Home > Uncategorized > Vsevolod Kochetov: Peace is the future happiness of mankind

Vsevolod Kochetov: Peace is the future happiness of mankind


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war


Vsevolod Kochetov
From The Zhurbins
Translated by R. Daglish

“There’s a fierce struggle going on in the world. The forces of peace are growing and getting stronger, but the warmongers aren’t giving in either; they’re sticking their necks out as much as ever. You feel you ought to be sounding the alarm to warn people that peace is in danger. And you try to make every word, every action serve that purpose…”


Victor, who had gone back into the summer-house, began playing the mandolin. No one spoke. The sound of the mandolin mingled with the hum of the flying beetles that were diving into the flower beds; one of them struck the chessboard, another caught itself in Dunyasha’s hair. Vera disentangled it and held it on her palm. It spread its stiff blue wing-cases and flew away, gaining height laboriously, like a heavily-loaded bomber. It was hard to think that somewhere there were real bombers and stocks of terrible bombs – atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, bombs filled with plague and poison gas, that somewhere there lived people who hated this peaceful Zhurbin family, Old Matvei, and Anton, and Dunyasha, and little Matvei – all of them. Those bombs could cut short Grandad’s life, they could kill Dunyasha, Anton and the two little ones that Agafya Karpovna was now nursing in her arms.


The labour of the Zhurbins, the Basmanovs, the Tarasovs, the Kuznetsovs will sail to distant seas and distant countries with cargoes of peace. For peace it is worth living, fighting, working; peace is the future happiness of mankind. The Zhurbins live for humanity, it is to humanity that these honest, hard-working, openhearted people give their skill.

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