Re: Russian emigres
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
As the Tsar sadly wrote in his diary on the day of his
abdication: "All around me I see treason, cowardice and deceit."
--- In email@example.com, Hristofor <hristofor@m...>
> Dear Vladimir,since I
> I think that there is a bit of a disconnect in English usage,
> understand that when you say "return to Russia" that you arespeaking in
> the spiritual/abstract sense, since you weren't born there. It mayhelp
> if you state "move" when you refer to packing up your belongingsand
> take residence in Russia, as opposed to "returning to your roots".I
> also know many people from Russia (including my own relativesthere) who
> can't grasp the concept of the Return; this is also true of mywife's
> family in the former republics of Yugoslavia. Since the Westernway of
> life is so empty and unfulfilling (despite the material richness),as
> emigres we grasp at idea of our ethnic homeland. Of course, forthose
> living in the countries behind the former Iron Curtain, daily lifeto
> hasn't improved much, so they can't imagine that anyone would want
> return. Just my thoughts, not expressed very well.your
> 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
> >childhood friends about who they are.going to
> I would agree that Rimsky and Krymsky's descendant would NOT be
> Russia to live.arrived
> >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
> before the start of WW II, starting in the late 19th century.of
> >I include
> >parents, children and now grand children. I know very few members
> >the second wave (simple soviet people who were trapped betweenthe
> >German lines in WW II, who did not chose to emigrate and whosespoke
> >emigration has no spiritual meaning).
> Disagree there. They built most of our churches. Metr. Vitaly
> about his labours in the DP camps with the liberated Russians.Most of
> them were already baptised. I am sure that they would not agreewith you
> at all.US:
> I think that the situation in Europe is opposite from that in the
> most of the noble families (with a few exceptions) tend to leantoward
> ROCOR, where as in Europe, they same to lean toward rue Daru. Ihave no
> scientific evidence on that, save perusals of Point de Vue, whichalway
> seem to show Russian nobles at rue Daru events; never sawmaterial
> Claude-Lorraine even get a mention.
> The OCA, BTW, has its roots in those whom *I*mmigrated (for
> reasons) from Western Russia and the Dual Monarchy before theRevolution
> even started, as opposed to those who left after 1917 and*Emigrated*
> (for religous and political reasons).the
> I have been reading the list with great interest, since most of
> assimilation that I know of has occurred with Russians in the OCAand
> not in ROCOR; it has been quite an eye-opener.indeed,
> >representatives of the "third wave" (the "dissidents"), who
> >are of a totally different kind (I know V. Bukovsky, however).the
> >We have quite a few people in our parish, who emigrated during
> >last 10 years, including Georgians for instance. They knowor
> >everything about the Church. (I do not even mention the "new
> >Russians", those who wear enormous crosses on their chest, with
> >without that "sportsman" on it).least
> >I think everybody agrees that Russians in the emigration (at
> >the "first wave") are relatively well aware about the history ofthe
> >revolution, of the Bolshevik persecutions and of the emigration.of
> >Some recall very tragic and painful family dramas.
> >As we know, many parents wished their children to become "native"
> >their "new homeland", because they did not wish their children tomemory
> >feel exiles for ever. This policy had mixed success about the
> >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
> >am speaking about "returning". He means, I guess, that since Iwas
> >not born in Russia, I cannot "return".not
> >The western civilisation is uniquely individualistic, and does
> >know much about collective or inter generational common identity.A
> >Palestinian however would speak about his right to "return", evenif
> >he was not born in Palestine, Jews "returned " to the holy landeven
> >if they were not born in Palestine, Crimean Tatars "returned" toRussians "return"
> >Crimea even if they were not born in Crimea, and
> >to Russia even if they were not born in Russia. The veryknow
> >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
> >perfectly well that my grandfather is present in myself anddictates
> >some of my most intimate thoughts and deeds, would suggestto "cure"
> >me by "liberating" me from those "external" influences, but wouldforeigner
> >not guarantee total success in this endeavour.
> >Regarding his experience of not meeting any single other
> >(or anyone from abroad) when visiting a ROCOR parish in Russia, Ithough
> >had a similar experience. I was taken to this parish by a local
> >Russian colleague who knew about the existence of ROCOR, even
> >he was a member of a MP parish. He had guessed I had something todo
> >with the ROCOR.
> >In God,
> >Vladimir Kozyreff
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]