When Anna married Boris, she was the happiest woman in Russia. The young couple had fallen deeply in love and despite the ravages of war were dreaming about starting a life together and building a family. Just three days after their wartime wedding and the couple would be separated by conflict for decades to come.
More recently, when Anna paid a visit to her home village of Borovlyanka in Siberia where she had been exiled from, she saw an old man getting out of a car and thought he looked familiar.
The second world war may have been raging while Anna and Boris were like two young lovebirds totally infatuated with each other. They tied the knot at a humble ceremony in 1946, just after the war had ended but then Boris was dispatched to another part of the country. Their new union was extremely short-lived.
Boris, as an avid supporter of the Communist party at the time, was also a member of the Red Army. He knew it was always on the cards that he could get transferred far away at the drop of a hat, but he never expected that to happen just three days after he got married. The couple said their goodbyes, unsure if their paths would ever cross again.
Enemy of the State
Unfortunately, at the time, Anna’s father had been given the notorious designation of “enemy of the state.” As a result of that, both Anna and her mother were sent into exile with the remainder of their family right on the other side of Siberia. Anna missed Boris deeply and felt totally at odds not having him around.
Anna explained, according to a New York Daily News report: “I threatened to commit suicide rather than go because I couldn’t live without him,” she said, “but in the end, I was forced to go. It was the most miserable time of my life,” she recalled. She was also lead to believe that Boris had forgotten about her even though that was a lie.
Return to Sender
Due to her precarious predicament, Anna’s mother refused to let her daughter leave a forwarding address for Boris should he ever return for her. Boris did make it home to find his young bride at one point but she had vanished, and he wouldn’t set eyes on her again for many years ahead.
As Boris explained to the press, “Nobody knew where they were, or what had happened to Anna. That’s how we lost any track of each other,” he explained. At the same time, Anna was talked into remarrying, and Boris eventually found a new wife years later. it seemed as if these two would never meet again.
Many years passed and with the passage of time both Anna and Boris buried their respective second spouses. They often thought about each other over the years but never dared to dream about ever laying eyes on each other again. So much time had passed, so much had changed.
One day, decades after the couple had been separated, Anna went to visit her old house in Borovlyanka as she had wanted to for many years. Coincidentally, on the very same day, Boris was in the same place on a visit to his parent’s graves. Anna explained the uncanny coincidence in more detail.
“I thought my eyes were playing games with me,” Anna explained. “I saw this familiar looking man approaching me, his eyes gazing at me. My heart jumped. I knew it was him. I was crying with joy,” she said. Meanwhile, Boris was equally as shocked as his first wife of just three days.
Boris, now 80, stepped out of a car and saw Anna standing next to her old house – the house where they had lived for the three days of their short-lived marriage. “I ran up to her and said: ‘My darling, I’ve been waiting for you for so long. My wife, my life.'” Boris recalled.
Having gotten over the shock of bumping into each other so randomly like that, Anna and Boris pulled an all-nighter, reminiscing about old times and sharing stories about the past 60 years. They spoke about how they had met when Boris was the secretary of the Young Communists and had to make a speech in the village.
Boris had spotted Anna standing with her friends and immediately fell for her in 1946. Her father had been sent away with her family to Siberia for refusing to work in a collective farm, but Boris still loved Anna. “I loved her and would always defend her,” he recalled.
Boris explained that during one vacation for a home visit he was devastated not to find Anna there waiting for him as she had always been before. “She was always waiting for me when I came home, but this time there was no sign of her,” he said. “Nobody knew where they were, or what had happened to Anna,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the new Siberian village, Anna’s mother forced her to remarry and told her that Boris had remarried. “She said he had forgotten about me – that’s why no letters came,” Anna recalled. But she missed Boris deeply and never forgot that he was her true love.
One day when Anna arrived home from her work at a timber plant, she caught her mother trying to remove any trace of Boris. “I didn’t believe it, and I longed for him so much. But one day I got back home from work at a timber plant, and my mum had burned all his earlier letters, poems, and pictures – including our wedding photographs,” she said in tears.
As Anna explained: “She told me this other man was coming to meet me – and that I should go out with him, and if I was lucky, he’d marry me,” she said. “I burst into tears and rushed into the yard. The world turned black for me. I wanted to die, and I got a clothesline and went into the hayloft intending to hang myself.” But Anna’s suicidal intentions came to nothing after he mother caught her.
Talking her Down
Anna’s life was saved by her mother on that day, despite what she had done to her and perhaps because of it. “My mother came in and slapped me in the face,” Anna said. “She told me not to be so stupid. She persuaded me to go out with this man, Nefed, and gradually he and my mother persuaded me that this was where my future lay.”
Having met in the village in such a random way, Boris, who had worked as a writer throughout his life, told Anna that he wanted to marry her again. She resisted the proposition at first, but Boris soon talked her around. “What’s the point, I said, we can just live together they rest of our lives? But he insisted. I never thought I’d be a bride at my age, but it was my happiest wedding,” Anna said; this time through tears of joy.
Anna and Boris are thrilled to be back together and are not wasting any time on the trivial things in life. “Since we found each other again,” Anna said. “I swear we haven’t had a single quarrel. We’ve been parted for so long and who knows how much is left for us, so we just don’t want to lose time on arguing.”
Despite the ravages of war and the vengefulness of the Communist regime, both Anna and Boris are examples of truly remarkable people. Having only been married for three days before being separated by war, these two people never stopped loving each other and in their hear of hearts never gave up hope that they would one day meet again.