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On the Marshal's Desk: Part 2

Pictured: Personal effects from Marshal V. I. Chuikov's office gifted by his family to the Museum of the Cadet Corps of the Investigative Committee of Russia in Volgograd. A few items of note: Chuikov's Stalingrad citation, a commemoration for his 80th birthday, personalized stationery notepad, and tea pair. The tea pair was a gift from his granddaughter Ekaterina Chuikova, daughter of Alexander Vasilievich.

Having the opportunity to examine the personal effects of a distinguished leader allows the researcher to gain insight into the cherished moments in the person's life. In an earlier blog post, I shared a photo of Marshal Chuikov sitting at his desk in 1968 where I examined a particular journal Oгонёк (Ogonyek) containing contents from Chichkov’s book В погоне за Мексикой (Chasing Mexico). In the photo above, the observer gains yet another view of Chuikov's professional and personal life. The museum display features a large wooden desk which he used during his service in the German Democratic Republic.

The teacup in the inset is identical to the teacup given to Vasily Ivanovich from one of his beloved grandchildren, Ekaterina. The saucer and spoon are variations from the original items photographed on Marshal Chuikov's desk; however, the tea pair commemorates the 1980 Olympiad held in Moscow. The inset reveals the Olympic emblem on the cup, which is fine porcelain from the Lomonosov company, and the spoon included here features the 1980 Olympic mascot, Misha the Bear.

Journalist Irina Artemova shared anecdotes about Chuikov's office items in a piece featured on the Аргументы и факты (Arguments and Facts) website. She wrote:

"Remembering Chuikov, contemporaries usually talk about his military talent and strong-willed character, thanks to which the most terrible battle of the Great Patriotic War was broken. But with people close to him, Vasily Ivanovich was a sincere person and valued his family very much. Before the war, he had two daughters. And in 1946, his wife gave birth to his son [Alexander Vasilievich]--a gift for the victory, as Valentina Petrovna herself said.

When grandchildren appeared, the stern marshal became a loving grandfather. In the museum, on a table in Chuikov's office, there is a pair of tea with a silver spoon--a gift from Katya, [his] granddaughter. Passing them to the cadets [for the museum], she admitted that she somehow dropped the cup and left a small chip on it. But Vasily Ivanovich still liked to drink tea from this cup. In a metal pencil case, which is kept next to the tea pair, Chuikov, according to Katya's memories, always kept sweets. As soon as she looked, he opened the treasured lid and handed over a sweet treat."


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