Russians in Macedonia (1920-1940)
The October events 100 years ago in Russia caused a humanitarian crisis—an exodus, according to some data, of 1.5 million Russians, according to others—5 million. The Macedonian people, who knew not only from speaking what pains and difficulties mean, did not remain aloof from the sufferings of the Russian refugees. The Macedonian country gave protection to some of them: to some—temporarily, to some—forever. Since the majority of the Russians who came were highly educated personnel, they filled the “vacuum” created as a result of the three wars. The general conclusion of the Macedonians was the following: “In the days when, for our new cultural and educational activity, we needed capable and enlightened people the most, the presence of intelligentsia from fraternal Russia was really welcome for us. Although they would not come to us because of the evil in their country, we would have to invite them.
Thousands of vacant responsible positions were looking for people whose conscience, love, and abilities could be reliably relied upon. Who, in the absence of our people, could be entrusted with the growth and upbringing of the new generations, the organization, and management of various things in hospitals, factories, farms, etc., if not to them, the closest relatives, the closest?” (newspaper "Skopski Glasnik”. 1931, No. 142). Thus, feelings of mutual gratitude and recognition of the Macedonians and the Russians, for whom Macedonia became their home, were formed and nurtured. Unfortunately, after the Second World War, due to various circumstances, the period of “forgetfulness” occurred and still lasts (with few exceptions).
One hundred years since the beginning of the outcome of the Russians and the loss of their homeland, which remained only in their hearts, is an occasion to recall the humanity shown by the Macedonians, and that in the most difficult post-war years, and also for the contribution of the Russian immigrants in the progress of the Macedonian country. Starting from that humanistic idea, the State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia, the Institute of National History, the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, under the auspices of the rector of UKIM, Mr. Nikola Jankulovski, present the exhibition of documents and photographs "The Russians in Macedonia (1920-1940)".
The exhibition presents the life of Russian immigrants in Macedonia (materials from the family archives of the descendants of Russian immigrants are of particular importance in this context) and the activities of Russian scientists, professors, architects, fine artists, doctors, artists. Memory “recovery” of this type highlights humanity, and compassion is, in the words of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the highest form of human existence.