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უკანასკნელი მოწმეები

(Voices of Utopia #2)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  6,891 ratings  ·  1,113 reviews
„უკანასკნელი მოწმეები“ ნობელის პრემიის ლაურეატის – სვეტლანა ალექსიევიჩის მიერ II მსოფლიო ომის შესახებ დაწერილი მეორე წიგნია. ამ ჯოჯოხეთზე ქალების ნაცვლად ახლა ბავშვები მოგვითხრობენ, უფრო სწორად: ნაადრევად დაბერებული უფროსები, ვინც ფაშისტური გერმანიის საბჭოთა კავშირზე თავდასხმის მომენტისათვის ორიდან თოთხმეტ წლამდე ასაკის ბავშვი თუ მოზარდი იყო; ვისაც პირველი დაბომბვის წუთებშ ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published 2018 by ინტელექტი (first published 1985)
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Nataliya

"I am a person without childhood. Instead of childhood, I had war."

This is undeniably the most horrifying book I've ever read. It's the first book that actually made my heart physically ache. Reading it was like taking a razor blade to my soul. It was like slowly tearing my heart into bleeding pieces.
How can we preserve our planet on which little girls are supposed to sleep in their beds and not lie dead on the road with unplaited pigtails? So that childhood would never again be called wa
...more
Diane S ☔
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor-2019, 5000-2019
Originally released in Russia in the eighties, the translated copy is soon to be released here for what I believe is the first time. If you've read others by this author you know she gathers up first hand accounts of various events and catastrophies, then arranged them with little or no change. This book is a heartbreaker as most are when children are concerned. She interviews the now grown people, eliciting from them there memories of war, the Nazi invasion of Russia. There are a range of ages, ...more
Darwin8u
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, russian, war, 2021
"I remember the war in order to figure it out…Otherwise why do it?"
- Nadia Gorbacheva, age 7

"My childhood ended…with the first gunshots. A child still lived inside me, but now alongside someone else…"
- Efim Friedland, age 9

"There was shooting for four years…And how many years to forget?"
- Katya Zayats, age 12

"We are the last witnesses. Our time is ending. We must speak… Our words will be the last…"
- Valya Brinskaya, age 12

description

In The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II, Sv
...more
Chrissie
Stunning stories about what it was like to be a Soviet child during the upheaval and horror of the Second World War, from Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich”.
(From the GR book description.)

EVERYBODY should read or listen to this book. Perhaps those who do not want to read it, need to read it most.

The personal is revealed.
It is devoid of analysis.
It is devoid of blab.
It looks at the emotional and long-lasting consequences of war on a personal level.

Here is the nitty-gritty of war.

The book
...more
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
When I started this I was like "how could this be more brutal than Zinky Boys and Secondhand Time?" and friends, I was naive. ...more
Beata
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disturbingly sad accounts by children who survived WW2 in the USSR.
Bjorn
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soviet, belarus
The stories of Soviet children during WWII. Really just want to stare at the wall for a few hours now.

What gets you isn't just the stories themselves, which range from bittersweet to hair-whiteningly horriffic, but that basically the only thing she tells us about their current lives is their profession. All these traumatized children grew - had to grow - up into functioning adults, "ordinary" members of society, carrying all this with them for decades, burying it, normalizing it.

Now I've told yo
...more
Canadian Reader
Some years ago, American writer Alice Walker wrote a picture book entitled “Why War Is Never a Good Idea”. More than anything else I have read, Svetlana Alexievich’s book shows why. It contains testimonies of those who were traumatically impacted as children by the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the war that continued there until 1944. Yale historian Timothy Snyder calls the stretch of earth where Alexievich’s “last witnesses” were born—an area which extends from central Pola ...more
Anna
I have a stupid Christmas tradition of accidentally reading at least one soul-crushingly bleak book over the festive season. The nadir of this was probably in 2013, when I read the first volume of Kafka's diaries then Nevil Shute's On the Beach. This year, I inexplicably picked up the only Svetlana Alexievich book I'd yet to read, despite knowing that all her books are deeply upsetting. Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II is a similarly devastating experience to War's ...more
Cheryl
Author Svetlana Alexievich interviewed people who lived in the Soviet Union (now present day Russia) and Eastern Europe who were children ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers during World War II.

This book, written for young adults, presents an oral history of their thoughts and experiences. It was fascinating to “see” the war through a child’s eyes. Nearly all of the children experienced starvation. Some of the vividly described incidents they witnessed were very gruesome and brutal, while
...more
Georgia Scott
Jan 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History in high school was a list of dates I could never remember. They left me numb. Not these stories.

The book is a collection of memories of ordinary people. A cook, a hairdresser, bus driver, construction worker, sports coach, accountant, and teachers are among those who speak here. All were children during the Second World War. All suffered. Yet, what they remember is unique to each person and told in his or her own way. Each entry (many are just a couple of pages) could be the basis of a
...more
Mikhail Yukhnovskiy
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I feel that we, in Russia, have all become somewhat too used to the 9th of May celebrations of the Victory in the 1941-45 Great War . And the war seems less real year after year. The veterans are dying off, of ilnesses and age.

This book returns one to the raw grief and suffering, remembered by the people who were children during the war.

When reading this book I found myself very nearly crying, more times than I ever did before. When reading you feel pure HATRED to those who started the war and
...more
Skip
Svetlana Alexievich won a Pulitizer Prize in Literature for this book, which is a first-hand account of the experiences of about one hundred different Russian children during WWII, ranging in age from ages 2-14. The vignettes average three pages. It's horrifying and the stories while different have common themes: bombings, starvation, trying to stay warm and move to safety, fathers heading off to war, mothers protecting as best they can or dying with the children being orphaned or passed along t ...more
cypt
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this as part of the Nobel prize hype & therefore have mixed feelings about it.

For one, it is a book that has you shaken. It's comprised of a 100 or so stories told by people who were children 2 to 15 years old during the WWII in Belarus. Although they're short, I couldn't read more than 10 stories in one sitting.

To say they are horrifying is an understatement; more like, they make you numb. Their similarity is striking - nearly all of these children have witnessed their family and neighbour
...more
Joyce
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Powerful, immersive accounts, the memories of 101 adults recalling their childhood in the Soviet Union during World War II. All those interviewed--male and female, children of soldiers, partisans, and even gypsies--were under 15 during the war. Tales of violence--many saw their parents and family members killed before their eyes--of privation mix with stories of generosity, kindness, and resourcefulness. This oral history is meant to be heard, although the short accounts are probably better take ...more
Stan Georgiana
Can we (to be read: all people in the world) finally reach the conclusion that war is bad and we shouldn't start it anymore?

It's a horrifying read, we are presented with the stories/memories of people who were children during WWII in the Soviet Union. Violence, starvation, murder, fear, grief, losing all that you love, living only for survival, this is what war is.
...more
Dana Sweeney
Mar 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The day that Putin’s Russia invaded Ukraine, I knew that I needed to read Svetlana Alexievich. I picked up this book by noon. Born in Ivano-Frankivsk to a Ukrainian mother and a Belarusian father, Alexievich describes her work as “documentary literature,” and here, she compiles oral histories of people who were children in Eastern Europe (mostly Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Russian) during World War II. The people who share their stories in this book — children during the war, now adults by the ti ...more
Maine Colonial
I received a free digital review copy from the publisher, via NetGalley.

Imagine that you are a toddler, or maybe as old as 10 or so. You and your brothers and sisters and your family and friends are living an ordinary life, except that your father is away on military service. One day, foreign soldiers rumble in on trucks and tanks and begin shooting everyone, mostly women and children. You get away, but your mother is dead, along with most people you know. Or maybe you got lucky and you, maybe w
...more
Emilija Topalzoleva
I am not sure what is more heartbreaking about this book.. the stories that are terrifying and yet true or the fact that children lived with these stories being part of their lives.
From all the books I have read about WWII, fiction and non-fiction, this one especially was so hard for reading and also so morbid, sad and in the same time disturbing. I can't find all the words to explain what feelings this book aroused in me. You want to read it and know what those people survived and yet it distu
...more
Madalina Lacatis
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommend, history, war
I read about the impact that war has on those who fought the battles. I read about the war of those who treated the wounded and those who buried the dead. But seeing the war from the eyes of children, how they perceived it, what were their battles, is just speechless. Svetlana manages to present to us a face of war that is by far cruel and heartbreaking. A reality populated by trauma and dehumanisation. A war fought with the price of physical and psychological trauma of too many innocent souls.
wally
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alexievich
finished today the 5th of february 2020 good read four stars really liked it kindle library loaner first from alexievich...a nobel price winner i discover after completion...a bunch, a hundred? more? less? don't know the exact number and somewhere it said "oral history" but each telling is from someone who was a child at the beginning of the great patriotic war as they called it in the u.s.s.r. russia. a handful were real young, all varied in ages from 2-3-4 to teen years all told in their voice ...more
Jenia
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oof. I wanted to say something smarter but just oof.

[Read in Russian, can't comment on English translation.]
...more
Andrew
Jul 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, non-fiction, ww2, 2021
And so the little boy died. Moaned and moaned and died. I heard it grow quiet. I lifted the little sheet. He lay there all black, only his little face was white, it remained clean. A little white face, the rest completely black. Night. Dark windows. Where to go? I'll wait til morning, in the morning I'll call people. I sat and wept because there was no-one in the house, not even that little boy. Day was breaking. I put him in a trunk...we had kept our grandfathers trunk, where he stored his tool ...more
Fenriz Angelo
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-wwii
Svetlana Alexievich interviewed several men and women who experienced the Second World War as children to tell their experiences during that time, then gathered all those memories into this book that can be read as a documental novel.

The narrative style was new to me, but it serves well to -as a reader- be both immersed in the experiences and never forget that this is something that a real person went through. The most vulnerable people in war are the civilians, especially children, women, and
...more
Marks54
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading a lot about the Russo-German war in WW2 but reading Grossman’s biography and by working through Life and Fate. When I saw Last Witnesses, it was a natural addition to my list. Svetlana Alexievich is a wonderful Nobel Prize winning author who wrote The Unwomanly Face of War about the role of women in the Russian war against the Nazis. Like that book, Last Witnesses is an oral history of the experiences of Russian children following the outbreak of war in June 1941. What she ha ...more
Bonnye Reed
On August 23, 1939–shortly before World War II (1939-45) broke out in Europe–enemies Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union surprised the world by signing the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, in which the two countries agreed to take no military action against each other for the next 10 years. https://www.history.com/topics/world-....

In June of 1941, Germany began a quick rout through Mother Russia, both in the air and on the ground, killing everything in their path. This book by Svetlana Alexievic
...more
Karen Cowgill
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started this book yesterday, and I had a hard time reading it. Just so SAD! I cried a lot, but I still give it 5 stars. It is a very good book, people should READ this book. It is about the war seen through the eyes of Soviet children. There are some wonderful moments, but, since it is about war it is very sad, too. Any one who loves history, should DEFINITELY read this book!! This book is from 1985 ( I think). The people in it are probably dead, that is why their voices NEED to be heard. I am s ...more
Gremrien
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly heartbreaking and terrifying.

This always happens with Светлана Алексиевич’s books: I am very reluctant about reading every new one, because every time I think — well, what do I not know about the war? or about the Chornobyl catastrophe? etc. And then I start reading and feel absolutely bewildered by the amount and power of all those personal experiences, however small and insignificant each one of them can be.

This book consists of little pieces of evidence/memoirs of people who were
...more
A.L. Sowards
Sep 30, 2019 marked it as skimmed-or-read-portions-of  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of memories by Soviets who were children during WWII. As you might guess, it's incredibly sad--absolutely heartbreaking. I listened to part of the audiobook and the narrations were very well done. There was so much evil and so much sorrow. But there were also incredible acts of kindness and generosity.

I only listened to about half of it. I do most of my audiobook listening while driving or cleaning, and I didn't want my four-year-0ld to listen with me. I plan to finish it at
...more
Don
Dec 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadness…deep sadness for the children who survived the harshest reality of death and destruction of their families and homes. Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Noble prize for her book Chernobyl, brings together countless personal testimonies of Russians who survived the German Eastern front in WW2.

Each story is only a few pages of their childhood recollections (typical ages of 6 to 14 yrs old) without any additional narrative — families separated and killed, German soldiers torturing kids, pl
...more
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Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine. Her father was Belarusian and her mother Ukrainian. Alexievich grew up in Belarus, where both her parents were teachers. She studied to be a journalist at the University of Minsk and worked a teacher, journalist and editor. In Minsk she has worked at the newspaper Sel'skaja Gazeta, Alexievich's criticism of the political regimes in the Sovi ...more

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Voices of Utopia (5 books)
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