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“Let Me Congratulate You on the Holiday of Victory Day…”

05.05.2017

On May 9, our country will celebrate the 72d anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. M.A.Sholokhov went through the whole war as a war correspondent for the Sovinformbureau, the newspapers “Pravda” and “Krasnaya Zvezda”. The war left a hard imprint on the fate of the writer.

In the stores of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov and in the archives of the writer’s family there are a lot of letters to M.A.Sholokhov. At present, the workers of the A.Gorky Institute of the World Literature and of the National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve keep working over the project of the Russian Humanitarian Scientific Foundation (RHSF) “Readers’ Letters to M.A.Sholokhov” to result in scientific publication of the readers’ reviews on the works by M.A.Sholokhov.

Most of the letters concern the theme of the Great Patriotic War. These are letters of the war years containing reviews of the works by M.A.Sholokhov about the war, confession letters of the people who survived the horrors of the war, responses of the veterans who took part in those tragic events.

The veterans thanked M.A.Sholokhov for the works about the Great Patriotic War, asked for his assistance in acquiring his books and for his help. The writer tried to answer and help each of them. Here are some of the letters from the archives of the Sholokhovs family (all they are published for the first time):

“Dear Mikhail Alexandrovich! Your reader, a retired officer Georgy Konstantinovich Dokuchayev, is writing to you. I am fond of literature and read a lot. When a teenager, before the war, I read your novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”. During the war, when I was at the South-Western 3d Ukrainian front, I read your “Science of Hatred”, the chapters of the novel “They Fought for Their Country”. After the war I read both of the parts of your novel “Virgin Soil Upturned”. Then I read your remarkable story “The Fate of a Man”. Allow me, please, to congratulate you on the occasion of the coming holiday of Victory, a memorable and exciting day for us, veterans of the Great Patriotic War. May 3, 1967. Lvov”;

Your works helped me in my youth, fostered my courage and inspired me to feats on the days of fighting against the German fascist invaders during the Great Patriotic War, they gave strength in military affairs in postwar years. Vasily Nikandrovich Kosarev. The Gorky Region, Linda Village. 1980”;

“Dear Mikhail Alexandrovich! I thank you sincerely for your concern for me. I was given your books “And Quiet Flows the Don” (volumes I and II) in Tuapse on 3.VII.1965, under the instruction of the chairman of the Krasnodar Territorial Executive Committee according to your letter. I wish you good health and every success in your life. Veteran of the Great Patriotic War, former front-line scout Gennady Matafanov”.

There are many letters telling about the veterans of the Great Patriotic War thanking the writer for his help. V.T.Bondarev writes to M.A.Sholokhov: “To the Lenin Prize winner, writer Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov from invalid of the Great Patriotic War Vladimir Terentyevich Bondarev. Dear and respected writer! I inform you that following the letter I sent to you about the unjust act of the Krasnodar Territorial Social Security Department on the problem of my car replacement, the car was replaced. Let me thank you sincerely and cordially for your kind responsiveness and help. I wish you the strongest health and vigor for years to come. As well, I wish you the best of success in your fruitful work for the benefit of our Motherland and people. The Krasnodar Territory, Stanitsa Starominskaya. 21.X.1976”.

Such letters from the archives of M.A.Sholokhov are especially valuable as the documents of the era.

 

Yekaterina Karbysheva 

The article is prepared under financial support of the Russian Humanitarian Foundation (RHSF). The project No 16-04-00166a.