Vasili Grossman - from traveling notes - “Good to you!“ (3 - I am part)
Drank and ate much, the tobacco smoke and hot steam stood in air, the rumble of voices became louder. It was national country fun. But every time when the gray-bearded or chernousy person rose and began to deliver a speech, in a spacious stone shed became silent. Surprisingly well people were able to listen here. Martirosyan in a whisper explained to me: - The foreman of a poultry-farming farm Speaks... to the old man ninety second year... this is the former manager zemotdely, the old communist, he lives in the village on rest now... In speeches it was almost not told about newlyweds, about their future happy life. People spoke about the good and evil, about honest and difficult work, about bitter destiny of the people, about its past, about hopes for the future, about fertile lands to the Turkish Armenia which were covered with innocent blood, about the Armenian parade disseminated through all countries of light about belief that work, kindness is stronger than any lie. In what prayful silence people listened to these speeches: nobody ringed ware, chewed, drank - all, with bated breath, listened. Then the thin gray-haired man in an old soldier`s soldier`s blouse started talking. Seldom I saw faces surovy this dark, a dead-pan. Martirosyan whispered to me: - The Collective-farm carpenter, he addresses you. Some strange silence stood in a shed. Tens of eyes looked at me. I did not understand words speaking, but expression of many eyes, attentively, softly looking to me in a face, for some reason strongly excited me. Martirosyan translated me the speech of the carpenter. He spoke about Jews. He said that he in German to captivity saw how gendarmes caught Jews - prisoners of war. He told me as his companions &ndash were killed; Jews. He spoke about the sympathy and love to the Jewish women and children who died in gazovnyakh Auschwitz. He told that he read my military articles where I describe Armenians, and thought that here about Armenians the person whose people suffered from a lot of cruel anguish wrote. He wanted that about Jews the son of the distressful Armenian people wrote. For it he also drinks a glass of vodka. I low bow to the Armenian peasants that in a mountain small village during wedding fun in public started talking about torments of the Jewish people during fascist Hitlerite revelry, about extermination camps where the German fascists killed the Jewish women and children, I bow to all who solemnly, sadly, in silence listened to these speeches. Their persons, their eyes told about much to me. I bow for the sad word about the dead in clay ditches, gazovnyakh and earth holes, for that live into whose eyes misanthropes of the word of contempt and hatred threw: “ It is a pity that Hitler did not finish off all of you “. Until the end of life I will remember the speeches of peasants heard by me in rural club. And the wedding took its course. Thin wax candles, people were distributed to guests, having joined hands, led a slow and solemn wedding round dance. Two hundred people, old men, old women, girls and guys, holding in hand the lit candles, smoothly, solemnly moved along stone rough walls of a shed, hundreds of sparks waved at their movement. I looked at the weaved fingers, at a corrosion-proof, indissoluble chain of brown, dark labor hands, at light sparks. The great pleasure was to look at human faces; it seemed, not candles, and eyes of people shone soft, lovely fire. How many in them was kindness, purity, fun, grief! Old men saw off the leaving life. Crafty eyes of old women looked fervently and cheerfully. Faces of young women were full of a timid charm. Sedately girls and fellows looked. And the chain, life of the people, was indissoluble, in it both youth, and mature years, and grief of leaving connected. This chain seemed indissoluble and eternal, sorrows, death, invasions, slavery could not tear it. The groom and the bride danced. His gloomy big-nosed person was directed forward as though he drove the car, - he did not look back at young. Time or two it raised eyelashes, and I saw by the light of wax candles of her eye. I saw that she was afraid, as if wax did not drip on her blue coat. I understood that all wise speeches which, appear, had no relation to a wedding concerned to young people. Let immortal mountains will address in skeletons, and the person let lasts eternally. Probably, I told a lot of things inconsistently and not so. Folding and inconsistent I told all loving.
Barev Dzes! - Kindly to you, Armenians and not Armenians!