Sir Freddie






Q: You're a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. To what extent did that belief help and contribute to your actions during the airlift.

A: Oh the, the Church I belong to is sometimes called the Mormon Church, the Church of Jesus Christ, the Latter Day Saints. We're always taught to help other people. The organisation provides a relief all over the world no matter who the people are, and tornadoes or floods and sends things to 'em and as a young man I, I'd contribute, and help contribute to these efforts. And we're all, well we're taught to, that it's better to help somebody else, it's the best way. Well it's the feeling I had when we met the first Germans, of working together, of the human being, of serving somebody. And so it was a sort of a natural reaction. We've always said, been taught to thank people for things they've done for us and to honour other people's beliefs: the right to choose, the right to make their own decision their life, without any force. And so I think I at least, some Germans have told me they've known what church I belonged to that they don't think that I'd have done it if I hadn't of been an active member of the church that is used to helping relief operations and helping... As young man they start out to, with an older person and we have six - five to six families to visit every month, and the purpose? To see if they have any needs, and so that they can be helped. And as a very young man going around and seeing a widow with a bunch of kids and a need and the older person, "Now here's where we need people to help and bring in things for them. They need some more clothes, or they need something." I don't know, you kind of grow up with that I guess. And here in Russia I see there's a lady down, down there late at night or early in the morning shovelling the snow, off - even out in the street, working like mad, never looks up, and I started to talk to her and say "Thank you, for shovelling this side...." She's gets tears in her eyes because nobody, nobody even notice her. It's amazing to me that, that spirits out there. That we say they go around with a, here with a 'metroface'. I don't know what you can get from that, but the Metro is a fabulous Metro here in Saint Petersburg, fabulous. But get in that Metro and, no they're frozen. Frozen face, the people don't look at you. And I don't know, they're just frozen, and that's the way this lady was, shovelling snow. After last night I came back here at about ten o'clock at night. She was downstairs with buckets of sand, putting it on the ice. I don't know how she works. Had a candy bar and gave it to her and she couldn't believe it. She just wondered what was going on. Nobody's ever talked to her. But it's a feeling - people are people, I don't care where the borders are, what their nationality is: the system that gets to us. It's the system that, people, they get power hungry and they try and - you know, they just want everything themselves, selfishness. But it's great to be here in Russia and see their ..., it's crazy. Getting pushed on the Metro, I tell you, rush hour, you're very close to people, they just jam you on and here we are stuck between two Russian officers or soldiers and we looked at them from afar from the Berlin airlift period, and say, "Wow!" We see them far off and they're the adversary. And now we're scrunched together with Soviet military on the - Russian military on the Metro going back and forth. And all around us, it just gets my wheels that here, if I thought back during the Berlin airlift I'd been sitting here in St Petersburg in Russia - crunched together with the people who were in that uniform that we were adversaries with during this Cold War period: it's a fantastic experience for me, and my wife that's here with me, and meeting the Russian people and the warm spirit of those we meet in their homes. That's terrific. But you know, who'd ever thought, during the blockade I be here behind the Iron Curtain working with these people and talking to 'em about what should be your purpose in life? Why are you here anyway? What are we try

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