Saturday, May 26, 2007
Yuri Gagarin was born in the village of Klushino in the Smolensk region,
in the west of the Russian Federation. The cottage, smelling of freshly
planed wood and of apples, the expanse of river, the birch groves, the green
ocean of the never-ending Russian fields, the country roads running through
flowering rye and flax-all this was his world. At the end of summer, in 1941,
Yura, like the other children, was getting ready for school.
He was not yet able to understand properly the misfortune that
had befallen his country, and that was even then fast approaching his
own home. The war unleashed by Germany against the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941,
burst upon Klushino early on an autumn morning.