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In 1921 in Prague "The union of the Russian writers and journalists" was created. Z. Ashkenazi, S.K. Makovsky, V.I. Mendel, V.F. Shvigovsky, L.F. Magerovsky and K.P. Belgovsky were initiators of his creation. At this time in Prague there was very brisk political life, political meetings, debates and meetings often were organized, political resolutions were taken out. According to Belgovsky, "Magerovsky and some other members of the Union tried to involve the Union in political activity, to force it to take out resolutions of political character". On this soil there was a conflict as a result of which the group of members of the union left its structure. Some time the union existed small and weakened.

Over time gradually there were ways of rapprochement of the disaccorded groups, need of creation in Prague of the authoritative organization of the Russian writers and journalists who in Czechoslovakia became more and more, the organization which would have purely professional character became clear.

On October 10 and 17, 1922 in "Guus's Gold" there passed the constituent assembly called by group of the Russian writers and journalists in Prague. Being present decided to consider this meeting the Constituent assembly of "The union of the Russian writers and journalists in Czechoslovakia". On October 17 the meeting decided to adopt the charter of the union.

According to the charter, the union carried the name "The union of the Russian writers and journalists in the Czechoslovak Republic.

His founders formulated the purpose of the union so: "... Association of the Russian writers and journalists in ChSR for improvement of legal and financial position, for assistance to their cultural work and for protection of professional interests of figures of a Russian press".

Were a part of the first board: chairman of the union P.A. Sorokin, secretary V.I. Volynets, treasurer M. Slonim, board members E.A. Lyatsky, S.M. Makovsky, P.B. Struva, P.P. Potemkin. V.V. Sukhomlin and E.N. Chirikov.

P.A. Sorokin, S.V. Zavadsky, V.F. Bulgakov, V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko, N.I. Churikov, N.M. Mogilyansky and N.I. Astrov were chairmen of the board in different years. It were absolutely different and on political convictions, and on professional education people, but all of them were good organizers and aspired in all possible ways to help members of the union, the Russian writers and journalists, irrespective of their political sympathies. Initial edition of the charter even included the following condition for acceptance in full members of the union: "to the .neena belonging to any parties". Subsequently it was excluded from the charter, but in all performances and

publications it was emphasized that the union - the organization non-political, despite various party accessory of his members.

From outside and any subsidies from anyone the union during the entire period of the activity did not use any material support. Any board, at all diligence, did not manage to raise a little considerable funds. Donations for which the union was deeply grateful had accidental character, the majority them had a special purpose, and during all the time did not exceed 8,000 kroner.

In annual lists of the union from 7 0 to 90 members were registered. Some left, others entered, but the main kernel remained invariable.

What attracted in the union of these people different in age, sometimes absolutely irreconcilable politically, balanced unless only by refugee poverty and lawlessness? When there was an union, political passions were not obsolete yet, the irritation and mutual misunderstanding were extremely strong. Expectation of material benefits was not an incentive of the accession to the union: entering well knew that the union - the organization impecunious. If some of the Russian writers and journalists also received benefits from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia or Committee on improvement of life of the Russian writers, then it was the help to individuals, but not the union. It turned out that the people working at one field seek for association: the union attracted those who needed communication with the colleagues maintaining good old traditions of the Russian literary environment.

Activity of the union was shown in various forms.

The union rendered assistance to the members in the field of professional needs, in protection of copyright; dug up resources for rendering financial support to them in the form of single loans and grants.

The union considered one of the main duties care about patients and aged members. In their advantage parties and performances were repeatedly given.

The union conducted the work out of policy, avoiding performances which could bring political differences and conflicts on its Wednesday. It sought to unite, as far as possible, bigger number of the persons working at a field of literature and journalism. The union sought to maintain good old traditions and customs of the Russian literary and journalistic environment. For this purpose, reminding of the past, it tried to do not miss the anniversaries connected with names of the Russian writers and journalists, organizing public meetings these days.

On its initiative over 100 public literary and literary and art soirees dated, mainly, for various anniversaries were organized and carried out. So, the anniversary and literary events devoted to A.S. Pushkin, L.N. Tolstoy, I.S. Turgenev, F.M. Dostoyevsky and many other Russian writers were held.

Author's evenings on which V.A. Amfiteatrov, M.I. Tsvetaeva, A.A. Voyevodin and others performed with reading the works, for example, were spent.

Carrying out at meetings of the union of evenings of the Monastery of Poets circle became traditional. The circle arose in Prague 1922 at the initiative of several students who were interested in literature. A.L. Bem was the head of a circle from the first day of its basis. On evenings the works were read by V. Mansvetov, V. Morkovin, T. Ratgauz and others.

The union organized also public debates: "About Tolstoy", "About new Russian literature in the Eurasian understanding", "About writers and poets of the Soviet Russia", "About family and marriage in the Soviet Russia" and on other subjects.

Meetings at which made interesting reports, for example, P.V. Chernavina ("About position of the intellectuals in the USSR"), M.M. Karpovich ("About cultural life of the United States of America (on personal observations)") and others were organized.

Thanks to efforts of the union the literary collection "Ark" under V.F. Bulgakov, S.V. Zavadsky and M.I. Tsvetaeva's edition was published.

The union sought to start communications with other foreign Writers' Unions. In his environment there was a thought of formation of the union of the Russian writers for protection of professional interests. Attempts of the solution of a question of the organization of emigrant literary archive for storage of unpublished manuscripts of the Russian writers and other materials who are well and died in emigration were made to keep and subsequently to transport them to Russia. It was asked about the edition of the special bulletin reference book covering all aspects of life of the Russian writers abroad and chronicling their professional organizations. The union took active part in the organization of the Congress of the Russian writers and journalists in Belgrade (1928).

The union took active part in undertakings of kulturnoprosvetitelsky character (Day of the Russian culture, an exhibition of the Russian book, etc.).

The union with special attention treated literary and public life of Czechoslovakia, responded to the major events which were endured by the country.

After the help to the Russian students from the Czechoslovak authorities was stopped, the union responded to a call for help the organization of a charitable lottery, collecting books with autographs of writers.

In 1931 also the situation of the union which recognized as necessary as all possible measures became difficult to fill up the Loan fund formed by it for assistance to members of the union in case of emergency of need. And the threshold had a need already. From the beginning of liquidation of "the Russian stock" grants began to be reduced quickly, since June, 1932 some were already deprived of grants. And on care of the union there were sick and weak old men writers: 88-year-old Nemirovich-Danchenko broken by paralysis

Ratgauz and others. It forced the union to request financial support to the influential organizations and the faces of Czechoslovakia and also to the chairman of the "Fund of the help to the needing scientists, writers and actors of Moscow" to I.M. Goldstein which is in New York. The donations coming to the answer were scanty (10 dollars, 300 kroner), but the union was grateful also for these sums: they somehow helped to stand.

From the beginning of World War II in September, 1939 the literary life in Prague almost stood.

And on June 18, 1941 the chairman of the union S.I. Varshavsky received the circular of the head of department by affairs of the Russian emigration in Germany generated V.V. Biskupsky according to whom all emigrants had to keep full calm as in the attitude towards them of the German authorities there will be no changes, to remain on duty stations, not to address to institutions with any projects or offers, to abstain from any criticism and comments about the real and future events. Places of translators at the German institutions were offered the members of the union aged from 18 up to 55 years who are a little knowing German.

World War II put an end to existence of the union: the last data on its activity belong to the end of 1942

Upon termination of war many members of the union moved to countries of Western Europe, and remained already had no time for literature: their life at the new power became difficult and heavy.


Russian state archive of literature and art. F.2474 - the Union of the Russian writers and journalists in Czechoslovakia.

E.N. Evseeva

Day Francis
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