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The Moscow School Museum is dedicated to the Kazakh girl who raised the battalion to attack

Photo: author’s archive

On the eve of Victory Day throughout the post-Soviet space, people remember the heroes of the Great Patriotic War: those who returned home victorious and those whose lives were cut short on the battlefields. “The dead are silent,” wrote the Russian religious philosopher Semyon Frank. -His innumerable army does not rise from the graves, does not shout at rallies, does not make resolutions. And yet, this army of the dead is the great political force of all our lives, and the fate of the living depends on its voice, perhaps for many generations. … Whatever their destiny there, outside this world, they live in our souls, in the subconscious depths of the soul of great and superpersonal people … Their souls clearly speak of one thing – of the Fatherland, of protecting the status, about the honor and dignity of the country about the beauty of achievement.

Photo: author’s archive

For example, such a feat, which crowned the dramatically short life of the Hero of the Soviet Union, a native of Kazakhstan, Aliya Moldagulova, who took the last battle on January 15, 1944 near the city of Novosokolniki, Pskov region. Monuments and commemorative plaques have been erected in her honor in Kazakhstan and Russia, the streets of St. Petersburg and Moscow are named after Aliya. Moscow school No. 1512 is named after Moldagulova. For 47 years, since 1975, a museum dedicated to the feat of a Kazakh girl has been operating here. In January 1944, in a fierce battle near the village of Kazachikha, Pskov region, 18-year-old Aliya Moldagulova formed a battalion to attack.

Excursions around the museum are usually led by schoolchildren, including the very young. Shortly before May 9, the teachers at the school kindly agreed to give the KP correspondent a tour of the museum.

Photo: author’s archive

“Brother soldiers, follow me!”

Aliya Moldagulova was born in 1925 in the Aktobe region. Her mother died when her daughter was 8 years old and her father handed her over to be raised by her maternal uncle, who lived in Alma-Ata. According to one version, her father could be persecuted as a descendant of a noble family. In 1935, Aliya’s uncle entered the military transport academy, the family moved to Moscow, and then to Leningrad. In 1939, my uncle placed his 14-year-old niece in boarding school. Her son explained it this way: “Her father wanted to educate her and so he placed her in a boarding school, which became an orphanage only in 1942-43. The moment was, you know, difficult, hungry, eight people huddled in one room: mother, then sister Kulyash, brother Max, aunt Sapura, Aliya and our two grandmothers, whom my father also brought to Leningrad from Kazakhstan.

Here Alia found war. When the blockade began, the girl steadfastly refused to leave the city she loved, she worked on the construction of defensive fortifications, and at night she extinguished incendiary bombs on the roofs of houses in besieged Leningrad. However, in March 1942, she was taken out with the boarding school from the besieged city to the Yaroslavl region, where, after graduating from school, she entered the aviation technical school and soon applied to the registration and enlistment office soldier demanding to be sent to the front. In May 1943, she was included in the first group of the Central Sniper School for Women, after which Ella Aliya was sent to the 54th Rifle Brigade of the 22nd Army of the 2nd Baltic Front. During her last fight, after the unit commander was killed, Ella Aliya stood up to her full height and yelled in Kazakh, “Kazakh seaweed!” (“Kazakhs, go ahead!”) and in Russian: “Brother soldiers, follow me!” And the first rushed to the attack.

Photo: author’s archive

About how Aliya died, he recalled in his memoirs the political instructor of the battalion in which the heroine served. He wrote that our fighters broke into the Nazi trench, and Aliya was the first. A mine exploded near her, a fragment of which hit the girl in her hand. However, as if she felt no pain, she continued to hold the machine gun and got into a fight with a German officer. She shot him in the chest, but an unconscious Aliya was still able to send it to her ancestors. The “canonical” version says that it was at that moment that Moldagulova’s life ended, but the teachers of school No. 1512 assure that everything was even more dramatic: bleeding Aliya was taken to the nearest hospital, where doctors fought for her. life, until a fatal shell hit the hospital … The girl found her last refuge in the land of the village of Monakovo, Pskov region. On June 4, 1944, Corporal Aliya Moldagulova was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

The dead are silent. But our duty is to listen sensitively to the mysterious, sometimes beneficial, sometimes terrible meaning of his silence,” wrote the philosopher Frank. What is Aliya Moldagulova “silent” about? It seems to me that the key word of the last cry of hers was the word “brothers”. This word is the heroine’s testament to Russians and Kazakhs of all generations and eras.

Photo: author’s archive

“We remember you, Aliya!”

In one of the halls of the Aliya Moldagulova school museum, you can see Kazakh national clothes, household items, books that were donated to the museum by Kazakh friends over the years. In another room there are fragments of shells and military weapons of the Great Patriotic War, busts of the heroine, photographs and paintings depicting Aliya, her report card with excellent and good grades, military uniform, letters from the front.

In 2005, the museum underwent a major refurbishment, which was financed by the Aktobe region of Kazakhstan. The museum is visited by delegations from this country, employees of the embassy in Russia, patriotic actions, meetings with veterans, concerts are held on the museum sites.

Not long ago, one of these actions, Conscript Day, was held with the support of the local Veterans Council. “It was a military sports game,” says Yulia Naidina, deputy director of school No. 1512. – 10 teams participated in the competition, mostly 6th graders, since for 7th graders it is being formed a class of cadets in our school. His students organized competitions. Before the game, we held a rally dedicated to the 77th anniversary of the Great Victory, we laid a hundred carnations at the monument to Aliya Moldagulova. We conduct excursions around the children’s museum – elementary students of our school, guests come to us.

It can be added that future cadets take an oath at the school site, the museum cooperates with the Moscow House of Nationalities, is a friend of the capital’s Kazakh community, is visited by Kazakh students studying in Moscow, they have become established contacts with the Aktobe State Pedagogical Institute, which, by the way, is located in A. Moldagulova in Aktobe.

Photo: author’s archive

In 2019, the school delegation took part in a solemn action in memory of Aliya Moldagulova, held in Nur-Sultan, one of the organizers of which was the National Guard of Kazakhstan. The sister of the heroine, Alip Usenova, spoke at the rally. In the same year, activists from the museum and media studio “Aliya” visited the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Russia, got acquainted with the embassy museum, performed a literary and musical composition “We remember you, Aliya! ” . For the preservation of the memory of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the careful attitude to the cultural and historical heritage of the two peoples, the leaders of the museum and the students of the school received letters of thanks from the embassy.

The life of the museum is consecrated on its website, where you can, among other things, take an online tour. And if you live in Moscow, you can visit the school museum in person – here you will be welcome!


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