Janis Pinups: how the red Army deserter half a century hiding out in the woods

History 16/02/20 Janis Pinups: how the red Army deserter half a century hiding out in the woods

Some people mistakenly include Janis Pinups to the so-called “forest brothers” who fought against the Soviets. However, Pinups was just an ordinary deserter. In 1944 he managed to escape to his native village right from the battlefield. In the underground he had lived nearly half a century.

Escape from the battlefield

Before the Second World war the life of a native settlement Peleci of Latvia Janis Pinups differed little from the lives of his contemporaries. He, like his brothers Stanislav and Edward and sister, Veronica, was helping my parents, and after school he entered Jaunaglona vocational school. But during the war both father and mother Janis died of typhoid fever, and he himself in August 1944, he was drafted into the Red Army. But how long is he on the front is not spent. After a short preparation, Pinups participated in only three battles, the last of which occurred in the woods near the village of Madliena.

during the battle, Janis Pinups I received a serious concussion and lost consciousness. He woke up when there was no longer a Soviet or German soldiers. Deciding to take advantage of this moment, Janis went home. So, as noted by Donatas of Gratis, author of “the Silent war” (“Karš, par kuru klusēja”, Donats Greizis), Pinups became a deserter. He traveled about 250 kilometers on foot. On the way to the village of Koknese young man met the farmers who provided him with civilian clothing. 7 October 1944 Janis knocked on the window of his home.

living in a dung hut

On the return of Janis Pinups no one knew, except his brothers and sisters. Relatives who give Janis wasn’t going to, even after the end of the war all forces had concealed his whereabouts. So the villagers believed that Pinups went missing or even died. In the meantime, the deserter lived in the woods and only at night came home. Atsee he moved to the barn, which was located in the yard of his home, where he dug in the muck of a small dugout. That Janis Pinups hiding underground, writes in his book “Deception” and Edward Lucas (“Deception”, Edward Lucas).

However, Janis was sometimes out and out, he helped Stanislaus, Edward and Veronica, went to the forest for mushrooms and berries. But even many years later all this Pinups did so to remain unnoticed by neighbours and other villagers. And, for my own reasons. The fact is that in 1970 he decided that in connection with age-related changes it, nobody learns, and went out to the people. However, at a bus stop Janis met a man who said: “I know you. Only the name of the forgotten”. After this incident, Pinups again went underground.

Changes in the fate of

Janina Kursite, author of “Sfumato esfumado” (“Sfumato nesfumato”, Janīna Kursīte), argues that the way Janis Pinups spent more than half a century. Over the years, in the family of the deserter, much has changed. In the 1950-ies Pinups family moved to another village, where he built a new house. Janis preferred to stay in the same place, in an abandoned house without electricity. When the brothers of “the underground” died, all the care of him fell on the shoulders of Veronica. That being an attractive woman, never married: she was afraid that if the family will be a new person, Janis definitely arrested.

Yannis, and he is constantly afraid. Even after the recognition of independence of Latvia in 1991, Pinups decided not to declare: the country was still the Soviet troops. 3 years later the last Russian troops left the Republic of Latvia, and only then the fugitive came to the police station. Pinups explained his desertion of religious beliefs. According to 70-year-old man, he couldn’t even slaughter a chicken, not that to kill a man. Janis managed never to use a weapon on the battlefield. Until the end of his life he attended Church every Sunday. Died Janis Pinups in 2007 at the age of 82 years.

Yulia Popova

© Russian Seven

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