Steamboat, but not the one – Parliamentary newspaper

The steamer, but not the one

Elena Yampolskaya
© Igor Samokhvalov/PG

A century ago, on September 29, 1922, the first of the so-called philosophical steamboats set sail from the Petrograd pier. The ship “Oberburgomaster Haken” took Nikolai Berdyaev, Semyon Frank, Ivan Ilyin, Sergei Trubetskoy, professors and philosophers from Moscow and Kazan to Germany … With their families, the number of passengers was about 70 people.

The game of dates is so seductive that speculations have already begun: history is looping, the intelligentsia fled from Russia then, the intelligentsia is fleeing now, we are not learning anything, we are losing the best, blah blah blah …

Oh no, dear ones. Now and then are as different as “then” and “now” don’t rhyme.

Those wanderers wanted to stay in their homeland – even under the threat of death. The current dream is to move the fifth point to any safe place. Any place that seems safe.

Those were expelled for spiritual stamina. These are pushed in the back by their own cowardice.

Those were taken out by force – by sea and by rail, with one suit and a pair of underwear. These redeem business jets for big money, make a checkout for joyfully squealing air carriers for years to come, and also cross the border on bicycles, scooters, gyro scooters, hung with “branzulets”, like a great strategist.

They loved Russia until the end of their days. These sign the renunciation of their native country already at the checkpoints. Particularly gifted people also pour mud on the Motherland in slave interviews – otherwise, no matter how angry the new owner is.

Those before the deportation risked talking with Dzerzhinsky, trying to explain their views. These are heroic: “I ask you to recognize me as a foreign agent”, being ironically sure that they will not recognize me.

From those remained – and returned to us in the end – thoughts, books, works. These, sorry for the template, will continue to give concerts in synagogues. units, of course. The luckiest. Who is capable. Synagogues are not filled with fools.

Those were picked up by the tornado of history, twisted and thrown away in a foreign land. They carried the loss of their homeland like a cross. For parodists, designers and other queer activists, the cross is man-made. They themselves crossed out in black bold themselves as Russians and Russians.

Those (many) believed that they were taking the real Russia into exile. Life has shown that they were wrong, but sincerely wrong. These (individuals) say: “Russia is where we are.” And they themselves know that they are bluffing and lying. Some consoled themselves with faith, others with lies.

What in the autumn of 1922 was a human drama, even a tragedy, is repeated a hundred years later as a comedy of manners. Well, a sitcom, of course.

And by the way: the “philosophical steamboat” was not invented by the Bolsheviks. Three years earlier, they were ahead of the Americans. Citizens of the Russian Empire, who sympathized with the new government, were loaded onto the “Soviet ark” and sent across the Atlantic “as a gift to Lenin and Trotsky” in December 1919. In the fight against dissidents, the United States has always been a world leader. Actually, only in this and remain.

Read also:

• Elena Yampolskaya: Our goal is to protect the Russian language • Elena Yampolskaya: The image of the Motherland in advertising is unacceptable!


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