In Honour of Russia - Mary Lane
This is one of two surviving fragments from the BBC's special night of programming, In Honour of Russia which was also broadcast on the Forces Programme. Mary Lane, who had lived in the USSR for more than half her life, describes her experiences of war there. Mary describes the Russians' hatred for the Germans and the serious attitudes held by the "tough" and "ruthless" Russians in solidarity with the men at war, in contrast to the more light-hearted British. She also describes the commitment and enthusiasm with which women, children and old people supported the war effort. Sharing the experiences of herself and one of her friends, she gives a personal account of life in Moscow at the outbreak of war.
In July 1941, after the German invasion of Russia, instructions came to evacuate 1.5 million women and children from Moscow. However, many orders for evacuation came too late and the infrastructure was not in place to deal with such a mass movement in population, so many people returned to or remained in Moscow.