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News

Beloved Sister of M.A.Sholokhov

31.03.2016

On April 1, it is the 110th anniversary of Mariya Petrovna Babanskaya (born Sholokhova), a daughter of Pyotr Mikhailovich Sholokhov, an uncle of the writer M.A.Sholokhov.

Mariya Petrovna was born on April 1, 1906, in Stanitsa Yelanskaya the Donetsk Okrug of the Don Army (Voisko Donskoye) Region. In 1917, Mariya Petrovna left parish school of Karghin and went to gymnasium in Ust-Medveditsa. She worked as primary teacher in the Rostov Region, headed kindergartens, acted as assistant director for the personnel, as bookkeeper and account executive in the collective farm “Karghinsky”. Her husband, K.D.Babansky, headed the collective farm and was a gifted leader. The Babanskys had two children: Yury (1927–1987) and Galina (1934).

M.P.Babanskaya remembered: “Misha Sholokhov (my cousin) and I were great friends. He would join me everywhere. He loved me dearly. Together we went to school, to the river…”

Mariya had a very good memory and a wonderful sense of humour. As well as Mikhail Sholokhov, she took part in the amateur performance club, was a talented actress and played comic roles brilliantly. In 1959, she managed to act in the film “Virgin Soil Upturned” (by the film director A.Ivanov). The actor P.Glebov, who performed the part of Polovtsev and is known as Grigory Melekhov in the film “The Quiet Don” by S.Gerasimov, presented Babanskaya with his photo with an inscription: “To dear Mariya Petrovna for a good memory of my visit to Karghinskaya and for your hospitality. With respect to you. Gr.Melekhov – P.Glebov. 4.03.1959.”

Mariya Petrovna was an all-round person, she wrote poetry, and six of her poems were published in the second volume of “Anthology of Modern Don Poetry” (Rostov-on-Don, 1996).

There was a lifelong warm family relationship between Babanskaya and Sholokhov. They often visited each other, phoned, corresponded, congratulated on all the holidays. Now the relatives of Mariya Petrovna keep 15 autographs of Sholokhov. And in the archives of the Sholokhovs there are many postcards and telegrams from the Babanskys. The brief, simple human greetings on the standard postcards bear so much warmth, care and love for M.A.Sholokhov and his family! For example, this is how Mariya Petrovna congratulated her cousin on his high award:

“Dear, beloved Misha! You are pride of ours. We congratulate you on awarding you the Lenin Prize. We sincerely thank our Government headed by Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchov for taking into consideration your well deserved, excessively hard intellectual work. Bless you, dear. We send our congratulations to your family. We kiss you a lot. Your Marusya and Kostya.”

And here is a birthday greeting: “Dear, beloved Misha! Happy birthday to you! We sincerely and cordially wish you a good health, wealth and long years of

happy and joyful life. We congratulate dear Marusechka, your children and grandchildren on the dear birthday boy. We kiss you a lot. Marusya Babanskaya.”

The last years of her life Mariya Petrovna lived in Shakhti with her daughter Galina. She died in 1994.

 

Nataliya Kirsanova