Thank You for this morning. I am so happy to celebrate my first today’s hours with bird’s singing and happy writing.
This morning was going to be happy for inhabitants of Brest Fortress 73 years ago… Ordinary people, cooks, musicians, soldiers, doctors, civilians become suddenly, on this fateful morning, heroes, they want it or not, they like it or not.
On 22 June 1941, soon after 3am, the first German shells smashed into the Soviet frontier fortress of Brest – Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa had begun. Today is the first day of the Second World War on the territory of my country.
Persistent rumors that the Germans were cranking up preparations for a breakthrough on the border were considered as sabotage and eventually suppressed. The initial artillery fire took the absolutely unprepared fortress by surprise.
“- This fortress, fortress here, we keep the defense, – This fortress, fortress here, we keep the defense…”
The Germans had allowed twelve hours to secure the area, but it took them nine days! The Brest Fortress became the place where the invaders lost 5% of their East Front deadcount within the first week of war.
One of the dramatic pages of defence of the Brest fortress was an acute water shortage. The approaches to the water were fired – a lot of fighters and commanders died trying to obtain precious drops.
The walls of the red citadel keeps the last good bye from unnamed hero: “We’ll die but we’ll not leave the fortress”. “I’m dying but I won’t surrender. Farewell, Motherland. 20.VII.41.
The heroic defence of Brest is the legend of the Second World War on the Eastern Front. The film “Brestskaya Krepost” (“Fortress of War”) tells much more. Strongly recommended.
Thank You for this possibility to share with you something really important. We live and we have to remember the price for our today’s happy and peaceful morning.