MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
All citizens of the Soviet Union, at all times, were united by the “New Year”. It was the same during the Great Patriotic War. Regardless of the geography of the location and the conditions that turned out to be, people were looking for an opportunity to create the impossible – a holiday! It was celebrated at the front, in the rear, in evacuation, in the occupied lands.
Leningrad celebrated its first military New Year in a blockade. Food was sorely lacking. More than 4 thousand people died of hunger every day. In November-December 1941, dependents and children received 125 grams of bread a day on ration cards, soldiers on the front line — 375, workers — 250 grams. By the end of December, the bread distribution rate was increased, thanks to the “Road of Life” laid on the ice of Lake Ladoga, which fed the frozen and hungry city.
Despite this, the authorities decided to organize a New Year’s party for children in every district. It was envisaged to prepare 1 thousand Christmas trees and provide children with gifts and meals without cutting out coupons from food cards.
On December 31, 1941, the driver Maxim Yemelyanovich Tverdokhleb set off along the “Road of Life” to besieged Leningrad with an unusual load. He was tasked with delivering tangerines to the city. Enemy fighters attacked the car. As he could, Tverdokhleb tried to evade the shelling. With serious injuries and almost unconscious, he managed to deliver the cargo to its destination. The car counted 49 holes.
For students in grades 7-10, the Christmas trees were arranged in the premises of the Drama Theater. Pushkin, Bolshoi Drama and Maly Opera Theaters. Brass bands were playing, electric lights were on. Children admired the decorated Christmas trees, participated in draws and costumed scenes with the participation of Santa Claus, and received delicious food and gifts.
At what price the tangerines got to them – the children did not know, but they remembered the magic smell of happiness for the rest of their lives. And today we remember the feats of all the heroes of the war, including the fearless Maxim Tverdokhleb.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.