For my Russian & Ukrainian family May the 9th is the very special day like for most of the people and families, who have The USSR background. For the last 15 years I do celebrate VE Day and do celebrate one particular life story which has become and my family story.
The story of my grandmother Maria, the witness, participant, survivor of the Stalingrad Battle and whom I do remember, (she passed away when I was 5 years old), became an inspiration to me when I learnt it during perestroika years. Actually it did help me to come through that post Soviet turbulent years. And now I am inspired by another real life story, which took place still in Europe, just in the other parts of it.
The parents of my dear husband Mr Ian Lawson, who is sadly not with us anymore as well, did represent the War generation. More of that his Father Sandy Lawson was born in 1919, half a year before the end of WWI. So he was 20 when WWII started. He went to RAF and was trained as a gunman. During one of the flights to the continent their plane was shot, all of them on board (8? not sure) did survived. What is more they spent a week(?) at the icy cold North Sea in autumn 1941/ winter 1942 time in a boat or raft, were spotted by the German plane and… were taken as prisoners of war to the continent. Sandy spent 4 years in a camp and went away in spring 1945 when Germans tried to move their prisoners to another camp while the front line was closing over Berlin. He managed to reach his home in Manchester safely in 1945, was given one suit (and one pair of shoes?) and restarted his peaceful life that what people who did survive that war did.
These are the stories of just 2 lives touched by war, just 2 names from the family history, representing the scale of Europe at war, the world at war. I do admire their courage, their strength, their lives, just the heart cries: never again, let there be no war? again. Let there always be Peace, please, like my other Grand mother Uliyana did always repeated. Let there always be Peace, please.