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Universal History

Annotation
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Decorations and grants for the creators of the atomic bomb
B.S. Gorobets

Historic documents are cited related to rewarding of the group of scientists, engineering and technical laborers, construction and design engineers, and several military and intelligence men, who played the leading role in creation and testing the first Soviet atomic bomb (841 persons in al)l. Among these documents is cited the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarding the title of Hero of the Socialist Labor to 33 the most deserved specialists. Commented are some especially curious fragments of the Direction of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, signed by Stalin, presented these persons for awarding by the Presidium. In particular, the fragment concerning I.V. Kurchatov is cited consisting of not only decoration him, but also granting him a huge money prize, dacha in the Crimea and an automobile of the highest class.
Separate Decision of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) and the Council of Ministers of the USSR was admitted which awarded L.P. Beria. He was decorated with the Lenin order and became a laureat of the Stalin Prize, but without its money attachment.
A role of German scientist Nicolaus Riehl who was working on the smelting and purification of natural metallic uranium in Electrostal factory is treated, in short. He became Hero of Socialist Labor according to Stalin’s direct order. This act bewildered some Soviet engineers metallurgists, who considered it as injust. Academician Fiodor Reshetnikov declared that he did not know anything abour Riehl’s results on uranium.
Other forms of bonuses used for the first time in the USSR, are described too. The most distinguished scientists and engineers (19 persons, in all) were donated with dachas and automobiles. The privilege was given them, as well as to their wives and children (under age), to use gratis all the inner transport within the limits of the USSR. Also the right to enter any high school without exams was given to their children. Although these privileges were cancelled a few months after Stalin’s death.
Some inordinary cases happened in consequence the obligement to exchange Stalin medals of laureat and the corresponding certifications. As a matter of fact, in 1960-s, the decision was taken of exchanging them for the renamed medals and certifications of “Laureat of the State Prize”. Stil occurred rare cases of ignorance of this governement decision. At least two cases are known: two outstanding Soviet physicists refused categorically to follow this decision, they were academicians Isaak Kikoin and Piotr Kapitsa.

Keywords: Stalin Prize; Hero of Socialist Labor; Lavrentii P. Beria; Nicolaus Riehl; Yakov. B. Zeldovich; Ovsey I. Leypunskii; Isaak K. Kikoin; Piotr L. Kapitsa.

Contacts: E-mail: bgorobets@rambler.ru

Pp. 03-12.

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