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Russian emigres

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  • Hristofor
    Dear Vladimir, I think that there is a bit of a disconnect in English usage, since I understand that when you say return to Russia that you are speaking in
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 1, 2004
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      Dear Vladimir,

      I think that there is a bit of a disconnect in English usage, since I
      understand that when you say "return to Russia" that you are speaking in
      the spiritual/abstract sense, since you weren't born there. It may help
      if you state "move" when you refer to packing up your belongings and
      take residence in Russia, as opposed to "returning to your roots". I
      also know many people from Russia (including my own relatives there) who
      can't grasp the concept of the Return; this is also true of my wife's
      family in the former republics of Yugoslavia. Since the Western way of
      life is so empty and unfulfilling (despite the material richness), as
      emigres we grasp at idea of our ethnic homeland. Of course, for those
      living in the countries behind the former Iron Curtain, daily life
      hasn't improved much, so they can't imagine that anyone would want to
      return. Just my thoughts, not expressed very well.

      vkozyreff wrote:

      >I suppose it would be harder for you to find examples of Russian
      >émigrés returning to Russia and being in the same ignorance as your
      >childhood friends about who they are.
      >
      >
      I would agree that Rimsky and Krymsky's descendant would NOT be going to
      Russia to live.

      >In general, I confess that I tend to call "Russian émigrés"
      >the "first wave" (which might be the second in reality).
      >
      Most of us in the US consider the First Wave to be all those who arrived
      before the start of WW II, starting in the late 19th century.

      >I include
      >parents, children and now grand children. I know very few members of
      >the second wave (simple soviet people who were trapped between the
      >German lines in WW II, who did not chose to emigrate and whose
      >emigration has no spiritual meaning).
      >
      Disagree there. They built most of our churches. Metr. Vitaly spoke
      about his labours in the DP camps with the liberated Russians. Most of
      them were already baptised. I am sure that they would not agree with you
      at all.

      I think that the situation in Europe is opposite from that in the US:
      most of the noble families (with a few exceptions) tend to lean toward
      ROCOR, where as in Europe, they same to lean toward rue Daru. I have no
      scientific evidence on that, save perusals of Point de Vue, which alway
      seem to show Russian nobles at rue Daru events; never saw
      Claude-Lorraine even get a mention.
      The OCA, BTW, has its roots in those whom *I*mmigrated (for material
      reasons) from Western Russia and the Dual Monarchy before the Revolution
      even started, as opposed to those who left after 1917 and *Emigrated*
      (for religous and political reasons).

      I have been reading the list with great interest, since most of the
      assimilation that I know of has occurred with Russians in the OCA and
      not in ROCOR; it has been quite an eye-opener.

      hristofor

      >representatives of the "third wave" (the "dissidents"), who indeed,
      >are of a totally different kind (I know V. Bukovsky, however).
      >
      >
      >We have quite a few people in our parish, who emigrated during the
      >last 10 years, including Georgians for instance. They know
      >everything about the Church. (I do not even mention the "new
      >Russians", those who wear enormous crosses on their chest, with or
      >without that "sportsman" on it).
      >
      >I think everybody agrees that Russians in the emigration (at least
      >the "first wave") are relatively well aware about the history of the
      >revolution, of the Bolshevik persecutions and of the emigration.
      >Some recall very tragic and painful family dramas.
      >
      >As we know, many parents wished their children to become "native" of
      >their "new homeland", because they did not wish their children to
      >feel exiles for ever. This policy had mixed success about the memory
      >however.
      >
      >Regarding those who converted to some other kind of "Christian"
      >faith, they positioned themselves relative to the faith indeed.
      >
      >Viatcheslav (message 11046) wonders how old a baron I am, since I
      >am speaking about "returning". He means, I guess, that since I was
      >not born in Russia, I cannot "return".
      >
      >The western civilisation is uniquely individualistic, and does not
      >know much about collective or inter generational common identity. A
      >Palestinian however would speak about his right to "return", even if
      >he was not born in Palestine, Jews "returned " to the holy land even
      >if they were not born in Palestine, Crimean Tatars "returned" to
      >Crimea even if they were not born in Crimea, and Russians "return"
      >to Russia even if they were not born in Russia. The very
      >term "Russian" implies a common identity that spreads over
      >individuals and generations. We can say "we, Russians". There is
      >even, in the history of mankind the notion of a "chosen people".
      >
      >Things in the West have gone so far, that psychoanalysts, who know
      >perfectly well that my grandfather is present in myself and dictates
      >some of my most intimate thoughts and deeds, would suggest to "cure"
      >me by "liberating" me from those "external" influences, but would
      >not guarantee total success in this endeavour.
      >
      >Regarding his experience of not meeting any single other foreigner
      >(or anyone from abroad) when visiting a ROCOR parish in Russia, I
      >had a similar experience. I was taken to this parish by a local
      >Russian colleague who knew about the existence of ROCOR, even though
      >he was a member of a MP parish. He had guessed I had something to do
      >with the ROCOR.
      >
      >In God,
      >
      >Vladimir Kozyreff
      >
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • vkozyreff
      Dear Hristofor, It is good to talk with you. You write: I think that there is a bit of a disconnect in English usage, since I understand that when you say
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 2, 2004
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        Dear Hristofor,

        It is good to talk with you.

        You write: "I think that there is a bit of a disconnect in English
        usage, since I understand that when you say "return to Russia" that
        you are speaking in the spiritual/abstract sense, since you weren't
        born there".

        VK: Let English usage alone. We talk about Russia. I maintain that
        I "returned", because indeed, Russia is spiritual. No other country
        is "holy" as Russia (the Holy Empire of the German nation is an
        usurpation linked to the roots of Latino Catholicism, and everybody
        knows it was holy only by name).

        "The absence of deep local roots and the overwhelming feeling of the
        uniformity of the Russian land and of the universal sameness of the
        social environment were undoubtedly among the important and
        permanent experiences of the Russian nobleman. They were also
        experiences acquired from childhood onwards and may go far towards
        explaining the nobleman's detachment from the soil and easy
        adaptability to the capitals and to foreign lands. They may also
        help to explain why the Russian nobleman often thought of his
        country, his nation, Russia in short, as a sort of compete entity, a
        general category, even an abstraction. This did not prevent him from
        feeling a strong attachment to her and even worshipping her
        emotionally. But his attachment lacked the concreteness and
        specificity of the attachment which the nobleman in the west
        possessed to a well-defined environment. While the nation was seen
        in the west as a union of many local loyalties, the comprehensive
        all-Russian loyalty had primacy in Russia both in fact and in
        feeling".

        http://mars.acnet.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/russia/lectures/14noblema
        n1.html

        Another example I might bring about "return" is that of the Volga
        Germans who "returned "(not "moved") to Germany after living in
        Russia for 3 centuries.

        You write: "I also know many people from Russia (including my own
        relatives there) who can't grasp the concept of the Return".

        VK: I know this perfectly well. Communism had undertaken to "de-
        spiritualise" the nation, and many have not resisted. That is why
        many understand only material reasons to leave or return to a
        country.

        There is a joke that goes like this: Taenia solium junior says to
        his father: "Dad, what do we do in this sh…? They say that around,
        there are fields filled with sun, flowers, fragance and birdsongs!
        Taenia solium senior replies: "I know, synok, but this is our
        Rodina!" Of course, this is typically Soviet and vulgar humour, but
        it does contain something moving. In fact, the love that Russians
        feel for Russia is not dependent on any "social contract" between
        the State and the people (which is the basis of democracy). It is
        unconditional.

        I think I mentioned previously in this forum that in the classic
        Russian literature, when a character left for America, this was a
        symbol of spiritual death. Many in present Russia still understand
        this.

        You write: "Most of us in the US consider the First Wave to be all
        those who arrived before the start of WW II, starting in the late
        19th century".

        VK: I agree with he usual numbering (in spite of Russian emigrating
        already before WW I). The children and grandchildren of the first
        wave however still belong to the same wave, because they are their
        heirs and are answerable as to what they do with the heritage.

        Again, this is the idea of "filiation", which is foreign to the
        West. I am the son of a member of the "first wave" (civil war) and
        thus belong to that wave, because I have received the duty to defend
        their honour.

        You write: "Disagree there. They built most of our churches. Metr.
        Vitaly spoke about his labours in the DP camps with the liberated
        Russians. Most of them were already baptised. I am sure that they
        would not agree with you at all".

        VK: I suppose those who emigrated to the US did so for reasons that
        make them statistically different from those who stayed in Europe.
        Here, they are mostly shy about their ancestry. They were, since
        their very first years abroad, actively mobilised by the KGB and MP,
        and usually avoided us. Some did come to the ROCOR only to leave
        later for cultural incompatibility.

        You write: "I think that the situation in Europe is opposite from
        that in the US: most of the noble families (with a few exceptions)
        tend to lean toward ROCOR, where as in Europe, they same to lean
        toward rue Daru. I have no scientific evidence on that, save
        perusals of Point de Vue, which always seem to show Russian nobles
        at rue Daru events; never saw Claude-Lorraine even get a mention".

        VK: « Point de Vue » is the most vulgar, cheap, would-be elegant
        publication for beauty saloons, intended for romantic, dreaming,
        poorly educated middle class young women, on Christian, Moslem or
        Jewish royalties and aristocracy, which discredits more than
        anything else those who have their photographs in it.

        The association with "Point de Vue" is not a valid reference or a
        way to demonstrate the nobility of the rue Daru congregation. Be
        reassured and informed that Claude Lorrain's congregation does have
        its share of glorious names. Their absence from "Point de Vue" is
        only to their honour. But what is glorious in the eyes of God?

        This reminds me of Sokurov's "the Russian Ark" in which the author
        attempts to express his nostalgia for the nobility. The only way he
        succeeds to show the nobility however is an endless ball in the
        winter palace. Even well wishing and well intended Soviet filmmakers
        do not yet understand that the glory of Russia which they want to
        find again was spiritual and that the glory of the nobility is in
        that it gave its blood for Russia, not that it went to balls.

        In Belgium, the MP and Evlogian parishes are socially more modest
        than the ROCOR's. The latter was sometimes viewed as some kind of
        aristocratic club. Our "Khram Pamiatnik" is full of military
        standards and mural tables reminding the (noble) names of those who
        served Russia well during the civil war. The MP will soon recover it
        all, unfortunately.

        The Brussels museum of military history, which is one of the
        greatest in the world, has a glorious exhibit dedicated to the
        Cossack Life Guard Regiment. I was among the founding members of an
        organisation which was established to take care of the Russian
        heritage in the EU.

        When I understood that the association was under strong Masonic and
        Communist influence (emigrated nomenklatura, university professors
        known as communist, museum masonic staff, etc.), I requested that
        the scientific committee should not include anybody that had shown
        any complacency or sympathy for communism. My proposal was rejected,
        and I quit. I explained that Imperial Russia was a Christian Empire,
        and that the spiritual meaning of her heritage could not be left to
        adulteration by the worst enemies of orthodoxy and by the organisers
        of the atheistic, antichristian revolution. Many Russian nobles (MP
        and ROCOR) remained in the organisation, however and described me as
        an extremist.

        As the Tsar sadly wrote in his diary on the day of his
        abdication: "All around me I see treason, cowardice and deceit."

        In God,

        Vladimir Kozyreff



        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Hristofor <hristofor@m...>
        wrote:
        > Dear Vladimir,
        >
        > I think that there is a bit of a disconnect in English usage,
        since I
        > understand that when you say "return to Russia" that you are
        speaking in
        > the spiritual/abstract sense, since you weren't born there. It may
        help
        > if you state "move" when you refer to packing up your belongings
        and
        > take residence in Russia, as opposed to "returning to your roots".
        I
        > also know many people from Russia (including my own relatives
        there) who
        > can't grasp the concept of the Return; this is also true of my
        wife's
        > family in the former republics of Yugoslavia. Since the Western
        way of
        > life is so empty and unfulfilling (despite the material richness),
        as
        > emigres we grasp at idea of our ethnic homeland. Of course, for
        those
        > living in the countries behind the former Iron Curtain, daily life
        > hasn't improved much, so they can't imagine that anyone would want
        to
        > return. Just my thoughts, not expressed very well.
        >
        > vkozyreff wrote:
        >
        > >I suppose it would be harder for you to find examples of Russian
        > >émigrés returning to Russia and being in the same ignorance as
        your
        > >childhood friends about who they are.
        > >
        > >
        > I would agree that Rimsky and Krymsky's descendant would NOT be
        going to
        > Russia to live.
        >
        > >In general, I confess that I tend to call "Russian émigrés"
        > >the "first wave" (which might be the second in reality).
        > >
        > Most of us in the US consider the First Wave to be all those who
        arrived
        > before the start of WW II, starting in the late 19th century.
        >
        > >I include
        > >parents, children and now grand children. I know very few members
        of
        > >the second wave (simple soviet people who were trapped between
        the
        > >German lines in WW II, who did not chose to emigrate and whose
        > >emigration has no spiritual meaning).
        > >
        > Disagree there. They built most of our churches. Metr. Vitaly
        spoke
        > about his labours in the DP camps with the liberated Russians.
        Most of
        > them were already baptised. I am sure that they would not agree
        with you
        > at all.
        >
        > I think that the situation in Europe is opposite from that in the
        US:
        > most of the noble families (with a few exceptions) tend to lean
        toward
        > ROCOR, where as in Europe, they same to lean toward rue Daru. I
        have no
        > scientific evidence on that, save perusals of Point de Vue, which
        alway
        > seem to show Russian nobles at rue Daru events; never saw
        > Claude-Lorraine even get a mention.
        > The OCA, BTW, has its roots in those whom *I*mmigrated (for
        material
        > reasons) from Western Russia and the Dual Monarchy before the
        Revolution
        > even started, as opposed to those who left after 1917 and
        *Emigrated*
        > (for religous and political reasons).
        >
        > I have been reading the list with great interest, since most of
        the
        > assimilation that I know of has occurred with Russians in the OCA
        and
        > not in ROCOR; it has been quite an eye-opener.
        >
        > hristofor
        >
        > >representatives of the "third wave" (the "dissidents"), who
        indeed,
        > >are of a totally different kind (I know V. Bukovsky, however).
        > >
        > >
        > >We have quite a few people in our parish, who emigrated during
        the
        > >last 10 years, including Georgians for instance. They know
        > >everything about the Church. (I do not even mention the "new
        > >Russians", those who wear enormous crosses on their chest, with
        or
        > >without that "sportsman" on it).
        > >
        > >I think everybody agrees that Russians in the emigration (at
        least
        > >the "first wave") are relatively well aware about the history of
        the
        > >revolution, of the Bolshevik persecutions and of the emigration.
        > >Some recall very tragic and painful family dramas.
        > >
        > >As we know, many parents wished their children to become "native"
        of
        > >their "new homeland", because they did not wish their children to
        > >feel exiles for ever. This policy had mixed success about the
        memory
        > >however.
        > >
        > >Regarding those who converted to some other kind of "Christian"
        > >faith, they positioned themselves relative to the faith indeed.
        > >
        > >Viatcheslav (message 11046) wonders how old a baron I am, since
        I
        > >am speaking about "returning". He means, I guess, that since I
        was
        > >not born in Russia, I cannot "return".
        > >
        > >The western civilisation is uniquely individualistic, and does
        not
        > >know much about collective or inter generational common identity.
        A
        > >Palestinian however would speak about his right to "return", even
        if
        > >he was not born in Palestine, Jews "returned " to the holy land
        even
        > >if they were not born in Palestine, Crimean Tatars "returned" to
        > >Crimea even if they were not born in Crimea, and
        Russians "return"
        > >to Russia even if they were not born in Russia. The very
        > >term "Russian" implies a common identity that spreads over
        > >individuals and generations. We can say "we, Russians". There is
        > >even, in the history of mankind the notion of a "chosen people".
        > >
        > >Things in the West have gone so far, that psychoanalysts, who
        know
        > >perfectly well that my grandfather is present in myself and
        dictates
        > >some of my most intimate thoughts and deeds, would suggest
        to "cure"
        > >me by "liberating" me from those "external" influences, but would
        > >not guarantee total success in this endeavour.
        > >
        > >Regarding his experience of not meeting any single other
        foreigner
        > >(or anyone from abroad) when visiting a ROCOR parish in Russia, I
        > >had a similar experience. I was taken to this parish by a local
        > >Russian colleague who knew about the existence of ROCOR, even
        though
        > >he was a member of a MP parish. He had guessed I had something to
        do
        > >with the ROCOR.
        > >
        > >In God,
        > >
        > >Vladimir Kozyreff
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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