I’ve quoted this song a lot of times on this blog, and here I am, doing it again, in a different context. John Mayer: if my past is any sign of my future …
When it comes to Russian soldiers it is. I promised in the previous entry that I will provide more context as to why a Romanian is more offended about people calling them Russian than Gypsy. Here it is. Prepare for a rough read.
In the WW2 most of the Europe fought to stop Hitler from taking over the whole Europe. The Nazi opposing forces included Russia, at the time known as the Soviet Union. Romania entered the war initially on the Nazi’s side. Maybe because of political promises of Germany to give back to Romania provinces taken in the past (Transilvania and Basarabia), or maybe because Romania fucking hated the Russians, after fighting together during the WW1, and Russian soldiers still pillaged and raped everywhere they went, regardless of if the territory belonged to friend or foe. There are countless Romanian documents from that time describing the Russians soldiers as being ruthless cruel brutes.
My grandmother was very young during the second world war. I don’t remember many details from her stories, and I doubt her memories were clear either. Here is what I remember from her stories. In WW1 her father shot one of the fingers on his hand to avoid being sent to war. He had a wife and seven kids, and he did not want to leave them unprotected during the war.
During WW2, to avoid dying of hunger, her family hid a pig in a hole in the ground that Romanians call beci and you might call it a cellar. They hid it there and grew it in there and my grandmother was the only one that was going down to clean and feed it. When Russians passed through the village, my grandmother and her sisters hid in the cellar with the pig, and they were terrified that if the pig made a sound they would be discovered and not only raped, but left to die, because the soldiers would most probably take the pig away, because the great warriors needed food to keep up the strength to fight for the righteous cause, right? Anyway, my grandmother broke her left hand falling from the ladder while going down to the cellar and it never healed right and I remember her sometimes mentioning being in pain. She was married away when she was 19, quite late for a girl at that time, and in our family, we always suspected that was because she must have been raped during WW2 and considered damaged goods, especially in a very catholic small community. Also, this would explain why she hated and feared Russians with such a passion.
Therefore, Romanians that are aware of their history despise the Russians, this is why Romania is supporting Ukraine and will support any other country fighting the Russians. The atrocious acts their soldiers enacted on our people, even when we were fighting alongside them, are barely 100 years old.
So yeah, if any of you think that Ukrainians are just irrationally stubborn and fight although they barely have any external support and there is little hope of winning, I hope you understand now why they are fighting so bravely and with the stubbornness of a thousand mules. There are already reports of Russian soldiers raping women in Ukraine and even killing them, so they cannot bear witness in an eventual process if Russia is accused of war crimes, so yeah … surrender is not an option. Every person that died in this war deserves retribution. Those women deserve it too.
Stay strong Ukraine! Слава Україні!