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Museum Collection

Sholokhov with Electors

123 photo negatives from the archives of A.A. Zimovnov were donated to the State M.A. Sholokhov Museum-Reserve in March of  2009, by a historian and Maecenas P.S. Kosov. Some of them were made in January of 1946 in Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya at the meetings of M.A. Sholokhov with the electors in connection with proposing the writer as a Deputy candidate for the USSR Supreme Soviet and were not published earlier. Mikhail Aleksandrovich is shown with a group of the electors in a Cossack house, in one of the stanitsa’s streets. There are pictures of the stanitsa’s scenes, portraits of Cossack men and women. These unique photographs witness about a great damage caused to Vyoshenskaya during the war years, about the life of the residents during the hard post-war years, about the importance of Deputy elections for the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

Speaking before the stanitsa’s residents Sholokhov said about the forthcoming work on the reconstruction of the destroyed economy and  that the Government had assigned much money for it, but “all the best should be done to employ the local opportunities”.

The newspapers “The Bolshevik Don” (Vyoshenskaya) of January, 7, 18, 23, 1946, “Molot” (Rostov-on-Don) of January, 11 and February, 6, 1946, “Pravda” of January, 20, 1946, the magazine “Ogonyok”, issue 21, May, 1946, published the materials about the pre-election meetings of the writer. Sholokhov’s speech for the electors in Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya was also published. – “A Deputy is an active worker, a zealous observer of local carrying out the government resolutions, - Mikhail Aleksandrovich emphasized. – I pledge myself to serve your interests”.

In the archives of A.A. Zimovnov there is a letter which told us, who was the author of the negatives. It was a native of Stanitsa Konstantinovskaya, Alexander Stepanovich Sokolenko.

He writes to M.A. Sholokhov and his wife: “… I donated all my war archives to the museums of Moscow, Leningrad, Sebastopol, Novorossiysk and others. I’ve got some of your photo negatives left, which I decided to give you.

Some time earlier, when I was on a visit to Vyoshki, in 1946, I sent  you many photographs showing little Misha and Masha sitting on their father’s lap. I am unaware whether you have got them, I sent them with a woman dentist of Vyoshenskaya, I don’t remember her surname, her husband worked at the pier.

You and I were born on the Don River, only you are from the upriver, and I am from the lower river, Stanitsa Konstantinovskaya, between the Don and Donets.

I remember, in my childhood Cossacks sang songs returning to the Don from their military service.

“Hello, Don and Donets, and my dear mother and father; hello, my wife and my native land”.

         I suppose, you do not remember me.

         I send you my photographs.

         I wish you good health, all the best to you. Sincerely yours.

A. Sokolenko