The forgotten writer: Nikolay Dobychin (Altai)
my city of Yelabuga, despite external serenity and silence, keeps many secrets. One of them - the people once living here. Especially there are a lot of riddles and the broken destinies the Great Patriotic War left behind. Even the name of Marina Tsvetaeva long time was buried in oblivion. And how many they were still - anonymous, once walking city streets about which we know nothing and which we do not remember?
Much they were seen by Yelabuga during war. It and prisoners of war (Germans, Japanese), and evacuated - all not to count. Someone safely came back home, and someone forever remained to lie in the Yelabuga earth. I also want to tell about one of such forgotten wanderers.
Everything began with a small note in the local newspaper “Vecher Elabugi“ of May 9, 2001. In it it was said that the resident of our city Tamara Ivanovna Gruzdeva during visit of graves of the relatives incidentally found a monument with an interesting inscription.
It was Parental day, and Tamara Ivanovna with the sister went to a cemetery to tidy up the father`s grave. Near a grave they came across vertically standing monument from a stone on which there was an inscription: “The writer Dobychin Nikolay Efimovich, was born on October 12, 1904, died on October 10, 1942, the PROGRAM STATUS WORD of the USSR“. Tamara Ivanovna assumed that the abbreviation of the PROGRAM STATUS WORD is deciphered as “The union of the Soviet writers“.
According to her, the grave was started, grew with a bush, the wooden fencing rotted through. Tamara Gruzdeva`s sister, having Internet access, sent information to the Wait for Me broadcast, hoping that this person will have relatives from other edges. However, unfortunately, this attempt was not crowned with success, and Tamara Ivanovna decided to continue searches independently. At first it could find a mention only of other Dobychin - Leonid Ivanovich, too the writer living before war in the city of Bryansk.
Having sent inquiry to Bryansk, she learned that the writer who died in Yelabuga is not a relative, but Nikolay Efimovich`s namesake. But according to the data obtained from the certain E. S. Golubeva who is engaged in studying of life and Leonid Dobychin`s creativity it became known that in 30 - e years of the twentieth century, except Leonid Ivanovich, one more Dobychin - that Nikolay Efimovich was a member of the Writers` Union of the USSR. In 1933 - 34 years two collections of his stories were published. And besides, one of his early stories - “Stepson“, was published in the Oktyabr magazine at No. 3 in 1926. Allegedly, he some time lived in Sverdlovsk. But as well as why this second Dobychin appeared in Yelabuga, still remained a riddle.
The answer from Sverdlovsk, nowadays Yekaterinburg where Tamara Ivanovna also sent the letter, contained fuller information on the writer. Several photocopies were attached to the answer. The first of them - excerpt from the short bibliographic dictionary published in Chelyabinsk in 1988: “Dobychin Nikolay Efimovich (a pseudonym - Nikolay Altaysky), was born in 1904 - died in 1941 in Moscow. Russian owls. writer. In 30 lived in Sverdlovsk. Its collections “Stories about Our City“ in 1934 and “The Khakass stories“ in 1938“ are published by
As you already noticed in date of death a mistake here (or a typographical error?) as, actually, the writer in Yelabuga, died one year later. I assumed that such discrepancy was connected with the fact that Dobychin, as well as many other people, fell a victim of repressions from People`s Commissariat for Internal Affairs. It is quite possible that he, being afraid of prosecutions from this terrible organization, just fled the capital, having forged documents on own death.
To the writer from bodies I knew of attention from Vladimir Goldin`s book “Uzorshchiki of the word and first attempts at writing“, published in 2002. Its documentary story told about the literary movement in the Urals in 20 - 30 - x years of last century, about the writers unfairly deleted by the Soviet promotion from literary life of the Urals. There was on its pages also a mention of Dobychin.
“The writer Dobychin Nikolay Efimovich wrote the feuilleton “Recovered the Newspaper“ and published it in the Za Literatury Magnitostroy newspaper. Dobychin`s creation was cheerful and even now, in more than 70 years did not lose the topical character, Goldin says in the book.
The essence of the feuilleton was that the writer is used not for designated purpose. And everything began with usual business trip. “… Dobychin was sent to business trip from the Uralsky Rabochy newspaper, he wrote a sketch, but the editor … read his material too long. Material became outdated and did not go to the press. Dobychin is sent again, result of work former. The money spent for business trip, a downtime, slowness of the editor - all this caused irritation of the writer. I … Dobychin wrote the feuilleton on how the chief of militia delivers a speech for three hours “about preparation for spring cleaning of streets“. And, it was during this time possible to perform all volume of the planned work …“. The feuilleton was published on March 11, 1933, and on March 21 Dobychin already gave evidences in OGPU. Someone on it “nastuchat“.
As it occurred, will tell Dobychin`s business which is stored in the State archive of administrative bodies of Sverdlovsk region. “1933, March of the 20th day. I am a probationer 4 departments of OPOPPOGPU of the Urals, having considered Dobychin N. E case, found: Dobychin N. E, the births of 1904, non-party, comes from a family of the large fist dispossessed now. Using the situation on the literary front, Dobychin systematically is engaged in dragging of anti-Soviet and anti-party installations on pages of the Soviet press that is confirmed by writing of the feuilleton “Recovered the Newspaper“ of obviously counterrevolutionary contents and therefore decided: Dobychina N. E. to arrest, in the occupied apartment to carry out a search“.
Colleagues writers behaved coward and, giving evidences, represented Dobychin the ardent anti-adviser.
However then there was 1933, but not 1937 - y therefore for Nikolay Dobychin everything ended rather safely. It was released, previously having instructed: “Know HOW it is necessary to criticize also WHOM“. As Dobychin chose the correct line of conduct and confessed in the allowed miss in the letter to the Ural Worker editor, in three weeks after arrest it was let out, having taken recognizance not to leave.
Unfortunately, of how there was the writer`s life in an interval between 1933 and 1941, I at the moment practically know nothing therefore it will be a question of those few facts from Nikolay Dobychin`s biography which are directly connected with Yelabuga.
After visit of a grave of the writer on the Peter and Paul cemetery it became clear that at interpretation of date of death inaccuracy as the gravestone considerably suffered from time and bad weather was allowed. As it appeared, Dobychin not 10 - go, and died on October 1, 1942. Having taken this amendment into account, searches in archives of the Yelabuga REGISTRY OFFICE yielded positive result.
Before me the certificate of death received on August 10, 2005 lies. In it it is told: “Dobychin Nikolay Efimovich - date of death on October 1, 1942. The place of death - Yelabuga, RT. A cause of death - intestines tuberculosis“.
So what conclusions arise? In - the first, the disease, but not suicide or execution became a cause of death of the writer (as it would be possible to offer initially): if you remember, Nikolay Efimovich`s relations with “bodies“ did not develop.
In - the second, tuberculosis of intestines is already secondary form of tuberculosis. Therefore, the writer or two already suffered, at least, a year from so-called “consumption“. Most likely, he was a disabled person and was not subject to mobilization, otherwise it would be sent to the front, at least the war correspondent. Unfortunately, information on N. E patient. Dobychin in the Yelabuga tubdispanser it did not appear: cards of patients are stored at most 25 years then are destroyed.
Further searches brought me into city archive where, having thumbed through newspaper files “A Stalin way“ for 1941 - 1942, in number for December 5, 1941 I came across a note under the name “Chronicle of Culture“. In it it was told about group of writers and poets among whom also Dobychin was mentioned: “The group of writers is full of creative plans and desire to work. Subjects and genres of these works are extremely various and in the majority continue the creative line of each writer in the recent past.
The critic and the specialist in drama study M. B. Zagorski … works on big literary work about stories of the Russian theatrical criticism now … The poetess N. P. Sakonskaya (Marina Tsvetaeva`s girlfriend ) writes a cycle of new children`s songs and verses. The writer - E. S. Jung`s marine painter works on sea stories … Jewish writer E. M. Margolis finishes the new novel on a modern subject. The playwright T. S. Sikorskaya (also Tsvetaeva`s girlfriend ) works as on the film script of “Talk“ about the wife of the commander of Red Fleet. The writer N. E. Dobychin finishes the book of guerrilla fairy tales. The poet - the humorist S. B. Bolotin writes a cycle of the one-act plays and poetic feuilletons intended for literary theater and the local press“.
In the same place: “Soon in Yelabuga the literary theater organized by group of writers opens. In plans of theater - creation and statement of short plays and interludes on modern and topics of the day. In work there is S. Bolotin and T. Sikorskaya`s lyrical comedy “Tulupchik“, a one-act sketch of the same authors “Others house“ and dramas. N. E. Dobychin`s etude of “Operator“. […] Rehearsal work and the first performances of literary theater will happen in Pioneer club“.
The pioneer club or Club of pioneers those years was on the first floor of the building of children`s library on Toyminskaya Street, 9. And it is one more “trace“.
The children`s library on Toyminskaya existed in Yelabuga with 30 - x years of the last century. Among old albums - reports, record about performances the evacuated workers of art was found. In the brochure for 1941 (unfortunately, without indication of month), part 4, p. 29, is such lines: “Connection with writers was established. The children`s writer Sakonskaya N. P. arranged a meeting with readers where discussed the book “Singing Tree“, and then this experience was transferred to boarding schools and to the area … The writer Dobychin gave party of fairy tales on the works …“.
Having assumed that above-mentioned names of colleagues of Dobychin will a little slightly open secret him the last months of life, I continued searches in this direction. Alas, practically all of them - both Sakonskaya, and Sikorskiye, and Zagorski are mentioned in references in a direct connection with Marina Tsvetaeva. As a result, I came to a conclusion that their names, most likely, will remain in the history only as names of witnesses of the last days of life of the remarkable poet.
But unexpectedly pleased and the House of memory of Marina Tsvetaeva provided food for thought. In an exposition under glass of one of show-windows I saw a photocopy of the list of all writers, and also members of their families evacuated to our city in 1941. Only 13 people. Among them: Dobychin Nikolay Efimovich (the birthplace Western Siberia, is illegible further, 1904), further - Dobychin Alexander Nikolaevich, the son (the birthplace - is illegible, 1932), Seryakova Zinaida Fiodorovna, the wife - (Dzerzhinsk-?, 1905) . Unfortunately, completely it was not succeeded to decipher records - handwriting was too not legible.
Invaluable help in investigation to me was given by the “svezheizdanny“ book of Natalya Gromova “Distant Chistopol on Kama“. In it it was told about the writers evacuated to Tataria. The name of Nikolay Dobychin met on pages of the book also. It was reported that he was a writer and the translator. Except writing of stories and fairy tales, was engaged in the translations from oyransky language.
However, what language is - I did not manage to find out. I can assume that by preparation of materials for the book, in the name of language there was a typographical error (a slip?) and actually, it was talked about oyrotsky or oyratsky languages. The first is one of Turkic languages in Altai, and the second - one of the Mongolian adverbs.
Now, having summarized all available facts, I can with the greatest probability restore events of seventy-year prescription. Yes will forgive me tsvetayeveda if I mention their idol casually: is told about Marina Tsvetaeva much, and interest in her creativity grows every year, and not only at us in the country. I set the task to return from oblivion of other person.
… Moscow. First months of war. Litfond organized the commission on evacuation of literary families. At the end of July Germans began to bomb methodically Moscow on twice a day and parents tried to take out in any way children from the city. It was the first wave of evacuation.
It is known that many Moscow writers and members of their families were sent to Chistopol and Kazan, and part - to Yelabuga. Why Dobychina did not get to Chistopol where by this time there was a most part of the Union of the Soviet Writers? Most likely, because by this moment Chistopol was crowded, and there let only those writers whose families already were in this city.
… Yelabuga, August, 1941. The small city where it is infinitely difficult to find any work, especially to writers. Everyone survives as he can. As far as living conditions were difficult, it is possible to judge from diary entries of Georgi Efron, Tsvetaeva`s son: “Today mother was in the City Council, and work for it is not expected; the possibility only so far - to be a translator from German in People`s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, but mother of this place does not want … Sikorsky almost finally suited the manager of club though his mother also said that this place for it is too responsible. Sakonskaya settles the singing-master …“. “I was in the City Council, regional council, RONO. In libraries there is no work. In the newspaper only verses and stories for a litstranichka are accepted, and caricatures are not accepted - photos, drawings are etc. sent from Kazan“.
Despite all burdens of evacuation, writers and poets continued the creativity in process of forces. Nikolay Dobychin was not an exception, especially he should have cared for the wife and the son. Already then seriously ill he works on the book of fairy tales and creates small drama works for the literary theater created by common efforts of literary diaspora in Yelabuga. He does not stand aside and from public work - on an equal basis with colleagues he spends evenings of meetings with readers.
But his illness progresses and in May, 1942 it is hospitalized. After his wife Zinaida Seryakova will write to the Writers` Union addressed to Fadeyev: “On the first of October my husband died, having lain in hospital five months, I remained in Yelabuga one as all my family in Moscow …“. Seryakova will ask to allow her to return to the capital that she could take care of archive of the late husband. But … it was much more difficult to return from evacuation, than to be in it sent.
Zinaida in her aspirations was in every possible way supported by colleagues, for them Nikolay Dobychin`s death is already the second bereavement: Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva …
By the way was the first, it is very strange that Zinaida Seryakova the uniform word does not mention the ten-year-old son Sasha: if the boy was with it why in the letter it is said that it remained one? What could happen to it?
After a while after death Dobychina M. Zagorski (we will remind, this theatrical critic got to Yelabuga along with Dobychin) will write the letter to the management of the Writers` Union, begging to cause it to Moscow, at least in business trip. “If you hesitate, then in Yelabuga the third of members of the Writers` Union will die, will die in vain …“. Though there is an inaccuracy - Zagorski mistakenly ranks Marina Tsvetaeva as members of the Writers` Union.
... And here a fragment of the letter of the film actress and script writer Maria (Marika) Gonta, the close friend of Pasternak who lodged at the beginning of 1942 in Yelabuga on Toyminskaya Street. In the letter of September 25, 1942 Pasternak asked it to report in what state Tsvetaeva`s grave and whether there is on it a cross, a stone or some distinctive sign. In the response message Mariki written on October 12 the same year it was told: “About Marina I will write especially. When buried Dobychin, tried to establish the place where Marina lies, and with some probability put a stone“.
On Nikolay Efimovich`s grave the stone which darkened from time on which still it is possible to distinguish large letters lies too: “The writer Dobychin Nikolay Efimovich, was born on October 12, 1904, died on October 1(0), 1942, the PROGRAM STATUS WORD of the USSR“.
It did not leave behind such bright trace as Marina Tsvetaeva, but it too - was .