I am working on things related to this post, and it is taking up time formerly devoted to blogging. Keywords here are Benjamin Matveevich Bary and Matvee Bary.
Benjamin was “a hot opponent of Talmudism,” as it was said by one Russian official who turned him down for a job as a kind of commissioner of Jewish affairs. He had converted to Christianity, and thought everyone should.
“Humboldt was, in general, against baptism [conversion of Jews]; see Bulletin of Russian Jews 24 (1871).” Nonetheless, he recommended Benjamin for that job in St. Petersburg.
I would like to know who Matvee was and what his relationship with Benjamin was like.
Just in case you have never seen a sleigh pulled by a reindeer, here is one. My eccentric cousin had them in Lapland and Scotland, of course, but this is a postcard sent to Moscow in 1911 from the eastern reaches of the Irkutsk Oblast, where the sender was exiled or imprisoned. I know of it from my relatives who are interested in old things, although the sender and original recipient are friends of theirs, not relatives of mine. It is an exotic photograph in every way.
Filed under A.V. Bari, News
My father says the Russian prisoner’s song he learned from Mensheviks in Mexico City at the time of the victory of Stalingrad is called “My window” but really I think it is called “The sun rises and sets.” Here are some lyrics for one version of it in Russian but there is a book Russian folk lyric from Indiana University, with a foreword by Vladimir Propp, that has a most beautiful version.
This last version appears in a play by Maxim Gorky called Lower depths, and according to Propp the song was very widely sung in 1905. The final stanza is an exact translation of part of Black raven, a very important song about war and death. Black raven will re-convince you of the horrors of war and the marvels of Russian culture. Our ancestor spoke twelve languages and I would like to learn Russian.
I learned looking for my father’s song that there is a whole genre of prison and criminals’ songs in Russia–as one might have guessed. I learned about the cantautor Mikhail Krug and the important neo-prison song Vladimirskiy central. I have seen photographs and videos of current Russian prisons and they resemble U.S. prisons very greatly.
I also discovered an amazing tenor, Dmitri Smirnov. There is a 1912 recording of him singing a Rachmaninoff song called “My window” and I wonder if it is related.
Filed under A.V. Bari, Songs
The calendar my family bought for 1917.
A drawing of brickmakers a family friend made on a walk by the Volga River in 1930, in a small town outside Kazan where they were exiled.
My grandfather’s cousin Olga in 1893.
The article in Our Heritage, with photographs and stories of adventure in the CCCP from 1918 forward
Paintings of Olga Bari-Aizenman [Note: Simeon Aizenman, a lawyer, was from Yalta]
Paintings of Alexei Aizenman [This and most other sites also include family photographs]
A.V. Bari on Wikipedia
Moscow walks past the old factory
Printing press building by A.V. Bari, Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia
Photograph of Henrietta Sergeievna Kahn-Bari
Article on Benjamin M. Bary, the “hot Talmudist opponent”. There is also a 2003 book in Russian, on Schukov, that apparently has a great deal of information on Veniamin Matveevich.
Benjamin M. Bary on Wikipedia
Latvian Holocaust project
Yad Veshem Shoah database
There is so much more, and this post will be an aggregator.