Sasha Filippov and Xu Zhimo

Sasha Filippov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович (Са́ша) Фили́ппов; June 26, 1925 – December 23, 1942) was a spy for the Red Army during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Contents 1 Early life 2 Espionage activities 3 Death 4 Posthumous honors 5 Portrayals in fiction 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Early life

Sasha Filippov was born in 1925 in Stalingrad (modern-day Volgograd), Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. At the time of the Battle of Stalingrad, Filippov lived in the Stalingrad suburb of Dar Gora with his father, mother, and a younger brother who was born in 1932. Physically, Sasha was frail and short statured. Espionage activities

When the initial Wehrmacht assault on Stalingrad resulted in battalions of the German 6th Army quickly overrunning suburbs of the city, many Russian families were caught unaware and found themselves unable to flee in time. One such family was the Filippovs.

While his family stayed indoors, Filippov went out and began speaking with the German soldiers. He found out where the headquarters for the German staff was located and proceeded to offer his services as a cobbler to the officers of the invading forces. He was informed that his services would be useful and soon he was a regular sight behind the German lines, repairing and polishing shoes and boots for the officers and soldiers. Unbeknownst to the Germans, however, he had also gone to Red Army headquarters to offer his services as a spy.

Designated by the Red Army as the information source code named 'schoolboy', Filippov would remove documents from the desks of German officers, report German conversations and enemy troop movements, and describe what German military activity he could see to Russian officers, all while mending footwear for the German Army. From this information, more precise attacks could be made on troop concentrations and the Wehrmacht headquarters located in the Dar Gora area was even shelled one night by Russian artillery, thanks to Filippov providing the exact firing coordinates.

Filippov's parents never knew the details of his work as a double agent at the time. They knew only that their son was working for the Red Army in some fashion, though not exactly how. Death

On the evening of December 23, 1942, Filippov's parents were told by their neighbors that their son had been arrested by the Germans; Mr. and Mrs. Filippov had apparently been anticipating this event for several weeks. The Germans had discovered his spying activities and had sentenced him to death for espionage.

His mother rushed out of their house to see her son being led barefoot by a German platoon through the falling snow, accompanied by two other prisoners, one of them a female. Sasha's mother passed him some food, apparently with the thought that her son was being led off into captivity. This was not to be the case. The procession was marched to a grove of peashrub trees on Bryanskaya street, where Sasha and the two others were hanged in view of neighbors and his parents. Mr. Filippov was unable to witness the actual execution of his son and left before this order was given, while Sasha's mother remained alone with the bodies of her son and two other youngsters' after the soldiers had marched off.

Early in 1980s the researchers have revealed the name of the woman hanged together with Sasha: it was 22-year-old Maria "Masha" Uskova, a single mother from the nearby urban-type settlement Katrichevo. The other hanged man's name still remains unknown. Posthumous honors Order of the Red Banner

Sasha was awarded the Order of the Red Banner posthumously in 1944.

In Volgograd, the former Bryanskaya Street where he lived now bears his name, as does the public school (No. 14) on that street. There is also a park named after him, where his grave and a memorial are situated. Portrayals in fiction

Filippov is portrayed by Gabriel Thomson in the film Enemy at the Gates, in which his role and death are dramatized, with some historical inaccuracies

Xu Zhimo and Sasha Filippov

This is a Chinese name; the family name is Xu.

Xu Zhimo (Chinese: 徐志摩; pinyin: Xú Zhìmó; Wade–Giles: Hsü Chih-mo, January 15, 1897 – November 19, 1931) was an early 20th-century Chinese poet. He was given the name of Zhangxu (章垿) and the courtesy name of Yousen (槱森). He later changed his courtesy name to Zhimo (志摩).

One of the most renowned romantic poets of 20th-century Chinese literature, he is known for his promotion of modern Chinese poetry, and has made tremendous contributions to modern Chinese literature.

To commemorate Xu Zhimo, in July 2008, a stone of white Beijing marble was installed at the Backs of King's College, Cambridge (near the bridge over the River Cam); on it are inscribed the first two and last two lines from Xu's best-known poem (simplified Chinese: 再别康桥; traditional Chinese: 再別康橋; pinyin: Zài Bié Kāngqiáo; literally: "again (or "once more") leave Cambridge", variously translated as "On Leaving Cambridge", "Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again", "Goodbye Again, Cambridge", "Leaving the Revisited Cambridge" etc.). A collection of Xu's poetry with English translations was published by Oleander Press Cambridge in 2012.

Contents 1 Biography 1.1 Love affairs 1.2 Airplane crash 2 Cambridge poem 3 References 4 Further reading

Biography Xu Zhimo and his second wife Lu Xiaoman

Xu was born in Haining, Zhejiang and graduated from the famous Hangzhou High School. In 1915, he married Zhang Youyi and next year he went to Peiyang University (now Tianjin University) to study Law. In 1917, he transferred to Peking University (PKU) due to the law department of Peiyang University merging into PKU. In 1918, he traveled to the United States to study history in Massachusetts at Clark University. Shortly afterwards, he transferred to Columbia University in New York to study economics and politics in 1919. Finding the States "intolerable", he left in 1921 to study at King's College, Cambridge in England, where he fell in love with English romantic poetry like that of Keats and Shelley, and was also influenced by the French romantic and symbolist poets, some of whose works he translated into Chinese. In 1922 he returned to China and became a leader of the modern poetry movement. In 1923, he founded the Crescent Moon Society. When the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore visited China, Xu Zhimo played the part of oral interpreter. Xu was also renowned for his use of vernacular Chinese. He was one of the first Chinese writers to successfully naturalize Western romantic forms into modern Chinese poetry. He worked as an editor and professor at several schools before dying in a plane crash on November 19, 1931 near Tai'an, Shandong while flying on a Stinson Detroiter from Nanjing to Beijing. He left behind four collections of verse and several volumes of translations from various languages. Love affairs

Xu Zhimo's various love affairs with Zhang Youyi, Lin Huiyin, and Lu Xiaoman are well known in China. Xu married Zhang Youyi, (the sister of the politician Zhang Junmai) on October 10, 1915. This was an arranged marriage that went against Xu’s belief in free and simple love. Although Zhang gave birth to two sons, Xu still couldn’t accept her. While in London in 1921, Xu met and fell in love with Lin Huiyin (the daughter of Lin Changmin). He divorced Zhang in March 1922. Inspired by this newly found love, Xu wrote a large number of poems during this time. Lin and Xu became close friends. However, she was already betrothed to Liang Sicheng by his father. Xu's last lover was Lu Xiaoman, who was married to Wang Geng, a friend of Xu. The marriage had been arranged by her parents and she felt trapped in this loveless marriage. When Xu and Lu met, they quickly bonded over the similarity of their respective experiences with arranged marriages. When it came to be known that they were in love, both were scorned by their parents and friends. Lu divorced her husband in 1925 and married Xu the next year. Their honeymoon period did not last long however and Lu gradually became more and more depressed. Because Lu was wasteful and Xu’s parents refused to lend them money, Xu had to take several jobs in different cities to keep up with the lifestyle Lu desired. She was widowed when Xu died in an airplane crash.

Xu was also romantically linked to American author Pearl S. Buck and American journalist Agnes Smedley. Airplane crash

On November 19, 1931, Xu Zhimo prepared to leave Nanking to attend a lecture given by Lin Huiyin at a university in Peking. He boarded a China Airways Federal Stinson Detroiter, an aircraft contracted by Chunghwa Post to deliver airmail on the Nanjing-Beijing route. However, the flight encountered severe weather, and the plane crashed into the mountains near Tai'an City, in Shandong province, where he died. Cambridge poem Memorial stone to Xu Zhimo with the first and last two lines of his poem (simplified Chinese: 再别康桥; traditional Chinese: 再別康橋; pinyin: Zài Bié Kāngqiáo; literally: "again (or "once more") leave Cambridge") at the Backs of King's College, Cambridge.

English versions have been published under various titles; the one used here (by permission) was translated by Guohua Chen and published in the University of Cambridge's 800th anniversary book.
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