notgettingenough 's Reviews > Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943

Stalingrad by Antony Beevor
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Nov 22, 2010

bookshelves: sociology

So, I'm watching a movie in German about the siege of Stalingrad last night while I'm knitting and my first thought was 'but I won't have a clue what is going on' and my second is 'fair enough....why should I have an unfair advantage over the poor fuckers who were there in the thick of it.' Just because I'm watching the movie, it shouldn't give me an edge.

Afterwards, explaining this to my mother, she asked, so did you get it? And I'm like 'nope, but neither did they.' Bunches of people being confused in the snow and doing horrible things to each other.

This I greatly regret: I have a friend, Josek, who was in that siege as one of many idealistic Polish volunteers who made the incredible trip there, survived despite getting TB, and was given a loaf of bread to set him on his way back to Poland - if you ask me it's more than a one loaf walk, but anyway. His story is as amazing as you'd expect and a few years ago I decided to start interviewing him properly in order to tell it. And then, in that way life is fucking unfair to people who deserve better he fell over and died.

Josek was tiny, so small and frail that a strong breeze was his natural enemy. He died falling over on a trip to the bathroom - that doesn't surprise me - but to have survived some of the worst of all the history of the world first and then die that way is ridiculous. Still. He would have shrugged, if he could. He would have said that's life.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 22, 2010 – Shelved
November 22, 2010 – Shelved as: sociology

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by DoctorM (new)

DoctorM Beevor is a fine militray historian. You might also look at Alexander Kluge's "The Battle"--- excellent German novel about the event.


message 2: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Pupina Can you ask yourself? Why you all come into our country? Unfortunately, you can't understand what Soviet people felt until Russian and Soviet Literature novels translate into the English language.We have watched the movie,,Dunkirk,,- but did you see ,,Come and See,,? In all Soviet families, we have someone who did not come back from the WAR.


notgettingenough Tanya wrote: "Can you ask yourself? Why you all come into our country? Unfortunately, you can't understand what Soviet people felt until Russian and Soviet Literature novels translate into the English language.W have watched the movie,,Dunkirk,,- but did you see ,,Come and See,,? In all Soviet families, we have someone who did not come back from the WAR. ..."

I don't know 'Come and See' but would be happy to see it. I haven't seen Dunkirk.

I have recently seen Another Mother's Son. It's about the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands (UK). In it an English woman keeps an escaped Russian slave labourer. She is found out and sent to a concentration camp where she dies. He survives and goes back to the USSR where he is treated badly, as I gather all POWs were.

I think this is common outside the USSR too, having somebody who didn't come back from the war. Obviously not 'all'. On the other hand, outside of the USSR, there are the many people - Jewish in particular - who lost all (or most of) of their families, not just 'someone'.


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