Many Languages, One Message


22 December marks the date on which author Nikolai Ostrovsky died in 1936. At 10 years old he began his working life, laboring in a railroad station and at a timber yard. Later he would become an electrician at a power station. He would also contract ankylosing spondylitis which would later blind and paralyze him.

During the Russian Revolution he would join an underground organization and serve in a training battalion during the Civil War despite his rapidly declining health.

Eventually bedridden, he would complete his novel, ‘How the Steel was Tempered’ which would go on to be translated into numerous languages.

Ostrovsky was quoted as saying: “Man’s dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying he might say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world—the fight for the Liberation of Mankind.”