Martin Roemers

, RUSSIA

Valeriy Nezemskiy (b. 1932 in the USSR) was blinded during the Second World War (WWII). 'Valodya, the twelve-year-old boy next door, was ill. His mother asked if I could bring a book for him from school. When I came to his house with the book, he had something in his hand. He said, 'Look at what I've got' and gave it to me. It was a black metal object about twenty-five centimetres long and two to three centimetres thick. Valodya told me that it was part of a tractor. I gave it back and it exploded as he was still holding it. Nothing was left of Valodya. I got fragments in my face and was flung against the wall by the blast. I couldn't hear anything. I felt blood and then lost consciousness. The tractor part turned out to have been a bomb detonator. Valodya had stolen four of them from a poorly guarded ammunition dump in our village. I later heard that he was always hanging around there. I think he knew that it was ammunition but he just didn't say so. Later I studied Law. I work as a lawyer for the VOS institute for the blind in Moscow. I'm also the chairman of War Echo, an organisation for civilian victims of war.'

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Martin Roemers
City
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RUSSIA
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