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News

“I did not Let Your Book out of My Hands…”

12.02.2016

On February 14, it is the 73d anniversary of liberation of Rostov-on-Don from German fascist invaders. Among the numerous letters of the soldiers, who fought at the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, there is a letter from Nikolai Petrovich Pavlov, a fighter for Rostov.

In his letter of December 14, 1947, N.P.Pavlov writes: “…Mikhail Alexandrovich!  Excuse me, please, for bothering you reading my letter. I want to tell you sincerely what I have kept in my heart since my young years. In 1937 already, when I was a schoolboy, I heard about your book “And Quiet Flows the Don”. It was highly praised by the readers, and I liked reading from my childhood and wanted to read your book very much. But no matter how hard I tried, my efforts were in vain, I could not find your book. In 1941, when there was a violent struggle and the Germans approached my native land of Northern Caucasus, I, aged 14, went to the front as a volunteer together with my friends from the orphanage.

…In 1943, after a fierce battle for Rostov-on-Don, I was slightly wounded. I was taken to a big city library. My wounded fellows tore and burned the books (to get warm; the note of the author). Among the numerous books I found the first book of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”. Since then I went through four fronts, was three times wounded and contused at the fourth time, but even in hospital I did not let your book out of my hands.

I am an orphan, was raised in the orphanage, and in your book I seemed to find my relatives. I could not only read it, I talked with it, joked with it, enjoyed it, endured all serious pains, all the moments of life…”

There are lots of letters from the veterans thanking Mikhail Alexandrovich for his books and sharing their innermost things with him. They are especially valuable for us, as they tell about the feelings of the people, who suffered many hardships and still retained the ability to enjoy life and to empathize.

 

Yekaterina Karbysheva