Documents of RGVA devoted to the tragically destiny of V.E. Meyerhold

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Annotation / Аннотация
In the article are unknown documents of the Russian State Military Archive used. These documents concern destiny and creative activity of outstanding Soviet director V.E. Mejerhold for 1918 – 1939.
В статье использованы неизвестные и ранее не публиковавшиеся документы Российского государственного военного архива, касающиеся судьбы и творческой деятельности выдающегося советского режиссера В.Э. Мейерхольда, за 1918 – 1939 гг.

Keywords / Ключевые слова
Meyerhold, the director, theater, Trotsky, military department, Vsevobuch, the honourable Red Army man, prison, arrest, a special escort. Мейерхольд, режиссер, театр, Троцкий, военное ведомство, Всевобуч, почетный красноармеец, тюрьма, арест, особый конвой.

All think that documents which are stored in RGVA contain only history of armed forces since 1918. But other documents are stored in RGVA. In them there is an information about creativity and lives of the outstanding director and actor Meyerhold. Its biography is accessible in four funds. The biography is in fund of Red Army, White Army, armies of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs and foreign extraction documents. In funds of Red Army there are autographs of Meyerhold. In funds there are letters of Meyerhold. He wrote these letters to Trotsky. Meyerhold’s archive has arrived in the State literary archive (CGALI, now - RGALI). In this archive wasn't documents with Trotsky's mention. On January, 7th, 1938 Committee on affairs of arts has ordered to liquidate the State theater of Meyerhold. Alexandrova was Meyerhold’s personal secretary. She has disassembled all archive. Alexanderova selected everything that could compromise Meyerhold. Especially it concerned contacts to Trotsky. Therefore we won't meet that letters in the published collections of documents.

In 1926 – 1936 Meyerhold and Reich went abroad, first of all to France. They were there on theater affairs. Still they were treated. In 1930 the troupe of the State theater of Meyerhold left on tour to Germany and France. In foreign extraction documents there is an information on when Meyerhold and Reich petitioned for delivery of the entry visa by it to France. In documents it is underlined, for what purpose they went, who had about them data in France when, in what hotels and on what it is concrete to addresses they lived in Paris, Vichy or Nice. In documents of the French police (July, 1928) it is told about arrival of Meyerhold and Reich. In these documents Meyerhold called «the main director of the Soviet theaters».

Newspapers have written that Meyerhold has run away from the USSR. Meyerhold has been offended. Chehov M.A. wrote: «I tried to give to it my feelings, presentiments, about its terrible end if it returns to Soviet Union are faster. He listened silently, has easy and sadly answered me. He has told that since gymnasia years in a soul carried Revolution and always in extreme, its maximal forms. He has told that will return to Soviet Union. It will make it of honesty.

Gladkov A.K. remembered that Meyerhold always spoke about Stalin frostily. He didn't criticize Stalin and didn't flatter it. Only once Meyerhold has told: “Read and re-read “Makbet!”

Meyerhold was on friendly terms with many people who have suffered in days of reprisals. The hero of Civil war Belov I.P. was Meyerhold’s friend. He have shot in June, 1938. Tukhachevsky was Meyerhold’s friend. It has been subjected to repression in 1937. When Meyerhold has learned about death of friend Sergo Ordzhonikidze, it has been lost and suppressed. Meyerhold has been arrested in Leningrad on the night of June, 20th, 1939. He has been sent in Butyrsky prison. It tortured. On February, 2nd, 1940 on the basis of a sentence of Military board of the Supreme court of the USSR it has been shot. In the night from 14 for July, 15th, 1939 in Moscow Meyerhold’s wife – Reich Z.Nh has been brutally killed. But he hasn't learned about it.

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.