Our address is Harbin
According to modern historians, the beginning of the creation of the White movement dates back to the time preceding the October Revolution and the coming to power of the Bolsheviks. Officers entered it only on a voluntary basis. On this basis, immediately after October 17th, that is, 105 years ago, the Volunteer White Army began its existence.
And not so long ago - on September 16 of this year, 77 years have passed since the last parade of the White Army. It took place in Harbin in 1945 and was dedicated to the end of World War II and the victory of the Red Army over the Japanese militarists.
Shortly before that, on the evening of August 18, 1945, Soviet airborne troops landed in Harbin. The next day, the city was liberated from the Japanese invaders and the troops of the puppet state of Manchukuo, formed by the Japanese military administration on the territory of Manchuria occupied by Japan.
A state proudly called an empire, Manchukuo has existed since March 1, 1932. From the first days it was ruled by the tenth representative of the Manchu dynasty Aisin Gioro, the Supreme Ruler, and from 1934 by the Emperor of Manchukuo, Generalissimo and Commander-in-Chief of the Manchu Imperial Army.
This was the last emperor of the Qing state - Henry Pu Yi, about whose dramatic fate a lot has been written on the pages of the Military Review (Balanda for the Chinese emperor. Welcome back Your Majesty). On August 15, 1945, he abdicated. And on August 19, 1945, we recall, in Mukden he was taken prisoner by an airborne assault force of the Trans-Baikal Front. At the Tokyo Trial in August 1946, he was virtually the only witness for the prosecution and testified for eight days.
It is significant that the last parade of the White Army took place in Harbin, the city built by the Russians in 1898. His история was closely connected with the Chinese Eastern Railway (CER). After the October coup, the leadership of the CER and the Harbin authorities refused to recognize the power of the Bolsheviks, and white officers began to flock to the city.
There were enough of them to create combat-ready formations. At first, these units and even formations were headed by none other than the future supreme ruler of Russia, Admiral Kolchak. And after the end of the Civil War, it was Harbin that became one of the centers of white emigration.
And now the troops of the Red Army entered it. On the eve of the landing, - recalled Marshal of the Soviet Union Kirill Meretskov (pictured), - the Russians provided the most serious assistance to the paratroopers. They were mostly workers and employees of the former Chinese Eastern Railway.
It was they who directed Soviet paratroopers at enemy headquarters and barracks, themselves seized communications centers, prisoners, disarmed the Japanese ... Thanks to them, unexpectedly, unexpectedly for themselves, some of the highest ranks of the Kwantung Army suddenly found themselves in Soviet captivity.
120 Soviet paratroopers in Harbin, a huge city, couldn't do much. In a report to the front administration about the landing, it was reported that they were actively helped by the Harbin youth. Armed, she took under guard by the time the paratroopers arrived communications equipment and other government agencies, helped to equip the Soviet command post in the city hotel.
Marshal Meretskov recalled that patrols of armed Russian high school students who met on the streets of Harbin saluted him. The same patrol stood near his command post in the hotel.
Later it turned out that the armed Russian youth in Harbin disarmed the military units of Manchukuo ahead of time, despite the presence of a 40-strong Japanese garrison here, while maintaining intact all the city's vital communications and facilities until they were occupied by the Soviet army.
The first Russian "hurrah!"
And here is what one of the white emigrants from Harbin told the author:
“... A car quickly approaches the cathedral and leaves ... an officer, a real Russian officer with golden shoulder straps. It's hard to forget that first "hooray!" at the address of this first Russian officer. Many cried. Complete strangers congratulated each other. At that time, a solemn thanksgiving service was held in the cathedral on the occasion of our liberation from the Japanese yoke.
As for the clergy of the Orthodox churches in Harbin, without saying a word, they began everywhere on that day to offer up the name of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus' during divine services. The incessant ringing of bells floated over the city, as if on Easter.
The clergy of the Orthodox Church of Harbin appeared at the same time at the command post of Marshal Meretskov. They complained to him that the Japanese and Manchus forbade them to serve. By order of the marshal, several Orthodox charitable organizations and orphanages that functioned in Harbin, which lost their sponsors during the years of Japanese occupation, received solid material assistance from the Soviet Army.
The assistance was so substantial that these organizations were able to hold on to it for several more years after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Harbin. The excellent attitude of the Harbin white emigrants towards the Soviet troops was also evidenced by ordinary soldiers, amazed that they were met here as relatives.
Practically all white emigrants who lived here were enthusiastic about the entry of Soviet troops into Harbin. The Japanese occupation regime was not friendly to them, despite all the assurances. On the contrary, those who tried to escape Soviet repressions in Harbin faced cruel Japanese repressions here, especially since they, as true Christians, could not and did not swear allegiance to the pagan Japanese gods.
On the eve of September 16, 1945 - Friday, declared in Harbin as the day of the holiday and the parade of Soviet troops on the occasion of the victory over Japan, for an appointment with the Soviet commander of the 1st Far Eastern Front, Hero of the Soviet Union Marshal Kirill Meretskov, who was awarded the Order of Victory in the Kremlin just a couple of weeks ago "For the defeat of the Japanese Imperial Kwantung Army and the victory over Japan, there was a group of white-haired representatives of veterans of the White Movement.
They asked him for permission to go along with the Soviet troops in a solemn march at the parade of winners in their former White Guard uniform and with their former awards, and then in the future to be present in this form at all celebrations and receptions in honor of the victory of the USSR over Japan.
Permission to do so was immediately given to them by the illustrious marshal of World War II. Upon learning of this, Stalin, surprising many members of the government and prominent military men around him at that moment, immediately supported his illustrious military leader, while praising his purely human and diplomatic deed, worthy of imitation.
To comrades in arms
With a massive gathering of people on September 16 at 9:45, the famous Red Army parade in Harbin began, preceded by the passage of the columns of the last parade of the White Army. Thus, the former opponents saluted the new generation of Russian soldiers who adequately supported the military glory of their fathers and grandfathers.
Past the stands, the first columns of the solemn march, hung with St. George's crosses and medals, were once brave officers of the Russian army. Veterans of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, veterans of the White Movement, former Kappel and Semyonovites, participants in the Great Siberian Ice Campaign of 1920 of the army of Admiral Kolchak ...
Minting a step, and in full accordance with the military ritual of many states, like an officer saluting the commander of the Victory Parade on the Harbin central square, trying to look good, boxes of officers and generals, warrant officers, corporals and privates of the White Guard moved.
Their last parade, advancing a little slower than the first columns, to loud clear exclamations, greeting the people standing in the stands with a wave of their hands, was closed by gray-haired old men in gilded shoulder straps. Many of them leaned on crutches. Behind them marched the Russian civilians of Harbin, who had left their homeland and lived out their lives in a foreign land, also built in a military way. There were many young people among them. The entire Harbin audience marched in an organized manner in front of the stands.
Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, who arrived in Harbin in April 1946, supported the tradition begun by his predecessor Meretskov of the Soviet command's largely solicitous attitude towards the white emigration of Harbin. Now such an approach would certainly be called liberal and tolerant.
But the marshal, who once himself fought as part of the Russian expeditionary corps in France, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Victory over Germany, even invited representatives of White Harbin to a solemn meeting and a special reception on April 19, 1946.
He began his speech with these words:
“Comrades! We and you lived to see the day when you received the right, and we the opportunity, to call you comrades.
A few months before this reception, at the September parade, behind the back of the Marshal of the Soviet Union, who was hosting the military parade, were Archbishop Nestor Anisimov of Harbin and Nikolai Pegov, Secretary of the Primorsky Regional Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks. Pegov subsequently became the secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the USSR ambassador to a number of foreign states.
There, on the podium, were NKVD officer Pyotr Yazev with his colleagues and accompanied by him, on the personal instructions of Lavrenty Beria, the last emperor of the Qing state, Henry Pu Yi, who had just renounced power.
At the 1945 parade in Harbin, soldiers and officers of the 59th and 300th rifle divisions marched behind the boxes of the White Guard, tank brigade and self-propelled artillery regiment. After the parade, a demonstration of the townspeople took place in honor of this event, and a monument to Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of the city was erected on Cathedral Square, and exclusively at the expense of white emigration.
Now, at the solemn rally held in front of the Russians of Harbin on the same Cathedral Square, next to Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, as well as at the parade, Nestor Anisimov, who was very popular in Harbin, again stood.
Marshal Malinovsky from the first meeting treated him not only with respect - in a friendly way. No wonder, because they were both veterans of the First World War. One - as a soldier of the Russian Legion of Honor in France, the second - as a regimental priest. They often met now, recalling the events of those years, prominent commanders, mutual acquaintances and friends, discussing with each other over a cup of tea and even a glass not only current events, but also economic affairs ...
And this despite the fact that the future Minister of Defense of the USSR Malinovsky, an outstanding commander of the Great Patriotic War, twice Hero of the Soviet Union and People's Hero of Yugoslavia, was a communist to the marrow, and Anisimov actively collaborated with Kolchak during the Civil War.
He was also an active participant in the Local Council of the Orthodox Russian Church, which opened on August 15, 1917 in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, the most important decision of which was the restoration of the patriarchate. Here, Archbishop Nestor became famous for saying during the work of the Council of 1918:
“Who will understand whether the cathedrals were intentionally or accidentally damaged ... Of course, it was not our troops who fired at the temples of God ... Now every fact that can arouse hatred of the Bolsheviks among the people is dear to us ...”
Then in 1945, it seemed to almost the entire Russian population of Harbin, as well as to the Soviet military personnel who were here, that white and red Russia met on Harbin land in order to shake hands in a friendly way after many years of confrontation. It seemed that the dream of the Drozdov officer who died in 1920 about the day when
“The white one will see Ivan in red, and the red one will see Peter in white - and they will embrace like brothers.”
However, in March 1946, the Soviet leadership decided to withdraw Soviet troops from Manchuria. After their final departure, repressions began against the Russians of Harbin.
The term "Russian Harbin" refers to several generations of Russians who lived in this main hub city of the Chinese Eastern Railway from about 1898 to the 1960s. There were 26 Orthodox churches in Harbin, of which 22 were real churches, a whole network of secondary schools and six institutions of higher education.
The same Archbishop Nestor wrote:
“By the grace of God, Harbin continued normal pre-revolutionary Russian life for a quarter of a century.”
But since the 1940s, there has been a massive exodus of the Russian population. And after 1952, the USSR initiated a second wave of repatriation of Harbin Russians.
Finally, in 1955, the former territory of the Japanese occupation of Manchukuo, and with it the liberated Harbin, were finally transferred by Khrushchev to the People's Republic of China. As a result, there were almost no Russians left in Harbin.
Starting from the 1990s, people from all over the former USSR began to come to Harbin again, who no longer had anything to do with either the Drozdovites, or the Semenovites, or the “white bandits” often called in the Soviet press ..., or the first wave of emigration.
To the sound of a bell
And in 1946, when Soviet troops left Harbin, they were escorted by the solemn bell ringing of all the temples of the city. At the same time, the crowds of the Harbin military escorted the departing shouted the so-called longevity that was once accepted in Rus' - that is, the solemn proclamation of the words “Many years!” as a form of wishes for long life and well-being.
At the same time, groups of Drozdovites, in pursuit of the departing Soviet soldiers, sang in chorus the famous refrain of the march of their Drozdovsky regiment, famous in the battles of the First World War and the Civil War:
These days will not cease glory,
They took over the cities!
They took over the cities!
The text of this song, as well as the melody, was later borrowed or simply taken to create the Red Army song "Along the valleys and along the hills." But is it any wonder, because the relationship of the emigrant population with Soviet soldiers and officers in Harbin from the first days was truly friendly.
And even later, when just before the departure of the troops, the strictest prohibitions of political agencies appeared, trying to minimize the contacts of military personnel with "local Russians", such meetings continued to be massive here.
At the same time, far from the entire Russian population of Harbin was subsequently repressed, as Soviet newspapers wrote at that time. At the same time, the repressions that fell on some of the Harbin residents were not at all a desire to settle old scores with them for the Civil War. The fact is that the Japanese left in Harbin, as well as throughout China, a lot of their agents and saboteurs.
And far from Japanese by nationality. Of the most famous names, it is enough to recall the poet and journalist Arseny Nesmelov, as well as the leader of the All-Russian Fascist Party created here, Konstantin Rodzaevsky. Both of them were caught by Soviet Chekists.
Metropolitan Nestor Anisimov had a different fate, who back in 1943 sent gold crosses and a gold panagia through the Harbin Consulate General to the fund of the Soviet Army fighting against fascism. He also established and maintained constant contact with the Russian Patriarchate.
He openly resisted the Japanese authorities, who demanded the worship of the pagan goddess Amaterasu, signing the text of the Archpastoral Letter of the Harbin hierarchs against the demands of the Japanese. It is not surprising that in August 1945 it was Archbishop Nestor who greeted the Soviet troops entering Harbin with a greeting from the faithful ...
However, a few years later, the Khabarovsk court accused him of anti-Soviet activities, which consisted of writing the book “The Execution of the Moscow Kremlin” and performing memorial services for the relatives of the family of Emperor Nicholas killed in Alapaevsk. Having received his ten, Father Nestor from June 1948 until his release in January 1956, albeit formally, was imprisoned in a camp in Mordovia.