In 1966, the film “Republic of SHKID” was released. The author of the script was Panteleev. Photo: Still from the film.
There were two Lenka Panteleevs in the city on the Neva. The famous bandit, robber, murderer. And a popular children’s writer. The first 100 years ago was shot by the GPU (State Political Administration. – Ed.), Having received an order from the leadership: do not take them alive. The second has a memorable date on August 22: 115 years from his birth. And although these two Panteelevas never met and both had different real names, there was a connection between them…
“A funny and spooky book”
In 1926, Gosizdat received a thick manuscript from some G. Belykh and L. Panteleev about the life of homeless children. Samuil Marshak and Yevgeny Schwartz were literally stunned with joy: “We will print!” Yes, that’s the problem, the unknown authors did not leave the address. Only a month later, Panteleev appeared in the publishing house. Knowing Marshak’s verdict, he lit a cigarette, stuffing the unextinguished match into the box with excitement. He ignited in his hand.
The story “Republic of SHKID” was published. Maxim Gorky became a great admirer of him. “A pre-original book, alive, funny, spooky. The authors are young guys, one is 17, the other, it seems, 19, and they wrote the book with talent, much better than many of the writers of middle age write. For me, this book is a party, it confirms my faith in man.”
Gorky urged his venerable colleagues to read it. Under his patronage, the story was soon published in several languages abroad. “The Republic of ShKID” was perceived as some kind of literary miracle, recalled Korney Chukovsky. – Yesterday’s “shpargontsy” and “shkets” created a real work of art, in which one can feel not only talent, but also skill, culture and taste!
Writer Leonid Panteleev.
“A miserable, lousy and hungry life”
Panteleev was born in St. Petersburg in the family of a Cossack officer and the daughter of a merchant. During the Russo-Japanese War, her father, severely wounded in the chest, was able to deliver an important package to headquarters. For which she received the order, hereditary nobility. (In Panteleev’s story “Package”, the plot is repeated, but the action takes place already in Civil).
Leonid’s houses were nicknamed “The Bookstore”. For compulsive reading. At the age of seven, he “swallowed” Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Dickens … He himself composed poems, stories, dramas, the adventure novel “The Dagger of Salvation.” Of course, “on the table.”
Father-officer perished in Civil. A noble mother with three children fled from starving Petrograd to the Yaroslavl region. In town it was better. The boy was often sick, in the turmoil of the Civil War she lost his relatives. “He started out a miserable, lousy, carbon monoxide, hungry, and cold life,” she recalled.
For almost two years he wandered the country. He survived by odd jobs. He was a shepherd, a mailman, a shoemaker’s apprentice. He traded in cigarettes. He ended up in orphanages, colonies, shelters, he ran away, he stole.
In 1921 he returned to Petrograd, found his mother. She entered the school. It seemed that life was getting better. But the past did not let go. He was caught stealing light bulbs: he sold them in the market. And he thundered at the age of 13 at the Dostoevsky School of Social and Individual Education for Difficult Adolescents (SHKID), created by teacher Viktor Soroka-Rosinsky.
Here he made friends with Grisha Belykh, the same orphan. That one was older. He also wandered, stole, traded various colonies. A nobleman and the son of a laundress were united by a love of literature. The friends of a couple began to compose different stories. They even published the newspaper El Día, where they published their adventure novel Ultus Fantomas for the Power of the Soviets.
Panteleev spent two years in SHKID. And he greeted with a friend to Kharkov, to enroll in acting courses. Journal. wandering again But after SHKID, they no longer stole. They made money from small businesses, they wrote feuilletons and humoresques in the newspapers.
In 1925 they returned to Leningrad. We decided to write a serious book. About what they knew well: the lives of homeless children. They bought sugar, shag, millet, tea, and within three months published the largely autobiographical Republic of ShKID. For ten years, the book was published annually in the country in millions of copies.
Lenka Panteleev is a famous bandit, robber, murderer.
“Stalin does not need to write”
So the creative paths of friends parted ways. Belykh became interested in serious literature, Panteleev remained a children’s writer. And then Belykh was arrested as an enemy of the people. A neighbor of a communal apartment filed a complaint: they say that he writes counterrevolutionary poems and collects anti-Soviet ditties. But, apparently, the Chekists dug up little in the work of the former homeless boy. They only gave me three years. Soft term for those times. Panteleev wrote to Stalin, Kalinin, asking him to put things right. Maybe Gorky would have helped, but the proletarian writer was already dead.
In prison, Belykh contracted tuberculosis. Three days before his death, he sent a letter to Panteleev: “There is no need to write to Stalin, nothing will come of it, the time is not right… I was hoping for a couple more dates in August and see you in one. .. Is there nothing for us to say about what was conceived, about the spoiled, about the bad and the good that is in the air? It’s all over”.
He died on August 14, 1938 in a prison hospital in Leningrad of tuberculosis. At 31.
Panteleev himself managed to write dozens of children’s stories and fairy tales, novels, plays… He died on July 9, 1987 in Leningrad. The writer was 78 years old.
Last name “safe”
In fact, the name of the writer was Alexei Ivanovich Yeremeev. It was in SHKID that her homeless friends gave her the nickname Lenka Panteleev because of her impudence and her wealthy semi-criminal past. She in honor of the then famous St. Petersburg gangster – Leonid Ivanovich Pantelkin. She was only six years older than the future writer. A printing press worker volunteered for the Red Army at the age of 17. He changed his surname to a more harmonious one – Panteleev. He served in the Cheka. At the age of 20, he created a gang that robbed the rich. They came to the victims under the guise of Chekists, with a search.
Lenka was arrested and sentenced to death. On the same night, he made a daring escape from the “Crosses”, the first in the prison’s history. And he scared the whole city. In a short time: 20 street robberies, 15 armed robberies, 10 murders! Organs of the GPU joined the liquidation of the band. February 23, 1923 Panteleev went to a familiar prostitute for fun. With a guitar, a basket of delicacies. There the bandit expected an ambush. Lyonka did not have time to pull the gun from him, they shot him.
The writer made Shkidov’s nickname his pseudonym. As he later explained, in the 1920s it was safer to bear the name of a bandit than to indicate that your father was a Cossack officer and your mother was the daughter of a merchant of the first guild.
TRACE TO THE PORTRAIT
Panteleev was offered to continue writing the famous book. But only under one of his last names. And take out the enemy from cover targets. He flatly refused. NO. Betrayed to the memory of a friend. And until 1960, the Republic of ShKID was not published in the USSR.
Grigory Belykh was rehabilitated only in 1957. By. Panteleev initiative. “For lack of body of crime.”
Over the obstinate Panteleyev, too, more than once clouds gathered. Saved by the support of the luminaries of children’s literature – Marshak and Chukovsky. During the blockade of Leningrad, he almost starved to death. Alexander Fadeev took the exhausted writer by plane to Moscow.