The Gulag Archipelago

Letter from Stalingrad

V Chuikov

I am the same age as born in 1900. The son of a peasant in the village of Silver Ponds of the Tula province. My ancestors are diggers. It was not from a sweet life that I had to leave my parents' home in St Petersburg at age 12 to earn money and experience the exploitation of capitalists. My last specialty is a fitter at a spur workshop I never thought of being a professional military man. And if he had been drafted into the tsarist army my highest calling in rank would be a soldier or sailor, like my four older brothers.

But at the beginning of 1918, at the call of the party of Lenin. I volunteered to go to the Red Army to defend my native Fatherland of workers and peasants. For 56 years I have been in the cadres of the Soviet Army. I have the tide of Marshal of the Soviet Union. Communist since 1919. Member of the Civil War, from the age of 19 he commanded a regiment. Member of many battles with the White Guards and interventionists on the Southern and Western Fronts until the beginning of 1922. After the civil war, before the Great Patriotic War, he also fought against those who wanted to prone with a bayonet the power of our Armed Forces.

When I read in Pravda that today there is a man who attributes victory to Stalingard to penal battalions, he could not believe his eyes. I know that A. Solzhenitsyn is a Nobel laureate. I do not believe into the circumstances that contributed to the assignment of this tide to him. But the title of Nobel Prize laureate obliges a lot. In my opinion, it is incompatible with ignorance and falsehood.

In front of me on the table is a book entitled "The Gulag Archipelago" by A. Solzhenitsyn. I am not familiar with Solzhenitsyn, who, using fictitious 'facts' (try to verify them!). Supplies the enemies of peace and progress with a stream of lies and slander against our Motherland and our people. I can't bear such slander. Defamation of the army that saved humanity from the brown plague and which earned the gratitude of all progressive people in the world. Our army is the brainchild of our people. Insulting the army is the greatest crime against the people who gave birth and raised it to defend against enemies and enemies.

On page 90 of the book "The Gulag Archipelago", Solzhenitsyn writes "Thus, the army operating was cleansed. But there was also a huge army inactive in the Far East and in Mongolia. To prevent this army from rusting was a noble task of special departments. With the inaction of the heroes Khalkhin-Gol and Hassan, languages began to be untied, especially since they were now given the opportunity to study degtyarevsky assault rifles and regimental mortars so far classified by their own soldiers. Holding such weapons in their hands, it was difficult for (hum to understand why we are retreating in the West".

Do you, Solzhenitsyn, and your Western friends and bosses not know that the Far Eastern army, which you call "inactive", after the civil war and intervention had to repel the attack of the enemy three times, which with bayonets probed the power of our Red Army and the entire Soviet Union? Have you really forgotten the fighting on the Far Eastern borders in 1929, 1938 and 1939? Solzhenitsyn betrays the aspirations of Western and Eastern figures such as Chamberlain, Daladier, Hoover, Chian Kai-shek and others who climbed out of their skin in the 30s trying to set Japanese samurai on us and thereby satisfy the greedy appetites of imperialist Japan at the expense of the Soviet Union.

His address to the heroes of Stalingrad. "During the period you have grinded many enemy divisions and equipment. But not only in this are your achievements expressed. The courage of the soldiers and the ability of the commanders to repulse the enemy made the fact that the enemy's initiative was largely paralysed in certain sections of the front. This is the historical merit of the defenders of Stalingrad."

You deliberately forgot about the letter from President of the United States Roosevelt, who wrote "On behalf of the peoples of the United States of America, I hand this letter to the city of Stalingrad to mark our admiration for his valiant defenders, whose courage, strength of spirit and selflessness during the siege of September 13, 1942 January 31, 1943 will forever inspire the hearts of all free people. Their glorious victory stopped the wave of invasion and became a turning point in the war of the union of nations against the forces of aggression".

I confess that I am painfully experiencing the insult you inflicted on us, the Stalingraders I tell you, because I survived two hundred days of fire and nights. I was always on the right bank of the Volga and in Stalingrad. Perhaps, in your opinion. I, as a fine man, was appointed lo command the 62nd Army, on the merits of which our newspaper Pravda wrote on November 25, 1942. "In a petition mentioning the armies defending Stalingrad, a special role is emphasised 62 Army, which repelled the main attacks of the Germans at Stalingrad, its commander. Lieutenant General Comrade Chuikov V I and his chief assistants, vol Colonel Gorokhov, Major General Rodimtsev, Major General Guriev, Colonel Balvinov, Colonel Gurtiev, Colonel Saiaev, Colonel Skvortsov and others, as well as gunners and pilots."

In your opinion, Solzhenitsyn, it turns out that the guard divisions of Rodimtsev, Guryev, Zholudev and others, which consisted of more than 50 percent of the Communists and Komsomol members, were "cemented" by the penalty companies?! Was the fighter-sniper Vasily Zaitsev, who destroyed about 300 fascists and the first to utter the words that inspired all Stalingraders: "There is no land beyond the Volga for us", was he a fine man or "cemented" by fines? It is possible that Serageant Yakov Pavlov and his group of fighters of different nationalities, who defended a house for 58 days and nights that the Nazis never took and land more corpses around his house than when they took the French capital of Pans were these good defenders of Stalingrad 'cemented' Free companies? Is Lyuba Nesterenko, dying, bleeding from a wound in her chest, in her hands a bandage, even before death she wanted to help a friend bandage the wound, but didn't have time—was she too "cemented" with fines or was she a fender? Was the glorious son of the Spanish people Ruben Ibarruri, a fine man or "cemented" by a fine man? Could give hundreds, thousands of examples of heroism and devotion of all Stalingrad residents to their people and the Leninist party. You, Solzhenitsyn, dared to scoff at these heroes pouring on them streams of lies and dirt.

I repeat again during the period of the Stalingrad epic in the Soviet Army there were no penal companies or other penal units. Among the ftghters—Stalingard there was not a single fighter fighter. On behalf of the living and killed in the battle of the Stalingraders, on behalf of their fathers and mothers wives and children. I blame you. A Solzhenitsyn, us a dishonest liar and slanderer of the heroes of Stalingrad of our army and our people. I am sure that this accusation will be supported by all Stalingrad residents. They will all call you a liar and a traitor. If you want to make sure of this, then go to Stalingard, climb the Mamaev Kurgan and look at the continuous flow of people, pilgrims from many countries, people of many nationalities walking up the stairs to honour the memory of the heroes. And God forbid you to declare that you a A Solzhenitsyn!

[Source: Stalin Society]

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Vol. 52, No. 41, April 12 - 18, 2020