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Volume 4. The lost archival funds

Having studied a documentary material about the destruction of the Russian archival documents in 1941-1945 it is possible to name the following typology of the basic losses in documents.

Losses as a result of operations and the barbarous reference of invaders with archives.

Ten and hundred thousand documents burnt down at bombardments of cities, villages and settlements of our country by nazi army.

In Leningrad (today St.-Petersburg) as a result of bombardments and artillery bombardments of nazi armies the great number of documents and archival funds of the Central historical archive of the USSR was burnt down.

In the city of Pskov aggressors blew up the building of Pskov state archive, archival materials of 372 funds were plundered and partially burnt. 127 thousand objects were lost about. After the liberation of the city archivists managed to collect only 23 thousand objects. Documents were found in holes, cellars and even… lavatories (invaders warmed them by documents of archive).

In days of war departmental archives of Arkhangelsk, Kaluga, Kalininsky (today Tver), Murmansk, Gorki (today Nizhniy Novgorod), Rostov, Smolensk, Stalingradsky (today Volgograd), Tula, Yaroslavl, etc. regions were lost.

Losses as a result of plunder of the Russian archives by special formations of occupational armies.

One of the primary tasks of the Emergency response centre of Rosenberg on affairs of the occupied areas archival, book and other printing materials were gathering and sending to Germany.

The part of a trophy registration card file of the Emergency response centre which was conducted on the basic objects of culture is stored in the Russian centre of the storage of historical-documentary collections. In the card file - the detailed information on destiny of archives of Smolensk, Novgorod, Kursk, Voronezh, Tsarskoje Selo, Shoot, Krasnodar, Bryansk. For example, from the report on export from the Novgorod Kremlin of archive and library of Sofia of Novgorod follows that from 33 892 volumes which had been taken out from Novgorod, 27 658 were directed in the library of Landes. Among them – there were church books, the gospel, bibles (1263 volumes), rare books and the first editions (585volumes), books on ethnography, archeology, numismatics, heraldry, maps (about 2 thousand).

From the Gatchina palace (suburb of Leningrad, today – St.-Petersburg) in Potsdam German experts took out the archive multivolume (over 32 volumes) book of visitors of Grand duke George Aleksandrovich who was the brother of Nicholas II died in 1899.

Hitlerites took out materials of the State archive of the Smolensk region, documents of regional party archive and current office-work of local party departments.

From the State archive of the Oryol region in the city Oryol experts from Germany in May, 1943 took out, in particular, more than 100 negatives about city occupation by German armies in 1918-1919. The Employee of archive were possible to receive the receipt of Germans . Today they are stored in fund of regional archival department.

Other German command took from library of archive 14 valuable books of the religious maintenance in German and Latin languages in leather covers, and also the original reading and writing of Catherine II written on parchment. The destiny of these values is unknown.

Materials from the beginning of XVIII century on 1940 in total amount 4 902 funds totaling 851 125 units of storage were stored in the State archive of Kursk area in the city of Kursk by 1941. During the occupation of the city by nazis the documents dated the period with 1721 on 1936, in number of 274 funds totaling 3426 units of storage were plundered. The site of these documents is not known.

Among the archival materials which had been taken out by the Staff of Rosenberg from palaces of Gatchina, - 17 picture albums of the imperial family of Romanov. The further destiny of documentary photographs is unknown.

In 1941 – 1944 the German Military archive in Danzig-olive received documents of the Soviet 48 shooting divisions, teaching materials of Academy of the Joint Staff of Red Army, Academy of M.V. Frunze and other educational institutions for 1938-1941; in 1942 - lists of the Soviet military instructions; within 1941-1944 - inventories and lists of the Soviet military trophy documents, among them photos of the former military leaders of Red Army.

In a Danzig-olive there were documents not less than 75 connections of Red Army for 1941 1943, and also of some military registration and enlistment offices, the military college of M.V. Frunze, military sanatorium in Kislovodsk, some parts and establishments of the Narcofloormat of internal affairs (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs). The destiny of these documents is unknown.

Armies of allies of Hitlerite Germany participated in plunder of the Russian archives.

From Kareliya the Finnish armies took out, in particular, the archive of the Belomoro-Baltic camp of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the USSR (about 500 000 affairs), after the war to Kareliya it was possible to return about half of affairs.

Losses as a result of evacuation and reevacuation of the archives

Evacuated from the front zone of the Russian Federation documents from the Russian archives took places basically in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

During the evacuation documents arrived in 1945-1950 on the former places of storage in the form of the sheet scattering, the considerable quantity of archival materials was lost during the journey.

Losses as result of the threat of the capture of archival documents by the opponents

The Soviet authorities destroyed archival documents if they did not manage to be evacuated. Destroyed documents of party archives and materials of local bodies of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the USSR, and also documents which could be used by Hitlerites against the Soviet state. Archivists of the North Ossetia destroyed, for example, all not evacuated documents of the Soviet period (29000 affairs and 500 kg of scattering). In Checheno-Ingushetiya funds were destroyed with the formulation: “have no special value, but can be used against the Soviet state. Unreasonable destruction of documents took place also because of the heads who didn't want or didn't manage to organise evacuation of archives.

From 71 329 funds, on the eve of war stored in state and departmental archives of the Russian Federation, the initial damage was 44 897 funds, i.e. 63 percent of huge archival property.

The search of archival documents began with formation in December, 1945 of archival department of the Soviet military authorities in Germany and archival branches in provinces of the Soviet zone of occupation of Germany. In total it revealed about 90 storehouses of archival documents. The largest of them - storehouses of the central archives of Germany (Prussian state secret archive in Berlin-Daleme and Imperial archive in Potsdam). However the inspection of these storehouses, and also in Shenebeke and Shtassfurte wasn't in time that negatively affected on the results of search of the taken out Russian materials. Subsequently the Berlin archive appeared in the American zone of occupation where the Russian archivists had no access.

The general results of activity СВАГ on search and sending home the taken out cultural values were very modest.

The most part of the documents which had been taken out by nazis from Novgorod, was found out by the Novgorod archivists in Riga and was delivered to Novgorod in 1945

Soon after the war from Vilnius it was possible to return to Smolensk the part of the documents of the State archive of the Smolensk region taken out by Hitlerites. From Riga archival materials of the Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov areas were delivered.

The federal archive of Germany in 1997 transferred to the Russian Archive a considerable quantity of copies of the documentary photographs which had been taken out by employees of the Staff of Rosenberg in days of the Great Patriotic War from territory of the USSR. Documents of film documentary photographs arrived in the Russian state archive.

In December, 2002 to Russia from the USA there arrived documents of the Smolensk regional party archive grasped by Hitlerites during the occupation of Smolensk.

The Russian archivists, working in Military archive of Germany in the city of Frejburge and in Federal archive of Germany in the city of Koblenz, found out that for 1941-1943, various documents on carrying out of political work operative documents and cards of operations of Bryansk front, leaflets and the reference of guerrilla groups were stored in parts of Red Army.

The complex taken out to years of war of the Soviet documents on an economic situation and strategic value of areas of Kuban and Maikop (the card, the scheme, the diagramme) were revealed. In military archive there is a guidebook on film-copies of the Soviet military documents grasped by the German armies in Stalingrade. Originals of the specified documents are stored in National archive of the USA as a part of the collection “The archives of Alexandria”.



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