Life and Fate: Building 6/1 - Those Who Were Still Alive
by Vasily Grossman
Late October 1942. Building 6/1 is a former apartment building in the centre of Stalingrad, being held by a rag-tag band of Russian soldiers against all the odds, in the teeth of the German advance. Soon the building, and its charismatic Commander, Captain Grekov, are a legend across Russia. But inside the building, Commissar Krymov has arrived to tackle what appears to be subversion, while the radio operator, Katya, falls in love with his nephew, Seryozha.
Dramatised for radio by Jonathan Myerson
Captain Grekov....Joseph Millson
Commissar Krymov....David Tennant
Seryozha Shaposhnikov....Freddie Fox
Directed by Jonquil Panting
Produced by Alison Hindell
Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate, an epic saga that fills every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.
Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, this huge novel charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war and is increasingly hailed as the most important Russian novel of the 20th century. Its comparison of Stalinism with Nazism was considered by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the manuscript itself was arrested. Grossman died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.
Next today: Life and Fate: Abarchuk [link]
Tomorrow: Life and Fate: Lieutenant Peter Bach [link]
Life and Fate: Novikov's Story [link].
Commissar Krymov is sent to tackle dissent in Stalingrad's 'rat-war' frontline battle.