Who Stirlitz Is

It is hard to imagine that there is someone in Russia who does not know about Stirlitz. However, inasmuch as people logging on to the English version of my site basically come from English-speaking countries, there must be an explanation who he is.

Stirlitz is the protagonist in a movie series called 17 Instants Of A Spring, produced after a novel of the same name by Yulian Semenov. He is a Soviet spy in Nazi Germany during World War Two. (A similar character in the West is James Bond). The movie was starred by Vyacheslav Tikhonov. Stirlitz’s image in this movie is that of an intrepid, composed and smart spy who can get away with anything. It is not for nothing that most anecdotes about Stirlitz play up the fact that everyone in Germany knew who he was—KGB colonel Maxim Isayev, but no one could prove it.

A new novel about Stirlitz The way hedgehogs breed by different authors became the culmination of these anecdotes.
As for me, I perceive Stirlitz as a mixture: it is both a cool spy and a womanizer, who is afraid of nothing and nobody and does not work for the Center but rather for his joy, brawler and hard drinker. I can say that The way hedgehogs breed is one of my favorite novels, but on the other hand if it had not been for 17 Instants Of A Spring, the Hedgehogs would never have appeared. Also 15 years ago I was crazy about a similar spy novel Shield And Sword, so the original character is not alien to me at all.

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