Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Russian emigres

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 5 , Jun 2, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      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]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.