World War II in the history of my family

Here are a few words to pre-teach:

rifle unit — стрелковая часть

flamethrower unit — огнеметное подразделение

to give away — проболтаться, выдать

airborne assault — воздушные десант

communication unit — подразделение связи

I think there is no family in Russia which didn’t suffer in World War II times. Each family has its own heroes who did their best to protect their motherland, and my family is not an exception.

In my family there were two such heroes: my great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. Both of them were Alexander Alexadrovichs.

My great-grandfather was born in 1924. In 1943 he was mobilized into the army in the rifle unit. There he met his father — my great-great-grandfather — and that was a real wonder because there had been no news from him for a long time. He was mobilized into the army in April, 1942, and when he met his son he told him why he didn’t keep in touch for such a long time.

When he got to the army, he was appointed commander of the flamethrower unit. During one of the fights he got injured and was captured. He hid the fact that he was a commander, but some betrayer gave it away. Germans tortured him, cut out a star on his breast, sprinkled it with salt and took him to the execution. They could shoot him, but suddenly partisans appeared and saved him.

When my great-great-grandpa met his son, he was on his way to Ural for treatment. It was the last time when the son saw his father. Alexander Alexandrovich died in Crimea, his surname is on one of the military burials.

Talking about my great-grandfather, after short preparation the rifle unit, the member of which he was, was sent to carry out a combat mission as a part of an airborne assault. When he was in the air using his parachute, my great-grandfather got badly injured. After treatment at hospital he was sent to the communication unit.

There he completed an important combat mission: he laid a line of communication with our units which were surrounded by the Germans. For this feat he was awarded “The Red Star” order. Also he participated in combat operations on taking Konigsberg, and later he got medals “For Courage” and “For taking Konigsberg”. During the war he got a few medals and gratitude from the army.

The whole story is the truth and I’m grateful to the brother of my grandpa and my grandpa himself for having done research and finding the pictures of the burial of my great-great-grandpa and the photos of our heroes in general. In turn, I’ve done my own research: I visited this website , found both my relatives and learned new information. I found their photos which I hadn’t seen yet, I found their names in journals, looked at their military paths which were seen on the map and — the most important thing — I learned the exact place of the military burial where my great-great-grandpa is buried.

Memory is significant. While we remember our roots, our relatives and important events in our families, we honor the memory. Don’t forget the past. Let memory live forever.