SOVIET CHILDREN — HEROES OF THE WAR
The teacher: M.V. Uramova
While your hearts are beating, -
The price of our happiness, -
In the war against the fascist invaders Soviet children had their own accounts to settle with the enemy. Fascist troops killed their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, ruined their houses and schools and left thousands of children without families, homes and food.
The Soviet Government, people and public organizations were making really great efforts to save these children. Special homes, hospitals and schools were opened for them throughout the country. The majority of the children were evacuated in good time from the occupied and front-line areas.
Throughout the war children in villages and towns helped the grown-ups. The Soviet people are grateful to their children, the young citizens of their land, who also fought to win the victory over fascism.
From the very first hour of the war 12—15-year-old children besieged induction stations all over the Soviet Union, ready to fight the fascists. They wanted to go to the front. Many Soviet children ran away from their homes to the front. They were brought back to their mothers. It was not just war excitement and wish for adventure. Little boys and girls in occupied areas gave refuge to the wounded Red Army soldiers and at the risk to their lives brought them through forest paths to our units.
Here is one of the examples how children did their best to help the Army.
Vanya Andrianov, a fourteen-year-old boy from the village of Novo-Mikhailovka, helped a Soviet Army unit to capture an important point without loss of life. This is how it happened.
The front line was not far from the village. Early in the morning the villagers heard artillery fire coming from the east. Vanya watched the German fascist soldiers from the window of his house. He remembered that many hitlerites had left the village the day before, but in every house they had left from five to ten men. Vanya saw how the fascist soldiers were making holes in the walls of some houses and put their machine-guns there.
“The fascists are preparing to fire at the approaching Soviet troops,” he thought.
In the morning the artillery fire stopped and Vanya got nervous, because he was afraid the Soviet Army would not come long. All the time he kept watching at the window. His house was at the edge of the village and Vanya could see the road running through the snow and across the frozen river. Suddenly he saw that men in white appeared at a large distance. They were coming up quickly on skis. They were Soviet Army men.
Vanya thought, “In a few minutes they will be near the village and the fascists will meet them with machine-gun fire and kill them all.”
He put on his coat and fur cap, jumped out of the house and ran towards the river. He shouted: “Stop!” but no one could hear his weak voice.
The hitlerites saw him running and understood what his plan was. They opened fire at him, but Vanya did not turn back. The small figure fell to the ground. Vanya was not dead; he had fooled the fascists and rolled down the bank of the river. He crawled across the snow until he reached the Soviet Army men.
“Take care, comrades!” he shouted. “There are machine guns not far away!”
The boy was taken to the commander of the Soviet unit and told the Soviet officer all he knew about the enemy machine-guns. Vanya led the Soviet troops round the village and showed them the houses where the fascists had put their ma chine-guns. The enemy did not expect an attack from the rear. Nearly all the fascists were destroyed.
Soon after the battle ended General Efremov on behalf of the Soviet Government awarded Vanya with the Order of the Red Star for bravery.
“Weren’t you afraid to run under the enemy’s fire?” asked the general.
“I don’t know,” Vanya replied, “there was no time to be afraid. Soviet soldiers could fall into a trap.”
Children in Moscow, Leningrad and other Soviet cities extinguished Incendiary bombs, built barricades, and dug trenches; the brave little boys and girls of other Motherland crawled across the front line to pass important information to the Soviet troops.
Many of them were awarded by the Soviet Government with orders and medals. Hundreds of Soviet children gave their lives for their Motherland. Together with all Soviet people Soviet children fought for their happiness and won it.
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