ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA: November 8, 2011
Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe Participates in the Opening of the Exhibition “Chronicle of Gallipoli. Towards the 90th Anniversary of the Russian Exodus”
In November, 2011, the cultural-historical program called “Chronicle of Gallipoli. Towards the 90th Anniversary of the Russian Exodus” has opened in St Petersburg, Russia. The Russian National Library is hosting an exhibition of rare publications, photographs and documents on the White Movement, and is showing a documentary film produced by the Russian Cultural Foundation “Russians Without Russia.”
Events are scheduled through November 27 in the northern capital devoted to the exodus of the Russian Army from Crimea: exhibitions, documentaries, receptions, concerts and a scholarly conference “The Stand at Gallipoli.”
This program is being organized by the RNL, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Russian Cultural Foundation and the Center for National Glory, with support from MediaSoyuz.
“The stand of Gallipoli was not simply an episode in history, this was a slandered, denigrated feat of heroism by the Russian Army. Its officers and soldiers can help us even today by ‘extending a hand’ to pull us out of the swamp of materialism, faithlessness and deceit, showing us what honor and the Fatherland mean, and what price they paid for them,” noted Elena Zelinskaya, Vice President of MediaSoyuz.
His Grace Bishop Michael of Geneva and Switzerland of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia came to participate in the opening of the St Petersburg program. He noted that Gallipoli can be considered a symbol in Russian history. In foreign lands, Russian built churches, schools, they created musical groups. “It was there that the possibility for Russian civilization to survive outside of its Homeland. This experience proved important in Europe, South America, Australia and Canada,” he added.
In November, 1920, the Russian Army under General Wrangel evacuated from Crimea to Constantinople. In all, 150,000 Russian refugees, both military and civilian, fled. The first group of exiles departed on the ships Kherson and Saratov, arriving in the city of Gallipoli. The soldiers and officers endured difficult circumstances, but they created a closely-knit military organization. “The Stand at Gallipoli” entered the history books as a symbol of the staunchness and devotion to one’s oath, ending in 1923, when it became possible to move the refugees to Serbia and Bulgaria.
This program is devoted to the study of documents and memories of the events of Gallipoli. According to the program’s president, Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the Hermitage Museum, this study is necessary “for the sober evaluation of our Fatherland’s history, the movement towards national consolidation and cultural cohesiveness.”
Voda zhivaja [“Living Water”]