MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
What the children of the war thought and dreamed about – the exhibits of the Victory Museum tell.
There are two very sad and touching archives in the funds of the Victory Museum. They contain children’s drawings created in 1941-1945. On yellowed paper, instead of the plots familiar to today’s children’s creativity – battles, volleys of guns, smoke. The clear sky is filled with fighters, and in the sea you can see not white ships, but warships. The war changed the lives of children, made them grow up faster and, together with adults, dream of only one thing – about victory.
One archive contains graphics created in childhood by the future famous artist Nikolai Markarov (1933-2008), the second – the work of pupils of one of the Moscow kindergartens. We suggest looking at both.
Nikolay Markarov. Letters to my father to the front
Nikolay Markarov is a graphic artist, sculptor, illustrator, poet. In 1963 he graduated from the Moscow State Art Institute named after V.I. Surikov. In 1965 he began teaching at the Moscow Architectural Institute (MARHI), first at the department of drawing, then at sculpture. In 1974 he was admitted to the Union of Artists of the USSR. His works are kept today in many museums in Russia. Among them are the Museum of the History of the Moscow Architectural School at the Moscow Architectural Institute, the Victory Museum (Moscow), the State Museum of History, the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg).
Markarov’s works have taken part in many exhibitions at home and abroad. The first of these was the Children’s Sculpture Exhibition in Baku in 1946. The 13-year-old artist received the 1st prize there for the sculpture “The last hours of Taras Bulba’s life at the stake”. Nikolai Markarov’s children’s drawings were donated to the Victory Museum by his widow Eleonora Khazaryan.
When the war began, Nikolai Markarov, then just Kolya, was eight years old. Already at that time it was clear that the boy had great talent. His works were cherished – even those that he painted for his father, who went to the front, were preserved in the family archive. Among the plots made in 1941-1945, the war occupied an important place, of course. A significant part of this archive is devoted to air battles.
Markarov spent his childhood in Baku (he moved to Moscow in 1956). The capital of the Azerbaijan SSR occupied a special place in the plans of Nazi Germany – the city was rich in oil and had access to the Caspian Sea. The capture of Baku was planned for September 25, 1942. In 1942–1943, the Red Army repelled 74 attempts to invade the city by enemy air forces.
In July 1941, the ships of the Caspian military flotilla transported a tank division to Baku from Krasnovodsk (now Turkmenbashy, a city in the west of Turkmenistan). Among the abstract tanks in the drawings of the young artist, one stands out – it has a specific name. “Gorky Pioneer” is a real tank, created with money collected by schoolchildren from the city of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod).
On September 1, pupils from school No. 102 of the Kirovsky district of Gorky made an offer to help the front. All schoolchildren of the Gorky region supported them. The guys handed over scrap metal, waste paper, helped adults in their work, and all the money was transferred to a special account. The Gorky Automobile Building Plant, which switched over to the production of military equipment during the war, built the Gorky Pioneer tank. The name was proudly engraved on the hull.
At the beginning of 1942, the combat vehicle was transferred to the tankers. The crew of the Gorky Pioneer kept in touch with the guys, the soldiers reported in letters about their exploits. In total, seven tanks were built with funds raised by schoolchildren. They talked about the Gorky Pioneer tank column on the All-Union Radio, in newspapers, schoolchildren from all over the country discussed the good deed of their peers. Among them was probably little Nikolai Markarov.
In 1957, by the way, inspired by this story, the story for children “Tank” Pioneer “” by the writer, journalist and front-line soldier Semyon Samsonov was published.
Another drawing dedicated to a specific object is “Jupiter”. This name was given to the tug and rescue vessel, which performed the most complex operations in the Black Sea in the first months of the war. In August 1941, under enemy shelling, “Jupiter” brought icebreaker No. 7 and the steamer “Silin” out of the port of Kherson. On September 22, while providing assistance to the damaged ships in the area of the Tendrovskaya Spit, the Jupiter underwent a massive air attack. The rescue vessel was de-energized, riddled with bullets and shrapnel, navigation instruments were disabled. Having lost almost a third of the crew, it survived and came to Sevastopol.
The picture “Pike” is not dedicated to a specific vessel. “Pike” was the name of the Sh-type submarines, the most numerous among the submarines of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War. For military merit six “Pike” received the title of Guards, 11 were awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
Archive of Ekaterina Afanasyeva. Kids draw Victory
These drawings were donated to the museum by the artist Marina Afanasyeva, an illustrator of children’s books, together with the works of her mother, Ekaterina Afanasyeva (1900–1998). She studied at the most famous art school of the 1920s – VKHUTEMAS. She worked in the publishing houses “Children’s Literature”, “Uchpedgiz”. During the Great Patriotic War, she was a foreman of artists in an art print shop, worked in evacuation hospital No. 290, where she created portraits of the wounded and doctors. She also raised her daughter Marina, who was born in 1938 and went to kindergarten during the war years.
After the war, Yekaterina Aleksandrovna worked at the Hammer and Sickle plant, where she painted portraits of leaders. From 1954 to 1968 she served as an artist at the studio “Filmstrip”. In 1979 she began work at the Higher Theater School named after M.S. Shchepkina.
Five drawings preserved in the family archive were created in 1945 and are dedicated to the Victory. All five are joyful, cheerful and happy.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.