July 12, 2008

3 September 1945

(...) And so - peace. What danger is that American shopkeeper Truman babbling about as he points to the atomic bomb in his pocket? What is there for him to be afraid of? People are safe. The bomb's in his pocket, and he's got plenty of money. Or maybe he's afraid that we'll get an atomic bomb too, even bigger and more savage, and then we, the masses, will live happily as at the banquet before the last universal plague.

Truman's speech today was historic: God in one hand, the atomic bomb in the other, and a threat on his lips.

The world war is over.

Forty million Soviet citizens, my brothers and sisters, have perished. My eighty-year-old father died from hunger in Kiev, and I myself, severely wounded by my own people, am barely alive.

What do I want? What do I need? Work. I want work. And a bit of joy. I will have work, but I will not have joy. I cannot rejoice when the people around me are badly off. I am ashamed, so ashamed, as if it were my fault that people are poor, badly dressed, displaced, and overtired. As if it was I who had tricked them, deceitfully promised them something, sucked their blood out, deprived them of their holidays and rest and gentle natures, and made them unhappy (...). Are they heroes or not? They are heroes. More - they are heroes and martyrs a hundred times over. They choked Germany with their corpses and drowned her with their blood (...).

Alexander Dovzhenko

Diaries 1941-1956.
trans. Marco Carynnyk

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