Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Rossiiskoe natsional'noe ob"edinenie records
Date (inclusive): 1929-1981
Collection Number: 82066
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material:
7 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box
(4.6 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Russian émigré community in Belgium and other European countries over the time of the Russian Civil War, World War II, and
cold war period includes correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, printed and other material
Rossiĭskoe nat͡sionalʹnoe obʺedinenie
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives
The collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1982
[Identification of item], Rossiiskoe natsional'noe ob"edinenie records, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution
Library & Archives
After the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, Russia plunged into a bloody Civil War waged between the Red and White Armies.
In the fall of 1920 the White Army was defeated, and some 100,000 demoralized White Army troops and 50,000 civilians boarded
ships of the former Imperial Black Sea Fleet and fled the Crimea for Constantinople and exile. General Piotr Nikolaevich Vrangel,
Chief Commander of the White Army in Crimea, negotiated with the Ottoman Empire and the French who occupied Constantinople
at the end of the First World War for permission to settle the fully armed White Army in several camps in Turkey, Yugoslavia,
and the Aegean island of Lemnos. The principal camp was at Gallipoli in Turkey. There General Vrangel prepared his army for
a military campaign against the Bolshevik government.
By the year 1923 it became clear that the Bolsheviks had consolidated their control in Russia and hopes of a military campaign
against them vanished. The White Army troops had to be reintegrated into civilian life. In 1924 Vrangel formed the Russian
General Military Union (
Russkii Obshche-Voinskii Soiuz). This organization preserved the army structure of the demilitarized White Army and played an important role in the very
survival of military refugees. At the same time many regimental associations and societies of First World War and Civil War
veterans started to form in émigré communities.
Russian National League was founded in 1948 due to the extremely difficult situation of the Russian émigré community and its
desire to unify the majority of the Russian organizations in Belgium. The main purpose of the organization was the representation,
unification and protection of Russian émigrés living in Belgium. It was based on unconditional devotion to Russia (not the
USSR), loyalty to the national ideal, and adherence to Christian culture and civilization.
The organization supported a wide range of legal and social assistance to its members, established contact with all Russian
national organizations inside and outside Belgium, provided assistance in founding a Russian Foreign National Center and supported
all national-patriotic forces. It was not a political organization, because its main purpose was serving to their Motherland
and preserving memory of the heroes of the White movement.
In 1964 the Russian National League initiated a celebration of the 1100th anniversary of the Russian State. It also commemorated
the anniversary of the founding of Saint Petersburg, and organized various art and book exhibits, opera concerts, and other
events in Brussels and provinces. It built a cathedral-monument to the martyred Russian Tsar and other victims of Bolshevism.
By resolution of the Russian National League Council of February 21, 1982, the existence of the Russian House and Library
came to an end due to financial difficulties. The last information bulletin, Number 292, was issued in April 1982.
Scope and Content of Collection
Russian National League papers contain information about the activities of this organization and Russian émigré community
in Belgium after World War II. Materials were divided into six series.
The Office Files document the history, statute, purpose and objectives of the organization. The papers show the connections
between the Russian National League with the Russian Union (ROVS -
Russkii Obshche-Voinskii Soiuz), formed by General Peter Vrangel in 1924, which played an important role in the survival of the military refugees. Scattered
across the globe, often without property or a steady source income, many émigrés faced a life of poverty and destitution.
They did not have easy access to government institutions, local charity organizations, or in family host countries. Correspondence
file includes letters to the state and governmental officials regarding Russian émigrés and their needs, and to members of
the Principal Headquarters of the Russian National League with discussion of the issues on the pages of
Chasovoi magazine. The minutes of meetings of the Russian National League cover period 1948-1979. Of special interest in this collection
are the testimonials on the kidnapping in Paris of Russian Generals Evgenii Miller and Aleksandr Kutepov. Oversize Materials
contain fabric banners and advertisements about Russian book exhibits in Brussels.
The Publications File contains a collection of various émigré publications and monthly bulletins of Russian workers in Belgium.
Vasilii Orekhov was the editor of
Chasovoi magazine – the most prominent anti-Bolshevik émigré "white" magazine reflecting the ROVS position. In 1936 after the magazine
openly supported General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War, V. Orekhov was forced to relocate this publication from
France to Belgium. After World War II Vasilii Orekhov founded the Russian National League and continued his publication of
Chasovoi magazine and the monthly bulletin of Russian workers in Belgium.
The Radio Broadcasts include transcripts of the Russian section, Spanish radio, Madrid. At the time General Franco started
his fight for liberation of Spain from communism, Soviet leaders initiated creation of international brigades and sent them
to Spain. As a result, General Franco allowed Russian officers (from the Russian Imperial Army) to join the Spanish Army.
Vasilii Orekhov started the first Russian émigré independent radio station in Spain.
Printed matter file includes newspapers, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks covering period 1926-1980.
Cultural life depicts various art and book exhibits, opera performances, and reflects other events in Brussels and the provinces,
connecting the materials in the collection with the events of the Russian émigré community in Belgium.
Photographs commemorate significant events in the life of the Russian émigré community abroad
David Davidovich Grimm papers, Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Russia -- Emigration and immigration
Soviet Union -- Social conditions
Nationalism -- Russia
Russians -- Belgium
Romanov, House of