The biography of Peter Mironovich Masherov was cut short at the moment when his political career was supposed to reach a new level. Almost four decades have passed since his death, but the inhabitants of Belarus still remember the former leader as a crystal honest person and zealous owner.
Childhood and youth
A family legend says that the great-great-grandfather of Peter Masherov fought in Napoleon's army and, retreating in 1812, remained in Russia. He chose a peasant woman as his wife and converted to Orthodoxy. Peter's parents were also peasants in the Belarusian village of Shirki. Miron Vasilievich and Daria Petrovna lived in poverty, the family had a particularly hard time in the 30s. Of the eight children of the Masherovs, five survived, one of them was Petya, who was born in 1918.
The boy graduated from primary school with an honorary diploma and continued to receive secondary education. Every day he had to overcome the path of 18 kilometers. During the holidays, he earned money by loading logs on the railroad.
In 1934, after graduating from the workers' faculty, the young man joined the ranks of students at the Vitebsk Pedagogical Institute. The future teacher of exact sciences, in parallel with his studies, was fond of sports and worked in a student scientific circle. In 1939, the young specialist was assigned to the regional center of Rossony. The teacher of physics and mathematics was loved by his students and respected by his colleagues. In addition to his educational activities, he managed to unite the guys in the productions of the drama club.
At the very beginning of the war, Peter volunteered for the front, fought in a destroyer battalion. In the summer of 1941, he was surrounded and captured, but managed to escape by jumping off a German train on the move. With difficulty, he managed to return to Rossony and headed the city's Komsomol underground. He worked as a school teacher and a collective farm accountant, while at the same time unfolding a partisan struggle in the Vitebsk region. In 1942, Masherov led a detachment that operated in several regions of Belarus at once. The soldiers recruited supporters and collected weapons, then proceeded to active actions. The leader of the partisan movement in Belarus received the underground nickname "Dubnyak". The most significant operations of the detachment were the elimination of the bridge over the Drissa River and a series of explosions on the Vitebsk-Riga railway line. In 1943, after being deployed to the Vileika region, he headed an underground organization there. For this activity, the communist Masherov received the Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
When Belarus was liberated in 1944, Pyotr Mironovich headed the Minsk regional committee of the Komsomol. Senior colleagues were very impressed by his activities as a Komsomol leader and soon he was offered to go to party work. At first he worked as the second party secretary of the Mogilev regional committee, and then headed the Brest regional committee. At the suggestion of Masherov, a museum was opened in the famous fortress and the construction of a memorial began. The head of the region paid much attention to the development of culture and education. Masherov went to work on foot, without security, and this earned the respect of the Brest residents.
Head of Belarus
1959 was marked by a new step in Masherov's career. His candidacy was approved for the post of secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus. Then he took the post of second secretary, was in charge of personnel policy. In 1965, he headed the Republican Central Committee. In addition, Petr Mironovich became a member of the CPSU Central Committee and the Presidium of the Supreme Council.
The times of Masherov's rule were marked for Belarus by an unprecedented rise in all sectors. For 15 years, the national income has grown, agriculture and industry have been actively developing, dozens of new processing plants have appeared. The head of the republic made a lot of efforts to start the construction of the Minsk metro. Tens of thousands of meters of new housing and sports facilities were built. The First Secretary allocated a significant part of the funds to the development of the humanitarian sphere; his meetings with workers of culture and arts have become traditional. He initiated Minsk to receive the title of “Hero City”.
Peter met his future wife Polina Galanova during the occupation. She was a dentist and in her office there was an underground safe house. After the Victory, the couple had two daughters. Today, the eldest Natalia lives in Minsk, teaches philosophy to university students, the youngest Elena lives in Moscow.
In his personal life and as a leader, Masherov was remembered as a person who is easy to communicate and who knows how to find an approach to everyone. He was very fond of creativity and often attended theatrical premieres. The head of the republic traveled a lot, but he especially loved Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
The life of the Belarusian leader ended unexpectedly on October 4, 1980. He died in a car accident when the government's Seagull collided with a truck. The dump truck driver survived, the court found him guilty of an accident and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
The death of the head of Belarus led to many rumors and assumptions. He was considered one of the most likely contenders for the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. There were no more than two weeks left before the appointment, and probably not everyone was satisfied with the candidacy of a skillful leader and a strong business executive who had his own point of view and a strong character. This could change not only his life, but also the fate of the whole country.