After the start of the “democratic reforms” of the 1990s, accompanied by the devaluation of all the previous values and ideals, most often carried out purposefully, through appropriate efforts of the media, cinema, music, etc., anti-Soviet sources did not fail to start and “debunking idols Soviet era ", which unequivocally attributed not only the party and government leaders or revolutionaries, but also the heroes of the Great Patriotic War. Many times they tried to defame the bright names of the young war heroes - the pioneers and Komsomol members who fought in partisan detachments or the regular army.
Most often, anti-Soviet propaganda relied on the fact that the exploits of these guys were fictional, or there were no guys at all - there were no war heroes. There have been cases and representations of the heroes of the Soviet underground and partisan movement as trivial hooligans or arsonists. Say, they were guided not by patriotic considerations, but by hooliganism or even criminal motives, or they committed their heroic deeds “out of stupidity”. Repeatedly tried to defame the names of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Alexander Matrosov, Nikolai Gastello, Marat Kazei, this propaganda fad of post-perestroika times and the hero of our article touched. Nevertheless, all the bad passes - and now, in the 2010-s, the rise of patriotic sentiments in society returns the good name and eternal memory to all the heroes who died and fought against the Nazi invaders. Shows interest in the heroic defenders of the Motherland and the youth.
"Bloody week" of the first occupation of Rostov
In Soviet times, the song “Lived in Rostov Vitya Cherevichkin ...” flew all over the country. Even those people who had never been in Rostov-on-Don and were little aware of the very figure of the young hero, and why he won all-union fame and respect, knew and listened to her. To this day, disputes have not abated - not only “in the kitchen,” but also among quite respectable local historians, historians, and journalists about the figure of Viti Cherevichkin and the essence of his feat. One thing remains - Vitya, of course, actually existed and was actually shot by German occupiers without trial during the first occupation of Rostov-on-Don in 1941. This is proved not only by photographs, but also by the memories of many eyewitnesses, and, most importantly , the existence of real relatives, acquaintances, neighbors Vitya Cherevichkina, some of whom are still alive to this day.
Vitya Cherevichkin in the official Soviet stories has the status of "pioneer - hero." In Rostov-on-Don, among the heroes of teenagers, he is the most famous and popular, even more popular than the intelligence officer of the Rostov Infantry Regiment of the People’s Militia, thirteen-year-old Sasha Chebanov. Although Vitya was not honored with the posthumous title of Hero of the Soviet Union, quite a lot was done to perpetuate his name in the post-war period - they opened the park of the same name, renamed one of the streets of Nakhichevan, the district of the city where Vitina's family lived, in honor of the young hero put a monument. About Vita Cherevichkin, right up to the collapse of the Soviet system of patriotic education, every Rostov schoolboy and many people in the country who had never been Rostovites knew. And this is despite the fact that there is practically no access to historians and journalists during the period of the fighting for Rostov and the subsequent occupation of the sixteen-year-old Rostovskiy.
On the night of November 21, 1941 of the 56 Army, under the command of Lieutenant-General F.N. Remezov and the militia of the Rostov rifle regiment of the national militia defended Rostov-on-Don from the Nazis and their allies. In the end, the superior units of the Wehrmacht managed to break through the line of defense of Rostov and enter the city limits. Despite the heroic resistance of servicemen and militias, the Nazis continued to push the defenders of the city, defending the barricades. Ultimately, units of the 56 Army were forced to retreat to the left bank of the Don River, to the Bataysk area.
The Germans who captured the city began massacres of the local population. At the same time, they destroyed not only the detected servicemen who were trying to escape from the occupiers, or party workers, but also ordinary citizens. In historical sources, the occupation of Rostov-on-Don in November 1941 was called the “bloody week” - so cruel were the actions of the Nazis against the local population. Any Rostov citizen who, as they say, “at the wrong time in the wrong place,” could have become the victim of the invaders these days. Brutal Germans killed people to the right and left, could easily open fire on random passersby or the queue at the store. At the same time, the massacres have not yet acquired the centralization that took place in 1942 during the reoccupation of Rostov-on-Don, when tens of thousands of Soviet citizens (27 thousand people) were killed in Zmievskoy gully. However, in the Frunze Park they shot and captured Red Army soldiers, Rostov communists and Komsomol members, and just city residents who fell under suspicion of collaboration with the Soviet army or in anti-German activities.
The Rostov woman V. Varivoda recalls: “I was 23 of the year. I had a small child, so I tried to go out as little as possible. She lived mostly rumors. Most of all I was shocked by the execution of residents near the Park named after the Revolution. Someone killed a German officer, and at night they drove all the inhabitants of the quarter and shot at the corner. The fascists would thereby intimidate the population. To show how cruelly they will act by establishing the “new order” (V. Smirnov. Rostov under the shadow of the swastika. Rostov-on-Don, 2006) ”.
At the time of the occupation, Vita Cherevichkina was 16 years old. He was born in 1925 in the usual Rostov family. Vitin's father Ivan Alekseevich worked as a blacksmith at the Rostselmash plant, mother Fekla Vasilyevna worked as a janitor. That is, the Cherevichkins lived poorly, especially since they had four children - the sons Sasha and Vitya, the daughters Anya and Galya. There lived a family on the 28 line, not far from the intersection with 2 St. Mayskaya Street (now Cherevichkina Street).
The area where the Cherevichkins lived - Nakhichevan - was originally a separate city from Rostov-on-Don, populated at the end of the 18th century by Armenians resettled from the Crimea by Catherine the Second. After merging with Rostov in Nakhichevan, the Russian population began to grow, especially after the Rostselmash factory was built nearby. Rostselmash workers settled in the factory workers' settlements - Chkalov, Ordzhonikidze, Mayakovsky, and in the old Nakhichevan. Cherevichkin lived in the same room as six of us. They lived poorly, often malnourished. When the war began, the head of the family - Ivan Alekseevich - went into the army. Before the start of the occupation, 18-year-old eldest son Sasha was evacuated to neighboring Bataysk - he was soon to join the army, and the Soviet military command decided to evacuate the conscripts so that they would not be destroyed or captured by the occupiers. In the city remained the mother Thekla Vasilyevna, sixteen-year-old Vitya and two daughters - Anya 12 years and Galya, who was only three years old.
Young Vitya Cherevichkin studied at the 26th, then at the 15th school, and then transferred to a vocational school - he mastered the profession of a locksmith. He learned to repair aviation motors in the 2nd school - in those years it was a good specialty, guaranteeing a decent and stable income, and most importantly - the prospects for further education, up to the aviation one - the dreams of all then boys. They also fed at the school, which was a significant help for a large family - after all, it was very difficult to feed four children for the salary of a worker and a janitor. In general, Vitya Cherevichkin was an ordinary Rostov boy with a completely ordinary fate and interests typical of that time. Both Victor and his elder brother Sasha were very fond of pigeons.
It is only the surviving old men who still have found the era of the mass hobbies of pigeons, and some rare enthusiasts, are engaged in pigeon breeding. And in Soviet times, breeding pigeons was very popular, especially in Rostov-on-Don. Rostov was considered one of the capitals of the Soviet pigeon breeding and dovecote as far back as the 1980. met on almost every street in the city, especially in the private sector. Three Rostov breeds of pigeons were widely known: Rostov white-breasted, Rostov cleansed Chilik and Rostov colored. Although the fashion for pigeons among Rostov youth has long gone to no, there are still some dovecotes in the city, some of them are looked after by elderly Rostov citizens who have dedicated their lives to this amazing hobby.
When Vitya Cherevichkin and his brother were adolescents, pigeon breeding was especially honored among Rostov adults and boyish people. Golubyatniki were a special, as sociologists would say, a subculture with its own “professional language”, common interests and even a characteristic waddling gait. For many boys, a good pigeon in those years was the subject of real envy. In the Cherevichkin family, Victor was the most avid pigeon breeder.
OSOAVIAHIM - The Society for the Defense of Defense, Aviation and Chemical Construction - the forerunner of DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for the Promotion of the Army, Aviation and the fleet) This was explained by the fact that, until the end of World War II, in many armed forces of the world, carrier pigeons were used to deliver military correspondence. It was OSOAVIAHIM that took the painstaking work of organizing scientific pigeon breeding in the Soviet Union. In 1925, a single center for pigeon sports was created under the Central Council of the USSR OSOAVIAHIM, which was considered as a coordination body for pigeon sports associations.
Three years later, Deputy Commissar I.S. Unshlicht published a report on the need to introduce a “military pigeon service” in the Soviet Union: “To meet the needs of the Red Army in wartime, the pigeons necessary for the communications service, the Commissariat of Defense considers timely the establishment of military pigeon duties ... [With this] harm to the interests of the USSR dictates the need to prohibit the keeping and breeding of pigeons by institutions and persons not registered with the NKVM and Osoaviakhim bodies, as well as prohibiting to all, with the exception of the NKVM organs, the export of pigeons from the borders of the USSR and their import from abroad. ”
In particular, the kennel of mail pigeons was established at Moscow State University. Mv Lomonosov, military postal pigeon stations appeared in several cities of the Soviet Union. Accordingly, the breeding of pigeons was popularized among Soviet schoolchildren and students who were members of OSOAVIAHIM. The young people transferred the pigeons to the military post stations, from where they were taken to the military units of the Red Army, which were responsible for the postal communication between the military units. The manual for combat training of the Red Army communications troops for military pigeon units was published in 1930, military breeders who were engaged in breeding postal pigeons received a separate military registration specialty and were on special account.
In 1930-s. There were two types of military pigeon stations - permanent and mobile. The permanent ones were part of the district communications troops, while the mobile ones were part of all army corps. Four days were allocated for the deployment of the mobile military pigeon station. Mobile military pigeon stations were transported by road or horse-drawn transport. Experts of the military-pigeon stations were trained at the Central Training and Experimental Kennel - the school of military and sports dogs, renamed 1934 to the Central School of Communication of Dog Breeding and Golubovaya. In the same 1934, the restored Institute of Military Pigeon Breeding of the Red Army was incorporated into the Scientific Experimental Institute of Military Dog Breeding. 1934 to 1938 19 releases were made for trainees of advanced courses for chiefs of stationary military pigeon stations with assignment of the rank of junior lieutenant. In 1938, the 23 junior lieutenant junior commander of the pigeon station was released. Thus, in the Soviet military communications at that time there were military golubevody even with officer chases and diplomas of the relevant specialists.
The Soviet military command took pigeon mail very seriously. So, with the start of hostilities in order to prevent possible use of postal pigeons by enemy spies, individuals were instructed to hand over pigeons to police stations (with the exception of those who were registered at the People's Commissariat of Defense and OSOAVIAHIM). The command of the German occupation forces also ordered the population of the occupied territories to immediately hand over pigeons on pain of being shot. In turn, the Soviet troops actively used the pigeons to deliver front-line reports and the pigeons coped with the tasks assigned to them quite effectively.
During the Great Patriotic War, according to historians, pigeons delivered over 15 thousands of letters. Up to 1944, pigeons were used in the interests of military intelligence in most areas. The winged defenders of the Motherland suffered no less casualties than the units manned. Every two months, up to 30% of post pigeons died - they became victims of shells and fragments, moreover - the Wehrmacht actively used specially trained falcons and hawks - “interceptors” to fight post pigeons. The use of pigeons as a means of operational communications of military units came to an end only after the end of the Second World War, due to the growth of technical progress and equipment of the armed forces with modern means of communication.
Died with a dove in his hands
When the Germans occupied Rostov-on-Don again, in July 1942, one of the first orders of the occupation authorities was a ban on pigeon breeding by city residents. But during the period of the first occupation, which lasted only a week, the command of the Wehrmacht did not manage to issue a corresponding decree. However, to all persons who bred pigeons, the attitude was very suspicious. The sixteen-year-old Vitya Cherevichkin fell under the cap of the invaders and a Rostov peteushnik. Moreover, the German headquarters was located not far from the Cherevichkins' house and the Hitlerites had every reason to suspect their young neighbor of working for the Soviet military intelligence. After all, cases of arrests and executions of pigeon breeders in the occupied territories took place in other cities.
28 November 1941, as Anna Ivanovna’s sister, Vitya Cherevichkina, recalls, about two o'clock in the afternoon, her brother went to feed the pigeons. Half an hour later, Vitya appeared in the courtyard under the escort of an armed German soldier. The Nazis led Vitya to the shed where the dovecote was. Eyewitnesses were confident that now the German will shoot the guy right in front of their eyes - for breeding pigeons. However, the German demanded that Vitya kill the pigeons. Vitya opened the entrance and the pigeons flew out into the street. The German escort led Cherevichkina to headquarters. More relatives did not see him. According to eyewitnesses, Vitya was captured by the Germans, noting that he threw several pigeons into the sky at the very moment when a Soviet military plane flew over the area. This was enough for the invaders to take their stand: Cherevichkin or reconnaissance aircraft carrier or airborne Soviet troops.
In the evening of the same day, Cherevichkin’s neighbor told Mother and Sister Viti that the Germans had escorted Vitya in the direction of the park to them. Frunze. In the early days of the occupation, this place had already become sadly renowned among Rostovites - there the Germans shot the Red Army men, militiamen and civilians who fell under suspicion. Vitya was beaten up - apparently, he was beaten at the headquarters, trying to beat out confessions about cooperation with the Soviet command.
Relatives began to search for their brother in the morning of November 29. On this day shots and volleys of guns were heard all over Rostov. Part of the 56-th army and militia attacked across the river Don, freeing the city from the invaders. Mother Viti Thekla Vasilyevna and sister Anya searched the entire park of Frunze, clogged with the bodies of shot Rostovites. But Viti was not among the corpses - they found only one teenager, but it was not Cherevichkin. In the evening of November 29, the eldest son of the Cherevichkin family, Sasha, also returned with the Red Army men. Soon a neighbor of Tyutyunnikov came to him and said that in the Frunze park lies the body of Viti Cherevichkin. The young man was lying in a uniform jacket of a vocational school, with a dead dove in his hands. The cap and the galoshes, which were on Vita on the day when his relatives saw him for the last time in their lives, were not found on the corpse - apparently, one of the marauders removed good things from the shot guy.
The neighbors and the elder brother decided not to take Viti's body home, in order not to injure it completely, and so freaked out of grief, Theklu Vasilyevna. We turned to the military command with a request to bury Viktor Cherevichkin in Frunze Park together with the shot and dead soldiers. In the summer cinema, coffins were made, and in the center of the park in early December, the dead were buried - in a large mass grave. However, Vitya Cherevichkin was not a member of the regular army. Therefore, his name did not appear on the plates installed after the war over the mass grave in Frunze Park.
When in 1994 the city authorities decided to immortalize the memory of the dead Red Army soldiers buried in Frunze Park and carve the names of all the people buried here at the Grieving Mother memorial, Anna Ivanovna, Vitya Cherevichkina’s sister, asked the District Military Commissariat to put it on the memorial and the name of his brother, but she was refused, because Vitya was not a regular soldier or a draftee. For a long time, the struggle continued to perpetuate the name of Vitya Cherevichkin at the memorial, it took even testimony from people who had witnessed the funeral of Vitya Cherevichkin after his murder in Frunze Park. Only in 2001 year at the memorial "Grieving Mother" in the park to them. Frunze on one of the graves was applied the name of Viktor Ivanovich Cherevichkin.
When 29 in November, 1941, Rostov-on-Don, was first liberated by Soviet troops, the mass media of the Soviet Union began to replicate reports of atrocities by the occupiers during the occupation of Rostov, since Rostov-on-Don was the first major Soviet city liberated from Germany fascist invaders. Soviet newspapers published photographs of the victims of Rostovites, among whom was the famous photo of the dead Vity Cherevichkina who had flown around the world with a dove in her hands. By the way, this photo was attached to the materials of the Nuremberg trial over the leaders of Nazi Germany as one of the proofs of the commission of monstrous crimes by the Hitlerites against civilians in the territory of the Soviet Union.
The eyewitness A. Agafonov recalls: “When ours entered the city, on the very first day there appeared a note from the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, signed by Molotov:“ About the atrocities of the German fascist invaders in Rostov-on-Don ”and leaflets. There, in particular, it was reported about the execution of an 14-year-old boy from a vocational school - Viti Cherevichkina. I saw the murdered Vitya Cherevichkin, we ran there. Although he was shot, it was not where the leaflet said it was. He was shot in the Frunze park. And he was older. But I learned this later when I collected materials about him for my story. And then we just saw: he was lying without a headdress, as if leaning against a wall. Bullets tore shreds from his padded jacket. He held in the hands of a decapitated pigeon. Nearby were carcasses of other pigeons. Then he became legendary. The street was named after him, the song “Vitya Cherevichkin Lived in Rostov” was put down. Film shots and photographs about him were featured at the Nuremberg trials ”(V. Smirnov. Rostov under the shadow of the swastika. Rostov-on-Don, 2006).
Vitya Cherevichkin was a hero anyway
After the end of the war, in honor of Vitya Cherevichkina, they renamed the street 2-th Mayskaya, in honor of the hero, where his family lived, erected a monument and a plaque. Aleksandrovsky Garden - one of the parks on the former border of Rostov and Nakhichevan, after their unification turned out to be in the center of the city, was named after them. Viti Cherevichkina. In 1961, a bronze bust of Vitya Cherevichkina with a pigeon in their hands was erected in the park. There is a memorial pylon with bas-reliefs of young heroes of the Soviet pioneers - Zina Portnova, Leni Golikova, Marat Kozei and other small warriors.
The fate of Vitya's relatives was different. Viti's father, Ivan Alekseevich Cherevichkin, having gone through the whole war, returned home alive. But brother Alexander was not lucky - he was called up in February 1942, and in August, 1943 died in battles on the Mius Front. Fekla Vasilyevna and her daughter after re-liberation of Rostov in 1943 returned from evacuation and lived for a long time in the village of Yasnaya Polyana - which is in Kiziterinovskaya gully, between Nakhichevan and the Cossack village of Aleksandrovka, which later also became part of the city. The Cherevichkins' apartment on the 28 line was occupied by other people, while Thekla Vasilyevna and the daughter were evacuated. But the family was not very worried about this - the mother would still not be able to live in the house, from where her younger son Viktor was taken to death and where everything reminded of her sons taken from her by the war.
After ten years of work at the Krasny Aksai plant, Anna Ivanovna Aksenenko, the sister of Vity Cherevichkina, received her own apartment, also in the Proletarsky district of Rostov-on-Don. During the war years, when she was still quite a teenager, she worked at Rostselmash - she made mines. For a long time while Vitya Cherevichkina Fekla Vasilyevna’s mother was alive, her and sisters Anna Ivanovna Alekseenko and Galina Ivanovna Mironova were regularly invited to commemorative events in honor of Vitya Cherevichkin in a children's park bearing the name of the young hero to this day, where they were honored by Rostov schoolchildren.
And yet, was or was not Vitya Cherevichkin an underground worker? There is still no direct evidence that Viktor collaborated with the Soviet military command in Bataisk and carried out reconnaissance missions while in the German-occupied Rostov. Perhaps it is the lack of direct evidence of Viti’s involvement in underground activities that explains the fact that he was not posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. However, according to the recollections of Anna Ivanovna’s sister, after the liberation of Rostov, a group of five Soviet officers came to the Cherevichkins, who expressed condolences over the dead son (the officers, as the hero’s sister remembers, were dirty and wet — that is, they were sent to Cherevichkins almost from the front). It is unlikely in wartime, when hundreds of civilians died in the city, the command would send several officers to express condolences to relatives if the deceased had no relation to the defense of Rostov.
Another evidence of the participation of Vitya Cherevichkin in intelligence work is the mysterious disappearance of pigeons from his pigeon house. On that ill-starred day, when Vitya released birds in front of the German soldier, they flew out of the dovecote and sat down on the roofs of the house and courtyard buildings. The next morning they were gone, although pigeons are always inclined to return to the pigeon house. This can be explained by the fact that the pigeon-house of these pigeons was in fact located in Bataisk, where Vitya sent them with letters - reports.
However, many modern researchers and journalists doubt that young Victor was actually involved in supplying Soviet troops on the left bank of the Don River with intelligence data. Thus, A. Moroz in the article “White Wings” (Pioneer, 2007, No. 6) states that in 1941, during the first occupation of Rostov, the pigeons used by Soviet military units in the Bataysk area (however , critics of the version of the “accidental execution” of Viti Cherevichkina assert that Vitya could take the pigeons before the occupation of OSAAVIAHIM Batay and then the pigeons could easily fly to their dovecote in Bataysk). However, even those authors who doubt Viti Cherevichkin's real involvement in intelligence activities in the German rear during the occupation of Rostov cannot but agree that the Rostov boy who bred pigeons and did not want to abandon them even in the face of death is worthy of all-round respect and recognition of the hero.
Whatever it was, but the feat Viti Cherevichkina undeniable. This young Rostovite acted like a real hero, without giving up his principles. Firstly, he refused to get rid of pigeons after the occupation of the city, although he imagined what it could threaten him with. Secondly, he did not kill the pigeons on the orders of the German soldier, but saved their lives by releasing them. Finally, Vitya did not ask for mercy, did not cooperate with the Germans, but bravely accepted death, remaining faithful to both his Motherland and his little feathered friends. And the memory of Vita, as befits a real hero, is preserved in the folk song:
Vitya Cherevichkin lived in Rostov,
At school, he had a great time.
And in the free hour is always normal
Pigeons favorite released.
Pigeons, you are my sweet
Fly away to the sun.
Pigeons, you are blue-winged,
In the blue sky swept away.
Life was beautiful and happy
Oh my favorite country
Youth, you came with a sweet smile,
But suddenly a war broke out.
"Days will pass, victory is a red bird,
We will break the Nazi black squall.
I'll be in school again! "-
So usually Vitya sang.
But once past Viti's house
There was a squad of invaders-animals.
The officer suddenly shouted: “Take away
The boy has these pigeons! "
The boy resisted them for a long time,
He scolded the fascists, cursed
But suddenly the voice broke off,
And Victor was killed on the spot.
Pigeons, you are my sweet
Fly away to the cloudy heights.
Pigeons, you are blue-winged,
It can be seen born orphans.
Pigeons, you are blue-winged,
In the blue sky swept away ...