The Never-Ending War by Martin Roemers

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Nikolay Gavrilov (born 1922), a Russian veteran of World War II (WW2).."When I left school, I wanted to start a career in the Red Army.  I was accepted at the artillery college and did my officer training there.  On the day the Germans invaded Russia, I was standing in the kitchen making breakfast for myself.  Suddenly a German plane flew over.  He kept circling above the barracks.  We were so shocked that we forgot to shoot at him."."Later we were sent to Kiev.  We were completely surrounded by Germans there.  We couldn't hold our position.  The Germans dropped messages from the planes saying: 'Go home, and you'll be well treated.' The Ukrainians among us did go home, but I fled.  Completely alone, I walked through the woods to Kursk.  I was picked up there by Russian troops and transferred to Smert Shpionam ('Death to Spies').  They blamed me for running away instead of shooting myself.  A Russian officer doesn't run away, but fights to the death or commits suicide. If you don't, you're a coward.  My career was finished after that.  I received no more promotions and was not allowed to become a member of the Communist Party.  After the war, I stayed in the army for another two years, but there was no future in it any more.  I resigned and joined the civil service."... CHECK with MRM/FNA