29 Feb personal diaries of the XIX-XX centuries

Punctuation and spelling of authors is saved.


Nikolai Durnovo, the General-in-chief Senator

Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS Putin showed his sword, abandoned by the French in the Kremlin in 1812

Going to Prince Volkonsky, accompanied him to the court. There I met Chernyshev, adjutant, who arrived from Paris. This gives rise to thousands of assumptions. I believe that we will have a war with all of Europe. I hope that we will come out of it with honor, and glory. While in military service, I would like to have a reason to Excel. […]


William writer, poet, Lyceum friend of A. S. Pushkin

I had today a priest – the Swede: it’s my life the second a Swede, which makes me fate. In addition to Russian, the Germans and the French to this day I often met (of course, in the year 1820, and 1821, when he was abroad) with the Danes and the Corsicans: a strange thing – almost all of my Parisian acquaintances belonged to one of these two Nations. The pastor, whose name even I do not know, lent me the sermon of Chimera (Tschirner). Among the subscribers to this book, I have found a namesake, probably a nephew of the late priest. Read “Journey through Saxony, Austria, and Italy.”


Alexander Nikitenko, a censor

Today, Pletnev has told me the following comforting thing. Last week, the Emperor was at the home show at the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna. Given, among other things, the play count Sollogub’s “Official”. It says a lot of bold things about immorality, that is, the theft of our government.

At the end of the play, the Emperor met Pletnev, said to him:

– it is a very good play?

– It is not only good, your Majesty, – answered Mikhail Pletnev – but is the era in our literature. It say about the state of our public morals what before it was impossible to think, not only to say out loud.

– would have Long time to say this, said the Emperor. – Theft, superficiality, lies, and disrespect for the rule of law – that’s our main social wounds. […]

Theater too full; box Shine. The interior of the Mikhailovsky theatre. XIX century.

Konstantin Uspenskiy, the organizer of the first Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem

29, Wednesday. At night, the day I I dreamed that I was at the beach sat in a small boat. It itself, without sails, without oars, without a rudder, quietly swam up, as if to the North. And the light and over me. The sea is quiet. I am pleased. A good night’s sleep. But what does it mean? The sea – quiet life in the monastery and my academic classes covering the Christian East.


Nicholas of Japan, Archbishop, missionary

Thursday, February 29. Philip Suzuki from Cease informs that he found there two Christians and starts preaching, but the success of little hope; Catholics and Protestants after many years abandoned this place of futility works. The population consists of fishermen, accustomed to Buddhism and not understand the more sublime teachings. And we, too, once tried to settle there; from there we had even one catastor, Basil Kanagawa, now deceased. Maybe God will help to become stronger.

Sofia Smirnova-Sazonova, writer

Anniversary lunch at the “New times”. Twenty years of Newspapers. Lunch at Контана1. […] Suvorin entered lordly, widely and generously: 57 thousand gave typesetters, 10 thousand employees to the Fund, pledging also to contribute annually to it as much as will bring all employees together. But this is not enough: it is mainly employees are given shares in the newspaper. […] Worst of all he said Suvorin. True, his situation was not enviable. Each speaker was engaged in his spiritual anatomy.


Basil Yastrubtsi, musicologist, researcher of the creativetva N.And. Rimsky-Korsakov

About a quarter past nine (PM) called me on the phone Rimsky-Korsakov; he learned from M. Steinberg about the response of B. P. Jurgenson wanted me to say that, in his opinion, offered me royalties for 25 p. C of the thousands is outrageous. Learning, in turn, that Nikolai Andreevich remained at home and did not go as expected, to the Conservatory for rehearsals of “Gypsy” Galkovsky, as he needed to write some business letters, I asked to allow me to come visit him today, even if later.

About half-past ten I was in Country. Got time for a Cup of tea. […] Talked with Rimsky-Korsakov about the need for a thorough answer to Jurgenson to his letter and to indicate that my biography Rimsky-Korsakov – the work is far from ordinary and in a sense quite special. “A lot of what you tell it, – said Nikolai Andreevich, – is reported for the first time and except you, nobody knows”. […]

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov at work.

Grand Duke Konstantin, poet and translator

Friday. (Write in quarantine 1 March). I wish my imprisonment came to an end, but I know that will only release me to freedom, I’ll regret the weeks of quarantine when no one bothered to read thoroughly and do what they want. Translation, of course, also will not move as fast as it is now, when I translate from 10 to 30 verses a day.

Wife reads me after Breakfast and lunch aloud Brittany and the Rhine legends in the cutest presentation Balabanova; at this time, I play solitaire. […]

Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich with his wife.1912

Sergei Vavilov, a physicist

Gott sei dank2 that this year one day more, if February had 28 days, may be not be written for the whole of February, no Strochki. I’m busy running around with the fresh on moss, on Volhonka, in the end, etc. of Course, as I had not worked, it is true, but still sad and somehow restlessly in my soul. I’m not happy himself, their “qualities”. Dissatisfied and others.

Photo: Rodina Russian scientist to receive the Nobel prize in 1918, but died of starvation in 1919

The lab environment, “society” is so prosaic, science there so everyday, so mixed with gossip, liberalism, and General stupidity that can sometimes become sick. Science has disappeared from all of its aesthetics, all its greatness and pride, standing beyond life. And Lazarev, and about[Chiyo] only artisans of science, in fact, accidentally involved in the photochemistry and temperature is irregular, and not sewing boots. And here, of course, philosophize and say that so high and so beautiful. But it is the same voice of schoolboy, “burning passion for science.” All this is flat and not aesthetically pleasing.

the University is almost dying, and so it is sad to look at him. In General, the entire “public” side of my life somehow became sad. I think that I am Russian that I forever condemned to be provincial of the globe. Russia… because such and no, all the failures, disordered[d]ACI and chlorosis, there is only Russia unhappy, merciful, drunk, stupid Russia. Further [-] even worse, I’m almost 21 and nothing has been done. […]

Future physicist Sergey Vavilov is still an ensign. 1916.

Nina Gulyaev, a pupil of the Kazan gymnasium Kseninsky

Wednesday, February 29. Still bored. Seems to me that not all love. To write does not want. I get a nice time in reading. Sit down to read the whole bitterness of soul will be held, will ruin the whole residue of the soul, about anything petty does not think. And it becomes easier.

the Lesson in the women’s gymnasium.1916

Eugene Dubuc, historian

Klawock bought firewood 1 grade 12-vershkovyi, birch, 16.5 rubles. per fathom. The man who brought them got something special – not roguish, with a pure soul. Said: son highway on the position of the shell buried in the ground, one of the soldiers dug his head – could only breath to translate. To acccess all was strong the fire was, and lay in the ground for 2 days, then the medics dug out – alive. […]

Mikhail Bogoslovsky, historian

what to write About in their diaries, the students and teachers of the XIX-XX centuries

Monday. The day is not quite normal, it happens only once in 4 years. Resumed the Scripture of Peter, and there is still academic semester works, which again needs to detach from this work. The evening was Halsey. Is quite frosty, clear, weather is pleasant. Spring, obviously, is going to come later. So, farewell to the month of February!


Irina Knorring, poet

[…] the Weather today is gorgeous. The sun is very cruel. I walked all day in one summer coat. In the distance the sea is quite unknown: it is so transparent and peaceful that merges with the sky. The perfect stillness. Only somewhere in the distance came the monotonous bell ringing. So quiet, so good, so far away from everything hard and terrible present.

Peasant hut of the early twentieth century.

Alexander Sudoplatov, white guard

Today passed 20 miles, stopped in St. Novominskaya. While restored the line, the night has come. Hungry, looking for a team. “Where’s the apartment?” “It is over,” said the Feldwebel. Included. Hut on chicken legs. Poor old woman, and cramped. Well to bed we find a place, but what would be for dinner.

– Grandmother, do you have anything to eat?

– There is, darling – he salambala she dumped from sacks of mount pieces of bread. – Eat, my dear, today narocila under the Church, good people gave, eat!

We looked at each other and grimaced.

But the hunger was so strong that we gladly opisyval bread with vegetable oil, which also gave the old woman.


Sergei Prokofiev, composer

the Twenty-ninth day, happens every four years. Svyatoslav actually should have been born today. […]


Mikhail Prishvin writer

Photo: from personal archive of L. A. Ryazanova Mikhail Prishvin: Russian remains a personality even through communism

[…] Kasian birthday. Back quiet mild weather. I went outside, and I felt very good because of some memories that did not reach consciousness, but was in me as a pleasant smell. After a few minutes of struggle to remember, it became clear to me: the smell is very light frost in the morning in the fresh snow gave me the smell of a hyacinth, it was probably once with hyacinth in the cold, and now one part is soft frost in the newly-fallen snow – caused part of the missing – Hyacinthe. This analysis gave me in turn the pleasure in the consciousness that I have of course sometimes it can get a holiday in the cold will smell like flowers. […]

Vladimir Vernadsky, a naturalist

[…] Acad[himicheskoe] meeting. The report Вавилова3 interesting; cut the ear of his poglazhivanie under the Mat[realisticheskoi] dial[cticu] – quantity turns into quality and t[WMD] p[like these]. This is clearly not related to the job. Produces tragicomic[escue] impression[atlena]: the person has attained the results and then distorts, adjusting to fashion. New quite achieve Филипченко4. In[Avila] they were introduced so that it was unclear where it and where is Stalin. […]

Vladimir Vernadsky (front row right) at the Academy of Sciences.1940

Elena Bulgakova, the wife of the writer Mikhail Bulgakov

in the Morning: “You’re everything to me, you replaced the entire globe. Dreamt that we with you were on earth”.

All the time, all day extremely affectionate, gentle, all the time love words my love love you – you will never understand that.

Elena and Mikhail Bulgakov.

Anna Umansky, a schoolgirl from Leningrad

Today very tired in school: after school ran around all the floors, all the teachers were collected, around half of a quarter (I’m training sector in our class).

[picture of the red flag.] Today we learned the terrible news – Kohl Gitlow, last year graduated from 10th grade, in combat with the white Finns died a heroic death. We couldn’t believe it, last year was with us shoulder to shoulder, and today is already dead.

Maria Yakovlevna, our Director, organized a meeting and told us about Cole.


Vladimir Shvets, composer

Passion in the Conservatory expectantly subsided. The school dejected the mood of many in connection with the rumors that people who worked more than 30 years, but the former in the occupation – losing your work experience. I, of course, such a travesty is not surprising. Too much had to see.

he Told the anecdote that some Professor gave an application in the radio center for a performance on radio of works by Soviet composers. He did it in order to be in a communal apartment to work quietly, for the execution of these works all receivers immediately turn […]


Lydia Chukovskaya, diarist, daughter of the writer K. I. Chukovsky

Rumors, rumors, nothing really can not tell.

have we lived up to Слова5? […]

Speech Neitherwhales Khrushchev at the twentieth Congress of the CPSU.1964

Oleg Amitrov, paleontologist

Last Saturday of February! The evening meeting, which this year was particularly interesting for our class: we finished school ten years ago. But people came not so much, only 13 people: Governors, Amitrov, APPAK, Arnold (the letter “a” in full, active, and the letter “R”)+2; Raikin, Rappaport. Rosencrantz, Ryabtsev; Dukelow, Butchers, Thick Moustache, Henkin. Of these thirteen – one doctor of Sciences (Arnold), two candidates (Dukelow, butchers), eleven are married (all but Amirova and Usov), six (if not more) have children. So we Usov the most backward.

Photo: Anna Malinina / Alexei Petrov / Dmitry Balta Library schools of the Sverdlovsk region will receive the magazine “Rodina”

Alex RAPAPORT came with his wife Svetlana, they married two days ago: watching them was a pleasure. Generally wives were few: only Rosencrantz (Yaroslavl!), Henkin and APPAK came with the “halves” (except Rappaport). Thick left his wife to look after seven-month-old son. Wives gathered in a circle and talk without disturbing husbands, only Alex had joined them for a mug. From the “main” teachers were Vera Vladimirovna and Yevgenia Zhudro. I grabbed them, I looked at them and rejoiced. […]

When we became bored at school, we went to the Arbat, trying to get in any cafe; it did not, began confusion; I decided to go to me, but was the eleventh hour; Vera Vladimirovna protested and, in the end, they split off and went home. And we still got in a kebab. We ate some spicy meat dishes, drank something, not much. Kebab went Thank Shalevich from a parallel class; turns out he’s now a famous actor in the theatre Vakhtangov; he was telling something interesting, the wife listened to him open-mouthed, but I was sitting at the other end of the table, between Raikin and Rosencrance. They talked about poetry, and I felt like a complete ignoramus.

In General, it was good.


Valery Zolotukhin, actor

Today is the birthday of Kasian. Leap year. Saying, this day is necessary to appease Kasian, and how? To drink or not to drink, be merry or sad, the reasons for that and for the other indefinitely.

Elvira Filipovic, biologist

29.02. An evening with Vera at home watched on TV figure skating, feasting on a delicious compote, and chocolate, which we poured and put good Valya, Marochkin husband. He works in “box”, every day brings tastiness. Their buffet well supplied. There’s always sausage!

again Belousova and Protopopov were the first in pair skating.


Tatyana Yuryeva, a Museum worker

Day Kasian. In that day, says the proverb, it is better to do nothing, to sit in his corner and not rock the boat.

the Day he called Lily and said that, according to rumors, Efros wanted to appoint Gavriel of the Taganka Theatre, but the actors protested. They want to see in this place Gubenko. All true, but the actors – people are weak. How long will they last?

I. Simakov. Illustration from the complete works of Pushkin. Saint Cassien. 1886.1992

Yuri Pominov, chief editor of the regional newspaper “Zvezda Priirtyshye”

in the morning Went to the Laundry, ran to the shops and came home mad as a dog… Prices – absolutely wild, mind-blowing. Simple door lock – $ 100 rubber garden hose (for garden) – 315, folding table – a high chair – almost a thousand. About “lumps” (the so-called commercial departments) and say nothing: 40-ruble vacuum cleaner is now a thousand rubles… etc., etc.

Photo: RIA Novosti Legends of the Motherland: the Bag – nurse

For food the government prices while holding fixed. This obvious injustice of the state against the peasants, the citizens look very favorably, and even unhappy that the food expensive. But good this policy is not over and how we will live, if will collapse and the rural economy what has all the prerequisites?

With wages – is also nonsense. For example, miners of Ekibastuz will be in a month from 3,5 to 7,5 thousand roubles. Clearly, the work they have no sugar, in addition, no coal will stop everything. But at the same time the salary of a surgeon – less than a thousand rubles, well – qualified teachers. I am among the poorest miner and a doctor (but closer to the second), my salary is about two thousand. […]

1. “Kontan” restaurant in St. Petersburg.

2. Thanks be to God (it.).

3. The report of academician N. And. Vavilov “Variability and heredity of quantitative traits”.

4. Filipchenko Y. A. – biologist.

5. This refers to rumors about the exposure of Stalin at the XX Congress.

Publication M. A. Melnichenko by a grant of Russian scientific Foundation (project N 19-18-00221).