Musa Mustafomch Dzhalil

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dzhalil’, Musa Mustafomch


(also Musa Mustafovich Dzhalilov). Born Feb. 2 (15), 1906, in the village of Mustafino, in present-day Orenburg Oblast; died Aug. 25, 1944, in Berlin. Soviet Tatar poet. Member of the CPSU from 1929.

Dzhalil’, the son of a poor peasant, graduated from the literature department of Moscow State University in 1931. He was the editor of several Tatar magazines for children, which were published from 1931 to 1932 under the auspices of the Central Committee of the All-Union Lenin Communist Youth League (Komsomol). From 1939 to 1941, Dzhalil’ served as the executive secretary of the Union of Writers of the Tatar ASSR. He joined the Soviet Army in 1941. After being seriously wounded in 1942, he was captured and imprisoned in a concentration camp, where he organized an underground group that arranged the escapes of Soviet military prisoners. His fellow inmates memorized and circulated his poems by word of mouth. Dzhalil’ was executed in Plotzensee military prison for his participation in the underground organization. The title Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred on him posthumously in 1956.

Dzhalil’ was first published in 1919. His first collection of verses and narrative poems We Are Going were published in 1925. Several of his poems including “Paths Traversed” (1924-28), “Shock Worker-Partisan” (1930), and “The Letter Carrier” (1940), are devoted to the Komsomol and to feats of labor. Dzhalil’ also celebrated friendship and internationalism in his verses (for example, “On Death,” 1927, and “Jim,” 1935. He wrote the librettos for the operas Altyn chech (in Russian, The Golden-haired Girl, 1941; State Prize of the USSR, 1948) and Il’dar (1941). His poems written in 1941 are optimistic and express faith in a victory over fascism (for example, “From the Hospital,” “Before the Attack,” and “Letter From a Trench).” Dzhalil’, with the help of a Belgian partisan also confined in Moabit prison, smuggled out a notebook of poems; these include “My Songs,” “Do Not Believe,” and “After the War.” His poetry, consisting of more than 100 works, are testimony of Dzhalil’s struggles, sufferings, and courage. He was posthumously awarded the Lenin Prize in 1957 for his collection of poems Moabit Notebook. A film about Dzhalil’, also entitled Moabit Notebook, was made in 1968.


Saylanma ïsïrlïr. Kazan, 1960.
In Russian translation:
Soch. Kazan, 1962.
Izbr. proizv. Kazan, 1969.


Bikmukhametov, R. Musa Dzhalil: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1962.
Karimullin, A. G. Musa Dzhalil’ (Bibliografiia 1919-61). Kazan, 1961.
Vozdvizhenskii, V. G. “Moabitskie tetradi” Musy Dzhalilia. Moscow, 1969.
Kashshaf, G. Musa Jïlil. Kazan, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.