The largest Russian cemetery in America
Photos and text samsebeskazal
40 minutes from Manhattan, in a place called Nanuet, is the largest Russian cemetery in America. About 7,000 former compatriots are buried here, a small part of those Russians who once found (or tried to find) their second homeland in America. Immigration is like a millstone - they grind everything that gets into them. And soon enough, people begin to dissolve in the new world around them and lose their roots. Most lose. And they turn into ordinary Americans with unusually sound last names. Most likely, this large Russian cemetery would not exist if it were not for one unifying factor - the majority of those buried here were Orthodox.
This is a very strange place. In general, it is strange to see so many crosses with Russian surnames in a small town in the state of New York. That was just the highway, then the road to the shopping center and turn to a huge hypermarket, and right in front of the trees,there is an overgrown and slightly dilapidated monastery with glittering domes and a huge cemetery, where rows of Orthodox crosses are blocking one another. There are buried the subjects of the once great and great country, which is long gone. Countries that we know only from textbooks and books, and about the demise of which, from childhood, we were told quite differently from what actually happened. In the stories of these characters became scoundrels, and scoundrels are real heroes. Everything is so mixed up in life and in our heads that it is almost impossible to figure out who is who.
This is not the American cemetery of those that I saw in America and the most non-Russian of the Russians. The first thing that catches your eye is the absence of fences and photographs. By the way, can anyone know why it is customary to enclose sites in Russian cemeteries? All my life I wondered where our people got such love for the fences during life and after death. So there are no fences here. Almost identical crosses made of gray granite and the same tombstones. On the tombstones there are no photographs, nor any portraits of the deceased. Almost none. Portraits are occasionally found in more recent burials and very rarely in old ones. The first burials are dated to the beginning of the 50s. It was then that a convent was created and a cemetery was established.What caught my eye were unusual surnames. A lot of German. Many Russified Polish and there is not one similar to the Jewish. Maybe there were, but I did not see. Even Russian surnames are different. I have never heard such people in my life.
The monastery was founded in the early 1950s and is now experiencing far from the best years in its life.
Directly behind the fence stands a huge building of the construction supermarket. Once about this place it was possible to say that it is far from the city. After the construction of the Tappan-Zi bridge, the area began to be rapidly built up and now it is a near suburb. Now all the free land has somehow been mastered and built up. The Orthodox monastery looks a bit alien there.
It is possible that the reason is the gray weather and the lack of greenery on the trees, but it seemed to me that everything looks a little faded and a little neglected. It can be seen that the monastery does not have enough money and manpower to properly care for the buildings and the territory.
Such ads are clearly not from a good life:
Inside the main temple is clean and comfortable. It was closed, but the nun graciously opened it for us and in order not to waste time, she took up cleaning.
The Orthodox Church in America is the subject of a separate discussion. She is completely different here than in Russia. In my opinion, much less commercialized and standing somehow closer to the people. I'm not talking about religious rites, but about the relationship between the parishioners and the church.
The monastery collects donations and offers to join him on Facebook:
The territory of the cemetery begins behind the monastic buildings. There are many famous names on it. I did not set myself the task of looking for someone, but simply walked around its territory and photographed what I thought was interesting.
There are two very ambiguous memorials in the cemetery. This is probably the most. It is set in memory of "those who fell in the struggle for a free Russia," and in honor of a man who never stepped onto American soil, whose dust was poured thousands of kilometers away:
This is a memorial to the "participants in the liberation movement of the peoples of Russia of 1941-1945." General Vlasov and the soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army. In fact, most of them are collaborators and traitors of the motherland who have sided with the enemy. All this under the Russian and St. Andrew’s flags, which were used by ROA as symbols:
Mstislav L. Golitsin- Prince, a member of the White movement in the south of Russia, herald of the division of His own Imperial Majesty Convoy. Member of the First World War. After the October Revolution of 1917 - in the white troops in southern Russia. Evacuated from the Crimea as part of the Russian army. I. B. Tito (1941-1945) and the Soviet troops (1944) participated in hostilities on the territory of Yugoslavia against pro-Soviet partisans. Ober-Lieutenant of the Wehrmacht (in September 1944 with the renaming of the Russian service in the captain). February 26, 1945 wounded in a battle at the station Budzhanovtsy. After May 1945 - in Austria, where he moved to the United States. He participated in the life of the Cossack and Russian military organizations, the chairman of the New York department of the SCRK (Union of Russian Crusade officials):
The son of Baron Wrangel - Peter. All his life he worked as an engineer in the field of aeronautics, was engaged in the construction of spacecraft for a flight to the moon. His mother, Olga Mikhailovna, was buried at the same cemetery:
Masya and Grinja:
Russian name and French name:
Dobzhansky Arnold Iosifovich - Russian naval officer, head captain for the admiralty. Member of the Civil War on the side of whites. During the Civil War was in the Armed Forces of the South of Russia. He was evacuated with the Russian army of Wrangel to Turkey.Member of the Union of Naval Officers in Constantinople. Later he emigrated to the USA:
Captain 2nd rank Kartavtsev Vsevolod Evgenievich:
Siegern-Korn Georgiy Anatolevich - painter, graphic artist. The son of a colonel of engineering troops A. I. von Siegern-Korn. From 1914 he lived with his family in Alexandropol (now Gyumri, Armenia). My father was in the army, after the revolution he joined the White movement. In November 1920, with the army of General Wrangel, the family was evacuated to Constantinople, and from there to the Kingdom of CXC (Yugoslavia). After graduating from the Russian-Serbian gymnasium, he simultaneously entered the University of Belgrade at the Faculty of Engineering and the Academy of Arts.
During the war he joined the cavalry division of General G. von Panwitz. In May 1945, the entire personnel of the capitulated division was issued by the British to the Soviet authorities. He spent ten years in the Stalinist camps in the Urals, in Siberia and Kazakhstan. He worked in coal mines, at logging, on the construction of the railway and the oil pipeline. He sat with L.N. Gumilyov, the future famous historian, the son of Nikolai Gumilyov and Anna Akhmatova; with Admiral Sablin, former aide to Nicholas II; with the son of General Krasnov, Nikolai Krasnov, and others.In the 1950s, he was amnestied as a Yugoslav citizen and received permission to go to a family in the USA, where he worked as a draftsman and graphic artist. He painted pictures, created a series of drawings “The Stalinist Gulag in the eyes of the artist”. The author of the memoirs "Stories about the bright past":
Literary, botanist and geographer. On many tombstones given the profession of the dead:
The only burial with fences:
Such stones with portraits in the cemetery units:
For all the time at the cemetery, I met only a few people. One of them was a priest who read prayers at some graves. Apparently he was an American.
Walking among the graves suddenly ran into such an epitaph, written on the back of the stone. Honestly penetrated. The author clearly thought out the lines and their effect:
Baron and Baroness Gerlach. Pioneers. Thanks to Google, I learned that Vladimir Gerlakh wrote a book called "Traitor", which tells about his participation in the fighting on the side of the German army during the Second World War.
Monument dedicated to the cadets. Established in 1994:
Explicitly Italian last name and Orthodox cross:
Another interesting combination has been encountered:
Icon on the grave of the artist:
The warrior of the white army:
Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy - the youngest daughter of Leo Tolstoy. The founder and first director of the museum in Yasnaya Polyana and the Tolstoy Foundation, whose founders and sponsors were Igor Sikorsky and Sergey Rakhmaninov:
Zaev Alexey Nikolaevich - participant of the Russian-Japanese and First World Wars. The title of rear admiral was awarded by General Wrangel April 14, 1920 - "for the differences." Since 1922, in emigration to the United States. At first he was a worker in Philadelphia, then he worked at a match factory in New York. He was chairman of the society of former officers of the Imperial Navy in the United States:
Borodiy Nikolai Dmitrievich - officer of the 42nd Yakutsk Infantry Regiment. George Knight. In the Volunteer Army, he served in the detachment of General Bredov, then in the Drozdov rifle division. In 1920 he emigrated to Crimea in Gallipoli, then to France. He worked at the aluminum plant. Then became D-Pee in Ludwigsburg, went to the USA:
Prince Golitsyn and Baroness Tiesenhausen:
This is the largest Russian cemetery in America.