There also was so much love and understanding - kissing the soil of a loving person's tomb is just not enough words to explain it. Women that wrote letters to Aleksievich said "...now I have to stop... I can not see what I am writing beacuse of my tears..." "thank you for making me remembering my youth again..."
Setting: I am reading this book on the train. Next to me and across are three English-speaking friends, aged ~60, which I see for the first time in my life. Doors are closing, when a young man manages to slide in last second and comes to stand next to us.
Man, ~25 (addressing Man 1, ~60): "It is like in Mission Impossible! I have come to exchange information with you in Russian." (Big smile.)
Man, ~60: "You got the wrong wagon. It is the next one."
Me: "I am actually the one speaking Russian." (I hold up the book.)
Man, ~60: "Is that in Russian? Are you studying Russian?"
Me: "No. I am Russian by origin. This is a book by Ukranian Svetlana Aleksievitch. She interviews people to find out what the world war really was like. It is not about how many weapons were produced, or dry numbers, but what actually happened." (Touching as hell.)
Man, ~60: "Which war?"
Me: "The second."
Man, ~60: "How many were killed?"
Me: "20 millions."
Woman, ~60: "I thought it was 10."
Man, ~60: "In the sixities, when your parents barely were born, one could order 100 grams of vodka, or 200 grams of Vodka. This was at the Metropolitan."
Me: "How strange that they said 'grams' and not 'milliliters'!"
Man, ~60: "But that is how they did it."
Me: "Did you know that 'water' in Russian is 'voda'?"
Man 2, ~60: "That is an expensive mistake to make."
Woman, ~60: "Where did you learn your English?" (Turns out she is British.)
Conclusion: read Russian books, everyone.