Wartime memories P.Afonin

“From Frunze via Moscow we were sent to the Kalinin Front. When I arrived I felt a distinctive smell of death and saw lots of white patches around…it took me some minutes to realise that they were bare feet of corpses…

Afonin, Vyborg, 1944

Afonin, Vyborg, 1944

Pavel Afonin spent about a month in a hospital near Vyborg after being wounded in the head. During treatment the artist made several portraits of wounded soldiers and officers.

“In the 1 st of the Leningrad front, we participated in the liberation of Gatchina, where at the last minute we managed to deactivate mines set in the Gatchina Palace, then fought to free Leningrad from the Siege and stormed Vyborg. There I was twice heavily wounded in the head by shrapnel. I survived thanks to a sudden cease fire – at that moment Mannerheim ordered to cease fire aimed at the Soviet troops. My comrade, the regiment’s doctor Vakhtang Kandalaki, helped me by swiftly operating on me at that time. On the same day, 5-10 minutes prior to the second injury, I accidentally met with my close friend Volodya Atanov. I remember that through the noise of the shells I suddenly heard the cry “Pasha!””.