A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, by Vasily Grossman

By Vasily Grossman

Edited and translated from the Russian by way of Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova Knopf Canada is proud to provide a masterpiece of the second one global battle, by no means earlier than released in English, from one of many nice Russian writers of the 20 th century – a bright eyewitness account of the jap entrance and “the ruthless fact of war.”

When the Germans invaded Russia in 1941, Vasily Grossman grew to become a distinct correspondent for the pink famous person, the pink Army’s newspaper. A author at War – according to the notebooks within which Grossman collected uncooked fabric for his articles – depicts the crushing stipulations at the japanese entrance, and the lives and deaths of infantrymen and civilians alike. additionally it is a number of the earliest reportage at the Holocaust. within the 3 years he spent on task, Grossman witnessed the most savage battling of the conflict: the appalling defeats of the crimson military, the brutal highway battling in Stalingrad, the conflict of Kursk (the greatest tank engagement in history), the protection of Moscow, the battles in Ukraine and masses more.

Historian Antony Beevor has taken Grossman’s uncooked notebooks, and formed them right into a narrative delivering some of the most even-handed descriptions – without delay unflinching and delicate – we've got ever had of what he referred to as “the ruthless fact of war.”

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Additional resources for A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945

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Well, I paid him back. I had mistaken him for the chief of the publications department of GLAVPUR. I have been drinking all day, just as a recruit should. Papa turned up, as well as Kugel, Vadya, Zhenya and Veronichka. 2 I was very touched. The whole family sang songs and had sad conversations. The atmosphere was melancholy and concentrated. I lay alone that night, thinking. I had a lot of things, as well as people, to think about. The day of our departure is a lovely one, it’s hot and rainy.

We came under fire near a cemetery. We hid beneath a tree. A truck was standing there, and in it was a dead rifleman-signaller, covered with a tarpaulin. Red Army soldiers were digging a grave for him nearby. When there’s a raid of Messers, the soldiers try to hide in ditches. ’ Korol hides in the new grave, while everyone runs in different directions. Only the dead signaller is lying full length, and machine guns are chattering above him. Grossman and Knorring visited the 103rd Red Army Aviation Fighter Regiment stationed near Gomel.

Only the names of towns mentioned in official bulletins revealed how rapidly the enemy was advancing. Grossman had put off urging his mother to abandon the town of Berdichev in the Ukraine. His second wife, Olga Mikhailovna Guber, convinced him that they had no room for her. Then, before Grossman realised fully what was happening, the German Sixth Army seized Berdichev on 7 July. The enemy had advanced over 350 kilometres in just over two weeks. Grossman’s failure to save his mother burdened him for the rest of his life, even after he discovered that she had refused to leave because there was nobody else to look after a niece.

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