The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition “Soldiers of Victory – Christian Warriors”

soldaty_pobedy2December 19, 2014 – January 14, 2015
Local History Museum of Krapivna

December 19, 2014 is the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Krapivna from the German army after a two-month occupation. By a surprising coincidence, this occurred on the holiday of Nikolay the Miracle-Worker, a saint for whom the Krapivna cathedral is named. Some people believe that the saint himself helped the town withstand and drive off the occupiers.

The exhibition “Soldiers of Victory – Christian Warriors” is dedicated to this event. It tells about the church employees and officials of the Tula eparchy, who heroically went through the Great Patriotic War and then in peacetime took holy orders.


This topic remained unstudied for a long time by both secular and church historians. Secular history more than likely did not want to admit that a person educated in an atmosphere of militant atheism, under conditions of repression of the church, could become a believer during the years when those going into battle uttered as parting words “I wish to be considered a Communist.” And in church circles there were no people who were able at the time to chronicle these striking facts of acquiring faith in the war. It required the passage of several decades in order for both parties to be able to look at the events of the Great Patriotic War from a new point of view.

How was faith acquired during the whistling of bullets? Is it possible to believe in Love, when surrounded by hatred? Why, seeing death every day, did a belief in eternal life arise? Each of the heroes of the exhibition had his own answers to these questions, but for each his joining the church it was totally natural. At war, a soldier bore the heavy, bloody burden of fighting the enemy. In church, taking holy orders, each of them continued on a difficult, but heartfelt care, that of service: to fight with an enemy – invisible, elusive, but sometimes much more dangerous than an armed person, an enemy that encroached on the human soul.


The exhibition is made up of archival materials of the Tula eparchy by the joint efforts of the Tula Ecclesiastical Seminary and the Tula Defense Museum. In the exhibit there are shown items from the archeological repository of the seminary relating to the period of the Great Patriotic War, and copies of personal files preserved in the eparchy’s offices.

The exhibition opening is only part of the program of the memorial day which begins at 14:00 with the laying of flowers on the monument at the common grave in the center of Krapivna. And at 16:00 ar the meeting place (“English Club”) in the cultural center (village of Krapivna, Kommunarov Street, No. 31A), there will be a showing of the film “Prisoner of Eternal Fire,” shot by the Tula director Sergey Allenov. The film tells about the former young prisoner of the Fascist camps who sets out for the homeland of his friend, a Frenchman.

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