Hungarian Rom fights as volunteer in the Red Army
Vasilij Tyrpak (1926–45) was a Hungarian Rom from Transcarpathia, which until 1939 belonged to Czechoslovakia and today is part of Ukraine. In the early stages of the war he supported the anti-fascist partisans. When the Red Army conquered Transcarpathia in 1944, he joined as a volunteer. The letter to his mother reveals pride in the military successes gained by the Soviet troops against the German army and the expectation of imminent victory. At the same time, the nineteen-year-old soldier is worried about his mother, who was living in constant danger back in Carpathia.
Vasilij Tyrpak did not live to see the end of the war. In April 1945 he was declared missing in action. It is possible that he died in the Battle of the Seelow Heights, fought from 16 to 19 April 1945. The remains of missing German and Soviet soldiers are still being found and recovered today at the site of the battlefield, close to the Brandenburg town of Seelow.
As the document here shows, in the original the last sentence continues, but the final line at the bottom is missing. The only writing on the back of the letter was the address.