Register of the I. Babel' letters

Finding aid prepared by Lora Soroka
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
hooverarchives@stanford.edu
© 2017


Title: I. Babel' letters
Date (inclusive): 1925-1939
Collection Number: 2006C32
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: Russian
Physical Description: 2 manuscript boxes (0.8 linear feet)
Abstract: Letters to family members relating to Russian literature and personal affairs. Includes typed transcripts. Photocopy.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Babel', I. (Isaak), 1894-1941.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], I. Babel' letters, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2006.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biographical Note

Isaak Babel', Russian/Soviet writer, was born in 1894, in Odessa. In 1915 he moved to Petrograd, where he met Maksim Gorky, who became his friend and mentor. He published Babel's two short stories in the Letopis' magazine. Gorky advised the aspiring writer to gain more life experience. According to one of Babel's stories, Doroga (The Road), he served on the Romanian front until early December 1917. He resurfaced in Petrograd in March 1918 as a reporter for Gorky's newspaper, Novaya zhizn (New Life). During the Russian Civil War, Babel' worked for the publishing house of the Odessa Gubkom (regional CPSU Committee), in the food procurement unit in the Narkompros (People's Commissariat of Education), and in a typographic printing office.
After the end of the Civil War, Babel' worked as a reporter for Zaria Vostoka (The Dawn of the Orient).
Babel' married Yevgenia Gronfein on August 9, 1919, in Odessa.
In 1920, Babel' was assigned to the First Cavalry Army and witnessed a military campaign in the Polish-Soviet War of 1920. He documented the horrors of that in the Konarmeiskiy Dnevnik, 1920 God (1920 Diary), which he later used to write Konarmiya (Red Cavalry), a collection of short stories.
In 1924, his mother and sister with her family immigrated to Belgium; in 1925 his wife immigrated to Paris. Babel' visited them several times during his trips to France; in 1929, his daughter Natalie was born. Babel' wrote letters to his family from 1925 through 1939, when he was arrested and put in prison.
Babel' was arrested in May 1939; his writings were confiscated and disappeared. He was tortured during interrogations. In January 1940 he was executed, and his name disappeared from literary life: it was removed from literary dictionaries and encyclopedias and taken off school and university syllabi. He was rehabilitated in 1954.

Scope and Content of Collection

Letters relating to Russian literature and personal affairs from Babel' to his family members: mother, Fania Babel'; sister, Mera Chapochnikoff, and her husband Grigorii; and Babel's wife and daughter. Includes typed transcripts. Photocopy.
It should be noted that some original letters do not have corresponding transcripts, while some transcripts were made from letters unavailable in this collection.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Russian literature.

 

Correspondence, 1925-1939

Box/Folder 1 : 1

1925

 

Two loose pages, undated

 

February 23

 

May 12

 

June 5

 

July 15

 

August 21

 

November 5, 16, 20

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of November 5, 1925.
Box/Folder 1 : 2

1926

 

Undated

Scope and Contents note

Three letters to Babel's mother and one letter to his sister; one letter without beginning; and one letter from Babel's mother.
 

January 1, 6, 26

Scope and Contents note

Unfinished letter.
 

February 8

Scope and Contents note

Page 2 only.
 

March 22, 29, 31

 

April 5, 16

Scope and Contents note

Includes a letter to sister of April 5, 1926 (two copies), and a letter to mother of April 16, 1926, containing an undated letter from Babel's mother (two copies).
 

May 2

 

July 16, 30

 

August 4, 14

 

September 7, 10, 16, 17, 23, 29

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of September 17, 1926.
 

October 3, 13, 23, 27

 

November 2, 5, 10, 15, 29

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of November 2, 1926 (to mother and sister), and a letter of November 10, 1926, and one loose page (beginning is missing).
 

December 8, 9, 17

Box/Folder 1 : 3

1927

 

Undated

Scope and Contents note

Letter from Fania Aronovna (Babel's mother) to Mera (Babel's sister).
 

January 3, 11, 22, 28

 

February 8, 11

 

March 1, 5, 7, 11, 18, 26, 30

 

April 6, 17, 23, 30

 

May 8, 28

 

June 12, 16, 24

Box/Folder 1 : 4

1928

 

April 2, 28

 

May 10, 21

 

June 3, 29

 

September 30

 

October 1, 3, 17, 20, 22, 26, 28, 29, 30

 

November 5, 6, 11, 13, 16, 19, 23, 25

 

December 1, 4, 6, 9, 13, 15, 20, 23, 25

Box/Folder 1 : 5

1929

 

January 1, 2, 7, 10, 14, 17, 19, 22, 29

 

February 6, 9, 13, 20, 23, 28

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of February 23, 1929, was copied next to the postcard of July 20, 1929. See Box 1, Folder 6.
 

March 4, 14, 16, 19, 29, 30

 

April 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21, 24, 27

 

May 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 17, 21, 24, 27, 30

 

June 1, 3, 5, 13, 14, 19, 25, 28, 29

Box/Folder 1 : 6

1929

 

July 4, 6, 9, 11, 15, 20, 26, 28

 

August 1, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31

 

September 2, 4, 6, 12, 14, 19, 25, 26

 

October 2, 4, 7, 10, 17, 26, 29

 

November 2, 5, 7, 11, 15, 18

 

December 2, 6, 14, 21, 24, 27, 30

Box/Folder 1 : 7

1930

 

January 10, 16, 21, 30

 

February 4, 5, 9, 16, 17, 20, 24

 

March 6, 10, 28

 

April 1, 16, 21, 27

 

May 10, 13, 18, 20, 25, 26, 31

 

June 7, 14, 19, 20, 23, 25, 30

 

July 1, 6, 16, 22, 28, 31

 

August 3, 6, 12, 17, 19, 24, 29

 

September 2, 15, 21, 24, 25, 29

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of September 25, 1930, was copied next to the postcard of December 15, 1930.
 

October 6, 8, 13, 18, 21, 25

 

November 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17, 23, 27

 

December 10, 14, 15, 20, 25, 28, 31

Box/Folder 1 : 8

1931

 

January 2, 14, 21, 27

Scope and Contents note

Additional copy of the January 2 postcard can be found next to the postcard of February 25, 1931. The postcard of January 27, 1931, was copied next to the postcard of April 19, 1931.
 

February 4, 8, 11, 19, 25, 27

 

March 2, 5, 11, 15, 17, 18, 24, 28

 

April 5, 11, 12, 16, 19, 24, 25

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of April 24, 1931, was copied next to the postcard of July 15, 1931. See Box 1, Folder 9.
 

May 3, 5, 7, 12, 14, 15, 21, 24

 

June 1, 5, 11, 17, 20, 26, 29

Scope and Contents note

Includes two postcards of June 20, 1931, and a letter and a postcard of June 26, 1931. The postcard of June 29, 1931, was copied next to the postcard of July 9, 1931. See Box 1, Folder 9.
Box/Folder 1 : 9

1931

 

July 2, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 26, 30, 31

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of July 2, 1931, was copied next to the postcard of October 21, 1931; the postcard of July 22, 1931, was copied next to the postcard of October 6, 1931. Includes two postcards of July 31, 1931.
 

August 3, 4, 11, 13, 30

 

September 1, 6, 7, 15, 18, 25, 26, 28, 30

 

October 1, 4, 6, 11, 14, 16, 20, 21, 22, 31

 

November 8, 14, 18, 19, 27, 30

 

December 4, 7, 12, 16, 17, 21, 25

Box/Folder 1 : 10

1932

 

Undated

 

January 2, 7, 12, 25

 

February 4

 

March 3, 16

 

April 5, 9, 11, 12, 17, 23, 29

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of April 29, 1932, was copied next to the postcard of May 27, 1932.
 

May 6, 11, 19, 27

 

August 5, 17

 

September 4, 19, 22, 25

 

October 2, 4, 6, 12, 17, 20, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30

 

November 2,4, 6, 8, 15, 16, 24

 

December 11, 15

Box/Folder 1 : 11

1933

 

January 1

Scope and Contents note

The postcard was copied next to the postcard of April 24, 1933.
 

February 4, 22

 

March 4

 

April 5, 15, 18, 24, 25

 

May 2, 5, 11, 18, 20, 24, 28

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of May 2, 1933, was copied next to the postcard of December 9, 1933.
 

June 18, 26

 

July 2, 6, 10, 13, 19

 

September 1, 3, 21

 

October 7, 18, 29

 

November 8, 12, 16, 26

 

December 4, 9, 12, 13, 19, 21, 23, 29

Box/Folder 2 : 1

1934

 

January 8, 15

 

February 4, 13, 18, 25

 

March 2, 3, 7, 15, 26

 

April 2, 5, 14, 23, 29

 

May 13, 26

 

June 8, 18, 20, 23

 

July 10

 

October 16

 

November 14, 26

 

December 13, 23

Box/Folder 2 : 2

1935

 

January 7, 14

 

February 3, 18, 24

 

March 14, 23, 24, 31

 

April 17

 

June 13, 15, 27, 28

 

July 1, 4, 11, 20

 

August 5, 8, 21

 

September 4, 11, 12, 19, 21, 23, 30

 

October 3, 9, 13, 19, 23

 

November 13, 21

 

December 13, 15

Box/Folder 2 : 3

1936

 

January 7, 28

 

February 2, 15, 26

 

March, 1, 5, 18

 

April 15, 20, 21, 22, 26

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of April 2, 1936, was copied next to the postcard of November 21, 1936; the postcard of April 15, 1936, was copied next to the postcard of June 7, 1936.
 

May 27

 

June 2, 7, 12, 15, 17, 19, 24, 28

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of June 2, 1936, was copied next to the postcard of August 28, 1936.
 

July 12, 22, 30

 

August 8, 10, 13, 20, 28, 30

 

September 1, 4, 5, 10, 17, 22, 24

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of September 5, 1936, was copied next to the postcard of October 23, 1936.
 

October 4, 14, 19, 23, 25, 29, 30

 

November 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30

 

December 22

Box/Folder 2 : 4

1937

 

Undated

 

January 2, 6, 8, 11, 27

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of January 2, 1937, was copied next to the postcard of December 1, 1937; the postcard of January 11, 1937, was copied next to the postcard of December 27, 1937.
 

February 1, 19

 

March 5, 11, 13, 18, 28

 

April 13, 20, 26

 

May 1, 7, 10, 17

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of May 1, 1937, was copied next to the postcard of December 12, 1937.
 

July 10, 13, 19, 30

 

August 2, 26

 

September 6, 16, 19

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of September 6, 1937, was copied next to the postcard of October 11, 1937.
 

October 4, 6, 11, 14, 20

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of October 14, 1937, was copied next to the postcard of November 7, 1937.
 

November 3, 5, 7, 12, 16, 20, 26, 27

 

December 1, 7, 10, 14, 19, 22, 24, 27

Box/Folder 2 : 5

1938

 

Undated

 

January 5, 9, 11, 14, 31

 

February 4, 9, 11, 15, 18, 19, 20, 27

 

March 7, 12, 20, 24, 25

 

April 4, 6, 16, 20, 29

 

May 10, 13, 15, 24

Scope and Contents note

The postcard of May 13, 1938, was copied next to the postcard of June 21, 1938.
 

June 1, 7, 12, 17, 21, 24

 

July 10, 20, 24, 26, 30, 31

 

August 3, 4, 12, 16, 18, 19, 22, 25

 

September 11, 20, 24, 26

Scope and Contents note

Includes two postcards of September 11, 1938.
 

October 3, 9, 19, 25, 30

Scope and Contents note

Includes two postcards of October 9, 1938.
 

November 2, 9, 15, 30

 

December 2, 25

 

Transcripts of Correspondence, 1926-1939

Box/Folder 2 : 6

1926

 

Undated

Scope and Contents note

Two undated letters from Babel's mother and one undated letter from Babel'.
 

January 26

 

February

 

April 6, 16

 

May 2

 

July 16

 

August 14, 30

 

September 17, 23

 

October 13, 23

 

November 2, 10, 15, 29

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of November 2.
 

December 8, 9

Box/Folder 2 : 7

1927

 

January 3, 11

 

February 2

 

March 5, 7, 18, 26

 

April 12

 

May 8

 

June 12

 

From mother, December 31

Box/Folder 2 : 8

1928

 

April 2, 28

 

May 21

 

June 3

 

October 1, 3, 9, 20, 22, 26, 28, 29, 30

 

November 6, 11, 13, 25, 29

 

December 1, 4, 6, 13, 15, 25

Box/Folder 2 : 9

1929

 

January 7, 10, 14, 17, 19

 

February 9, 13

 

March 4, 14, 16, 19, 29, 30

 

April 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19, 21, 24

 

May 1, 9, 11, 15, 17, 21, 24, 27, 30

 

June 2, 5, 13, 14, 19, 25, 28, 29

 

July 4, 6, 9, 11, 26, 28

 

August 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31

 

September 2, 6, 14, 19, 25, 26

 

October 4, 7, 10, 17, 26, 29

 

November 5, 7, 11, 15, 18, 23

 

December 2, 6, 14, 21, 24, 27, 29

Box/Folder 2 : 10

1930

 

January 8, 10, 31, 30

 

February 5, 9, 16, 17, 20, 24

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of February 9, 1930.
 

March 6, 10, 28

 

April 1, 16, 21, 27

 

May 10, 13, 18, 20, 25, 31

 

June 7, 10, 14, 23, 25, 30

 

July 16, 19, 28, 31

 

August 3, 6, 17, 24, 29

 

September 2, 8, 13, 28, 21, 24, 25

 

October 6, 8, 13, 18, 21, 25

 

November 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17, 23, 27

 

December 10, 14, 15, 20, 25, 28

Box/Folder 2 : 11

1931

 

January 4, 8, 21

 

February 8

 

March 5, 6, 11, 17, 18

 

May 3, 5, 7, 12, 15, 19, 24, 28

 

June 1, 5, 11, 17, 20, 26

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of June 1, 1931, and of June 17, 1931.
 

July 3, 7, 12, 17, 20, 26, 30, 31

 

August 3, 4, 11, 13, 17, 30

 

September 1, 7, 15, 18, 22, 25, 26, 28, 30

 

November 18, 19

 

December 4, 25

Box/Folder 2 : 12

1932

 

January 2, 7, 15

 

March 16

 

April 9, 17

 

August 17

 

September 19, 25

 

October 17, 20, 27, 28

 

November 6, 8, 15, 24

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of November 15, 1932.
 

December 15

Box/Folder 2 : 13

1933

 

February 4, 22, 26

 

March 4

 

May 29

 

July 6, 13, 19

 

September 29

 

October 7, 18

 

November 16, 26

Box/Folder 2 : 14

1934

 

January 15

 

February 4, 18

 

March 26

 

April 2, 23

 

June 23

 

October 16

Box/Folder 2 : 15

1935

 

January 7, 14

 

February 3, 17, 18

 

March 23, 27, 31

 

April 17

 

June 13, 15, 27

 

July 4, 15, 20

 

August 5, 8, 9, 21

 

September 12, 19, 21, 23, 30

 

October 3, 9, 19, 30

 

November 23

 

December 5, 9, 15, 27

Box/Folder 2 : 16

1936

 

February 26

 

April 21, 22

 

June 2, 12, 19, 28

 

August 20

 

September 1, 4, 24

 

October 7, 10, 14

 

November 2, 3, 5, 7, 12, 20, 24, 30

 

December 7, 24

Box/Folder 2 : 17

1937

 

January 6, 8

 

February 1, 19

 

March 5, 13, 18

 

April 20

 

May 7, 10, 17

 

July 10, 13, 19

 

August 2, 4, 16

 

September 16, 19

 

October 6, 20

 

November 3, 5, 16, 27

 

December 1, 19, 22, 24

Box/Folder 2 : 18

1938

 

January 3, 5, 11, 14, 26, 31

 

February 4, 11, 18

 

March 7, 12

 

April 6, 16, 30, 29

 

May 4, 10, 13, 15, 24

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of May 24, 1938.
 

June 1, 8, 12, 17, 24

 

July 10, 20, 24, 25, 26, 30

Scope and Contents note

Includes two letters of July 26, 1938.
 

August 3, 4, 12, 16, 18, 19, 22

 

September 11, 20, 24

 

November 2, 9, 15, 30

 

December 2, 25

Box/Folder 2 : 19

1939

 

January 2

 

March 31

 

May 10