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Vyacheslav Molotov

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Molotov forwards a letter of complaint from a prominent writer

Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich Molotov, born Skryabin, 1890–1986.  Soviet Union Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1939–1949; First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, 1942–1957; Chairman of the Council of People’s Commisars of the Soviet Union, 1930–1941.  Endorsement signed Y. Molotov, in Cyrillic, on a letter, circa December 1937.

Molotov, in his role as Chairman of the Council of People’s Commisars, forwards to Soviet statesman Anastas Mikoyan, an Armenian, a three-page letter by the prominent Armenian writer, Nairi Zarian.  The letter has not been translated, but we understand that Zarian complains bitterly about governmental persecution and his lack of support.  The typewritten letter, which is in Cyrillic, is dated November 29, 1937.  Molotov has endorsed it [To] Mikoyan / Y. Molotov” in indelible blue pencil at the top.

Molotov, the namesake of the “Molotov cocktail,” was the Soviet foreign minister and the right-hand man to Soviet Premier Josef Stalin before, during, and after World War II.  He was a staunch bureaucrat and an difficult negotiator in meetings of the Allied foreign ministers accompanying the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences.

Mikoyan (1895–1978) was an Armenian Communist revolutionary, an old Bolshevik who rose to prominence in the Soviet Communist party and ultimately served as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.

Zarian (1901–1969), a writer and historian, published a number of socialistic works.  His 1937 novel Hatsavan was dedicated to the process of collectivization.  In the late 1950s, he served as a deputy in the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR.

This letter is in fine condition.  It has some handling wrinkles at the top left and down the left side.  Throughout the letter there is underlining in red pencil for emphasis, and there are pencil markings in the upper right corners of all three pages that appear to be alternate page numbers for a larger set of documents.  None of the extraneous markings affects either Molotov’s handwriting or signature.  There are also what appear to be penciled initials at the bottom of the third page.


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