Arkadiy Redko with his comrades

This photo was taken during our meeting with the US allies after the war. I am the 4th on the right. This photo was taken in Berlin in May 1945. I joined the army in June 1942. In late 1944 we came to Poland. The attack on Berlin began in April 1945. Those were horrific battles. Our attack lasted few days and we incurred great losses. However, this was all we could do - and we won. This was the last big battle. I was near Berlin, when the war came to an end. On the early morning of 9th May we heard on the radio about the victory. This was such holiday! There was a festive meeting in the regiment. Everyone, even strangers, kissed each other, talked about the end of the war and the life at the front. We went to Berlin, and I and my fellow comrades signed on the wall of the Reichstag. Our peaceful life began. After the war I served in Germany for five years. My year of recruitment to the army, 1942, meant that I was subject to demobilization in 1950. Berlin was divided into four zones. Our regiment was to prepare territories for the arrival of English, French and American troops. Besides, in 1946, we were involved in preparing German specialists for their departure to the USSR. The government didn't want them to work for the occupational armies. They weren't forcibly taken to camps, they volunteered to go to the USSR. They were selected by representatives from the USSR - directors and human resource managers of big plants that were in need of qualified personnel since most of our specialists had perished at the front. There were announcements on the radio for qualified personnel willing to work in Soviet plants to make their appearance at certain locations. Those people had contracts and willingly went to work at enterprises.


Arkadiy Redko