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Text B. Soviet Army Nurses — Winners of Florence Nightingale Medal

Mary Smirnova-Kukharskaya is a nurse who took part in World War II after finishing the secondary school. The lives of more than 400 wounded solgiers were saved by Smirnova-Kukharskaya. She was awarded the order of Lenin. The international organization of "Red Cross" awarded Mary the medal of Florence Nightingale.

The students of the medical secondary school in Kokchetav arranged1 a meeting with Mary Kukharskaya. After this meeting the students and the teachers of Kokchetav secondary school decided to collect the documents about the nurses who have been awarded the medal of Florence Nightingale. Thus the Museum of "Mercy and Courage"2 was opened at the medical secondary scool in Kokchetav. Before opening the museum the authorities3 of the International Organization of "Red Cross" in Geneva sent a letter to the Kokchetav secondary school. The letter read "If you set up"4 such a museum it will be unique".

Another Soviet woman who was awarded the medal of Florence Nightingale is Sophy Kuntsevich. 45 years ago the 17 year old girl managed to get herself5 into the Red Army. Sophy Kuntsevich was a village girl who was born and brought up in the countryside outside Minsk.

Buelorussia suffered greatly during the Greate Patriotic War. If France had its Oradour, Czechoslovakia its Lidice, Byelorussia has 627 Lidices — 627 villages were destroyed with their entire population. The Byelorussians have set up a moving (трогательный) memorial to all their desecrated6 villages at Khatyn, not far from Minsk.

Having overcome7 some difficulties because of her young age Sophy volunteered for the front. She had attended some first aid courses and became an army nurse. She was in the battlefields bandaging the wounded, carrying them to some safe8 place. Several times she herself was wounded and had to be hospitalized. Being at the. front in the Caucasus Sophy replaced the dead lieutenant [letent] of an army unit and gave commands in his name9 the act for which she was awarded an order. Though she was again badly wounded and it was decided to discharge her from the army on medical grounds she, now a lieutenant, took part in the westward offensive10. She finally got to Berlin on Victory Day and left an inscription on the Reichstag walls saying that "Sophy Kuntsevich the daughter of a Buelorussian smith", was here".


1. to arrange — устроить, организовать

2. Mercy and Courage [клпёз] — милосердие и отвага

3. authorities [o:'6ontiz]— администрация

4. to set up a museum — основать музей (a memorial) — (воздвигнуть памятник)

5. managed to get herself — удалось попасть

6. desecrated — оскверненные

7. having overcome — преодолев

8. safe — безопасный

9. in his name — от его имени

10. the westward offensive — наступление иа запад

11. smith — кузнец

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