This is a memorable description of Captain Grekov, commander of House 6/1 in the rubble of Stalingrad, summing up so much of the man by the look in his eyes.

See also in the same book a touching account of the eyes of a woman – with much of what they had seen in the course of her life – during her last moments.

‘Seryozha suddenly realized that never in all his life had he seen eyes that were so sad and so intelligent, so splendid, yet so human.’

Source: Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman; trans. Robert Chandler (New York: New York Review Books, 2006 (1985)), p. 418

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