Panin Nikolay Evstafyevich (1924–1943) during his service two times was taken prisoner and managed to run away. Upon his return from captivity he was in penal battalion. He died in 1943 near Vitebsk.
In 1941 when he turned to 17 in order to go to the front he added one year to his actual age. He was sent to regimental school upon termination of which was entitled the sergeant. Then he was transferred to the regiment which was created from mobilized soldiers. In October 1941, in the letter to his parents he wrote: "Anniversary of 4th month of war is coming. Winter comes. Germans in some parts of sections retreating forces back, but still persistent as a bull. The enemy is really strong. But, never mind, he will run like Napoleon…"
The next letter was send on April 16, 1942 from the following address: Moscow region, Savelovskaya railway, Dolgoprudnaya station, Vinogradovo village, mailbox No. 100. Nikolay reported that he was in village Gorki of Moscow region (15-17 km from Moscow) and that he protects entrances to Moscow. We lived in dugouts, slept on plank beds and "overcoat served us as blanket and mattress".
After second letter he did not write anything for a year and half. Possibly, at this time he was in captivity.
Third and last letter was sent in September 25, 1943 from the city of Gorky. In the letter he did not described about those difficulties that he had to face as he really worried about his parents, but he briefly mentioned following: "…and how many times I was within a stone’s throw of death, and silently was thinking about you, dear mother and father. But I did not die, although some people wanted it. They were wrong, and I remained alive…"
Next letter he could not able to write. And latter his parents received letter where was written that their son died in fights near Vitebsk. The name of Nikolay Panin is engraved on the monument of Walk of Fame in the park named after Abay in Shymkent.
Photo was sent by Nikolay Panin from the front in autumn of 1941.
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