PUBLISHED in 1985 in the Soviet Union this first English edition is a very painful reminder of the affects of war on children. In the 1970s Alexievich started interviewing the generation of children who had lived through the Second World War and who had carried that trauma with them as adults.
Official narratives of the Second World War -or as they dubbed it in the Soviet Union the Great Patriotic War – remind us of the brutality of the Nazis, the destruction of cities and towns and the deaths of at least 20 million soldiers and civilians. The preface of the book has two quotations: one from the People’s Friendship Magazine of 1985 which states that millions of Soviet children died during the war including Russians, Armenians etc: the second quotation is from Dostoevsky which says that war cannot be justified if it makes a child cry.
Pouring out of…
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