If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

The story of one photo. Rakhmetzhan Shakhmetov

The story of one photo. Rakhmetzhan Shakhmetov - e-history.kz

The Great Patriotic War is a common incurable pain of people.

The Great Patriotic War is the most difficult period in the history of the Soviet Union. Seventy years have passed since the end of that war, but every family still remember those who brought us the Great Victory.

The history is gradually moving from the years of the war. A new generation of people has grown up. The war for them is just memories of those who participated in the fights and experienced all difficulties and horrors of the terrible war. Years are passing and the witnesses of the war are passing away.

The memory of the Great Patriotic War is sacred. We have to preserve it because the soldiers and officers — our veterans, protected our Motherland, defeated fascism and strangled Nazism. We would never have this happy and peaceful life without their great love to the country, trust, fearlessness and sacrifices. They fought against the enemy for the peace in the world. Therefore, it is necessary to preserve the memory of the years of that war. There is no future without the past.

In 1941, the war brought sorrow to each family. But nobody could even imagine that they had to forget their peaceful and happy life for four years. All men who were able to fight went to the front. And the whole nation rose up to defend the Motherland. Posters and slogans "The Motherland Calls" were everywhere. That was a common goal.

My dear grandfather Rakhmetzhan Shakhmetov was among the defenders of our country.


When the Great Patriotic War started he served as a part of the 84th Motorized Rifle Division under the command of Colonel Karamyshev in Mongolia. The war met my grandfather there. He was sent to an infantry school and after the graduation went to the front.

With pain in his soul, Rakhmetzhan Shakhmetov tells about the difficult days that he spent in war. He fought on Volkhovsky front and participated in the battle for the liberation of the city of Novgorod. He remembers the situation in the liberated city: stones instead of buildings and no one alive around. Fascists killed all men and sent women and children to Germany.

My grandfather recalls one occasion. Together with fellow soldiers he was sent to conduct the reconnaissance mission and capture a German soldier or officer who could provide necessary information. It was not so simple because the Germans were also on high alert. Rakhmetzhan Shakhmetov says that he still remember that day. It was pitch-dark. Suddenly, the Soviet military group saw a German who slept in a trench. He was captured, but the Germans noticed them and started firing. On that day, Rakhmetzhan Shakhmetov lost two friends and was wounded. But the task was accomplished.

When my grandfather tells his stories I often can see tears in his eyes. Each time he recalls the war his shoulders flinch and the voice is full of pain and sorrow.

My grandfather survived the war and returned home. He became a teacher of history and married my grandfather. They have seven children.

My grandfather and his fellow soldiers fought in the war for peace in the world. He doesn’t consider his actions were a feat and believes that he simply protected his Motherland.

I am grateful to them — all shy, brave and strong soldiers, who gave us the peaceful and happy life.

Today my grandfather is a 94-year-old man. He was invited to participate in the military parade dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory over fascism.


Thank you, dear grandfather! I am grateful to all veterans of the Great Patriotic War! We live in this world thanks to all of you.

Almat Zamanbek,
grade 10 student of the Secondary School named after Zhambyl,
the village of Yesbol, Atyrau region