EURASIA KIDS: “Airplanes bombed the Barge”

30/01/2023 23:21

This is the story of my grandmother's elder sister Yanina Tsvetkova. There were two children in the family of my great-grandmother Vladislava and my great-grandfather Dmitriy Tsvetkov, who lived in Leningrad before the war, two daughters, Nina and Galina.

Nina is the eldest, adult, independent, in the family she was called Yanina. Beautiful, always with a smile, Yanina was engaged in professional swimming, worked in the Water Rescue Society, and in her free time she was engaged in choreography.

Galina is much younger than her sister, she was born in 1939 in Baku. Every year, Vladislava took the baby to the sea in the summer.

It was there, in Baku, that she and her young daughter were caught up in the war in June 1941. She could not return to Leningrad; the family was torn apart by thousands of miles. Dimitri was worried about his wife and baby girl in Leningrad, the enemy was gaining access to Baku oil. And when in September, 1941 the ring of blockade has closed, being in Baku, Vladislava could not find herself: how are there in the besieged city Dmitry and her daughter Yanina? Vladislava wrote to her husband and daughter and waited for the mail every day.

The first letter received reported the death of Yanina on September 17, 1941 on Lake Ladoga. Vladislava did not believe in the death of her daughter, she began to search. Eyewitness sailors spoke about a terrible tragedy in which more than a thousand people died: residents of Leningrad, cadets, doctors. Barge 725 (752) was pulled by the tug "Eagle". At night, bombing from enemy aircraft began, and even a storm began on Ladoga. Strong waves tore the barge from the tugboat. The ship stopped moving in the right direction, it was thrown from side to side. The tug pulling the barge could not come close because of the storm. The waves carried people into the water, they drowned in front of their relatives, died under the barge and under exploding shells. The planes flew away, but the storm did not stop ... The sailors told Vladislava how Yanina saved people, helped to grab the rope, dived and once did not swim out. This is how Janina died.

Dimitri also went missing. During the war, he served on the light cruiser Kirov. The cruiser stood on the Neva and fired artillery at enemy aircraft. Dmitry Fedorovich Tsvetkov was a junior officer. In 1942, Dmitry received permission to check the apartment on Dekabristov Street, but did not return from his dismissal.

Vladislava lived with the hope of meeting her husband and daughter Yanina. She dreamed of happiness in her home, in their friendly family. And suddenly so much grief! The death of her daughter and husband, and she knew nothing for so many years!

This story was told to me by my grandmother Galina many years after the war. Now my grandmother is no longer alive, but family stories are kept in our house and retold to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We must remember those who gave their lives in those distant war years for our peacetime.

The road of life

Dedicated to my great-grandmother Yanina Dmitrievna Tsvetkova

The road of life is an icy road...
Storm, planes, snow waves...
People remember this road
That's what the war called it.

In winter, the driver tried on the car
Under the bullets sliding on the ice
Afraid to leave a valuable cargo on an ice floe,
To reach, to deliver and not to get into trouble.

In the summer of the blockade, women and children,
Carrying the weight of the load on their backs,
On barges they were at a stone's throw from death,
At the risk of enemy fire...

... Granny's sister - Yanina -
She died in the waters of Ladoga then.
Planes bombed the barge, -
She, saving people in the water,
Frozen, could not swim ...

Miraslava Chirva, 2018

Miraslava Chirva, GBOU secondary school 259 named after M.T. Loris-Melikov, Admiralteisky district of St. Petersburg (Russia)