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Ionin German Nikolaevich

   Chairman of the Literature Teaching Methodology Department at St. Petersburg State Pedagogical Institute, senior lecturer; professor.
   Born in Leningrad on May 17, 1936. In 1959 he had graduated from the philological faculty of Leningrad State University and began his work as a literature teacher in a public school. From 1974 until 1979 he was the chief research worker at the State Academy of Pedagogical Sciences. Afterwards he has taught literature courses at the Higher Education school. In 1982 he joined the teaching faculty of St. Petersburg Pedagogical Institute, where he is presently teaching. In 1971 he had written his Master thesis and 1993 received his Doctorate degree.
   "... The cultural roots go into the infinite incomprehensible space of being. Culture is in everybody's possession, or, better to say, it is programmed into everyone. There are two major forces that feed the culture. The first is produced by humanity, by people of all countries and times, who intuitively create life as if it was the greatest miracle. But the same multitudes, turned by the conditions of the history into wild primitive masses, governed by instincts of chaos, disintegration, and self-destruction destroy life,. Then it is the individual spirit that becomes the savior of culture. This independent spirit stands alone in the fierce fight against conformity, which turns humans into a faceless crowd, and which transforms deep cultural mechanisms into narrow patterns of civilization. Only selfless persistent labour, free of hypocritical gestures, can bring salvation to culture.
   I have known G. N. German for many years. All these years we have been colleagues and friends. And still he seems a mystery to me: how can one be so selfless, so dedicated to preservation and rebirth of culture? His life is constant spiritual work, directed at his immediate surroundings. Sincere communication and a goal common to him and his students and co-workers are the devices with which he brings up the new generation and prepares it for the future.
   He comes from a family of artists. From his childhood he attended art schools and was noted for his exceptional gifts in drawing and his feeling of colour. And even though he could have well become a talented painter, G. N. Ionin went along the other road. He has chosen words and literature instead of the painterly language of expression. All his life he has loved poetry and was a passionate poet himself. Albeit his poems are little known in the literary circles, they deserve special attention, for in them the voices of the past and present epochs speak of the same long suffering and tragic doom of the universal drama of being.
   German Ionin is also a very talented pedagogue. He has written many literature textbooks, as well as literary analyses of the major Russian writers of our times. His pedagogical theories are innovational and original, although at the same time he accepts the views of his more traditional colleagues. At the Institute he created an atmosphere of a highly cooperative, though not homogeneous in their working methods, collective of professionals. Without such people as G. N. Ionin our life would seem colorless and defendless, for life itself nowadays requires daily opposition to the dark powers of destruction and reinforcement of the truth and kindness..."
   A group of colleagues.

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