“It’s an experience you don’t forget in your heart” – WWII veteran
World War II veterans recount their stories about the war, how it began and what happened in the very first days of the fighting.
Milton Dierker was a seaman first class in the US Navy during the war. He sailed to Murmansk, Russia, as part of a convoy delivering war material to the Allies. There, he became a witness to a German air raid.
“We were there for anti-aircraft protection, for the people on the beach, in addition to protecting small boats going in. Of course, we were under fire all the time. Yes, we saw the ships sink. Yes, we saw people floating in the water, with their packs on their back, with their feet up in the air. We saw a lot of things floating by. You always feel that you are going to be in danger; that you are going to be suffering possible damage.”
Aleksandr Litvinov, who served as a sergeant major in the Russian infantry, recalls encountering an odd house near Berlin.
“Its barns were big and covered with a solid roof. We opened the gate and, as usual, we proceeded to check it with sticks – sometimes hay covered everything, and underneath it could be whatever you want. Suddenly, from above someone fired a burst from an assault rifle. It was a German boy. Kostya fired a burst into the air and the boy threw his rifle down and began to cry. He was just a young boy. We took him down. He was all in tears and we tried to talk to him and failed. He didn’t understand us.”