"You are not injured, you are simply killed ": poems by a 19-year-old tanker that will never get into textbooks
"You are not injured, you are simply killed ": poems by a 19-year-old tanker that will never get into textbooks
"You are not injured, you are simply killed …"

These verses will never get into school textbooks for one simple reason - they are true. And the truth is this is not incredibly inconvenient for modern "couch" patriots who write on their cars "1941-1945. If necessary, we will repeat it. " The author of these poems - 19-year-old lieutenant tanker Ion Degen - wrote them back in December 1944.

This is how the war began

After finishing 9th grade, Ion Degen went to work as a counselor in a pioneer camp in Ukraine. There he was caught by the war. The military registration and enlistment office refused to appeal to him because of his age. Then he thought that literally in a few weeks the war would end, and he would not have time to make his contribution to the Victory.

Together with his comrades, he escaped from the train that was taking them to evacuation. They managed to get to the location of the 130th rifle division, which fought at the front, and get enrolled in a platoon. So in July 1941, Ion found himself in the war.

Only a month has passed, out of 31 people from the platoon, only two remained. Ion survived the encirclement, wandering through the woods, being wounded and hospitalized, from which he left only in January 1942. He again rushed to the front, but until the draft age he lacked 1, 5 years, and he was sent to the rear, to the Caucasus. Ion worked on a tractor on a state farm, but in the summer of 1942 the war came there. At the age of 17, he volunteered for the front again and ended up in intelligence. In the fall, he was again seriously wounded. He was pulled out from behind the front line by his comrades in an unconscious state.

Ion Lazarevich Degen

On December 31, 1942, he leaves the hospital, and as a tractor driver, he is sent to study at a tank school. Two years of training, and in the spring of 1944, junior lieutenant Ion Degen was again at the front. This time on a brand new T-34. His tank epic begins: dozens of battles, tank duels, 8 months at the front. When your comrades perish one after another, a different attitude towards life and towards death appears. And in December 1944 he will write that most famous poem of his life, which will be called one of the best poems about the war:

He fought conscientiously, and for his luck, Ion was even nicknamed the lucky one. It is not for nothing that today his name can be found at number fifty in the list of the best Soviet aces tankers: Iona Lazarevich Degen, guard lieutenant, 16 victories (including 1 "Tiger", 8 "Panthers"), twice nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, awarded the Order of the Red Banner. For Lieutenant Degen, the commander of a tank company, everything will end in January 1945 in East Prussia.

On January 21, 1945, Iona's tank was knocked out, and the crew, who jumped out of the burning tank, were shot by the Nazis. When the 19-year-old was taken to the hospital, he was still alive. Seven bullet wounds, four shrapnel wounds, broken legs, open jaw fracture and sepsis. It was a death sentence at the time. He was rescued by the head physician, who did not spare the dying soldier with a deficit of penicillin, and God, who had his own plans for Jonah. And the brave tanker survived!

Tanker, poet, surgeon Ion Degen

And although at the age of 19, life-long disability seemed like a sentence, our hero was able to reach incredible heights in his difficult life. In 1951, he graduated with honors from the medical institute, became an operating orthopedic surgeon, and in 1958 became the first surgeon in the world who performed an upper limb replantation. He has a Ph.D. and doctoral scientific work on his account. But this little lame and fearless man who was never afraid to tell the truth was very uncomfortable for the officials.

War veteran Ion Lazarevich Degen

In 1977, Iona Lazarevich left for Israel, worked as a doctor for many years, but never renounced his homeland. Today he is 91 years old, but he is still young at heart.When in 2012, among the veterans, the military attaché at the Russian embassy presented him with the next anniversary awards, the ruffy hero read the following verses:

By the will of fate and politicians, today these people live in different countries, but they all fought for one Great Victory. AND photographs of WWII veterans from 15 former Soviet republics a vivid reminder of both unity and that Victory.

Popular by topic