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The irony of fate of Vladimir Kirshon: Why the author of the poem "I asked the ash tree " was shot
The irony of fate of Vladimir Kirshon: Why the author of the poem "I asked the ash tree " was shot
The irony of fate of Vladimir Kirshon

Another New Year, and again on TV a wonderful comedy by Eldar Ryazanov "The Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath!" A special place in this film is occupied by wonderful songs to the verses of such famous poets as Bella Akhmadulina, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak, Yevgeny Yevtushenko. But the author of the poems "I asked the ash tree where my beloved …" today, few people remember. Today our story is about Vladimir Kirshon, whose fate is not only tragic, but also instructive.

1930s … Vladimir Kirshon is a protege of Heinrich Yagoda himself and a favorite of the authorities. He was considered one of the main ideologues of the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers (RAPP). And he himself wrote plays. True, they have not reached our time. And their names explain this: "The rails are buzzing", "Wonderful alloy" (about Stalin's construction projects), "Bread" (about the party's struggle for socialism on the example of grain procurements). But at that time, performances based on the plays of Kirshon were staged on the stages of the main theaters of the young Soviet country.

Young poet Vladimir Kirshon

But Kirshon was not known for his single drama. He actively smashed his colleagues at writers' meetings: Mikhail Zoshchenko, Alexei Tolstoy, Veniamin Kaverin, Mikhail Prishvin. His article was published in the newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva, in which he, denouncing Bulgakov, wrote: “The face of the class enemy was clearly revealed. "Run", "Crimson Island" demonstrated the offensive of the bourgeois wing of drama."

Kirshon was a member of the 16th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, which took place on June 28, 1930. The philosopher Alexei Losev worked there. The censor, who let Losev's book go for publication, said in defense that it had "a tinge of philosophical thought." To which Kirshon objected in raised tones that "for such shades it is necessary to put up against the wall!"

Members of the RAAP Secretariat. From left to right: M. V. Luzgin, B. Ilesh, V. M. Kirshon, L. Averbakh, F. I. Panferov, A. A. Fadeev, I. Makariev

It is known that Vladimir Kirshon wrote letters to Stalin more than once. Thus, in 1933 he wrote to the leader of the peoples: "I consider myself obliged to inform you of new attempts to incite group struggle between communist writers." And in 1934 he sent a complaint against journalists to Stalin and Kaganovich. If I heard criticism of my work, I immediately called it "persecution". He considered Stalin himself the only worthy critic of his works. He regularly sent his plays to Joseph Vissarionovich with a request to point out the shortcomings.

It seemed that Kirshon was invulnerable. But in 1937, his deeds returned to him like a boomerang. Yagoda was arrested in March, and after that there was a wave of arrests.

Vladimir Kirshon, photographs from the investigation file, 1937

On April 4, 1937, Mikhail Bulgakov's wife Elena wrote in her diary: “Kirshon was voted out at the general Moscow meeting of writers during the election of the presidium. And although it is clear that this is in connection with the fall of Berry, it is nevertheless nice that there is a Nemesis, etc. " Already at the end of April, an entry appears in her diary that the writer Yuri Olesha proposes to go to a meeting of Moscow playwrights, where the massacre of Kirshon will take place. But Bulgakov himself rejected this proposal. Elena Sergeevna writes in her diary: “M. A. will not even think of making such a statement and will not go at all. After all, Kirshon will be torn to pieces mainly by those who a few days ago toaddled up to him."

Having fallen into disgrace, Kirshon turned to Stalin: “Dear Comrade Stalin, my entire conscious life was devoted to the party, all my plays and my activities were carrying out its line. Recently I have made gross mistakes, I ask you to punish me, but I ask the Central Committee not to expel me from the party. " Vladimir Kirshon did not live to see his 36th birthday. In 1938 he was shot.

The irony of fate of Vladimir Kirshon

It may seem surprising, but there were also those who remembered Kirshon fondly. One of them is the actress Claudia Pugacheva. In her diary, she wrote: “He loved to do something pleasant to a person and had a special ability to turn things in such a way that griefs that seemed insurmountable to a person would take on the character of small everyday trifles. After meeting him, it became easy. That is how Vladimir Mikhailovich Kirshon remained in my memory. He helped his comrades a lot financially and never told anyone about it. Many turned to him with various requests, and in my circle I do not remember a case when he left the most insignificant request without attention. Kirshon was a brilliant orator, he spoke well, but he also knew how to listen to a person, had the ability to immediately understand and help him correctly."

But back to the song … In the mid-1930s, Kirshon composed the comedy "Birthday" for the Vakhtangov Theater. The music for the play was written by the then young composer Tikhon Khrennikov. One of the songs began with the words "I asked an ash tree …". The notes for this song have not survived to this day, but Khrennikov himself later recalled that this song was much more fun than that of Mikael Tariverdiev. According to him, initially "it was an ironic song." But we already know her like this.

Interesting fact:

On New Year's days, the question of what to do if you, as the hero of the Ryazanov comedy, flew to Leningrad instead of Pavlik, is relevant. After all, it turns out that there have already been people who repeated Zhenya Lukashin's "feat" in real life.

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