The story of difficult happiness: having lost her arms and legs at the front, Zinaida Tusnolobova managed to build a family and raise children
The story of difficult happiness: having lost her arms and legs at the front, Zinaida Tusnolobova managed to build a family and raise children
Zinaida Tusnolobova

March 20 is celebrated International day of happiness… How often can you hear from people complaints about the problems and circumstances that prevent you from becoming happy! The story of the heroine of the Great Patriotic War, Zinaida Tusnolobova - not only an example of fortitude and fortitude, but also proof that love and happiness can be found, even if you lose your arms and legs at the front. The main thing is not to lose faith.

Zinaida Tusnolobova

Zinaida Mikhailovna Tusnolobova was born in 1920 on the Shevtsovo farm in Belarus. In the spring of 1941 she was going to marry Joseph Marchenko, but the plans were ruined by the war. Joseph served in a military unit in the Far East, and Zina decided to go to the front. She graduated from nursing school, and in 1942 was enlisted in the army. In the very first battles, the girl took out 42 wounded soldiers from under fire, for which she was awarded the Order of the Red Star. In just 8 months at the front, Zina carried 123 wounded from the battlefield.

Zina Tusnolobova before and after injury

In February 1943, while trying to save the company commander, Zina herself was wounded. The girl lost consciousness, and when she woke up, she saw a German soldier in front of her. Noticing that she was alive, the German began to finish her off with his feet and a rifle butt. Miraculously, Zina managed to survive and escape - she was found in the snow among the dead by a reconnaissance group. In the hospital, due to gangrene, Zina had to amputate her frostbitten arms and legs. At 23, the girl was left disabled.

Joseph Marchenko and Zina's letter addressed to him. Photo from the archive of Vladimir Marchenko

Zina did not throw hysterics, but, deciding not to burden Joseph, she asked the nurse to write him the following letter: “My dear Joseph! I write everything as it is, hiding nothing. You know I never knew how to cheat. An irreparable trouble has befallen me. I lost my arms and legs. Be free, dear. I cannot, I have no right to become an obstacle in your path. Arrange your life. Goodbye".

Soldiers wrote on tanks: For Zina Tusnolobova

Soon she received an answer that she did not expect: “My dear baby! My dear sufferer! No misfortunes and troubles can separate us. There is no such grief, there is no such torment, which would force me to forget you, my beloved. Both joy and sorrow - we will always be together. I am your former, your Joseph. If only to wait for the victory, if only to return home, to you, my beloved, and we will live happily."

Joseph and Zinaida with children Vladimir and Nina

Lieutenant Marchenko kept his word - after the war they got married. Zina learned to manage with prostheses made for her at the Moscow Institute of Prosthetics. Despite all the troubles and difficulties, Zina was able to become a mother. The first two sons died in infancy. But a few years later, fate finally gave the Marchenko family happiness - a son, Vladimir, was born, and then a daughter, Nina.

Surgeon N. Sokolov and his grateful patient. Photo from the archive of Vladimir Marchenko

To the surgeon who saved her from death, Nikolai Sokolov, Zina wrote: “And so Joseph and I returned to Polotsk, planted a garden. Maybe this is happiness? So that the garden blooms so freely and children grow up. Come to us in the summer for apples, Nikolai Vasilievich! We will go to the forest for mushrooms, fishing! And most importantly, you will see how I learned how to cook on my own, heat the stove and even darn stockings for the guys. Zinaida, who loves you dearly."

Zinaida Tusnolobova at a meeting with pioneers

In 1957, Zinaida Mikhailovna Tusnolobova-Marchenko was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union and was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal for exemplary performance of the command's combat missions and for her courage and heroism in battles against the Nazi invaders during the Second World War.

Exposition of the house-museum of Zinaida Tusnolobova in Polotsk House-Museum of Zinaida Tusnolobova in Polotsk

And 8 years later, the International Committee of the Red Cross awarded Zinaida Tusnolobova-Marchenko with the Florence Nightingale Medal, the first English sister of mercy. Zina became the third Soviet nurse to receive this honorary award.

Vladimir Marchenko, son of Zinaida and Joseph

Zinaida and Joseph remained together until the last days, raised their children, and managed to see their granddaughter. The heroine of the Second World War died in 1980, at the age of 59. The memory of her is still alive today - in the Belarusian Polotsk there is a museum-apartment of Zinaida Tusnolobova, she is still written about in newspapers. Many people are inspired by the example of unbending will and all-conquering love.

Monument to Zina Tusnolobova near the museum

Zinaida Tusnolobova was not the only woman who demonstrated unfeminine willpower during the war, another example of dedication is the fate of the heroine military pilot Marina Raskova

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