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Revival of the V.I. Lenin State Library: Interesting Facts and Figures of 1944-1945 (based on the pages of the NLB in the Press database)

Revival of the V.I. Lenin State Library: Interesting Facts and Figures of  1944-1945 (based on the pages of the NLB in the Press database)
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Immediately after the liberation of Minsk from the Nazi invaders, work began to restore the library, as we are told in the newspapers of the post-war years.

Before the war, the State Library named after V.I. Lenin, which was the largest cultural institution in the republic, stored about two million volumes of literature. Approximately 1.5 million were stolen and burned by the Germans, including the collection of old printed editions of F.A. Tolstoy. Skariny, first edition of the Lithuanian Charter, collection of manuscripts by Yanka Kupala, Maxim Bogdanovich, and Zmitrok Biadulya. The library building miraculously survived.

The date of July 3rd has forever entered the history of the Belarusian people. On this day, the capital of our republic was liberated. It was hard for Minsk residents to see the destroyed city. Instead of well-maintained streets, whole blocks of blown-up and burned buildings appeared before my eyes. Factories, gardens and parks, scientific institutions and libraries were completely destroyed. Since the first days of liberation, the residents have been working together to revive their native city.

Gradually, the city returned to a peaceful life, the library was replenished daily with new books from all corners of the big country, they returned from Poland and Germany. The book wealth was donated to the V.I. Lenin State Library by the central book storehouses: the V.I. Lenin State Library of the USSR, the K.D. Ushinsky State Library for Public Education, the Museum of the Revolution, the State Literature Fund, and other institutions and libraries.

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The main entrance to the library. Photo by V. Lupeika

A week after the liberation of Minsk, work began on restoring the State Library and collecting the surviving collection. In July, 323 thousand volumes of scattered copies of books and magazines were collected. In the newspaper "Zvyazda" as of August 8th, they wrote,

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"The Belarusian State Library named after V.I. Lenin has been opened," reported in "Zvyazda" on December 10th, 1944.

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Already in January 1945, a literary exhibition was organized in the library "The Great Patriotic War", where several thousand books, photographs, illustrations, portraits, posters and other documents were presented. There were created 13 sections devoted to the heroic past of the Russian people, heroes of the Patriotic War, hero cities, unity of the front and rear, Soviet women in the Patriotic War, as well as a wide reflection of the partisan movement in Belarus (Zvyazda, 1945, Jan. 30th p. 3).

Author of the article "At the Exhibition in the Lenin’s Library” dated March 14th also told about it.

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Zvyazda, 1945, March 14th, p. 3

The exhibition, which opened in the library on April 5th, 1945, introduced visitors to competitive projects for the construction of the center of Minsk, some residential areas, reconstruction of the Gorky Park, and restoration of the Rudensky district. Three projects of Belarusian authors, including the Honored Artist of the BSSR, head of the workshop of the Belgosproekt Institute I.R. Langbard, were presented among the 11 projects.

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Zvyazda, 1945, April 6th, p. 3

In April 1945, the State Library named after V.I. Lenin organized an exhibition dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the death of V. Mayakovsky, where the works of the Soviet poet were widely presented: poems, plays, poems about the Motherland.

Almost a year after the liberation of Minsk from the Nazi invaders in the newspaper "Soviet Belarus" on June 2nd, 1945, an article was published about the resumption of the work of the Belarusian department of the State Library, where already at that time there were 12,000 Belarusian books and books about Belarus, and many Belarusian publications printed during the war years were collected.

"Recently, a manuscript of one of the last works of the famous Belarusian writer Zmitrok Biadulya ‘Silver snuffbox.’ The manuscript has not yet been published in its entirety, only printed in fragments,” the author wrote. And all these riches could be enjoyed by readers.

More detailed information on this topic can be found in the database "National Library of Belarus in the press." In addition, by subscribing the articles of the mentioned resource, you will receive all the news about our library.

 

By T.P. Poprotskaya head of section for Information and Analytical Department.

    

Bibliography:

  1. In Minsk's Libraries // Zvyazda, 1944, June 8, p. 3
  2. Minsk Day // Zvyazda, December 10, 1944, p. 3
  3. Destruction of Minsk. // Zvyazda, September 20, p. 2-3
  4. Literature exhibition "Great Patriotic War" // Zvyazda, January 30, p. 3
  5. At the exhibition in the Lenin's Library // Zvyazda, March 14, p. 3
  6. Projects exhibition of Minsk during reconstruction // Zvyazda, April 6, 1944, p. 3
  7. Exhibition of Mayakovsky's works // Zvyazda, April 14, 1944, p. 1
  8. Belarusian department of the State Library restored // Soviet Belarus, June 2, p. 1
  9. In the Lenin's Library // Zvyazda, October 3, 1944, p. 4

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