Hitlerite’s invasion of the Soviet Union forced many people with absolutely peaceful professions to take up arms. It broke the dreams of boys and girls about mastering the sciences. Our hero was one of those who had to give life with all the plans for the future for the liberation of the Fatherland from the enemy.
Tolya was born in January 1924 in the most ordinary family living on Izvarino village of Krasnodon district. A few years later, the boy had a sister, Lydia. The toddler’s parents Vladimir and Taisia Popovy could only give them time on weekends. While they were at work, the children were handled by grandparents. The old lady was a big master of telling fairy tales. Later, her grandson will please her with his personal literary work.
Izvarino village, where Anatoly Popov was born, today the border crossing point between Russia and the LPR
In 1931 our friendly family moved to the settlement of May Day. The following year, Anatoly went to school. The inquisitive boy quickly decided on what subjects he likes, such were geography and literature. Teachers marveled at the speed at which their ward read books and how much useful it draws from them. Tolya organized a literary circle, decorated a humorous newspaper, but doubted that he would become a famous writer. In high school, the teenager became passionate about mineralogy and the history of great geographical discoveries. The young romantic dreamed of making a contribution to the development of the little-explored corners of the Earth.
Peaceful life ended
Prom and joining Komsomol in 1940 a little stunned the young man. He was not prepared to make fateful decisions, leave home and go to receive an education in the big city. Anatoly decided to damage, serve in the army, and then already determine with profession and make a career. The older generation of Popovs has already made a decision: their heir will become the artist of the word. Lida made her brother requests to compose poems for her. And the girl really liked when Tolya was visited by his friends Demyan Fomin, Viktor Petrov and Slava Tararin. Guests tended to bring bouquets of wildflowers and give them to a small coquette.
Anatoly Popov and his friend Boris Glavan
Announcement of the invasion of the territory of the Soviet Union of the enemy in the provincial town was viewed with dismay. Vladimir Popov said goodbye to his wife and children and left for a draft post. Soon the couple began receiving letters from him. Her husband tried to encourage her, but occasionally couldn’t resist describing the horrific scenes he witnessed. In Pervomayk learned that the invader not only robs towns and villages, but also atrocities towards civilians. The war came ever closer to the settlement, people understood what trouble awaits them.
After the native lands were occupied by the Hitlers, the young man’s first wish was to flee to the East and join the ranks of the Red Army. The mother speculated about his intentions, but did not try to dissuade her son from the dangerous enterprise. She was very surprised to notice that in August 1942 he abandoned the idea. Guests began to come to him again, and he himself often sat at his friends late. She didn’t try to find a secret, but the sister showered the brother with questions to which he refused to answer.
Anatoly Popov gathered his school buddies and created an underground anti-fascist organization headed by a classmate of our hero Ulyan Gromov. The girl contacted Komsomolets who before war came to May Day on harvest, and found like-minded people. In September 1942, a group of young partisans joined the organization “Young Guard”, operating in Krasnodon and its surroundings.
Battle with the enemy
Autumn for the resistance participants was difficult. They spread real information about the situation on the fronts, campaigned among compatriots, called for sabotage. On the eve of November 7, Anatoly Popov and Ulyana Gromova went to Krasnodon and hung a red banner on the pipe of one of the mines. The fascists could not forgive such a holiday of the October Revolution. The search for dissenters with the Führer’s policies became hysterical.
Illustration to Alexander Fadeev’s novel “Young Guard”
When in May Day learned that many of their comrades in Krasnodone are arrested, Ulyana offered to release the captives. Anatoly supported her. Fantasizing, the young men missed time to escape. In early January 1942, the clandestiners were detained. Tolya and his associates fell into the shies of the Gestapo. Occasionally unfortunate managed to pass a letter to their relatives. The guy wrote to his mother to take care of his sister and grandfather with his grandparents.
Ko’s birthday son Taisiya Popova exchanged some of her belongings for products from which the pie was baked. She managed to bribe prison guards and give Anatolia this modest gift. This is all that the detainees were able to delight on the eve of their death. On March 1 they were shot and the bodies dumped in the mine. When Mairie was liberated from the Hitlers, the unfortunate woman waited for another sorrow news – in 1943 her husband was killed.
Sculptural group depicting young guards in Mius Square in Moscow
Biography of Anatoly Popov was retold by his surviving relatives to investigators who found the bodies of the executed and searched for their executioners, journalists and local histories.$ The brave young man was awarded the Order of the Red Banner and the medal “Partisan of the Patriotic War” 1st degree posthumously.