A wartime love story

Statue commemorates wartime lovers separated for 60 years

Italian prisoner of war and Ukrainian forced labourer were separated after falling in love during the second world war

It may go down as one of the longest love affairs in history – and certainly one with the most inauspicious beginnings, starting as it did in a concentration camp more than 70 years ago in Austria.

It was there that Luigi Pedutto met Mokryna Yurzuk. He was an Italian prisoner of war, she was a Ukrainian forced labourer with a young daughter born in the Nazi camp near the town of Sankt Pölten, northeastern Austria. She brought him food, he sewed hats and clothes to impress her in return. They fell in love, but when the camp was liberated in 1945, Yurzuk was sent back to Ukraine. Pedutto was not allowed to join her.


a labourer -

to go down as -

inauspicious -

to sew -

in return -

to join -

so-called -

can't help -

to unveil -

tough (adj) -

to reward -

to endure -

a bystander -

weak (adj) -

a strand of hair -

to venture to do stg -

to seek (sought, sought) -

foreign (adj) -

courtship (n) -

a chore -

down to earth (adj) -

to give up -


A statue commemorate wartime lovers who were seperated for 60 years.

An Italian prisoner of war and a Ukrainian forced labourer were separated after falling in love during the second world war.

What's the difference between for and during?

How long were they seperated for?      For 60 years.

When did they fall in love?      During the war.

We use for with durations of time (a week, a fortnight, 5 minutes, 3 months...)

During is followed by nouns (the lesson, the film, the summer holidays...)

Spotlight on Vocabulary:

After unveiling the monument, Pedutto couldn't help crying.

If you can't help doing something, it means that you are not able to control or stop it.


A: Stop yawning like that.        B: I can't help it. I'm exhausted.

I know I shouldn't have but I couldn't help laughing. Her expression was hilarious.

Wise men say

Only fools rush in

But I can't help falling in love with you

Shall I stay?

Would it be a sin?

But I can't help falling in love with you

What other love stories do you know?

What do you think is the greatest love story of all time?


Montse said…
Hi, Graham. How are you?. I hope you feel better. I think my last comment was lost… In it I told you that you’re the second English teacher I know that suffered appendicitis. So, there must be something wrong with English appendices. We can meet for a coffee when you come back to work, before the classes finishes, if you want.

a labourer – un obrero

to go down as – considerarse como

inauspicious – desfavorable, adverso.

to sew - coser

in return – en agradecimiento, a cambio

to join – unir, unirse

so-called – así llamado

can't help – no poder evitar

to unveil – desvelar, descubir

tough (adj) – duro, resistente, difícil (en este caso)

to reward - recompensar

to endure – sufir, padecer, sobrevivir, aguantar, tolerar

a bystander – espectardor, transeúnte

weak (adj) - débil

a strand of hair – hebra, hilo,(in this case: una mecha de pelo)

to venture to do stg – atreverse a hacer algo

to seek (sought, sought) - buscar

foreign (adj) - extranjero

courtship (n) - noviazgo

a chore – tarea rutinaria

down to earth (adj) – con los pies en la tierra

to give up – rendirse

Se usa “during” para referirse al tiempo o al momento en que se desarrolla una acción y contesta a la pregunta When…?

“For” se utiliza cuando se especifica la duración de la acción y contesta a la pregunta How long…?
Graham said…
Hi Montse,

I'm still off sick. It's coming up for a month since I had the operation.

I think you have translated the words correctly. Did you know most of them already / Could you guess the meaning from the context?

I like your definitions of for/during - I might use them in class from now on :-)

Let's meet up one morning this month. I'll let you know when I can.

Montse said…
Hi, Graham. I’ve been reading English books lately and I can tell how my vocabulary grows step by step. There are words that I can guess by the context but I prefer to look them up to confirm its meaning.
Feel free to use the definitions of for /during, they aren’t mine. I had trouble to convey that I meant so I looked it on internet. I really like them too.
The guys send you regards and we all hope you feel better.
Graham said…
Hi Montse,

My doctor told me I could go back to work. This week will be really tough.

There are words that I can guess from the context but I prefer to look them up to confirm their meaning.

I had trouble conveying what I meant so I looked it up on internet.

See you soon.