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 VOLGOGRAD, Russia — Like every Russian schoolchild, I grew up learning about Hitler’s murderous advance into Russia during World War II, and how it was halted at the Battle of Stalingrad — a critical turning point in the war.

The fight raged for 200 days, and the city was reduced to ruins. Civilians who couldn’t evacuate starved, some eating rats and clay. Resistance to the German onslaught was fierce as the defending army had no choice but to fend off the attack or die standing, following Stalin’s order: “Not one step back.”
At the end, a population that had been half a million was just 35,000.
Since the war, the city has been completely rebuilt, and in 1961 was renamed Volgograd, an effort to erase Stalin’s legacy. But memories of the fighting, 75 years ago this year, are strong. Volgograders walking the streets or going to work pass by many kinds of memorials to those who sacrificed their lives.
The main memorial is the Mamayev Kurgan complex, over which towers “The Motherland Calls,” a statue that symbolizes the common mother of all Russians leading them to engage in battle. Visible from almost every vantage point in the city, the statue is a powerful reminder of the price that Soviet people paid to defeat Nazism.
城里最重要的纪念性建筑是马马耶夫岗(Mamayev Kurgan complex)雕塑群,其中最高的是一尊名为《祖国母亲在召唤》(The Motherland Calls)的雕像,它象征俄罗斯人共同的母亲带领他们加入战斗。几乎从城市的每一个角度都能看到这尊雕像,它有力地提醒人们,苏联人民为战胜纳粹主义所付出的代价。
I have worked as a conflict photographer for more than 10 years. Once, when visiting Homs, Syria, in 2014, I found myself comparing the destruction I saw with that of Stalingrad. When I visit Volgograd now — modern, reconstructed — I wonder if Homs and other cities destroyed by war will ever look and feel like this.
When the Germans sent in tanks, Mikhail Panikakha was fighting in a trench. He had already thrown his grenades and had just two Molotov cocktails left. He was raising one bottle to throw when a bullet smashed it, setting him on fire. He took the remaining bottle, jumped out of the trench and hit the nearest German tank, setting it on fire. The other tanks withdrew.
德国人的坦克大举压境时,米哈伊尔·帕尼卡卡(Mikhail Panikakha)正在战壕中战斗。他已经扔光了手榴弹,只剩下两枚燃烧弹。当他举起其中一枚,准备向外扔去时,一颗子弹击碎燃烧弹,他自己着起了火。拿着剩下的一枚,他跳出战壕,甩向离自己最近的德军坦克,坦克燃烧了起来。其余的坦克纷纷后退。
After the fighting, all that remained of the village of Rossoshka, 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) from Volgograd, were ruins of buildings, ashes, shell craters and thousands of corpses. Today, two cemeteries stand at the site; 60,000 German soldiers are buried in one, 20,000 Soviet fighters in the other.
Each summer, groups of volunteers look for the remains of soldiers in fields and under city streets. In 2017, the bodies of 800 soldiers were discovered.
One day this summer, searchers unearthed the body of a Soviet fighter at the bottom of a pit a meter deep, his arms folded and legs bent.
During the war, the industrial part of the city was a station for tractors and tanks. Now, the yearly rock festival Volgorock is held there. This year, groups of young people danced between old metal constructions, above which hangs a billboard emblazoned with the word “Stalingrad.”
On the waterfront each summer, an orchestra plays popular songs from Soviet times.
“I was about 5 years old when the Germans began to bomb Stalingrad,” recalled Anatoly Savin, who is 80-something and was dancing with his wife, Irina. “I was playing in the street when the rumble of planes and explosions began.”
80多岁的阿纳托利·萨温(Anatoly Savin)和妻子伊琳娜(Irina)跳着舞,“德国人开始轰炸斯大林格勒的时候,我大概5岁,”他回忆道。“我正在街上玩,听到轰炸机的轰鸣,然后爆炸开始了。”



Vladimir Turov, 97, is a war veteran. He said that every day, his battalion had forced back tank offensives, the bombs from the German air raids falling from the sky. On Sept. 12, 1942, his battalion was almost completely surrounded by Germans. But he refused to leave his wounded friend, fighting off the advancing forces with his machine gun. There was a huge explosion. His head spun and his eyes saw stars. He woke up in a hospital.

97岁的弗拉基米尔·图罗夫(Vladimir Turov)是一名退伍军人。他说,他当年所在的营每天都会迫退坦克的进攻和从天而降的德军空袭炸弹。1942年9月12日,他的营几乎完全被德国人包围。但他没有离开受伤的朋友,用机枪击退了前进的德军部队。一声巨响。他头晕目眩,眼冒金星。 醒来时,他在一间医院里。
The All Saints Church was built on the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex in 1993, after the fall of the Soviet Union, so that believers could honor the memory of the fallen.
苏联解体后,万圣会教堂(The All Saints Church)于1993年在马马耶夫岗建成,信徒们能够在这里纪念逝去的人。
The battle created so many scars in this city that may never be totally healed. The Square of Heroes, also part of the memorial complex, contains a monument to a nurse carrying a wounded soldier from the battlefield.
那场战役给这座城市留下了如此多的伤痕,许多可能永远都无法愈合。英雄广场(The Square of Heroes)也是纪念建筑群的一部分,这里的一尊纪念碑刻着一个护士搀扶一名在前线受伤的士兵。
The Volga River was Hitler’s main target. Soviet soldiers fought to the death to keep possession of this strategic artery and important symbol. Now the calm, gentle surface of the river hides traces of the bloody fight. At the bottom of the river bed, burned-out ships, tanks, aircraft and the remains of thousands of soldiers still rest.

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