The article is devoted to the study of the phenomenon of mass organized adoption of Orthodoxy by the Czechs previously professing Catholicism, who stayed in Omsk during the First World War as prisoners of war. It cites the factors that jointly influenced, at first, mass group conversion of the Czechs to Orthodoxy in 1916–17, and later their indifference to the common Slavic idea and prompted their nationalism and “political egoism” during the Civil War in Russia. The study is based on the analysis of a complex of sources that have not yet been introduced into scientific use. These are the records from the Omsk Orthodox churches metric books (fairly well preserved in the Historical Archive of the Omsk Region) and materials from the official periodical Omsk Diocesan Vedomosti. The high relevance of the publication springs from poor coverage of religious life of the prisoners of World War I in Western Siberia in historiography. Taking into account the specifics of the study, the authors have used integrated methodological approach based on a combination of theory of social adaptation and anthropological approach, as well as statistical, biographical, and problem-chronological methods. This theoretical complex permits to study and quite reasonably interpret the phenomenon, linking its appearance with concrete historical situation and personalities. The authors contend that during the First World War proselytism was a cover for geopolitical interests of the Russian Empire, and spiritual aspiration of most Czechs to Orthodoxy was a propaganda myth created by the Russian Orthodox Church. The publication may be of interest to researchers of the peoples of Eastern Europe, military and social history, national and religious politics.
The study presented to the readers is devoted to an unstudied Siberian monument associated with the period of the Civil War and long since lost. The relevance of the study is due to a rather weak scientific understanding of specifics of the development of memorial culture in Siberia at this difficult historical stage and of its ongoing influence on the modern memorial processes. The emergence and existence of the monument to the victims of an ammunition explosion on August 1, 1918 in Omsk has been traced within the frameworks of development of the Russian memorial culture and memorial space in the Siberian cities. The authors establish the monument’s origin and its fate up to its disappearance. To interpret these events, general trends in the Soviet era state policy of memory and peculiarities of the urban environment of the period are taken into account. The main sources are valuable and mostly unpublished documents and photos (including those from private collections), which are being thus introduced into scientific use. The study is oriented to the problem field of memory studies; it addresses problems of cultural memory, its formation, development, and transformations under the influence of various factors. It also uses biographical and problem-historical methods. This theoretical complex permits to interpret the half century existence in Omsk of a monument erected on a private initiative, while linking its appearance to the particular historical situation. The publication may be of interest to specialists in the field of cultural and historical memory, researchers of urban cultural space, Civil War in Siberia, urban everyday life and Omsk local history.
The study is devoted to the analysis of a group of unknown sources from the Historical Archive of the Omsk Region (fond of the Omsk Spiritual Consistory) that are being introduced into scientific use for the first time. These documents are associated with a tragic incident that resulted in the death of seven lower ranks, who provided security for Admiral A. V. Kolchak in Omsk. The contemporaries’ memoirs have served as an auxiliary source in the study. The relevance of this work is justified by contradictions in modern historiographic discussion regarding the cause of the explosion in the vicinity of the private residence of the Supreme Ruler in Omsk on August 25, 1919, as well as by great interest of the national scientific community in his person. Anthropological approach, principle of consistency, historical-systemic and comparative-historical method have served as methodological basis for the study. This theoretical totality suggests two points. First, consideration of the identified vital records as a natural consequence of the work of the Institute of the Russian Orthodox Church; second, critical comparative analysis of the new data and previous developments in historiography. The identified records have made it possible to establish the exact number of servicemen who died as a result of the tragedy, as well as their names, belonging to the service category of the lower ranks of the White Army, date of death, place and date of the funeral service and burial. The authors point out that the analyzed sources are also of key importance for studying the last days of the Omsk poet Yuri (Peter Ivanovich) Sopov, one of the victims of the explosion. In the conclusion, the thesis is emphasized of the need for basic and contextual use of vital records as a valuable documentary source on the past for conducting research on various aspects of the history of the Civil War. This publication may be of interest to specialists in source studies, researchers of the Civil War in the East of Russia, state security agencies of the anti-Bolshevik authorities, biography of Admiral A. V. Kolchak, local Omsk history.
The article presents a historical and biographical study devoted to General N.M. Senitsky – the military lawyer, who served in Omsk in the “old” and later in the White army, became a Soviet employee, was subjected to political oppression. The case-study of social adaptation of the general sheds light on the military and socio-political situation in Siberia on the eve of and during the Civil War and in the first decade after its end. The nature of the study determines its key methods: biographical and problem-chronological. The biographical method allows the author to interpret the events of the era, linking them with Senitsky’s professional activities and personal life. The problem-chronological method permits to trace the logic behind the changes in the military-political sphere of the region and behind the facts of Senitsky’s biography and to underscore their correlation. The source base of the article is the complex of unpublished documents from the 1920–30s found by the author in the fonds of the Historical Archive of the Omsk Region and in the archive of the Directorate of the Federal Security Service of Russia for the Omsk Region: sources of personal provenance (N.M. Senitsky's autobiographies and questionnaires), documents from the special register on former White Guard officers, and investigatory records of the Soviet state security bodies, as well as personal file of the lishenetz (disenfranchised person). The identified sources help to reconstruct N.M. Senitsky’s biography in great detail.
The article presents an analytical study of the report of the Omsk District Financial Department that contains detailed information on its personnel. The document has been found by the authors in the fonds of the Historical Archive of the Omsk Region. The article is to conduct information survey of social structure, gender, age, educational level, professional qualifications, party affiliation of Soviet financial employers in the 1920s and their participation in the social and political life on the example of the Omsk region. The article discusses factors that could have affected the above mentioned quality characteristics of the Omsk District Finance Department employees. The document has been critically analyzed for accuracy of its data. The proposed interdisciplinary research combines anthropological approach, principle of consistency, statistical and comparative historical methods. This perspective allows us to identify a number of important socio-demographic characteristics of Soviet society in the first post-Revolution and post-Civil-War decade on the example of a large regional government. This publication may be useful (regarding the results of statistical generalizations) in scientific research on the socio-political, financial, economic, military history of the Soviet society; some facts may be of use in gender, historical, biographical, and genealogical research, as well as in studying the history of Soviet provincial daily life of the second half of the 1920s. The analysis of this source with its the high scientific potential has allowed the authors to come to the conclusion about continuity of the early Soviet society and the pre-revolutionary society, about loyal political atmosphere in the institutions employing skilled labor, where representatives of the “ex-” category could find and realize themselves as Soviet employees.
The article offers a source study of the letter of the head of the Financial Department at the Siberian Revolutionary Committee F. A. Zemit to the People's Commissar of Finance of the RSFSR N. N. Krestinsky. Its text analysis clears up the issue of creation of Soviet regional governing bodies in the financial–economical sphere in Siberia at the final stage of the Civil War. The published source allows to outline major impediment to restoration of the Soviet finance system in Siberia after the Civil War: shortage of financial workers, their low professional qualifications, lack of regulatory documentation for organizing activities, etc. Key methods used in the study are biographical and problematic/chronological. Biographical method allows to interpret the document and to link it with professional activities of F. A. Zemit in Omsk. The problematic/chronological method allows to trace the developments in regional finance and to understand their causes by placing them into historical framework. The letter was written by F. A. Zemit in early January 1920 – at a most difficult time in his career in Siberia. The author considers this ego-document unique and revealing in its way. On the one hand, it is an official appeal of an inferior financial manager to the head of the People's Commissariat of Finance; its content is practical and no-nonsense. On the other hand, its style indicates a warm friendly and trusting relationship between the sender and the addressee; F. A. Zemit was, apparently, able to report personally to the People's Commissar of Finance of the RSFSR on the difficult situation in the region and to do so with great frankness. This publication may be of interest to scholars in history of Russian finance, Russia Civil War, Soviet society, and Siberia of the period.
The article offers a source study of the report of bishop of Omsk Arkady to Metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod Sergius and the Holy Synod made in 1929. The text analysis allows to address the problem of relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet authorities. The report, which is published here, allows to follow the sequence of territorial redistribution of the Omsk diocese in 1920s. The problem of its authorship is considered. Having studied a copy of the report in the archival investigative file stored in the archive of the Federal Security Service of Russia Directorate for the Omsk Region, the author establishes that the document was prepared by Archpriest V.F. Infatiev, leader of the Omsk Tikhonovtsy and rector of the Fraternal Church in Omsk. Biographical and historical–genetic methods have been of most use in the research. Biographical method allows to study the document in connection with life and activities of its authors. The historical genetic method, based on materials of the Omsk diocese, shows how the Soviet state used the administrative redistribution of dioceses to obstruct church administration. It sought to fragment and weaken large dioceses that were fighting new church schism. The article reveals the specifics of administrative and territorial reorganization in the Omsk diocese, which boundaries kept changing for a variety of reasons. First, the Soviet power had not forgotten that Omsk of the capital of White Russia, and Novonikolaevsk (Novosibirsk) was made capital of Soviet Siberia. Reconstruction of diocesan borders in accordance with new Soviet administrative–territorial division disrupted traditional church administration. Some cities still gravitated towards Omsk, but over time they were separated from the Omsk diocese. Secondly, the Bolsheviks provoked and supported the inter-church struggle for power, in which many church leaders were then actively involved. This resulted in separation of a number of territories from the Omsk diocese. Thirdly, while the Kyrgyz (Kazakh) republic was being formed and developed, some of its large cities were subordinate to Omsk. The work may be of interest to researchers studying Russian society in the pre–war period, history of the Russian Orthodox Church, and activities of the Soviet Special Services concerning religious institutions.
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