Matvei Isaakovich Blanter
Go back to Narnia, begone!


Matvei Isaakovich Blanter
Матве́й Исаа́кович Бла́нтер


10 February 1903


27 September 1990

Known for

Being shoved into a closet by Chuikov
The "Katyusha" song


The guy who Chuikov shoves into the closet

Played by

Boris Schwarzmann

Matvey Isaakovich Blanter (10 February 1903 - 27 September 1990) was a Soviet composer.

Blanter, the son of a Jewish craftsman, was born in the town of Pochep, then in the Chernigov Governorate of the Russian Empire. He studied piano and violin at the Kursk Higher Music School. In 1917-1919, he continued his education in Moscow, studying violin and composition.

Blanter's first songs were composed in the 1920s. At the time, he wrote light dance and jazz music, including "John Gray" (1923), a foxtrot that became a major hit. In the 1930s, as Soviet culture grew more repressive and ideologically rigid, Blanter shifted toward writing Soviet propaganda songs.

Some of Blanter's 1930s songs were styled after the Red Army songs of the Russian Civil War (1918–1921) and mythologized the war's Bolshevik heroes.

Near the end of WW2, Blanter accompanied two war correspondents - Konstantin Simonov and Yevgeniy Dolmatovsky - who visited General Vasily Chuikov's Eighth Guards Army during the Battle of Berlin. Blanter was present in the room while the two interviewed Chuikov, but then suddenly General Hans Krebs arrived nearby. Chuikov, who wished to meet Krebs as soon as possible and hear what he had to say, hastily ordered the journalists (who were dressed in uniform) to wear medals and pretend that they're his staff. Blanter, who was in civilian clothes was:

“...hastily shoved into a clothes closet adjoining the meeting room. He stayed there for most of the ensuing conference. Just before the visitors left, he fainted from lack of air and fell into the room, to the utter astonishment of the Germans.”
―Cornelius Ryan, The Last Battle

The scene was recreated in Downfall. Blanter is played by Russian actor Boris Schwarzmann.

According to the director, Oliver Hirschpiegel, he thought the scene where Blanter is shoved in a cupboard wouldn't be taken seriously by people who were watching the film, even though it really happened, which is why he cut it out of the theatrical version. The behind-the-scenes version shows Blanter falling out of the cupboard and, without a word, he is carried out.

In the Parodies

A number of parody makers have used the scene involving Blanter hiding in the closet for comedic effect. It has become a running joke for Chuikov to force him in the closet for various reasons, such as in Viva La Fegel, in which he forced him into the closet so that he could find a vuvuzela. Another example is in Jennie gives advice to DA, by DictatorAntics, in which Blanter was supposed to be Shomronon.

Unterganger Fikamar27 at one time highly patronizes Blanter's songs.


See also

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