During the Great Patriotic War, Ilya Ehrenburg was one of the most prolific of the Soviet writers, putting his pen to the service of victory. He alone composed over 300 reports for the SovInformBuro and more than a thousand articles, sketches, commentaries, and feuilletons. Later, when recalling the early days of the war, Ehrenburg wrote:|
"Never in my life had I worked so much. I wrote three or four articles a day. I sat on Lavrushensky Lane (headquarters of SovInformBuro--Trans.) and pounded on the typewriter; in the evening I went to Red Star (the army newspaper--Trans.), wrote an article for the next day's edition, read German documents and radio intercepts, edited translations, composed photo captions.... Telegrams began to arrive from abroad; different newspapers requesting that I write for them: the Daily Hearld, New York Post, La France, Swedish newspapers, the American news agency United Press. I had to change more than dictionaries--Red Army soldiers and neutral Swedes require different arguments."
"Freedom or Death" is a short agitational/propaganda piece written in the first weeks of the war.