Monday, January 3, 2011

A Message from My Great-Grandfather to the Nazi German Army

My family has two treasured journals that were written in Russian by my great-grandfather, Theodocey Shpilevoy.  I am in the process of having them translated, since none of his living descendants can speak or write Russian. While that alone is somewhat disheartening, his journal entries are often strongly worded and emotionally disturbing. Some of the journal entries appear to be from the perspective of other Russians who had immigrated to the New World in the early 1900's. This entry pictured above was written on New Year's Day in 1942, and mentions a story none of my living relatives has ever heard. [Translation below.]
Ruso, N. Dakota
Jan. 1, the year 1942

[First line illegible. Translator's Note.]
I do hereby raise my hand to strike Hitler's German army, bear this token of vehemence and insult. You villains, scoundrels, and bandits, may you feel the strike (the stinging slap) of this old man's hand. You tortured my son's chest with knives while he was alive, you cut his arm while he was alive, you burned his eyes, he was still alive. All the knights, the sons of Soviet and Ukrainian people, spit in your filthy faces. I weep and damn you [upcoming line - Translator's guess: illegible, not to mention probably written during emotional outpouring; this line probably a reference to the son's place of work, the factory where his picture, to honor him, hangs on the wall...] This is how I will remember him.