Kazem-Bek, Aleksandr, 1902-1977

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Aleksandr Kazem-Bek was born in Kazan on the 2nd (15th old style) of February, 1902, into an old noble family of Persian (Azeri) origin. He came from a line of distinguished academics and professors, the most notable of which, his paternal great grandfather, founded the Institute for Oriental Studies at the University of Kazan. As a child, Aleksandr often moved with his family throughout Europe, and lived for short periods of time in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. His family finally emigrated in February 1922, and eventually reached Belgrade through Constantinople with the White Army, which he had joined at the age of sixteen. It was during his years with the White Army that the young Kazem-Bek first showed his heroic and fiercely patriotic traits, which would characterize him in his future work as a social and political leader of the White Russian emigration.

In 1923, he moved to Munich, where he began his university studies. It was here that the youth movement called "Young Russia" was born. Kazem-Bek was its founder and leader throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Its members were given the name "Mladorossi," or "Young Russians," and their slogan was "Neither White nor Red, but Russian." The movement was disbanded in 1941.

Kazem-Bek moved to Paris in the mid-1920s, and obtained his doctorate in political and social sciences at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He worked for several years at a credit union in Monte Carlo, Monaco, until his return to Paris in 1929 as an established political activist of Europe's Russian émigré community. He was an active contributor to several notable émigré newspapers, such as Mladorosskaia iskra, the main publication of the Mladorossi. Because of his natural leadership abilities and his notable charisma, he succeeded in garnering continued support from various religious and political leaders.

In 1937, Kazem-Bek declared his resignation from the post of director of the Mladoross movement. In 1940, Aleksandr Kazem-Bek was arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp. After his release, he and his family immigrated to the United States, where Kazem-Bek continued his work as social, political, and religious leader of the emigration. Among fulfilling other duties, he edited and regularly submitted to the San Francisco-based Russian émigré newspaper Novaia Zaria, and occasionally delivered sermons at the St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York City.

While in San Francisco, Kazem-Bek was also actively involved in the distribution of literature to Russian prisoners-of-war through the YMCA. In 1944, he became professor of Russian at Yale University, and in 1946, director of the Department of Russian Languages and Literatures at Connecticut College for Women.

Kazem-Bek accepted his last and somewhat dubious post after returning to his homeland, which had then become the Soviet Union. During the last twenty years of his life, he worked for the Moscow Patriarchate, the official church of Russia, in the area of public relations. While he was in the Soviet Union, the Soviet newspaper Pravda released a false article which connected Kazem-Bek with pro-Soviet work and hinted at his betrayal of the cause of the Russian Orthodox emigration. In response, Kazem-Bek demanded that his name be cleared, and threatened to commit suicide if the newspaper did not comply. In spite of these efforts, many of his friends and followers abroad remained unsure of his position and views, and especially of the nature of his work in the USSR.

Aleksandr Kazem-Bek died in the Soviet Union on February 21, 1977, and is buried near the Church of the Transfiguration near Moscow.

From the description of Aleksandr Kazem-Bek papers, 1930-1977. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 614009718

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Aleksandr Kazem-Bek was born in Kazan on the 2nd (15th old style) of February, 1902, into an old noble family of Persian (Azeri) origin. He came from a line of distinguished academics and professors, the most notable of which, his paternal great grandfather, founded the Institute for Oriental Studies at the University of Kazan. As a child, Aleksandr often moved with his family throughout Europe, and lived for short periods of time in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. His family finally emigrated in February 1922, and eventually reached Belgrade through Constantinople with the White Army, which he had joined at the age of sixteen. It was during his years with the White Army that the young Kazem-Bek first showed his heroic and fiercely patriotic traits, which would characterize him in his future work as a social and political leader of the White Russian emigration.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1923, he moved to Munich, where he began his university studies. It was here that the youth movement called "Young Russia" was born. Kazem-Bek was its founder and leader throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Its members were given the name "Mladorossi," or "Young Russians," and their slogan was "Neither White nor Red, but Russian." The movement was disbanded in 1941.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Kazem-Bek moved to Paris in the mid-1920s, and obtained his doctorate in political and social sciences at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He worked for several years at a credit union in Monte Carlo, Monaco, until his return to Paris in 1929 as an established political activist of Europe's Russian émigré community. He was an active contributor to several notable émigré newspapers, such as Mladorosskaia iskra, the main publication of the Mladorossi. Because of his natural leadership abilities and his notable charisma, he succeeded in garnering continued support from various religious and political leaders.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1937, Kazem-Bek declared his resignation from the post of director of the Mladoross movement. In 1940, Aleksandr Kazem-Bek was arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp. After his release, he and his family immigrated to the United States, where Kazem-Bek continued his work as social, political, and religious leader of the emigration. Among fulfilling other duties, he edited and regularly submitted to the San Francisco-based Russian émigré newspaper Novaia Zaria, and occasionally delivered sermons at the St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York City.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED While in San Francisco, Kazem-Bek was also actively involved in the distribution of literature to Russian prisoners-of-war through the YMCA. In 1944, he became professor of Russian at Yale University, and in 1946, director of the Department of Russian Languages and Literatures at Connecticut College for Women.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Kazem-Bek accepted his last and somewhat dubious post after returning to his homeland, which had then become the Soviet Union. During the last twenty years of his life, he worked for the Moscow Patriarchate, the official church of Russia, in the area of public relations. While he was in the Soviet Union, the Soviet newspaper Pravda released a false article which connected Kazem-Bek with pro-Soviet work and hinted at his betrayal of the cause of the Russian Orthodox emigration. In response, Kazem-Bek demanded that his name be cleared, and threatened to commit suicide if the newspaper did not comply. In spite of these efforts, many of his friends and followers abroad remained unsure of his position and views, and especially of the nature of his work in the USSR.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Aleksandr Kazem-Bek died in the Soviet Union on February 21, 1977, and is buried near the Church of the Transfiguration near Moscow.

From the guide to the Aleksandr Kazem-Bek papers, 1930-1977., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Kazem-Bek, Aleksandr 1902-1977. Aleksandr Kazem-Bek papers, 1930-1977. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Aleksandr Kazem-Bek papers, 1930-1977. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Avinoff, Andrey, 1884-1949. person
associatedWith Berdiaev, Nikolai, 1874-1948. person
associatedWith Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881. person
associatedWith Karpovich, Michael, 1888-1959. person
associatedWith Knupffer, George. person
associatedWith Konovalov, Aleksandr. person
associatedWith Likhachev, B. T. person
associatedWith Mladorosskai︠a︡ partii︠a︡. corporateBody
associatedWith Muromt︠s︡eva-Bunina, V. N. (Vera Nikolaevna). person
associatedWith Orthodox Church in America. corporateBody
associatedWith Poole, D. C. (Dewitt Clinton), 1828-1917. person
associatedWith Sablin, Evgeniĭ Vasilʹevich, d. 1949. person
associatedWith Sedykh, Andreĭ, 1902- person
associatedWith Slonim, Marc, 1894-1976. person
associatedWith Sorokin, Pitirim Aleksandrovich, 1889-1968. person
associatedWith Timasheff, Nicholas S. (Nicholas Sergeyevitch), 1886-1970. person
associatedWith Vakar, Nicholas P. (Nicholas Platonovich), 1894-1970. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
France--Paris
Russia
Subject
Azerbaijanis
Monarchy--Russia
Expatriate authors--France--Paris
Religious thought--20th century
Expatriate authors
Monarchy
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1902

Death 1977

Russian,

English,

French

Information

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