Margarita Aliger

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Margarita Aliger
Margarita Aliger.jpg
Born (1915-10-07)October 7, 1915
Died August 1, 1992(1992-08-01) (aged 76)

Margarita Iosifovna Aliger (Russian: Маргари́та Ио́сифовна Алиге́р; IPA: [mərɡɐˈrʲitə ɪˈosʲɪfəvnə ɐlʲɪˈɡʲɛr]; October 7 [O.S. September 24] 1915 – August 1, 1992) was a Soviet poet, translator, and journalist.


She was born in Odessa in a family of Jewish office workers; the real family name was Zeliger (Russian: Зейлигер).[1] As a teenager she worked at a chemical plant. From 1934 to 1937 she studied at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute.[2]

The main themes of her early poetry were the heroism of the Soviet people during industrialization (Year of birth, 1938; Railroad, 1939; Stones and grass, 1940) and during World War II (Lyrics, 1943). Her most famous poem is "Zoya" (1942), about Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, a young girl killed by Nazis.[2] This work was one of the most popular poems during the Soviet era. From 1940 to 1950, the poetry of Aliger was characterised by a mix of optimistic semi-official verses ("Leninskie mountains", 1953), and poems in which Aliger tried to analyse the situation in her country in a realistic way ("Your Victory", 1944 - 1945). Aliger wrote numerous essays and articles about Russian literature and her impressions on travelling ("On poetry and poets", 1980; "The return from Chile", 1966).

Her first husband was the composer Konstantin Makarov-Rakitin, who was killed at the front near Yartsevo in 1941 after the death of their infant son (their daughter Tatyana [1940-1974] became a poet and translator), a double tragedy that left her devastated. The following year she had an affair with the author Alexander Fadeyev; from this union was born a daughter Maria, who married Hans Magnus Enzensberger and lived abroad for twenty years, killing herself shortly after a brief return to Russia in 1991. Aliger's second and final husband was the Central Committee official Igor Chernoutsan (1918-1990). She survived all her husbands and children, dying shortly after her daughter Maria Enzensberger. Margarita Aliger is buried in Peredelkino next to her daughters.


  1. ^ Vyacheslav Ogryzko, "Несчетный счет минувших дней," Literaturnaya Rossiya, May 15, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Brown, Archie (1991). The Soviet Union: A Biographical Dictionary. NY: Macmillan. p. 10. ISBN 0-02-897071-3. 

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