click on image for an eloquent recap at The Elephant Journal of Vonnegut’s words…
I wanted to write a whole big blog post on “the horrors of war”.
About how my dad (and a band of his friends), as twenty year old young men witnessing the Soviet tanks rolling into their city to “liberate” the people from their last oppressor, decided to throw molotov cocktails at them in protest.
About how he spent the next five years in a Siberian prisoner of war work camp, and what he looked like when they let him out.
I wanted to write about how it warped him inside, in ways that weren’t discernible to the eye.
I wanted to write about how my mother was born mere months before Armistice Day, and that the borders of the country she was born into shifted and thus she became (an unwitting) citizen of another.
I wanted to write about how around the time of the second world war, after the soviet occupation, she was held and interrogated for a week by the NKV because they thought that she was a spy (she wasn’t).
I wanted to write about how even in the safety of North America my father still couldn’t shake the habit of stockpiling things like flour and sugar and salt.
I wanted to write about how even though my parents had experienced and seen first hand the effects of the first and second world wars, they rarely ever spoke of them, though the effects were as tangible and persistent as poltergeists in an old house.
I wanted to write about how their experiences were not exceptions but rather the rule.
There are no clear victors in war.