IamA 94 year old WWII Veteran who was conscripted by the Soviets, captured by the Germans, and emigrated to the United States, AMA.
Okay guys, Opa is done for the day! He is quite tired. I live far from Opa, but he is happy to continue answering questions in a couple weeks, when we are together again. We thank you so much for interacting with us! Opa had a blast!
My name is Mouna, and I’m here today with my Azerbaijani grandfather, Michael Mirson (born in Armenia as Mikhail Mirsayef). Opa (German for grandfather) not only has multifaceted perspective on the war, but with communist life in the USSR, post-war life in Germany, and American immigrant life. His experiences are unimaginable to someone like me, who has has lead a markedly different young adult life, from the man who raised me. His story has been featured on Azerbaijani television, and he did an IAMA post 2 years ago. These experiences were extremely emotional and rewarding for him, and he couldn’t be happier to go at it again. So please, ask away! I will be helping Opa answer all of your questions for the next two days. He goes to bed quite early (7 or 8PM eastern time), and will need some rests during the day, but is eager to interact with you all!
Here are some of his key life events:
- Born in 1920 (1922 on paper) on a prosperous Armenian family farm
- Experienced the communist takeover of his farm at 10 years
- Fled to Yerevan, Armenia for veterinary school
- Was conscripted to the Soviet Army in 1941
- Was injured by shrapnel and lost his finger in an explosion
- Was captured by the Germans in 1942
- Spent 3 months in a prison camp
- Was kept alive by his German captors to tend their wounded horses
- Marched to the American lines when the war ended (he was in Austria)
- Worked in a UNRA refugee camp
- Married and had two children in Germany
- Emigrated to the United States and had one more child
- Worked various jobs incuding a farmer, factory worker, and diner owner
- Finally was able to reunite with Azerbaijani family in the 70’s (they presumed him dead)
- Raised 2 of his 3 grandchildren (who lost their own father), and now has 3 great grandchildren!
- In his old age he has had a few health issues like a stroke, prostate cancer, and multiple joint replacement surgeries, but still walks 1 hour/day!
This is a photo of Opa in the Army:
Here is some identity proof:
Here is Opa on Azerbaijani TV:
Time for some lunch! We'll be back in a bit! Thanks everyone!
We're back in action, until Opa needs a rest!
Opa needs a rest. We'll do another quick segment after dinner, and we can come back tomorrow!
Tuesday morning, and we're back!