Rus­sian au­thor dies at 98

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

Daniil Granin, a Rus­sian au­thor who wrote a chron­i­cle of the Nazi siege of Len­ingrad and sev­eral widely pop­u­lar nov­els, has died. He was 98.

Granin, a World War II vet­eran whose writ­ings made him a moral au­thor­ity for many in Rus­sia, died Tues­day at a hos­pi­tal in St. Peters­burg, Rus­sian news re­ports said.

Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin of­fered con­do­lences to his fam­ily, prais­ing Granin as a “great thinker’’ and a “man of great spir­i­tual strength.’’

Granin, who was trained as an in­dus­trial en­gi­neer, joined the Red Army when the Nazis in­vaded the Soviet Union in 1941 and fought through the end of WW II.

He pub­lished his first work in 1949 and au­thored sev­eral nov­els in­spired by his ex­pe­ri­ence as an en­gi­neer, de­scrib­ing sci­en­tists fight­ing for their in­ven­tions against stolid bu­reau­cracy. Sev­eral of Granin’s books were turned into movies, earn­ing him quick pop­u­lar­ity.

In the 1970s, Granin pub­lished “A Book of the Block­ade,’’ con­tain­ing hor­ri­fy­ing ac­counts by sur­vivors of the Nazi siege of Len­ingrad.

When Soviet leader Mikhail Gor­bachev launched his open­ness cam­paign, Granin won ac­claim with a 1987 bi­og­ra­phy of ge­netic sci­en­tist Niko­lai Ti­mofeev-Resovsky who faced re­pres­sion un­der Soviet dic­ta­tor Josef Stalin’s rule.

In 2014, Granin — 95 at the time — made a pow­er­ful, widely quoted speech about the siege of Len­ingrad at the Ger­man par­lia­ment on In­ter­na­tional Holo­caust Re­mem­brance Day.

City au­thor­i­ties said Granin is to be buried Satur­day at the Ko­marovo ceme­tery out­side St. Peters­burg.

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