Than residents of Petrograd were shocked by the first Soviet crematorium

History 19/01/20 the Crematorium at the Donskoy cemetery in Moskvicham residents of Petrograd were shocked by the first Soviet crematorium

Seizing power, the Bolsheviks sought to flip the traditional attitude of the Russian people not only to life but to death. As “the achievement of the European civilization” was applied to the opening in 1920, the year the country’s first crematorium. However, he worked for only 3 months.

“the Department of godlessness”

In the struggle with the Church, the Communists have embarked on the eradication of traditional everyday rituals, including the funeral. Therefore, in a country where people were freezing in their homes due to the lack of fuel, thousands of cubic meters of firewood was provided for the incineration of corpses.

in 1919, When the idea of building a crematorium in Petrograd, the city government even announced a competition for the best project under the slogan “the Crematorium – Department of atheism”. In times of famine the architects approached the project with great enthusiasm, sending about 200 drawings. But the money for a separate building was not. As a result of the project Artemia Gorohova a crematorium was rebuilt bath complex on Vasilievsky island (building No. 95-97 for 14 lines). In under the guidance of Professor of the Mining Institute, Vyacheslav Lipina, has mounted a cremation furnace, “metallurg”.

for the First time the burning corpse in the crematorium, was held on 14 December 1920. Pre-in a solemn ceremony, city officials chose a morgue for these purposes, the body of 19-year-old soldier Malysheva (for “ceremony” was attended by the poet Nikolai Gumilev and the artist Yuri Annenkov). The result of cremation of Professor Liping described as “quite successful”, although the procedure was delayed for 2 hours and 48 minutes.

For the posthumous promotion of the new rite, the authorities have allowed access to the crematorium to everyone. Visit dark places has become a favorite pastime of party members and representatives of the Petrograd Bohemia. For example, loved to carry their stateTey crematorium in a prominent functionary of Petrochemically, Bolshevik Boris Kaplun, which, in fact, belonged the initiative to open hitherto unseen companies.

“Spit the dead on the heels of”

Visited the crematorium of petrograda was struck not so much by the procedure of burning much prevailed in this atmosphere of cynicism.

“the Revolution took away the old rituals and decorum and gave their. All in caps, Smoking and talking about the bodies, how about the dogs”, — wrote in his diary on 3 January 1921 the writer Korney Chukovsky.

the Audience, watching the process, animatedly discussing the sequence in which burning organs of the human body – from popping in the first minute of the eye, and ending cancer tumors, which are usually burned last.

Not differed respect for the deceased and employees of the crematorium. According to the testimony of Kaplun, usually, to distinguish the dead from the other, he spat on the heel and removed the name of the ink pencil.

“I had the feeling that the ceremonies are generally no left, all straight, frankly. Who cares the name of the unwanted carrion, which is now put in the oven. Would burn quickly – that’s all. But carrion, unfortunately, not burned. The furnace was Soviet engineers were Soviet, the Soviet dead were all at odds, somehow, barely,” — he described what is happening Chukovsky.

Unsurprisingly, the people, preserve the remains of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity, seen in the crematorium could only reinforce the view, expressed officially in 1909, the Holy Synod, that the burning of corpses is a “blasphemous matter”. People burn their dead in no hurry. Of the 379 bodies have passed through the furnace during the operation of the crematorium, only 16 were burned at the request of relatives or in accord with the will of the deceased. Other burned “administrative order” — in other words, it was unclaimed by the relatives of the body, most often people died from typhus.

the Petrograd crematorium ceased operations on 21 Feliar 1921. According to one version, over the wood, the other broke the oven. The closure of the establishment coincided with the resignation of the Capon. Following the crematorium in the USSR was opened in 1927 in Moscow. Despite active propaganda, the burning of the corpses are unable to push from use of traditional forms of burial.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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