Young Guard

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Young Guard

 

a literary group founded in 1922 on the initiative of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist League of Youth to bring together writers of the first Komsomol generation. In 1923 it merged with the Moscow Association of Proletarian Writers (MAPP). Subsequently it became the writers’ association of the Komsomol writers of MAPP and was affiliated with the magazine Molodaia gvardiia (Young Guard). The members of Molodaia Gvardiia, who had assimilated the principles of realism, wrote works dealing with important current problems, the lives of young people, and the Civil War of 1918–20. The group included the poets A. I. Bezymenskii, M. A. Svetlov, and M. Golodnyi and the prose writers M. B. Kolosov, N. V. Bogdanov, V. A. Gerasimova, and A. Isbakh. M. A. Sholokhov began his literary career as a member of Young Guard.

REFERENCE

Kolosov, M. “Pod znakom komsomola.” Iunost’ 1966, no. 5.

Young Guard

 

(Molodaia Gvardiia), an underground Komsomol organization active in Krasnodon, Voroshilovgrad Oblast, during the Great Patriotic War of 1941^5, at the time of the temporary occupation of the Donbas by fascist German forces.

The Young Guard emerged under the leadership of the party underground, which was headed by F. P. Liutikov. After the occupation of Krasnodon (July 20, 1942) by the fascists, a number of antifascist youth groups were organized, including those led by I. A. Zemnukhov, O. V. Koshevoi, V. I. Levashov, S. G. Tiulenin, A. Z. Eliseenko, V. A. Zhdanov, N. S. Sumskii, U. M. Gromova, A. V. Popov, and M. K. Peglivanova. On Oct. 2, 1942, the Communist E. la. Moshkov held the first organizational meeting of the leaders of youth groups from the city and the nearest settlements. The underground organization established at this meeting was called the Young Guard. Its staff included Koshevoi (commissar of the Young Guard), I. V. Turkenich (commander), Gromova, Zemnukhov, Levashov, V. I. Tret’iakevich, Tiulenin, and L. G. Shevtsova. The Young Guard had 91 members, including 26 workers, 44 students, and 14 office employees. Of the total membership, 15 were Communists.

The organization had four shortwave radios, an underground press, weapons, and explosives. It published and distributed 5,000 copies of antifascist leaflets under 30 different titles. On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, it hung eight Soviet flags in the city. Members of the organization destroyed enemy motor-vehicle transports carrying soldiers, ammunition, and fuel. On Nov. 15, 1942, members of the Young Guard freed 70 Soviet prisoners of war from a fascist concentration camp and 20 Soviet prisoners of war from a hospital. On Dec. 6, 1942, they set fire to the fascist labor exchange building, where the Germans kept lists of individuals to be transported to Germany. As a result, about 2,000 citizens of Krasnodon were saved from fascist slavery.

The underground party organization and the Young Guard prepared an armed uprising to destroy the fascist garrison and meet the Soviet Army. However, the treachery of the provocateur Pocheptsov cut short the preparations. Members of the Young Guard courageously and steadfastly endured the crudest tortures in the fascist torture chambers. On Jan. 15, 16, and 31, 1943, the fascists threw 71 prisoners, some of whom were still alive and some of whom had already been executed, into a 53-meter deep shaft at Mine No. 5. After enduring bestial tortures, Koshevoi, Shevtsova, S. M. Ostapenko, D. U. Ogurtsov, and V. F. Subbotin were executed in Gremuchii Les near the city of Roven’ki on Feb. 9, 1943. Four persons were executed elsewhere, and 11 individuals escaped from police persecution. A. V. Kovalev was lost in action, Turkenich and S. S. Safonov were killed at the front. G. M. Arutiuniants, V. D. Borts, A. V. Lopukhov, O. I. Ivantsova, N. M. Ivantsova, Levashov, M. T. Shishchenko, and R. P. lurkin survived.

By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of Sept. 13, 1943, Gromova, Zemnukhov, Koshevoi, Tiulenin, and Shevtsova were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union; three members of the Young Guard received the Order of the Red Banner; 35 were awarded the Order of the Patriotic War First Class; six received the Order of the Red Star; and 66 were awarded the medal Partisan of the Patriotic War First Class. The feat of the heroes of the Young Guard has been recorded in A. A. Fadeev’s novel The Young Guard. Molodogvardeisk, a new city founded in Voroshilovgrad Oblast in 1961, was named in memory of the organization. A number of populated areas, sovkhozes, kolkhozes, and ships have been named after various individuals of the Young Guard.

REFERENCE

Molodaia gvardiia: Sb. dokumentov i vospominanii, 3rd ed. Donetsk, 1972.
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