Libmonster ID: UK-1299
Author(s) of the publication: N. L. KRYLOVA

Key words: Tunis, Bizerte, A. A. Manstein-Shirinskaya, Russian emigrant colony, Bizerte-Messina 2012 Regatta by N. L. KRYLOV

Doctor of Historical Sciences Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences

"Do not speak with longing: they are not there, but with gratitude-they were."

Zhukovsky V. A.

Bizerte. The autumn sun of 2012 warms the city's almost-healed wounds, inflicted on it a year ago, in the early spring that the world will call "Arab".

...100th anniversary of Anastasia Manshtein-Shirinskaya (1912-2009). For this event, in September of this year, relatives, friends, neighbors and friends of Anastasia Alexandrovna, the last representative of the Bizerte epic, gathered in this ancient Tunisian port.

In the winter of 1920, the Black Sea squadron of three dozen ships that had left Russia forever, having left the Crimea forever, arrived in the port city of Bizerte - at that time the French naval base in Tunis, and with it-a total of about 6 thousand Russian sailors with their families and civilians. They formed the Russian emigrant colony in Tunis - the largest at that time on the African continent. Among them was the Manstein family with an eight-year-old girl called Asta at home.

The close research and huge civic interest in the personality of Anastasia Manshtein-Shirinskaya is quite understandable: she is the "last of the Mohicans" of the first wave of Russian emigration to this Arab country. Her fate can be called both unusual and unique, if only because, having found herself in an "atypical" zone of settlement of Russian emigration - in Africa, this woman, one of the few Russian emigrants, remained here forever, courageously protecting her native graves and Orthodox church. Despite all the difficulties and adversities of life, she did not change her homeland either de jure or de facto, retaining Russian citizenship, a wonderful Russian language and faith in her soul.

The Tunisian period of her life began almost a century ago. Today, the small house on the Rue Curie, where she and her family had lived since 1938 and where Anastasia Alexandrovna quietly passed away on a December morning in 2009, would hardly have been able to accommodate all the guests.

The doors of her second residence, the A. A. Manshtein - Shirinskaya House, opened by the Foundation for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Memory, which bears her name, were wide and hospitable. It was here that the leaders of the Foundation brought Anastasia Alexandrovna in the same warm autumn of 2009, so that she would bless the memory by embodying it.-

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The regatta fleet toured Sicily with stops in Bizerte, Malta and Messina.

It was held in expositions, photo compositions, canvases by contemporary artists, in a nascent library of books and periodicals dedicated to the Imperial Black Sea Squadron and its dramatic fate.

Today, scientists (historians, archivists, cultural scientists), writers, and artists brought to this House their gifts-dedications to this anniversary: books, paintings,and documents painstakingly collected among the Russian emigration. This is once again a reprinted book by Anastasia Manshtein-Shirinskaya herself " Bizert. Last parking lot", updated with new materials. And a completely new collection "Autographs of Bizerty", which collected photos and documents about the history of the squadron, memories of Anastasia Alexandrovna's relatives and friends, her contemporaries about meetings with her in different years, fragments of her own interviews; and new canvases by artists who captured the region, which hospitably sheltered Anastasia Shirinskaya for many decades.

Actually, the day of the centenary of A. A. Manshtein-Shirinskaya on September 5 was preceded by a number of events. One of the highlights is the Bizerta - Messina 2012 Regatta.

In July 2012, the A. Manshtein-Shirinskaya Foundation and the Russian Cruising Club held a presentation of the First International Amateur cruising yacht Regatta "Bizerta-Messina 2012", dedicated to the memory of Russian sailors who left Crimea in 1920 for Tunis, in the city of Bizerta. All participants of the meeting - 150 people-are somehow connected with the theme "Bizerte and the Russian Squadron". These are members of the Bizerta Club from St. Petersburg; historians, journalists, cinematographers; friends and acquaintances of Anastasia Alexandrovna - people of different professions who became interested in the fate of this amazing woman, through whose personality a hitherto little-known page in the history of the fatherland was opened for many.

The idea of the Bizerta-Messina 2012 regatta is formulated in the "Declaration of the A. Shirinskaya Foundation and the Russian Cruising Club". It says: "It was in Bizerte that the Russian Imperial Fleet ended its existence, and here in 1924 the last time the symbol of the Russian Fleet, the St. Andrew's flag, was lowered. A Russian colony existed in Bizerte for a long time, the sailors and their descendants remained loyal to Russia, the memory of the Motherland that rejected them. The Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church, built by Russian sailors, still exists and operates in Bizert, many of them are buried in the local cemetery, and a museum of emigration has been created in the city. The regatta is dedicated to preserving the memory of these tragic events in Russian history."

The regatta started on September 1, 2012 from Palermo (Sicily). Under the leadership of the President of the Russian Cruising Club A. Sharkov, 9 yachts took to the sea, accommodating 73 people. They passed more than 700 nautical miles on a course related to the history of the Russian Squadron (via Bizerte and Italian Messina, in which in 1908 the future Lieutenant A. S. Manstein, being there during a training campaign, together with other midshipmen participated in rescue operations after a catastrophic earthquake).

page 65

On September 5, all the regatta participants and guests gathered in Bizerte - first at the A. A. Manstein-Shirinskaya Square (the square has been named after her since November 2011), where the grand opening of a stele with the name of Anastasia Shirinskaya in three languages: Russian, French and Arabic, symbolizing the unity of three cultures in her face, took place. Then - in the Church of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky, at the opening of the memorial plaque of A. A. Manshtein-Shirinskaya. The service in the Church was conducted by Fr Dmitry Netsvetaev, a priest of the Orthodox Church of the Resurrection in Tunis, about whom Anastasia Alexandrovna herself always spoke warmly and with love: "... since the 90s... they sent us Father Dimitri, who gets along so well with everyone, being an unusually open and very religious person, a purely Christian person. And everyone respects and loves him very much. " 1

Later, the guests took a tour of the places of the Russian Squadron: they visited the berth of the cruiser "George the Victorious", which became the first Bizert shelter for sailors 'families; at the cemetery where Anastasia Alexandrovna herself is buried in the" Russian corner " near the grave of her father; in Jibel Kebir , the location of midshipmen's settlements of the famous Marine Corps. Visitors paid tribute to the memory of A. A. Manshtein-Shirinskaya, visiting the White Cape - the most extreme northern point of Africa, from which little Asta, turning her face to the north, shouted: "I love you, Russia!"

In the evening of this day, the guests gathered in the cozy living rooms of the A. A. Manshtein-Shirinskaya Residence House, and later in the hall of the Bizerta Cultural Center. Among the guests of honor is the Mayor of the city, Mr. Lazzem, who reminded that "Anastasia Shirinskaya is our common - Russian and Tunisian - cultural heritage, another strong thread connecting our peoples." President of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Memory E. Gudova read out a letter from the vicar Bishop of Vyborg Nazariy, who was at the origin of the Foundation's creation. In it, he, in particular, emphasized that the image and the whole life of Anastasia Alexandrovna "were imprinted in the minds of people who knew her and at least once in their lives had the good fortune to get into the space of her love. Her image will continue to live on in other generations, unless we ourselves overshadow it with everyday worries and everyday vanity."2.Russian Ambassador to Tunisia A. P. Shein and Deputy Head of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Tunis M. V. Salikov also spoke.

Among the guests of the festival are the authors and compilers of three books specially prepared for the anniversary-memory: the already mentioned "Bizerta's Autographs", " A. A. Shirinskaya. Fate and Memory", "Orthodoxy in Tunisia". Rarely has anyone in our time of rapidly developing information technologies been honored with such a memory of themselves, captured in three books at once! Nevertheless, all these publications were published just in time for the anniversary and are waiting for their readers.

The audience got acquainted with the documentary film "Anastasia" by V. Lisakovich and N. Sologubovsky, which received audience recognition in Russia, France and Tunis3.

On the same night, the fleet of yachts of the Bizerta-Messina 2012 regatta left its anchors to continue its journey along the route under the Russian St. Andrew's flag and with the name of Anastasia Shirinskaya in their hearts as emissaries of peace, kindness and friendship...


1 Bizerte's autographs. Moscow, 2012, p. 288.

2 From a letter from Bishop Zariy of Vyborg, vicar of the Holy Trinity Alexander Nevsky Lavra and vicar of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

3 D / f "Anastasia" was awarded in France - the audience award at the festival "Russian Spring" (April 2008) and in Russia - the prize "Golden Centaur" at the XVIII International Film Festival "Message to Man" (June 2008); a memorial sign of the Sevastopol Sea Assembly at the IV Sevastopol International Film Festival (June 2008); Grand Prix "Golden Sword" at the VI International Festival of Military Cinema named after V. I. Abramovich. Yuri Ozerov (Moscow, 2008); the Nika Prize (2009) and others.


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