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Topics - pushkina

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News Links / putin is the victim of the jews
« on: January 28, 2005, 05:46:49 AM »
from novosti:

2005-01-26 09:46
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti political commentator Pyotr Romanov) - On the day when the world recalled the liberation of Auschwitz prisoners by the Red Army 60 years ago, 500 Russians who claim to be patriots filed a suit with the Prosecutor General's Office in Moscow, demanding that Jewish organizations be closed down in Russia.

These people - some of them are deputies of the current State Duma - believe that Jews blow up their synagogues, defile Jewish cemeteries and fan anti-Semitism in Russia. One of the authors of that initiative, Deputy Alexander Krutov (Homeland), told television journalists that Judaism was even guilty of making human sacrifices. And this is not the Middle Ages.

Russia's Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar was not prepared for the powerful intellectual offensive of the modern-day Black Hundred and hence spoke highly emotionally at a press conference: "The gentlemen who signed that crazy document are unbalanced... And I cannot help them because I am not a psychiatrist."

Unlike the rabbi, Russian Jews do not believe Mr. Krutov is crazy, as they have seen too many of such outwardly healthy people. This is why the Moscow Human Rights Bureau, the International Society for Human Rights, and the Holocaust Foundation filed a counter-suit with the Prosecutor General's Office and the President. They demand that the authorities note the growth of neo-Nazi sentiments in Russia, which, according to a recent report from the Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism, is third in the world for strongly anti-Semitic sentiments. It is poor consolation that France and Britain are at the top of the list - it is their shame and they will have to deal with it.

January is a bad month for Russian Jews. The phrase "residence limit" joined the Russian vocabulary in January during the rule of Alexander I. Solomon Michoels, head of the famous Jewish theatre, was killed on Stalin's orders and the persecution of the Antifascist Jewish Committee began in January 1948. Next followed the notorious "Jewish doctors' plot." And now Mr. Krutov and other Black Hundred members have added their names to the dishonorable January list, which also includes deputies from Mr. Zyuganov's Communist Party (KPRF) and Mr. Zhirinovsky's LDPR.

But the main victim of that anti-Semitic action is not the Jews but President Putin, even though he is invariably polite with the hierarchs of the main faiths of Russia. The trouble is that he will have to answer for the silly and crude escapade of 500 pseudo-patriots, which is bound to have broad international repercussions.

As for the mental health of the authors of the anti-Semitic letter, Rabbi Lazar is wrong: Though they are not very clever, they certainly had a specific political goal in mind. The suit filed by the Black Hundred was prompted by a desire to promptly drive a new wedge between Russia and Israel, while the two countries are trying to smooth over misunderstanding about Russian arms deliveries to Syria.

The only thing they disregarded is that Mr. Sharon and Mr. Putin will come to an agreement, one way or another, while the Black Hundred and Mr. Putin will never find a common language.

News Links / Greek art boasts a royal lineage
« on: December 05, 2004, 11:18:25 PM »

Greek art boasts a royal lineage


They are colorful and whimsical. Some images are immediately recognizable and still others are other worldly. Almost 85 years after Princess Marie of Greece doodled them, 600 of her images are being featured in the exhibit "Katoufs," opening Saturday at the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center.

Katoufs, the name the Princess gave her collection of drawings, loosely translates to "making faces." Many of the images are thought to be caricatures of royals and everyday people she encountered.

"After she drew them, she would cut them out and paste them into a scrapbook," says Tom Abbondandolo, who owns the four cloth-bound scrapbooks that make up the collection.

Though subtitled "From Royal Times to Nursery Rhymes," the exhibit glosses over the royal backstory. The museum is featuring all 600 images in Powerpoint presentation, the original scrapbooks and reproductions of the scrapbooks, but delicately side-stepping the royal history.

Allison Heller, curator for the Hellenic Museum, explains: "There is a bit of a controversy about the Greek monarchy in some segments of the Greek community. Basically, the royal family wasn't really Greek. We're trying to be sensitive to those concerns."

Princess Marie was born in Greece, the daughter of King George I. Putting things in a modern perspective, if she were alive today, she would be the great aunt of the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles).

Marie married Grand Duke George of Russia in 1900 (making her a Grand Duchess). In doing so, she left her beloved Greece for Russia and a seat within the royal household of the Romanov family. The couple had two daughters, Nina and Xenia. The children were friends with the czar's children, including the most famous, Anastasia. That's where Marie's story takes a tragic turn.

Due to Xenia's failing health, Marie relocated to England in 1914 just before World War I broke out. Her husband stayed behind, charged by Czar Nicholas II to oversee Russian troops. When the Bolsheviks seized power and murdered the royal family, her husband was imprisoned and later executed.

Marie and her children never returned to Russia. She died in 1940. Her daughter Xenia inherited her drawings. Xenia immigrated to the Unites States, married a successful businessman and settled in on tony Long Island. In a plot straight out of a nighttime soap opera, she had an affair with a horse trainer on their estate, divorced her husband, married the horse trainer and moved to a smaller home in nearby Glen Cove.

Abbondandolo lived across the street from the princess. His mother was one of her good friends. Though he was aware of her royal lineage (he still refers to her as Princess Xenia in conversation), he says she often felt just like every other neighbor who lived across the street.

"We knew she was a member of the Romanov family. The only time there was any fanfare was when the woman claiming to be Anastasia visited Xenia's home, trying to convince the princess that she was indeed who she claimed to be."

When Xenia passed away in 1968, she left the collection of drawings to the Abbondandolo family.

"My mom was an amateur artist in her own right," he says, "and Xenia felt she was the only person who really admired them for their artwork."

It was a move that Abbondandolo says Xenia's surviving heirs are none too happy about.

Xenia's daughter Nancy Leeds Wynkoop could not be reached for comment for this story.

"We certainly would love to reach out to the remaining members of Princess Marie's family," says Ted Kole, who manages the collection with Abbondandolo. "Unfortunately, the only correspondence we have gotten is from an attorney for the family."

"They could have taken the artwork from the estate before the will was read," Abbondandolo adds. "It was only years later, when they found out there was both a cultural and and commercial viability to the works, that they wanted them back."

The pair have used the images to illustrate a nursery-rhyme book they self-published, A Tale of Katoufs from Royal Times to Nursery Rhymes ($11.99), and are currently in early discussions to donate the complete collection to the Hellenic Museum.

"We aren't just trying to make money on this," Kole says. "This artwork deserves to be displayed and enjoyed."

The "Katoufs: From Royal Times to Nursery Rhymes" opening reception is Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, 801 W. Adams, 4th Floor. Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. through Jan. 30. A $5 donation is suggested. Call (312) 655-1234;

Romanov and Imperial Russia Links / the tsar's fillings in pravda
« on: December 04, 2004, 08:07:17 AM »
Tramp buried instead of Nikolas II, Russia's last emperor
12/03/2004 14:36  www.

Specialists discovered the absence of fillings in the teeth of the skeleton

Remains of the last Russian emperor Nikolas II, which were buried in Peter and Paul Cathedral in St.Petersburg in 1998, do not belong to the Russian Tsar, the president of the center investigating the details of the Romanovs Royal Family's death, Vadim Viner said on Thursday.

According to the historian, specialists discovered the absence of fillings in the teeth of the skeleton, which had been buried in the cathedral. Scientists, therefore, believed that the remains belonged to an absolutely different person.

"Nikolas II has notes in his diary. The tsar wrote that he had visited a dentist. The tsar's doctor Maria Rendel has similar notes too. The records contain a detailed description of the dental work, the fillings in particular. Forensic medics examined the skeleton, which was considered to be the remains of Nikolas II, but did not find any tooth fillings," Vadim Viner said.

The expert assures that the authorities violated the legal procedure of burying the remains: "From the legal point of view, it is a homeless person who is buried in Peter and Paul Cathedral instead of Tsar Nikolas II," Viner said. The historian added that it was not the court that made the decision regarding the burial: "Everything was decided by the executive authorities, although they had no right to do it," said he.

"They simply ignored any doubtful and disputable facts that we and our colleagues found. In other words, they decided for themselves from the very beginning that the uncovered remains belonged to the tsar and no one else. No expertise was conducted. They had only to make the society believe that it was the tsar's skeleton," the expert concluded.

Vadim Viner said that the center for the history of the royal family, "The Fate of the Dynasty," was going to file a claim to the Supreme Court of Russia to dispute the decision about the burial of the remains. "The center is currently preparing an address to the Supreme Court with a request to review the legal ground of the decision to bury the remains uncovered in Ekaterinburg," Viner said.

"The Fate of the Dynasty" center was founded in 1994. In September of 1995, the center became a member of the Russian committee of foreign experts for investigating the fates of the Russian emperor's family members. The center also officially represents the "400 Years to the Clan of the Romanovs" foundation in Ekaterinburg.

who is this guy and what is his 'center'?

I've just re-read Harrison Salisbury's "the 900 days" after finding and reading an English copy of Vera inber 'Leningrad diary'. was her poem 'pulkovo meridian' ever translated into English?  was Olga berggolts' diary ever translated into English?

it seems to me that not much of the incredible wealth of blockade literature ever was translated; did most of if end up in drawers?  are there moves now to resurrect this miraculous, heroic literature?

when I'm really feeling low and am sure that i can't survive another day doing whatever, i never fail to be inspired by the thought of the artists, poets and writers who kept on living richly expressive lives...even as they starved in the dark and cold of besieged Leningrad.  i would like to read more of them.

Forum Announcements / monthly newsletters
« on: October 19, 2004, 07:19:59 AM »
i really need guidance here: would like to receive the monthly newsletter but don't.  is it something that all members receive as a matter of course?  if not, how does one register or apply for it ?

thanks for letting me know.

Imperial Russian Antiques / the tsars' wines: found and on auction
« on: October 17, 2004, 01:11:31 AM »
i thought that i had posted this story already, but it seems to have disappeared...

again, i wonder: is any of it drinkable?  and wouldn't it be wonderful to own a bottle...

Reds from the Tsars' cellars to go under the hammer
By Will Bennett, Art Sales Correspondent
(Filed: 09/10/2004)

Every year as the bitter Russian winter receded the Tsars took the imperial family to their summer palace in the Crimea where they relaxed away from the pressures of power and entertained guests on the shores of the Black Sea.

At Livadia, their palace near Yalta, they held extravagant parties, celebrated communion in the imperial chapel and sometimes dined as a family, surrounded only by their personal servants. Wine was an integral part of their daily lives.

The Massandra winery in the Crimea was built in the 19th century to supply the needs of the Tsars' court and became legendary in Russia for its strong, sweet wines with a distinctive full flavour, utterly different from those produced in Western Europe and the New World.

Now some of the wines produced for the Tsars, many in bottles bearing the imperial seal and all of which survived both the Communist revolution and Nazi invasion, are to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London on Dec 3 when they are expected to fetch more than £500,000.

They will include five bottles of the rich, sweet Seventh Heaven, produced in 1880 by the Tsar's winemaker, Prince Lev Sergervich Golitzin, which should sell for £1,200 to £1,600 each.

Four bottles of 1893 Ai Danil red port with the Tsar's seal are expected to sell for £2,800 to £3,800 each, half a dozen bottles of Massandra-produced Madeira dating from 1913 are estimated at £4,000 to £6,000 apiece, while a single bottle of 1905 Hungarian-style wine could fetch £3,600. Massandra, now owned by the government of the Ukraine since the latter's split from Russia following the break-up of the Soviet Union, has decided to sell the wine, partly to raise the international profile of its products, which are not widely known in the West and also to get money to buy new machinery for the winery.

"Massandra is almost like a national treasure and they have got stocks of wine going right back into the 19th century but most of what they produce is drunk locally and I think they want to make people elsewhere aware of what they do," said Stephen Mould, senior director of Sotheby's wine department in London.

The Crimea was plunged into civil war after the 1917 Revolution as White Russians, aided by foreign forces, tried to turn back the Communists and the latter did not seize control of Massandra until three years later.

To protect the Tsar's wine from looters it was bricked up in tunnels built in the 1890s by an army of labourers who burrowed deep into a hillside to create some of the world's finest and coolest wine cellars.

The Red Army might have destroyed the collection as an example of imperial high living when they eventually found it but they quickly realised its importance and ensured that it was preserved intact.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 the entire collection was packed up and taken to three secret locations. Only that year's vintage, which was still in vats, could not be saved and Massandra's director ordered that it be poured away. For perhaps the only time in its history the Black Sea turned red.

anastasia : a novel by colin falconer

i just picked this novel up at target, after a few days deliberation.

i can see in the first pages there is going to be a problem as the scene is set in the house of special purpose, april 1918 and there is a nanny there for anastasia named sophie karlova. so we won't expect accuracy.

has anyone else read it yet?

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