MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
We get acquainted with the fates of five military men who left Russia after 1917, and examine their photographs and personal belongings from the collection of the Solzhenitsyn House of Russian Abroad.
Of the four waves of Russian emigration, the largest was the first – the white emigration, from 1917 to 1923 about two million people left the country. The mass exodus had three main directions: from the south of Russia – through Constantinople to Yugoslavia and Bulgaria together with the army of General Wrangel, from the east – with the army of Admiral Kolchak to China and Australia and from the west, where part of the population unwittingly ended up in emigration due to the change state borders of the country (Finland, Poland, the Baltic states).
Among the emigrants were representatives of the creative intelligentsia and aristocracy, entrepreneurs, workers and peasants and, of course, the military. Read about the servicemen who left the country and how their life in exile was developed in a joint article by mos.ru and the Mosgortur agency.
Lieutenant Colonel Leonid Seifulin: Far East – China – Australia
A graduate of the Khabarovsk Cadet Corps and the Aleksandrovsk Military School, Leonid Seifulin went to the battlefields of the First World War very young – in 1914 he was 21 years old. He returned home to the Far East with the Order of St. George of the 4th degree and several serious wounds. During the Civil War, Seifulin fought in the Special Rifle Regiment on the Eastern Front, and a little later he was invited as a teacher to the Khabarovsk Cadet Corps, in which in 1923 he emigrated to China with his pregnant wife.
In Shanghai, he continued to work as an educational officer. Seifulin actively participated in the public life of Russian settlers: he joined the infantry section, the revision commission of the Union of those who served in the Russian army and navy, took part in the activities of the Officers’ meeting in Shanghai, was the treasurer and secretary of the Union of Russian military disabled, became the editor of the magazines “Kstati” and “Friend of a disabled person.”
In 1949, when the civil war broke out in China and the communists came to Shanghai, Seifulin and his family left the city for one of the refugee camps on the Philippine island of Tubabao. Several thousand immigrants from China have lived there for almost three years, waiting for the United States and Australia to allow them to enter. In the winter of 1951, the Seifulins arrived in Sydney. Leonid Vladimirovich quickly got used to the new conditions – he began to create an archive of the Russian emigration in Australia, which he transferred to a local university, wrote articles to military magazines. In 1986, Leonid Seifulin died in Sydney, and his daughter, painted by one of his cadet students, and some awards were donated to the House of Russian Abroad by his daughter.
Major General Nikolai Shtakelberg: St. Petersburg – Poland – Australia
22-year-old Baron Nikolai Shtakelberg, after graduating from the St. Petersburg Infantry Junker School in 1892, was appointed second lieutenant in the Life Guards Kexholm Regiment, stationed in Warsaw. In 1914, before going to the First World War, Nikolai Ivanovich accepted an invitation to tea from the mother of his friend Vladimir Vitkovsky.
“After tea, Varvara Mikhailovna called her son and me to her place and blessed us with a cross and hung an amulet over our heads on a silk ribbon around our necks and asked us not to take it off and always carry it with us during the entire war. We promised … Of the 72 officers who went out with the regiment to the war, only the two of us returned unharmed … “, wrote Stackelberg in his memoirs.
Indeed, in the first years of the battles, most of the soldiers and officers of the Life Guards Kexholm Regiment died or were captured in East Prussia. And only two officers, Stackelberg, who became the regiment commander in 1916, and Vitkovsky, being under fire and fighting with everyone on an equal footing, did not receive a single wound. Stackelberg kept the happy cross and amulet all his life.
During the stay of the regiment in Warsaw, the baron started a family, with which he emigrated to Poland after the end of the Civil War. During World War II, when the Soviet army moved to liberate Poland, representatives of the Russian emigration had to flee – no one wanted to return to their homeland and be punished for leaving the country. Leaving their homes and personal belongings, emigrants with their families through the DP camps, created for refugees in Europe, received “distribution” by country. The Stackelberg family also followed this path – in the 1940s they emigrated to Australia. Nikolai Ivanovich died in Melbourne in 1956, and several of his surviving awards remained to descendants – Stackelberg’s grandson Nikolai Nikolayevich Yakubovsky and now lives with his family in Australia. Family heirlooms – the incense and the cross that saved Nikolai Stackelberg in the war are now kept in the House of Russian Abroad.
Colonel Alexander Linitsky: Ukraine – Yugoslavia – USA
He was born in Ukraine, studied at the Sumy Cadet Corps and was going to become a military man – like his father, Major General Alexander Linitsky. In October 1914, immediately after graduating from the Nikolaev Cavalry School in St. Petersburg, he went to war as part of His Majesty’s Ulan regiment. From the First World War, Alexander Alexandrovich returned to the rank of staff captain, during the Civil War he became a colonel. A participant in the Kornilov speech, after the October coup he ended up in the white troops in southern Russia. As part of the Russian army, he fought under the command of General Wrangel, with whose troops in November 1920 he left the Crimea, first to Gallipoli, and then to Belgrade. In the mid-1920s, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich graduated from the Engineering Department of the University of Belgrade and began working at a construction company.
His father, also a member of the White movement, also ended up in Yugoslavia, following his own military route (Novorossiysk – Lemnos – Gallipoli). During World War II, a split occurred in the family: the younger Linitsky emigrated to the United States with his wife and daughter, the eldest remained in Yugoslavia.
In San Francisco, Alexander Alexandrovich took an active part in the life of Russian military organizations, was the chairman of the Cadet Association and was a member of the Society of Russian Veterans of the Great War. Linitsky spent the rest of his life in the United States and was buried in 1977 at the Serbian cemetery in the city that became his third home.
Colonel Vladimir Zvegintsov: Crimea – Italy – France
The last commander of the Cavalry Regiment, Vladimir Zvegintsov, was educated at one of the most prestigious military educational institutions – the Corps of Pages – and immediately got into the Cavalier Regiment. After participating in the First World War in 1918, he became an officer in the Volunteer Army and continued to fight on the fields of the Civil War in southern Russia. In the fall of 1920, Vladimir Vladimirovich, together with his wife, the former maid of honor of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and their six-year-old son were evacuated from Crimea. After living for several years in Italy, the Zvegintsovs moved to France, where they settled.
In Paris, Zvegintsov eventually became one of the leaders of the “Cavalier Family” association. In 1956 he was elected secretary of the council of elders of the association, in parallel with this he got a job as editor of the Paris edition of the “Bulletin of the Cavalry Guards Family”. In exile, the colonel wrote the book “Cavaliers in the Great and Civil War”, and Volodya’s son, following the example of his father, a regimental chronicler, also became interested in military history.
The younger Vladimir Zvegintsov received a higher education in economics at a Swiss school and worked in Paris at the International Chamber of Commerce. In the 1930s, Vladimir Vladimirovich conducted the first serious historical research – the colonel’s son classified 1200 Russian war songs. Zvegintsov Jr. wrote many articles and works on military history.
In the 1990s, Vladimir Vladimirovich came to Russia several times. He died in 1996 and was buried in Paris at the Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois cemetery, in the same place as his father.
Military doctor Alexander Solonsky: Sevastopol – Yugoslavia – Switzerland
Alexander Solonsky was born in 1882 into a poor bourgeois family in the town of Borovichi, Novgorod Region. After studying in Kronstadt at the Naval Paramedic School, he went to serve in the Baltic Fleet on the battleship Admiral Ushakov. In 1900, Solonsky worked as a paramedic at the naval hospital, and in 1904 he took part in the defense of Port Arthur with the rank of senior medical assistant on the battleship Poltava.
In 1909, Alexander Alexandrovich, having received a certificate of maturity as an external student, entered the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy. The student made great strides, it was assumed that after graduation he would stay to work at the academy. These plans were thwarted by the First World War. Solonsky became a doctor on the ship, whose main task was to search for and destroy mines in the Baltic Sea. In 1918, Alexander Alexandrovich was mobilized into the Red Army, and two years later he went over to the White side. With the troops of General Wrangel, Solonsky, taking his wife and daughter, was evacuated to Sevastopol, and from there to Yugoslavia.
In Belgrade, he worked at the outpatient clinic of the Russian Red Cross Society, headed a children’s clinic. Solonsky always loved children: in 1929 he ran an outpatient clinic at an orphanage, gave lectures at the university about childhood diseases, and collected money for Christmas trees for the poor. The entire Russian population of Belgrade was treated by Solonsky.
Solonsky visited his hometown of Borovichi only once – in 1965. Around the same time, he moved from Belgrade to Geneva – closer to his daughter. He passed away at the age of 94 and was buried in the Saint-Georges cemetery.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.