War spares no one. The young and the old, females and males, the sick and the healthy, we are all the same in the eyes of war. We’re all just small bugs who can die any second. And he raises this painful and appalling topic not without reason.

The thing is that Prabook is about to launch a new campaign dedicated to World War II. We want to honor the memory of its warriors by telling their stories and sharing them with millions of other people around the world. And we will be grateful if you join this campaign. All you are to do is to write the story of your grandfather or grandmother or any other relatives who took part in hostilities. Details coming soon, so stay tuned for more!

And today we want to recall a world-known Belarusian painter, Mikhail Savitsky. When still a schoolboy, Mikhail Savitsky became fascinated with art, helping to decorate Kokhanov High School, which he finished in 1940. His dream to study painting in Vitebsk did not come true, as he had to help his parents in the village.

On September 12, 1940, eighteen-year-old Komsomol member Mikhail Savitsky was conscripted into the Red Army. He came a long way from an assistant to a deputy commander and saw things that changed his forever.

From the end of October 1941 to the end of June 1942 the Red Army man Savitsky fought to death with his comrades to protect the Black Sea port blockaded by the Nazis from land and sea. Many years later the artist created a dramatic painting The Oath of Sevastopol Defenders (1985). He dedicated it to his fellow soldiers who had fallen and those, who had stayed alive.

Wounded Savitsky was taken the prisoner on July 4, 1942. Then the hell started: transit camps in Bakhchysarai and Nikolaev, Simferopol prison, the 326th Stalag, a labor POW camp in Diisseldorf, the concentration camps of Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora (a division of Buchenwald, near Nordhausen), quarries in Thuringia, punishment isolation cells, and finally the last circle of Dante’s Inferno – the Dachau concentration camp near Munich.

The allied troops liberated the camp on April 29, 1945. Prisoner 32815, Mikhail Savitsky, was found unconscious, almost breathless… He survived against all odds. After the treatment and appropriate examinations in a special filtration camp of the NKVD (the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs), he served in the 6th Guards Air Defence Artillery Division as a graphic designer. He was demobilized in early December 1946 and studied in Minsk and then in Moscow. His graduation painting Song created a furor among the members of the State Commission.

Since then, Mikhail Savitsky has created a great number of astonishing paintings depicting military scenes. Even today, he remains one of the greatest masters of contemporary art in the history of Belarus. His creative work makes up one of the brightest pages of the national culture.

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