"I was always crushed by my conscience and my heart was on fire": what was the oldest member of the Dyatlov group hiding

Special correspondents "Komsomolskaya Pravda" discovered another curious archival document concerning the biography of the most mysterious member of the Dyatlov group - Semyon Zolotaryov

All rights belong to Komsomolskaya Pravda. Authors Nikolay Varsegov and Natalya Varsegova

We recently published the minutes of the closed party meeting of the primary party organization at secondary school №18 dated May 9, 1955, at which the communists criticized Semyon Zolotaryov for giving a bribe to resolve the housing issue, for hiding the truth about his brother's betrayal during the Great Patriotic War, and even for beating his own aunt.

We managed to find another document related to that party meeting. This is Semyon's explanatory note, which he wrote three days before the meeting. We present the entire text of his confession so that you can feel, understand the spirit of that time, the mood, behavior of our hero. Here it goes:

To the head of agitation and propaganda of the CPSU State Committee, comrade S. Sh. Izmailov from CPSU member S.A. Zolotaryov

Explanatory note

I have made many mistakes in my life that I did not understand, I did not seriously think about them due to my youth and little experience in practical life. Now, due to the circumstances, I analyzed, seriously thought over all my faults and concluded that I was wrong as a person and as a party member. I admit my mistakes, and I report:

About the bribe

I have been living in Pyatigorsk since 1950. At first, I asked for an apartment in the City Housing Administration, they promised me, but they never gave me. When I started working at the school, they promised to give me an apartment in residential area PO box 1, but the issue was delayed due to the slow construction. Our living conditions were terrible. I had to get up at 5-6 in the morning, and return at 9-10 in the evening, and sometimes at 2 in the morning. And so, to speed up the question of the apartment, Comrade Burgach told me that it might be better if we give money to the Housing Administration. I did not attach much importance to this conversation. She probably concluded that I agree with the plan, but she didn't tell me that she would go. My mistake here is that since such a conversation started, it was necessary to delve deeper into this issue, and Comrade Burgach should not be allowed to proceed with a bribery, but to seek a more honest way. I admit this mistake.

About my aunt

I lived with my aunt in the apartment. She allowed me to live temporarily with her while I was given an apartment. In 1953, we had a quarrel with my aunt over money, my living in her apartment and my relationship with Comrade Burgach.

About the money

She constantly reminded that it was difficult and expensive to get food in the market, so she demanded that all the money be spent on food. However, she brought food from the sanatorium. There she took them without money, and demanded money from me. As a result of this quarrel, she offered me to vacate the apartment. My aunt categorically objected to my relationship with Comrade Burgach. She tried in every possible way to bring discord and quarrel into our friendship, calling our relationship all sorts of nasty words, spreading false rumors about my girlfriend Comrade Burgach. In 1954, I was forced to leave my aunt's apartment and had to live in the apartment of friends, with nowhere to put my belongings, so I asked her to live with her for now. Once she told me to get my things out. We had a big quarrel. Collecting my things, I was in the pantry. The pantry and room doors collide when opened. Opening the storeroom door, I pushed open the room door, which pushed my aunt out in the chest. I didn’t want to do this, it was unintentional. In this offense, I admit my mistake as rudeness.

About the lies

I had an older brother. During the occupation, he worked for the Germans, betrayed and gave information about the communists, participated in the execution. After the arrival of the Soviet army, he was shot, and his family was exiled to Central Asia. I am writing about this now, when I fully figured out and realized that he was a traitor, that I should have learned about him in more detail and reported about him in my autobiography and questionnaire. I didn't understand in the past that since he is a scoundrel I shouldn't care and answer for him. But I was always crushed by my conscience and my heart was on fire that I must somehow get out of this difficult and cumbersome situation. When I joined the party, I knew nothing about him. And now I can't find the strength to keep silent about it. I admit my big mistake that I did not indicate in my autobiography and in the questionnaire, and I am ready to bear any consequences. If you trust me, then I beg you, comrades, to leave me in your ranks. I can't even imagine my life in the future without the party. I am still young, I still have a lot to learn, both in life and from my comrades. I give my word to correct all my mistakes and if you trust me, I ask you to keep me in the ranks of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. For my misdeeds, mistakes, I am ready to bear any punishment.

From the authors

Everything is interesting in this curious document. And the fact that Semyon calls his beloved woman, according to the rules of that time, only as comrade Burgach. And only once he allows himself to gently call her a "girlfriend".

It is interesting that he fought with his aunt, whose character, obviously, was far from angelic. It is easy to guess what was the aunt calling the relationship with with Comrade Burgach and Burgach herself. She did not hesitate to tarnish the nephew, the front-line soldier, holder of the Order of the "Red Star", teacher (!) of physical education for his lifestyle.

Interestingly, he so easily disowned his brother, calling him a scoundrel. Although it is clear that he is deceiving fellow communists, that he allegedly did not know about the betrayal. He knew, and deliberately did not indicate this in the questionnaires and autobiography.

And this phrase: “... I beg you, comrades, to leave me in your ranks. I can't even imagine my life in the future without the party." We see Zolotaryov, no longer as a reckless adventurer, but as a calculating, intelligent careerist. He was a pragmatic person who wouldn’t take the stupid risk that the tragedy at the pass has been associated.

As for Semyon's brother, Nikolay Zolotaryov, as we managed to find out, he really took part in the execution of his fellow countrymen. And after he himself was shot, his family - his wife Pelageya and the children Ivan and Evdokia, were expelled by the authorities to Kyrgyzstan.



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