Steinbeck met a number of people in the Soviet Union who had survived the worst depredations of the Second World War, including the battle for Stalingrad. Here he captures a grim snapshot of unforgettable trauma.

‘They spoke of horrid things they could not forget. Of how a man had warmed his hands in the blood of a newly dead friend, so that he could pull the trigger of his gun.’

Every day we live in peace is a gift from above.

 

Source: John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, with photographs by Robert Capa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999 (1948)), p. 67

Photo credit: kalhh at pixabay

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