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Museum Collection

Postcards from Sweden

Trips to foreign countries were a special part in the biography of M.A. Sholokhov, they gave an opportunity of meeting with interesting people and learning about the culture of their countries.

The documentary collection of the State M.A. Sholokhov Museum-Reserve contains three postcards from the two-month trip, which Mikhail Alexandrovich and Mariya Petrovna made about Scandinavian countries – Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, in May – July, 1957.

Surely, the Sholokhovs sent more postcards to their relatives and friends from each country of their visit. This is proved, in particular, by the letter of Mariya Petrovna to her younger daughter Mariya from Stockholm, of June, 3, 1957:”…We sent postcards from Helsinki to everybody, you can have received one already…”

On June, 1, they sent several postcards to Vyoshenskaya for the Gromoslavskys and the Konkins (the Konshins).

The postcard sent by the Sholokhovs to M.F.Gromoslavskaya bears: “1.6.57. To Mariya Fyodorovna Gromoslavskaya.We send you, dear mother, our warmest greetings from Stockholm. We have no time to write to everybody, so give our regards to all our friends. On the 11th, we are leaving by a night train for Norway.

We kiss you and wish a good health. Yours. Misha and Marusya.

Mariya Fyodorovna Gromoslavskaya (born Shornikova, from Stanitsa Chernyshevskaya, 1871 – 1961) originated from the merchant family, the mother of Mariya Petrovna Sholokhova. She was a housewife, brought up the children, did the housework. She and her husband, Pyotr Yakovlevich Gromoslavsky, raised and brought up eight children: sons - Vladimir, Viktor and Vasily – from the first marriage of Pyotr Yakovlevich and five joint children: Ivan, Mariya, Anna, Polina, Lidiya.

Another postcard was sent to I.P. and E.S.Gromoslavsky: “To Vanya and Dusya Gromoslavsky. We send you our greetings from Stockholm. Sincerely yours. The Sholokhovs. 1.VI.57. Stockholm.”

Ivan Petrovich Gromoslavsky (1900 – 1980) is an elder brother of Mariya Petrovna Sholokhova. From 1917 till 1919, he studied in the Don theological seminary in Novocherkassk. From 1920, he was a public official. From 1928 till 1931, he worked as a primary school teacher in Chernovsky Village, the Vyoshensky District. From 1939 till 1942, he was a school director in Chernovsky Village. In the postwar years he was the head of the Vyoshensky district Financial Department.

His wife was Evdokiya Semyonovna Gromoslavskaya. Their son was Vladimir Ivanovich Gromoslavsky.

The third postcard was sent to the Konshins couple. It bears:” To Vasily and Mariya Konkin. We send you our greetings from the distant Sweden! This is a night view of the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, spread out among the lakes. M.Sholokhov. 1.6.57.”

Vasily Grigoriyevich Konshin (born in Maksayev Village, 1927), from the beginning of 1955 and up to the end of 1965, worked as stoker in the house and was employed in the farmyard work for the Sholokhovs. Before that he worked in the teacher training school, which was headed by Vladimir Alexandrovich Sholokhov. Vasily Grigoriyevich heated the house, polished the parquet floors, did some housework. M.A.Sholokhov jokingly called him “a house manager”.

Mariya Pavlovna Konshina (1927), the wife of Vasily Grigoriyevich, together with her husband, from 1955 till 1965, worked in the house of the Sholokhovs: cleaned the house, worked in the farmyard.

The inscription on the postcard “To Vasily and Mariya Konkin” means that M.A. Sholokhov sometimes jokingly called the Konshins as “the Konkins”,”the Loshadkins”. This is proved by the memoirs of V.G. Konshin about Sholokhov, which are kept in the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov:”…He was a great joker. I remember him calling me “a house manager” or “Loshadkin” (in association with my surname Konshin)”. (The State M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve HB-2728).

Lyudmila Afanasiyeva