Opening of the exhibition «People want to know»

The exhibition «People want to know», opened at The State Museum of Political History of Russia, is dedicated to the history of creation of the «Siege Book» by Ales Adamovich and Daniil Granin.

The exhibition was created by the Foundation for the Preservation and Popularization of the inheritance of Daniil Granin with the support Central State Archive of Literature and Art. It is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Daniil Granin, as well as 75th anniversary of the complete relief of Leningrad from the Siege.

One of the first most famous works about the Siege was published about 40 years ago. The path of the «Siege Book» was uneasy to the reader. In 1977, the its publication in the magazine «New world» stopped the department of propaganda of the CPSU Central Committee. In 1979, the first part of the book was published in small circulation and with censorship the Moscow publishing house «Soviet writer». The second part of the book was published two years later in the magazine «New world».

You can see the materials related to the history of the «Siege Book» - these are the secret documents which stopped the journal publication, typewriting of the book and layout censorship changes, letters from people who survived the Siege with responses to the book, materials from archive of Adamovich and Granin.

The idea to create an exhibition about the history of the legendary book became to the editor of the Siege diaries Natalia Sokolovskaya. She became the curator of the project. Sokolovskaya spent many months studying the archive of Granin, which is kept in Central State Archive of Literature and Art in Saint-Petersburg. Now, some of the documents she studied, can be seen at The State Museum of Political History of Russia.

The space of the exhibition reminds the book – viewers find themselves inside book pages, each of which tells one of the chapters of the history of the «Siege Book» - the plan, writers' correspondence, editing of censors, the first publication, the responses of the Siege survivals. The impression made by the "Siege Book" on the readers, both those who survived the blockade and those who know about it only from the stories, can be judged by the letters of thanks that came to the author's name.

On the first day of the exhibition it was visited by director Aleksander Sokurov, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Saint-Petersburg Alexander Shishlov, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Culture Alexander Voronko, historians Boris Kolonitsky, Nikita Lomagin, Rector of University of the humanities and social sciences Alexander Zapesotsky, director of the Central State Archive of Literature and Art Lyudmila Nikolaeva, leading researcher of the Russian Museum Yulia Demidenko. The curator of the archive and the daughter of Ales Adamovich Natalia Adamovich arrived from Minsk.

«The place of the exhibition wasn`t chosen by chance, - said at the opening ceremony Elena Kostiusheva, Deputy General Director of the State Enterprise for Enterprise Development, - Daniil Aleksandrovich Granin was not a bystander for our museum, he knew our museum very well, he lived nearby and often visited it, so it is important for us that the exhibition is exhibited in these walls».

According to Marina Chernysheva-Granina, the daughter of the writer and the head of the Foundation for the Preservation and Popularization of the inheritance of Daniil Granin, the «Siege Book» occupied a very special place in the work of Granin. «The work on it revealed the Siege to Daniil Aleksandrovich. He was a soldier and defended Leningrad, but it turned out that he knew nothing about what was happening in the city. Therefore, the «Siege Book» is also a discovery for the authors», - Chernysheva-Granina said.

The exhibition will work in the atrium of the museum until September 29.

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