You are here

TV program Picture of the World fulfills dreams of 101-year WWII veteran

Nikolai Nikolaevich Vdovin, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, who never ceases to act and dream even at the age of 101, demonstrates wonderful love for life and the TV program Picture of the World helped him to realize two small but important ideas. Victoria Khodosok was the correspondent and organizer.

In this photo, the young Nikolai Vdovin is only 21 years old. WWII will begin for him in a few years. He remembers those times to the smallest detail. Names, surnames, and feelings. He did not forget anything. The front-line veteran passed all the way from Moscow to Vienna, and was wounded several times. Here on 50 square meters of the Great Patriotic War museum, created by Nikolai himself, there is the memory which has not been covered by dust. He happily brags about his exhibits and immediately admits...

Nikolai Vdovin, veteran of the Great Patriotic War:
I've been 100 times in the old museum. But I have not been in the new one. They say you need to go up and down there. I would like to visit it.

With greater impatience he goes to that museum. This is a dream he cherished long ago.

He immediately recognizes the legendary commander...

Nikolay Vdovin:
Chapaev!

With mathematical precision, he gives numbers...

Nikolay Vdovin:
720,000 were lost.

He especially remembers the battle against the Finns on the Karelian front. He is immersed in memories and recalls how a Soviet self-propelled gun pierced enemy tanks. And then he remembers the trenches...

Nikolay Vdovin:
All the houses were destroyed and all this went to trenches. The trenches were built on both sides. Stalin gave 100 or 200 planes. And they, at a signal, threw a ton on the Finnish trenches. The Finns went crazy. Only a dozen of them left.

Guide Ekaterina carefully listens to the front-line soldier. This is not a story from a textbook. It was his life. However, the veteran willingly shares not only memories. From time to time, he transfers valuable exhibits from his small museum to the funds of the state-run Great Patriotic War Museum.

Anna Galinskaya, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War:
He handed us a fork which he found in his garden in 1947. Here, in his recollections, tank units were located. This fork most likely belonged to some tankman. He handed us personal belongings of one of the female underground workers of Vitebsk, since she did not have any relatives, unfortunately. When she passed away he decided to transfer her belongings to our museum for storage.

Nikolay Vdovin:
I loved it all. Wonderful, wonderful! I compare with the old museum. I remember those exhibits. It is made fundamentally. Probably, there are no equal museums of WWII in the world. Such beauty!

We fulfilled another wish of Mr Vdovin, too.

Nikolay Vdovin:
It's a miracle. These are not old birdhouses but a palace.
Frontman Vdovin turned out to be a builder of bird houses with experience. There are dozens of them in his collection. True, with every passing year it is harder and harder to make these birdhouses. Therefore, the team of younger carpenters helps to attach and paint new birdhouses.

Artem Varapay, pioneer:
We must help those who need our help. Especially the veterans of the Second World War. With their help, we now have a clear blue sky above our heads. We live and have everything we need thanks to these people.

Tamara Gretskaya, pioneer:
He is very cheerful and very good person.

Sofia Zarapina, pioneer:
He told us a lot of interesting things, many new things. He even cited some poetry.

During the 101 years of a long, uneasy but interesting life Mr Vdovin has learned not to regret the past, to rejoice in every day and to believe that dreams come true. He continues to dream. About what? About happiness. After all, this happiness lies in such small things.

TV program Picture of the World fulfills dreams of 101-year WWII veteran