Soldier's mother Stepanova Epistinia Fedorovna: biography, family, photo
In the Great Patriotic War, people fought in the front lines, worked in the rear, set records in industrial production and agriculture. All the forces were directed only to victory. Mothers sent their husbands and sons to the front, hoping for an early return and victory. Years of waiting dragged on. This is a real feat of mothers. Many are known Stepanova Epistinia Fedorovna, it is about it you can read in this article. She is a special woman who gave life to her sons-soldiers.
Epistinia and Mikhail Stepanov
Born in 1882 in Ukraine Stepanova Epistinia Fedorovna. Photo of a woman can be found in museums. From childhood she lived with her family in the Kuban. From a young age the girl began to work in farm laborers: she went after the cattle, grazed the birds, cleaned the bread.
With her husband Mikhail Nikolayevich Stepanov (1878 - 1933) met only during the matchmaking. He worked as a foreman in the collective farm. Later, the Stepanov family lived on the farm of May 1 (Olkhovsky farm). They had 15 children, but because of childhood illnesses and high infant mortality, tragic accidents, only 9 sons and one daughter were alive. They lived together, respected and helped each other. Stepanova Epistina Feodorovna is a mother-heroine, not every woman can give birth to fifteen children in her entire life and raise ten of them worthy people.
The fate of Stepanov's sons
The woman shed a lot of tears, escorting her own children to the front. But despite this, Stepanova Epistinia Fedorovna was very strong, whose biography was published many times by Russian museums. The fate of the nine sons has developed in different ways:
- Alexander (1901 - 1918). He was killed by the Whites for helping the Red Army soldiers.
- Nicholas (1903 - 1963). He left for the front as a volunteer in August 1941. Places of Battle: North Caucasus, Ukraine. Received in October 1944 a heavy shrapnel wound to his right leg. The fragments were not extracted, some remained. He returned from the war, Stepanova Epistina Fedorovna met him. He died from the consequences of wounds.
- Vasily (1908 - 1943). He was shot by the Germans in December 1943. He was buried in the village of Sursko-Mikhailovka.
- Philip (1910 - 1945). He died on February 10 in a fascist camp for prisoners of war.
- Fedor (1912 - 1939). He died at the battle of the Khalkhin-Gol river. He was awarded the medal "For Courage" (posthumously).
- Ivan (1915 - 1943). In the autumn of 1942, he was taken prisoner and was shot by the Germans. He was buried in the village of Drachkovo.
- Ilya (1917 - 1943). He died in July 1943 during the Battle of the Kursk Bulge. He was buried in the village Afanasov.
- Paul (1919 - 1941). Disappeared without a trace, defending the Brest Fortress in the first hours of the war.
- Alexander (1923 - 1943). He died heroically in 1943 near Stalingrad. Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously).
Episthenia Fedorovna collected sons for the front, packing their clothes with love and hoping for an early return. One by one she followed me off from the outskirts of the village. The road first went flat, then rose a little up the slope. The outgoing man was seen for a long time, to the smallest detail. Heavy forebodings and longing with every son on the road became more and more. They were left alone with their daughter Valya to wait for their sons.
She trembled with anticipation of news from the front Stepanova Epistinia Fedorovna. My daughter supported my mother in every possible way and helped with housework.
All the war years she waited for news from her sons. At first the sons wrote often, they promised to return soon. And then the letters were gone. Mother was languishing in anticipation, worried about the fate of her sons. The occupation lasted for six months. In the spring of 1943, the Krasnodar Territory was liberated. First came the delayed news from their sons. And then funerals began to come one by one.
My mother did not wear a black kerchief for a long time, she was waiting for news from her sons, she believed that they were alive. Every time at the sight of a postman rushing to the house, his mother's heart was anxiously clenched. What is there - joyful news or sorrow? And each time, receiving another notice of death, the heart of the mother received a deep bleeding wound. Up to the last Stepanova Epistinia Fedorovna remained strong. Family for a woman was of particular importance, so bury the sons was scary and madly hurt.
An ordinary Soviet woman
The Stepanov family became known only after the war. Epistinia Fedorovna was one of the first Soviet women to receive the Order "Mother Heroine". A biographical book was written about her and her sons, a thematic museum was opened. The collected things of all nine sons can not be called a dry word "exhibits for the exhibition." After all, every thing brought, every preserved object is the memory of a soldier's mother. They are all imbued with love and reciprocal tenderness, with respect of sons.
The museum has collected everything preserved and preserved by the mother, despite the time of occupation: a thin notebook of Ivan's poems, Vasiliy's favorite violin, a small handful of earth from Alexander's grave. The letters from the sons sent from the front line, from the hospitals and the front line, help to feel the atmosphere of goodwill and respect. Reading the lines of letters, imagine the image of a son writing a letter and conveying greetings and wishes.
Cinema about the mother
A short film about Epistinia Feodorovna was filmed, which is shown every day on a small screen in a thematic museum. The film is not artistic, but documentary, no frills. But, in spite of the absence of special effects and footage of the newsreel of military operations, the film picks up its emotional component to the most secret corners of the soul. The main character is an elderly woman. Dressed simply, the head is covered with a white kerchief. Stepanova Epistinia Feodorovna simply and leisurely talks about her life. This film is a monologue, there is no room for superfluity.
Begins the story of that wonderful time when a number of sons and daughters grew up. Simple words spoken by a woman penetrate the soul. Involuntarily you begin to empathize. A quiet monologue is addressed to each viewer. Happiness is filled with her eyes, all wrinkles are smoothed out, she seems to shine from the inside. Hands and look for the head of a little son with soft and fluffy hair, to stroke, embrace. Smoothly the story passes at a time when she saw off her sons. Willy-nilly you feel the same weight on the heart with which the mother parted with her sons. How she rejoiced at every news, as if for a few minutes returning to that happy time. And how I did not want to believe that my sons were dead.
A lump in the throat and tears in front of the audience appear from the silence in the hall when the mother begins a story about how she was told about the end of the war and she ran to meet the soldiers. With an intermittent trembling voice, bringing the ends of the kerchief to her eyes, she leads a slow story. With what pain is the last phrase said: "All the sons go, but mine is not and no." Everyone who watches a film, hears a soft story of his mother, believes in good. This short film was able to convey all the feelings of the mother: happiness, the pain of separation, the bitterness of expectation and the great pain of loss.
Portrait in the museum
When you look at a black-and-white photograph in a thematic museum, you see a simple woman with an amazing look, radiating calmness and wisdom. The only picture is taken already in the elderly, but it is he who conveys all the nuances of the state of the mother's soul. Quiet and quiet life, filled with the expectation of sons, lived Stepanova Epistinia Feodorovna. Anxiety, anxiety and cruelty did not break her, did not harden the loving heart.
The mother of all soldiers
After the war, she received a large amount of correspondence, many people sent her letters. And each person found exactly those words for Feodorovna Epistina that resonated with the feelings of the mother. A letter from soldier Vladimir Lebedenko, in which he asked for permission to consider Epistina Fedorovna as her mother, helped to find new forces and feel her demand. She carried faith in good and hope for the best through her whole life.
Epistina Fedorovna in recent years lived with the family of the only daughter of Vali in Rostov-on-Don. But I missed my house, where happy times passed. By the village in which all the hard life of the soldier's mother was. She died on February 7, 1969. With the provision of military honors was buried in the village of Dneprovskaya. The memorial established at the burial site unites the entire Stepanov family.
In 1977, for her services to the Fatherland, she was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree (posthumously). The Stepanovs' family continues, it now has in addition to direct descendants - about 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
It is difficult to feel all the emotions and feelings of a mother who survived almost all her children. This is a real feat mother-heroine, who blessed the military exploits of her sons, who did not lose faith and hope. It becomes proud when you realize that there are such mothers as Stepanova Epistinia. Sons, photos of which are kept in museums, undoubtedly loved it and respected it.