The Wounds of War

Recently we were at dacha, Olga’s grandparents’ house in a small village named Dolgovka. The house is well over 200 years old. It was clearly built by a wealthier family; the house is one of the largest and was built with high-quality materials and workmanship. Now, it’s run-down and needs a lot of TLC.

One interesting part of the history of the house is how it weathered WWII. In October 1941, the German army moved through the village. In early 1944, the German army retreated along the same route. The Germans used the house as a headquarters. It’s interesting to think of German soldiers sitting in the chairs we still use.

There were battles in the village, and the house still has shrapnel damage from bombs and shells that fell nearby. One lady who was living in the house at the time died from shrapnel wounds. I took some pictures of the damage that remains:

This is an upstairs bedroom door. You can see two places where shrapnel pierced through.

Here are two scars in the eaves of the house:

This is a hole in an interior wall. A few years ago I dug this piece of shrapnel out of the log wall opposite.

This scar is on the door of a wardrobe.

And this is the upstairs gable. The elongated holes are gaps between siding boards, but all of the round holes show how shrapnel peppered the building. One was not safe in a wooden building during a battle.


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