Posted 26 августа 2021,, 09:45

Published 26 августа 2021,, 09:45

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

"He died gorgeously!" 100 years ago, Chekists shot Nikolay Gumilyov

"He died gorgeously!" 100 years ago, Chekists shot Nikolay Gumilyov

26 августа 2021, 09:45
A remarkable Russian poet became one of the first victims of the terrible Soviet regime.

Today marks exactly 100 years since the extrajudicial execution of Nikolay Stepanovich Gumilyov. The place of his execution and burial is still unknown. He was arrested in the so-called case of the "Petrograd military organization of Tagantsev" and became one of the first Russian intellectuals subjected to KGB repressions. Moreover, Gumilyov was one of the last to be rehabilitated! And they frightened Gumilyov with "bourgeois" poetry right up to perestroika in the Soviet Union.

Interestingly, according to the documents from the criminal case, the so-called investigation into the high-profile case was conducted by someone Yakobson, who did not appear anywhere else. Under this pseudonym was the Chekist Yakov Agranov, Lily Brik's lover and organizer of mass repressions, and also shot, but only 17 years later.

Literary critic Valery Shubinsky writes about Gumilyov:

“There are poets from whom poetry remains, and only poetry. Their biography is just an appendix to the texts, a commentary on them, the history of their creation. This happens quite often - and it is with the greatest masters.

Everything is different with Gumilyov. From him remained not only poetry, but also the Legend - the image of a poet-warrior, poet-traveler, conquistador, conspirator. His entire conscious life - from his first African trip to his death in the dungeons of the Cheka (All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage) - is building up into a spectacular and impressive picture. “I want not only my poetry, but also my life to be a work of art”, he said shortly before his death to Irina Odoevtseva. We can say that at least in part he did it. The biographical legend of Gumilyov captured the imagination of many young men in Russia in the 20th century, like the biography of Byron in the 19th century..."

It is known that the poet behaved courageously in the dungeons of the Cheka. For example, when the guard asked if the poet Gumilyov was in the cell, he answered:

- There is no poet Gumilyov, there is an officer Gumilyov.

Literary critic Yuri Zobnin tells about the last days of the poet, who spent three weeks in prison:

“Miraculously — it cannot be said otherwise — half a century after the tragedy of August 1921, a witness was found who visited the cell on Shpalernaya after the execution of the Tagantsevites and saw what was written by Gumilyov on this terrible wall. Gumilyov's last words were:


There are also scattered evidence of the execution of Gumilyov and his comrades in misfortune:

“The shooting was carried out at one of the stations of Irinovskaya railway station. The arrested were brought in at dawn and forced to dig a hole. When the pit was half ready, everyone was ordered to undress... Some of the doomed were forcibly pushed into the pit, and fire was opened at the pit. The rest of the bodies were herded onto a pile of bodies and killed in the same manner. After that, the pit, where the living and the wounded groaned, was covered with earth".

The behavior of the Gumilyov in the last, terrible moments before firing pit told in 1921, the poet and part-time security officer for S.P. Bobrov:

“Yes... This is your Gumilyov... We, the Bolsheviks, this is ridiculous. But, you know, he died gorgeously. I heard first-hand. He smiled, finished his cigarette ... Fanfare, of course. But even the guys from the special department were impressed. Empty youth, but still a tough guy. Few die like that. Well - dumped the fool. I would not go into the counter would go to us, I would have made a great career. We need such people".

There is also evidence that poets close to Gumilyov found a gardener who lived near the place of execution, suggesting that he could see something, and persuaded him to tell about what happened. According to him, the whole party was placed in one row. Many men and women cried, fell to their knees, begged the drunken soldiers. Gumilyov stood motionless until the last minute".

Among the many legends left after Gumilyov there is one. As if on the wall of the cell of the Kronstadt fortress, where Gumilyov spent the last night before the execution, scrawled verses were found.

At the hour of the evening, at the hour of the sunset

Like a winged caravel

Sails Petrograd...

And burns on a reddish disc

Your angel is on the obelisk

Like the sun, the little brother.

I am not worried, I am calm,

I am a poet, sailor and warrior

I will not give in to the executioner.

Let him brand with a shameful stigma -

I know, a black blood clot

I pay for the freedom.

But for the verse and for the courage,

For sonnets and for a sword -

I know - my proud city

At the hour of the evening, at the hour of the sunset

With the winged caravel

Will take me home".

Experts disagree about the authorship of these lines, since no documentary evidence has yet been found. So let it just remain a beautiful farewell legend.