To whom is the war, and to whom is the mother dear? What they wrote in the diaries on June 22, 1941

Plot of the Great Patriotic War

For most, the news of the beginning of the war caused a shock, which almost immediately turned into a desire to fight to the death, for others — strange and, in general, contradictory feelings, and still others have some kind of perverted delight of a traitor.

“We give ourselves to the Fuhrer”

As a rule, awareness of the epochal nature of an event comes with some delay. Most often this is due to the subsequent course of affairs. For example, hardly anyone at one time could have foreseen that the “Narva Confusion” — the battle between the army of Peter I and the army of the Swedish King Charles XII — will turn into a war that will transform our country and bring it into a conditional club of Great Powers. However, there is one date in our history for which this rule does not work. June 22, 1941.

This is clearly seen in the diaries of eyewitnesses. It was initially clear to all of them that it was June 22 that divides life into «before» and “after”. What is — a key point in our history, and it will remain so no matter how events develop further. Another thing is that the authors of the diaries were people with different beliefs. And if someone was shocked by the news of the beginning of the war, which almost immediately turned into a desire to fight to the death, then for others — strange feelings, and still others have some kind of perverted delight.

This was most clearly manifested among the Russian emigration. For example, the former chieftain of the Don Cossacks, General Pyotr KrasnovOn June 22, 1941, he issued an enthusiastic appeal: “I ask you to convey to all Cossacks that this war is not against Russia, but against communists, Jews and their henchmen who sell Russian blood. God help the German arms and Hitler! Go to the German troops, go with them and remember that in the New Europe of Adolf Hitler there will be a place only for those who, in the formidable and decisive hour of the last battle, were not hypocritically with him and the German people!

The Kuban Cossacks, who dreamed of creating their own independent state, even at the cost of the collapse of Russia, reacted to the news of the beginning of the war in approximately the same way. The head of the Cossack National Center Vasily Glazkov on June 22 gave a telegram from Prague addressed to Hitler, Goering and Ribbentrop: “We, the Cossacks, put ourselves and all our forces at the disposal of the Fuhrer to fight against our common enemy. We firmly believe that the victorious German army will provide us with the restoration of the Cossack statehood, which will be a faithful member of the powers of the Pact of Three. Well, the famous writer Ivan Shmelevfrankly rejoiced, arguing that the news of the beginning of the war helped him overcome the creative crisis: “I am so illuminated by the event of June 22, the great feat of the Knight who raised his sword against the Devil. I firmly believe that strong bonds of brotherhood will henceforth bind both great peoples. Great suffering purifies and uplifts. Lord, how my heart beats with unspeakable joy… I know — Now I can write, I want to write.

“The Russian people are being torn to pieces”

Thank God that among the Russian emigration there were people with other convictions. They did not share their enthusiasm for the attack of Hitler's Germany on the USSR. However, the USSR did not evoke good feelings in them either. But Russia — matter is different. My soul ached for Russia.

One of them was the princess Zinaida Shakhovskaya, who later participated in the resistance movement: “The event that took place on June 22 had — and it was felt by many — paramount importance. It is not so easy to wrest love from the heart for people, for the land with which whole generations of your ancestors have been associated for a thousand years. Despising and hating the communist regime, I, nevertheless, wished victory for the Russians.

Ksenia, wife of the famous white general Anton Denikin, is in solidarity with her.Here is what she wrote on June 21, 1941: “On the radio they only talk about rumors about a German attack on the USSR. What should we think about it? Grieve, rejoice, hope? Soul doubles. Of course, the sign is vile, but behind the sign is our Motherland, our Russia, our huge, awkward, incomprehensible, but dear and beautiful Russia! And here is the note she left on the 23rd, when it was no longer about rumors, but about bombing and the advance of German tanks: “This cup has not passed Russia! Two antichrists collided… In the meantime, German bombs are tearing Russian people apart, damned German mechanics are crushing Russian bodies, and Russian blood is flowing… Have pity, God, our people, have pity and help!»

Pyotr Makhrov. Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

And here is Lieutenant General Pyotr Makhrov, who was once the chief of staff for Denikin and Wrangel, on the very first day of the war he turned not to the Nazi elite, but to the USSR Ambassador to France Alexander Bogomolov. His message was military-short — without pathos and pompous words: “Mr. plenipotentiary! The duty of a soldier obliges me to defend my Motherland together with the Russian people. I ask you to petition the Soviet government for permission to return to Russia and enlist me in the ranks of the Red Army. Respectfully yours, P. Makhrov.

“I am writing and do not believe these words”

In the USSR, the news of the beginning of the war caused the very shock that made people lose heart at first. But very soon it grew into a desire to survive and win. Here is the entry of the Leningrad schoolgirl Nina Soboleva:“The war has begun. with fascist Germany. The Germans have already crossed the border and the fighting is going on. At four in the morning they bombed Kyiv, Minsk, and other cities.  I am writing and do not believe these words — bombed?! Is there blood already? At four in the morning?.. What will happen? The Pope said that, of course, the Nazis will get what they deserve, but all this is very serious. I took the documents and went to the military registration and enlistment office. Mom grabs one thing, then another — and everything falls out of her hands…"

And here is the entry by Vladimir Stezhensky,who, almost immediately after the start of the war, signed up for military translator courses and went to the front: “I’m sitting at home, preparing for an exam in history. Parents in the country with my brother. Silence and peace. And suddenly on the radio: “At 12.15 the war began …” Bastards, impudent beasts, they already bombed Kyiv, Sevastopol and our other cities this morning! Now Molotov is speaking. I remember his last words: “Our cause is just, the enemy will be defeated, victory will be ours.” Yes, they will break their teeth on us & hellip;»

“They are more dangerous than Germany!”

The diaries of a Soviet officer, a Latvian Janis Grinvalds, are of particular interest. On June 20, 1941, he and his son were on an excursion in Moscow: “The exhibition and the metro are fabulously beautiful. Our tour guide — representative of the teachers' union Alksne, an old Bolshevik, a wonderful, warm-hearted person. We are happy and joyful. Everywhere hospitality and courtesy…»

But here is what he writes on June 22: “Suddenly Alksne, who was accompanying us, grew gloomy. She took a few of us aside and said in alarm, “Germany attacked us this morning. We are threatened with treason, not all traitors were caught and liquidated in 1937, they will try to harm, and they are more dangerous than Germany! The fight will be hard, but we will win. It became very painful. Gloomy thoughts about the war piled up…"

Maybe someone thought about “traitors” they will seem to be the product of propaganda and spy mania, and, as you can see, they belong to the “old Bolshevik woman”, with whom the demand is known. However, there are diaries that testify that this same Alksne — a senile woman who has not lost her mind, who everywhere sees enemies waiting for the Germans.

Such, for example, are the records of Polyakova's Olympiad, which the news of the beginning of the war found in Pushkin, Leningrad Region: “June 22, 1941. Is our liberation really approaching? Whatever the Germans — it won't be worse than ours. And what will the Germans win — there is no doubt. Forgive me, Lord! I am not an enemy to my people, my homeland … But you need to face the truth: we all, all of Russia, passionately desire victory for the enemy, whatever it may be…»

To be honest, one can only read such lines with a feeling of disgust. Which, however, is then replaced by quite understandable gloating. By January 1942, the tone of the diary was completely different. Yes, the long-awaited Germans have finally arrived. They began to put things in order. So what? And here is what: “January 2nd. Lord, when will these horrors end. The German escort wanted to beat a dying prisoner of war with a stick…" “January 4th. The Germans are afraid of publicity, and they try to do all the nasty things under the guise. Of course, this is a war, a front, and so on, but we would like something different from the descendants of Schiller and Goethe. By the way, there are things done by these same Europeans, whom the Russian population does not forgive them in any way, especially the peasants. We are accustomed to thinking that if the Bolsheviks scold someone, then this is the source of all goodness and truth. And it turns out something is not right … & raquo; Indeed, not that. Perhaps the reason is precisely that “to passionately wish victory for the enemy, whatever he may be” Will it turn out like this sooner or later?

The first days of the Great Patriotic War in photographs

June 22, 1941. Residents of the capital listening to the announcement of the perfidious attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union. © RIA Novosti/Evgeny Khaldei

June 22, 1941. German aircraft bombing Soviet cities. © RIA Novosti

June 23, 1941 in Kyiv. © RIA Novosti/Kazimir Lishko

Residents of Leningrad on June 22, 1941 during the announcement on the radio of a government message about the attack of fascist Germany on the Soviet Union. © RIA Novosti

Registration of volunteers in the Red Army in the Oktyabrsky district military registration and enlistment office in Moscow. © RIA Novosti

Recruits. June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin “530” width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

Tank regiment at the Stalin Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization before being sent to the front. Moscow, June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin “527” width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

Mobilization. Columns of fighters are moving to the front. Moscow, June 23, 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin

On Red Square in the early days of the war. Moscow, June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin “514” width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

Beams of searchlights of the air defense forces illuminate the sky of Moscow. Moscow, June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin

Air Raid in Leningrad in the First Days of the Great Patriotic War. © RIA Novosti/Grigory Chertov “531” width=”800″ style=”display: block;” />

Children on the streets of the city. Moscow, June 23, 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin

Border Patrol. June 1941. © RIA Novosti

The first days of the Great Patriotic War in photographs

< img src="https://aif-s3.aif.ru/images/017/266/98151d11347de6c13101e96ca030a2ed.jpg" height="531" width="798" style="display: block;" />

June 22, 1941. Residents of the capital listening to the announcement of the perfidious attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union. © RIA Novosti/Evgeny Khaldei :block;” />

June 22, 1941. German aircraft bombing Soviet cities. © RIA Novosti

June 23, 1941 in Kyiv. © RIA Novosti/Kazimir Lishko :block;” />

Residents of Leningrad on June 22, 1941 during the announcement on the radio of a government message about the attack of fascist Germany on the Soviet Union. © RIA Novosti

Registration of volunteers in the Red Army in the Oktyabrsky district military registration and enlistment office in Moscow. © RIA Novosti

Recruits. June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin :block;” />

Tank regiment at the Stalin Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization before being sent to the front. Moscow, June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin :block;” />

Mobilization. Columns of fighters are moving to the front. Moscow, June 23, 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin :block;” />

On Red Square in the first days of the war. Moscow, June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin :block;” />

Beams of searchlights of the air defense forces illuminate the sky of Moscow. Moscow, June 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin :block;” />

Air Raid in Leningrad in the First Days of the Great Patriotic War. © RIA Novosti/Grigory Chertov :block;” />

Children on the streets of the city. Moscow, June 23, 1941. © RIA Novosti/Anatoly Garanin :block;” />

Border Patrol. June 1941. © RIA Novosti

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