Roads and Days: The Memoirs of a Red Army Translator

TitleRoads and Days: The Memoirs of a Red Army Translator
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsRzhevskaia, Elena
JournalJournal of Slavic Military Studies
Volume14
Issue1
Pagination53 - 106
Date Published01/2001
Abstract

Over 50 years since its end, historians are finally able to begin exploring the vast panorama of the Soviet Union's Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany to reveal what actually occurred in that most terrible of Twentieth Century struggles. Despite this prodigious work, however, the human face of that long and costly war has largely defied description. This memoir, written by Red Army translator and a woman, abruptly reverses that trend. Rzhevskaia ‘s wartime service spanned over four years of combat at the front, carried her from the depths of defeat before Moscow to victory at Berlin, and burned into her memory countless devastated villages and thousands of bewildered civilians savaged by the rigors of war. She has shaped her starkly simple combat notes and keen perceptions of both the tangible and intangible into a poignant description of that which cannot be described. What results is sheer poetry that captures the immensity of the human dimension of the hitherto faceless war.

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