April 30th

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The Battle of Berlin, called the Berlin Offensive Operations for the Russians, was the final battle during World War II. Russian troops came in surrounding the capitol from the North, East, and South. Day by day, they got closer to the capitol. Germany was on its last leg, its military depleted and starving, but they kept fighting. On April 20th, Hitler’s birthday, the Russians began shelling the city at a rapid pace, destroying everything in sight. On April 30th, though, Hitler and seven other high commanders committed suicide, or at least, that’s what they tell you. It began as we were battling the Germans, bombs flying and guns going off, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, the Fuhrerbunker (FHQ). As a soldier, Kuznetsov, my commander, has instructed us on multiple occasions to attack the headquarters. I could tell nobody saw the building. They were more focused on blasting the enemy’s troops than their surroundings. My gut instinct and increased curiosity told me I was going to make a run for it. Ducking behind some piles of debris, I crossed battle fields into enemy territory. I quickly got behind a building and slowly made my way over. I could see headquarters as my heart began pounding. Paranoia became a constant companion with every turn leading me to expect my death. I jumped into a broken window into a dark, empty room. I heard a whimper and immediately turned around to find a German soldier, wounded and dying. I raised my gun, and put him out of his misery. I made quick use of time, and snuck behind the headquarters and through the back door. I realized I was in a hallway, but I could hear Germans talking and coming closer, so I ran into the nearest unlocked room and crouched in a corner behind some equipment. Sudd... ... middle of paper ... ...their mangled bodies. Even though reports came out, everyone said it was just a mass suicide mission. Nobody ever guessed that it was the commanders. Rumors were spreading that Stalin was involved, but Stalin shut it down. In the end, nobody ever found out what happened and why it was so bloody. Sitting on the cold floor of my apartment in Omsk, U.S.S.R. thirty years later, I began contemplating April 30th. I never regretted my decisions during the war. I am proud of Mother Russia and am proud to be serving it. I do wonder, though, what would have happened if I told others? Would it have made a difference? Because the seven who died were so evil, would anyone care? Would they believe a low-ranked soldier like me? All of these are valid questions, but none of these matter. The only question that matters is whether one can live with their self if they kept it in.
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