One of the latest aircraft from Stalingrad was taken of the boiler-mail, but seven sacks of letters to recipients never reached. The German command had confiscated them, letters from the front were to raise the spirit of the nation, and not to tell about the inevitable end. These letters are published in the journal "Banner" in 1990, and in 2013 the stage Read Volgograd radio journalist Sergei Arsentiev - as part of a literary-musical composition "... And burned the Volga."
I do not know if I ever even talk to you, so just as well that this letter will fall into your hands, and if I did come back, you're going to know the truth. My hands were mutilated, and it happened at the beginning of December. On the left there is the little finger, but - even worse - on the right frostbitten three middle fingers. Mug I can now keep only the thumb and little finger. I'm pretty helpless, because only when you do not have finger, you know how they are necessary for the simplest cases. The easiest way I shoot - with the help of a little finger. The hands were gone. I can not shoot all my life, and in fact for anything else, I am not fit. I might have become a forester? But this is gallows humor, and I write it to calm himself.
Kurt Hanke - I think you have to remember it (by the board in the 37th year) - Eight days ago, in a small street playing the piano "Appassionata". Yes, every day happens is that the piano was right on the street. The house was blown up, but the tool is likely to regret pulled out. Every soldier passing by drumming on it, well, tell me, where else can you see a piano on the street?
It is easy to give good advice. But how do you imagine that does not happen. The liberation of the peoples that nonsense! The peoples will remain the same, change is only power, and those who stand on the side, over and over again will argue that people should be free of it. The 32nd was still possible to do something, you know it. And that moment was lost, too, you know. Ten years ago, it was about the ballots, and now it is necessary to pay for such "trifles" as life.
Yesterday, at the observation post Hannes persuaded me to write to you. Last week I hesitated to write or not to write this letter because I thought: unknown, though painful, but still leaves a glimmer of hope. The same thing I was thinking, and about their fate. Every time he fell asleep, was aware of the desperation of our situation - between hope and death. But I tried not to think out anything until the end. Many times I could have died, but before it would be sudden, unexpected, without preparation. But now it's different, this morning I know what awaits us, and I felt better, so I want you to release from the torments of uncertainty.
I can not deny my own fault in what is happening. Let her proportion - one to seventy million, although the proportion of small, but it is. I'm not going to hide from responsibility, my only excuse is that by giving his life, I have this guilt expiated. Although matters of honor can not be trading.
Augustus, you yourself feel the hour when you have to be strong. Do not be too suffer and grieve when I will not. I have no fear, only regret that I have to prove their courage can only death for this senseless, not to say criminal, cause. Remember, as the X .; admit guilt - then redeem it.
Try not to forget me too quickly.
... I have twenty times the scene depicted death and you were sitting in a plush chair, and my game seemed true to you. And now it is very scary to realize how little this game had a real death.
Death is always portrayed the heroic, admire breathtaking committed in the name of beliefs or a great cause. But what looks like reality? People die from starvation, freezing cold, death is simply a biological fact, as food and drink. They are dying like flies, and nobody cares about them, and nobody buries. No hands, no legs, no eyes, with bellies mangled they are lying everywhere. This is necessary to make a film to permanently destroy the legend of "the beautiful death." It's just a bestial gasp, but someday it will be raised on a granite pedestal and ennobled as a "dying warriors" with a bandage bandaged heads and arms.
Write novels, will be succeeded by hymns and songs. At the Mass celebrated for the churches. But I have had enough, I do not want my bones rot in a mass grave. Something like that I wrote to Professor X. I will certainly write to him yet. But do not be surprised if some of the time I do not have any news, because I was determined to become the master of his own destiny ...
Well, now you know that I will not return. Please report this to our parents as gently as possible. I'm in serious disarray. Before, I believed, and therefore was strong, and now I did not believe in anything and is very weak. I do not know much of what's going on here, but what little. what I have to participate - this is so much that I can not cope. No, no one will convince me that here die with the words "Germany" or "Heil Hitler." Yes, there die, no one will deny, but his last words to his mother dying pay or to whom they love the most, or is it just a cry for help. I've seen hundreds die, many of them, like me, were in the Hitler Youth, but if they were still able to scream, they were screaming for help, and they called someone who could help them.
Führer vowed to get us out of here, his words were read to us, and we firmly believe it. Even today I still believe in it, because it is necessary at least to believe in something. If this is not true, then what do I believe? Then I do not want to wait any spring or summer, or anything that brings joy. Leave me the faith, dear Greta, I have my whole life, or at least eight years believed in the Fuehrer and his word ... It's awful, what doubts here belong to him, and ashamed of nothing to say, because the facts are against them .
If what we promise will not be fulfilled, then, Germany was lost, because in that case no one will be true to his word. Oh, these doubts, these terrible doubts, if we could get rid of them as soon as possible!
We are clear that we are a victim of harsh mistakes of the leadership and all this "inflation" Fortress Stalingrad will cause the value of our people and all peoples of the hardest hit. And yet, we still believe in a happy resurrection of our people. This will take care of people with a true heart. We'll have to do after the war, a lot of work to put an end to the intrigues of screwball fools and criminals. Those who return from the war, vymetut them as dirty apartment. We - the Prussian officers and know what to do, when we want.
If there is a God, you wrote to me in your last letter, he will soon return you to me alive and healthy. You wrote that a man like you, who loves animals and flowers, and no one does evil, loves his child and wife, God will preserve.
Thank you for these words, your letter is now always with me in a breast pocket. But if you, my dear, you put your faith in God's existence dependent on the fulfillment of your hope, you find yourself facing a very serious decision. I'm a religious man. You've always been a believer, but now it will change if we start from our previous position, because the circumstances are such that is thrown to the dustbin of all, in what we believed. I'm looking for the words to tell you about it. Or would you have guessed myself? It seemed to me a strange tone of your last letter dated 8 December. Now we have a mid-January.
It is now a long time, maybe forever, my last letter. My friend, who should be at the airport, take him away, because tomorrow on our last plane leaves the boiler. The situation has become uncontrollable, Russian three kilometers from the base last summer, and if we lose it, hence the mouse does not break out - and I'm including. Of course, hundreds of thousands of others, but that is little consolation that death is delish other.
If God is there ... on the other side, it is also repeated by many, and probably millions in Britain and France. I do not believe more in the goodness of God, otherwise he never would have allowed such a terrible injustice. I do not believe it, because God has made it clear to the heads of people who have started this war, and themselves in three languages were talking about the world. I no longer believe in God, he gave us, and now she look like you have with your faith.
Talk about God in Stalingrad - to deny its existence. I have to tell you this, dear father, so I doubly hard. You raised me, my father, because the mother was not, and always made to pay my eyes and heart to God.
And I am doubly sorry for my words, my father, because they will be the last, after which I had nothing else can say comforting and reconciling.
You, my father, my spiritual shepherd, and in the last letter I can tell only the truth, or what seems to me the truth. I sought God in every crater, in every destroyed house, in each corner, each fellow, as I lay in my trench, and was looking at the sky. But God did not show up, even though my heart cry. Houses were destroyed, comrades brave or cowardly, like me, in the land famine, and death, and the bombs from the sky and fire, but God was not anywhere. No, Father, God does not exist, or it is but you, in your prayers and psalms, sermons of priests and pastors, in the ringing of bells, the smell of incense, but it is not in Stalingrad.
And here you are sitting in the basement, drowning someone's furniture, you only twenty-six, and like a head on his shoulders, recently rejoiced chase and shouted along with you, "Heil Hitler!", And now two ways: either die, or Siberia. But the worst thing is not even that, but what you know: all this makes no sense - that from which the blood rushes to the head.
Well, let them come, our third still have 26 rounds, while its commander - toy fire 0, 8 lead with six pills. I have to finish, it is about to begin "mass part" and the need to burrow deeper into the ground. That's it, man. As for the answer to this letter you can not worry about, but two weeks later remember me. One need not be clairvoyant to predict the end. And what he will actually, you never know.
Twenty-six letters I sent you out of this damned city, and received from your seventeen. I am writing you again, do not expect more letters. Yes, that is the case, and I've been thinking, how to formulate this hard phrase to say everything and do not cause you too much pain.
You ... in January was 28 years old - is still very low for such a beautiful woman, and I'm glad I was always able to give you a compliment. You will miss me very much, but still not fenced off from the people. Wait a few months, but no longer. Gertrud and Claus need a father. Do not forget that you have to live for the sake of children, and therefore suits the great tragedy around their father. Children soon forget, especially at this age. Look carefully at the man, who will fall your choice, especially pay attention to his eyes and a handshake - you remember how it was between us - and you will not go wrong.
We have a lot of things had to sip, swallow it! Idiotic situation. We can say, devilishly difficult. And it is unclear how to get out of it. And it is none of my business. We stepped on orders, fired on the orders of on the orders puhnem with hunger, to die on the order and get out of here, too, only by order. We have used for a long time can get, but our strategy can not agree among themselves. And very soon it will be too late, if not too late. But most of all, we once again have to act on orders. And almost certainly in the same direction as originally planned, but without weapons and under the command of another.
Here with me in a tent more than eighty people, and even outside of countless wounded. Until we hear their cries and groans, but no one can help them. Next to me is a non-commissioned officer from Bromberg, he hit hard - in the stomach. Senior doctor told him that he would soon go home, but I could hear the medic say, "He will make it only until the evening, albeit still here." Our senior doctor - a good man. And on the other side of the wall is a countryman of Breslau, who has no hands and nose, he told me that he is now a handkerchief is no longer needed. "Well, if you cry?" - I asked him, but he told me that we all here, me and him do not have to cry anymore, we will soon have more to weep.
This letter is not only short, but my last letter to you. Even if I wanted to write more, I will not have that opportunity. And there is no hope that I would ever find myself next to you, and I can tell you what I think. No, I can no longer talk to you and do not send me any more letters, therefore, remember the words spoken by thee, December 26: "You voluntarily became a soldier, and remember that in civilian life it was easy to stand under the banner, but it is very difficult to hold high his war. You must be faithful to this flag and beat him. " In these words, your whole position in recent years. You will then recall them, because for every reasonable person in Germany, the time will come when he will curse the madness of this war, and you will understand what your words are empty of the banner, which I have to win.
There is no victory, Herr General, there are only flags and people who are dying, and in the end will not be no banners, no people. Stalingrad - not military necessity and political madness. In this experiment, your son, Mr. General, will not participate! You are blocking his path in life, but he will choose a different path - in the opposite direction, which also leads to life, but on the other side of the front. Think about your words, I hope that when everything collapses, you think of the banner and stand up for it.
I wanted to be a theologian, his father was going to build a house, and German - to build a fountain. All this did not work out. You know how it now looks like we have at home - exactly the same as we have here. No, nothing came from the fact that we drew in their dreams. The parents are buried under the ruins of their homes, and we, as it may sound difficult, with several hundred other soldiers in the ravine in the southern part of the boiler. Very soon all these gullies are covered with snow.
Mr. Privy Councillor! Stalingrad - a good lesson for the German people, it is a pity that those who are trained, are unlikely to use what they have learned in their lives. And the results need to be preserved. I - a fatalist, and personal my needs so modest that I at any time, when the first Russian appear here, I can take a backpack and go out to meet him. I will not shoot. For what? To kill one or two people I do not know? And I have not shot. What for? What I bring it any good, maybe Mr. Hitler? I am in the four months that I was at the front, I was a school, which, certainly, would not have received, even lived for a hundred years. I regret only one thing - that is forced to end his days in such wretched company.
On Tuesday, I was in his car knocked two "Thirty." Curiosity led them for our cutting edge. It was a magnificent spectacle. Then I drove past the steaming iron. From the hatch body hung, head down, feet stuck and they burned. But the body lived, heard groans. Perhaps the pain was terrible. And there was no possibility of his release. And even if such a possibility has been, it is still a few hours would have died in terrible agony. I shot him, and at the same time on my cheeks tears flowed. And for three nights in a row I was crying over the dead Russian tanker, which I killed.
It is strange that many of the things you notice only when you can lose them. After any distance laid a bridge from heart to heart. On this bridge I'm sending you news, talking about our everyday life, about the world in which we live.
The truth, I wanted to tell you, only if returned home, and then we would no longer have never talked about the war. Well, now you have to learn the truth before the last truth. The more I write to you I can not.
While there is a bank, there will always be bridges, and we must have the courage to embark on these bridges. One such bridge leads to you, the other in eternity, and it is for me to end up the same.
On this last bridge I plead tomorrow, this literary expression should mean death, but you know what I liked to call things descriptively, just for the love of the word and sound. Give me your arm, that the road was not so difficult.
Dear father! Our division is "ready" for the big battle, but the big battle will not take place. You must be surprised that I am writing to you on your business address, but what I want to tell you in this letter can only say man to man. You find yourself a suitable form to explain the mother. Today we were told that we can send a letter. Anyone who knows the situation, understand that we can do it one last time.