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M.A.Sholokhov: To General Secretary – about Topical Things

02.04.2018

Forty years ago, in March 1978, M.A.Sholokhov sent to L.I.Brezhnev, General Secretary of the CPSU, a letter speaking in defence of Russian culture, against belittling its role in the history of the country. Also, the writer spoke against pulling in anti-Russian ideas through TV and press, against humiliation of the Russian nation dignity, against destruction of Russian architectural monuments.

Having read the letter the General Secretary imposed a resolution: “To the Central Committee Secretariat. I ask you to consider it with the further consideration by the Political Bureau followed. 14.III.78.L.Brezhnev”. The letter was directed to the Central Committee secretary for ideology M.V.Zimyanin, who prepared a note for the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee.

Zimyanin noted that “the subject of the current state of Russian culture needs an in-depth and comprehensive consideration” and that the note of comrade Sholokhov “is, unfortunately, one-sided and subjective”. It was suggested that no discussion on the subject raised by M.A.Sholokhov should be opened.

On June 5, 1978, a commission appointed by the CPSU Central Committee including a group of leaders from the CPSU Central Committee, the Comsomol Central Committee, the Union of Writers, and others, prepared another note reading that “speculations around Russian and other national cultures of the Soviet people… have taken a special place in the ideological diversions of our enemies”. However the commission considered it “inadvisable to adopt a specific resolution on the subjects raised in the letter of M.A.Sholokhov”, but attention should be paid to “the whole complex of problems of cultural construction”. The Resolution of the CPSU Central Committee was sustained in the same spirit.

The Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee considered it necessary to clarify for comrade Sholokhov the actual state of affairs in the cultural development in the country and to open no discussions on the subjects raised.

The Political Bureau recognized the letter of the writer to be an ideological and political mistake showing a subjective and one-sided assessment of the current state of Russian culture.

Time has shown that M.A.Sholokhov was right in many respects and his fears were based on real grounds. The act of the author of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” for forty years already have been causing the anger of Russia's enemies.

Alexey Kochetov