Than the Soviet veterans surprised the Germans in the GDR

History 28/12/19 Than the Soviet veterans surprised the Germans in the GDR

Mass tourism abroad in Russian history — the phenomenon is very young, he was only about half a century. As pointed out by the researcher of the Soviet outbound tourism A. D. Popov, in the 1950s, residents of the Soviet Union had the opportunity to travel abroad, while these lucky ones had very little, especially at first. In Europe travelled mostly in socialist countries: Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Germany (primarily in East Germany, not in Germany). In 1959 in West Germany left only Soviet citizen 164, whereas in the East 4 656 citizens. Gradually, the flow of tourists increased. In 1965 in Germany went more than 12 thousand people from the Soviet Union, in 1988 — about 155 thousand After the collapse of the USSR, the ride became much more. The number of Soviet tourists in the Soviet times and later there were the veterans of the great Patriotic war.

Surprisingly, despite the memory of the Second world war, communication between Germans and Russians in General was absolutely normal. “Intourist” in 1979 stated that the meeting of Soviet tourists with the Germans of the GDR “are always in the most warm and cordial atmosphere, give the Soviet people a lasting impression, enhance the friendship between our peoples.” People talked the most typical topics were introduced, toasts and drank for Soviet-German friendship, sang, danced at friendly meetings, watched a movie together.

Often, these meetings came the Germans-Communists who speak Russian. But sometimes he had to contact with at least ideologically trained people, there were also conflicts. So, in some cases German veterans participating in the service of foreign tourists in the GDR, refused to work for Russian, as they defiantly sang military songs. Soviet windAna singing “Katyusha” on the streets of German cities — a spectacle which even the Soviet leaders of tours considered geeky. I understand why it did not like the Germans. “We came to the place where he fought, where they killed our loved ones. And now we’re on your streets and sing Russian songs” — said the veteran.

But overall, with the exception of such cases, the Soviet people were surprised by his friendliness. So, who visited Berlin in 2018 Ivan for Bugs, the last time before that had been there in 1945 as aircraft mechanic, said, “any nation on the whole consists of good people.” The Germans had no grievances, blames the ideology of fascism. After the war there were many cases of reconciliation of Soviet veterans from the German. So, in the 2000s, being in Germany, meeting with German veterans, former red Vsevolod Fedorov learned among the Germans of the officer who nearly killed him in srajeniya Berdychiv in the Ukraine in 1941.

Veteran told how it was: when they were introduced, “I realized that the person I’m painfully familiar with. Ask: Rudolf, and on the third day of the war on the airfield at Berdichev did not happen? Been says. Bombed us out of a plane? Yes, that’s right. So you shot me! He embraced me, wept.” Vsevolod Fedorov forgave the Germans, in 1941, flying so low that they fired from a machine gun the Russians clearly saw his face. Veterans became friends and corresponded for many years, talked about the war. Then Rudolph, vinivi and himself for the war, has died. “Well, I managed to forgive each other,” says Fedorov.

the post gave a lot of such examples. Some special cases of reconciliation led to the creation of entire organizations. War veteran Viktor Maksimov once “realized that between me and the German soldier made no difference. Each defended his people. The government has given weapons and told to kill, that’s what we did.” In 1992, Maksimov met German veterans at Dresden, and with their help have created a Society of assistance to war veterans in Russia. ItTsy collected and sent to Russia humanitarian aid for hospitals of the veterans of Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk. Maximov has even bequeathed to bury him at the cemetery of German prisoners of war in the Urals.

it took half a Century to former enemies were reconciled. It was supposed to happen earlier, if the Soviet tourism gave more opportunities for this, and a greater number of veterans could visit Germany and uncontrollably, naturally and humanly to communicate with former enemies. Such meetings for both sides were always amazing, useful and life-affirming event

Konstantin Dmitriev

© Russian Seven

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