Siege Hermitage. The Art Of Staying Human

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Siege Hermitage. The Art Of Staying Human
Siege Hermitage. The Art Of Staying Human
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Siege Hermitage. The art of staying human

Information wars easily dismantle all more or less preserved "elements" of historical originals. Their place is taken by forgeries, and all the cracks and inconsistencies of the story, turned in a new way, are filled with lies, like tar.

The current generation is not very familiar with its past. Intellectual infantilism and lack of interest in one's true history have already shown by the example of Ukrainian events what can happen to society if it does not have a solid understanding of the historical processes taking place with it.

Information wars easily dismantle all more or less preserved "elements" of historical originals. Their place is taken by forgeries, and all the cracks and inconsistencies of the story, turned in a new way, are filled with lies, like tar.

The Leningrad blockade, which had no analogues in the history of civilization, was not ignored by the slander and took away one and a half million lives.

Hermitage people

Academician Iosif Abgarovich Orbeli, director of the State Hermitage, was noticeably nervous, which incredibly surprised the museum staff. Every half hour he asked to be connected with Moscow and the Committee for Arts, in whose department the Hermitage was located. The black receiver of the telephone set, in the voice of the Committee secretary, answered monotonously "Wait for instructions …" and broke into long beeps …

The Hermitage was lucky to have directors, but Orbeli was assigned a special role in the history of this museum.

Iosif Abgarovich was an archaeologist, orientalist, specialist in Armenian, Turkish and Iranian antiquities. He had experience in organizing archaeological expeditions, where logistical support, including storage equipment and transport for the removal of found artifacts, is not the last place. But, most importantly, he was able to subordinate the participants and volunteers to the strictest discipline and create all the necessary conditions for their development and self-realization, forming a community of like-minded people.


The skills of working in non-standard conditions and the experience of a strong business executive were useful to Academician Orbeli, first for the evacuation of priceless Hermitage exhibits carried out in the shortest possible time, and then in besieged Leningrad.

In the corridors of time

Through the eyepieces of the sights of long-range guns, the panorama of Leningrad was clearly visible. On its squares, streets, roofs, the Germans brought down tons of metal and explosives. From the observation deck, occupied by the Nazis, 14 kilometers remained to the main museum of the country.

The main commandment of a museum worker is the preservation of museum values. Only he is given to define and feel with his professional instinct where vain fears end and foresight begins. The Hermitage staff were charged with the responsibility of taking an active part in conducting regular civil defense classes with a simulated Air Raid.

Honing skills in extinguishing a fire, evacuation, and trial packing of paintings and sculptures came in handy in the early days of the war. People were not at a loss, but only waited for the signal to take up the pre-designated posts on the roofs, attics and other premises of the Hermitage and the Winter Palace.

Thanks to its director, Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences Iosif Abgarovich Orbeli, the State Hermitage suffered to a lesser extent, in contrast to the palace complexes in the suburbs of Leningrad, which were subjected to intense Nazi vandalism.

Long before the start of the war, the museums of Leningrad and its suburbs were ordered to urgently create plans for the evacuation of their collections. “It was necessary to divide the exhibits according to the degree of uniqueness in the queue and prepare containers for them that could withstand a long journey,” recalls VM Glinka, an employee of the museum. Subsequently, it turned out that of the directors, only Academician Orbeli was responsible for this order.

Europe has not yet learned to distinguish between the hum of fascist aircraft and the rattle of Nazi tanks on the pavements of its cities, the insane sound idea of ​​a "superior race" has not yet poisoned the minds of all Germans, and a strong, experienced business executive Orbeli has already begun to harvest kilometers of oilcloth, hundreds of rolls of tissue paper, tens of hundreds wooden crates of all sizes, tons of cotton wool and pressed shavings, hundreds of bags with scarce cork chips.

In his Hermitage estate, in the sealed warehouses of the museum, an emergency reserve for a "rainy day" was kept for years "stash-preparations" of all the necessary materials, neatly arranged in lockers, drawers and shelves.

Unlike other leaders of museums, who rationalized their irresponsibility by the fact that for an extra piece of oilcloth or a kilogram of nails the Leningrad party and economic nomenclature would accuse them of alarmism, Orbeli insatiably demanded additional funds from the authorities for "strategic needs" - the purchase of boards, plywood, staples, tools, wrapping materials, containers. They dared not disregard academician Orbeli.


There was nothing like that in any other museum in Leningrad and its suburbs. The colleagues-directors who mocked Joseph Abgarovich for his alarmism and practicality, having received a command from the authorities to evacuate museum treasures, were confused. The exhibits were packed in hastily knocked up boxes filled with fresh hay, wrapped in torn to pieces of royal linen, and put into linen chests.

Had your Orbeli appeared at the suburban palaces, they would not have been looking for the lost traces of the Amber Room for 70 years.

The meaning of life - Hermitage

According to the inventory books, by 1941 there were one million six hundred thousand items in the exhibition halls and storerooms of the Hermitage. Each of these exhibits was carefully packed and stored, and after the blockade was lifted, it was returned to its place.

The Hermitage, in a blockade ring bound by cold and fear, has become an island of salvation for people with a visual vector. Researchers, guides, artists, restorers, professors and graduate students, all those who were not drafted to the front, returned to their workplace every day, even if it was transferred to the basements of a devastated, shelled museum, to halls with unburned squares instead of art canvases on the walls.

The paintings were taken out and sent to the rear, and the frames were left hanging in their places. This was the decision of the director and those responsible for the evacuation of the invaluable exhibits.

“Empty frames! It was Orbeli's wise order: to leave all frames in place. Thanks to this, the Hermitage restored its exhibition eighteen days after the paintings returned from evacuation! And during the war they hung like that, empty eye sockets-frames, along which I conducted several excursions … It was the most amazing excursion in my life. And the empty frames are impressive. The power of imagination, the acuity of memory, and internal vision increased, replacing the emptiness. They redeemed the absence of pictures with words, gestures, intonation, by all means of their imagination, language, knowledge. Concentrated, intently, people looked at the space enclosed in the frame … "A. Adamovich, D. Granin" The Blockade Book"


In addition to the visual scientific and creative intelligentsia, the staff of the Hermitage, even before the war, included workmen-joiners, carpenters-cabinetmakers. With a focus on detail, they made unique crates of all sizes and dimensions with their own hands with custom fittings and soft waterproof upholstery for the intended transport of priceless exhibits.

Marked in advance with "secret signs" understandable only to a narrow circle of specialists, these boxes later became the subject of careful study by the organizers of international auctions Sotheby's and Christie's.

Eat beans - prepare coffins

"Eat lentils, hand over Leningrad!" Germans, masters of panic attacks, dropped such leaflets with provocative texts from planes in areas where Leningraders dug trenches and anti-tank ditches. The city was not surrendered!

The war and the blockade did not change the usual routine of the internal life of the Hermitage. Discipline among employees, unconditional obedience to the leadership, not weakening, despite the extreme conditions of the blockade life. Only by helping each other could one save oneself and survive in the nightmare of military everyday life.

The most difficult test for a person that nature is capable of - hunger management was turned on. The Nazis expected the city's imminent surrender, playing on human animal instincts. They counted on starving out the inhabitants of Leningrad, depriving them of food.

“The threat of shortage or lack of food has always been the main reason for the reduction in human life. And the overabundance of food in the modern world, which we have thanks to the latest technologies, takes people out of natural control,”says Yuri Burlan at his lectures on Systemic Vector Psychology.

People were dying of hunger, before reaching their entrances, workplaces, exhausted and exhausted, they fell asleep in frozen apartments with eternal sleep. Their corpses were taken to morgues, one of which was under the Hermitage. The outstanding cold and snowy winter of 1941-1942 destroyed the carriers of the infection of rats, from which the city always suffered, preventing an epidemic from developing.

In besieged Leningrad, there were known cases of cannibalism. Hunger tore away the veil of cultural restrictions. But these cases were not massive, as some authors discrediting the history of the Great Patriotic War are trying to present to us.

Death Defiers

In the collective psychic of the people who inhabited the territory of the Soviet Union, the urethral mentality was practiced for centuries. Thanks to the highest traditions of visual culture developed on the basis of the urethral mentality, shown by mercy and the prohibition of murder, 99% of the inhabitants of Leningrad were ready to starve to death, but preserve their human dignity. None of the Hermitage employees, who were side by side with the treasures of the state museum that had not been exported, had the idea of ​​selling them to save their belly.

The use of the method of the blockade ring by the Nazis in order to arouse archetypal fear and defeatist moods among the residents of the city in the ranks of the visual intelligentsia, as always in the "Russian question", led to the opposite result.

The intelligentsia sublimated their fear of death into art. Fear dissolved in films and performances, in D. Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, drawings by A. Nikolsky, who captured the life of the Hermitage under the siege, poetry by Olga Berggolts, jubilee celebrations in honor of Navoi and Nizami's 800th anniversary, temporary exhibitions, in continuation of research work, in the cold libraries, the frozen rooms of the Hermitage, in hospitals and hospitals, where the actors went to sing and recite, and the museum staff gave lectures on the art of wounded and emaciated dystrophies.


At the front, culture conducted "shelling" with powerful artillery of pheromones released by the skin-visual beauties Ruslanova, Shulzhenko, Orlova, Tselikovskaya, bringing muscle regiments into a state of noble rage for the sake of being ready to bring death to enemies. In besieged Leningrad, culture united the inhabitants and united itself for the sake of life.

“During the war, our people defended not only their land. He defended world culture. He defended everything beautiful that was created by art,”wrote Tatyana Tess, a famous Soviet writer, journalist and publicist. No matter how hard it was during the blockade, the inhabitants of Leningrad felt the support of the whole country. War and general grief have consolidated the people.

"Leningraders, my children, Leningraders, my pride!" Dzhambul Dzhabayev

The first special train took the Hermitage valuables to the rear 7 days after the start of the war. A small group of museum staff was assigned to accompany the train, led by Vladimir Frantsevich Levinson-Lessing. A brilliant erudite, future honorary member of the international organization UNESCO, the greatest connoisseur of European art, Vladimir Frantsevich, absolutely not adapted to everyday circumstances, led the most difficult operation to transport, preserve and return back in complete safety the Hermitage values.

During the terrible months of the siege, the active and active director of the Hermitage, Iosif Abgarovich Orbeli, on his own initiative, placed in the museum several bomb shelters for the Hermitage people themselves, their loved ones, the intelligentsia of the freezing city. Flying to the mainland in March 1942, Orbeli was thin and yellow, no different from those who remained in the besieged city to die or miraculously survive.

Responsibility for the masterpieces that were entrusted to the director of the Hermitage by the people did not exclude concern for such value as the children of the museum staff, who had to be urgently evacuated to the rear. A month after the outbreak of the war, 146 boys and girls set off on a long and difficult journey east.

The children said goodbye to their parents in the foyer of the Hermitage, and Joseph Abgarovich Orbeli stood next to the transport that approached the museum and put each baby on the bus with his own hand.

A total of 2,500 children of the city were in the echelon heading east. The boarding school on wheels was run by an employee of the Hermitage, Lyubov Antonova. When she reached the first destination, she wrote to Orbeli in Leningrad: “The collective farm sent 100 carts for the Hermitage children … we set off in the direction of the village. The entire population of the village, dressed in festive dresses, with flowers in their hands, with tears in their eyes, greeted us before the rule of the collective farm. The collective farmers themselves dropped the children out of the carts, carried them into the rooms, seated them at tables, and fed them with a prepared lunch. Then we were told that several baths had been drowned out, and the collective farmers, taking the children, washed them in the baths themselves and brought them clean, wrapped in blankets … 146 children are alive and well and are sending greetings to their parents."


The challenge of culture

The past tends to come back - in memories, photographs, memoirs and events. Russia celebrates the eighth decade of the Day of the lifting of the blockade, once again reminding everyone living the hackneyed commandment that for the sake of the common good it is high time for humanity to go beyond its own sound egocentrism.

The navigator of the direction of modern culture clearly demonstrates that it is steering in the wrong direction. It does not create a unified popular worldview, but boasts of one-sided visual snobbery. Lack of understanding of oneself, one's urethral collectivist mentality, which differs from the Western one, leads to a violation of the sense of self-preservation, removes all restrictions, opening the way for self-destruction.

The task of preventing society from falling into total hatred and fratricide is given to modern sound and visual experts by nature, and a tool is given - systemic thinking. They can only understand that being late is fraught with a new round of natural management, which in its time zones may not give an opportunity for the survival of humanity as a species.

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