By Vasily Grossman
Paperback publication. background. pink military
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Additional info for A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945
He would be the longest serving journalist in the embattled city. Ortenberg, with whom he had a difficult relationship, recognised Grossman’s extraordinary talents. ‘All the correspondents on the Stalingrad Front were amazed at how Grossman had made the divisional commander General Gurtiev, a silent and reserved Siberian, talk to him for six hours without a break, telling him all that he wanted to know, at one of the hardest moments [of the battle]. I know that the fact that he never wrote anything down during the interview helped Grossman to win people’s confidence.
Their green tabs used to cause them a lot of trouble, as the same tabs were worn by medics, and they were always being mistaken for them. ’ The next day Grossman reported at the editorial office. He told me that although this appointment was unexpected, he was happy about it. He returned a few days later fully equipped and in an officer’s uniform. ] ‘I am ready to depart for the front today,’ he said. ’ I asked. ’ I pointed to the pistol hanging at his side. ’ ‘So how can I allow you to go to the front?
Boris Guber, her husband and a fellow writer, realised that his wife adored Grossman and did not try to fight events. 7 That year, Grossman became a member of the Writers’ Union, an official seal of approval which provided many perks. But in February 1938, Olga Mikhailovna was arrested, simply for having been Guber’s wife. Grossman moved quickly to persuade the authorities that she was now his wife, even though she had retained the name of Guber. He also adopted the two Guber sons to save them from being sent to a camp for the orphans of ‘enemies of the people’.
A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945 by Vasily Grossman