the Second of may 1945 ended the Berlin strategic offensive operation. The garrison, headed by the last commandant of Berlin Helmut Weidlinger laid down arms at 15: 00.

Andrey Savelyevich Ermakov, 34-year-old native of Orel, the day definitely “did not think of seconds haughtily”. In his letter to his wife, he pointed out not only the date but also the exact time. Realizing that this letter may be the last, he gave instructions to his wife how to arrange their hard life without burned by the occupants of the house, if left a widow.

Corporal-infantryman, Rifleman 438 th infantry regiment 129th infantry division, he experienced almost two years of Nazi occupation — and the same amount is then conducted on the front. Not timid, was awarded the medal “For courage” (the submission was written: “the first up on the attack and pulling the fighters destroyed 2 enemy soldiers and 7 captured”). But when Victory was the last moment to attack was special hard. Last fight he most difficult.

“she, and now I potrugal to fight three times in the attack. Now [I] squad leader, rank corporal. Writing from Berlin on may 2 at 11 minutes past eight. Don’t know how I’ll come back from it.

goodbye, she and my dear little children. Go on the offensive. Pray to God that I was still alive.

she dug not think to do buy from Tikhon Semyonovich, I think he pounds of bread does not covet for our orphans and for me. Look, Nastya, really there is no one podmognut you in your thought? Really, Anastasia, the people became as a beast? I think anyone [can] come up with any question”.

may Fourth 129th Orel division during the fighting in the South and South-West of Berlin come to the Elbe and will finish its combat path in the center of Bourg. That day Andrey Ermakov will finish on another unsent letter:

“Expect to win home, Nastenka and the kids, yet stayed alive.”

“War is on its last legs”

the Second of may summary of the Soviet information Bureau first reported on the suicide of Hitler. For Isaac Moiseevich Rabinovich (1911-1977), this news had special significance. On the fifth day of the war he had to flee with his pregnant wife from Riga, remaining in the occupation of parents and younger brother were killed. Isaac Rabinovich fought since August 1941, in the spring of 1942 he was wounded. After recovery he served as a radiologist on different fronts, was awarded the order of the red Star. The documents noted that the senior technician-Lieutenant Rabinovich was able to organize the development of trophy radiology equipment seized in Romania and Hungary. He daily saw the effects of war on x-rays and was sincerely glad of the death of its main instigator.

“may 2, 1945

My dear Doric!

so, the war at lasthim legs. The dog shot. Now I have to apologize to all the dog breed for comparison. Today I’m still “on edge”, and it gives me the opportunity to break away from the ordinary Affairs and look a little forward. I’ve got the nerve, and blunt today asked the chef, what’s next? Is he going to let me go. No, not intended. On the contrary, wants to leave; just don’t know how it will happen. Believes that the VMA [Military medical Academy] or near there is a place for me. Alas, he thinks I’m a great expert and doesn’t believe that I’m a teacher, not a designer. However, something like employee of the border region between medicine and physics I could be.

the Mood at all suitcase. It will be a month or two, but it is clear that such personnel that are needed for combat operations, and not for the occupying army, are unlikely to be here long to keep.

My Dora dear! If you think that the war is over, you can fall into a rapturous trance. We do not yet realize what had happened. Only a week or two we will understand what happened and to reorient ourselves in a completely unknown manner of work. If you think about it, at least from the point of view of my profession: stop the flow of broken skulls and broken hips! I won’t have to dart about in his car in “fires” and will not have to consider these broken skulls as a normal phenomenon of nature, as the material for processing. My x-ray will not have to work on the brink of their physical capabilities.

No, my Doric, there is no way to list what not to do. And what should be. While I don’t know, but we quickly embraced the new situation. Sure. During these four years, we have learned something. Podkovannye fleas, the needle passing through the lugs and keyhole — it’s everyday lessons. There is a reason to be proud, terribly proud of the state in the ranks of the red Army. Big kiss. Your husband Isaac”.

After the war, Isaac Rabinovich taught mathematics and astronomy at the Latvian state University, he will become a Professor, well-known popularizer of mathematical and astronomical knowledge. Craving for the exact calculation was, he, perhaps, in the blood — because his cousin was a great chess player Mikhail Botvinnik. His great-nephew — the world famous mathematician Boris Gromov. Born in the evacuation son Vladimir became a programmer.

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We are continuing on 11 April jointly with the Scientific-educational Center “Holocaust” project, “the Authors of Winning: the last page of war.” If Your home archives holds letters and diaries for 1-9 may 1945, photographs of their authors and addressees — please scan them and send to the address: Perhaps they will be included in our next public��tsii.

Publication was prepared by the staff of the Center “Holocaust” Ilya Altman and Roman Zhigun