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News

Recognition of the Writer’s Merits by the Scientific Community of the GDR

13.01.2016

On January, 10, it is the 50th anniversary of awarding M.A.Sholokhov the Diploma of Honorary Philosophy Doctor of Leipzig Karl Marx University.

The University of Leipzig is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second old university in Germany. They are associated with the names of Goethe, Leibniz, Nietzsche, Schumann, Wagner; there are nine Nobel laureates among its graduates.

Philosophy Doctor Eberhard Bruning, Dean of the Faculty of Philology, and Doctor Erhard Hexelschneider, Head of the Department of Russian and Soviet Literature, came from Leipzig to Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya to hand in the Diploma to the writer.

The guests stayed in the house of M.A.Sholokhov, went sightseeing about the stanitsa and visited the secondary school and cinema.

The secretary of the Vyoshenskaya District Committee of the Soviet Union Communist Party V.E.Rubtsov remembered: “The ceremony of handing in the honorary Diploma took place in the House of Culture. The house was overcrowded. Professor Bruning handed in the Diploma. He made a brief speech, where he said about the outstanding literary skill of M.A.Sholokhov, his influence on the world literature development and Sholokhov’s merits in strengthening peace between peoples.”

In his answer M.A.Sholokhov said: “Awarding me the academic rank by any bourgeois country and awarding me the same rank by the university of the fraternal socialist state are different things for me. If in the first case I am awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Laws in a bourgeois country, it is simply recognition of my literary skill and my writing achievements I have got in the field of literature. Another thing is when I am awarded this academic title by the people of the same political thinking, the people aspiring to the same goals and ideals as our Soviet people. This recognition is incomparably dearer for me. <…>

Besides, I would like to say taking advantage of your stay here, that as soon as possible, when on a visit to the GDR, I will deem it my duty to visit your University. <…>

Thank you all who have come here to honour me on this notable day for me.”

On that day the writer sent his handwritten autograph of wishing happiness and success to the students of the Leipzig University.

 

Yelena Popova