Russian émigré officers and their families at leisure - Serbia 1922.

 

Wars are less about destructive hardware or other imaginative ways of extermination – they're all about destroying the fabric of society and family ties. The Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Civil War literally cast overboard several generations of educated people, and those who made it to safer havens were considered lucky to survive.

While Dr Zhivago's characters were fictitious, the real victims were millions – there were to be found on Turkish islands, on the pavements of the Balkan cities, in the libraries of Prague and European universities, most of them cherishing their dreams of reaching France, yet slowly dissolving into the societies of their new host countries. Hundreds of thousands of Russian émigrés settled down in 1919-1920 in Serbia and Bulgaria. In late 1921, in a few days only, 9330 Russian émigrés disembarked from 4 ships in the Bulgarian ports of Varna and Burgas.

Moscow's new rulers ruthlessly obliterated even the memories of their own educated exiles, shunning any reference of them that differed from the 'class enemy'. Few visual memories of the 'White Russians' have survived, mainly outside Russia and Ukraine.

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  • Lenore Zissermann

    I have published a memoir about the lives of my White Russian husband and his family while they lived in Harbin, China (Manchuria) during the 1940s and 1950s. It is titled "Mitya's Harbin: Majesty and Menace" and it includes a 47-page chronology of events (agreements, migrations, treaties, wars, etc.); a bibliography of 178 items; and extensive note sources. It is available on the Amazon.com Official Site and I would be happy to answer any questions about the book. Please email me at: lezisser@outlook.com. Regards, Lenore Zissermann, BA, BS, MA, OTR/R

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