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The Trump Tripartite

Much like living in America in a post 9/11 world, living in in the aftermath of the Decembrist revolt brought a certain paranoia to the Russian regime. So deep was the neurosis that in 1833 Sergey Uvarov-the Minister of Education of Russia-presented the following statement of ideology:
"It is our common obligation to ensure that the education of the people be conducted, according to Supreme intention of our August Monarch, in the joint spirit of Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality. I am convinced that every professor and teacher, being permeated by one and the same feeling of devotion to the throne and fatherland, will use all his resources to become a worthy tool for the government and to earn its complete confidence." Thus began The Triad of Official Nationality (Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality). Although it is understood that interpretations of the Trinity are different than they were in the 19th century, commonalities still exist. In fact, so common are the core …

The Photograph

A photograph hung in the hallway of my childhood home in Chicago. It wasn’t hard to see, a Russian relic among family photos and quirky plaques of the 1980’s. You know the type: a wood slab etched with a warm inscription like Welcome to the [insert surname] Home, or a list of moral lessons disguised as house rules—If you open it… close it. If you make a mess… clean it up—or my personal favorite, If you break it… don’t try to fix it.

  But as a child, a photograph of my great-grandfather Anatole Poraykoshitz intrigued me more than a list of aphorisms scrawled into part of a sawed-off tree trunk. Like a puzzle, I’d piece together the archaic image with lion-hearted stories told to me. Tales which elevated Anatole to general status in the tsar’s army. The rank of general fit with the ornamental uniform he wore, I thought. Or his straight posture indicated he might be a man, who against formidable odds escaped to the United States to avoid persecution by the hands of the Bolsheviks.

     The truth, however, resided somewhere in the middle. Anatole was born in Russia in 1874, attended the prestigious Pavlovsk Military College and graduated 2nd lieutenant in 1st reserve artillery brigade. Although Anatole never rose to the higher commander status of general, he did ascend to staff captain (Stabs-kapitan) which is a respectable accomplishment. The fact is Anatole, and his family hadn’t fled Russia to evade capture - the coup d’état would happen almost a year and a half after the Poraykoshitzs arrived in America, but rather Anatole came on assignment in the capacity as inspector of artillery orders under control of the Russian Artillery Commission.
    Although the truth isn’t as glamorous as it appeared in a young boy’s mind, it’s certainly good enough for me.


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