Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 28

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 28
Photo by Matias Luge / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 28 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here.

As Darensky looks out over the remnants of the battle, all he can see are abandoned German lorries and tanks, fleeing combatants, and frozen corpses. Today he starts to understand what it means when the narrator describes how “Terrible and sombre, a steel-clad Russia had turned her face to the West,” (p. 712).

Darensky witnesses some of his fellow soldiers mocking a German soldier. When he is kicked to the ground after crawling towards a colonel, Darensky sees how “The German looked up at the man who had just kicked him. His eyes were like those of a dying sheep; there was no reproach or suffering in them, nothing at all except humility,” (p. 713). Despite all the horrors committed by the Nazi forces, Darensky still feels a pang of humanity for this individual.