Kazankov A. I. «I photographed churches, priests, railwaymen…»: daily life of a village marginal in the first half of XX century (.pdf)


The paper reconstructs the daily life of the three typical representatives of village Orthodox priests who lived in the first half of the XX century. The author uses the investigatory files concerning the priests Varlaam (Zomarev), Michkov and Slyunkov who had become friends in the Belogorsk St. Nicholas monastery in the early XX century and maintained friendly relations for three decades. In their biographies, all the most significant events of Russian history, such as World War I and the Civil War, several cycles of state repressions against the Church, the collectivization of the Ural villages, hunger and deprivation, the NKVD mass operations of the second half of the 1930s, are reflected. The lives of the priests and their surroundings demonstrate a number of unsuccessful attempts to adapt to the changes taking place in the country. Neither their rich life experience nor the variety of skills and talents, vitality and stamina, mutual aid and support saved them from the typical marginal fate as members of a persecuted, criminalized and annihilated minority.


Key words: Perm region, Orthodox priests, photography, monastery, repressions.


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