This autumn I went to the village of Uvarovka in the west of the Moscow Region, where I have a house, which I’d bought by a lucky chance there from the local old-timers. Some apple-trees were still alive in the orchard. Under one of them, the oldest and the most crooked but still overgrown with “Antonovka” apples, I found a rusted German helmet with a bullet hole. Huge, bright apples were scattered around everywhere filling the garden with their fragrance. I gathered some apples into the helmet, brought
them into the house and pour them onto the bed. There were so many apples I kept gathering them and placing them on the bedcover. Suddenly I noticed something lying on the bed. That was Apfelmensch. Perhaps a German soldier died under this apple tree during World War II and they buried him right there, in a shallow grave under the apple tree. The remains of his body have enriched the garden soil and thus he has been feeding the appletree and its apples for many years now. So each apple contained a particle of that man. I gathered the apples into a basket, wrapping each one with dry moss and then waited till it was time to carry Apfelmensch to his homeland so that at least a small part of him, these tiny apple seeds return to his native soil where he had once been born as a human being.

Lepnid Tishkov,2006