Khabar Agency team congratulates WWII veteran
45,000 residents of Karagandy region went to the front during the World War II, or the Great Patriotic War, as it was named in the USSR. 18,000 of them died in fierce battles, defending their homeland. Year by year there are less and less war veterans in Karagandy region that are still alive. To date, there are 67 war veterans living in the region.
Seraphima Ponomaryova is among them. Her father worked as an adviser to the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs – from the age of five Seraphima could speak German, English and French fluently. She was admitted to the Moscow Institute of International Relations, but she was able to graduate only after the war. Ponomaryova was called to the front to work as a translator when she was a first-year student. She served in the First Belorussian Front at the headquarters of the legendary Marshal Zhukov.
Ponomaryova was in Berlin when the World War II ended. She was working in the headquarters hospital when the order to attack the German capital came in late April 1945.
“Then a hundred of Katyusha rocket launchers were mounted, it seemed like everything, both earth and sky, was in fire. 648,000 soldiers of our army died in this battle. This victory was bloody for us,” Ponomaryova recalls.
Seraphima Ponomaryova took part in the Nuremberg trials of former leadership of the Nazi Germany.
“In the Soviet Union, the materials of the trials were classified for a long time. We all signed a non-disclosure agreement,” Ponomaryova notes.
For her military work, Seraphima Ponomaryova was awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War, first and second degree, as well as the medals ‘For the Capture of Berlin’ and ‘For the Liberation of Warsaw’.
Together with her husband, Ponomaryova returned to the Soviet Union in 1950. Seraphima completed her studies, which she began during the war. She graduated from the Moscow Institute of International Relations. Seraphima moved to Karagandy with her husband, who was a military man. She worked as a German teacher in the Karagandy schools for 20 years. She then worked in the Karagandy State Technical University for 35 years.
Ponomaryova has got four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Like all of the witnesses of the devastating war, Ponomaryova wished everyone the world peace, health and prosperity.