In memory of a generation: Don't long for war, I beg you!
Updated: May 8
Today we remember our grandfather, Gabdulhakov Ahun. People of his generation had very difficult lives. Born in 1919 in Bashkortostan, like many others, he was orphaned during the period of time when people were slaughtered for what they possessed.
Like many others, he moved to Central Asia to find food and work.
Like many others, he slaved away in the construction sector.
Grandfather was conscripted in 1939 for two-year compulsory military service, but the war began and he served for six years instead, until 1945.
Grandfather went through the whole of WWII and saw its end in Estonia. He participated in the liberation of Saint Petersburg (then Leningrad) from the blockade. He was wounded seven times.
After the war, he came back to Uzbekistan and built his own house (it is still standing in a village on the eastern tip of Uzbekistan). He raised six children, with two sets of twins. Let’s acknowledge the role of our grandmother here too, way too often we neglect the incredible roles of women in the events that we celebrate. Women made heroic contributions. Grandmother laboured at work and at home. Being uneducated, grandparents made sure that their children received education, and all six of them became educators.
I never met my grandfather as he died in 1976, ten years before I was born. My dad says that grandfather did not like talking about his experiences in war. It is understandable.
On this day, a lot of thoughts cross my mind, as I am pained by political speculations that surround WWII.
Unlike the veterans, some politicians indulge war talk and try to justify their own legitimacy and relevance through the misery of others.
The ‘patriots’ threaten to repeat the war, they dress their kids into military uniforms (why?) and run around in euphoria, every year around 9 May.
Historians-denialists turn this topic into a taboo and prevent any adequate discussion of the events.
Governments display their military power in parades, while the veterans are barely making their ends meet.
Today, I want to remember a person I never met, but whom I owe my existence to. His life was filled with pain, like that of many others. Let’s not perpetuate this misery.