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The voice of morality. St. Petersburg mourns Daniil Granin


Daniil Granin – the author of the famous “Blockade Book”, novels like “Finders”, “Towards the thunder”, “Zubr” and many others. An acclaimed classic writer of the domestic literature, and, without exaggeration, the voice of morality of the entire epoch. He wasn't just listened to, he was admired


Mariya Marchenko reports on how we will all remember Daniil Granin

Modest man of few words. Not only he became legendary in his lifetime, but he was also called the consciousness of the nation, the real Leningrad intelligential, the man who is quiet, yet endearing, voice was listened to by politicians and people of culture

Sergey Roldugin, renowned artist of the Russian Federation: “This man combined an incredible spiritual highness and common way of communicating with people. I've been lucky enough to meet him on several times, and his words always had the higher overtones about a man's existence, a man's spirit”

Daniil German, which was Granin’s real last name, was born in 1919 close to Kursk. He graduated from electromechanical faculty of Leningrad Polytechnic University, and then worked at the Kirov factory. From there he went to the front lines, and survived the entire war. At the end of the 1940s his first novel was published in the “Zvezda” magazine. In 1954 for his first full novel – “Finders”- was published, followed by “After the Wedding”, “Towards the Thunder”, books about scientists, inventors, heroes - all of whom were close to Granin himself when he worked at the “LenEnergo” company, and then at one of the research Institutes

Daniil Granin, writer: ”I always write for myself. Just for myself. Writing for somebody else is a risky business. You have to follow that person. Not lead, but follow. But maybe that person is no longer interested in that. Maybe the person is interested in something he doesn't know -the world which I want to get them acquainted with”

Granin did not have a literature education. He admitted himself that he's always felt out of place among writers. Took a long time to believe in himself. And that's despite his novels were read, turned into movies and into theatrical plays. His main work, co-authored with Ales Adamovich, was ‘Blockade Book”. Recollections of those who survived the inhumane conditions

Mikhail Piotrovskiy, director of the State Hermitage: “He could talk about serious issues in a way that you would not understand that they were serious. He always had kindness. And this is the main quality of an intelligent person. The inner kindness. And the inner readiness to discuss things - that's why he sounded persuasive

Daniil Granin and Ales Adamovich when from house to house, from apartment to apartment, listened, recorded the tales of those with survived. In 30 years after the blockade was over. The product was the collection of human suffering. Both of them had a nervous breakdown because of the horrible stories they heard. The first part was prohibited from publishing in Leningrad. Only in 1984, when the party leadership was replaced in the city, the book was finally printed

Daniil Granin, writer: ”I believe there is a sacred space, where any man would feel compassion, spirituality, the feeling of victory, and, most importantly, feeling of justice”

His speech at the Bundestag in front of parliament members and Chancellor Angela Merkel in January 2014 became a revelation for many Europeans. Granin spoke about what was going on on the other side of the blockade, without superficialities. After the speech was done, the applause was roaring for several minutes straight

Daniil Granin was an active public servant, participated in political life of the country. He was one of the initiators of setting up the arch of victory in Krasnoselskiy district

The writer has been a frequent recipient of state awards. He was an honorary citizen of St. Petersburg. Remarkably humble, Daniil Granin never liked attention of journalists, was a rare appearance on camera. And despite problems with health, he continued writing

His novel “My Lieutenant” received the national award “Bolshaya Kniga” in 2012, and three years ago his last work “The man not from here” was published. According to a close friend, literature expert Boris Averin, there were only a few people in St. Petersburg who had an absolute unfettered power over people's minds - DL and DG

Boris Averin, literature expert: “Granin had that power. And now it feels empty. When I learned the news, I had a feeling that the world, the city have become empty. I no longer know who can I turn to, what can I ask, who has such power. Yes, nobody, nobody in St. Petersburg has this kind of power”

On June 3 Daniil Alexandrovich was given a state award. As an exception, President Vladimir Putin did not do it at the Kremlin, but personally came over to a ceremony in Konstantinovskiy Palace in Strelnya. The writer will be buried at the Komarovskoe cemetery, next to his wife