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#181 – Ilya Ehrenburg

#181 – Ilya Ehrenburg published on No Comments on #181 – Ilya Ehrenburg

Ehrenburg is among the most popular and notable authors of the Soviet Union; publishing around one hundred titles, and became known first and foremost as a novelist and a journalist. In particular, as a reporter in three wars (WWI, Spanish Civil War & WWII). His articles calling for vengeance against the Nazi German army won him a huge following among front-line Soviet Soldiers.

When Ehrenburg was hired to write Soviet propaganda focused in using “their literary talents to the hate campaign” against the Germans during World War II. 1The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia

After the war, in 1943, Ehrenburg, working with the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, began to collect material for what would become “The Black Book of Soviet Jewry”, documenting the Holocaust, and in December 1944, Ehrenburg declared that the Germans’ greatest crime was their murder of six million Jews.2

In 1954, Ehrenburg tested the limits of censorship of the post-Stalin Soviet Union with a novel titled “The Thaw”. It portrayed a corrupt, autocratic factory boss, a “little Stalin”, and told the story of his wife, who feels estranged from him, and the views he represents. 3The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia The novel can be seen as a representation of increased freedom of the writer after the limiting ‘frozen’ political period under Stalin.

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