2-veseliabas-atsauksie-001-28-march-1944

28/03/44 – Health refer.  Graudins Alberts, Diagnosis. Leg Ulcers.  Not available for service, 3 days bed rest.  Doctor E. Poezfer – Medical Lieutenant.  !0% Anti-infective ointment (Keep any remainder ointment for future use with our compliments).

Once the main Russian artillery opened fire, having correctly spotted our position, their guns target camp.  The Russian bombardment is relentless.  We do not stand a chance. Everything surrounding us caved in as shell after shell exploded.  I want to go home, I do not want to be here but I must stay.  I stay for Latvia.  I stay for my aged father and for my mother.  I stay for my fourteen-year-old sister, my ten-year-old brother and I stay for my baby sister, Rasmin.

At night disembodied war stories crawl out of the darkness on crystallised breath as the older men unburden their hearts.  They tell tales of horror as well as offer wise words of warning to new recruits.  I listen silently to each fatigued warrior.  Wrapping my arms across my chest, I hug my coat tightly against my body as these haunted voices foretell the fate awaiting any recruit who stumbles across the Russian line.  According to my comrades, if a soldier managers to get away having merely lost his tongue to the Russians, he should think himself fortunately.

My leg ulcers are so bad, my comrades have insisted I find the doctor.  I told the medical lieutenant how difficult it is for me to keep myself clean.  I have no clean dressings to use or even any dry trousers to put on.  Everything is so wet and dirty around me all of the time, it is impossible to stop filth from penetrating deep into my sores.