and hope. The hope that black is temporary, while white is forever.
We have long been living in a multi-color, bright-color world. Year after year, the events of the past war are fading. Time is running, but it is unable to erase the historical memory of the people.
And even after many years, already other generations will remember with gratitude and honor the memory of front-line soldiers, the memory that does not have a statute of limitations.