Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: The society in...
 Chapter II: The society in...
 Chapter III: The "Dark decade,"...
 Chapter IV: Rossika's revival in...
 Chapter V: Rossika and Soviet...
 Appendix 1: The honored members...
 Appendix 2: List of Rossika members,...
 Appendix 2A: Membership lists and...
 Appendix 3: List of Rossika members,...
 Appendix 3A: Membership lists and...
 Appendix 4: List of Rossika journals...
 Appendix 5: Journal awards at international...
 Appendix 6: The journal through...
 Appendix 7: Transliteration...
 Name index to Chapters 1-5 and...

Title: Short history of the Rossika Society (1929-1968)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072138/00001
 Material Information
Title: Short history of the Rossika Society (1929-1968)
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Skipton, David M.
Publisher: Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Subject: Stamp collections -- Russia   ( lcsh )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072138
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Chapter I: The society in Europe
        Page 1
        "Nashe obshchestvo, nash zhurnal"
            Page 1
            Page 2
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
        The founder, Yevgeniy Mikhaylovich Arkhangel'skiy (Eugene Arkhangelsky)
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
        The society's infancy
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
        Rossika's Yugoslavian world
            Page 21
        The collapse of Rossika in Europe
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
        The journal in Europe
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
        Rossika in the U.S.
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
    Chapter II: The society in China
        Page 33
        Rossika in China, 1940-1941
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
        The journal in China
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
    Chapter III: The "Dark decade," RAPS and the Slavic Societies
        Page 41
        The "Dark Decade," 1942-1952
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
        Rossika's awakening
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
        The Pan-Slav Society
            Page 49
        The Society of Ukrainian Philatelists
            Page 50
            Page 51
    Chapter IV: Rossika's revival in the United States
        Page 52
        Chebotkevich and Lavrov
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
        Grigoriy (Greg) Bondarenko-Salisbury
            Page 57
            Page 58
        The early days in the U.S.
            Page 59
            Page 60
        "Whither Rossika?" continues
            Page 61
            Page 62
        The journal in the U.S. and its awards
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
        The journal's "graphics department"
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
        Rossika/Rossica and the BSRP
            Page 82
        "RASKOL!" (The Schism, 1960-1961)
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
        The breakaway journal and the Russian-American philatelic club
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
        Rossika in Europe
            Page 97
        The Rossika Society after the split (1962-1968)
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
        The U.S. chapters
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
        Rossika's last days
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
    Chapter V: Rossika and Soviet philately
        Page 108
        Philately in imperial Russia
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
        Philately in the pre-Stalinist Era (1918-1929)
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
        Rossika and Soviet philately during the Stalinist Era (1930-1953)
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
        Rossika and Soviet philately in the post-Stalinist Era (1954-1968)
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
        Page 138
    Appendix 1: The honored members of Rossika (1930-1964)
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    Appendix 2: List of Rossika members, 1929-1941
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    Appendix 2A: Membership lists and supplements used in the compilation of Appendix 2
        Page 169
        Page 170
    Appendix 3: List of Rossika members, 1952-1969
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
    Appendix 3A: Membership lists and supplements used in the compilation of Appendix 3
        Page 188
        Page 189
    Appendix 4: List of Rossika journals (1930-1968)
        Page 190
        Page 191
    Appendix 5: Journal awards at international exhibitions
        Page 192
    Appendix 6: The journal through the years (1930-1968)
        Page 193
        Page 194
    Appendix 7: Transliteration table
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Name index to Chapters 1-5 and Appendix 1
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
Full Text

A Short History of the

Rossika Society

(1929 1968)

By David M. Skipton


*; >" ,.' .,

Published by the Rossica Society of Russian Philately



Forew ord.................. ................. ................... ........... i
Acknowledgements................... .................. .................... ........ iii

Chapter One: The Society in Europe

"Nashe obshchestvo, nash zhurnal"........... ...... ............ ............... 1
The founder, Yevgeniy Mikhaylovich Arkhangel'skiy (Eugene Arkhangelsky)... 6
The Society's Infancy................... .................... .......................... 11
Rossika's Yugoslavian w orld.............................................................. 21
The collapse of Rossika in Europe.................................................... 22
The Journal in Europe................... .............................................. 25
Rossika in the U. S.................................... ............................. 28

Chapter Two: The Society in China

Rossika in China, 1940-1941 ......................... ................... .......... 33
The Journal in China........................................ .................... ...... 38

Chapter Three: The "Dark Decade," RAPS and the Slavic Societies

The "Dark Decade," 1942-1952................. ................... 41
RAPS (The Russian American Philatelic Society) ......... ....... ........ 41
Rossika' s Awakening ............ ......... ..... ........................... 46
The Pan-Slav Society ............ ............................ .. .......... 49
The Society of Ukrainian Philatelists........... ...... ... ............... 50

Chapter Four: Rossika's Revival in the United States

Chebotkevich and Lavrov ........................ ....................... 53
Grigoriy (Greg) Bondarenko-Salisbury..... ................................... 57
The Early Days in the U.S................ ................... ....................... 59
"W hither Rossika?" Continues......................... ........ ............. ..... 61
The Journal in the U.S. and Its Awards .......... .............................. 63
The Journal's "Graphics Department".................. ...................... ..... 75
Rossika/Rossica and the BSRP............................................ .......... 82
"RASKOL!" (The Schism, 1960-1961).................................... ........ 83
The Breakaway Journal and the Russian-American Philatelic Club................. 93
Rossika in Europe........................................................ ......... ..... 97
The Rossika Society After the Split (1962-1968)...................................... 98
The U .S. Chapters....................................... ............. ........ ..... 101
Rossika's Last Days....................................... ..................... ..... 105

Chapter Five: Rossika and Soviet Philately

Philately in Imperial Russia ...... ......... .................................. .......... 108
Philately in the pre-Stalinist Era (1918-1929)..................................... 111
Rossika and Soviet Philately during the Stalinist Era (1930-1953)................. 126
Rossika and Soviet Philately in the post-Stalinist Era (1954-1968)................ 130

Postscript...................................... ..................................... 138


Appendix 1 The Honored Members of Rossika (1930-1965)..................... 139
Appendix 2 List of Rossika Members, 1929-1941 .......................... 143
Appendix 2A Membership Lists and Supplements Used in the Compilation of
A appendix 2 ............................. ....... ................... ...... ........ 169
Appendix 3 List of Rossika Members, 1952 -1969......................... 171
Appendix 3A Membership Lists and Supplements Used in the Compilation of
Appendix 3 ............ .. ......... ... .. ....... .............. 188
Appendix 4 List of Rossika Journals (1930-1968)................................. 190
Appendix 5 Journal Awards at International Exhibitions.............................. 192
Appendix 6 The Journal Through the Years (1930-1968) ........................ 193
Appendix 7 Transliteration Chart............................... 195
Bibliography..................................... ................... ....... ....... 196
N am e Index...................................... .................... .... .......... .. 199


I joined Rossica in 1977 while stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany, and didn't get
to meet some of "the big guns" in the Society until my return to the States in 1979 -
Norman Epstein, Boris Shishkin, Rimma Sklarevski, Constantine de Stackelberg, Gordon
Torrey (all now deceased), Howard Weinert and Ken Wilson, to name just those in New
York and the Washington, D.C. area. As a neophyte who had started out collecting
Soviet CTOs in 1975, I was in awe of these people. Their names were plastered all over
what few journals I had managed to acquire, and even in the German stamp shops this GI
had haunted, the Rossica Society name was well known.

When Gordon asked me to serve as acting librarian in 1980, it was with a great amount of
trepidation that I accepted. There was not a single Russian within hailing distance of my
family tree, yet I had just become a junior officer in a society that only a short while
before had been of, by and for White Russians. The library was moved from New York
down to Maryland, and the trepidation increased as I read through the old journals in
Russian, the ones from Yugoslavia, Latvia, Estonia and China. There was an awful lot of
history and tradition in there, and the sense of Rossica as something more than just
another "stamp-collecting society" began to grow. The Old Orthography, the quaint
phraseology, the subject matter, all had a distinctly White Russian tsarist Russian -
flavor. And it was plain to see that the people to whom I looked up were themselves
standing on the shoulders of others.

There were so few of those White Russians left. Rossica was (and still is) a link with an
era that had begun to die in 1918, an era that had seen a great exodus and Diaspora of
refugees fleeing the communists. Some of those first-wave refugees had taught me
Russian, and their stories of how they escaped the Soviets were hair-raising. Their straits
(and those of the early Rossika members) in exile had been dire. For many, the military
or social status they had enjoyed in Russia was vastly greater than their new station in
emigre life. Reading of this, the comparison between my footwear and theirs was
inevitably forced. If I had been in their shoes, had fought against an alien ideology that
hounded me from my country and chased me to some foreign land with little but the
clothes on my back, would I have given to philately so much as a second thought or cared
a tinker's damn about it? Doubtful. These people, though, landed on their feet, made the
best of a terrible situation, and a few of them even managed to start a worldwide
organization for collectors. It wasn't just the collecting instinct that compelled them,
although that undoubtedly played a role; no, it was more than that. For them it was a
means of preserving some part, however small, of Old Russia, and of preserving their
own Russian-ness in emigration. (Read D. Leus' comment below, and you'll get some
idea of what I mean.)

For me, there is a palpable sense of Rossica as something unique and worth preserving.
True, we're not a society of emigre Russians any more, although there are some in our
ranks. Most of us don't even speak or read Russian, nor do we have to worry about
where our next meal is coming from. We are not nearly as scattered a society as once we

were, and today, were they still alive, the old members would probably have difficulty
recognizing their society. Still, there's this THING about Rossica, even today. How
many other philatelic societies can claim that they were born in exile, grew up always on
the move in the Great Depression, fell into a fitful coma in World War II, awoke out of
the DP camps, underwent a profound change in the composition of their memberships,
published a first-rate journal in five countries on three continents (often in two languages,
and with a third threatened), and are still around today? There are not many,1 and they
look rather different today, too.

I've learned a lot from this Society, and not just about philately, either. That and the
desire to impart to other members a sense of Rossica as something special are what
motivated me to write this history. Since many of our members today have little or no
command of Russian, much of that initial period prior to WWII has been closed to them,
and if the information in the Rossica Archives isn't published, it may well disappear
forever. We're very fortunate to have the library we do, but there's no guarantee that
fire, flood, or some other disaster won't rob us of it.

This work is part history project, part archival inventory recording, part dusty old
membership list and part family scrap album, and there are plenty of places where other
members might add this or correct that. As more information comes to light, perhaps
some of the cherished notions it contains will have to be altered or heaved overboard.

As for the title, I chose "A h.\, t History of the Rossica Society" for several reasons.
First, because even at 200+ pages, it is just that, and far too short, in fact, because among
the Society's members were many more fascinating stories that ought to have been
recounted, if only they had been found or heard.

Second, it is a respectful nod to our sister society the BSRP, with which we have shared
much, especially during the 1950s and '60s. John Barry wrote "A .Nhi, t History of the
BSRP "2 in 1959, back when there weren't that many years to tell about. This "response,"
as it were, comes 47 years later. The dialogue is slow, but if this publication serves as an
inducement to our British brethren to keep the conversation going and produce a second
"[Not So] Short History of the BSRP," the philatelic world can only be enriched thereby.

Third, the title alludes to the 1937 "A h.\, t Course in the History of the USSR," edited
by Shestakov but produced at Stalin's behest. I made this allusion because our Society
would not have existed were it not for that other history, a history not short enough by 73
long years. Had there been no coup in October 1917, no Bolsheviks, no Mensheviks, no
Lenin or Stalin, Rossika's members would most likely have been part of a thriving
national philatelic society instead.

This history isn't complete by any means. Too many of the people I'd like to have
interviewed are gone. In too many places, only the fossil record in the journals and
bulletins is left. But if you, the Rossica member, enjoy reading this history just half as

1 The Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society is one such. See Chapter Three.
2 BSRP Bulletin No. 2, July 1959, pp. 14-17.

much as I enjoyed researching and writing it, it will be an unqualified success. It will be
an even greater success if it encourages others to add to it. And perhaps, just perhaps, if
we as a society survive the onslaught of the virtual, digital world, if we remember that to
be a society means more than an aggregate of individuals pursuing similar philatelic
material, that it also entails the camaraderie of a shared interest and a shared knowledge,
and especially the company of good friends, then we may look forward to a future that
will look back on us and our works, and write our history.

David M. Skipton
Greenbelt, Maryland
May 2006


Much of A .\h,,t History of the Rossica Society would have been difficult if not
impossible to write without the input of Rostislav Polchaninoff (now one of our oldest
members), Norman Epstein, and Gordon Torrey. I only wish the last two were here to
accept my thanks for their help. Gordey Denisenko and Mikhail Skvortsov also rendered
invaluable assistance for their research on Eugene Arkhangelsky and the Russian
academies at Bela Crkva. My thanks to Steve Alushin, for prodding me to finish this
undertaking, and then for doing a first-rate proofreading job on the initial draft. I am
indebted to Leon Finik, who donated old Rossika material to our library, shared his
knowledge about some of the people who figured so prominently in our Society's history,
and arranged a taped interview with Jacques Marcovitch, Emile's son. He was also
relentless in tracking down Rossika leads in the New York area. Thanks to him, some
holes were plugged in our understanding of early Rossika and its American reincarnation.
Arnold Levin graciously supplied a critical lead on early Rossika membership lists, one
that brought us to a place I would never have thought to look the Popov Museum of
Communications. Arnold then arranged with the museum's Director, Lyudmilla
Nikolayevna Bakayutova, for photocopies to be sent. Natalia Izyumova very kindly took
the time to write a short biography of I.N. Rubakh, and came up with two remarkable
exhibition awards given to Rubakh in 1937. A resounding "Bol'shoye spasibo!" to all
three for their important help. To Peter Ashford, Dr. Raymond Casey, Gary Combs, Don
Heller, Jacques Marcovitch, Michael McKenzie, Jack Moyes, Bill Nickle, Jeff Radcliffe,
Nick Sorokin, Sandy von Stackelberg, Denys Voaden, Steve Volis and George Werbizky,
my deep appreciation and thanks for their input and contributions, and especially to my
wife Cathy, for yet more proof-reading and her invaluable moral support and patience as
The History Hole swallowed up her husband.

To those upon whose works we build...


The Society in Europe

"Our aim is to unite Russian
philatelists and provide them ii i/l
,ROSSII a decent, learned, Russian
philatelic journal, which is why we
have taken upon ourselves this
back-breaking task. "1

"Nashe obshchestvo, nash zhurnal"

Our society was born on 14 April 1929 at Igalo, Yugoslavia, but it didn't begin as the
"Rossica Society of Russian Philately;" rather, it was called "Rossika The Russian
Society of Philatelists in Yugoslavia (ROFRYu)." It was not an auspicious year to start a
society, philatelic or otherwise. The Crash of '29 in the U.S. heralded the coming of the
Great Depression, the effects of which would be felt strongly around the world.2 Social
and economic convulsions were wracking the Soviet Union; 1929 was the year Stalin
consolidated his power over the CPSU, and his "cult of personality" began to grow.
Forced collectivization initiated in June of that year brought disaster to the peasants as
millions of them were rounded up and herded onto state farms, and millions more died in
the resulting artificially-produced famine that stretched into 1933. Ration cards appeared
for the first time since the New Economic Policy (NEP) was declared, and peasant riots
and demonstrations became commonplace. In 1929 a second general purge was
declared, one that cut through the country's bureaucracy like a scythe. Religion came
under intensified attack, as Article 13 of the Soviet constitution, the one that had
guaranteed the freedom of religion, was amended. "Propagation of religion now became
a crime against the state. Priests and their families were deprived of civil rights," and
churches were destroyed by the hundreds.4 Stalin bulldozed what remained of Russian
art and literature under a pile of conformity to the state.

Soviet philately also began to suffer in 1929, and its slide into isolation began in earnest
in 1930, when membership in foreign societies was forbidden. For Russian emigres
watching their homeland lurch from one contrived disaster to another, it was a time of
great melancholy. Dmitriy Leus, one of the early members, expressed the sentiments he
and other Russians felt so deeply: "The stamp collections we have formed i th such great

1 Arkhangelsky, Rossika No. 1, p. 2.
2 Much of Europe was already suffering from an ecomic crisis before 1929. France, for instance, was hit in
1927. Coincidentally, that was the year that the Russian Society of Philatelists, Numismatists and
Collectors of Scripophily was formed in Paris, so Rossika was not alone in its unfortunate timing.
3 Courtois et al., The Black Book of Communism, pp. 145-146.
4 Heller and Nekrich, Utopia in Power, pp. 223-224.


The Society in Europe

"Our aim is to unite Russian
philatelists and provide them ii i/l
,ROSSII a decent, learned, Russian
philatelic journal, which is why we
have taken upon ourselves this
back-breaking task. "1

"Nashe obshchestvo, nash zhurnal"

Our society was born on 14 April 1929 at Igalo, Yugoslavia, but it didn't begin as the
"Rossica Society of Russian Philately;" rather, it was called "Rossika The Russian
Society of Philatelists in Yugoslavia (ROFRYu)." It was not an auspicious year to start a
society, philatelic or otherwise. The Crash of '29 in the U.S. heralded the coming of the
Great Depression, the effects of which would be felt strongly around the world.2 Social
and economic convulsions were wracking the Soviet Union; 1929 was the year Stalin
consolidated his power over the CPSU, and his "cult of personality" began to grow.
Forced collectivization initiated in June of that year brought disaster to the peasants as
millions of them were rounded up and herded onto state farms, and millions more died in
the resulting artificially-produced famine that stretched into 1933. Ration cards appeared
for the first time since the New Economic Policy (NEP) was declared, and peasant riots
and demonstrations became commonplace. In 1929 a second general purge was
declared, one that cut through the country's bureaucracy like a scythe. Religion came
under intensified attack, as Article 13 of the Soviet constitution, the one that had
guaranteed the freedom of religion, was amended. "Propagation of religion now became
a crime against the state. Priests and their families were deprived of civil rights," and
churches were destroyed by the hundreds.4 Stalin bulldozed what remained of Russian
art and literature under a pile of conformity to the state.

Soviet philately also began to suffer in 1929, and its slide into isolation began in earnest
in 1930, when membership in foreign societies was forbidden. For Russian emigres
watching their homeland lurch from one contrived disaster to another, it was a time of
great melancholy. Dmitriy Leus, one of the early members, expressed the sentiments he
and other Russians felt so deeply: "The stamp collections we have formed i th such great

1 Arkhangelsky, Rossika No. 1, p. 2.
2 Much of Europe was already suffering from an ecomic crisis before 1929. France, for instance, was hit in
1927. Coincidentally, that was the year that the Russian Society of Philatelists, Numismatists and
Collectors of Scripophily was formed in Paris, so Rossika was not alone in its unfortunate timing.
3 Courtois et al., The Black Book of Communism, pp. 145-146.
4 Heller and Nekrich, Utopia in Power, pp. 223-224.

difficulty are the only consolation we have in our gloomy exile. "5 There was yet another
consolation the journal itself: "This is not a journal but a little encyclopedia. Whenever
I am sad, and I want to remember my bit /iphi, e, Russia, I shall open the pages of the
journal, read it, and again feel a bit better. "6

Russian exiles had washed up on many shores during the first great wave of the Diaspora,
with large concentrations forming in Paris, Berlin, the Baltic States, New York and San
Francisco, Harbin and Shanghai. Even Bela Crkva in Yugoslavia attracted many Russian
refugees, as there were two sizable Russian schools there; one for girls and the other a
military school for boys aged 10-18. But to forge a philatelic society out of so widely
scattered a "clientele" and then hold it together required a frequent, regular journal that
would address their collecting interests. And not long after the society was founded, the
first journal appeared. More about that later.

"Rossika" was not the first attempt at a Russian philatelic journal among the emigres.
That honor fell to "Filateliya," the first number of which appeared in Prague in 1929.
Judging by V.N. Agapeyev's remarks, however, the honor was for the effort and not the
quality. "...One cannot seriously consider the dull and illiterate little journal
'Filateliya,' started ...by a certain Yudenkov, as a true Russian journal. To everyone's
delight, it died an unlamented death after [only] two issues. ", Rossika came second, but
it met with far greater success.

Nor was Rossika the first Russian philatelic organization in exile. Although
Arkhangelsky had given thought to forming a society as early as 1924,8 it took him five
years to realize his dream. Meanwhile, before Rossika there was a "Russian Society of
Philatelists, Numismatists and Collectors of Scripophily," formed in Paris in 1927 under
the leadership of Vladimir Ivanovich Medvedev (d. 1943).9 It boasted several hundred
members in France and abroad, a number it would take Rossika almost a decade to equal.
Even as of 1929 it could count 135 members and two "sections" outside of Paris, one in
Nice and the other in Shanghai.10 Some of them would add to Rossika's ranks.

5 D. Leus, Rossika No. 1, p. 9.
6 "Mr. K.," from an excerpt of a letter to Chebotkevich, reprinted inRossika No. 45, p. 1.
SAgapeyev, [Peredovaya], inRossika No. 3, October 1930, p. 1.
8 Salisbury, Eugene M. Archangelsky, in Rossika No. 44, p. 12.
9 Medvedev was a mining engineer and a zemstvo stamp dealer in Paris during the 1920s. (Information
from the 1929 Exposition de la society Russe des philatelists..., p. 10, a phone conversation with Leon
Finik on 15 February 1999, & Rossika Bulletin No. 1, 15 October 1952, p. 1. Strangely enough,
although this was a well-established international organization with the same stated goals as Rossika, it
failed to survive, perhaps due to the lack of a regularjournal and, among other not so insignificant things,
Germany's 1940 invasion of France.
10 Agapeyev, Vsevolod Nikolayevich, "Drugfilatelista, Paris, 1929, p. 59, and Marcovitch, Rossika
Bulletin No. 15, p. 3.

At right: The cover of the description for
the Russian Society of Philatelists,
Numismatists and Collectors of
Scripophily's 5-12 May 1929 exposition
in Paris. (Rossica Archives.)

The emphasis in this Rossika Society
venture was on Russian. The Society
would be run by Russians, the journal
was to be written in Russian, mostly by
Russians, for Russians. It was to be
"nashe obshchestvo" (our society) and
"nash zhurnal" (our journal), and the
sense of ours was keenly felt.

Be HIa IALran n.r"
BS Non-Russians were free to join, of course, but
they would find it tough sledding without a
working knowledge of the language. Russian
ai numismatists and scripophilists were officially
welcomed to the Journal in #3, and the first of
-. many articles on these allied collecting fields
) 05 If1I B [II saw print in #4. In later years, erinophilia
mix.(non-postal stamps) would be added to the

It was a journal for Russian philatelists more
than it was a journal for those interested in
-- .Russian philately. The early issues contained a
.,-, lot of information on non-Russian areas;
Yugoslavian stamps figured prominently, as
..A P H did many of the Balkan and Eastern European
j92 issues.

"The Philatelist's Friend,"
published by V.N. Agapeyev (a
Rossika member) in 1929.

Even Norway's stamps received considerable attention. Regardless of its content,
though, the Rossika Journal was the only Russian-language philatelic publication printed
outside of the USSR, and its members were proud of it. (Indeed, for a number of years it
was the only Russian-language philatelic journal in the world.)

This part of our history, from 1929 to 1968, is the story of how the Rossika of yesterday
turned into the Rossica of today. Perhaps, without the upheavals of the Great Depression
and WWII, Rossika could have retained its distinctive Russian flavor for a while longer,
but those two blows only hastened its demise as a Russian organization. Rossika's
evolution into "Rossica" had begun well before WWII. Rossika in the beginning was a
national society in exile, in the sense that almost all of its members were from the
territory of a single empire, but because they were scattered around the globe, Rossika
was forced to be an international Russian philatelic organization, too. Since its homeland
was closed to it, the Society was cut off from its natural base, Russia. That is where
successive crops of new Russian philatelists would normally have been recruited, but
those were not normal times, so its pool of potential "native" members was necessarily
far smaller, and that pool would inevitably shrink. During the Russian Diaspora, the
large concentrations of emigres in various cities and countries were fertile grounds for
Rossika branches, sections and clubs to start, but each one of them would have to contend
with the "pull" of that particular nation on the cohesion of the Society. So long as the
membership in those groups was predominantly Russian, the pull of the nation could be
resisted. But when many of those concentrations were cut off, drastically reduced or
eliminated by war, their much-lessened numbers became unable to serve as a
counterweight to that pull. As events chased the Society's publication, its center of
gravity, from one end of the world to the other, as more and more "foreign" collectors
joined its ranks and its Russian members died off, the more diluted its Russian
membership became.

The first harbinger of the impending trend came in 1934, a mere five years after the
Society's founding, when Russian collectors in China formed the Russian Philatelic
Society in China (RPSC). It attracted many members not just Russians, but Chinese,
Germans, Englishmen and others, too.

The second portent followed close on its heels, half a world away. Arkhangelsky had
remarked on the increasing interest in Russian philately among non-Russians, especially
in London, where in 1936 the "Study Circle for Russian Stamps" was formed under the
presidency of Dr. Alfred Wortman and the secretaryship of Vivian Pickering,11 himself a
Rossika member.

1 Alas, no photo of Pickering appears to have survived in the Rossica or BSRP archives. He served in the
Royal Engineers in WWII, suffered a wound to his leg from a mine explosion in Italy, but survived and
returned to Great Britain. Although he corresponded with Wortman about philately after the war, he
never attended another BSRP meeting. He passed away in 1948 at the age of 43. Wortman was not a
member of Rossika at the time the Study Circle was founded, but he joined in later years. (The British
Journal ofRussian Philately, No. 1, December 1946, p. 2 and No. 3, June 1949, p. 28. I am indebted to
Dr. Raymond Casey for obtaining this information.)

Then came WWII. Some of Rossika's problems at that point were hardly unique to it; no
philatelic society, especially any nationally-based organization in Europe, was immune to
the effects of this global conflagration. The young Study Circle, tightly concentrated in
the British Isles, is a case in point. Britain was being bombed and threatened with
invasion, neither circumstance of which was particularly conducive to philatelic pursuits,
and the Circle was forced to hunker down and wait. "The Russian Study Circle (as we
call our Society)... went along rather slowly and modestly at first. We have never had a
printed Journal but issued typescript notes. Pickering has been serving in the forces and
I agreed to take on the Secretaryship for the duration. I have not had time to do more
than keep the research Packet going around, but we hope to do better now. "12 Not long
after that, the "Circle" became the British Society of Russian Philately, and its journal
would be the first strictly English-language publication devoted to that field.

The BSRP, though, owed its rapid recovery after the war to the fact that it was a national
society within a single country. What was left of its forces was concentrated in a small
geographic area. Rossika's membership, on the other hand, was dead, imprisoned,
interned, on the run or attempting to adjust to a new country, a new refuge. Its forces
were scattered over a vast geographic area. Regrouping and recovering would take
longer, and in that process is to be found the reason why it is Rossica-with-a-"c" today.

BRITISH JOURNAL' The BSRP's first journal (December 1946)
kRusimL Plilatell and Dr. Alfred Wortman.13

12 Letter from Wortman to Sklarevski, dated 14 September 1945. (Rossica Archives.) The BSRP had
somewhat fewer founders at its inception than didRossika. After Pickering's 3 May 1936 letter to the
Stamp Collectors TF. n, ri,,,1ii requesting the interested to gather, and after an informal meeting on 4 June
1936, the first formal meeting took place on 31 October 1936 with seven co-founding members:
Wortman, Pickering, L. Bassingthwaite, W.H.H. Huddy, A.W. Greaves, Charles Stibbe and W.E.
Hughes. (H.L. Lindquist, British Society ofRussian Philately Celebrates Silver Jubilee, in Stamps, 29
July 1961.) Pickering was the only one of the seven who was aRossika member, but most of the others
joined later.
13 The British Journal ofRussian Philately, No. 16, December 1954, p. 470.

Leaving aside WWII and the Great Depression, though, even Rossika's birthplace was
problematic and a hindrance in its own right. It wasn't some stamp-collecting hotbed like
Berlin, London, Paris or New York; instead, it was, relatively speaking, a philatelic
backwater Igalo and Bela Crkva in a country Yugoslavia not known at that time
for its endless legions of big-name philatelists. A difficult birth and a traumatic
childhood were Rossika's inheritance from its father.

The founder, Yevgeniv Mikhavlovich Arkhangel'skiv (Eugene Arkhangelskv).

Rossika's founder entered this world in Radzivilov, Volhynia Province, on 27 October
1881. His family moved to Plotsk in 1883, and there he began to collect stamps at the
tender age of 7. By the time Arkhangelsky went off to Warsaw University, he was
already a serious collector with some rarities in his albums, but illness forced him to
withdraw from his studies. At 21 (1902) he joined the Army and became an officer,
serving as a correspondent from 1910 to 1919 for two military journals. (This version is
according to the article Greg Salisbury wrote in the English edition of the journal in
1954.14 However, A.I. Maslov's obituary for Arkhangelsky states that he had
commanded a battalion as a colonel, suffered a serious wound, and received numerous
decorations.15 He makes no mention of any war correspondent duties. Perhaps he
became unfit for combat after the wound, and took up this other assignment.)

At right: An early Rossika
constitution, 2nd edition, 1933.
Produced in Bela Crkva. (Reduced
to 70%. Rossica Archives.)

Arkhangelsky (EMA) saw the Civil
War at first hand he was among
the fortunate who escaped
Bolshevik Russia during Wrangel's
great evacuation from Sevastopol'
in November 1920. Not everything
got away from the Crimea, though.
A good collection he had bought in
Kerch' was pilfered during the
Whites' evacuation by sea, so the
only things he escaped with were
his life and an illness from the war


,A'1kA" 5b 1O6FOCFlPIA1

~ Cb flpv1J1W4teNeMb
r. npainb' ot-Nit-a pyroawrfl nOCbiri-MI4
TeterpaAQK C-b MapmaMm w oOmtHa 6OHaMN.

M auie sropoe Aoron4eHmoe v mCnrIpCant4HO6.

Sema LJpKw a

14 Salisbury, Eugene M. Archangelsky, inRossika No. 44, p. 12.
15 Maslov, Konchina Yevgeniya Mikhaylovicha Arkhangel'skogo, inRossika No. 48 (Russian version),
1956, p. 30.

(ra I Ilarma~nnn~Ln~larsrraa~~ ~




From Sevastopol' he went first to the camps near Constantinople, then to Bulgaria, and
finally settled in Yugoslavia a year later. He re-married after his first wife died, but I
don't know when those events occurred.

While he started another collection, his training as a correspondent and his interest in
philately compelled him to write articles for a number of journals in Yugoslavia,
England, and France. Ironically, some of his material even appeared in "Sovetskiy
filatelist" in the latter half of the 1920s, when that magazine was published together with
"Sovetskiy kollektsioner" and "Radio de Filintern" under one cover. It was somewhat
odd an ex-officer of the Imperial and White armies, driven from his country by the
Reds, nevertheless submitting articles for publication in the major organs of Soviet
philately. One article on stamp defects saw print in German in "Radio de Filintern, the
propaganda arm of the "Philatelic International."16 Others followed on Yugoslavian
stamps.17 (In fairness to Arkhangelsky, other great names in Russian philately wrote for
Soviet publications, too: Karl Schmidt (who was an Honorary Member of the VOF's
Northwestern Oblast' Branch"1 and traveled to Leningrad), V.A. Rachmanov, and N.I.
Kardakov19 also contributed to those journals in the 1920s, but then they weren't ex-
Imperial Russian Army officers.) Even in late 1929, after he had already established
Rossika, Arkhangelsky was writing to Sovetskiy kollektsioner to suggest that they publish
pictures of the editorial staff and the facilities where it was published, and to complain
that SK wasn't doing enough to publicize new Soviet stamp issues.20 He was a prolific
writer, penning hundreds of articles and editing or contributing to the Rossika journal
from 1930 to 1940, and he enjoyed considerable respect for his knowledge of the airmail
field in particular. In fact, EMA had a hand in the creation of the Sanabria airmail

His early efforts went not just to the journal but to keeping up with Society matters in
general. He was Founder, president, treasurer, librarian, secretary and chief editor all
rolled into one. He ran a stamp-booklet circuit and even a lottery in an attempt to attract
more money for Rossika, all while staying at the Home for Invalids in Igalo. Maslov
states that EMA was an "Invalid 1st Class," meaning he had severe disabilities.

Much of EMA's life revolved around philately at this point, due in part to the fact that
one of his war wounds had been in the spine. He was unable so much as to bend over
and tie his own shoes his wife had to help him do that. So, he had a lot of time to
devote to the hobby, which he turned into a vocation through stamp sales and writing. He
may have had a teaching connection with the local Russian school for boys in Bela Crkva
(its full title was the "First Russian Cadet Corps of Grand Duke Konstantin

16 Sovetskiyfilatelist Nos. 3-4, March & April 1927, and Radio de Filintern No. 6, June 1927.
17 Gleyzer, Bibliotekafilatelista, pp. 41-42.
18 Gleyzer, Istoriyafilatelii v Peterburge-Petrograde-Leningrade, p. 34.
19 Gleyzer, Bibliotekafilatelista, p. 38.
20 Arkhangelsky, Nuzhno li eto? in Sovetskiy kollektsioner Nos. 10-12, 1929, p. 64.
21 Salisbury, Eugene M. Archangelsky, inRossika No. 44, p. 12. His suggestion and criticism were both
rejected. Despite his contribution of articles over the years, Rossika's appearance in 1929 was ignored
by the Soviet philatelic press.

Arkhangelsky (second from right) with Chebotkevich (left).22
(This picture, taken in 1934, is the only one of Arkhangelsky to be published.
The other two men are unidentified.)

It must have been very painful for him to watch the Society he had founded be
dismembered from 1939 to 1942. Journal publication was forced out of Europe.
Yugoslavia itself became a battlefield for Nazis and partisans of every stripe, and in 1944
Arkhangelsky found himself in a concentration camp. His stamp collections, philatelic
library, and all his possessions had been tossed into a bonfire by the Reds when Tito's
partisans came crashing into the area. The First Russian Cadet Corps students had been
evacuated to Germany on 10 September 1944, but Arkhangelsky and most of the school's
officers remained behind. Serb partisans shot some of them as German sympathizers or
at the behest of the NKVD as White officers.23 Somehow he avoided execution, but his
days as a driving force in Rossika were over. He was released from the camp in 1946,
destitute and in poor health, but he survived another decade, thanks in great part to the
efforts of Emile Marcovitch and a few other early Rossika members such as
Chebotkevich who sent him food, clothing, syringes and medicines for his heart.
Marcovitch and Arkhangelsky had never met, but they had established a friendship
through a lengthy correspondence, and it was this that saved EMA. (In fact,
Chebotkevich made appeals in the Journal for members to send in donations for the
colonel and his wife, as they were in dire financial straits.) Marcovitch made significant
contributions, sending money in addition to the medicine.24

Despite living in penury, his extensive and important collections gone, EMA launched an
effort to revive Rossika. In a letter to Emile Marcovitch, EMA urged him to bring the

22 Rossika, Nos. 49-50, Society Page (Russian version).
23 Phone conversation with Gordey Denisenko on 18 July 1992. There is another version of the story about
Arkhangelsky's collection. This has it that the albums were not burned, but forcibly confiscated by the
Reds along with his philatelic library. (Salisbury, Eugene M. Archangelsky, in Rossika No. 44 (English
version), p. 12.)
24 Interview with Jacques Marcovitch, 6 September 1999.

Society back, even though Marcovitch was in Venezuela at the time. Marcovitch aided
the effort, but Venezuela didn't have the necessary concentrations of Russian emigres.25

The New York-Philadelphia area did, though, and Arkhangelsky conferred his blessings
on the efforts of A.A. Chebotkevich and A.N. Lavrov in their revival of the Society. By
that time there was little more he could do than write articles for the Bulletin and lend the
Society his prestige.

Emile Isidorovich Marcovitch
(Rossica Representative in Venezuela,
Honored Member, member of the Editorial Board.)

25 Marcovitch's father Isidor had been a zemstvo doctor for a time, but Emile's interest in zemstvo stamps
developed later. Collecting everything during his youth, he became a member of the Moscow Philatelic
Society before 1917, and became fascinated by revenue stamps and erinnophilia. Emile, an
archaeologist, married a singer in the Moscow Opera (1920), and soon thereafter found himself on the
run from the secret police. A fellow philatelist who worked for the OGPU warned Emile in a midnight
meeting that he was to be arrested soon. Emile's brother was an engineer and the manager of a nearby
plant, so Marcovitch hid there, then took a train to Minsk, where he had family members who would
conceal him. From Minsk he arranged his escape through a third party, who promised to get
Marcovitch's small suitcase full of stamps to him once he got out of the RSFSR. He escaped by horse,
carriage and then on foot through a forest, but the third party failed to deliver his suitcase as promised.
Mrs. Marcovitch confronted this individual in Moscow, demanding that he return the stamps, but was
badly beaten for her troubles. Her threats of retaliation were convincing enough that she finally got the
stamps back, and they were spirited out through the Lithuanian Embassy. The Marcovitches came to
France, where Emile served in the French Army in WWII. After the German victory, he made it from
Northern France to the south (Vichy France) on foot. After VE day, Marcovitch moved to Paris, but
archaeology couldn't put food on the table, so being good at chemistry, he invented a new process in
photography, taking pictures of many famous Russians in exile and supporting his family as a
photographer. (Interview with Jacques Marcovitch, 5 September 1999.) He lived for 10 years in
Venezuela before moving to the New York area. Marcovitch died in January 1981 at the age of 88.
(Interview with Jacques Marcovitch, 6 September 1999 and Obituaries: Emil' Isidorovitch Marcovitch,
in The Post Rider No. 7, Dec. 1980, p. 59.)

So, Arkhangelsky lived to see his "baby" reborn. Rossika had come back, but this time in
the New York area; EMA was now the "Honored Founder," while Chebotkevich
assumed EMA's old title the "Rukovoditel', or "Executive Officer."


B.la C o tKr Pa a ) P

(Ai wu 1




Arkhangelsky's Rossika stationery, posted from Bela Crkva to the U.S.
1935. (Reduced to 60%. Rossica Archives)

in December

A registered cover from Arkhangelsky to the U.S., posted on 13 September 1939.
It bears his handstamp at upper left, and 10 cents' worth of U.S. postage due stamps
on the reverse. (Reduced to 65%. Rossica Archives.)

___I___ __ ~~__ __ ________

By 1953 Arkhangelsky was feeling his age (73) and his wounds from WWI. Bedridden
much of the time, he was also suffering from heart disease and edema. He died in
Yugoslavia on 13 February 1956, and was buried with his second wife in Bela Crkva.
Rossika members continued to provide financial support to his widow.26

The resting place of Col. Arkhangelsky and his
wife at Bela Crkva. (Photo courtesy of Gordey

The Society's Infancy.

From its modest beginnings, the Society grew rapidly. From the ten founding members
who met at Igalo in 192927 it became 170 by 1 July 1931. Rossika joined the

26 Rossika, Nos. 49-50 (Russian version), 1956, p. 40.
27 Chebotkevich, XXXAnniversary ofRossica, in Rossika No. 56, 1959, p. 3 & Chudoba, The 50th
Anniversary of "Rossica" Society, in Rossica No. 93, 1978, p. 7. I have no reason to doubt the word of
Chebotkevich and Chudoba that there were 10 at the inception, but materials in the Rossica Archives
create some doubt and confusion. For instance, if the first 10 that he claims correspond to the first 10
member numbers, as logic would dictate, then D.V. von Al'tfater (#5, the representative for Germany)
and V.A. Rachmanov (#6, the representative for Poland) would have had to be visiting Arkhangelsky at
that time. Arkhangelsky, Chebotkevich, Balabanenko, Mel'nikov, MarinoviC, Rukavina and PoSiC
account for six more of the first 10 in the list. To muddy the waters further, #10 was left blank in the
very first membership list the Society published. Then there is the claim made by I.N. Rubakh that "[he]
was a member ofRossika from the day it was founded... (Letter to Lavrov dated 23 December 1961.
Rossica Archives.) Rubakh is listed as member #356 in the Yugoslavian incarnation of Rossika and in
the American #96, so I'm not certain how much weight his statement should be given. Member #11,
S.S. Smolyaninov, was in the U.S. at the time, so he is not a candidate for the blank spot at #10,
assuming that that number was never assigned. One possible explanation is that Arkhangelsky had
broached the idea of forming a society to von Al'tfater, Rachmanov and Smolyaninov in his
correspondence, and they had agreed in writing. If all 10 members in attendance at Igalo were resident
in Yugoslavia, then Arkhangelsky might have assigned those three men lower member numbers because
they had responded before the meeting. Nikola Rukavina, by the way, was the author of a now-very-rare
catalog entitled Na Se Marke, Biljezi i Cjeline (Our Postage Stamps, Revenue Stamps and Postal
Stationery, issued in 1929 at Sarajevo. (Polchaninoff, Jugoslav Post in Siberia, in Rossika No. 63, p.

Yugoslavian Philatelic Union (which was in turn a part of the FIP) in December 1933,
and quickly picked up adherents outside of Yugoslavia. Although nothing had been
announced in the Journal upon the formation of several "chapters," Arkhangelsky's
admonition for them to report showed that there were already groups in Riga, Narva,
Dvinsk, Aluksna, Wolmar, Nemme, The Hague, Sao Paulo and Harbin. Those were in
addition to the first branch of Rossika, which was established in Rezhitsa (present-day
Rezekne) on 25 January 1931. Formed by G.K. Bolman, it consisted of 11 members, a
healthy start. The Revel' group was apparently the second branch, which included
Nemme. It started life on 1 April 1931 with 10 members, and by December it had grown
to 24. Under the energetic leadership of A.V. Sokolov, it had doubled to 48 by the end of

At left: Rossika Membership List #3,
February 1935. It extended to #504,
and the six supplements issued later
that year and in the next brought the
total number of members who had
cycled through the Society to 620.
The individuals were listed in
alphabetical order according to
country, with each member's name,
address, catalogs used and impending
membership expiration date spelled
out. Their collecting interests were
provided according to an
Alphanumeric code.
C"" MM ... aep ""pa "

.ists des "bi ts.-- "6VrW LIgas

'__ ,_.___ PyCcKoe 06iueCTBO 0HJaTCJIIHCTOB1,
nc 1g.OMol I F0pt. 1 .plm~. i
XWyp-UA 06wen nurpuwnn

Genera I-Leiter-Chal rm an-Directeur.
At right: The first inside page of the ..' k-., u. Ks, Pa..4,
membership list shows the bronze medal won ,,
by the Journal at WIPA 1933. It most likely rV- .
went to Arkhangelsky and suffered the same ....
fate as his collection. (Rossica Archives.) ... .....

,.. .. .. ... .. 9 r 9 .
19 r 19, r.

PycclaKro 06uecT-ra (P njaTejicGTOB-b ,,Poccriia".
-ElLA I K .. K.-. PI-' i -0, '- Lu .)I. .
inpuIarinl dpc rT: fl ienHiiil .r ewi.. np.ouy 1iplrTb rieiH Bs q11nciO lfAreBIreIaibHl.sb
'iieH.'3Ben. OCiLUectB A Prcu'ii a' ". T.ar.i o ceOe tiiii.cLJatfl' ic.itjR CabtbHi, o6rj'ii)C6b BililO.IHifrb BC' piJ-
eBIa a O.-ua, no 0 ji ep.ri.ll Tb 0 BO I .l pj.rii iH', Iil r.:c.la.icHi npOil3BOaliFb BSrlbie .:ieielilini;eli a' z.-I- T Hh'lvp'aTHI
OT(rckl aTb hISpy.rPOis nOCjj.ihi, .I i. H Lc ,aLaqj.iieid i. OTEhTi O-ey i ero NJLiJacriMi: l i ii.

2 I'T: ori o. ..recrp .
3 MlIcro it aira par.ic1.i
4 f1 p,.'.lec"' i
5. Tl'iunH, a--,peih ,
U 6i O lp A r: ;TV r,-I4 j ,, .,I, 3 ni..*'., ,, r. o 5.'[% i, i-i .,i,L iu .k 3 *' i w LijI '., '.Sn, e r-.ntl..U;N,
I l.,l 1.,li'.Cle rilr.I..lhi a*Iicr!. B ril[.' ,r 'J I C C l' r.l P.b:r E.a1lll. l ni)l TOCab h rrT-'e" ll-Jiq E -
i,, B f i.iai l .,1 1.. ..,1,i F .. I .', l.' i i r I,, I I. ,OubIl GI -- il f Tr.', p. ai hi hi.li Illl?,r'II T Fi H ri -- H apy-
P.:IliC hHJjI4 llp nil."kj I 11 I
A .-iliKr F. Miip II L i E a 1tr iJu ii, I. r..lait .L' .I EE5 rOiFIA: -I. I C nIC rl I l Hi)ii.-.. C;cp..nis .i Pri-CCsI ic. 19;b r b. Co-
Gtir Fic. l. '*- r. .. lgJ..: r'. i4.: 'ir .I I\te -3'in AF n *. L-ai.a L L MI 1. fli.ilrR .Boc Pci- C .ri .p I-pt. i B.i .ii.,
Pi 'cIui n.:.ri, B. E I '.., j. P ,C:'., q l A,~r,, o., fhir t. k P',c'. J n.'1.-r.i ,) i., ri .: I ', P' CL JF'oaj.I.I ; In
i.' AIp'FiU i:r: n. Ap rcri A.psrnr,_a . i, ,i~,Ai i: 1 1, "i :,i'. .pia l c-'ii i r T r. .' p.JIlla S. M1bdlIF.:
.~ i u~U luy .;iCs rj',at. .rib t. [' ls.; i. ri..I ..:..eil i. 6 fpnil'i.r.e in .1.'i u t oji;t ra C 'iO tii i,. d 'ii
'" ,; l ll"J ; ILII ,Gp l;sri J, I. *a lin, i Cepf.ri, 1. rr-i:Jnl tq.L ri'p;.p..i E. Eoiipi., f. PVA'.ilpi.., rpeIl4 A .
r, .l li Ill; .1.ia '.rtlui rli'.cl'..iE. a I '2.' FlArll' "jcl'.'.i. mI 1PLF Mt'il, O.0 Yi 'll f.,W r
, ',. l'. ,,'i, Ii. l[.ilprI.iL T 'l, ''r,:e..I; 'ipt,.3'ai,|a''jI |lM.'tr'i,o[l4er.i l a, aia tbl" a .Li',Ctyriril.
S llpon .ai LL'Ieuiu TIor.lerf.i, l. ,.i :. ('iiial: i.lin;' 19 3iananai t ;i CtiB- l- Cibponi 'r,1aj si c, i1 rp .su a d. Br..s ei. i 'l Ht., l ii 1r.' f.l t.' r. I i .j ilps'iri"'B. Eipfl!" I "l r':p.rri" -
b BuLnpi- L l frlirrllf CjLa.Ib. e. .s i', I UJ]Behi p.R- .illuriii refliaiL. h Benrprir IS. i Cs an
S apOral I'lit.nts., b. T-i, ,. b e I o',ahl I A. iPO L'. I l*. 4. I' Ipi v hi L bi L. l JT.lk' b I'. ,ii( a r
S -'l j CITIT ,M -dfi loi- II .i i ..II .:i -. ..j L t i 1' '.. I cI.ki si It*'J" Ri .,prTirdb-
cil h' i.Blll ll I'." r1'P' IHCe .i': .i :E li. r 1 I., i.'i3.1 l ..;lIJHi;.i ?2 lIBrb iiC-;.HI *-.rr ;i>ITll: i ;l 3[, I ls ., i :l'rlt, h.
*IL.H.i iaui. C ,. C*J : l[ ;I rl-(. PL-I. ,* ErnLei hi A'.i. inR lrl i, ,:_JnIHbepI iI 2.5. r.I.le pii a
In .'U -t, b. L .. iiiI. jtlsep.i *. M ei-ci *il Ep vI iri. A:~ii .TiTnn r.1 1. fr. ipi- eari '' '. '
7. 1T elllCIT j l i visi**I...,F, 1rF. C elar1l-.1, --. o rt ifr.0^, es- ft.[.-.evflIk crrielaljl Ci1 -p V irr .i-L.
Ilbilo iIOJ.'lelulin...... .... .a aHIiHMi i'cL, h -oD.lieKULi fillpORaillleM b .
8. C lI: Ia.'iH 3 IIp I b o
1 Tu1 B"/ OlM|r.'b ; L"j- nrJ r .Ci.op-r. lu, ip.;i i ,', ii- .u i aI' ara,,..iu-r;.
1' -. .'1810 Do o01Kyln3 :.apli O b O-aBB' 1. riilcrt yr Ti- ri..i, i. ., nIo I, V' A. i'v
1. ;iK.aion 7npOalJrTL coill MBp'H .
'2. CQCICr.O ir[eHONR l 'llm ar. O -b' .
13 nf n.i 3y cIh K.1r'iJlOra.MIl: l ii.l, Pi. l..,.-i'. I. 3j h.t.i .Z ULi ii.l L: I-1 i '.'. .. St -
C(ILo .: l F-- p aC F' t ;l l k .. F'l.r 4.Ii : t c.r.-.JiL uinin I ar. r j:!j Ti "Ci.Ill IC0r .
liI.' : 0'*' 1. *r- tr. I.lr.
14. Eql.3b lO ,'lIKh .TI' h ,. Fi:lrin: '.1 -. HItC.Ii lf. aie, i,- ..r i -- Tp l i."',flnl I HT.ibin. lirn e.r' -
FI.:.arirunil i .r-.--d,..,p *i-i.. i-, i:.. -p i p ..i3pl.l p i *.-. i, -i L'.i. ij hi(, -- I1u .I.*Iii.u,.'ifl, It .ill-
I*b ** : i.i 1.M1 FI i h.. iin1.1, -i. Irina :.; rir
15 liHbI lie.H FI .. ............

P c it o II e n4J a i.

'i .a n o p y t ki -e .i u ,,, ,.
11opys~nu ae.

,Llbrilal rtr.

The front side of a 1937 Rossika membership application printed in Tallinn. The Rossica
Archives also contain examples of this same form printed in Harbin and Riga.
(Rossica Archives.)



Py'KOCcoe OBUmecTO OnII aTeJnIcTOB'b.

Py':cki oe O6Ui ..-TBO e. lluaie:i.lo b ;,,'S.,ci.liha" OCH1.HP 14 ,np'Ftnii I'-i'' r`- .1.3 EareLC-eHl.,1 M Xail(l-
Bal-el1 Ap'YaHrenbichlLMt, KOTirpbrn n11 110 t pelnl HB.iFeerciin Ero rqliaRIM.lb P)'HOBOiT-lTlie-Mb.
Ut.ine-o O? lLnecsi C.bT.i. I1 eC b ': ii'l:.'.l IHlere' niL .i. [c'.'. i,:ln b .i;l'i .i i i icr.Fl., pObs .fiHiHblsi ,n HicMy'
l.p'!y. I u r ib lIi.1b B,?'M*.i(HiuTb i, re. -n?-.]IMH Ori .o6 eHlin, l fl '.-rn o.1.11lrlTb CBOl hkiL li .ueIIH IH CBOil iJ.iale-
. li1'i iii'l li llH nO3HaHi".
CosepuiD BHInio o0rl6Oil 36uauliil L Oi'LueLr no.l ici 0l ii3jiiC CMeTro C:.6:!inRe1liaOTIH I 0 :IrT. IMypHlA3.,
noaL Bar.'IaSBleMb .PocciHhLL, cilitiir-eHHuro. Bb tiacrc-liiiie BpehIl, RhIxuv.TILuaro l a H Ia .P-CCKOi iL A.I'Kt.
:-.'ypHa.1i penar.I lper.:F ria.lsBHrjMb P'iSoar)iITenj' iiM t. npu 'ic OTpj Z liJeciE a likIAH'b 3ITaIcOKOBb HIarTIe.-inT.
Rb .AV-pH1.i"t IlnCTcn rai;lh.e ae"HHiHO O0[llbllI O'r'.'Tb lepelli HCi:pb wplnlJ"I bTl.lleT 'oIs [uptrit
1[3Jl rona: cb Tt.hx nopbi OW.- H l.ix1S 111. npMlhNpi1o 1 pu33 Bb rb l ri [.bi.13Tbixe 6eal3.riarnTO P(h'b
qi1UMrou O6uWecTa.
iah'b Odlworrr Pyccir.;e ,PoecrmCa" ocpanimeTr o(o6toe. aiirsaHie uHa cooilpaHIc I iiiylieie 6.Oqn-
cflenmbixb n.InycKpht Py'ib 1ci ulpoIKI H.i,% jroBC'effHL.Ts .i*,:r 'C. i3hkb i O3-'naHHlbi Et:.iiKcO'i BC'ihoIri 1
PeOanROotroht. B'b rHpH oj 0buT~ UiOBuHCO- e Nc i':, Opirllila'bHEJ.1-b licnjaQi0 lijii1 0 lo a3HLfrib UpO'l.U7
; 4ae.'iin HC eliT mypHtiflrb ,trUiV. nBddl-I HFrpLjKaAICH LaHd nepacqy'apo.g.ru.aix 4irl. Buhctnasaxb, 8a InumTq:-;
ba I9_1'3 ar'.BtH Opiquil LiaJ 11 .y, .194' roAy At EiLueirt6eprtb -- cept'anf o (. Hp H3-'
uHalioultl n.iiliCa.top-b i HalaeT-b na sypHa.-TR e Hn.iAo tihepcclraru it uvoyiltre.rlnHro 1% Taiari.X
o.6Mp,.ro ~.1apaiiepa. ,
t'ao ,,P'cliia' HcmqlUPae'rb oo:io 3ri.j S .i elOdi-,, lii. aK.iiB L .E BD. B CO ibCXb nLIT1 qiCTH1X CBt',TB
Kh~'iTjr r:1eHfL noryraflerT- 6e3tl.ITHO aKypI,]-r%, yCTBB, 0i CUICIOIcI BCtXi,: *JiehaO's-b O-Ba aEb YKaaatlHFlN
ur[ isOLnbih- b apeil:OB, io;Ol,.']6idHtu'pOsSj.j i ii oGJtHae, 1clqeMy Lha&j;ibi BCJiii'irfllI 'I:I.CHL ai t,'elY b BO6-
IMOaHIHCTrb ecTI h'jOie .IbiA iJM.Ithi . MBapih.siAl.' 3.ATt.l-. Jiniinblh 'iJieh'b, ,fi o -lOe':J. I.,a, o, M.COCe.elb nfpo'
is-baib CBo! map dpkHi, 1 rilr nhal ibh QBk4c nryteNib y,"iCiifl Bb t'pyriOBMXb.OciCbIrhI 'L" 0-Ba, ',,Poccidi"'
IlaKAe in'BerT' CnBO.Ir-- aKCoeproBb an oiipeakfHiai. noUnnIiiciC Ii 13pCO'b. .i
L'AtiHbl 0-a3, OpO:TIBA1alillie Bh O!IHtlr riOpo.', rOpasPo. iG : &Ei-L Thblhc CTTi bi, rt perysgfpHOi:-.c6i-
padlOTfl JISI B38a11i1inaro o13 6L~eHi
nplelt li HOB.i.b ielHc.-h n[pOii3Bo0rlp:Bia OyttRrL 5n110CIO.li$i 3IFIBMeHin., OT'IIfC anWH OTa Ha o6Gpolt M
nepMecuiai eio F'.iaaHOMy Pyt..o:uiTre.1'ir no aprC,~. E M. ArLhaMigici'-L, EP--la irk'.', i. Kr.ali
RPa '.). '-,i".u 'ur.' l Js ll M' (U1i11Mf Iib iipeL crTaBlirjiei i.l3lCCIBj ai Or:i.'Bj.hbrlb b r"cy'napCrBI-'b

2 I l i 1 r .
Belin Crk-.v

The reverse of the application form shown above, giving a brief explanation of the
Society's aims and touting the Journal. (Both sides reproduced at 80%.)

The Revel' Group, 1931. A.V. Sokolov is at center, seated.
These grainy, poor-quality pictures are all that are left of these groups.

The Sofia Branch was founded on 7 April 1932 under Yu.K. Plotnitsky, with seven
members, and Belgrade's branch followed on 9 May 1932, under the leadership of the
well-known philatelist S.P. Mangeley. (In early Rossika parlance, what we would call
chapters today were either groups (gruppy) or branches (otdely). A group was formed
first, and if its membership increased sufficiently, it was formally upgraded to a branch.
There were also clubs, on par with groups.)

The Sofia Group.

The New York Branch started out as a "club" of Rossika on 4 April 1936, with seven
members. It met weekly at the Russian Club on 56 E. 121st St., a pace at which any of
today's Rossica chapters can only marvel. Thirty-eight meetings in 1936, 50 in 1937!
They moved their gatherings to the YMCA at 215 W. 23rd St. in October 1937, and club
dues plus a 10-cent collection per member per meeting helped to pay the $50-per-year
cost of the room. That meant each member could shell out approximately $7.50 a year
just for the club, and that was in excess of the Rossika dues. In those days, $7.50 was
serious money, especially for emigres. Membership in the club climbed to 32 in 1938,
but meetings "tapered off' to twice monthly.28 New York's Rossika club was officially
elevated to "branch" status on 1 June 1938, as was the Shanghai Group, which became
the "Shanghai-China Branch."

An early Rossika membership card, issued to the noted Russian postal historian Dr.
Leonid Sergeyevich Snegirev on 24 April 1937, and signed by Arkhangelsky. When
Rossika collapsed in 1941, membership cards would not be reintroduced until January
1964. (Reduced to 80%. Rossica Archives.)

28 This branch was formally established at the same moment as the "Russian Society of Philatelists
(Rossika) in America" was created. (Prigara, N'yuiorkskiy Klub R.O.F. "Rossika," in Rossika No.
43, June 1941, p. 387.

A "temporary certificate" issued by the Soviet military
to Major L.S. Snegirev29 on 15 May 1945, stating that he
was awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War, 2nd Class.
(Photostat, Rossica Archives.)

For a time there was another chapter in the U.S., the San Francisco group. It started in
December 1930 under S.S. Smolyaninov,30 but folded in 1933 when Dr. Ye.V.
Poznyakov declined to serve as its coordinator. It sputtered briefly to life again in May
1934 under the temporary guidance of V.Ye. Palchevsky.

29 Dr. Snegirev served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWII, but distinguished himself as an
interpreter at high-level talks between the Allies as the war wound down. He is probably the only
Rossica member ever to have received an award from the Soviet Union (for his services as an
interpreter), nor did it stop there. He also received the Bronze Star, the Croix de Guerre of France and
Belgium, and medals from The Netherlands and Italy. He worked at the Cancer Research Institute at the
New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston. (Wortman, Obituary: Dr. Leonid S. Snegireff in BJRP No.
33, p. 29) Much of our knowledge about the Russian postal system on Mt. Athos and the
communications between it and the Empire is due to Snegirev; he traveled to the monasteries and
obtained a considerable amount of correspondence prior to 1880 and information from the monks. He
died at age 55 on 5 September 1963.
30 [Arkhangelsky], Zhizn' obshchestva, inRossika No. 5, February 1931, p. 18.


marpaMaenHbtb npM *l"_ ^:aOjyt

OpleHNOM. Mrabanni M '' cfAC' 04 ,0

ffSe^y7Y ^^3a, V21"

The San Francisco Group, 1931. Dr. Ye.V. Poznyakov is at center, seated.

Little Latvia made especially great contributions to the Society, and that contribution was
due largely to the efforts of one man, Konstantin Konstantinovich Vitkovsky of Riga. He
was the Rossika Representative for Latvia and a tireless recruiter. By August 1930, he
had become the "General Representative for Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Poland,
and Czechoslovakia," and on 1 October of that year he became the first "Honored
Member." Vitkovsky brought in so many members (30) that on 1 November
Arkhangelsky promoted him again by appointing him as his Deputy. Thus, Vitkovsky
was in effect Rossika's first Vice President. As for other officer posts, the 1933
Constitution only stipulated a secretary, but I can find no one actually named as such
until 15 February 1938, when the Chairman appointed V.I. Prokofiev to that post.
Arkhangelsky had evidently been his own secretary up to that point.

ran-'-i.: auf n5t:Tefalia.ib

,,UPOCCICA" 8I iOrUocnalH
,' .'*'T J.u n iIH
li ,ii I. Ih H. I Ill r'i B H I
r2:,, j: .. L, JJ
jl a i 2 >i1.


PyccKoe c(faTenaireicTnirecKoc: )OU'e0O .Poccuila" Ba OrocrTaBia rjasnoii caoeil aaAarei cTa-
anT- ob06ilHeHie B HolmJMiowOIHeK Hlx tM py PYCCKHb *HnaTTijCTOBS aapy6ewRi, CJagaiH II 11110-
crpanleEl, HHTepeTyroliilXCA pyccKoft :i ila r;a'Ted. n BAan-ltloulx pyccatintm auiKoM, a rTaine paapa6oTKry
anefi H npiiinqnoiBT Konnlen{ionHiposanl .
Odiaecas T nasaeT cadil cnetiaAnhirb.Mi *lares. oprana .PoccIIKa" Ha pyccKOMi aaBlKh,
O6urecBso OKaauae-llb 4)aTen, noVoui. rBeoIIlb eHalab I BalKunCbIaerT no ynfleeaneMiHoi
utrt iaTacnorTH npniPHaAlnem8ocTl OTnb IIpMbi YI rt CQ. a TaKme BaimnRiterh nopyleieia csBoXnIs 'iqeHOIB
no npoaamat R noxyniti KojoneKuig, oTAtJlhiHbiXb Mapoui. R aeneeIX% asaixons.
O6ecaro ableaerm cesoRMI .lneHamb pa.inaenFu cnparni a coCDAtT, a Tamme upons3BOARh
ecInepTHMy MapoKrb no eIIHnHMaiHoit pacgtth9t
Ocodoe BHtIManle O-BO nocenIaeTi. aMpKBaM PocciIN, JinIMpoplIn1mI rocyAapcTeaM L Hi ai-
RKnaMib, CTapaici, aTaB11JTb CBOMHI0 el.haw MaiIiTeapialb a ynYOMayTbIXI CTpailba, CI orIcaliltaeM
TaXOBauX H Bi uxoaRRaAIitxi HOBHOIh Bi H(yp:IA.It .Pociiia"..
rilal sCTynJelin Wb O-BO HeoiOXOAHMO noaiTl OodGe e HCbMefHOe aanBteHie Ha Hlin PyKoaoau
Tevi i i O iic-ru. xPocc' ta ii Ia iii.iCT 'ihiili Io.' MfleHa ilo 11.,1 We airii n.p 'iiiirnell.
'ieieChll rDa:lri' In.hi.: I ipFrliHHtaiOu iI.Ia L liOrn:.'iaBii 8.' ull.ap.. 2 nI;.l:IIPH LLmn u I.
hiLh IOrtc.iaeii 25 4,' iL l'a r-,F. I.,IH I iMep. Aoiliapl.
T..hUo jnp ii l eIimb n 01 liTBi R ll H 0OMOUIR JIillI, HIlTiCPCIc'lOtHxL- .nll.lirtt rii H lB',!:.4 ltI
tcribxi Dc:ccar. iHFnalai] c(uir;.ra sri 3apyfiebt.
'ccnuas .jii.:arr.enribl., Hi .-ciraiiieCb rJlyxli KH BIC,1 rlp11Bhib- BRiiALITeC i'JIHAIMI bi
Cio13aan.II- lNh.ylV *-prainll fuIk-. mirylylO 11 CIpeallyloCW IKadbTh IH..liB iuAihlpHb alt iiIiTi-rii Hn)l*
noCMoulh Cnl.IMLu. H b.jUoin KtR B:imw .pH.iaTenJIICTI rOP'ilI npInuDhlibh s ur.: cahT lenry -iT
elilbraiAif MHapK.Mil 1 T. h, i'pyiiire HjhWb -amieHO,.. naaBalT crarhH anJ wypHiajia.
nown'3itl 01,, a1sIit He npHAi'1Cql, 116o nOniyieiHHoe tiHlrHHOe IBA.BHo:IhCllie bnonldiit 8311i-
rpal'i'l Bacb 13 Bits nI.irleCeinie pacij.lu HaKiNHeq, yaciByR 81 b OCiUecri 3.di.]i"c Baile q4iiIia'e.'ler
crae'e- l '.ite paiymHu, npuiyriBunio. ITTepeCHO H ARWe AOX::AH'
i[anaATeK ~a,? Su1- rIn pccK'Omy odB ecreBy .PocciPa" 3anT19T nolicTire MbCTIO epeasH apy)it
iiOlCTPrdhiilMXb 4ii1JJTe.>I. OT'umecTBh.
Pywoknion.en. Oru.ecrea .Poccnwa' E. M. ApxanreAlbClcil.
npeacraTure.ai OaliecToea .Poiccaira": t11es JlaTr1 K K BlHTI(ccIII. Ira J AH H
MapTHHeRac,; Ha 3cTOHiIO JA M 3eKKeBHb; Hal PyUMHilO .. M. TraKa.f;i Ha repMaHim i A B
AanbalaTepa; .sa 0paH1qlo--B. H. Arainteb; s p ..-fi-. 4. Buropnaiiil; &a U. S. A.-A H. Moun-

An information sheet for the "Russian Society of Philatelists 'Rossika' in Yugoslavia,"
bearing Vitkovsky's handstamp at upper left. (Rossica Archives.)

The list of country representatives in Rossika Journal No. 2 shows how much the Society
had expanded and how dispersed its members were. In addition to Vitkovsky in Riga,
there were:

1) Vsevolod Nikolayevich Agapeyev in Paris, a well-known collector and author
of "The Philatelist's Friend;"
2) General-Major Dmitriy Vasil'evich Al'tfater Germany;
3) Albin Nikodimovich Martinenas Kovno, Lithuania;
4) Mikhail Aleksandrovich Shvedov -Bulgaria;
5) Ludwig Mikhaylovich Takach Rumania;
6) Dmitriy Nikolayevich Moshkalov USA;
7) Aleksandr Ivanovich Vygornitsky Persia.

_____ S

- ,4 q --

'- i Despite the fact that Rossika had been established
U 1 by refugees and emigres, Soviets within the USSR
O could join, at least for a while. At least three in
SLeningrad Dement'ev, Pavlukhin and Subashi -
and one in Zubtsov Okolo-Kulak did just that
in 1929, until June or so of 1930 Soviet citizens
were forbidden to be members of any foreign organization. The first three promptly
wrote a letter of resignation to Arkhangelsky on 5 June 1930, and on 11 June they were
dropped from membership.32 That was essentially the last the Society saw of Soviet
collectors as members until the 1980s.33

31 Rossika No. 5, p. 19.
32 Gleyzer, Biblioteka filatelista, p. 53.
33 And yet, one member from the USSR, V.S. Sonnenberg-Fedorovskiy, was still carried on the Society's
rolls as late as February 1935. My guess is that someone in the West was paying his dues for him for







I -.

Collectors joined Rossika at an incredible pace.
Over 440 had entered the Society by Dec. 1935, a
mere five years and eight months after its
founding. Unfortunately, a few of them had died
(the sad distinction of being the first Rossika
member in the obituaries fell to member #75, Yan
Yakovlevich Gravelsin,31 who passed away at 36
of influenzal pneumonia), several others withdrew
voluntarily, and droves were expelled for failure to
pay dues or for circuit book purchases. At the
beginning of 1931 alone, 14 were tossed out for
falling in arrears. Their member numbers ranged
from 7 to 70. That might not seem like many, but
when one considers that the yearly dues in 1930
came to all of U.S. $1 per member, the financial
straits of the emigres becomes apparent.

For some of them, though, a lack of money was
not the problem; it was how they made it.
Complaints about petty theft, slow payment and
thoughtlessness among many members figured
prominently in Arkhangelsky's "Life of the
Society" column, so much so that in Journal #8 he
threatened to institute a "black list" of deadbeats.
Twenty-five percent of those participating in the
stamp-book circuit had opted not to pay in 1931.

At left: A wrapper from Arkhangelsky to
Sklarevski in the U.S., posted on 31 October 1935.
(Reduced to 75%. Rossica Archives.)

At right: A certificate that
accompanied the bronze medal
awarded to I.N. Rubakh for exhibiting
zemstvos at the first Yugoslavian
national-level exhibition of 1937.
(Courtesy of Natalia Izyumova.) Mo AKMAiW Y [OMAY


Snor [ nOIUUY

..... .. ..... .. .

Igor Nikolayevich Rubakh.. T
(Photo taken in 1959. Rossica '

Rossika's Yugoslavian world.

Rossika was an active participant in the development of the Serbian philatelic scene, and
Russian collectors in general may well have been one of the major sparks impelling
Yugoslavia's philatelic evolution. Reference was made earlier that Yugoslavia in the
1920s and '30s lagged behind many other European countries in stamp collecting. Now
consider the effect that a sudden influx of Russian collectors coming from Wrangel's
camps in the 1920s would have had. Once these people got settled and acquired some
disposable income, they would have reverted to their old interests and started building up
their collections again. They would have joined the local stamp clubs in considerable
numbers, and we know that some of them began to write for Yugoslavian philatelic
publications. Among their number were some very experienced and respected
philatelists, and perhaps most important of all, by the 1930s many of those Russian
collectors would still have been young (in their 30s and 40s) and energetic. The impact
of such a Russian confluence on Yugoslavia's philatelic life must have been
considerable. Although there were a number of philatelic societies in Yugoslavia in the

several years after 1930. In any event, he did not appear in the 4th membership list of May 1937. There
was one other exception that proved the rule V.N. Sorokhtin, who joined in 1933 for a brief time.
Rossika might have had one more member from the USSR, K.N. Morozov, whose return address was the
Soviet Consulate in Shiraz, Persia. Whether Morozov worked at the consulate or merely used it as an
address for his mail is unknown.

1920s, they did not unite to form a national organization until approximately 1932, three
years after Rossika's birth.34

Prior to 1937, Rossika's members had exhibited in shows run by local clubs (Novi Sad,
Zagreb and Subotitsa), and at least five of them Arkhangelsky, Kuklin, Mangeley,
Rubakh and Chubinsky participated in Yugoslavia's first national-level exhibition, in
Belgrade, 1937. The show was an eight-day affair and coincided with the 5th Annual
Congress of the Yugoslavian Union of Philatelic Societies, of which Rossika was a
member.35 A Rossika group had been formed in Belgrade early on, but it had fallen
quickly into disrepair. Its "reorganization" and expansion under I.N. Rubakh and S.P.
Mangeley was applauded by Arkhangelsky,36 and it came just in time for the Society to
earn some visibility at this national exhibition. Both the Belgrade Rossika club and
Arkhangelsky pushed hard for the success of the show, but not long after this event, the
world of Rossika in Yugoslavia began to crumble.

At left: A bronze certificate
awarded to I.N. Rubakh for his
display of zemstvo stamps at the
SKIH FILATEL IST Novi Sad local show in 1935.
DAJE OVU DIPLOMU' (Courtesy of Natalia Izyumova.)
IZLO ENU I NAGRADJENU :SA The collapse of Rossika in
KOJ. IZLO2BI MARAKA -OVI SAD, 10. VI. 1935. The deepening worldwide
/ . -economic crisis made collecting
a. d' '" 'M dues and debts much more
i- .--=--.n .: difficult for EMA, as one country
after another limited or abolished currency exchange through the mails. Beginning in
September 1939, membership dues fell by 80%, all thanks to the start of WWII.
(Considering the fact that Arkhangelsky could claim over 600 members in 1940,37 that
meant approximately 480 of them could no longer participate in the Society's activities or
Journal.) The Chairman pleaded with country representatives to collect dues from their
members and forward the money to him, but his plea in #39 (February 1940) went for
naught. Members in Germany, Poland, England and France were essentially cut off, and
he was forced to limit the circuit books to Yugoslavia. He also gave serious
consideration to shifting the Journal's production to the New York Branch under S.V.

34 I am not suggesting that Rossika got the Serbian philatelic movement up and running, only that Russian
collectors in general would have made a significant contribution.
35 Vystavka v Byelgradye, in Rossika No. 25, March 1937, p. 17.
36 Zhizn' Obshchestva, inRossika No. 25, March 1937, p. 28.
37 Rossika Bulletin No. 3, p. 1.

Prigara,38 but it never came to pass. Rossika would issue only one more journal from
Europe before the lights went out there.

The Society suffered terrible losses in the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania, and
Estonia, due in part to the difficulties mentioned earlier, but mostly as a result of Stalin's
grab for territory and the attentions of his NKVD on the populace. We know next to
nothing about the individual fates of our Baltic members except this: with two exceptions
- P.P. Bogdanov from Latvia and F.Yu. Zabel'skiy from Lithuania they never appeared
again on Rossica's membership lists after the Society was reborn in 1952.39 To get some
idea of just how much the Soviet takeover of the Baltics in June 1940 eviscerated the
Society in Europe, consider this: Although the Society continued to be tied by name
(ROFRYu) to its birthplace, Yugoslavia, by December 1931, a mere 21/2 years after the
Society's founding, that name was already a misnomer. In the Membership List issued in
January 1932, both Estonia's (35) and Latvia's (46) active membership exceeded that of
Yugoslavia's (32). Adding Lithuania's 10, the Baltic countries accounted for almost
three times the number of members in Yugoslavia. It would have been more accurate to
call it "Rossika, the Society of Russian Philatelists in the Baltic States,"40 and it was those
very states that went under.

Some who read this may think it a stretch, melodramatic hyperbole, to say that Rossika
members would necessarily have been among those arrested, executed or deported. Why
would the NKVD concern itself with so harmless a creature as a stamp collector? Why
could they not simply have found themselves cut off from the Society in June 1940, yet
continued their hobby in place? They would then have been unable to rejoin Rossika in
1952 since they were still held inside the USSR, and membership in such a foreign
organization would have been forbidden in any event.

"Another set of instructions, issued by the commissar of newly Sovietized Lithuania in
November 1940, said deportees should include, along / ith the categories above,41 those
frequently traveling abroad, involved in overseas correspondence or coming into contact
ii ith representatives of foreign states, Esperantists; philatelists, those working / ith the

38 This branch was formally established on 4 April 1936, at the same moment as the "Russian Society of
Philatelists (Rossika) in America" was created. The branch began with a mere seven individuals meeting
at the Russian Club at 56 East 121st St. (Prigara, N'yuiorkskiy Klub R.O.F. "Rossika," inRossika No.
43, June 1941, p. 387.
39 Between 1929 and 1940 there were at least 128 Rossika members in Latvia, 125 in Estonia, and 36 in
Lithuania. Many of them had dropped out of or been expelled from the Society before 1940, some had
moved to Germany, and some, like Gravel'sin, had died, but two out of 289 is still a remarkably low
rate on returning members. Members in Yugoslavia and China fared much better by comparison.
Zabel'siky rejoined in 1952 (Member #31) but dropped out two years later. (New Member List #1, 10
November 1954, p. [2]. Bogdanov was still in the Society as of 1 November 1963, but is missing in
40 The same could be said when the Society's journal moved to Shanghai, but most of the name was already
spoken for by the other major Russian philatelic society there, the RPSC.
41 These were 'active members of counter-revolutionary organizations i.e. political parties, former
members of the police or the prison service; important capitalists and bourgeoisie; former officers of the
national armies; family members of all of the above; anyone repatriated from Germany; refugees from
'former Poland'; as well as thieves and prostitutes' DMS.)

Red Cross; refugees; smugglers; those expelled from the Communist Party; priests and
active members of religious congregations; the nobility; landowners; i e, hil/iy merchants;
bankers, industrialists, hotel and restaurant owners. 42

The categories were the same for Latvia and Estonia. Given that list, Rossika members -
by definition philatelists, but also refugees, involved in overseas correspondence, many
of them religious, most of them decidedly of the bourgeoisie or nobility, and a fair
number of them former White officers were deportation or execution bait.

Two early researchers in the WWI mute cancel field, E.A. Bruhl and A.K. Bredys, were
among those the Society lost. Bruhl died in 1940 and Bredys was deported to a forced-
labor camp in Siberia, where he too perished.43 Most if not all of the Baltic Rossika
members who had not managed to flee the country would have been driven underground,
deported to the east, imprisoned or executed. Although the Rossika members there were
already cut off from the Society in the middle of June 1940, they would have begun
disappearing in earnest during the weeks following the sham elections of July.

"...[T]he NKVD, under the leadership of General Ivan Serov, arrested between 15,000
and 20,000 'hostile elements.' In Latvia alone, 1,480 people were summarily executed at
the beginning of July. ... While Pravda wrote that 'the sun of the great Stalinist
constitution will henceforth be shining its gratifying rays on new territories and new
peoples,' what was actually beginning for the Baltic states was a long period of arrests,
deportations, and executions. 44

Just in June 1941, 25,711 people were deported from the Baltic States, 11,102 of them (in
the "class enemy" category) from Estonia alone. The latter were shipped east in 490
railroad cars.45 For all of 1940-41, 96,000 were arrested and 160,000 were deported from
the Baltic area.46 The Society felt the blow not just in the loss of numbers and dues, but
also in the sudden "departure" of some of Rossika's most energetic organizers.

"As a result of the war flaring in Europe, the situation i/ ith our Journal has taken a turn
for the worse. Various strictures, bans and military censorship have been introduced
even in the neutral countries, and this has prevented us from publishing this issue (#39)
on time. ...If we add to that difficulties of a purely material character, then the future of
'Rossika' looks bleak indeed. 47

42 Applebaum, GULAG. A History, p. 44, citing Keith Sword, "Deportation and Exile: Poles in the Soviet
Union, 1939-48, New York, 1994.
43 Levin, The Mute Cancels ofRussia, 1914-1917, p. 5. I have been unable to establish if Bruhl's death was
a result of the invasion or coincidental.
44 Courtois et al., The Black Book of Communism, p. 212.
45 Ibid. & Deportation, Tartu City Museum, accessed at
http://linnamuuseum.tartu.ee/en/branches/kgb/deport.html on 20 June 2003.
46 Applebaum, op. cit., p. 423.
47 Arkhangelsky, Rossika No. 39, p. 281.

By the time Journal #41 could be scraped together and published in Shanghai, the
destruction was nearly complete. This was Arkhangelsky's "Life of the Society"
message in that issue:

"1. Due to the impossibility of continuing to print our Journal in Revel' we are
transferring its printing to .h\lnghai, under the direction of the Chief Representative for
Asia and Australia, Aleksandr II 'ich Maslov. We hope that our journal will be as well
printed there as it has been up to the present in Yugoslavia, Latvia, and Estonia.

MEMBERSHIP ROLLS OF 'ROSSIKA' as of 1 September of this year.

"3. Until such time as the situation is clarified, all our members living in

"4. ALL OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY living in Europe, to include
MORAVIA AND YUGOSLAVIA shall be viewed as continuing in the Society as before,
and only in cases of doubt about a change of address at a given time should
correspondence [about other members] be directed to the Chairman in Yugoslavia.

"5. All correspondence / ith members in the Middle East should for the time
being be sent through the Chairman in Yugoslavia.

"6. Because of the events in Europe, the printing of GENERAL LIST OF
SOCIETY MEMBERS #5, scheduled to go out on 1 September 1940, will be postponed
indefinitely. TEMPORARY LIST #5, containing the names of members who regularly pay
their dues and maintain normal correspondence and stamp exchanges i/ ith the Chairman
and the Society Representatives in Europe, America and Asia, shall appear in .\Ih, gh ii
during January 1941. 48

The Journal in Europe.

Meeting with a few like-minded individuals to form a society was one thing; producing a
journal on a financial shoestring was something else. Arkhangelsky alluded to "all sorts
of obstacles" in getting Rossika #1 published, and it was only "thanks to our brother
Serbs" that it appeared at all. What that help was and from whom specifically it came is
unclear, but it was enough to support four issues a year up to 1932. The first ten numbers
were produced in Novi Sad and Belgrade. The firm of S.F. Filonov in Novyi Sad did the
Russian typesetting and the Belgrade business "Polet" (Flight), owned by D.B. Androsov,
did the zincography printing.

48 Arkhangelsky, Rossika No. 41, p. 358.

It wasn't long before this arrangement came to a halt. EMA was feeling a serious pinch
by the middle of 1932, due in part to dishonest members stealing from circuit books, but
mostly to the severe economic depression. By that time, he and the Society were losing
money on everything. The situation in Yugoslavia reached the point where he was forced
to have Vitkovsky and E.P. Hansen print #11 (Dec. 1932) and subsequent issues in Riga,
Latvia. Those were run off first at the "Dzimtene" printing shop, then at "Herold," but
despite the financial problems the quarterly pace continued.

The journal was printed in small format, and its photographs were generally of poor
quality, but the excellent content won it plaudits and medals at four major exhibitions,
three of them big internationals "WIPA" in Vienna (1933), "Ostropa" in K6nigsberg
(1935), Prague (1938), and the national exhibition "Zefib" in Belgrade (1937). For a
fledgling journal, two silvers and two bronzes at shows of that caliber were nothing to
sneeze at.

The baton was passed again in less than
four years. Vitkovsky's job and
P0 CB I A unspecified complications in getting the
,.u journal printed in Riga forced a switch in
1936 to Tallinn, Estonia. There, A.V.
Sokolov shepherded Rossika #24 from
Opfraul' manuscript to print at the "Libris" printers,
PyCCKaro 061iecTBa OlIHaTeJlaCTOB'h and in 1938 the tempo increased to FIVE
rh :O Hr0laBill issues per year. But when Arkhangelsky
penned his little prayer for #34, there
Mf I AuptJb 1930 r. weren't too many issues left in poor
Estonia: "God grant that in the very near
future the good ship 'Rossika' shall safely
COAEPWAH[E sail to the shores of our Dear, Great,
I. Kt' pyccKtnt 4Ku)iaTuemHcTaM.
2. -Irachaai. OK).jieIhii n apu. e inaMTb rTce- Liberated Motherland, where we will have
atriat XopuarTcaro KopoaeaCTBa. E. Apxa.ue S.bcK1t,
3. Pcl Haara o. s on. Ha olauam H i no- to give an account of our labors
klfxzb mapial,. E. A.
4. Ki o .ieran~. 4. jeya. abroad... "1 Numbers 24 to 40 were all that
5. Ulrenemin rauenls Ha MapKaL, JIaTai EBl nepEue
Atn ,Re3aoRea.Ioe. Ho K. were produced in Tallinn, and then the
6. Mapai JinT8Yi A. MapmuIHema. ,
7. fnoiearue ostSb. E. Apxan'eAcxi Soviets swept across the Baltic States. The
8. Xp~mnwPa ILOBx% unycxob. E. A,
,Coa ., tiny society had to find someplace else to
II oa~s.mein. publish. "The Good Ship Rossika" set sail
for Shanghai.

The first Rossika Journal, April 1930.

At right: The Rossika front cover, designed and
drawn by Nikolay Mikhaylovich Volkov, an
Honored Member.49 It graced Rossika Nos. 6-40.


Above: The Rossika badge ("znachok"), of white,
blue, and red enamel. Note the similarity between
its wreath motif and that of the Journal's front cover. The fact that it was produced and
sold by Estonian Representative A.V. Sokolov (for 20 francs) may explain why the
reference to "in Yugoslavia" was dropped from the initials. Only 100 were made, and
none have found their way to the Rossica Archives.

The design for the back cover of the Rossika Journal,
most probably drawn by N.M. Volkov.

49 [Arkhangelsky], Zhizn' obshchestva, inRossika No. 6, May 1931, p. 38.

Rossika in the U.S.

For reasons not stated in #43,50 Arkhangelsky was forced to turn over the reins of the
Society to S.V. Prigara in New York, naming him as the "Temporary Chairman."
Number 43 came out in June 1941, but the August issue never appeared, so the question
of who was in charge became moot. Prigara had a full-page article about the New York
Branch of Rossica and its incredible pace of meetings (181 from its establishment in 1936
to 2 December 1940), but five years of frenetic activity and a healthy membership of 32
weren't enough to pick up the banner when Rossika in Shanghai fell.


The Russian Philatelic Srac
for United Statac, Canada & C.

Sergei Vasil. Prigari
32-48, 76th Street,
Jackson hlcagirs, L. I., N. V., L

\ I

A---.--,. .


. S. A.

144,L n a. S~KcOxeWb~dxA


/ *~~__ J19LttPt&Y P0

A cover from S.V. Prigara to Rimma Sklarevski, 11 June 1938, sent less than a month
after Prigara's honorary membership was bestowed for establishing the New York
Branch with 30 members. (From the Rossica Archives.)

And yet, despite the fact that the New York Branch never managed to issue a journal
before the collapse, its leader Sergey Vasil'evich Prigara did do something that no
one in any other branch or group had done write and publish (the ponderously-titled)
"The Russian Post in the Empire, Turkey, China, and the Post in the Kingdom of
Poland. For many years after its publication in 1941, it was one of only a few Russian-
language philatelic handbooks to include stamps, stationery, handstamps, and postal
history under one cover. Its importance to the development of Russian philately in the
West can't be overstated. For more than three decades, "The Russian Post... served as
the point of departure for a considerable number of articles and some book-length studies.
Some of the assertions it contained have since been proven wrong, and it certainly didn't
cover the 18th, 19t, and early 20th centuries with as much depth as it might have, but it

50 The war in Europe and the situation in Yugoslavia made it impossible for Arkhangelsky to exercise any
control over the journal or the society. Even correspondence was becoming chancy.

F'4' **""

was a handbook, not an encyclopedia. At the time, it represented the state of the art as it
was known in the West, and it was the first non-periodical Rossika Society publication.51

S.V. Prigara and "The Russian
SPost in the Empire, Turkey, China
Jand the Post in the Kingdom of
-Ki. Poland, New York, 1941.

And from the standpoint of Rossika memorabilia, we owe the New York Branch another
debt of gratitude the 1938 "Rossika Philatelic Exhibition" vignette, produced in New
York to commemorate the 10 April event held in two halls of the YMCA.52 They aren't
encountered often these days, on or off cover. The Rossica Archives contain two blocks
(2x2 and 2x3) of these stamps, perf 12, with selvage still attached, but there is a
complete sheet of 10 in the Jeff Radcliffe collection, with one row forming a tete-b&che
from either direction. Another complete sheet of 10, this one imperforate, resides in the
Bill Nickle collection. Other than the Rossika znachok produced in Estonia, these were
the first Society collectibles.

51 In fact, the second book-length publication to come out of the Society was an English translation of this
very work, 40 years later.
52 Prigara, .j -i. ,kskiy Klub R.O.F. 'Rossika'," in Rossika No. 43, June 1941, p. 387. I have been unable
to ascertain who was responsible for the design and production of the 1938 vignette. Emile Marcovitch,
the great erinophilia researcher, thought that it was probably Prigara, but wasn't certain. (Letter from
Marcovitch to Salisbury, 17 December 1962. Rossica Archives.)

YS1KUA Arim :r3I
BaT,9M1H,BKhT~h ,w^

onAPOiHIl ClIpa&mHHh'A
no 1TOBb E MAPKWI1t AbHh1 BELir' i

r Hbhlo [lrhA

The New York Branch's Rossika
Philatelic Exhibition cinderellas of

At left: A complete sheet of 10,
printed to produce a tete-beche pair in
the middle row. (Reduced to 75%.
Jeff Radcliffe coll.)

Below: A block of six, printed on
lighter paper. (Reduced to 75%.
Rossica Archives.)

~ '-.. 4"l~bll;,

'H 0

rA -
IBpl I 11P. r-ou, -1
'iI F LI "'
~--r~' 3'I r~~i

A block of four, reproduced
at actual size, and probably
the piece that would
complete the block of six on
the preceding page.
(Rossica Archives.)

The complete sheet of 10
imperforate vignettes in the
Bill Nickle collection is
printed on the lighter paper.
There is no difference in the
arrangement of the stamps.

rel it r ;v;I T 10

r; y' 'ITIV
h, riiii~ ~'i~i~~t~p




~t. o
i -Ci .---
;Ir\ It
-- I *A .1 -
Ac ir), Y'Arva

4rt: -1~

C'e'-0 t~s

a/oaK /~C Fit

This cover was mailed to A.A. Khoroshansky (Rossica member No. 647 in the old list)
on the day of the exhibition. (George Werbizky coll.)

-tW s.



6tteaC 4c

O:-/L.'KL,'jV. N. F'


^ 1 jL '^P

orJrN t
UW L h4B; --op

S -r
L i
PL'L NUMBER .-aes6

A second cover bearing the 1938 Rossika vignette, written in the same hand and
addressed to another member, Joseph Godleff (member No. 621). It too was posted on
the day of the exhibition. (George Werbizky coll.)



v s
Senre, SlUiiai aidi" 6b CVFtee.

urw ,lrss annu
Y. M. C. A.L lld. H1i Wa 3&J Seta KN YTrk Citv
S++++.*-*.t, ***+++***++494*

i i. iii

(Photocopy reduced
to 40%. Courtesy of
Greg Mirsky.)

When Rossika in China shut down, so too did the New York Branch. A good case can be
made, though, that it simply renamed and reinvented itself, and became a national
organization like the BSRP.


The Society in China

Rossika in China, 1940-1941.

When Rossika in Europe fell apart, China was one of only two logical fallback positions
for the Society. A branch had been formed there early on under A.I. Maslov,1 and there
were tens of thousands of Russian emigres centered in Harbin, Shanghai, Tsingtao and
Tientsin. Nor was Rossika alone on the Chinese mainland. The Russian Philatelic
Society in China (RPSC) had started up in 1935 with the permission of the Chinese
government, the Shanghai International Settlement authorities and the French
Concession, and it was going great guns. By early 1941 it was 233 strong and meeting
once each week at the Russian Club.2

SLike Rossika, it was predominantly Russian, non-political and
interested in all fields of philately. As its name would suggest,
though, its reach was limited to China, so it was a national society,
not an international one. The two societies had much in common,
'I /but there were two important differences.

At left: A.I. Maslov.

First, whereas Rossika had been issuing regular journals, the
RPSC produced only one,3 and that was to mark its sixth
anniversary. Second, Rossika was widely scattered, so its swap
meetings, bourses, exhibitions and presentations were scattered, too, limited to the groups
and clubs. The RPSC, on the other hand, was concentrated primarily in Shanghai, so its
events were bigger and more frequent. In this respect, it acted more like a local society,
similar to the New York Branch of Rossika, albeit much larger.

In other words, the RPSC and Rossika didn't compete; they complemented one another,
so China was made to order for Rossika and its journal to expand.

Despite the Society's rapid decline in Europe, it offset that by gathering members at a
dizzying pace in the Far East, reaching approximately 600 before the collapse. That was
Rossika's high-water mark; it has not been approached since. Dues "skyrocketed" with
the membership rolls, a whopping increase of 50% to $1.50 a year. Compared with
European and American membership, Rossika in China was huge. The number of
members just in the city of Shanghai alone reached 58, and that, of course, was due

1 Maslov was an Honored Member of bothRossika and the RPSC. (Photo from Rossica No. 51, [p. 36].)
2 Societies Mirror, Russian Philatelic Society in China, in The Asia Stamp Journal, Dec. 1940-Mar. 1941,
p. 271 & Vansovich, The Truth About Souvenir Sheets Issued by the Chinese Post Office,
C. 'a,.m .ii.. i ,, 'i the Stamp Exhibition of the Russian Philatelic Society in China, inRossika No. 51, p. 30.
3 No copy of this journal exists in the Rossica Archives, but some should have survived, given the
substantial number of Russian philatelists who reached North and South America.


The Society in China

Rossika in China, 1940-1941.

When Rossika in Europe fell apart, China was one of only two logical fallback positions
for the Society. A branch had been formed there early on under A.I. Maslov,1 and there
were tens of thousands of Russian emigres centered in Harbin, Shanghai, Tsingtao and
Tientsin. Nor was Rossika alone on the Chinese mainland. The Russian Philatelic
Society in China (RPSC) had started up in 1935 with the permission of the Chinese
government, the Shanghai International Settlement authorities and the French
Concession, and it was going great guns. By early 1941 it was 233 strong and meeting
once each week at the Russian Club.2

SLike Rossika, it was predominantly Russian, non-political and
interested in all fields of philately. As its name would suggest,
though, its reach was limited to China, so it was a national society,
not an international one. The two societies had much in common,
'I /but there were two important differences.

At left: A.I. Maslov.

First, whereas Rossika had been issuing regular journals, the
RPSC produced only one,3 and that was to mark its sixth
anniversary. Second, Rossika was widely scattered, so its swap
meetings, bourses, exhibitions and presentations were scattered, too, limited to the groups
and clubs. The RPSC, on the other hand, was concentrated primarily in Shanghai, so its
events were bigger and more frequent. In this respect, it acted more like a local society,
similar to the New York Branch of Rossika, albeit much larger.

In other words, the RPSC and Rossika didn't compete; they complemented one another,
so China was made to order for Rossika and its journal to expand.

Despite the Society's rapid decline in Europe, it offset that by gathering members at a
dizzying pace in the Far East, reaching approximately 600 before the collapse. That was
Rossika's high-water mark; it has not been approached since. Dues "skyrocketed" with
the membership rolls, a whopping increase of 50% to $1.50 a year. Compared with
European and American membership, Rossika in China was huge. The number of
members just in the city of Shanghai alone reached 58, and that, of course, was due

1 Maslov was an Honored Member of bothRossika and the RPSC. (Photo from Rossica No. 51, [p. 36].)
2 Societies Mirror, Russian Philatelic Society in China, in The Asia Stamp Journal, Dec. 1940-Mar. 1941,
p. 271 & Vansovich, The Truth About Souvenir Sheets Issued by the Chinese Post Office,
C. 'a,.m .ii.. i ,, 'i the Stamp Exhibition of the Russian Philatelic Society in China, inRossika No. 51, p. 30.
3 No copy of this journal exists in the Rossica Archives, but some should have survived, given the
substantial number of Russian philatelists who reached North and South America.

primarily to the RPSC in Shanghai and A.I. Maslov, who actively pushed both societies.4
This situation with international mail had grown so tenuous that in a letter from
Yugoslavia dated 8 February 1941, Arkhangelsky handed the reins of the Society over to
Prigara in New York as First Deputy Head of the Society, and appointed Maslov as the
Acting Second Deputy Head (3aMecTHTeJib (BTopoii) FJiaBHaro PyKoBoAJITeJm) of the
Society, subordinated to Prigara. Journal Editor K.N. Utin, who had been the Society's
representative for Shanghai, was bumped up to take Maslov's former place as Acting
Chief Representative for Asia and Australia. The deck reshuffling continued down the
line, with Twelkmeyer and Shulitsky taking up local representation duties in other areas
and cities of China. These arrangements were assumed to be temporary, effective only
until such time as Arkhangelsky could reestablish regular correspondence.5 It was not to

We know very little about the Society during its China phase, and I have seen no Rossika
correspondence to or from that country. About all we can be certain of is what was
printed in the Shanghai journals, and that's not much. The Japanese occupation of
Shanghai (they had established control over the city in 1937) and then the outbreak of
war between the U.S. and Japan in December 1941 sealed the Society's immediate fate,
since the mail situation in Asia and the Pacific deteriorated drastically. (Vansovich tells
us that in 1943, the RPSC souvenir sheets could be used to frank mail only within China,
to Japan and to the USSR.)6 Journals, therefore, couldn't have been sent very far in any
direction (and there were no Rossika members in the two latter countries), so the loss of
members would have accelerated. Perhaps Rossika in China continued to exist for a short
while, issuing no journals or bulletins and living as the weak sister to the RPSC, but it's
much more likely that the Chinese incarnation simply and quickly collapsed. No journal
was forthcoming anymore, so Rossika at that time would have provided nothing that the
RPSC could not. Moreover, dues were supposed to be sent to Arkhangelsky, and that
was problematic. The members there would have defaulted to the Russian Philatelic
Society of China, and as the USSR and Japan were not at war until 1945, the Japanese
occupation force "treated the White Russians as neutrals and left them alone."7 It is
certain that many of the collectors survived the war and stayed in China8 until the
Chinese Red Army forced the Nationalists to retreat to Taiwan.

(A footnote to Rossika in China: On occasion one will chance upon an envelope or
souvenir sheet commemorating the 28 February 1943 Exhibition of the RPSC in
Shanghai. These items are NOT Rossika productions, although some former Rossika

4 Of the 12 individuals named as officers of the RPSC on 5 January 1941, at least eight Ananyin, Chen,
Ebbel, Hauffe, Lilienthal, Katkov, Langeluetje and Vansovich were Rossika members. (Societies
Mirror, p. 270. Given the holes in our reconstruction of the first membership list (Appendix 1), there
may well have been more.
5 Offitsial'noye izvyeshcheniye, inRossika No. 42, April 1941, pp. 39-40.
6 Vansovich, op. cit., p. 33.
7Pietruszka, Raymond J., The Russian Philatelic Society in China, inRossica No. 145, Fall 2005, p. 20.
8 Maslov, for instance, emigrated to the United States and got the Los Angeles Rossika chapter going.
(Rossika Journal ## 46-47 (Russian version), 1955, p. 1.) He passed away soon after, in 1957.
Vansovich and a number of others got out, too.

members were involved in the Exhibition. The full story of how they came to be can be
found in Rossika #51. )

Bbl C T 0 B
Exposition Philatelique do [a lfciast Ine en Ctiin

r. LUW3Hra. KHT3u
2'B iieap. 1043 r.

RPSC postal stationery commemorating the 28 February 1943 exhibition.
(D. Skipton coll.)

At right: A cover
.** bearing the RPSC
,* f souvenir sheet, mailed
locally from the B lMrS BulIl!N
- f)"I exhibition. It appeared" "
as lot 133 in the 2005
Autumn Sale (No. 291)
,* of John Bull Stamp
Auctions, Ltd. It sold
for $2,600 Hong Kong
On reverse of dollars. (My thanks to -
cover above.. Denys Voaden for this


PyccNaro 0owjecrBa 0QMaiennIHTOB a HKeat

..*. :.- -A T? tI

14 X

"WS A--
.' '~~-.W

I ,1

One of the souvenir-sheet varieties issued to commemorate
the RPSC exhibition on 28 Feb. 1943. Each sheet was serially numbered. (Reduced to
70%. Rossica Archives.)

7 -.. --- ----- -- --- --- -- -
['iLi DeAY p'wij II.

b tCT l l lKdar .
rElsition thilP tliqiiue Ia Ml. PDillt 1 Cii
In G~C nortinaon of the
WSAMP EXHIBrTION in Nanking on
In. Z1lh March 1041 A

W .... h ..
A N Vir...,
P 0. Box 210

Mint StjmLp 3-"n s
Coi.lmbia. La
U.d- ...

The cover shown above (reduced to 55%) is an odd duck, an old RPSC show FDC left
over from the February 1943 exhibition in Shanghai. After the offending text the name
of the Society and the date of the earlier exhibition had been "crossed out" with red see-

through lines, the new text was added, commemorating the Nanking Stamp Exhibition of
20 March 1948.

-i Reverse. Reduced to 75%.
(Rossica Archives)

------ r- -- -= s S S C A *B- 0- S I C--A

1053 Avenue Foch. Shanghai. China.






SFor particular please write to: P. O. Bot 490. Shanghai. CHINA-


Rossika's alter ego in China:
An advertisement for the RPSC that appeared in Rossika #41, Nov. 1940.

The Journal in China.

Enthusiastic and wildly optimistic the Shanghai chapter certainly was. In #41 (Nov.
1940), plans were announced to make #50 in 1942 a jubilee issue of a thousand pages or
more, and just to put an extra exclamation point to its project, the chapter intended to
print 5,000 journals. To that end, Editor K.N. Utin advertised in the next two issues for
articles, expecting a flood of responses, but Shanghai's stewardship of the Journal was
too short-lived to realize such an ambitious project. Numbers 42 and 43 came out in
April and June of 1941, with another one promised for the middle of July or thereabouts.9

Despite its abrupt and rapid end, the Shanghai journal certainly stirred up its fair share of
controversy. The beginnings of the final indignity to "OUR journal" and "OUR society"
could be seen at the back of the Russian section of #41. It was the "Far Eastern
Supplement to Rossica Magazine No. 41," and it was in... English. Not very good
English, it's true, but English nonetheless.

Many Russian members didn't like the supplement, nor did the "look" of the journal and
its cover please them. For example, a member in Europe wrote: "Rossika #41, the one
printed in .h\li nghi, was received yesterday. A pity that it is larger [in size], and its
overall character is not that of a European journal. Rather, it looks more American, like
an American-style brochure. And another: "...I am a Russian, and Russian is more
comprehensible to me than any other. The Rossika Journal is for Russians, who speak
only Russian... I fear that the Rossika Journal will turn into an English-[language]
journal, and that would be a great shame. I repeat, #41 was well put together, and well
published. But it has become only half Russian, and for Russians that is a great

9 I have seen no explanation from withinRossika's ranks as to why #44 wasn't issued from China. It would
still have preceded the outbreak of war in the Pacific, and the postal situation in China that July was not
terribly worse than it was the month before. Perhaps Utin became ill or otherwise indisposed, and maybe
the invasion of the USSR by Germany in late June played a role, but this is all speculation.


At right: The first Rossika Journal
edited and published in Shanghai,
November 1940, and the first to contain
articles in English. This was the
pioneering issue of Rossika's outreach
to non-Russian members.

Note that the journal is billed as the
"organ of the Society of Philatelists in
Yugoslavia." "Russian" has been
dropped... This was apparently just an
oversight on Utin's part, as it was
corrected in the subsequent journal.

I -- = m

P 0 C H K R


No. 41
HR O S SIINO O.l 140

R 0 S S I K A

lrtIlJeni E.f*~n rkhdngeltky
k.ln -Cl 'va Jug-l-llif.

S l .--- -

1-h !-.r ..r rdllca p l I. l
,&h ...... II...... VAL l
12[ L.._ I f i J I[lu. I1511

* .


At left: Rossika Journal #42, the second
one produced by the Shanghai branch and
a major departure from the European

Although there were many Russians in
China, there were many more non-
Russians, and it was this that prompted the
"Far Eastern Section." Printed by the J.J.
Vassilieff firm at Rue Lafayette in
Shanghai, #41 was notable not just for its
English supplement, but for its distinctly
Chinese flavor. There was an article by
H.C. Chen on the "Manchukuo 15 Fen
Fake," another on the "Hong Kong Print
Stamps," and still another on "The Lure of
Chinese Numismatics." At the rate the
Chinese topics were going, the last thing
the Russians would have to worry about
would be a few pages in fractured English.

The same bugbear that had bedeviled Rossika's journal in the Baltic States lack of
money would not relent when the publication moved to Shanghai. Despite a veritable


horde of advertisers in #41, Arkhangelsky pleaded once again for members to pay their
dues quickly, as the appearance of #42 had been delayed.

K.N. Utin, obviously stung by the criticism hurled at the English section in #41, defended
himself in #42 with much the same argument that Greg Salisbury would use against his
detractors over a decade later. (The following quote is reproduced as it appeared, warts
and all.)

"1) While the majority of Rossika's Members are deeply interested in collecting
Russian Rural Stamps and in studying its History, only one member here, is pt, ting. some
interest to these stamps;

"2) Over 'seventy per cent' of Far-Eastern members collect China and
Manchutikuo mainly and half of them only, considering Stamps of all other countries as
of secondary importance, or of no interest or value at all; (!)

"3) Few European Members show a slight interest in the stamps of China and

"4) At the same time approximately 100 members had never read a Rossika
magazine because it is in Russian only. "

Had events not intervened to "save" Rossika, the journal might well have evolved into a
magazine devoted primarily to Chinese topics and written half in Russian, half in bad
English, or even worse, completely in Chinese. As it was, the outcry was loud. To his
credit, Utin printed extracts from the critical letters, (but then, editors are often desperate
for copy, even negative copy!). The "Far Eastern Times" reviewed #41, liked the
Russian section and gave thumbs down to the English section, noting with ill-concealed
disgust that the latter at 38 pages was 10 pages longer than the former. Others carped
about the numerous typos (yes, there were a lot of those), the English, the size of the
journal, its looks (the paper was "abominable," the font "terrible," and the contents
"dubious"). They were right about the paper, too. The Rossica Library's copies are today
a yellowing, fragile mess.

A few thought the new-look Journal was the greatest thing since watermark fluid, but
Utin's title for the feedback section said it all: "On #41 of Rossica -thefirst issue of the
Far Eastern Section in english provokes exceptionally divergent verdicts among member
of the Society: 'h\lh p comments Exceptional Praise!"'

The battles for the soul of the Society was it to be Rossica or Rossika? had begun, but
not for long. They would have to wait until America was reached before they could
finally be resolved.


The "Dark Decade," RAPS, and the Slavic Societies

The "Dark Decade," 1942-1952.

It has been the contention of some that today's Rossica, while bearing the same
(Anglicized) name as the Yugoslavian-era Rossika, is not the same society. The
argument goes that it was dead for 10 years (1942-1952), rather a long time for a corpse
to entertain hopes of resuscitation, and that what now exists is therefore a different and
new organization, a successor to the old, rather than a continuation of it. Rossica is
indeed different, in that its membership doesn't look at all like that of the 1930s, no
White Russian officers are to be found today in its ranks, and its Journal bears little
resemblance to the old one. And it's in the U.S. now, not Yugoslavia, or the Baltic
States, or China. All true. But the contention is in error, and this section will show why.

During those 10 years, the Society ceased to function. No Rossika journal appeared, no
bulletin or membership list was issued, nothing. For a brief time in 1947-1948 the
"corpse" twitched ever so slightly in two displaced-persons camps in Germany -
Schlesheim and Passau that Aleksandr Chebotkevich and Aleksandr Lavrov called
home, but organizing and sustaining a philatelic society from a DP camp was quite
impossible, so the effort had to be shelved.1 They didn't get to the U.S. until 1950, but
still they were giving the society's revival serious thought.

Very well, then, Rossika may have gone under in Europe and China, but there was still
the New York Branch, the last sizable concentration of members in a place that wasn't
already a battlefield or threatening to become one. It appeared to go dormant when the
rest of the Society did, but did it really?


No, not really, at least not for a few years more. Consider if you will the following

1) Rossika ceased to function in late 1941 or perhaps early 1942. The "Russian-
American Philatelic Society" RAPS was born in March 1942. The
societies didn't overlap until Rossika's recovery in 1952.
2) When Shanghai was closed off, Rossika's last stronghold was in New York.
RAPS' first and only stronghold was in New York.

1 Chebotkevich (at the Schlesheim DP Camp near Munich) had been in contact with Arkhangelsky by
mail, and managed to gather a few of the members together there in 1947 and 1948. Lavrov, meanwhile,
did the same from the DP Camp at Passau. Chebotkevich asserts that Lavrov edited a bulletin at Passau,
but neglects to say whether it was a Rossika bulletin or something else. (Chebotkevich, XXX
Anniversary ofRossica, in Rossika No. 56 (English version), 1959, p. 4.) If the former, no copies of it
ever found their way into the Rossica Archives.


The "Dark Decade," RAPS, and the Slavic Societies

The "Dark Decade," 1942-1952.

It has been the contention of some that today's Rossica, while bearing the same
(Anglicized) name as the Yugoslavian-era Rossika, is not the same society. The
argument goes that it was dead for 10 years (1942-1952), rather a long time for a corpse
to entertain hopes of resuscitation, and that what now exists is therefore a different and
new organization, a successor to the old, rather than a continuation of it. Rossica is
indeed different, in that its membership doesn't look at all like that of the 1930s, no
White Russian officers are to be found today in its ranks, and its Journal bears little
resemblance to the old one. And it's in the U.S. now, not Yugoslavia, or the Baltic
States, or China. All true. But the contention is in error, and this section will show why.

During those 10 years, the Society ceased to function. No Rossika journal appeared, no
bulletin or membership list was issued, nothing. For a brief time in 1947-1948 the
"corpse" twitched ever so slightly in two displaced-persons camps in Germany -
Schlesheim and Passau that Aleksandr Chebotkevich and Aleksandr Lavrov called
home, but organizing and sustaining a philatelic society from a DP camp was quite
impossible, so the effort had to be shelved.1 They didn't get to the U.S. until 1950, but
still they were giving the society's revival serious thought.

Very well, then, Rossika may have gone under in Europe and China, but there was still
the New York Branch, the last sizable concentration of members in a place that wasn't
already a battlefield or threatening to become one. It appeared to go dormant when the
rest of the Society did, but did it really?


No, not really, at least not for a few years more. Consider if you will the following

1) Rossika ceased to function in late 1941 or perhaps early 1942. The "Russian-
American Philatelic Society" RAPS was born in March 1942. The
societies didn't overlap until Rossika's recovery in 1952.
2) When Shanghai was closed off, Rossika's last stronghold was in New York.
RAPS' first and only stronghold was in New York.

1 Chebotkevich (at the Schlesheim DP Camp near Munich) had been in contact with Arkhangelsky by
mail, and managed to gather a few of the members together there in 1947 and 1948. Lavrov, meanwhile,
did the same from the DP Camp at Passau. Chebotkevich asserts that Lavrov edited a bulletin at Passau,
but neglects to say whether it was a Rossika bulletin or something else. (Chebotkevich, XXX
Anniversary ofRossica, in Rossika No. 56 (English version), 1959, p. 4.) If the former, no copies of it
ever found their way into the Rossica Archives.

3) Most of the RAPS members were ex-Rossika. Prigara was there, along with
V.A. Rachmanov, N.V. Savitzky, G.M. Shenitz, Rimma Sklarevski (a future
publisher of the Rossica Journal) and H.D.S. Haverbeck,2 to name just a few.3
4) An internationally-based Rossika couldn't survive with the world's postal
situation the way it was during WWII. Only a national organization had any
chance, since journals and bulletins could at least be mailed within that
particular country. The British Society of Russian Philately, for instance,
managed to hang on through WWII, even though it conducted no meetings
and issued no journal, because it could send exchange packets through the
mail within the country, and all of its members were from the United
Kingdom. (In fact, that was the case until 1947, when foreigners were first
allowed to join.)
5) RAPS, together with its meager treasury, later merged with Rossika, easily
and amicably. The two societies never competed.

There were five people who formed RAPS, but only one of them was named in The
Russian-American Philatelist. That was Ernest Konelsky, who passed away in June
1943.4 He was probably not a member of Rossika, but without a complete membership
list, the question remains open, as it does for the other four.

So, my contention is that Rossika "went national," (or more precisely, "went local" -
New York) and the name was dropped because the members felt Rossika, which right up
to the end of the Shanghai journals was being billed as the "Society of Russian
Philatelists in Yugoslavia," was a national (Russian) society in exile with an international
scope, a society that reflected the Russian Diaspora. Given the strictures imposed by
WWII, something as confined as the New York Chapter couldn't be advertised as
Rossika, especially when cut off from China, Europe, and its founder and No. 1 member,

If my contention is correct, then RAPS also represented a remarkable departure from the
now-dormant Rossika, because its journal was entirely in English. There was no Russian

2 Haverbeck "was a member of the original Rossica Society, and then was active in the formation of its
American successor, The Russian American Philatelic Society. (Haverbeck, Book Reviews, in The
Collectors Club Philatelist, vol. XXXIV, No. 11, 1954.)
3 Kurt Adler, a future president of Rossica and an officer of RAPS, appears not to have been a Rossika
member prior to 1941, nor can I find any mention of H.L. Aronson, the editor of "The Russian-American
Philatelist," or its publisher Harry Tamer in either the pre-1942 or the post 1951 membership rolls.
4 Obituary, in The Russian American Philatelist, vol. 2, No. 1, September 1943, p. [5].


Membership No... 121 ....
Non -'Re=idenit

Mr..... iNo3mana C. Ran..d..l........ h

...... ...................: .Qi cinnati, Ohio .. ..
.i ,~'

For ihe fiscal year Sept. 1,L9 .4.to ug. 31, ...o .

St arj.'r' .

A RAPS membership card, signed by Aronson. (Note the "Non-Resident" beneath the
membership # line. There was New York, and then there was everyplace else.)
(Rossica Archives)


1EW Yo A I.
wleer 10,19M

""a" o v 1 lsJ E nr to rC r y- I.T rt 'L* s %t Im
e ta T Tme'lr 1 F1m TOT leaA,- Lr EJ uWm -r, Il-e. I 1.
11 ;rrvlcuulI. In r.urd (L o I ar ?"wiI-p t!At EL.
1-!ia h f. m tlh a rn i LTe, m -eMab 3ha1nlTi
.itiie. T hiaB tlia I ?ag rrC L-. ]Irri..L grB.
rmanr .a a pL"r I bou, r Lt LrOELa m 6 or yfarn
I.L- 1a..lr. b a 1 i. riLLo T.U ii
a'.ll nern r ru. welrfunl . d L r m ne r. alu'c ",ri.r,
I beT. o .T F nUlL,'. r-rsi 1 o..
.a,, U. lh- aalrl fljtqyr.olri b~tEqfn sour rit .nA
fleo .rn, e' Vaf el. Ib
1=F=atao rp to 11L1 apted. overirizz La
bl ELk, p balo rp I llLoLnrt r. E.d 11Lr th Tl akI
Lr:r."a pnhl.
&I Thara are e~~I o ,IlirrpI Lrao LE ila1; Fr toLb %ha
11 ,l tLot ar.n qp n nLar pLfern.f. n ds L t. a r rUl
*flle.rlir *nibf-r ol. e.rt al.w., Lier. I. rn.
* .lll r.bfik. t.. s T 'r'.U t.l baad ,af ryLqn pia..
a ud rlln w.lC nrlis Ln Laae lre- upper kan41 .' Lh9
SlIC TIhn T., r.. t rLVg dcrt*.t.,' .oJr qmiroru Ls
LaI L.B ~n toll.a, Kr .dpiL ,Lu La. frn TieT Si"
lor v.!hLx. IL 'lb.r It, -I-a'. l. i-nb r e
r la ire e 'IlF'H ft r L-l'S L a ap. hroni.e
True ,-ll le c .a rUna h re 1O.
i. '0 tn "'gr
ijrll1 Lam 6. IL al 5,'.Ll i: e le la ,L I gLff r -nD r F, ly
,r E,0 'J", tr l Lba r,01 Tl l-np, tLjLl.'a ar1Iho
2lD a d ieilt;' O opleW l1% :rr. ?nl V rlnB.
F a.e f.or THe5 l tcllUrg I i Elr X irZ"Lr-
Tr l b' s- *rtl1 LrL7, to rL.t o rn ht-- f,"r .
Ir r hae are bMll ,liTat aof t rl itn lro IU A booTk
vM,', ir~stcir I-U'Jolso 'or. piin aclalluu.n" by ur. S, u'hroaldr
M Yar .pn er ?"uo. I tL. i b n'. slim L. la ..aL.
L'is B lmh rn.r..J ra.rn.r r r..'.L.
1 'hsrt S shdna of tb. K.uuIaa stam, all sflior.

At left: A letter on RAPS stationery
from H.L. Aronson to Rimma
Sklarevski, dated 10 November 1942.
(Rossica Archives.)

Meeting every second and fourth
Wednesday of the month (exactly the
same pace as that of the New York
Branch of Rossika) in Room 200, 3410
Broadway at 138th St., RAPS issued a
monthly eight-page "journal"
(excepting two months in summer)
despite the usual financial troubles and
the war. Aronson's editorial in the
September 1943 issue sounded a lot like
Arkhangelsky's in #41: "With the
heavy burden of war work that many of
us are carrying, and i iih the loss of
certain active members to the armed
forces, the task of running the Society
becomes increasingly difficult. RAPS

managed 24 small journals in all; the publication disappeared after 1945.

This society also ran into problems getting its journal overseas, especially to Great
Britain. John Barry related his difficulties in acquiring issues of The Russian American
Philatelist to Arthur Shields: "I asked Aronson to send us volumes of the "Russ.-Amer.-
Philatelist" during the war, but to wait until I'd get a permit from the Import Licensing
Board to pay him, no easy job in these days. Ifilled up forms & used arguments for six

miin1u,, eventually I mentioned that Sir John Wilson was an honorary member. That
turned the trick; I got a permit to pay i/h [my] # on it.

"Alas, Aronson couldn't wait. A month before he wrote, 'Am sending the journals
marked 'gift, 'pay me as you can. Yes -I swore; for to make payment that parcel had to
bear the # of my permit. Of course it didn't & six mwninu hard arguing went for nothing.
In addition the Customs here held them -why? How? For what, etc. ? I had the devil's
own job to get them. "5

However, although it ceased to issue a journal, RAPS limped along into the 1950s, co-
existing for a time with the rejuvenated Rossika. H.D.S. Haverbeck was still attempting
to obtain the money some British members owed RAPS as late as September 1952.6
Chebotkevich paid a visit to New York in 1955 when he accepted the invitation of RAPS
to come and discuss the future. He met with Adler, Rachmanov, Shenitz, Cerny and
Iliashenko every one of them already a Rossika member and in essence they
negotiated the dissolution of RAPS and the manner in which its "dead souls" could be
attached to Rossika.i They decided that what little money remained in the RAPS treasury
would go to Rossika, another sign that RAPS had been the American version of Rossika.

There was a sad postscript to the demise of the RAPS journal and the absence of Rossika.
With no Russian philatelic journals being published from 1946 to 1951 (when the British
Society of Russian Philately issued BJRP #1), there was no philatelic obituary for one of
Rossika's giants S.V. Prigara. Apparently he died at some point in that range, but
unless one of our members can come forward with the date, it would require a lengthy
search through public records in New York to establish it. I was told by Norman Epstein
back in the early 1980s that Prigara had been a prosecutor in St. Petersburg, but I have no
idea whether that information was accurate or not. Perhaps, if one of our members has
some good background information on him, a very belated obituary could be written,
over half a century after the fact. After all that he did for the Society and Russian
philately, he deserves at least that much.

5 John Barry to Arthur Shields correspondence, 28 July 1952.
6 John Barry to Arthur Shields correspondence, 8 September 1952.
7 Chebotkevich, President's Message, inRossika #46-47, 1955, pp. 3-5.

w -"m=j

TH RussiaH fluricai

Officiol MnirthIv Publioation of the

The Small Head Types oF 1923 27

1 ..1 .i r. ., .

Rossika under another name...
i-.,- i.. t. ,..," ,,,, -.,.

The Rossika-RAPS corporate merger meeting, 1955
From left to right: Lavrov, Cemrny, Chebotkevich, Rachmanov,
Salisbury, Shenitz, Iliashenko.8 (Photo by Kurt Adler.)

8Rossika # 46-47, 1955 (Russian version), p. ii opposite.

r U -

(Photo by Salisbury. Rossica Archives.)

Rossika's Awakening.

When Rossika finally stirred again with its first bulletin in 1952, it was with some of the
same "personnel." Lavrov's rallying call to Russian philatelists that year stated that the
Society's objectives were the same as they had been in Yugoslavia: "1) To unite all of the
Russian philatelists abroad [i.e., outside of the Iron Curtain countries] to exchange
stamps, so they could quickly and cheaply restore their collections, and 2) to publish a
journal in Russian for which the members could write articles and discuss the pressing
problems ofphilately. "9

However, the Society didn't spring back to life suddenly in 1952; it had existed in the
minds and plans of several men who had been members of the old Rossika, who for two
years scraped together the necessary resources to publish that bulletin. Money, or rather
the lack of it, was one of two major considerations, and the best they could do was a no-
frills mimeographed bulletin that Lavrov typed up and distributed, the first issue of which
appeared in 1952.

The other major consideration was in rounding up the members. Readers should keep in
mind just how chaotic things were in the years immediately after WWII. There were
millions of refugees and POWs scattered around the globe, millions more were dead, the
economies of many countries were badly stressed or shattered, not to mention their
infrastructures; postal systems were in disarray, and it was often difficult or impossible to
trace someone. All of these factors militated against international philatelic societies and
a considerable number of the national ones. With the exception of the U.S., every one of

9 Lavrov, undated flier, presumed to be early 1952. (Rossica Archives.)

Rossika's former major centers was gone. Yugoslavia, like much of the rest of Europe,
was in ruins. The Baltic nations were occupied by the Soviets. China was in the midst of
a war with the Japanese and a civil war between the communists and Chiang Kai-Shek's
Nationalists. Stalinist "Russia" was still closed off. At that point, there was no hope for
a scattered "national society abroad" like the Yugoslavian iteration ofRossika.10 It would
have to approach things differently, and it did.

Idd -
/.' adtP

'iAi -,_

/XIAO 7jl 4 ,A, J



t. t. / '
A ,-17aa re;1 (C *
r:.rr~, l~ic~~ ~~L
/ -k~~1 //rI.ieNL "1~.na; t
4j^,r ',:P~~c

4 ( )C7' ''.'A'~-A'

"During the war I
lost all contact in ith
my correspondents
and I haven't been
able to arrange any
new ones. I have
tried especially hard
to establish contact
ii ith collectors in the
USSR, but so far, no
luck. I think that you
can obtain the
literature you need
from ,henu:, and
through him you can
find the addresses of
the very serious
collectors. As for
Arkhangelsky, I
doubt that he will
have left any of the
issues you need, but I
advise you to ask.
HFics a/d/rs J0 7

Arhangeljski, Bela
Crkva, Ul. 1 oktobra
( 40. (Rossica
Archives, courtesy of
Leon Finik.)

The 2 May 1948 letter above (from the envelope shown in the following section) from S.
Mangeley to Emile Marcovitch and the 19 December 1948 letter from R. Polchaninoff
below illustrates how the scattered collectors were slowly attempting to reestablish their

10 It was a case of "dji vu all over again." The upheavals of the 1940s had the ultimate effect of
concentrating Russian 6migr6s in the U.S. Much as Yugoslavia's philately in general and Russian
philately in particular got a tremendous boost from the Wrangel camps, so too did Russian philately in the
U.S. from China and the DP camps in Germany.

contacts. And while they gathered what was left of their forces, the Russians had more in
mind than just patching together what was left of old Rossika.

Theirs was a sweeping and ambitious vision, given the state of the world at that time:
under the rejuvenated Rossika banner would be gathered the philatelists of RAPS, and
together with the BSRP and the dispersed remnants of other societies around the globe,

they would form a world-wide federation. For a time, it looked

' Rostisi"i lceuihioff -
.-xm nmp ... .. rA/4
St6ee--Ccaimny .LZa -.

/ //L
-_ .A.& _y4E ,tSA, 2 A,

a -,tW a _te h, 4ccn-Lr 3 a< ..

Pa- o-4. j,..,. a -s,.. -
*/Ja -. /-. A I .lo ,.-4'diep e..-, "~,..
Ct.a cA 2gt' tn)W t fA- 9 #. -
iMldha di?./o -l;Cc^c er M .i^^ iHiM
7 tCf ^ ar4U3r 44f ,iP.* 4rfs.ie .. /4 '>ft4.<4
ft ACE /?t ? 3n.4.

Cie tcce mao'..ca n.gaL e C ca A

Ye s %uI A/C.4 C e .17 caeotiy lP/a c

adfecae .tiet pty* Ct^n4 44' A'Cp
to'.^ Oc4Arvnttrc^a^c 5^ 4V?" *C*424 ,
M?/ i

remnants" Salisbury had referred to was the "defunct Pan-Slav Society" in
the first joint Rossika-BSRP meeting in November 1954,11 and some of its
would be brought into the fold.

as if they just might

A letter sent by
soon-to-be Rossika
member Rostislav
Polchaninoff at the
Monchehof / Kassel
DP Camp to an
unidentified fellow
collector, written on
19 December 1948.
In it, Polchaninoff
states that the
Americans had
closed down the
camp's internal
postal system and
confiscated its
stamps, and pleads
for a five-to-ten-
year-old catalog of
Russian and Baltic
States stamps.
(Rossica Archives,
courtesy of Leon

Nor was RAPS the
only organization in
the U.S. whose
members Rossika
recruited. One of
those "dispersed

his speech to
members too

11 Cemy, First Joint fI... ',,'. of the British Society ofRussian Philately and the Rossika Society ofRussian

The Pan-Slav Philatelic Society.



Editor: Edwrd J. SArL, 237 Rilddiffc Stet, EBtriol PN.
VoL I March 1950 No 1

WV Ith mrmbr-, n Iof h '. Pn.i Pbh.laillli riil of .n m-Jir. are hblmbly
proud l- yrtwn our ,.llln .-: d" IdI P\ L \ Iit I LFTI. I: il ..torrTI.
Nl ,n11.. Ir1n lri. 1 ....i.Lr %i.." Ih ,i .hi.rl ... I i th" BlLLFTIl 1n1J a
.ITi.in.. .,ld tf-Ilived aiiine anidl lind 11. ,. ||r.|eI nri in hr Il h..unar. r World
,I -l -. '
I *tould like io dev.ot tlim ipr to o omae ralier i mplorlm ipairir elf till
HI 1.I 1.1l .. I -ill be Ihr I..Ihr, nI ihr rdilor it .-.'pl -.er il ii ar..lll nel
n hlull. r 1 L. iil q ii llnld hiI~ Inme .l ri n rtl -rlk .1 I L II ~- ,r.I r ,1ll
SIh I I ill I.Ih.r l-'hr-l.Iil l. I .I Li lJb rh.ip ll. rr irclrl l II. II'rrl h I.
Sll lur i.llll.li.hed ..ill ii min, u lrl i un ul irrI I -I lar a L I, |ri -lble>. EIrr)

.ell. J, Iarm l .,i :ll .n I l:r- .rlil air r iil.. l.uilh -lia o n l.-d i.u IjlaJ
lp ruir. nid l h ro l l h r uuil.i I l "T lS inli. dnd i. hu-d p-lilll li.r lit r
i Jri. .ni our.l II. .1 H "I1~'ll rloi ,t r i ..-.I .Ird1 rn -IR I IW
'rl |i r-.li I In 1..i. ,I 1 .r.h1 In El r .n...l. rl.. ..'. .... ,. I'... i.Ir ..

With prwpr r'p. r. e E ll lnriitute rolmnin lld I.e~wr >'l I Lltert
tla r the iilor." li PhiFllr TNm Tralad. "Wl ,S: l r YOt .n
Lno '* h,"d It ida ril. n ,ah.o* under it> h.radlin, "'- MITHI':. %I' '
riY.uFTHIMl. DIFFELNT~" cluwh.rrc n hili* .nimlwr. "..raiF- II. .--1ii.
I.n n ill hir Jl-r cited.
Flor tie irleill Ihl HULH I L.II7 '. II bie IEu llli.ud qualr tely. A. oI.. 4. il.lx
d.riL.dl i1rrmnll i, I1.- HI I1 I INr ..il 1 e ip .IJllh*rl nmiitlil, Thi, 1, lin ,vr-.
nirrl n up t YOU] V l1 l ir .,. lr .|uppimri an, o WIL d. it$ .
To Idrn., r f you ho arr r irinipg Ili' H iu r i.,ur ,ill. f our complimentI Id u,
l ia-r -l .u ipMT tIL IuIIIL .dI i. ..IIJ t# nl gur -:g i l I II -i.r
ibei> .nd hI rd ,.rL l- .iii irl 1. 1 1 '. Bi,. r un r' 'tt r.Iuld irrd li *. i'r .
.in.nifieni ~whn I mp-E d ilh l..ll Illrh ILL 10 lt or amrl-r-.. | r rrr-l -
tler im.r uprl. n wglp, Thr rnrllO 1lJ. ll-.llur. bl fnl r i r, lWI hrrL i, i, yporpour
:...irI ..i..i"i I.f rI-h .I ,-4 ri-L i* nd ...nlie.- 11r1n .-l.. rap u II i l r.r pil-.ld and arm I tlial Ihe Soiety and ll-
,.1 l.l -ri r- i.l II I l ,i ..n l r Ir -r ld l l you 1lV n it
.r II .. Il.i. wE 1 -xrfl fnl

The "Pan-Slav Philatelic Society
of America" was, like RAPS, a
predecessor of Rossika's U.S.
incarnation, albeit not by much.
It appears to have started in 1949,
and was founded at the National
Philatelic Museum in
Philadelphia. Its purpose was
"...to fill a definite need and not
to compete tI i// any other club or
clubs. These organizations have
been doing a splendid job in their
specialized fields and in fact most
of our own members are
associated ni i/h one or more of
them. Since the postal history of
the nations of eastern Europe
overlaps to a large extent and
since some of the countries are
not even covered by any
specialized group, it is evident
that a club composed of
collectors of these various
countries can be of mutual
benefit. "12 It may have been of
mutual benefit, but it didn't last
for long.

(Rossica Archives.)

Plans for its future were almost as ambitious as Rossika's. Its first bulletin saw print in
March 1950, and Editor Edward J. Sabol proposed to start with quarterly issues and work
his way up to 12 bulletins a year. The society even boasted a Sales Circuit Department,
and member William Rice spearheaded the effort to establish a Pan-Slav Philatelic
Library based at the National Philatelic Museum. Duplicates of articles and pictures in
the museum were extracted and concentrated in one group; index cards were typed up
and file numbers were assigned. In 1949 the Society held a donation auction, and most
remarkable of all, a Pan-Slav Exhibition with over 150 frames of material on display at
the museum. For a society just coming out of the gate (or even one far down the track
with a full head of steam!), this was a tremendous effort. "The response, based on the
number of guests at the Preview Night at the National Philatelic Museum, was gratifying.

Philately, in Rossika No. 45, p. 5.
12 Lewandowski, President's Message, in Pan-Slav Bulletin No. 1, vol. 1, March 1950, p. 2.

Many of the frames were held over an additional month by 'popular request.' ... Young
women from the Philadelphia area dressed in many varied costumes of various Slavic
countries mingled i/i/ih the guests while not posingfor various photographers. "13

7 0 4 3 4 5 4 2 m 0 It T k U A 0 A b S T t L

St., tsI. l ~ 2 2 782
Sti*nron 2-0392

The Pan-Slav Society's fall was every bit as meteoric as its rise; its initiative didn't
survive to see its fifth birthday. In fact, Rossika essentially took up its banner at the very
place where the Pan-Slav Philatelic Society had started the National Philatelic Museum
in Philadelphia. In a 27 January 1955 letter to Bernard Davis, the director of the
museum, Salisbury wrote: "I am deeply appreciative of the great honor bestowed upon
me in heading the Museum's efforts three im,,ini\ hence, the exhibition of the Nineteenth
Century Issues of Imperial Russia. I am likewise glad that instead of the Pan Slav
Society sponsorship, a dead and discredited society (all members known to me feel
disgruntled as they paid their dues and received nithin.1,) you have agreed to have
Rossica and BSRP support the show. "

Rossika would do better, even though it had only just awakened from its coma. Soon
enough it would stand on its own feet again to carry on the tradition.

The Society of Ukrainian Philatelists.

One society whose history closely paralleled that of Rossika was the Society of Ukrainian
Philatelists. Like Rossika, it was founded in exile (Vienna, Austria, in 1925), and like
Rossika it felt the tug of its foreign surroundings on its journal. Originally published in
Ukrainian, the journal soon shifted to bilingual editions in Ukrainian and German. Its
membership was also scattered around the world, and WWII put a temporary end to its
operations. Nor did the similarities end there. "After the end of World War II a number
of Ukrainian collectors including members of the original organization found i/thei,l e/ e
in the United States. The society of Ukrainian collecting was reestablished in New York
City on December 17, 1950 when a group of collectors created an initiative committee to
form Soiuz Ukrainskykh Philatelistiv. ...On February 25, 1951 (slightly over a year
earlier than Rossika DMS) this society was officially formed. Twenty-five persons

13 Pan-Slav Bulletin No. 1, pp. 4 & 11. I have struggled to recall a Rossica event ever having been graced
by young women in Russian costumes, and failed.

founded the organization. All members were of Ukrainian origin and resided in the
United States i/th the exception ofDr. D. Buchynskyi of Madrid, Spain. "14

The American-era Rossika initially enjoyed the membership of a strong Ukrainian
contingent, to the point that Salisbury appointed Navy Capt. Svyatoslav de Shramchenko
as one of his assistant editors in 1955. Articles on Ukrainian topics began appearing in
the Rossika Journal from the very beginning in 1954, and Ukrainian philatelic
publications from both sides of the Atlantic were given detailed reviews. When de
Shramchenko passed away in 1958, the Ukrainian articles began to dry up, and it was not
until the advent of J. Terlecky as the [associate] Ukrainian editor in 1967 that the
situation began to be reversed. This was all a part of Salisbury's constant push to attract
articles and members from other societies whose collecting interests dovetailed with
those of Rossika. "The new Ukrainian editor takes [the] place of the late Captain de
.h tll/.ihe ko, and fills a void long felt by us all. We need a qualified, level-headed
specialist in Ukrainian philately, not only to edit the articles in this field, but to attract
new members who are avid collectors of Ukrainian stamps, and who desire sound
articles of interest to them. We appeal to the large body of Ukraine specialists, and the
rank-and-file collectors to join Rossica, to send us articles. 15

14 The Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society, inRossica Nos. 108/109, 1986, pp. 14-15.
15 [Salisbury], Editorial, in Rossika No. 72, 1967, p. 3.


Rossika's Revival in the United States

Strangely enough, as we have seen in Chapter Three, it was not the old New York
Rossika Branch/RAPS that got Rossika going again in the U.S. In point of fact, it was the
DP-camp "alumni" from Germany. The Russian Rossika members who were in the
German sphere of influence at the outbreak of the war Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia,
Hungary, France, Belgium and The Netherlands they were the ones who had the better
chance of survival, because during the war the Nazis left them alone; they had no
murderous, ideological grudge against the Whites. By literal process of elimination, it
was mainly those who managed to reach Austria, Germany or Italy ahead of the Soviet
Army that lived. The Ostarbeiters who were already there did not fare as well.

The sad truth is, though, that the Nazis treated the White Russians better than the Western
Allies did. Even those who reached American or British lines had no guarantee of safety.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had acceded to Stalin's demand that
Russian expatriates in the Western zone be sent back to the USSR, by force if necessary.
Per George Werbizky's account, "...all individuals who lived under Soviet rule on
September 1, 1939 (the day Hitler began the war by invading Poland) had to return to
the Soviet Union. Refusal to return was not acceptable. The Western armies used force
to hand people over to the Soviets. Exceptions were made for citizens of Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, and Poland, as well as for Western Ukrainians. The West correctly
considered these countries and territories as occupied by the Soviet Union against the
will of their people. In many cases, however, the terms of the Yalta agreement were
interpreted very broadly. For example, in Lienz, Austria, at the end of the war were
Cossacks, Russians, and Caucasians who served in anti-communist formations, as well
as refugees, Ostarbeiters, and Russians who had left their homeland at the end of the
Russian Civil War in 1920 and never lived under the Soviets. In May and June of 1945,
all were brutally repatriated to Stalin by the British Army.

"Sometime later, the West narrowed the hunt for scalps to only former citizens of the
Soviet Union. However, even then, if one could not prove to a joint Western-Soviet
commission that he or she was not on Soviet territory on September 1, 1939, that person
was shipped to the Soviet Union, and then directly to the GULAG. Only in 1947, having
finally understood that innocent people were being returned to enslavement, did the
Western Allies stop the inhuman and illegal practice of forced repatriation. In the
meantime, in order to avoid this fate, Ostarbeiters and escapees from the Soviet Union
changed their names, altered their hi, th/l,/i 1e', and 'adopted' new places of residence on
September 1, 1939. Easiest of all was to represent oneself as a Western Ukrainian or
Russian WWI emigre from Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, or some other country. "

1 Werbizky, Ostarbeiter Mail in World War II, pp. 15-16.

The toll in human lives taken or broken was enormous. "From the end of 1944 to
January 1945 more than 332,000 Russian prisoners (including 1,179 from San
Francisco) were transferred to the Soviet Union, often against 11hir will. "2 The cynical
sacrifice of lives was repeated at Yalta in February 1945, when the Allies agreed to return
Soviet soldiers POWs, deserters, and even Whites who had not taken up arms against
the Red Army. "From May to July 1945 more than 1.3 million people who had been
living in the Western occupied zones, and who were considered Russian by the British,
including people from the Baltics, which had been annexed in 1940, and Ukrainians,
were repatriated. By the end of August more than 2 million of these 'Russians' had been
handed over. "3 Thousands committed suicide rather than return. Tens of thousands
more were summarily executed by the NKVD, often before they even set foot on their
native soil. Most of the rest were sent into filtration camps or forced labor camps, where
more of them perished.

It is against this backdrop that the early history of Rossika in the U.S. must be viewed.
Some of the remnants of Rossika in Europe had had to run the gantlet of war, forcible
repatriation and several years in the DP camps to get to the U.S. Others survived the
fratricide in Yugoslavia, got out mainly through Trieste on the Adriatic and then headed
for anywhere else. Some, like Arkhangelsky and Mangeley, stayed in Yugoslavia, where
Tito, who kept the Soviets at arm's length, wasn't too concerned about tracking down and
eliminating or imprisoning White Russians. Others who had been in Nazi-occupied
Belgium, like Braunstein, or Vichy France, like Emile Marcovitch, remained in place and
rode out the war.

No matter how the Rossika members got out, there weren't all that many of them left, and
of those, not all rejoined.

Chebotkevich and Lavrov.

It was Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Chebotkevich who constituted the major link between
the Yugoslavian and the American Rossika. He had been one of those present at Igalo in
1929 when the Society was formed under Arkhangelsky, so it fell to him to "co-found"
the society, twice. It was with Arkhangelsky's blessing, of course, but EMA was in no
position to do more than offer moral support.

2 Courtois and Pann6, The Comintern in Action, in The Black Book of Communism, p. 320.
3 Ibid.

A.A. Chebotkevich (at left and center) and A.N. Lavrov.
(Rossica Archives.)

"Cheb," as he was known to some of his friends, was born in Uman, Kiev Province, on 3
June 1894. He graduated from the Kiev Military School just before WWI and found
himself in the 148th Caspian Infantry Regiment4 when the conflict started. He served his
country well. Fighting on the front lines from 1914 to February 1918, Chebotkevich was
wounded twice (concussions) before 1916, but he returned to duty quickly on both
occasions. He saw combat in Poland, Galicia and Rumania. That year he sustained a
third wound, this one to his arm; it was more critical than the previous two and he was
forced to endure a slower recovery, but the experience was not all bad: he fell in love
with and married a schoolteacher, and she accompanied him through all the harrowing
times to the U.S.

The Russian Civil War found him serving under Denikin in the Volunteer Army, in
which he rose to the rank of cavalry captain (rotmistr) and became the senior adjutant of
a cavalry division.5 Chebotkevich was involved in heavy fighting in the Northern
Caucasus, and again in battles around Tsaritsyn, where he was wounded yet a fourth
time. The Northern Caucasus Army retreated to Georgia, and Chebotkevich's short
recovery there from those injuries allowed him to transfer to the Crimea and ride with the
White Russian cavalry in heavy battles against the Red advance there. "Cheb" was
among those of Baron Wrangel's forces to be evacuated to Gallipoli in 1920.6

He was forced to abandon his collection, which he had left with his parents prior to his
departure to the war, because any correspondence addressed to them from a White
Russian officer would probably have brought great misfortune to them; they were still in
the RSFSR.

A year later he and his wife reached Yugoslavia, and remained there for over a decade, he
working as an official in the Ministry of Finance, she as a teacher. Once again he built up

4 The full name of this unit was the 148th Infantry Regiment of Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess
Anastasiya Nikolayevna. (Leonov & Ul'yanov, Regulyarnaya pekhota 1855-1918, p. 266.)
5 Fragment of a letter from Chebotkevich to Salisbury, 31 August 1954.
6 Short biography written by Antonina Chebotkevich for Salisbury, 8 November 1960.

his collection and amassed a large philatelic library. When the local communists
attempted to kill him and the Reds began to advance on his area during WWII, he and his
wife fled to Austria in October 1944.7 Once again he was forced to abandon valuable
material, this time including his entire library.8

There in Austria Chebotkevich worked at a factory, but when it became evident that
Germany was about to collapse, he and his wife started moving west, in hopes of
reaching the Americans before the Red Army reached the Chebotkeviches.

The two made it to Kempten, Germany and then languished in an American-run
displaced-persons (DP) camp for five years, but even there he attempted to revive
Rossika. Despite their uncertain future and less than settled present, he and some other
emigres tried to continue their philatelic activities. (Rostislav Polchaninoff recalls
meeting him for the first time on 8 July 1950 at the philatelic exhibition in the
Schlesheim DP Camp.9 As the letter above from Polchaninoff clearly demonstrates, there
was an active, albeit stunted, philatelic exchange among some of the emigres.) That
same year Chebotkevich and his wife came to the U.S., and with few prospects for a 57-
year-old, foreign ex-cavalryman in this country, he was obliged to get a heavy manual-
labor job. He worked as a laborer for seven years in Illinois, and that plus smoking and
the war wounds he'd accumulated finally broke his health.10

Chebotkevich's companion, Aleksandr Nikolayevich Lavrov, had been a colonel or
lieutenant-colonel in the White Army, and he too was evacuated from the Crimea to
Gallipoli. During WWII, Lavrov lived in Bratislava and from there fled ahead of the Red
Army, ending up, as did Chebotkevich, in an American-run DP camp. Salisbury
mentioned in an 8 October 1960 letter to Rosselevitch that Lavrov was feeling his age
and his wounds, but he doesn't specify what they were.

In addition to his duties as Rossica secretary of the Russian Section, plus translation into
Russian and typing for the Rossika Journal, Col. Lavrov was the editor of "Pereklichka, "
the "Journal of the Veterans of the Armies of Generals Denikin and Baron Wrangel."
According to Rostislav Polchaninoff, Lavrov was also the chairman of the U.S. section of
the Gallipoli Society in the U.S. He died around 1974.1

SCorrespondence from Chebotkevich to Salisbury, dated 20 December 1954.
8 Correspondence from Chebotkevich to Salisbury, dated 10 December 1953.
9 Polchaninoff, correspondence dated 19 September 1992. "Rosty" actively pursued philately even in the
DP camps, producing a number of vignettes on scouting, one of his passions. In the late 1960s and early
1970s he had a broadcast spot under a pseudonym on Radio Liberty (Radio Svoboda) called Filateliya,
then Ugolok kollektsionera. He first mentioned the Rossica Society in his broadcast on 27 December
1966, then did a whole show on it on 22 January 1967. (Correspondence dated 6 October 1992.)
10 Correspondence from Chebotkevich to Salisbury, dated 20 December 1954.
1 Polchaninoff, correspondence dated 19 September 1992.

A r.enSa-......r. -BI7I2CHK .-i-rtl

BOcraono.-nn.T.eCesrKA mypu.,a

C- s Ja If-w -r -i, -

C .?'Qsoiiuoft h.Lr ii n Lm4Opm i;/ nrn. .Isr f Mwfani.p olA .Iic.sa*p i pOIlquS

I h rKu *u H n P. I p J.... Im in- mi 2S I Ma IIM .IA L
S0 liUs rr .0n. 4uran 1 enu ?UdaIrv fluw *rra y.nsrn: cmre k. .mmp. r.Sr

Cme Mlupsem uIaumoam e counwbn usam
.... .. a-.......lr~*.0.....-,. ..

PC '"~~i- ~-S L i-~L l-
-L- IL-r.CU P .5.?-. -4 .~aS

r.-, ~, *W=. I-a .a~- SS.-6..
rp -r U- ~ 5i
I'...I -Is. ff~*~YP-551 .. SYrS

5115 -- fit. ** =iAJ rr.( W'C -
IL.... .rkvr ...1 fl- nu~frn y

-"r -J| 5 -' *5 IrITr. r IS 1-
4 'IOs .rri. C-r-e *.wC *-

The May 1954 issue (No. 35), of the
Military-and-Political Journal
Pereklichka, edited by Lavrov,
printed in Munich and issued in the
U.S. This was the monthly house
organ of the Gallipoli Society in the
U.S. Unlike the Rossika Journal, this
one was clearly political and anti-
Soviet. In this particular issue,
authors attacked European purchases
of Soviet lumber, gold, silver and
platinum because the timbering and
mining operations were almost
entirely based on forced labor, and
they commented on the exposure of
Soviet espionage rings during 1953.
(Rossica Archives.)

I ar r ~L't.u;r,'.^r5.=r-'jtr^rtrfC~: v rTJarw rC~F~'L~ta^K"i.-jra'y'lL'~ IK/Ts~i/~Cay

5P ~rlr / r/
r3r rrrs G

Ctcrhivrk/ImnL A 4i) 1L& Lt

(Reduced to 800. Rossica Archives.)

Grisoriv (GreM) Vasil'evich Bondarenko-Salisburv.

Even before Chebotkevich's health began to fail, Greg Salisbury, another refugee from
Soviet Russia and one whom Chebotkevich had recruited into Rossika, became the
sparkplug in the Society. Salisbury was born in Yekaterinodar in 1910, his father an
Imperial Army officer who had fought in the Russo-Japanese War and his mother a
former medical student.


F'N *Et oEND i '. 5-0 CIATN44M CURT. &E. a
T AE hD I.. D,.12.-Z I ..'.H -.NO --- -T EI
;.. PHILL..L.-.A SJ A

Salisbury, 1955 and his business card. (Rossica Archives.)

The family was wealthy and led a comfortable life. Young Grisha went to private
schools and then a classical high school. But when the Civil War erupted around them,
the Salisburys were eyewitnesses to many horrors: "...fierce street battles, raids,
executions against thwir wall, rape and pillage... "

He was 13 when his family escaped and came to the U.S. via Europe. Salisbury knew not
a word of English upon arriving at Norfolk, Virginia, but soon acquired the language,
excelling at many other disciplines as well. A man who spoke English with a Russian
accent and a Southern drawl, Salisbury went on to college and continued his academic
excellence. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in dentistry, and it was
that profession which he practiced to the end of his life. Salisbury was credited with the
discovery of plastics-curing at mouth temperature, a considerable advance in dentistry.12
(Some of the Russian Rossika members who were unable to afford decent dental work
went to him, and he worked on them for free.)

From 1952 until his death, Salisbury was not only the major sparkplug of the Society but
to a great extent its bankroller as well. He donated money from his own pocket to keep
the Journal going ($50 a considerable sum in those days to help publish No. 44, and
$50 more for each journal thereafter), and even sold off more than 30 of his stamp
albums over a period of six years to raise money for the Society. In 1963, Salisbury paid
for the Annual Meeting expenses and gave the Society another $191.25 over and above
his yearly dues,13 almost double what all other members combined had donated. He was

12 Gibrick, Dr. Gregory B. Salisbury. A Biographical Sketch, in British Journal ofRussian Philately Nos.
14-15, May 1954.
13 [Salisbury], Life of the Society, inRossika No. 66, 1964, p. 3.

a tireless promoter of Rossika, giving talks to other societies and clubs on Russian
themes, exhibiting widely, writing extensively, and he received numerous accolades and
honors for his prodigious efforts.

Ml,-"- 'rI ^yIbI.,to&MkJVIN
-ph-e: H.HUNTER 1044/6
T. **RcypIL-O. L WcsO, LOpON,

22nd November /9 61.

Dr. G.B.Salisbury,
49th & Locust Streets,
Philadelphia, Pa..

Dear Dr. Salisbury,

It gives me very great pleasure
to advise you that at their last meeting held
on the 16th inst., the Council elected you
a Fellow of the .ociety. The formal
announcement will appear in the Ja luary number
of the London Philatelist.

Yours very sincerely,

i1on. secretary

(Rossica Archives.)

Without him, it is safe to say that Rossika would not have reached the levels it did in the
'50s and '60s. There would have been no driving force behind Rossika-BSRP relations
and far fewer recruits. The Journal might well have been published only in Russian,
which would have ensured that the Society would wither and die along with its aging
Russian adherents. Russian philately in general and the Society in particular would not
have received nearly the degree and extent of publicity that it did, were it not for
Salisbury. He was the big bridge connecting the Russian and the American/English
philatelic communities, the right person at just the right time for the Society.

He had suffered from a heart condition since childhood, and knew it could kill him at any
time. It eventually did, on 24 January 1968, as he sat behind the wheel of his car. He had
probably felt it coming for some time, because in November 1967 he announced his
intention not to stand for re-election to the presidency.14 The final accolade was accorded

him by the New York Chapter, which took on the name of the "Gregory B. Salisbury"
Chapter of Rossica.15

The Early Days in the U.S.

The same financial problem that had afflicted Arkhangelsky in 1929-1941 obtaining
dues from members abroad returned to bedevil Rossika in the U.S. As late as 1953,

money could not be sent from Europe to the U.S., so members there were forced to use
postage stamps to pay their annual dues.16 As of 1 January 1954 the Society could boast

no more than 102 members,17 a precipitous decline from its Shanghai salad days.


H!.d-os 1 1 15 *OXTm pa 1958 re

"POCCKA 0nofDB o oomPerbaWdTMAroAa HRaDeI m HepWWrmL ovapm vA I-
w*pynJxsep[oo9we~[aiO xa EpoiUMi CB AMJLOTOipu e3XrIWa aan O6 a
Anny no nAenK 'PosuM Me no3e lapse axx1 aTO dun o xrae .
1930 no 1943 roaa.a n moP DA spees a 1l eWT Jka70 PcOoT1 l m eoipooa I
gHrlneanmKotndo ID RKyp- mOsmH OpprHHdiaae OTraTnh TMMe honJOS 152.
waare4K.Ra th JouIT,?rnalo(,4aswposa Bpasopl, rviH Don, .uieR, ?propW m.ae,
pseoaeaeaNrn OarapTrtKPapAneof A.,"taolsmO TOPie inTpeaosasa Osoit Ha
Hfio nk0T5 He FO 10O OTgleaGAIcx xpyngD 1XWax tMatOepOBto M I HeXJ o 06
crTea,1bdX4sTfRM H Krawe e(lyae KHapeARK( PoorgaY X aswaI aHaMOtea& a
Ba5mHHrTbOKB npopy noMHumB xnHIIAMTMu XrpMasa POB No.IT ,1OAHA8 .y3 *
Ha aPoemeniy Ha 5M6ObazUOyal moOoTm aapa e o 1SpyruiHU af raHHWfMuim XmpH
?,s IT u n.ey.IaH M& 7MeWrtBaPOAfIuX UBlUTa.UOmnCekx PURTaBM0X B
opowr npu0 gyTO et Barpau *- *etxaj (CD@r a 193,H ra pt' OCtDCona"
1935,Ea*rpaka B3llti' N3I Tpar I&93B).
9B 1Motoe nPep MpMI Mama 0eOA oAGTH E I7Ky xz ypoBUxaT N TO pY.3T8
TPYnAoa n otoO aOlWOG aBpOniH!,njo sinOax asm. mcareaae yxro Fer w
aux.nai fma plas OpaHpB laOMrs llp4paraOpa( BstMM nDaKIlr K O.aa s.
Bex QTraSmaxon M XXVMx ramx AppeR n nv1xtat0eO H MAmPMn Posa
ollO.u npMrWiaou IarTa B ilMl PH D ARgeral .- oD o TIt By M OW04

Bsoeu mr AoB, r 6Ae 6s O u Oae i Y o Dyraes DCOPI .UR acoynoiTpedifoxia11O Ha
THWO aaetpyrellHI B OIOane II ml IOOtbHRtI RaTAfKBU1J oIM4iO 4 aMi VJIMHB
HHoorpauHuX OuanTemaonsensat oBIwSTB.
i Say Hnpatasys paeory "*PocsHU saneanwo xnam yMe cErano4goK m^
Ya S 4 H xaesiX Ptm Ky' OBo"iP OT0aPu 1 C 'ue

O wH rnte mooYn "U" poY i MHBlMaran spoXYDro 0pl agear R
as noze8aKa OTpaSH eKO
wKta Syai ouxoi1tH no M*eNp BaonieTwa ustepia.a K wHasw (raet
neatyarXT a Do atoTBCpewTTarM K hunItxW fpOui. riTouaa a Mo O aapoo (xa
E(yiApxitBrera ontit *
/ntovema NpeoAoeaYsl ranslaxii PeaoWsru s O- /.
6 aT woy nIas es wonia a JnapX s nOapaDopexeBIaOt X6Osan
nsfoe~aiaan pyaoirom aoiuta~@o8axa OdBoTna MI ipDarict Bja8aui
Can no oYpaonumA ropAHTl. nHommpEBA.HB.ypwiai Desod e KopnA 5es
aiT, xua IgoeTR aT a aTeIk a Xapos PoBoOpa Um OtW ComA UaspMC pyre IM 1II
po notecnol roruc'im.tB cajro*ap4 0ro kmui &0PR0 0buo Kalli p1atktTo
UapeCoI PFoexr.I
y Dea7 ixuo 3noro padtO no OR eaaM 3W OtOtraW on meuOass oiatx D
r s fTe "InooeiaU HonOTMh,B nop mo ofnO OtuinTHCU 0 HeKTtPMnoiUen
x1M4ADH ero Of aTaAHr H N1(TaT63 He CDO6ppn.u uapolpt.hS a HW X B1&aTO
naomCAm UaOt 3WTOppPKiZGe lOYTOpaveaee H re4rp8A4OOlmO AafBUBe.
'Aettu pyeoo mro i neo*aT. t 6UK pad p Si7 oT Doex OTPHnax onsa HK be
pernicis erO ltma oVemb Ixi vyxpan vpa [ RTo NJre As vjnoB HOD BDitaidonia

Above: The herald of the Society's rejuvenation: Rossika Bulletin No. 1, a primitive,

stenciled, two-page Russian-language production issued on 15 October 1952. There
would be 19 more before the Journal (#44) was revived.

14 Adler et al., Open Letter to the Members of "Rossica" Society, inRossica No. 74, 1968, p. 4b.
15 Obituary, in Rossica No. 74, 1968, pp. 3-4a.
16 Rossika Bulletin No. 1, p. 2.
" Rossika No. 44, 1954, p. 38.

The Bulletin, printed only in Russian, was of little use to those would-be members who
couldn't read it, so the Society was still very much Rossika, but the damage wrought on
the Society by time, the Great Depression, WWII and Stalin's NKVD had dramatically
reduced those Russians who could rejoin. The die was already cast; the k would have to
become a c if the Society were to survive.

The Society's administrative arrangement was considerably different from that of its
Yugoslavian incarnation, and that difference was to a great extent the result of the
changing composition of the membership and EMA's failing health. Arkhangelsky was
no longer the rukovoditel', or leader, of the Society; now he was a figurehead, the
"Honored Founder," who provided the historical bridge between Yugoslavian Rossika
and the American version, but with no authority other than moral.

Chebotkevich was the president, and under him a language-driven dichotomy began:
Salisbury served as the secretary of the English-speaking section, Lavrov in the same
capacity for the Russian-speaking section. Rossika had certainly changed: the language
divide that had made its appearance in the Shanghai-produced journals was now
enshrined in the structure of the Society itself. There was no vice-president, a glaring
omission in case there should be a crisis of succession. However, early Rossika-in-the-
U.S. did have one fundamental point of similarity with Rossika-in-Yugoslavia: neither
provided for the election of officers.

The officers and Honored Members realized, however, that the old constitution would not
work in the U.S., so they set about rewriting it and included elections, another
fundamental departure from the Europe and China days. In 1955, Rossika held its first
elections, which confirmed the original slate of officers. They would be returned to
office en bloc in 1958.

At left: Aleksandr Nikolayevich Vansovich18

Branches (chapters) and groups began springing up like mushrooms
within the U.S., South America, Europe and Africa. The New York
Chapter, of course, with its large membership and recent RAPS
history, was the locomotive, but other sections formed in Southern
California, Los Angeles and San Francisco,19 with Washington, D.C.
to follow in the mid-'60s. Vansovich, recently departed from China,
started one up in Brazil;20 Butkov got another one going in Morocco, and Legky was
instrumental in creating the Belgian section.

18 Picture from Rossika No. 51, 1957, Society Page.
19 The LA section's first secretary and treasurer were Charles Dougan and Vartan Gevenian, respectively,
although it was A.I. Maslov and Arthur Shields who established that section. In San Francisco, N.I.
Knyazev was elected as the section's first secretary in its new iteration. (Rossica in California, in
Rossika No. 48, 1956, p. 51.)
20 Chebotkevich, President's Message, inRossika No. 51, p. 3.

That things were still Rossika could be seen by the fact that it was Russians forming these
sections, not Americans, but as they passed on or moved, the organizations abroad began
dying out. Nothing was heard of the Brazilian and Moroccan groups other than the
announcement of their existence; their demise went unreported in the Journal. Outside
the U.S., only the Belgian section made noticeable waves.

Whither Rossika? continues.

Not long after Rossika's revival, a major debate erupted within the Society (mostly
among the officers and the Honored Members) about the political aspects of Rossika.
One side, led by Chebotkevich and Lavrov, felt the Journal and the Society should
scrupulously avoid politics of any sort.21 The other side, whose most forceful adherent

21 This policy was not a recent development, nor did it signify that the two old officers had mellowed on
communism. I believe, but can't prove, that this continuation of Arkhangelsky's policy in Yugoslavia
was in turn an outgrowth of General Wrangel's Order No. 82, issued on 8 September 1923. That order
incorporated into the Russian (i.e. White) Army the numerous Russian officers' societies and unions that
had sprung up and it strongly encouraged the officers to resign from any political organizations to which
they might belong. This policy was reiterated by the Order of 1 September 1924 that created ROVS -
the Russian General Military Union which served as the umbrella group for the overwhelming majority
of the military societies, groups and unions. The 6migr6 officers wanted to preserve the White Army in
exile at all costs, against the day when they could form the nucleus of a force to topple the Soviet Union
and restore Russia. When they had fled their country they emerged, along with their actual baggage,
bearing their various political views. Among the officers were monarchists, Constitutional Democrats,
moderate socialists and a host of other persuasions, fractions and nuanced attenuations, and the White
Army's High Command feared that these differences could destroy the army-in-exile's cohesion.
Denikin's and Wrangel's forcefully stated aim was to let the Russian people decide what political system
they wanted once the Bolsheviks had been expelled. There was to be no talk of reestablishing the
monarchy or imposing from without any other form of government upon the people, because to do so
would alienate those who wanted a different form, and the united White front against the Reds would
then collapse. The 6migr6s had to walk another tightrope, too: the many different laws of the countries
that gave them refuge. The Army was scattered across several continents in many countries, and open
participation in the political processes of those countries might endanger the Army's very existence.
Thus, the ban on politics was to be understood as no politics within the White movement. It did not mean
that the Whites would give up their fight against the Bolsheviks. (Karpenko, Russkiye bez otechestva, p.
This thinking carried over to the Rossika Society as well, even though it had nothing to do with
ROVS per se. Arkhangelsky (still a White officer despite his invalid status) and Chebotkevich would
have been strongly inclined to obey these orders. So long as the overwhelming majority of Rossika's
members were Russian and situated abroad, the ROVS ban on politics would be observed. Neither
Arkhangelsky nor the other White officers in the Society wanted to see Rossika riven by political
disputes within its ranks. Arkhangelsky then took it one step further in his journal, sticking strictly to
philately and scrupulously avoiding political attacks on the USSR.
Another contributory factor may have been the direction taken by Soviet philately. Arkhangelsky
and the others weren't collecting in a vacuum. They received Sovetskiyfilatelist and Sovetskiy
kollektsioner, and they would have seen and understood what was happening to philately in the USSR.
"No politics" would have been a rejection of the "Zlatoust Platform." (See Chapter Five.)
When the Society was started again in 1952, "no politics at all" continued. This would have been
due partially to the inertia of tradition and in part to the fact that the U.S. was a democratic country, the
Society's 1955 Constitution now provided for elections, and by then the membership was mostly non-
Russian, so the desire to continue and extend the ban on politics altogether would have been even
N.I. Kormilev became a victim of this Rossika policy when he submitted an article on Soviet

was A.M. Rosselevitch, maintained that even writing about Soviet stamp issues was
tantamount to treason. Goaded by a serialized article on Soviet stamps by Dr.
Voropinsky, one member, V. Zatkalik, sent a letter to the Bulletin editors advocating a
boycott of Soviet stamps. Buying their stamps, he argued, would only serve to enrich
communist coffers, and when communism finally fell, the stamps purchased at so dear a
price would then be worthless.22

1. ,; 73 ."

2 o-,9 y ./3 ,

A.M. Rosselevitch23 and a letter from him to Salisbury, 22 October 1960, a week before
the schism became official. (Rossica Archives.)

The member's call for a boycott brought a swift response from Dr. Voropinsky and R.
Gagarin, who countered that such an action was a utopian "solution" that wouldn't work.

forced-labor camp scrip to the Rossika Journal, only to see Salisbury reject it as "political." Yet in the
very issue of the journal that would otherwise have contained Kormilev's work there was an article on
Soviet propaganda labels. (Letter from Kormilev to Salisbury, dated 27 November 1960.) Kormilev,
understandably, was miffed at this double standard, and this rejection may have contributed to his
decision to leave the Society and follow Rosselevitch soon after the raskol. For Rossika's part,
unfortunately, the simple act of rejecting an article because it was "political," no matter how well that
article had been researched, no matter how accurate its information and authoritative its author, was itself
political, essentially doing the USSR's censorship work for it. Perhaps a better way of stating the
Rossika policy at that time would have been to say "no polemics in the journal."
22 Rossika Bulletin No. 11, 15 October 1953, p. 4.
23 Society Page, in Rossika No. 51 (Russian version), 1957, p. 17 opposite. During his days in Belgium,
Rosselevitch was a stamp dealer and a well-known expert, and not just for Russian stamps. He was born
in Vlodava, Kholm Province, in 1902. His history was somewhat similar to Rubakh's, in that his father
was an officer in the Imperial Army, ending up in Khabarovsk in 1910. There, Rosselevitch attended a
military academy, then went back to St. Petersburg to continue his education. He saw the Bolshevik
coup of October 1917 at close hand and escaped to Yeysk, where the rest of his family was located.
Rosselevitch joined the Whites, and in the midst of the Civil War even managed to get back to school,
this time at the Odessa Military Academy, only to join the other students in a march to Rumania to
avoid the Reds. He did not complete his military schooling until he reached Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. From
there he went to Belgium, residing in Brussels from 1926 to 1958, then came to the U.S. (at Salisbury's
invitation and help with U.S. immigration). (Obituary. A.M. Rosselevich 1902-1977, in The Post Rider
No. 1, 1977, pp. 53-54.) Not long after his arrival, he was appointed as Rossika's Corresponding
Secretary of the Russian-Speaking Section and [Officer] for Special Assignments. He was also elected
in late 1958 or early 1959 by the New York Section to serve as its Vice-President. (15 March 1959
Membership List, pp. 19-20.

Moreover, telling people what they could or couldn't collect wasn't a democratic thing to
do, and politics had no place in philately. Besides, they said, "We Russians must collect
the stamps of our Motherland (whatever name it might bear at the moment), and the
future of many series must be good. "24

The thrust and parry continued when Rosselevitch lent his support to Zatkalik: "I agree
completely in ith the opinion of that letter's author. And not just for those two reasons
which he put forth, but because the philatelic production of the USSR does not constitute
"postage stamps" in the direct and full sense of the term, i.e., that they pre-pay postage.
They are merely propaganda labels, i/ ith only the appearance and superficial
characteristics ofpostage stamps. "25

The debate ended only on the printed page; no minds were changed, but the policy fixed
upon by Chebotkevich and others was the one that remained no politics in the journal.
That debate was just part of a larger bone of contention: who would control the Society,
Russians or "foreigners?" It didn't end until "The Schism" in 1960, of which more later,
but the outlines of the pulling and tugging can be seen in G.B. Salisbury's editorial in

"In starting a venture of this kind, one must be practical. The emigres who formed the
bulk of the old group have dwindled to less than one sixth of the number. Death, illness,
living conditions, loss of collections, and interest, lack of time and political restrictions
have played chaos (sic) in ith the proud list of the past. Many of our 'giants' of philately
have gone; Schmidt, Prigara, Theo. Lavrov, Bruhl, Bredis, one can go on and on, adding
to the ever growing honor roll of those who have departed. Thus, we have but a small
core of possible contributors, and we have but a small group whose dues must finance
this under-taking. We cannot grow, depending on emigres, and as long as the
publication is in Russian, its appeal is limited to them! It is imperative that we attract
new blood, greater support everywhere. Facing these facts we must publish a bilingual
journal. Our English section should appeal to the potential members in the United
States, United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, and to [the] many who can read
English i1 ith varying ability. "26

This was a pragmatic appraisal of the situation by Society officers who were themselves
Russian, but realized that it was now they who had become the foreigners in the very
society they had built. After a decade-long stillness, the battle was joined anew.

The Journal in the U.S. and its Awards.

There were at least two major disconnects between the European-Chinese and the
American incarnations of the journal: where before the publication had welcomed
numismatic articles, now in #44 they were expressly excluded.27 More importantly, so

24 Rossika Bulletin No. 13, 15 December 1953, pp. 1-2.
25 Rossika Bulletin No. 14, 15 January 1954, pp. 3-4.
26 Salisbury, Editorial, inRossika #44, 1954, p. 3.
27 That exclusion suffered a messy and embarrassing demise. N.I. Kormilev, one of the foremost collectors
of Imperial Russian coins in the world, appeared on the Editorial Board in Rossika #56 in 1959, at the

too were articles about the postal issues or history of any country not related to Russia.28
This stricture both narrowed the scope of the journal and changed its philosophy at a
single stroke: in Europe and China it had been a journal for Russians about philately,
scripophily and numismatics; now it was for anybody, but about Russian and related-
areas philately only. And it made quite a splash in the U.S. and British philatelic press.

Dec. 21, 1954.
rTalphone LAkeFand 8-8931
When I acknowledged your Rossioa the
other day, I had not yet had the oppor-
tunity to read it nor did I have until
last rinht. I have very little intwres
in Russian stamps per so, but I did fin
sthe article on early Alaska one of the most in-
Eteresting on the subject I have ever seen and one
that certainly deserves commendation. That is a
Most interesting field for collaotors of U. S.
Ratampa, and Iw ill certainly mention the public.
Stion in the Outburst. The only trouble is you
haven't ttold me how my readers may obtain your
bbulletin 4., for I predict that they are likely 0
Rwant them for their records aftor I write it up.

(Rossica Archives.)

Number 44, despite its primitive mimeographed appearance, met with near-universal
acclaim in the reviews, although there was the occasional sniff that it was White Russian
officers running the show, and therefore suspect. In a review that could have been
written in Moscow, Western Stamp Collector's William Wylie closed with the comment
that sincene it is headed by former officers of the Imperial Army it seems logical to
assume that the organization is a front' for anything but a fascinating avocation. "29
Every other publication treated it with much more respect.

Linn's Weekly Stamp News also chose to point out that "[t]he official family for the most
part are all former officers of the Russian Imperial Army who fled the nation i, ith the
advent of the Communist government, but left it at that, and this publication went on to
become one of Rossika's most forthright supporters. The American Philatelist, Philatelic
Literature Review, National Stamp News, S.P.A. Journal, The Collectors Club Philatelist,
Aero Philatelist Annals, The West-End Philatelist, The London Philatelist, The Philatelist
and of course Stamps all weighed in. Just the appearance of No. 44, though, resulted in
what was perhaps the most important letter Salisbury ever received, insofar as publicity
was concerned.

same time as one of his articles was published in the Journal. The following year, the Society
established a "Committee of Expertization for Russian Coins and Paper Money" under Kormilev,
Jansson, and Prof. V.A. Shugayevsky. (Rossika No. 58, 1960, p. 6.)
28 Salisbury, Editorial, inRossika #44, 1954, p. 4.
29 Wylie, William, Worth -I/.. ,,,,,- in Western Stamp Collector, 18 December 1954, p. 6.

The groundwork laid by Chebotkevich and Lavrov to get the Society back on its feet,
along with the appearance of Journal No. 44, resulted in a rapid expansion in the
membership and a surge of enthusiasm not seen since. When Charlotte Downs, the editor
of Stamps, became a Rossika member, the Society gained a remarkable amount of
exposure in the U.S. for years to come. At one point, for instance, Downs turned the
-reins of Stamps over to
Salisbury for a single
issue to promote

HI. i/TDQ /IST Russian philately and
the Society. A fair
percentage of the new
members who joined
during the '50s,
especially among those
who could not read
Dr. 3re.:or a. siu, Russian, can be
49i.5 & Eocusc Jtrcates,
r, attributed to her
i 3r, siisbur,.: assistance, and the
I ls vcr. :c icrested n in: i .os i i a Society's officers were
ari n'lish e;iLII o t:e journal. in tis well aware of the fact.
eo' osie y at, on of ; Downs' contributions
Sli o: e ui were such that after
S, eI, isU (d ,n.. ,,a Salisbury's death they
nerier istis, s dd oi ls iere iv made her an Honorary
j-p .ersois eu fila t io:, o trLs t! : J -. M ember.

o&ioerely yours,

(lajslin) -editor

At left: The 21
December 1954 letter
from Downs to
Salisbury that began
the special relationship
between Rossika and
Stamps. The date of
the impending review
stated in the letter is in
error; it actually
appeared on January
10th. (Rossica

it- kindest rr,,ras hne
j'i0-,a yar,

-esf, wishljlr3 -G, -lriStra1S ---C tr

Charlotte Downs

At right: Some of
Rossika's movers and
shakers pictured on the
cover of "Stamps."
(Rossica Archives.)

ii, 1355. IEWSPAPER '""""""
,A: Wbole, No. 1176

The same thing happened again in 1963, when the 16 December issue of Linn 's Weekly
Stamp News was handed to Salisbury as a guest editor.30 The great majority of articles
and reviews concerning Rossika were found in Linn 's and Stamps, and that, again, was
thanks in large part to the sheer force of Salisbury's personality and the relationship he
built up with Charlotte Downs and Lydia Callahan.

30 Salisbury, Life of the Society, inRossika No. 65,

1963, p. 3 and Linn's Weekly Stamp News, 16 December

Word's Larest & Mos LINN'S WEEKLY PER $ s
Informative Publicatlot Sl f rT W7 YEAR 2
For Sfamp Colledcors T A VLP N E V W S INGLE COPY 2n
VOL KXXVI NO. 42 SIO-NY. OHIO. DEC[r erB l16. 1963 Whole Numbel 1832

Philately Of Russia Expounded

Destree De VePlde. Shi<' Of Land Of The
on elIn 5sin i. (a'r Is Interest Of Ro--ic:,
In commemor action of Juls ID?
treesta &ry Va de Veldc 4 'ieiv Of Russian P'mhillh'l
shim released iwo i franc slll., .
November 1; each carrni a r i
tmft of the ,, ho %] Ir i,. ... Il- n i.,,; ,' Ib w e.dr, r I ,,
(Rossica AArchives.)
IT ,,. ,Russ Ruan.em waa a aa u d it won e ur hing tharn ona o
S rout w War t ben, oberg arr emet o it unversion f th

.journal had an editor Salisbury but the Russian version was produced by a.n rIeditorial.
board consists of three men (Chebokevich, Lavrov ader A rcov Bh
l (.,..r ", ~I, R',, i, I:l I. ,. ',,xla r n, I.r A. ,- Berlin Opera Houae
hierarchical structure and the geographical distribution of On German foelee
nightmarish logistics .Salisbury was in Philadelphia, Chebotkevich in Illinois, Lavrov in
New York and Marcovitch i.n Venezuela. Thy id not have the benefit of e-mail or fa

to smooth the process of translation and making the two journals agree in their content,
,- III. 1, i niutAle

(Rossica Archives.)

The Russian emigres had made extensive preparations for #44, but one thing that stood
out was the Rube Goldberg arrangement of its journal staff The English version of the
journal had an editor Salisbury but the Russian version was produced by an editorial
board consisting of three men (Chebotkevich, Lavrov and Marcovitch). Both the
hierarchical structure and the geographical distribution of this board made for
nightmarish logistics. Salisbmury was in Philadelhia, Chebotkevich in Illinois, Lavrov in
New York and Marcovitch in Venezuela. They did not have the benefit of e-mail or fax
to smooth the process of translation and making the two journals agree in their content,
but Chebotkevich, the old White Army officer, knew a cumbersome, lumbering
arrangement when he saw one. In 1955, he made a unilateral decision and appointed
Salisbury the Editor-in-Chief of both journals. Rimma Sklarevski was made the
Assistant Editor and publisher of the English journal, and Lavrov became his counterpart
on the Russian side ofw the house.3 This arrangement streamlined the Journal's
operations somewhat and held for a number of years.

Publishing was important, of course, but pushing was critical. Salisbury and the officers
aggressively promoted the Society and its journal at international exhibitions around the
world. The following pages show a few of the more colorful awards almost all silver -
that the journal garnered. In those days, an international silver for a small society
publication like Rossika's was the highest award that could be received, and it was
considered to be prestigious.

31 Chebotkevich, President's Message, in Rossika No. 46-47, 1955, p. 1.

Literature award (silver) for the Rossika Journal, entered at "EFICON" 1958. It was
irritating for the officers when the literature competition judges would issue a certificate
such as this and put on it the editor's name rather than that of the Journal, but there was
nothing anyone could do about it. The literature judges at each international were left to
their own devices as to how the certificates should look. (Reduced to 57%. Rossica




,& C6oiaciao -rdtaididca
`'$otinsca eZt atina "AFITA", bt,2namiaota .
TEMEX' 58, oeota a
r^ YubL14QUOtt.S

cotntryonaienta a a Ctaiotia 2.m. 4asse 7

/ano Cites, 23 2 e C4osdo be 1958

6>~ qzL

(Rossica Archives.)

&S^V -^A

S^.t*.aeo C3l^4f^tQfL


PALERMO- 16-26 OTrOBRE 1959


rilasciato a. Dr. -GRGOY B..B SAIBURY

.I~uM rfl.A1. 4 rr UP en~ UItflh fltJr

i. -

LA 41UlA..

.- L,. .. "
L.'. *.. 4 r." .



(Reduced to 60%. Rossica Archives.)


jPr ilie e.hii "verj
Q, "' /

3owma fi iAl

Shoivn it the I
A 3oth May to 4th June |96O

Sof the Juiry of Umnpex

UNIPEX-60 (Johannesburg) literature award.
(Reduced to 80%. Rossica Archives.)

WIENER INTERNATiONALT. P1OSTWi F1 Y / iFI' -i 1i\ *, ; ,,, `


7Yierw, J/k 3reqorj 73. Sabiurq






WIEN, JUN] 1965


Silver medal from WIPA 1965, held in Vienna.
(Reduced to 75%. Rossica Archives.)

PARIS 1964




,,itl'-tP ,DU J URY


Silver award. (Reduced to 65%. Rossica Archives.)

This particular "stealth award" caused Salisbury and the Editorial Board more than a little
heartburn. The literature competition instructions came too late to be of any use, the
name Rossica had been "translated" right out of the diploma and the Philatec exhibition
catalog, and to add insult to injury, the New York Times omitted any mention of the
Society's silver medal. Salisbury minced no words: "Thanks to the shoddy handling,
valuable publicity, which could have meant new members, has been lost, likewise loss of
prestige. "32
32 [Salisbury], Philately's Stepchild, inRossika No. 67, 1964, p. 3.

_IC_ I

Nor were philatelic literature competitions the only place Salisbury and Chebotkevich
contrived to send the Journal. Philatelic libraries and the major philatelic publications of
the day received them, too, of course, but the two set their sights even higher: royalty.

/ftb* trrz ,,,C'v. ":.-."-/ ."-"


(Reduced to 70%. Rossica Archives.)

A note from Grand Duchess Ol'ga (1882-1960), daughter of Emperor Aleksandr III and
sister of Nicholas II: "Many thanks to you and Col. Lavrov for the journals -I received
and read them... but don't think that I'm a real 'collector.' My regards to the "Journal
Staff" to the Russian officers of our valiant army. 01'ga. 3 June 1958. "

Lr-rTE*. PM Iet? I .IMPeALft- MH ES%
Cx *t1SjORn P ft0. of RUSSRl .

The red-pencil annotation at bottom is Salisbury's.
(Reduced to 65%. Rossica Archives.)

Rossika's prestige and acknowledged expertise carried over to the world of philatelic
catalogs, too. It succeeded, for instance, in exiling some bogus issues from the pages of
Stanley Gibbons and the Scott Catalog in later years.


Stanley Gibbons L1


: LE:7th I

1 -~

t" J2~'-:-:

(Rossica Archives.)

The Journal's "Graphics Department."

Over the years, Rossika was extremely fortunate to have several excellent draftsmen and
illustrators in its ranks. Their works graced the journal almost from the beginning, and
added a professional dimension to the society's publication. The first was Volkov during
the Yugoslavian incarnation of the Society, followed by two contemporaries, Edward L.
Wisewell, Jr. right at the very beginning of the American Rossika Journal, and shortly
thereafter, A.M. Rosselevitch. For very different reasons, both men stopped drawing for
the Journal in 1960.


"" .


-r rurr
r ~ II: I.
- ~J-


Salisbury appointed Wisewell as the Journal's Art Editor in 1955 and made him
responsible for all "illustrations, photographs, photostats, designs and printing
techniques."33 His work appeared in all of the journals from Nos. 45 to 57, and it is a
shame that the Society's puny treasury could not afford more of it. Illustrations were
expensive, especially for a Society that was forced to produce two journals by
mimeograph, so his talents could be showcased on only a few pages in each issue.

Wisewell was one of the pioneers in attempting to produce an Imperial-period post office
list, typing and writing out several thousand 3x5 cards,34 and he was an enthusiastic Civil
War collector. He would probably have made significant contributions to the Journal's
artwork for many more years had it not been for his son's tragic death around 1960. It hit
him very hard,35 and Wisewell's name disappeared from the Editorial Board in Rossika
No. 58. Although he remained a Rossica member until 1983, he rarely again drew for the

Picture at right (Wisewell and his son) courtesy of Peter Ashford.36

Kasenskaia...Q-23:10...(Don Cossacks)
One of the many thousands of place-name
cards that Wisewell produced, probably
during the late '60s and '70s.

33 Salisbury, Editorial, in Rossika No. 45, p. 2.
34 Mr. Wisewell graciously donated this mass of cards to me when he learned of the Imperial Russian
Postal Placenames List, Reverse Sort project in the early '80s. His entries appeared to have been culled
from an Imperial-period atlas printed in English, from which he attempted to back-engineer the Cyrillic,
but without any indication of their postal status nor the specific date of the atlas, they could not be used
in the compilation of the Reverse Sort. Nevertheless, the cards, several thousand of them, represented a
serious effort to alphabetize the place names with a view toward identifying cancellations. It may well
have been the first such effort.
35 Correspondence from Peter Ashford dated 3 April 2006.
36 Ibid.

A coat-of-arms designed by E.L. Wisewell, Jr. It graced one of his albums of the 1909-
1923 Arms issue. (Rossica Archives.)

,FIRST 50Vi T /SSUE OFSf 92I*4 I,. f.I:" .r,
Some characteristic signs onfgeuinle andq fyed stamps.

a M

4A. gX1 l

86ui fke- t

9-01n f&Ae tj

ske t

Rosselevich's contributions to
the Journal were relatively
few, due to his early exit from
the Society during the 1960
raskol, but his handiwork,
which included precise
drawings in an expert
draftsman's hand, appeared
frequently in his Russian
Philatelist. Before the advent
of computer imaging, his
renditions of stamp details
were state-of-the-art. Shown
at left is an example from
Russian Philatelist No. 8,
September 1966.

Sgem- /Moruti

ge~nuine ~
A41I8# SW nib.

His most memorable production came not in the Journal, but as the 1957 Rossika
vignettes below.

I have been unable to
determine how many of
these vignettes and- '- O
souvenir sheets were 3API- E3CHOE PYCCKOE
produced, but given the 4IJ1ATEJIMCTHECKOE OBlgECTBO
frequency at which they P 9 SHL CA
turn up in dealers' stocks,
it must have been quite a
few. In addition to the
souvenir sheet, each stamp
exists imperforate,
perforate 12 34, and in one
of four languages. Thus,
there are eight varieties
and a number of
combinations that can be

The Rossica Archives
contain what appears to be ROSSICA
an entire sheet of the SOS IFY
imperforate stamps, AOF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
arranged 7x7 on anPHILn 8 E2 x
11' sheet. -

The 1957 Rossica souvenir sheet, commemorating the
100th anniversary of Russia #1.37 Designed by A.M.
Rosselevitch, printed by R. Polchaninoff, and sold by
A. Lavrov.38 (Reproduced at 100%. Rossica Archives)

37 The souvenir sheets sold for 25 cents apiece plus postage, or four for $1 postage free. (List ofRegistered
Active Society "Rossica" Members, 15 February 1958, p. 3.)
38 Chebotkevich, President's Message, in Rossika #51, 1957, p. 3.

Imperforate English, used perforate English, and mint perforate English.
(Rossica Archives.)



S r =

1 t5

I,.j ...j I
I I : ,
...... ItSk1 I.

Progression proof sheet of the Rossika 1957 vignettes for the
four stamp versions: Russian, English, German and French.
(Reduced to 65%. Rossica Archives.)

i ( I I, ,I

~ Ib

She f4 Il(reue o70o) nldn ypsfrec f h orlnuae:Rsin

.Z 111. 701 =r I V I ll'.. I l AIIUi 1l W P'll( (IIllA 7 Il1S,,l4 M I
:mIv.&.. IP1 n WIN D

" 114. I '11 4
a t

>. i r ..

" I:1I. 1 I



3 ICI1 lliIIK
i '


Sli( ( llhA
N I 1I

- IllhSlII 't



a <>I 1.


; I n < IIK

10 ll k> i

* g'.E



I I 1-II 1
= r711

SIillit4 IlA

SH I tS ,,t
- ;

f rI'i

[]rJ :

Sheet of 49 (reduced to 75%), including types for each of the four languages: Russian,
English, German and French. (Rossica Archives.)


~~SC-~-U~~Ab WE---_~~

A letter from Aleksandr Kotlar (later a Vice-President and acting President of Rossika) to
Greg Salisbury, bearing the 1857-1957 Rossica souvenir sheet. (Rossica Archives.)

The 1957 vignette souvenir sheet even hit the front cover of a major U.S. philatelic
publication the 14 December 1957 issue of Stamps. (Rossica Archives.)

There was a near miss for another Rossika vignette in 1959, when Rostislav Polchaninov
designed an issue in secret, only to discover to his embarrassment that the founding date
was wrong.


------- -----

SPolchaninov's essay errors, given to
0 sor !S Greg Salisbury. (Reproduced at 100%.
atscItCA n Mia OF wsanu v Rossica Archives.)

In a letter to Salisbury (presumably 1959, only a fragment of it is preserved) he wrote,
"I'm confiding to you that I really messed up. I wanted this to be a surprise -a Rossica
vignette for its [30th] anniversary, but I had it written down that Rossica was founded in
1924 (instead of 1929). The vignette came out all right, but it can't be shown to anyone.
I'm sending you this block offour and the single essay as a keepsake. "39

Rossika/Rossica and the BSRP.

A special relationship existed between Rossika and the British Society of Russian
Philately almost from the start of Rossika's rejuvenation in the U.S. Much of this was
due to the commonality of language and cultural ties, of course, but the real impetus
came from the close friendship of two men, Salisbury and John Barry, who corresponded
on a near-daily basis.40 Both of them promoted the other's society, preaching the virtue
of the need to belong to both organizations. Barry's tenure as president of the BSRP
(1952) coincided with the rebirth of Rossika in the U.S., and he also served as co-editor
of the BJRP from 1952 to 1957,41 overlapping Salisbury's early years as Rossika editor.

39 Undated fragment of a letter from Polchaninoff to Salisbury, presumably from 1959. (Rossica Archives.)
40 In fact, Salisbury had been a member of the BSRP and had organized BSRP meetings in the U.S. before
he was recruited by Chebotkevich to join Rossika. (Letter from Salisbury to Rosselevitch, 6 September
1959, p. 7, and Lidman, David, The Back Room, in The American Philatelist, Vol. 67, No. 3, December
1953, p. 165. Rossica Archives.)
41 Barry was in many respects to the BSRP what Salisbury was to Rossika: a driving, energetic force that
attracted members from around the world and carried a load far in excess of his fair share. This despite
the fact that his health (like Salisbury's) was always suspect, thanks to "privations during World War I
when he was aprisoner-of-war. (Two Stalwarts, in BJRP No. 36, March 1965, p. 36.) Privations
indeed. He had enlisted in the infantry in November 1914 and went into the trenches at Armentieres in
February, 1915. He must have had some luck of the Irish, because he came through the combat on the
front without a serious scratch until March 1918, when the last German offensive rolled in and his luck
deserted him. Taken prisoner, he was forced to labor for the Germans in a coal mine near Aix la

The result was a remarkable and mutual surge of adherents to the banners of Rossika and
the BSRP. Chebotkevich joined the BSRP, as did Arkhangelsky, to set an example.42
That surge also served to dilute Rossika's Russian ranks even further.

fi pi7^ Salisbury initiated an annual joint Rossika-BSRP event, the inauguration
S j of which was held on 21 November 1954.43 From then until 1967, it
'. would be a prominent feature of Rossika's annual meeting in New York,
presided over by Salisbury, and it would invariably be well attended.
The get-togethers did not survive his death in early 1968, and the
extremely close ties between the two societies began to decline.

At left: John Barry.

"RASKOL!" (The Schism, 1960-1961.)

Things started getting testy in the latter half of 1959. The roll of Rossika's Honored
Members began to split almost evenly down the middle, and the internal strife was the
eruption of that old, festering boil that had afflicted the Society since the Shanghai days.
Would it become an international mix (or even worse, American) in which the Russians
were a minority, or would it stay "Rossika" for the Russians, run by Russians? The
Society's fitful 10-year slumber from 1942 to 1952 had done nothing to bury the dispute.
In fact, it merely postponed and transplanted it, from China to the U.S. That central issue
plus personality conflicts were the fuel that fed the fires, and in 1960-1961 Rossika had
its own mini-version of the Russian Civil War. The antipathy and name-calling were
quite nasty, and the ripples from the vicious feud were still being felt in the 1990s.

1) Because of it, our Constitution is very different from what we had in the early
2) As of this writing, the Society has no "Honored Members." (The sad affair
left such bitterness over this title and the way it used to be granted that
Rossica went for over a decade (from 1968 to the 1980s) before bestowing it
again,44 very sparingly, and then it was only the title; none of the former rights
as listed under the old constitutions were restored.)
3) We are most emphatically not a Society of Russian Philatelists Abroad
anymore. The departure of the Rossika-for-the-Russians factions served to
hasten the metamorphosis into Rossica-with-a-"c."

Chapelle, got a badly infected arm, and underwent "two dirty operations." Things improved a bit after
that. The Germans still forced him to work, but this time it was as a "bottle washer in a Rhine wine
firm." He and other POWs would sneak into the vast cellar carrying pieces of rubber hose. They'd climb
up on a barrel, insert the hose and "suck up." Barry and the others were soon "blotto," thanks to the lack
of food in their stomachs. (Letter from Barry to Arthur Shields, 26 April 1955.)
42 Ibid, p. 6.
43 Cemy, First Joint i I... i,,i of the British Society ofRussian Philately and the Rossika Society ofRussian
Philately, in Rossika No. 45, p. 4.
44 Joe Chudoba and Constantine de Stackelberg.

There was also an underlying current of jealousy. Some of the Honored Members in the
New York Chapter were put out that it was Chebotkevich and Lavrov who had started the
Society going again, not they, and they were determined to regain control of the Society.

On one side was a small band of Russians, mostly Honored Members from the New York
Chapter, led by A.M. Rosselevitch. (The others, for the record, were Cerny, Savitsky,
Shenitz, Rubakh, and later Rachmanov and Kormilev.)45 Arrayed against them were
Chebotkevich, Salisbury, Lavrov, and the rest of the Honored Members and members.

Left to right: Viktor Pavlovich Cemy,46 Vladimir Aleksandrovich Rachmanov,47 German
Mikhaylovich Shenitz, Nikolay Viktorovich Savitzky48 and Nikolay Aleksandrovich

45 This was not a bunch of unknown malcontents who had never published or done anything for the society
and whose absence would go unnoticed or be gleefully cheered. Kormilev, for instance, was a highly
respected authority on Imperial numismatics; Rachmanov was known worldwide at the top philatelic
levels; Cerny was one of the sparkplugs of the New York branch and had been the same for RAPS;
Shenitz and Savitzky had written extensively for the Journal, and constantly advertised as dealers;
Rubakh and Rosselevitch were outstanding "stamp men," the former working as a professional describer
for Harmer's, the other as an expertizer, the man who established the Society's Expertization Committee.
Their departure was a serious loss for Rossika.
46 Cerny was a Russian immigrant from Odessa who moved to Czechoslovakia after the October 1917
Bolshevik coup. He rode out all of WWII there, then came to the U.S. through the Tolstoi Foundation.
An engineer, he worked as a part-time stamp dealer out of his house. (Information from a phone
conversation with Leon Finik on 15 February 1999.) He was also the one who got the New York
Chapter of Rossica going again in the 1950s. (Rossika Bulletin No. 15, 15 February 1953.)
47 V.A. Rachmanov commanded an immense amount of respect at the international level as an exhibitor
and as a judge at FIP shows. By the time of the schism, he was already one of the oldest members,
having joined the St. Petersburg Section of the Dresden International Philatelic Society in 1907. In
addition to an excellent selection of Poland No. 1 and Imperial stamps in general, Rachmanov had an
extensive collection of zemstvos. (Izveshcheniye, n.d. (ca. 1961-1962) & Collectors ofSt. Petersburg, in
Rossika Nos. 46-47, English version, p. 3-5.)
48 Rossica Journal No. 54, 1958, Society Page. Savitzky was born in 1883 in Sevastopol' and became an
artillery captain in the Imperial Russian Army. The end of WWI found him serving as an assistant
military attach at The Hague, and he appears not to have gone back to Russia to fight with the
Volunteer Army. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1931 and hired on with a variety of stamp outfits,
including Scott Stamp and Coin Co., Nassau Stamp Co. and Harmer & Rook Co. He died in 1966.
(The Russian Philatelist #8, Sept. 1966, p. 10.)
49 Picture of Kormilev from the Society Page of Rossika #56, 1959.

Under normal circumstances, airing a society's dirty linen in
public (again) over 45 years after the fact would offer no benefit,
but this squabble spilled over into print with a lot of
exaggerations, half-truths and outright lies, and the publications
which contained them are still out there on the market today.
The Rossica Archives, from which this information derives,
could be destroyed or damaged at any time, so I offer this
recounting to set the record straight and keep it that way.

The sniping began well before 1960. Because of the way the
Rossica Journal was handled at that time, some disagreement
was inevitable. Salisbury was the Editor-in-Chief of both the
Russian and English versions of the journal. When he helped Rosselevitch emigrate from
Belgium to the U.S., Salisbury appointed him to the post of Assistant Editor and
Publisher of the Russian version under A.N. Lavrov, while Rimma Sklarevski50 (picture
above, ca. 1955) handled the publishing chores and the mimeograph stencils for the
English version. The articles in English would be translated into Russian, Russian
articles into English, and the two versions were supposed to agree in terms of the articles
they contained. The arrangement guaranteed that there would be discord over
translations, printing questions and publication schedules.

Rosselevitch and Lavrov, for instance, were already on poor terms by late 1958, thanks in
part to this very arrangement. On October 14th of that year Lavrov complained to
Rosselevitch that he had received three "rude letters" from the latter, and wondered what
he had done to deserve it. The two had never met, only corresponded, and Lavrov
observed that he had already put out 10 journals without recompense, on his own time,
and that having 68 years under his belt, Lavrov didn't feel like taking any more of this.
Rosselevitch would have to correspond with someone else, he wrote, because this journal
would be Lavrov's last as editor of the Russian journal.

Lavrov was premature by one year. It wasn't until 1960 that he moved over to the newly-
created post of "Business Editor," thus giving Rosselevitch a much freer hand51 and
getting him out of Lavrov's hair. Up to Journal #58, the mimeographed English version
and the printed Russian version were produced in one place, by a Mr. Georgiy Kuznetsov
in the Bronx, and for a time this arrangement held together. Because it was stenciled,
though, the English version didn't look nearly as good as the Russian, which Kuznetsov
printed by more sophisticated means. The editing on the English journal wasn't as good,
either. Things began to creep into the Russian journal that weren't in the English version,

50 Sklarevski was the eldest son of Russian concert pianist Aleksandr Sklarevski, the former director of the
Imperial Conservatory of Music in Saratov. Born in northern France in 1909, Rimma moved with
his family to Russia, but they were forced to flee after the Bolshevik coup of 1917. Their flight was a
long one: east to Kharbin via Siberia, south to Shanghai, east again to Vancouver, British Columbia, and
finally to Baltimore, where his father became head of the Piano Department in the Peabody
Conservatory of Music. Rimma earned a degree in engineering and used it in his job at the Baltimore
Water Department. (Obituaries, R.A.Sklarevski, philatelist, in The Evening Sun, Monday, 19 April
1982, p. C6 & [Salisbury], Life of the Society, inRossica No. 64, p. 3.)
51 Lavrov wore two hats at the time, the other being that of the Society treasurer.

and the page counts between the two began to diverge more than the simple vagaries of
translation should allow. (For instance, in #58 the English version had 70 pages, but the
Russian had 83.) Rosselevitch didn't hold Sklarevski or his editing in high regard, and
said so in his letters to Salisbury.


This is to certify that

/A/ 9, f rn & ,.-rXt-. t&
is a member in good standing

from A02L'/ to -, r t 1fzq


Rimma Sklarevski's membership card, signed by Lavrov. This was the first year that the
American iteration of Rossika issued membership cards. (Rossica Archives.)

Finally, after #58 came out in 1960, Salisbury complained to Kuznetsov that the quality
of the English version was poor, and Kuznetsov blew up. He refused to have anything
more to do with the English edition, and Rosselevitch blamed everything on Sklarevski's
heavy hand with the stencils, or poor stencils to begin with. That may well have been the
case (the English-language journals from those days do look pretty bad), but Rosselevitch
overstepped his bounds when he asserted that the Russian edition was his to command (it
wasn't), and that Salisbury (the Editor-in-Chief) had usurped his authority in telling
Kuznetsov what to do. Worse, Kuznetsov had printed the Russian edition of #58 first,
then sat on the English edition for five months, despite the fact that there were
approximately 250 English readers and only about 100 Russian. Rosselevitch issued an
ultimatum: Salisbury should either give him the reins to the Russian version, or find
another Russian associate editor.52

S SAviKI At left: An envelope
,SJMWoSL X. from N.V. Savitzky to
Greg Salisbury, 20
August 1961, mailed
after the split and not
'j.. 7 long after the
4 -,W ~ appearance of the
breakaway journal.
>/' ,",A L_ & (Reduced to 45%.
Rossica Archives.)

52 Rosselevich, 12 September 1960 to Salisbury. (Rossica Archives.)

The Journal of the Rossica
Society of Russian Philately



No. 48 1956

The cover of the Russian-language version of the Journal,
designed by A. Lavrov.53

That letter crossed with one Salisbury sent the following day, in which he pointed out that
Sklarevski did the [English-language] mimeographs for free, while Kuznetsov charged a
lot for his services. Salisbury didn't challenge the fact that Kuznetsov's printing of the
Russian edition indeed looked better, but the cost of that printing simply couldn't be
borne by the puny Rossika treasury. The fact that the Russian edition was 13 pages
longer than the English didn't sit well with Salisbury, either.54

Journal funding and who controlled what weren't the only sore points. Chebotkevich and
Salisbury wanted to keep the Society and the Journal strictly apolitical. Rosselevitch and
some of the other Honored Members were all for that policy, so long as only the Imperial
period and the White side of the Civil War were covered; articles on Soviet stamps or
postal history, they felt, had no business in a journal published by a society that was or
ought to be "100% White [Russian]."

53 Cerny, First Joint i I... ,, i of the British Society ofRussian Philately and the Rossika Society ofRussian
Philately, in Rossika No. 45, p. 7.
54 Salisbury, 13 September 1960 letter to Rosselevitch. (Rossica Archives.) For a number of reasons,
including the fact that Russian gets by mostly without the use of definite and indefinite articles (e.g.,
"the," "a," "an"), English translations of Russian text tend to run 10%-20% longer than the original. The
fact that the Russian version of the journal was running considerably longer than the English meant,
therefore, that Rosselevitch was inserting more material in the Russian version and the English readers
weren't getting to see it.

Everyone's nerves were frayed from the constant, low-key backstabbing, especially the
"Anglo" side of the Rossika Journal house over the insults coming from Rosselevitch.
Chebotkevich he had called a "zero," and accused him of mismanaging the Society.
Lavrov, he said, was actively seeking to avoid an audit, to prevent the Society members
from finding out what he was really doing with their money. (He had come up clean in
the 1959 audit.)55 Sklarevski, Jansson and de Stackelberg he held in contempt. Adler's
articles on Soviet issues were a horror. Salisbury "had turned into an American, and had
even forgotten his native language, not to mention our own country's history."56
Marcovitch wasn't among the "serious people."7 Those members who didn't hew
strictly to Imperial-period and White Civil War stamp collecting were climbing in bed
with the Soviets, and so on. And then came the crescendo, all at once.

In August 1960, Chebotkevich, Salisbury and Lavrov decided that it would be a good
idea to enter the Rossika Journal in the literature competition at POLSKA 60.
Rosselevitch took great offense when in the name of the Board Chebotkevich
congratulated Salisbury and his team in the "Khronika" section for the silver medal the
Journal won. Rosselevitch sent a blunt letter in which he accused Chebotkevich of
failing to obtain his (Rosselevitch's) approval as an Honored Member and Member of the
Board, and demanded that the congratulations be shown as coming from Chebotkevich,
not the Board. Moreover, he accused Salisbury of being a publicity hound in sending
news of the award to Stamps without notifying anyone else on the Board. Moreover,
Rosselevitch took issue with Salisbury's name being put on the awards.58 (Salisbury had
no control over this it was up to the literature judges.) Two hours after reading the
letter, Chebotkevich suffered a heart attack, and was rushed to the hospital.59

For both men, the affair affronted their personal honor. Rosselevitch felt that he, an
Honored Member, had been slighted and ignored, and that showing the Journal at
POLSKA 60 was giving aid and comfort to the enemy. (He was clearly in the minority
of Honored-Member opinion on this matter. Even two of the Honored Members who
joined Rosselevitch in the exodus Rachmanov and Kormilev had congratulated
Salisbury on the journal's award.) "Personally, I am 100% White Russian and would
never give in the slightest in those matters involving a debate about some sort of contact
i/ ith communist countries. As a result, Rosselevitch "resigned" from the Society's
Board and demanded that his name be removed from it, but he wanted to stay on as head
of the Expertization Committee and associate editor of the Russian-language journal.60
Chebotkevich was deeply upset and offended, because he was the head of the Society and
Salisbury was the Editor-in-Chief Who, he asked, had given Rosselevitch, an associate
editor and appointed officer, veto power over them?61 Rosselevitch had even gone so far

55 Chebotkevich, Life of the Society, inRossika No. 58, 1960, p.4.
56 Fragment of a letter from Rosselevitch to Salisbury, ca. 1959-1960. (Rossica Archives.)
57 Letter from Rosselevitch to Salisbury, 9 November 1959. (Rossica Archives.)
58 Letter from Rosselevitch to Chebotkevich, 11 October 1960. (Rossica Archives.)
59 Letter from Chebotkevich to Salisbury, 22 October 1960. (Rossica Archives.)
60 Letter from Rosselevitch to Salisbury, 25 October 1960. (Rossica Archives.)
61 Letter from Chebotkevich to Salisbury, 13 October 1960, two days after the heart attack and written
from his hospital bed. (Rossica Archives.)

as to list himself in Rossika No. 58 as the secretary and therefore a member of the Board,
which he wasn't, and that claim served to infuriate the others.62

Moreover, Rosselevitch had no monopoly on dislike of the Reds; Chebotkevich had done
more than his share of fighting and bleeding during the Civil War, he had been a senior
adjutant in a White cavalry division, and two of his brothers one a colonel and the other
an ensign were wounded and could not be evacuated ahead of the Red advance. The
Bolsheviks executed both of them.63 So neither Chebotkevich nor Lavrov, also a former
White officer, could be accused of fondness for communism. They had felt that
displaying the journal in Warsaw would be a silent but effective reproach to the Soviets,
because from the '30s to the early '60s, the Rossika Journal was the only Russian-
language philatelic periodical in the West, and for a shorter time, in the entire world. By
showing the Journal in Poland, they would make the point that although the Soviets had
been choking off philately in the USSR, it was still alive and kicking abroad. As it turned
out, the Journal won a medal there a silver, no less in an international competition.

da maindaliie d'argeni


ZA ESi.PONAT W IKLSIE de Litt rature
pOU.'i PI- miM-'.TION OUN LU Z3-.

PT. 1I1 revu. 'Boss ca"

5 -11 IX WA5SZAWA 1900

Rossica's first award from behind the Iron Curtain.
(Reduced to 55%. Rossica Archives.)

Salisbury was certain that Chebotkevich's heart attack was brought on by Rosselevitch's
letter (in fact, Chebotkevich himself had insisted this was the case), and it was the final

62 Letter from Salisbury to Cerny, 5 November 1960, p. 5. (Rossica Archives.)
63 Letter fragment from Chebotkevich to Salisbury, dated 31 August 1954, and a letter from Chebotkevich
to Salisbury, dated 20 December 1954.

straw.64 Enraged, Salisbury broke off all contact with Rosselevitch on 25 October and
announced his intention to quit as Editor and leave Rossika, stating that he, Salisbury, had
a weak heart as well, and didn't want Rosselevitch to do to him what had just been done
to Chebotkevich.65 Chebotkevich had been on the mend, but coincidentally that same
day he suffered a second heart attack. Six days later, he was dead. His last contribution
to the Society he co-founded and revived was to talk Salisbury out of resigning.

The situation deteriorated rapidly from there, and some of the Russian Old Guard began
leaving the fold. The membership in the U.S. and abroad began choosing up sides.

Boris Yermolinsky felt that Russians should be the majority in Rossika, not the minority.
If that could not be the case, he wrote, then the "Russian Philatelists Abroad" should be
expunged from the Society name. (It was.) And, after taking a gratuitous swipe at
Salisbury, he resigned.66 One of
the old Honored Members, Igor'
Nikolayevich Rubakh, had already
formally quit the Society on 25
September 1960 because, as he
told Lavrov, he didn't think the
Society could function effectively
with all the uproar.67

At right: A printed-matter
envelope from Rosselevitch to
Hollywood actor and Rossika
member Arthur Shields, ca. June
1961. It most probably contained
the "New York Branch of Rossika" journal. (Reduced to 30%. Rossica Archives.)

64 Letter from Salisbury to Marcovitch, 6 January 1961. (Rossica Archives.)
65 Salisbury, 6 January 1961 to Marcovitch. Salisbury also accused Rosselevitch of having destroyed the
Belgian Rossika section by his constant battles with Legky to gain control of it. He went on to indict the
New York Honored Members for "finishing Prigara," destroying RAPS, and hating Chebotkevich for re-
starting Rossika without them. Salisbury may have learned of the assertion that Rosselevitch had also
fought with Legky for control of the Belgian Chapter from Lavrov, who was in correspondence with
members in Europe. (31 October and 4 December 1960 letters to Salisbury. Rossica Archives.)
66 Yermolinsky, 13 July 1961 letter to Lavrov. (Rossica Archives.)
67 Rubakh, 23 December 1961 letter to Lavrov. (Rossica Archives.) Rubakh was born into the nobility in
Tashkent, Central Asia, the son of a general. Educated at St. Petersburg's "Pravoveden'ye, a classical
institution that prepared young men for service in the government apparatus," he became an officer in the
White Army during the Civil War, serving in a Hussars regiment. He and his parents fled via
Constantinople to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Like the other 6migr6s there, Rubakh, his wife Tat'yana and
his mother fled to Austria and Germany as the Reds advanced. They reached Coblenz in the French
Zone, where Rubakh worked in some capacity for the French Administration, and after a short stay in a
transit camp near Bremen, they emigrated in 1950 to the U.S. and settled in Sea Cliff, New York. His
first job in the U.S. was at a dog kennel, but he quickly got back into philately. He was extremely good
at spotting falsified and doctored stamps, a skill that kept him employed for the rest of his life. He was
describing stamp collections for auctions long after his 80th birthday. Rubakh died in 1986.
(Correspondence from Natalia Izyumova, dated 29 March 2006, and phone conversation, 19 April 2006.)

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs