Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Massacre of the Cossacks at Lienz, Austria

This image is a black and white version of “The Betrayal of the Cossacks at Lienz” by S.G. Korolkoff, with a German inscription.
Click on image for a full color, enlargement of the original painting

The Rutland Herald has a very interesting article about the 60th anniversary of the Massacre of the Cossacks at the end of World War II, by the British and Soviets. It mentions Fr. Michael Protopopov as speaking and serving the memorial service that took place.

I got to meet Fr. Michael when I went to Australia in December of 2000. I think he got almost as much a kick out of meeting a cowboy boot wearing Deacon (at that time) from Texas (with my accompanying mannerism and manner of speaking) who had converted to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, as I did out of meeting a Russian Priest from an aristocratic Russian family, knighted by the Queen of England, with an Australian accent, a great sense of humor, an incredible sense of history, a deeply rooted and balanced Orthodox spirituality, and a jolly disposition. I enjoyed listening to him in particular, and he and the other Aussies apparently enjoyed listening to me. They kept asking me to repeat certain phrases, and then laughing. Some phrases, I could figure out why (like when I used the phrase "chewing buddy" to refer to a close friend), but other phrases I couldn't see the humor of... but they did.

I was fortunate enough to get to spend time with Fr. Michael again at a clergy conference in New York in 2003.

As I recall, he wrote a book about the Massacre at Lienz, and "Operation Keel Haul". It is amazing how many dark chapters of history, such as this, are almost completely unknown to the vast majority of people.

You can see pictures of the service that took place, as well as the monument in Lienz by clicking here.