I clearly remember the first "baptism". When walking around I've noticed that passerbys begun to bustle. They look at the sky. I see them, flying! Nine heavy German bombardiers are flying in V formation. Usually during this time everyone cramps closer to shelters, crevices. I as well ran towards my shelter. My dad built it in the yard. It was a real dugout - a trench, covered with wood and logs, showered with soil. There we were storing food, water, candles. In case we get tumbled down. We had an emergency exit. It rested against a fence. We were like gophers; we could watch what was happening on the street through the fence slots by leaning out of the shelter. Later, when the war entered the city, we saw the true value of our construction.
I was already in the yard when I heard the whistle of falling bombs, I ran into the house to warn my parents, and the first bombs began to blast right in our yard. We were about to run to the dugout; however, it was too late. It blasted so hard that it smashed all windows around Separate explosions merged into a single thunder. The house is all shaking. The floor was all of a dither. We holed up in a corner, behind a wardrobe. It drops on us. We hold it with our hands. Mom is crossing herself. Lamp shade is dangling under the ceiling. Plaster is crumbling on our heads. Chunks of soil and stone get in through broken windows. Stench of smoke and gas all over. The feeling of some dumb animal despair. And a thought: "May it end sooner! Any end would do, just end sooner!" When it all ended, we went out to the yard, we saw the yard completely gone. Logs all around. Freshly dug soil all over. The fence is on the ground. Wood hanging on wires. Smoke and burnt stink.
We came into senses and started to sort out: why this German was bombing us that hard, what kind of object did he find here? Realized really quickly: planes were attracted by a very tall pipe sticking out right next to our house. It belonged to a very small foundry. We, all residents of the street, were begging the principle of the "pipe" to take it away, so that it doesn't appeal the German planes as a tasty target. Principle was a dead set on it: "I can't, - he said, - I have a technological process bound to this pipe". We: "To hell with your processes, life of people is worthier". A bomb has settled our dispute. During the next bombing, the pipe was destroyed by a blast wave.