On Feb. 2, 1943, the encircled, exhausted and beaten Nazi Sixth Army surrendered at Stalingrad, ending the largest battle in the history of warfare, with up to 2 million killed, wounded, or captured. The Soviet victory at Stalingrad marked the turning point in the Second World War.
By Marlon Ettinger
February 2, 2018
On the 75th anniversary of the triumph of one of the greatest and most terrible chapters in history, a grueling forever battle where 1,129,619 Soviets died in life or death defense of not only their city but the civilized world itself, and killed 627,899 fascists, I want to share a beautiful sculpture and some beautiful words.
Not a few married women in Stalingrad, including mothers of large families, joined the fighting armies, sometimes with rifles and hand-grenades, sometimes only as nurses, stretcher-bearers – or as ‘mothers’…
These Stalingrad mothers only added to the drama and the heroism of the city. Defying machine-gun fire and bombs, they crawled through deep trenches and shattered walls to some ruin of a building or to a bomb-blown crater with thermos bottles of hot soup and other food for Russian soldiers…Not always did they reach their destination. Something often hit them on the way and they were heard of no more.
The others carried on by day and night…They washed and mended clothes for their ‘sons.’ They cooked and baked for them. They listened to their tales of battle and cheered them with motherly blessings. They read the letters from the real mothers or wives, and again and again, when a son went off to fight and never returned, they wrote to these mothers or wives words of solace and courage and of undying faith in eventual triumph over the ‘cannibal enemy.’ Great will be the tributes that will some day find their way into poems, plays and novels to the Stalingrad mothers.
–Mother Russia, Maurice Hindus, p. 147.