Thursday, January 8, 2009

Summary to memoirs by Grigory Grigorov

B O O K 2

In 1928 Grigorov was asked to fulfil a very serious mission. The supporters of exiled by that time Trotzky asked him to dismiss fractions and groups loyal to Trotzky. He met with a lot of groups in Bryansk, Rostov-na Donu, Vladicaucasus, Tiflis and Baku. This part of memoirs gives a real picture of honest and loyal revolutionaries, bewildered and disappointed with the ruin of their ideals. All the people, with whom he met in Caucasus, knew Stalin very well and called him a traitor, who worked before the revoluton in Ohranka. Grigory was shown a document about Stalin’ work as an agent. These people did not expect anything good from Stalin.
After his return to Moscow he was arrested and put to Loubyanka jail. He was sentenced to exile in Siberia, where he met in a village near Tumen with V.M. Smirnov, an oppositioner, who was called “Marat of Russian revolution”. They lived in the same village and were spectators of the process of “Complete collectivization” in action and supported peasants in their struggle.
After the exile Grigorov returned to Leningrsd to his family and from 1930 to 1934 he worked as a lecturer of philosophy in VASKHNIL, where he supported academitian N.I. Vavilov and even organized Vavilov’s meeting with S.M. Kirov, and in Hertzen Pedagogical Institute. He also lectured in Seminar of composers and playwrights. This rather quiet period was possible only thanks to Kirov’s support and finished with Kirov’s murder.
In December of 1934 G. Grigorov and his wife Dina were arrested and sentenced Grigory to 5 and Dina to 3 years of concentration camps in Vorkuta. Part of his term Grigory was helping geologists and studied well the structure of minerals in the region. Many of Grigory and Dina’s friends participated in a hunger strike in Vorkuta. Instead of considering their conditions and demands they all were shot in so-called Brick Works. About 2,000 prizoners were shot then.
At the beginning of 1939 Dina was set free and at the end of the same year Grigory also left the concentration camp. Dina went to Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod) region, where her children lived after their banishment from Leningrad as children of “enemies of people”. She took her son from orphanage and went to live in a village, as she was forbidden to live in town. Dina began to work as a school teacher. When Grigory returned, they moved to a small town of Bor near Gorky, where he worked as a teacher of geography at school.
With the beginning of the World War 2 Grigory was called up to military service. He was sent to Karelia and soon was taken prisoner by the Finnish army. In Finland Grigory realized what was the real democracy. The regime in the prisoners’ camp was much milder than that in the Soviet concentration camps.
When the Red Army entered Petrozavodsk, Grigorov was investigated by SMERSH and was charged with 10 years of concentraton camps. He was transported to Krasnoyarsk and then in the barge hold to Dudinka and further to one of Norilsk concentration camps. There he worked in a coal pit, fell ill and was taken to a camp hospital. An imprisoned doctor I.F. Kotsuba saved his life and helped him to stay in hospital as a hospital attendant.
While working in the hospital Grigorov openly expressed his opinions and some of hospital personnel reported on him to “Koum” (authorized MGB agent) in the concentration camp). After an investigation by the former he was put to an inner jail of the camp and in 1952 was sentenced by “troika” to another term: 10 years of concentraton camps and one year of inner jail.
After Stalin’s death a cruel murder near the fence of an imprisoned woman, who suddenly saw her father in the men’s camp and forgot about the rules, caused a mass riot. The slaves rose and were not more afraid of the jailers. 5 camps were on riot. Several days the prisoners ruled in the camp. Grigory was selected to the committee of 5 persons, and they wrote declaration to the government, where they formulated their demands. A commission from Moscow led negotiations with the prisoners. Soon Grigory was sent to Krasnoyarsk in the barge hold again up the Enisey river. The conditions were very hard: the prisoners were not allowed to be on the deck, they were suffocated in the hold, and had to use one huge “parasha”(a huge barrel) as a toilet. Very soon the prisoners began to die of dysentery. About 100 men died.
The survivors were put to another concentration camp. There Grigory worked as a doctor, as there was not enough medical staff there. In 1955 Grigorov was set free from his last concentration camp in Taishet, being mentally and physically healthy. Since 1941 his family didn’t know, if he was alive: the correspondence was forbidden. Only in 1954 the correspondence was allowed. Grigorov returned to his family to the town of Dzerzhinsk, Gorky region, where his wife lived with their daughter Vera. Grigory began to work at school as a teacher of geography. As he had no diploma, he entered Gorky Pedagogical Institute and during one year passed all exams at the age of 57. Till 1965 he was under supervision of KGB. Only then he was rehabilitated. His friends – his former students helped him in that. Grigorov began to dictate his memoirs, his daughters typed them. This work continued 17 years. Only in 1989 the memiors were taken abroad, and his son Vissarion put them in order. The first book was published in Moscow in 2005. Now we have published also book 2.

Summary to memoirs by Grigory Grigorov

B O O K 1

The author was born in 1900 in Ukraine in a poor family. His father was a tailor, Grigory was the sixth child of 8. His parents were critical of tzarist regime, especially his mother Rachel. From the age of eleven Grigory had to work. At 16 he was working in Bryansk plant in Ekaterinoslav. Working by day and studying by night, he prepared during one year for examinations for the full course of secondary school (gymnasium) and passed the exams successfully. His friends Abraham Shlionsky (later a well-known poet in Israel) and Matus Kanin instructed him and helped a lot n his studies. Grigory became a witness and participant of stormy events before February revolution in 1917. In 1919 he was called to military service in the Red Army and there he was enlisted to Bolshevic Party. Being sent with a secret mission to Sevastopol he was captured by officers of general Shkouro of White Army and endured severe tortures, but never made a confession. Grigory was imprisoned in Ekaterinoslav jail. Soon all the prisoners were set free by the army of Nestor Mahno. Grigory went to anarchists’ meeting and listened to speeches of Mahno and Volin, one of anarchists ideologists. The speech of Volin impressed him greatly. Many pages of the book are dedicated to anarchist movement of Machno.
In 1921 Grigory entered Moscow University, where he studied philosophy. Professor Lubov Akselrod recommended him to the Institute of Red Professorship. In 1925 he became professor of philosiphy. He wrote several original works: “The Freedom and Necessity in Spinoza Philosophic System”, “Kantian Theory of the Sky” and others. His work on Spinoza became his dissertation.
In 1922 Grigory met Dina Belotzerkovsky, who became his wife. During the Civil War Dina had been comissar of a front hospital, she had joined the Bolshevic Party earlier, than Grigory.
In 1923 Grigorov was sent to an administrative exile to Ivanovo-Voznesensk, because his independent position and open criticizm of the governing circles did not agree with the Bolshevic ideology. There he visited factories and saw hard conditions of workers, that lived half-starving life and lost their rights, which they had had before 1917. On the other side there grew new “nomenclature”, that rose from social bottom. The next exile was to Siberia.
In 1925 G. Grigorov and his wife were sent to work in Leningrad. He was offered to organize workers’ faculties “rabfacs” in Leningrad, the institutions, that were helping workers to get prepared for universities. His wife began to work as the chief of rabfac of Polytechnical Institute. His next administration exile was to Ural in 1927, where he worked in pedagogical college. In Kungur he was expelled from the Bolshevic Party. After exile he twice met wth L.D. Trotzky in Moscow in Glavconsesscom and in Beloborodov’s (former chairman of Ural Soviet) apartment. After these two meetings Grigorov understood that Trotzky “who earlier had power, now submitted to power himself”. Grigory understood that Trotzky’s personal tragedy would become the tragedy of the whole nation.