Born Moscow, 1898; died Moscow, 1949
From 1922 Vasilii Ivanovich Lebedev-Kumach wrote for Krokodil, as well as for many other periodicals. Lebedev-Kumach also wrote the words to many popular songs of the 1930s; his “Song of the Motherland,” written with Isaak Dunaevskii, was adopted as the unofficial anthem of the Soviet Union until 1943. In 1941 his songs won him a Stalin Prize. In June 1941 Lebedev-Kumach published “Holy War,” which quickly became one of the anthems of World War II. A member of the Communist Party from 1939, the writer was a deputy to the Supreme Soviet. He also served as a naval officer during the war, while writing songs and poems for the daily press, satirical magazines, and the TASS studio. Some of his wartime texts were collected in the volume Young Communist Sailors (1942). Selections of his work were gathered in a 1950 volume and republished repeatedly in subsequent decades.
Nikolai Fedorovich Denisovskii, Pavel Petrovich Sokolov-Skalia, and Vasilii Ivanovich Lebedev-Kumach. Our One-Thousandth Blow, June 5, 1944. Gift of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.