Libmonster ID: UK-1232
Author(s) of the publication: I. M. NEVZOROVA

Key words: Russian abroad, immigration, Tunisia

Let's not curse the banishment. We will repeat it... the words of an ancient warrior, about whom Plutarch wrote: at night in a desolate land, far from Rome, I pitched a tent, and the tent was my Rome, "these are the words of V. Nabokov, historian Marina Panova, author of the book" Russians in Tunisia: The fate of emigrants of the "first wave "" (Moscow, RSUH Publishing House, 2008, 294 p), gives an epigraph to one of the paragraphs that tells about the Russian "Rome" created in Tunis.

The author of the book has set herself a difficult task: to reproduce and expand in time the life of the Russian emigration of the" first wave "in Tunisia, to analyze the half-century stay of Russian colonists in Tunisia, to assess the" Russian " component in the socio-economic and cultural life of the country.

Thus, Marina Panova's monograph is essentially the first application for a comprehensive study of the fate of the Russian diaspora in Tunisia*.

The monograph is based on extensive archival material. According to the list of funds presented in the bibliographic section of the book, the author has done a great job in identifying and studying the material that tells about the life of Russian emigrants of the "first wave" in Tunisia. We are talking about the organization of Russian refugee camps, their socio-economic support, legal status (and its change after the recognition of Soviet Russia by France in 1924), employment problems and the difficulties of interethnic marriages.

M. Panova lived in Tunis for many years. During the writing process, she had the opportunity to work at the National Archives of Tunis, the Archives of the University of Tunis, and the archives of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Tunis. The author's indisputable merit is the cited documents from the private collections of A. A. Shirinskaya-Manshtein, K. V. Makhrov, her own personal archive, as well as the attraction of many published sources - reference books, diaries, memoir literature.

The book consists of three parts. In the introduction, the author makes an excursion into the XVIII century, tracing how, on-

* We should add that two other books about Russians in Tunisia have recently been published, which will undoubtedly attract readers ' attention: The Russian Colony in Tunis. 1920 - 2000. Collection / Comp. by K. V. Makhrov (Moscow: Russian Way, 2008, 496 p.); Irina Knorring. "A story from your own life": Diary. In 2 vols. Vol. 1 / / Podg. text by N. N. Knorring and N. M. Chernova. Вступ. article, comments by I. M. Nevzorova (Moscow: Agraf, 2009).

page 78

Starting with the voyage of the Russian naval officer M. G. Kokovtsev in 1776, Russians studied Tunisia: they drew up geographical maps of the country, made diary entries and government reports, telling about the rich traditions of the Bedouin and their merciless exploitation by French colonialists. The first part of the book is devoted to the fate of the Russian Squadron* in Bizerte, the second-to the Orthodox community of Russian emigrants in Tunis, the third - to their cultural life and contribution to various fields of art and science.

The life of the Russian squadron is viewed from various angles, it is full of drama. Unlike the well-known memoirs of A. A. Shirinskaya-Manshtein, N. N. Knorring, and V. V. Berg, M. Panova's monograph contains mainly documentary materials - extracts from orders, statistical data ("Tables of the dispersion of Russians in Tunisia" in 1922, " Distribution of Russians in various cities of Tunisia according to the population census of April 20, 1926 G." , etc.), bibliographic references, references to personalities (among the poets who began their creative activity in Tunis, V. Smolensky, I. Knorring, V. Mamchenko, L. Tyazhlov, A. Severny) and their photos. Among the rich illustrative material, I would like to mention unknown view photos from the book of Tunisian collector Hammadi ben Hammed, which were successfully woven by the author into the narrative canvas.

Many documents are published for the first time. This applies, in particular, to the materials stored in the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) as part of the "Russian Historical Archive Abroad in Prague" (RSIA), which became available to researchers only in the last decade (materials of the "Commission for Russian Refugees in Tunisia", etc.).

The structure of the book is such that it successfully combines the sociological aspect and chronicle on the example of individual destinies: the artist N. N. Markova-Lagodovskaya; the pianist and composer, friend and secretary of S. S. Prokofiev-G. N. Gorchakov, and others. A special place in the book is occupied by personalities who set foot on the land of Tunis long before the arrival of the Russian squadron (among them is the artist Alexander Rubtsov).

The core of every Russian colony in exile was, as is well known, the Orthodox parish, around which the daily life of Russian refugees was centered. Parishes initiated charitable and educational initiatives. No wonder the author paid special attention to this topic. As an epigraph to the paragraph about the holidays and everyday life of Russian exiles, she cites a poignant quote from the writer B. Zaitsev: "Based precisely on her entire spiritual past... true Russia is a land of mercy, not hatred."

M. Panova conducts a retrospective study of the creation of Russian churches in Tunis up to the present day (readers will learn from the book that the bells for the new belfry of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Tunis were cast in Moscow), as well as the activities of clergy. The author cites documents that make it possible to trace the creation (due to the gratuitous provision of premises for the Russian Church by the Tunisian aristocrat Mustafa Bakkush in 1921) and the development of the Russian Orthodox center in the capital of the country.

The book reflects not only the processes that allow Russians to preserve their national traditions, but also shows the contribution of Russian emigrants to the industrial and cultural potential of the host country. So, the artist A. Rubtsov participated in the organization of an Art School in Tunis, the ballet school of Futlin and Debolskaya worked for many years, Russian specialists participated in the construction of roads, electrification of the country, etc. A separate section is devoted to Russian architects: the construction of hotels, schools, hospitals in Tunis is associated with the names of K. V. Levandovsky, V. E. Lagodovsky, M. F. Kozmin and others.

Of particular interest is the section on the literary and publishing activities of Russians in Tunisia. However, this topic needs further development. Unfortunately, the book does not mention the Monarchical Leaflet (A. N. Pavlov started publishing the newspaper in Tunis in 1921 and, after leaving the country, continued publishing in Germany).

If we talk about the shortcomings of the book, then the annoying omission is the absence of a named index, a mandatory attribute of any scientific publication. The extremely poor quality of reproduction of the most valuable photographic material is also regrettable.

In conclusion, we emphasize that, despite the abundance of seemingly "dry" reference information, M. Panova's monograph is written in a lively, good Russian language. And thanks to the above fragments from the memoirs, the book is not devoid of a lyrical connotation and will undoubtedly be interesting not only for specialists, but also for anyone interested in the history of Russian emigration.

* Russian Squadron-this was the name of the ships evacuated in the autumn of 1920 (by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army, General P. N. Wrangel) from the home ports of the Russian Imperial Fleet on the Black Sea. In total, about 136 thousand people were evacuated from the Crimea, including 70 thousand officers and soldiers of the Russian Army of Wrangel. Upon arrival in Constantinople, the Black Sea Fleet was renamed the Russian Squadron by order of the Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral M. A. Kedrov.


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