Musa Jalil
(Zalilov Musa Mustafovich)


Musa Jalil (Zalilov Musa Mustafovich) was Tatar poet, anti-fascist hero; correspondent of the army newspaper “Courage” of the 2nd shock army of the Volkhov Front, senior political officer. He was born on February 15, 1906 in the village of Mustafino (now it is in Sharlyk district, Orenburg region), in the family of a poor peasant. He was Tatar. He had been member of the CPSU (b) since 1929. He studied at the Oreburg madrasa “Khusainiya”, which after the Great October Socialist Revolution was transformed into the Tatar Institute of Public Education (TINO). In 1919 he joined the Komsomol. He was participant of the Civil War. He fought with Dutov. During this period, his first poems appeared, calling on the working youth to fight the enemies of the revolution. After the Civil War, Musa Jalil actively participated in the organization of the first pioneer detachments, wrote children’s poems and played. He was elected a member of the Bureau of the Tatar-Bashkir Section of the Komsomol Central Committee and sent to Moscow. Here he entered the Philological Faculty of Moscow State University. His poems, which he wrote in his native language, were read in translations at university evenings and enjoyed great success. After graduating from the university in 1931, he was sent to Kazan, where he devoted himself entirely to creative work and social activities. In 1939 Musa Jalil was elected chairman of the Union of Writers of the Tatar ASSR and a deputy of the city Council. As a writer, he worked in almost all literary genres: he wrote songs, poems, poems, plays, journalism, collected material for a novel about the Komsomol. Based on his poems “Altyn Chech” and “Il Dar”, composer N.G. Zhiganov wrote operas (the last of them was awarded the Stalin Prize). When the Great Patriotic War began, in June 1941 he was drafted into the Red Army. He graduated from the courses of political staff. He fought on the Leningrad and Volkhov fronts, as a correspondent of the army newspaper “Courage” of the 2nd Shock Army (Volkhov Front). On June 26, 1942, senior political officer M.M. Zalilov with a group of soldiers and officers, making their way out of the encirclement, was ambushed by the Nazis. In the ensuing battle, he was seriously wounded in the chest and was captured in an unconscious state. While in the Spandau concentration camp, he organized a group that was supposed to prepare an escape. At the same time, he conducted political work among the prisoners, issued leaflets, and distributed his poems calling for resistance and struggle. According to the provocateur’s denunciation, he was captured by the Gestapo and imprisoned in a solitary cell in Berlin’s Moabit prison. Neither cruel tortures nor promises of freedom, life and well-being broke his will and devotion to the Motherland. Then he was sentenced to death, and on August 25, 1944, he was executed by guillotine in the Plettsensee prison in Berlin. For a long time, the fate of Musa Jalil remained unknown. It was only thanks to the long-term efforts of the pathfinders that his tragic death was established. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated February 2, 1956, Musa Jalil (Zalilov Musa Mustafovich) was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously) for exceptional steadfastness and courage shown in the battles with the Nazi invaders in the Great Patriotic War. He was awarded the Order of Lenin (02.02.1956, posthumously). He was Laureate of the Lenin Prize (1957). There is a monument to Musa Jalil in the center of the capital of Tatarstan – Kazan. His name was given to a motor ship plying the Volga, an urban-type settlement in Tatarstan. In October 2008, a monument to the poet was opened in Moscow, in the south-east of the capital, in the courtyard of school No. 1186, which bears his name.

Address: Moscow, Stoleshnikov lane, 11