Boris: “In June 1941, [father] came to the military enlistment office, but he was not taken to the army - 49 years and a heart disease. But they took the militia as early as the end of September, when the blockade became a fait accompli, and he managed to still fight at Pulkovo Heights, but in January 1942 he was completely vigilant - swollen from hunger, half-dead, with a stopping heart. "
Arkady: “The war began, the city was besieged by the Germans and the Finns. Arkady participated in the construction of fortifications, then, in the fall and early winter of 1941, he worked in workshops where hand grenades were made. Meanwhile, the situation in the besieged city deteriorated. For aviation raids and bombings of super-heavy mortars was added the worst test: cruel hunger. Mother and Boris somehow still held on, and by the middle of January 42, Father and Arkady were on the verge of dying from dystrophy. In desperation, the mother, who was then working in the district executive committee, stuck her husband and eldest son in one of the first trains to the newly opened “Road of Life” through the ice of Lake Ladoga. ”
Boris: “In the family, it was believed that the young Boris would not survive evacuation, and therefore it was decided to separate in advance. It all happened suddenly. “... The engine was already under steam,” mom writes. - When I returned from work, they were no longer there. One Borenka sat in darkness in fear and in hunger ... "I think I remembered a minute of separation: a big father, in a tunic and with a black beard, behind his back, a dim shadow, Arkady, and the last words:" Tell your mother what to expect could not ... "Or something like that."
Arkady: “Mother and Boris remained in Leningrad, and no matter how painful the next months of the blockade were, it still saved them. On the “Road of Life” a truck, on which Father and Arkady were traveling, fell through the ice into a bomb crater. Father died, and Arkady survived. He was taken in half with a sin in Vologda, slightly fed and sent to the Chkalov region (now Orenburg). There he finally recovered and in the 43rd he was drafted into the army. ”
Boris: “They left on January 28, 1942, leaving us their ration cards for February (400 grams of bread, 150" grams of fat "and 200" grams of sugar and pastry "). These grams, without any doubt, saved my life with my mother, because February 1942 was the most terrible, the most deadly month of the blockade. They left and disappeared, as it seemed to us then, forever. In response to the desperate letters and requests that my mother sent to Melekess, in April of '42 a single telegram came, merciless like a war: "NATAN STRUGETSKY MELEKESS HASN'T ARRIVED." It meant death. ”
Boris: “He [Arkady], a sixteen-year-old dystrophic, still had to trudge through the whole country, to the city of Chkalov - twenty days in an exhausted, human-looking, battered-broken crowd of evacuees (“ broken out ”as they were then called in Russia). He never told me anything about this piece of his life. Then, however, it became easier. In Tashle, he, as a literate person (ten classes), was put in charge of the “oil industry” - the milk receiving station of the population. He got fed up, somehow adapted, oklemalsya, began to write to Leningrad, sent dozens of letters - only three came, but one thing would have been enough: my mother immediately gathered and at the first opportunity, grabbed me in an armful, rushed to his aid. We still managed to live a little bit all together, a small amputated family, but in August Arkady turned seventeen, and on February 9, 43rd he went into the army. His fate was - after graduating from the Aktyubinsk mortar school, go in the summer of the 43rd to the Kursk Bulge and disappear there with his whole course. But ... "
Arkady: “Fate decreed that he [Arkady] became a student of the Japanese branch of the Oriental Department of the Military Institute of Foreign Languages. During his service in this capacity, he happened to be a witness and participant in many events, but for a real biography, it makes sense to mention only two: the happiest is the Victory over German fascism and the Japanese military in 1945; and the most interesting thing - in his 46th year, a third-year student, was seconded to work with Japanese prisoners of war for several months to prepare the Tokyo and Khabarovsk trials of Japanese war criminals. There was also a stupid event: before the release in the 49th year, Arkady hurriedly got married, and less than two years later, as the young wife announced that there was a mistake, and they parted. Thank God, they didn’t have children ”.
Boris: “The memory of the Great Patriotic War has become a shrine. There is no longer the concept of "the truth about the war", nor the concept of "distortion of historical truth." There is a concept of "insulting the shrine." And the same attitude is sought to create to the entire history of the Soviet period. This is not a story, it is, in fact, a religion. From the point of view of a believer, from the point of view of the church, there is no distortion of the “truth of the Bible” - there is an attempt on sanctity, insult of faith, heresy. The Bible of War is written, and the apocrypha about the traitor-general Vlasov is included in it. Everything. Do not cut down with an ax. But from the point of view of an “atheist” there is not and there can be neither simplicity nor uniqueness. And General Vlasov is a complex phenomenon of history, not simpler than Joseph Flavius or Alexander Nevsky; and veterans are a very special social group, whose members, as a rule, are different among themselves to a much greater degree than are similar. ”