Virta Nikolay Evgenievich (1906-1976). Soviet writer, playwright. One of the most famous artists of the Stalin era. Was born in with. Big Lazovka near Tambov in the family of a parish priest. Father was shot as a supporter of Antonov.1) After graduation, Nikolai was a shepherd, a clerk in the village soviet. Since 1923 he worked as a reporter, journalist, responsible secretary in various regional and regional newspapers and on radio. During the Great Patriotic War – a military correspondent. Member of the Writers’ Union of the USSR.
Wirth was awarded the Order of Lenin (1939) and became four times the winner of the Stalin Prize: in 1941 – for the novel “Loneliness”, in 1948 – for the play “Our Daily Bread”, in 1949 – for the play “Conspiracy of the Doomed” , in 1950 – for the screenplay “Battle of Stalingrad.”
In the “thaw” period, Wirth is the author of the story “Steep Mountains” (1956), in which one of the first gave a realistic picture of the ruin of the village as a result of the Stalinist policy of collectivization.
In the creative biography of Wirth there is a completely unique story, directly connected with the name of Stalin. A. Vaksberg says: “After so many years of persecution and persecution, Stalin suddenly recalled the church in 1943. He decided to attract, support, and the patriotic position of the church and its influence on a large part of the population in military conditions could be useful. The Bible, Stalin instructed Molotov to organize and supervise, and he confronted Vyshinsky.
It was impossible to start this business on its own, it was impossible to send the Bible to the censorship either Molotov or Vyshinsky (even they!) Did not dare. It’s hard to say which of them came up with the idea of finding an extraordinary censor, for this (and only for this) work matched. Entrust him with full confidence. To entrust an honorable mission to study the Bible, catching a dubious text, which damages the Soviet power. With a special need to edit, make bills. Fortunately, not to get used to…
Anyway, this thought came, and the censor with special powers appeared on a call to the academician in his office on the Kuznetsky Most.
It was a famous writer Nikolai Virta, recently still etched as an “Antonian,” and then suddenly caressed, noted
Stalin Prize, awarded praiseworthy reviews: Stalin liked his novel “Loneliness”, as liked (the quirks of the tyrant!) Bulgakov’s “Days of Turbins” and Pasternak’s translations from Georgian poets.
Subsequently, Wirtha said that the proposal to become a censor and editor of the Bible plunged him into confusion. But to refuse it would be suicide. In addition, Vyshinsky set out the assignment as follows: “The task of Comrade Stalin and the personal request of Metropolitan Sergius himself,” who was then the locum tenens of the patriarchal throne. Try – refuse…
Wirth took up his work. At last the opportunity appeared to calmly, without haste, to read the Great Book. Alas, to enjoy thought, poetry, the spirit was not given to him: in fact he did not read for the soul – he was looking for “sedition” – undesirable “
With particular diligence he looked for portrait traits: suddenly, for example, someone with a mustache appears somewhere – will not the reader, our simple Soviet reader, take it, will he perceive the “mustache” as something wrong? “In the modern vein” … The
Metropolitan, “at the request” of whom Wirth took up this job, having learned that he intends to edit the Bible, came into confusion, but there was nowhere to go – except to wait. Fortunately, the censor-editor of sedition in the Bible did not find, the publication allowed and came to Vyshinsky to report on the executed assignment.
In a few years, Wirth will again receive the Stalin Prize. Then in a row – more and more. And every time Vyshinsky regularly congratulates him “with a deservedly high award.” And Molotov, too “(Vaks-Berg, A. The Queen of Evidence, M., 1992. P. 257-258).