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The fifth book of "Quiet Don"



PYATY BOOK of "QUIET DON"

Almost for certain each of us, reading up the last pages of the novel "Quiet Don", asked itself a question: how fate of the main character Grigory Melekhov was further? Will shoot him after vozvra-

shcheniye home or will give the chance to work on the earth and to raise the son? It was hard to receive the answer to this question.

The autograph of the letter of Mikhail Sholokhov is stored in one of investigative cases of archive of Management of FSB on the Rostov region at number 246:

"Moscow, 6. 4. 26 g

Dear comrade Ermakov!

I need to receive from you some additional data concerning an era of 1919. I hope that you will not refuse to me courtesy to report these data with arrival by my of Moscow. I believe to be at you in May - June of this year. These data concern trifles of a revolt Upper Don.

Report in writing to the address - Karginskaya in what time it will be more convenient to arrive to you? Whether absence is planned at you these months?

With greetings M. Sholokhov".

Who this person to whom Sholokhov addresses with such request? History of his life allows to receive to some extent the answer to a question as Grigory Melekhov's fate would be. Harlampy Vasilyevich Ermakov - his prototype.

Long decades, an opportunity to see investigative case No. 246 did not open yet, practically nothing was known of the tragic fate of this person. What in the novel "Quiet Don" had to wait for Melekhov after return overtook Ermakov almost at once.

It, as well as Grigory, finished Civil war in the 1st Horse, held high posts, up to the commander of a regiment. However, never was in gangs. Came back home in February, 1923, and in April it was arrested for the first time.

In what he was guilty to the Soviet power? That to understand it and to see how much in common at him with the main character of the sholokhovsky novel, we will address its biography.

So, Harlampy Vasilyevich Ermakov, 1891 of the birth, the Cossack of the village of Veshenskoy, education the lowest, military, ended educational team, the non-party, before war was engaged in arable farming, the gentleman of four St George's Crosses and four medals.

From the record of interrogation of May 24, 1923:

"Question. Tell, Ermakov when you the first time went to military work in old army and when you came back home from old army?

Answer. In 1913 I was taken on active service by the private. It was exempted from military service in 1916 on wound. Had a rank of podhorunzhy. Pro-bylyadomado on July 1, 1917, then it was sent to the 2nd spare regiment in which served before the October revolution. At this time I already was horunzhy.

On January 26, 1918 I voluntarily went to Podtelkov and Kri-voshlykov's group. At Podtelkov I served till 20/3-18 i.e. until the group got to white, and I ran is wounded in the Voronezh voyenshspital..."

In these indications there are a lot of absurdities that it is difficult to understand how by them there passed the investigation. First of all almost for two months time of capture of group of Podtelkov is shifted. It is clear, that Ermakov was interested to hide the information about himself as his life depended on it. Where he in fact was then, the investigation did not find. But if to consider that Harlampy Ermakov is Grigory Melekhov's prototype, then it is difficult to believe that the story about how Grigory appeared on the place of an execution of podtelkovets, only art fiction.

This point of view is confirmed also by the story by the orderly Ermakov - Yakov Fedorovich Pyatakov, written down by Konstantin Priyma, the researcher of creativity of Sholokhov:

"... When we tops rushed in Ponomarev, my commander Ermakov also could not think that there will be such smertoubiystvo... He most of all was afraid that in the farm concerning Easter and in reconciliation podtelkovets and sleep - ridonovtsy-white hares will drink all moonshine and nothing will remain to us. We jump to the farm, and there!. The gallows, a black hillock of the earth before a huge hole, crowd to the people. And here met... Ermakov and Podtelkov. Met in an emphasis. Subcalves recognized Ermakov, named him Judas. Ermakov to tozhet answered him something too terrible. But when Spiridonov shouted to Ermakov: "Give the Cossack hunters!", Ermakov shouted: "I have no executioners-hunters!" And here hit the second volley...

I seized Ermakov by a belt, I drag to horses, and Spiridonov usled shouts: "Return, a reptile, and that we and in this hole will throw off you... Detain him!".

But Ermakov bared a checker... And I too. Cossacks parted. "Poe horse!" - Ermakov cried and led farmers in Bazki".

It is amazing as this story reminds described in the novel. It is not enough doubts that Ermakov managed to tell about execution of podtelkovets to Sholokhov. But some inexplicably these data passed by the investigation. In general all this interval of time - from the beginning 1918 and prior to the beginning of 1919 - is extremely tangled and to understand where there was Ermakov and that it did, difficult. To all appearances he really did not seek to help the investigation in clarification of the truth.

And here is how he told on interrogation about the further life:

"... After two-month recovery I came back home to the village of Veshenskaya. In Veshenskoy I was elected preexecutive committee of the article of Veshenskoy. At this position I was four months, i.e. till October, 1918. After that the station Veshenskaya was occupied white. I did not manage to leave and was taken prisoner white with all executive committee then I was arrested and devoted to court-martial. On court it was sentenced to execution.

According to the petition of my father and ranking officers of white army I instead of execution was sent to the front together with categorical a post -

a novleniye in which it was said that if I come over to the side of the Red Army, then all my family will be shot and the property will be seized. After that the army of white began to recede for Donets, and I managed to escape from a part and disappeared at home.

When passed parts of the Red Army through Veshenskaya, I came to an art warehouse of the 15th Inzensky division and was in Huth. Bazkakh.

In 1919 in February in villages Kazan, Migulinska, Veshenskoy, Elanska the revolt against Sovvlasti was.

>. Ives is time I was captured again. I was directed to the right side of Don".

Even from these several lines it is visible to

how twisted Ermakov life in only one year. And for certain he told not all: hid something, and also could not understand something. And we in many respects cannot understand today this one of the most terrible periods in the history of the Don Cossacks. It held also the Don Soviet republic when front Cossacks supported Bolsheviks, and P.N. Krasnov's atamanstvo when Donskoy's Troops were included into borders of lands Germans and under their cover the Don army, and a campaign of Volunteer army into Kuban and Terek, and wild experiments of the Soviet power over primordial inhabitants of the Don earth was formed. What did we know about the Veshensky revolt of 1919 except that it carried, on official Soviet interpretation, "counterrevolutionary character"? And what pushed the Don Cossacks on this performance? The leaflet risen with the address to fighters of the Red Army remained:

"Brothers Red Army men, whether you know for the sake of what we, Cossacks, lifted a revolt banner against communists? We rose because after you communists were, the extraordinary commissions which began to arrest and shoot not guilty our and your Cossack brothers and peasants in anything were, began to be engaged in robbery and nasiliya.

Whether you know that communists published the confidential secret circular about universal destruction of the Don Cossacks and peasants?

Whether it is possible to think up bigger crime - to wipe out the population of the whole area!

Down with the commune and executions! Long live public authority! Forward for a right cause of the people!

County council of the Upper Don district".

Can seem that in the text - some propaganda appeals. But even the head of Donbyuro of RCP(b) S.I. Syrtsov in the Secretariat of the Central Committee wrote in an explanatory note: "Figures about 600 people shot in Veshensky district". And judging by documents - before confidential, and nowadays available to researchers, - this figure is strongly underestimated. That

are stored in the Russian state military archive (former Central state archive of the Soviet Army) there are simply terrible: for example about what in the village of Morozovskaya the revkomovets cut with checkers of hostages - old men and women as put the Cossack naked legs on the heated frying pan.

Whether it is possible to believe that the Don Cossack Harlampy Ermakov, having appeared in the epicenter of a popular uprising, acted only on coercion? No, of course not. Tells about that also minutes of a general meeting of citizens of the village of Bazkovsky Veshenskoy the volost of the Donetsk district of May 17, 1923:

"... We, the undersigneds, citizens of the village of Bazkovsky, in view of arrest of the citizen of our village H.V. Ermakov consider a duty to express the opinion.

>. There was a revolt, and Ermakov, as well as everything, was forced to participate in it, though elected risen to a command position, but all the time tried to reduce horrors of a revolt as much as possible. Very much and very many can testify that they survived only thanks to Ermakov.

>. The revolt in general had character spontaneous. As the horse when she is bridled the first time - the first movement to rush forward and to tear everything, and in the Upper Don district actions of the Soviet power seemed too unusual, and the people rebelled and only after enough large measures made sure of advantage of action of the Soviet power. The Soviet power, it is visible, and understood the Upper Don revolt of 1919 and announced pardon, free for it. Being guided by this forgiveness of the power, citizens of the village of Bazki also found it necessary to address the power with the comment on Ermakov".

Whether took effect it is the address - difficultly to understand. Ermakov was kept without court from February, 1924 till end of May, 1925, that is obviously expecting to punish eventually. But in a year Ermakov was let out on bails. The decision on release looks also strange, and at the same time indicative for that era, the orders reigning then.

"An extract from minutes of the Administrative meeting Ugsudotdela Sevkavkraysuda of May 29, 1925.

>. Meaning that defendants were not active voluntary participants of a revolt and are called on mobilization by a district atamanstvo that beating and murder of citizens happened not on the soil of acts of terrorism as over Sovvlasti's adherents and as the persons who were taking part in plunder of their property wore a uniform of self-vessels that from the moment of commission of crime there passed more than 7 years, defendants for the fixed time were at large, engaged in a personal labor, being not involved in anything, most of them served in the Red Army and have several wounds - defined:

On the basis of Article 4a of the Code of Criminal Procedure production to dismiss the real case on expediency. To cancel the chosen measure of restraint concerning all defendants".

That is, on the one hand, the defendant kind of killed, and with another - is not responsible for it. As did it not with political goals.

The formulation "the case is very significant to dismiss on expediency". It means that then shot, and released "on expediency". That is not under the law.

In any case, that time Ermakov was lucky, and he appeared on freedom. Probably, then its meetings with Sholokhov took place.

Whatever tests he had to endure already, life proceeded. And if it was not known further, it was possible to consider that the destiny was favorable to Grigory Melekhov. But could not during that era, in real life to be on the Don earth of happy epilogs.

On January 20, 1927 Harlampiya Ermakov is arrested again. What was the reason this time?

In 1972 Sholokhov appealed to KGB to provide to Priyma the letter to Ermakov. In business there is a big correspondence between high ranks about whether to give how to give what to give what not to give. The reference submitted about it "to the very top" is especially interesting. In it is considered it "expedient to charge to inform to management of KGB across the Rostov region the literary critic Priyma of the photocopy of the letter of Sholokhov. At the same time, we consider to acquaint Priyma with archival criminal cases for Ermakov undesirable as criminal case on it for 1925 is dismissed, and proceedings for 1927 were initiated on the basis of secret-service data. The materials concentrated in criminal cases on investigation of criminal activity of Ermakov against Sovvlasti, in our opinion, do not disclose all complexity and discrepancy of his course of life".

In fact a lot of things open "business for 1927" in which to Priyma at the beginning of the 70th did not allow to glance.

Judging by a phrase "on the basis of secret-service data", Ermakov and after release was not disregarded. Secondly, new business was much more serious and was conducted by completely different methods. First of all in it there are evidences given by new witnesses who did not appear s1 business of 1925. New protocols of interrogations of Ermakov surprisingly a little. There is a feeling that now to investigators nothing was required to find out and new answers of the defendant did not interest them. But, I will repeat, charges were extremely serious.

Witnesses said that during fights in 1919 the Don parts under Ermakov's command sank about five hundred Red Army men in the Don River that Ermakov personally cut 18 sailors. Ermakov did not plead guilty, saying that anti-Soviet actions, serving as Soviet

the authorities, did not make, and being at white on coercion, killed nobody and did not make such orders to subordinates.

The testimony of witnesses there is enough putanua, many are given from what others have told. But if to remember how novel events with real life of Ermakov are crossed, to present that bloody hell on Don which whirlwinds could not pass our hero in any way it is necessary to recognize carefully: could be. At all at the story about events of that era and the fate of the people participating in them it is not necessary to embellish anything or to rehabilitate someone. Those people lived at the time, were hostages of that tragedy, and the way from the hero to the victim then was surprisingly short.

By 1927 already there passed times when though officially, but there was an investigation, and happened, as released on bails. Now, when there came the era of collectivization and already terror, unprecedented on scale, against the people was preparing, a sentimentality was to anything. In few months (after all still "prodigally long" - such affairs will finish in weeks and even days soon) the indictment of department of GPU was ready Brought it, however, not to trial: "To submit case No. 6 on Harlam-piya Vasilyevich Ermakov's charge to the article of a pomprokuror of SSK on the Donetsk district for making the conclusion regarding case referral to the Special meeting of Board of OGPU".

And further everything developed on already fulfilled system of the solution of fate of people.

"To a lump: GPU Confidentially

the Extract from minutes No. 2 of a meeting of Presidium of the Central Election Commission of the USSR of May 26, 1927.

Listened: Decided:

About The petition of OGPU to satisfy the petition of OGPU

granting to it it is right

removal extrajudicial

sentences on cases 45529

on Mr. Ermakov

Harlampiya Vasilyevich.

Secretary of the Central Election Commission of USSR A. Enukidze

Special representative of board of OGPU Feldman".

In several days, June 6, 1927, Ermakov's fate it was solved.

"Meeting of board of OGPU (judicial)

Listened:

Decided:

Case No. 45529 on charge Harlampiya Vasilyevich Ermakov

for Harlampiya Ermakov to shoot. Business is handed over in archive".

Vasilyevich till 58-11 and

58-18 articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Case is considered

it in court agrees

to the resolution of Presidium

The Central Election Commission of the USSR of 26/5-27

The person is still alive, and business is handed already over in archive, that is everything is really complete and there was the simplest is to kill. As it was made:

"... 1927, June of the 17th day the present statement that this number according to the order of software of OGPU of June 15 of this year the sentence of board about execution for Harlampiya Vasilyevich Ermakov is carried out is drawn up".

And all... Life is ended. Business is sent to archive. For dark and eternal oblivion.

There passed more than seventy years.

The resolution of presidium of the Rostov regional court of August 18, 1989 repealed the resolution of board of OGPU of June 6, 1927. The case is dismissed for lack of evidence. Harlam-py Vasilyevich Ermakov is rehabilitated posthumously.

>. Inevitably there is a question: well if there was no Sholokhov's letter if data did not filter that Ermakov is Grigory Melekhov's prototype, - we would learn sometime about his life and tragic destiny? And to regret, is not present on this question of the affirmative answer.

There is a lot of still, it is a lot of archivings from which pages with deep pain and a reproach the ruined people look at us. Look and wait when we return them from a non-existence.

James Lopez
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