Isaac Babel

Isaac Emmanuilovich Babel;Isaac Emmanuelovich Babel

1894 (Odessa, Ukraine) – 1940 (Moscow)

Gorky published his early work, gave him good advice, and protected him against persecution. Ehrenburg, who called Babel a wise rabbi, was first met in Paris — they remained friends for life. Babel contributed to Mayakovsky’s magazine ‘Lef’, collaborated with Eisenstein on a film, and suggested a good haven to Mandelstam (under investigation by the secret police), giving him the train-fare. Pasternak was a neighbour outside Moscow, and a depressing companion travelling to Paris for a conference organised by Malraux (whom Babel was later falsely accused of passing aviation secrets to, and shot).