Category Archives: A.V. Bari

Des joies du printemps.

A map shows each country’s current second language. Saudi Arabia’s is Tagalog.

That New Orleans-Havana connection.

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Russia in 1921, as represented at a conference of London trade unionists, held in the Friars Hall, Blackfriars Road, London, held on May 7 of that year. Here, the report’s author visits Russia.

Volin’s anarchist analysis of the Revolution.

Red Army in Tblisi, 1921, and a parade on Red Square in 1917.

Butyrskaya, where four of my relatives were held in 1921. Aizenman was in a labor camp near Moscow. Later Voskresensky (one of the four mentioned above) was required to work in some type of prison, also near Moscow.

Famine was bad in that year and to me things in Russia look terrible before, during, and after the Revolution, as well as now. From Riga in 1921, Emma Goldman said her stay in Russia had convinced her that anarchism was the only sound system.

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Seven new planets and a new star.

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Some detention letters for my relatives.

Here is one and there is another. They are for Aleksandr Voskresensky and my cousin Lydia Voskresenskaya, and her sister Eugenia Nersessova and her husband. In November, 1921 they were arrested and held in Butyrskaya Prison until December.

The site the letters are on seems to be about political prisoners 1918-1922 and 1922-1938. It is very inconvenient not to read Russian.

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Kazan

This is a current photograph of the house in Kazan where my cousins Anya Alexandrovna Bari and Alexander Filippovich Samoilov lived from 1910-1930. As you see, it has a plaque.

During the Russian Civil War the Samoilovs’ twin sons, Alexander Veniaminovich’s first grandchildren, walked to Shanghai with the Czech batallions and sailed to San Francisco, where my great-aunt Valeska met them on the docks and put them on a train to Harvard.

Samoilov could have come as well and some thought he should have done, but he had research in course that he did not want to abandon. He was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1930, as was Alexander Veniaminovich’s business associate Vladimir Shukov also. Samoilov worked with Pavlov, Nobel Prize 1904.

I have very brilliant cousins.

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Ich arbeite

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.

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Eleventh day of Christmas

irkutsk

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.

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The sun rises and sets

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.

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Photos from Russia

The calendar my family bought for 1917.

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.

kazan

My grandfather’s cousin Olga in 1893.

olgabary1893

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