My mother’s birthday.

Preliminary note: I was born in Odessa, a beautiful Ukrainian city on the shore of Black Sea. In several days I will be 80 years old.


“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”.

Edmund Burke


It was one of the happiest days of my life. My beautiful mother became 27  years old. My father returned from a business trip to Moscow and gave me a terrific birthday present – a German two-wheels bicycle with wide tires. 

It was my first two-wheels bicycle but it took only several minutes to learn how to ride it. Then my friends Vladimir and Peter brought their bicycles and we went outside to ride around the block.

There was a gorgeous summer day, the day of summer solstice. Almost no clouds and a light breeze from the sea. Adults were busy preparing for the birthday party and we enjoyed our freedom very much.

All of a sudden we heard a loud music. Pedestrians came closer to loudspeakers (there were several of them on each block). Soon music stopped and somebody started a speech. We continued to ride around our block. Then there was silence.

A man came to us and said: “Boys, immediately go to your parents! A war started! Germans invaded our country!”

When I came home women were crying. Soon all of my uncles came to congratulate my mother and to give her their presents. Three of them were already in uniform. They kissed everyone and left. Then other men (relatives and friends) came to say goodbye.

It was a very sad birthday party. There were only women, old men and children. Nobody knew what would happen with us and if we would see our men again.

I went to sleep early and I did not know that at night bombs were falling on our wonderful city and people were dying.


The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union against Hitler’s Germany and its european allies lasted almost four years (June 22, 1941 – May 9, 1945). Nazi’s Germany was defeated but the USSR lost more than 26 mln people and the whole population went through terrible sufferings.

You can read about it and see some pictures HERE.


In her “Remembering Rotterdam Blitz” post ( Susanti wrote: ” No wars have real winners, no citizens would enjoy living when their freedom and their identity being scrapped. The truth is people suffered most during the wars. It is a tragedy to be avoided”.

I am glad that she and some other bloggers remember history!