(15.01.1891 – 31.08.1967)
Erenburg Ilya Girshevich (Grigoryevich) (15.01.1891, Kiev – August 31, 1967, Moscow), publicist and public figure, twice winner of the Stalin Prize (1942, 1948). The son of a merchant of the 2nd Guild. He studied at the gymnasium together with NI Bukharin. In 1905 he joined the Bolsheviks. In January 1908 he was arrested and released before trial, and in December 1908 “because of a painful condition” he went abroad. He lived in France, where in 1910 he published a collection of poems. In 1914-1917, he was a correspondent of Russian bourgeois newspapers on the Western Front. In March 1917 he returned to Russia. Negatively reacted to the coming to power of the Bolsheviks and in 1921 again left for France. From 1921 he lived in Paris, was close to the left circles of the French society, actively cooperated in the Soviet press. Since 1923, the correspondent of Izvestia. It became an integral part of the Soviet establishment, a living confirmation of the “freedom of creativity” in the USSR. His name and talent as a publicist and orator were widely used by Soviet propaganda to create an attractive image of the Stalinist regime abroad. Since the early 1930’s. constantly lived in the USSR and began to conduct in his works the idea of ”the inevitability of the victory of socialism.” In 1936-1937 a correspondent of Izvestia in the republican army in Spain (Read here the material The Civil War in Spain 1936-1939.). During the Great Patriotic War the military correspondent of the newspaper “Krasnaya Zvezda”, during 1941-1945 about 3 thousand articles were published in the newspapers. The author of the slogan “Kill the Germans.” He was a member of the commission to “investigate” the murders of Polish officers in Katyn, and confirmed that these shootings were committed by the Germans. Was included in the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, after its dissolution in 1949 was not injured. In 1950 he was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Since 1950, Vice President of the World Peace Council. In 1952 he received the International Lenin Prize “For the Strengthening of Peace Among Nations”. Always remained loyal to Stalinism. After the death of Stalin, Stalin changed his previous point of view. In 1954-1956 he wrote the story “Thaw”, which caused great controversy in the society.
It is by its name and began to be called a short period of relaxation in the beginning of the rule of Khrushchev. Later Ehrenburg stated that under Stalin “he survived by sheer chance.”
Partly used materials from the book.: Zalessky K. A. The Empire of Stalin. Biographical encyclopedic dictionary. Moscow, Veche, 2000.