To Russia With Love

To: Pavel Ivanovich Konstantinov
Russian Academy of Arts
Leningrad, Russia

Pasha,

I write this in the hopes that you have had time to cool your head and come around to the right view of things. The rift that has grown between us grieves my heart. I will forgive you for the harsh words you spoke to me before I departed Russia. If you think of it clearly, you will see that there was no other way. Your mother would have understood it herself, had her mind not become twisted and clouded in the last few years. Traitors cannot be suffered. Not even if they are those we once loved. I did what I did to protect my nation, and you, my beloved son. In time, you will see the right of it.

The situation here in Spain is even more barbaric than I had been led to believe. Half the troops are hardly proper communists at all, and I find I must suffer behavior that would earn a proper Red Army man a swift end. Not only from the rabble that call themselves volunteers, but from our preening Irish rooster of a captain as well. But I persevere. It is my duty to shape the minds of these men into proper comrades, and it is a challenge I shall rise to.

How are things for you, my son? You are nearing the end of your studies. Music is all well and good, but it is not a proper career for a man. When I return to Leningrad, I expect you will have taken to wearing the garb of the Red Army. You would do well to consider entering training as a commissar yourself. It is a better assignment than most you will find in the army. You can find some comfort in it and, if you've a skill for the job, go far in the Party. I have always thought we were much alike, my son. I hope that has not changed. There is still time for you to become the man I know you are capable of being. Do not disappoint me.

Your loving father,
Ivan Grigorevich Konstantinov

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