Those who have been in the 1950-1980-ies on the hills near the river Zapadnaya Litsa on the Kola Peninsula, will never be able to forget this sight. It’s not about the beauty of the Northern nature. Granite slopes and plateaus covered with rare bushes and moss, were all littered with human bones. Here were the line of defense, which the Germans tried unsuccessfully to break through during the first three years of the great Patriotic war. The Kola Peninsula was the only place where the Nazis failed far deeper into Soviet territory. They were only 40-50 kilometers from the border.
an Eerie sight – the price that had to pay for the inaccessibility of the Soviet Arctic. The remains of thousands of men are washed by the rain, bleached by the sun polar, nobody buried, lying here for decades, transforming the silence of the Northern lands in a silent cry of human tragedy.
– This question in 1959, began to raise the Lev Zhurin, a war veteran, local historian and founder of the search movement on the Kola North, – says the Chairman of the coordination Council of search groups of Murmansk area Konstantin Dobrovolsky, who is seeking the remains of a soldier for forty years and is known among his colleagues as ‘Uncle Kostya’. He went to these places for fishing. The view is littered with the bones of the hills shook him to the core. Didn’t believe him. Officials said, “it can’t be! It is not our soldiers, it’s the Germans!” But signed pots and spoons, mortal medallions, pieces of uniforms talked about the fact that there were not Germans, and our soldiers.
According to rough estimates, it killed about 100 thousand people, but their exact number is not know, no one.
the Dead soldiers and members of search groups brings together a strange, sometimes mystical bond. As the surviving soldiers did not cease to dream of war, so the search engines dream of those who fell, but was not buried.
Once we during the search, sat down on the slope the height of the stone is to rest and to remember those who are found, – continues Konstantin. – Returned home I dream that at the place where we were sitting, needs work. Then we came to the Swedish crew, we went with them on a quest and I was drawn to this stone. Fit, start digging. Find fighter. In the pocket of his tunic mortal medallion. Pavel Melnikov, Belarusian. It is good fortune to find a “name” fighter. You can find the relatives and tell them. They will come to mourn your father or grandfather, and restored another thread, linking generations.
Today, in the Murmansk region was 19 search teams totaling about 300 people. The average age was 40 years. Young people are difficult to employ where it is necessary to feed the mosquitoes and weeks to mess around in the mud.
Some come just to get the document search engine. Then they odaly��are of the total search traffic, begin to work independently and not always disinterested. My companion bitterly says that he made a big mistake: shared with local authorities, cartographic material, which reflects the hostilities of the Northern fleet, the 14th, 10th and 52nd divisions. The card was sent to Moscow. And then they appeared on the Internet, on the website of the Ministry of defense. This means that anyone can download the map and work on ground fighting. Three years ago, the search engines saw an eloquent picture of this “work” on one of the heights: the graves of German soldiers excavated, of which kicked the shoes of the victims, their remains, with uniforms stripped of badges and buttons. “Black diggers” was just “artifacts”, which are today a lot of money. The fate of the soldier’s bones they were not interested. So do they do and with was found by Soviet soldiers, only “artifacts” in these tombs are smaller and they are much cheaper. As for conscience, that in this matter, “black diggers” in complete agreement with Hitler, who called it a “Chimera.”
– the search Technique is. First of all, you need to study the theater of hostilities. The most important is to determine the direction of rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire, says Uncle Kostya secrets of their work. – And then you must imagine yourself a soldier and understand how you would have behaved in which way to attack, where to hide from bullets and explosions. The main tools – the probe and shovel. One of the signs of the presence of the remains of Ivan-tea, growing in separate clumps, and cloudberries.
For search engine traffic is very important to separate the truth from legends and tales. But white spots in the history of the defense of the Soviet Arctic are many. Often during heavy fighting of the victims were not able to bury. Occupying an abandoned Soviet positions, the Germans have not always worked to define the places, where were piled the corpses of Soviet soldiers. Sometimes they are just covered in lime, which corrode the body.
So hundreds and thousands of people remain missing. For example, during the fighting near Andreeva lips were huge losses, killing 250-300 people. To find them and failed, although the search continues. But thousands of names were lost due to mere thoughtlessness, negligence, irresponsibility.
I served in the Kola district from 1952 until 1954, – tells the inhabitant of the polar region Nikolay Dmitrievich. I had to clear the Pechenga road. In one of the old trenches near the former German headquarters found the remains of eleven Soviet soldiers. The next day razed to the ground – along with the remains.
[/B] still many military cemeteries confirms Konstantin Dobrovolsky. Nevertheless, we must strive to be immortalized was all. So, approximately know the place of burial of 30 people, whichryh during the war didn’t take from the hospital. To conduct excavations here, it is not possible, but there were lists of the dead, and in 2020 they will be a monument.
Very soon a new season will start searching. In the meantime, the keepers of the memory of the military continue to work in the archives. And again will be resurrected from oblivion the names and faces of our defenders.
“… Not a week goes by that I don’t communicate with them, haven’t seen them in a dream. I go on hills, and behind them the soldiers are saying to me. Remember such a dream. I was sailing along the Kola Bay and on the shore were six people dressed in white, who waved their hands at me. But for some reason they were all uncut, beards… Another dream. Stand at one of the graves under the Titovka where there was heavy fighting scouts of the Northern fleet with the German huntsmen. Talking. I turn my head I face a soldier in a green jacket. I heard a voice: “This is Kashutin”. Come back in a year at this place. Find the remains of a soldier with metal teeth. And the day before I saw a picture of a smiling Basil Kashutina where the metal bridge he had well marked. In this photo, it was shot with the legendary scout of the Northern fleet Victor Leonov… I found a fighter was the bridge.”
(From the story of Constantine Dobrovolsky)