The article covers the highlights of the biography and the heroic path of a sapper and front-line newspaperman of the 29th Rifle Division named Andrei Fedorovich Dubitsky (1915–2005), based on the materials of the archive of Nur-Sultan. A.F. Dubitsky was born in the Cossack village of Akmolinskaya stanitsa, which is one of the constituent parts of the city of Akmolinsk. In 1931, he graduated from a seven-year school in Akmolinsk and entered the Omsk Art College. In 1936, having successfully graduated from college, he returned to Akmolinsk and began to work as a teacher of drawing and drafting in 5–10th grades. He collaborated with “Socialist construction” and “Akmola truth” newspapers on a part-time basis. A.F. Dubitsky loved to write poems, essays, stories, drawings about the daily life of his city. In December 1941, he was drafted into the Red Army by mobilization and enlisted as a soldier in the 78th separate sapper battalion of the 29th rifle division, which was formed in Akmolinsk and Karaganda. In January 1943, F. Dubitsky was promoted from a soldier to a junior lieutenant and he was appointed an executive secretary of “Soviet Bogatyr” division newspaper. In this position, together with the 72nd Guards Rifle Division, he left Stalingrad for Kursk Bulge. The harsh front-line daily routine of a fighter A.F. Dubitsky was reflected in hundreds of notes, dozens of life-drawings (mainly portraits of soldiers and commanders), and his own poems. Together with the 72nd Guards Krasnograd Red Rifle Division, he went through Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Transylvania, Hungary, and he was in Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava and Prague. He ended the war in the same 72nd Guards Division as a senior lieutenant, executive secretary of the Soviet Bogatyr division newspaper. A.F. Dubitsky was awarded for the combat and labor exploits, i.e., two orders of the Patriotic War, “For courage”, “For the defense of Stalingrad”, “For the capture of Budapest”, “For labor valor”, “For distinguished labour”, “For the development of virgin and fallow lands” medals and other awards. He is an author of the collections of short stories named “Donin Kindergarten”, “Forged Helmet”, “Smile”, “Raspberry Blagovest”, novels “Barrier”, “Sultry Interfluve”, “Hard Life”, books of local history “Akmola — the glorious city”, “Where Ishim flows”, “Let's walk along the streets of Tselinograd”, “Tablets of history” and others. The article notes that the main high- linghts of A.F. Dubitsky's biography and front line will become an eternal example, evoking pride and respect among not only the members of present generation, but also the future one.
It is no exaggeration to say that one of the main historical events of the 20th century was the Victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War, the 75th anniversary of which is celebrated this year.
Unfortunately, recently researchers and scholars in historiography have attempted to “popularize” the discourse, which calls into question the historical role and contribution of the Soviet Union to the Victory during the Second World War. The desire to rewrite the history of not only the Second World War, but also the Great Patriotic War not only affects the change in the nature of the research subject, but also leads to a distortion of historical memory in the minds of contemporaries and descendants about the events of that time. Under these conditions, it is quite natural for the researchers to increase their responsibility for further objective study of the labor and front-line heroism of the Soviet people based on archival materials.
Those who fought for their homeland bore all the brunt of war, and we owe them a peaceful life today. The heroism of Soviet soldiers will never lose its significance and relevance, since it is an example of overcoming the most difficult real-life challenge. The main source of this great Victory was the absolute unity of the front and home front. The endless support of the people increased the strength of the Soviet army in battles with the sworn enemy, increasing military power.
The war came to every house, and every republic gave everything possible to achieve a common victory and defeat Nazi Germany. Kazakhstan, along with other republics, made a significant contribution to the Victory of 1945, i.e., being the front arsenal, the republic supplied equipment and food to the front, thereby providing large-scale economic support to the units. In addition, Kazakhstan, along with other Soviet republics, took an active part in the battles of the Great Patriotic War and made a huge contribution to the Victory. Kazakhstan sent 1 200 thousand people to the front, including “82 thousand communists (2/3 of the pre-war number), 242 thousand Komsomol members (almost 70 %) and 5 183 women and girls, as well as 700 thousand army and special construction units” [1; 450]. During the war years, military divisions were formed on the territory of the republic and took a direct part in the fighting — 12 rifle divisions and 4 cavalry divisions, as well as separate brigades, regiments and battalions.
It should be noted that according to article 1 of the Law “On General Military Duty” of September 1, 1939, military service in the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army was an honorable duty of the USSR citizens. According to article 3 of the same Law “All men — citizens of the USSR — are obliged to serve in the armed forces of the USSR without distinction of race, nationality, religion, educational qualification, social origin and position” . Service in the Red Army was considered not only a common military duty, but also was the honorable duty of citizens of the USSR. After the outbreak of Great Patriotic War, the State Defense Committee on September 17, 1941 adopted Decree No. GKO-690 “On Compulsory General Military Education for Citizens of the USSR”, according to which males from 16 to 50 years old were given in-service military affairs trainings. In paragraph 5, attention was drawn to the fact that “during military training, special attention should be paid to drill, mastering a rifle, machine gun, mortar and hand grenade, to chemical defense, digging trenches and disguise, as well as to tactical training of a single soldier and squad” . Having worked at the machine, all residents of Akmolinsk rushed to military training [4; 205]. According to the archive of Nur-Sultan, about 37 thousand people left Akmolinsk (the name of this city in 1941. — authors.) as volunteers during the first six months of the war [4; 205].
In addition to them, the military units of the Soviet troops were replenished with 9 783 soldiers, drafted into the army in the 310th, 387th, 29th rifle divisions and 106th national cavalry divisions formed in Akmolinsk and Karaganda [4; 17].
Methodology and research methods
One of the requirements issued to modern history researchers is a shift from descriptive style to methodological analysis of historic facts, from a mere statement of historic events to comparative analysis of material. This allows to reveal problems of a studied topic and certain aspects of the historic process (which by force of conjuncture or other reasons were left out by scientists), to objectively contrast them and on the basis of that identify perspectives for future research in order to provide knowledge continuity in the evolvement of scientific thought.
In the article, we used general and special scientific methods of historic research (such as the method of objectiveness).
This article focuses on the heroism of the sapper of the 29th Rifle Division, the war correspondent of the Soviet Bogatyr division newspaper, the honored cultural worker of Kazakhstan, the honorary citizen of Akmola, now a city of Nur-Sultan, Andrei Fedorovich Dubitsky. Talking about him as a person and about his personality is difficult, but at the same time fascinating, since we are talking about a person with an interesting fate.
Andrei Fedorovich Dubitsky was born on October 30, 1915 in the Cossack village of Akmolinskaya stanitsa, which was one of the constituent parts of Akmolinsk. In 1931, he graduated from a seven-year school in Akmolinsk and entered the Omsk Art College. In 1936, having successfully graduated from college, he returned to Akmolinsk and began to work as a teacher of drawing and drafting in 5–10th grades. He collaborated with the “Socialist construction” and “Akmola truth” newspapers on a part-time basis. A.F. Dubitsky loved to write poems, essays, stories, drawings about the daily life of his city.
After the outbreak of war in December 1941, he was drafted into the Red Army by mobilization and enlisted as a soldier of the 78th separate combat engineer battalion of the 29th rifle division, which was formed in Akmolinsk. The battles near Stalingrad are especially memorable for him, as he took a direct part in it in the 29th division from July 1942 (from the very beginning until its full ending). Andrei Fedorovich was at the forefront almost daily meeting with people. Compiled materials formed the basis of notes on the front-line life of soldiers. As a miner-sapper and a front-line newspaperman, he had a lot to see and deal with the division and fellow soldiers. The sapper service during the war was dangerous and difficult: “The sappers, these great war workers, were always given some kind of work, sometimes the most incredible one. They went first on
the offensive, making passages through minefields and wire fences, building blown-up bridges, constructing ferry. When leaving, they were the last. The division sometimes was located around tens of kilometers away. Risking to fall directly into the enemy's hands, they still mined roads and tank-accessible areas, disposed minisurprises at the places where it was possible, blew up bridges and water pumps, steam locomotives and rails. When searching, they always accompanied the scouts. At the ferry, they got wet in the water for days being on duty at the berths under bombardments and shelling. On the defensive, night and day they had been digging the ground, building command post, defiladed emplacement, earth-and-timber emplacements, dugouts for brass, disinfection plants, baths, dryers, performing dozens of large and small tasks. They remained themselves without dugouts — there was no time left for their own welfare improvement. They slept wherever and however they could. During their long stops, as soon as it seemed that everything had already been done, that it was finally possible to build dugouts for themselves, an order to relocate was usually received. As the division was relocated, everything that had been done with such difficulty usually flew to dust. In a new place, it all started a new” [5; 29].
It was especially hard for the fighters of the 29th division near Stalingrad. The battle of Stalingrad is called the greatest. Indeed, humankind has not known yet such a battle, neither in a scale nor in historical significance. The iron wave of the German offensive crashed Stalingrad. As a result of the defeat of the many-thousandstrong group of Field Marshal Paulus, the legend of the invincibility of the German army was finally dispelled. The Red Army achieved a radical change during the Great Patriotic War and seized the initiative.
Memoirs of fellow soldiers, personal impressions of A.F. Dubitsky about the Battle of Stalingrad was reflected in his book, where he clearly defines the goal of addressing this topic: “The tasks that I set for myself are very modest — in a popular way to tell young people who do not really know what war is about the greatest calamity of our peoples, about how much blood was sacrificed for the freedom and independence of the Soviet Motherland” [5; 5].
During the Battle of Stalingrad A.F. Dubitsky was temporarily appointed a literary employee of “Soviet Bogatyr” division newspaper (instead of the deceased literary employee Lieutenant Tarasevich) [6; 19]. Andrei Fedorovich, together with the bandmaster of the brass band Lev Markov, created the “Song of the Fighters of the 29th Division”:
Наши лица опалило пламя, Flames burned our faces
Нас овеял славой Сталинград [6; 136]. We were captured by the glory of Stalingrad.
(Translation. — authors)
But the song, as the author recalled, did not take root. “Firstly, the text and music were not entirely successful, and, secondly, the division was soon transformed from the 29th to the 72nd Guards: the old words lost their meaning. I had to think about a new song” [6; 137]. A.F. Dubitsky started to write the lyrics of the new marching division song again, Sergeant Vasily Mogutov was entrusted to write music.
In the joint creative tandem, a marching “Song of the Fighters of the 72nd Guards Division” appeared. Here is a small excerpt of it:
Вьюги да бураны, степи да курганы, Грохот канонадный, дым пороховой.
Над страной любимой, на земле родимой
В зареве пожара не смолкает бой.
Мы идем к победам, страх для нас неведом —
Не обманет пуля, штык не подведет! Гвардейцам-акмолинцам по донским станицам Путь пролег широкий, путь один — вперед [6; 139].
Blizzards and snowstorms, steppes and barrows, The rumble of cannonade, powder smoke. Above the beloved country, on the beloved land In the glow of the fire the battle does not cease. We head for victories; fear is unknown to us — The bullet won't deceive, the bayonet won't fail! To Akmola guards in the Don villages The path is wide, the path is one — forward.
(Translation. — authors)
A.F. Dubitsky told: “It was written in one night. To my own accompaniment on a trophy accordion, Mogutov sang it in front of the members of political department and staff officers. They liked the song. And when, on March 4, the first columns of the division from the village of Buzinovskaya went to the Voroponovo railway station to load into the cast, the marching “Song of the 72nd Guards” was already sounded over their ranks. Not so well-made song was sung from the heart, putting a feeling into it, because it was their own song, which was close, understandable to everybody. They sang it on hikes, on halts, in dugouts near tin-fired stoves, at amateur performances, at drunken soldiers' revels. It was played by a divisional brass band, printed in leaflets and newspapers. It was carried from Stalingrad to Prague and returned home” [6; 140].
In January 1943, F. Dubitsky was promoted from soldier to junior lieutenant and was also appointed executuve secretary of the Soviet Bogatyr division newspaper. In this position, together with the 72nd Guards Rifle Division, he left Stalingrad for Kursk Bulge. The harsh front-line daily routine of a fighter A.F. Dubitsky was reflected in hundreds of notes, dozens of life-drawings (mainly portraits of soldiers and commanders), in his own poems.
Together with the 72nd Guards Krasnograd Red Rifle Division, he went through Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Transylvania, Hungary, and he was in Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava and Prague. During the war he was slightly wounded: “...once we were blown up on the road by an antitank mine, escaped with severe bruises, shiners, abrasions” [6; 17]. He ended the war in the same 72nd Guards Division as senior lieutenant, executive secretary of the Soviet Bogatyr division newspaper.
After the war, A. Dubitsky was demobilized and returned to Akmolinsk. The whole post-war life of A.F. Dubitsky was associated with the literary field, he went through all stages of career growth — from the literary secretary of the “Akmolinskaya Pravda” newspaper to the head of the department of culture and
consumer services of the “Tselinogradskaya Pravda” newspaper, from the executive secretary of the newspaper to the honored cultural worker of Kazakhstan. So, he got a job in the newspaper in 1947, then he worked as a literary, executive secretary of the “Akmolinskaya Pravda” newspaper (1947–1956), after that he worked as the head of the editorial culture department (1956–1961), then the head of the literature and art department of the “Tselinny Krai” newspaper and head of the department of culture and consumer services of the “Tselino- gradskaya Pravda” newspaper (1961–1978).
Upon retiring, A.F. Dubitsky did not interrupt connection with Akmolainskaya Pravda newspaper, systematically publishing notes, articles, essays, and stories on its pages (in other newspapers and magazines).
He is the author of the collections of short stories titled “Donin's Kindergarten”, “Forged Helmet”, “Smile”, “Raspberry Evangelism”, “The Barrier”, “The Sultry Interfluve”, “The Hard Years”, books of local history titled “Akmola — the city of glorious”, “Where Ishim flows”, “Let's walk along the streets of Tselinograd”, “Tablets of history” and others [6; 18]. The archive preserved A.F. Dubitsky's front-line album of with his drawings about the front life of soldiers, full, on the one hand, of drama from the tragic events during the war, on the other hand — sincere love for fellow soldiers, for the land and homeland...
A.F. Dubitsky was an honored cultural worker of Kazakhstan (February 18, 1970), a pensioner of republican significance (December 19, 1977), an honorary citizen of Akmola (November 15, 1995), a member of the Union of Writers of Kazakhstan (March 30, 1961) [6; 20].
A.F. Dubitsky's glorious military and labor path was awarded, i.e., two orders of World War II, “For courage”, “For the defense of Stalingrad”, “For the capture of Budapest”, “For labor valor”, “For labor distinction”, “For the development of virgin and fallow lands” medals and other awards.
A.F. Dubitsky was a member of the Union of Writers of the USSR, a member of the Society for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the Kazakh SSR, took part in the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Congress of Writers of Kazakhstan. This man had tremendous fortitude. He was faithful to the front-line brotherhood, his courage and fearless heroism played a huge role in the victory over fascist Germany, and the life and frontline path became an eternal role model, evoking pride and respect not only of the present generations, but also of future ones.
- Istoriia Kazakhskoi SSR [History of the Kazakh SSR]. (2009). Almaty: Atamura [in Russian].
- Zakon SSSR “O vseobshchei voinskoi obyazannosti” ot 01.09.1939 h. [The law of the USSR “On universal military duty” from 1.09.1939] (n.d.). base.garant.ru. Retrieved from https://ru.wikisource.org/wiki [in Russian].
- Nekotorye statisticheskie materialy po istorii Vtoroi mirovoi voiny [Some statistical materials on the history of the Second World War] (n.d.). base.garant.ru. Retrieved from http://www.teatrskazka.com/Raznoe/PostanovGKO/194109/gko_0690.html [in Russian].
- Akmolintsy — na fronte i v tylu [Citizens of Akmolinsk — at the front and in the home front] (2010). Astana: ID “Saryarka” [in Russian].
- Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv h. Nur-Sultan [The State Archive of the city of Nur-Sultan] (GA h. Nur-Sultan), 362, 1, 1 [in Russian].
- GA h. Nur-Sultan [State Archive of the city of Nur-Sultan], 61, 7, 1 [in Russian].