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Thread: Russians and the Anglo-Boer War

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    Default Russians and the Anglo-Boer War

    Russians and the Anglo-Boer War

    by Apollon Davidson and Irina Filatova

    Published by: Human and Rousseau/Combined Book Services 287 pp. £17.99

    When we were at school 70 years ago, a quarter of the World's map was coloured red to denote the territories of the British Empire on which the sun never set. Britain did not acquire this largest Empire in history by chance, or by mere luck, Britain fought its way at every turn in the face of jealous rivals such as Russia, France, Spain and Germany.

    Even when transport was slow and the motorcar and aeroplane were not yet in service, Britain could despatch half a million troops to South Africa to protect the long route to India via the Cape. Jews played a major part in Britain's ascendancy in the 19th Century.

    Benjamin Disraeli whose family were members of the Sephardi Bevis Marks Synagogue, acquired the shares of the Suez Canal with the help of the Rothschilds and he made Victoria Empress of India.

    Educated Baghdadi Jews likewise helped to further the extent of the British advance in the Far East to China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

    At the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, Tsar Nicholas wrote to his sister, "I am wholly pre-occupied with the war between England and the Transvaal. Every day I read the news in the British newspapers from the first to the last line.... I cannot conceal my joy at Boer success."

    Britain's hold on South Africa was significant for the Russians partly because the route to India lay via the Cape, and as Governors of the Cape were only too aware, Russia had its own designs on India.

    In 1879 the British feared that Russia might take advantage of the Zulu War and strike in Central Asia - or even send arms to the Zulus. The young Jan Smuts, conscious of this Russian interest, advised his Boer colleagues on the eve of war to prevail on the Russians to foment an anti-British rising in India. In fact, Kruger, thinking along similar lines, had already sent the Russian Jewish emigre financier Benzion Aaron to represent the Transvaal at Nicholas's coronation in 1896.

    Russian interests clashed with Britain's in central Asia, Iran, the Bosphorus, the Mediterranean and the Balkans as well as over India; and in addition to her vengeful feelings about the Crimean War, Russia felt herself blocked at every turn by Britain. Wildly excited at the thought that the Boers might at last have created the vital crack in the wall of the British Empire, Nicholas rushed off to see the Kaiser (both grandsons of the reigning Queen Victoria). 'I intend to set the Emperor on the British - while the Russian Foreign Minister tried to interest the French in an anti-British alliance. In order to increase the pressure, Russia built up its Mediterranean and Atlantic fleets and even courted provocation with the dispatch of four cruisers to the Channel. At the same time, Russian troops were moved up to the borders of India and Afghanistan.

    The Tsar was, in fact, quite carried away. 'You know, my dear,' he told his sister, but it is pleasant for me to know that I and I only possess the ultimate means of deciding the course of the war in South Africa. It is very simple - just a telegraphic order to all the troops in Turkestan to mobilise and advance towards the Indian frontier. Not even the strongest fleet in the world can keep us from striking England at this her most vulnerable point.' Such was Nicholas's 'dearest dream' but it came to nothing. The Germans and French scuttled away; Russia was in no position to take on Britain without their help.

    Several hundred Russians came out to fight for the Boers and to be their nurses and doctors. It is difficult to be precise about the size of this group because many thousands of Jews, fleeing from the pogroms in Russia, had already joined the great gold rush to the Transvaal in the latter part of the 1880's. A good number of these left the Transvaal at the outbreak of war, some to join the British forces; but many fought for the Boers and probably accounted for the majority of the entire Russian contingent. The problem was that in the eyes of the often anti-Semitic Russian nationalists who flocked to the Boer cause such people were not Russians at all: the nationalists formed a separate Russian Commando unit in the Boer Army and refused to allow Russian Jews to join it. On the other hand, the British, enraged that such recent emigres should take up arms against them, found it convenient to regard them as Russians and deported large numbers of them back to Russia to face the pogroms again, an act of callousness which has never attracted the attention - or opprobrium - it deserves. (In 1946, Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin repeated this heartless procedure by returning Jewish refugees trying to reach Palestine back to detention camps in Germany.)

    Not much is known about the Russian Jews who fought on the Boer side, though several rose to significant rank; we find a Commandant Kaplan and a Commandant Isaac Herman, while two others, Josef Segal ('Jackals') and Wolf Jacobson ('Wolf'), who acted as scouts, were legendary figures in their time; Segal became a special adviser and secret agent for the Boer general, Christiaan de Wet. Benzion Aaron, by now a very wealthy man and a personal friend of Kruger, set up a Jewish Ambulance Corps and bankrolled whole depots for the Boers. The anti-Semitism of the Russian nationalist volunteers doesn't seem to have caused any difficulties. Wounded nationalists were shown great solicitousness by Aaron's ambulance corps while the members of the anti-Semitic Russian Commando, according to their own reports, were greeted as compatriots on their arrival by Russian Jews who showered them with fruit, cigars and good wishes.

    Last July, the remains of Tsar Nicholas and his family were ceremoniously buried at St Petersburg, exactly 80 years after they were murdered by the Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, for fear of the advancing white Russians. The opposition of King George V in 1917 to grant his deposed cousin asylum in Britain, may have sealed the imperial family's fate.

    The British Empire came to an end after W.W.II. It did so in an orderly manner as no other empire in history. Overnight, it became The Commonwealth. Even without "British" and without the crown, it goes from strength to strength.

    South Africa that had left it earlier came running back under Mandela. This augurs well both for South Africa as well as for the Commonwealth.

    Just like the Jews, by sheer tenacity and obduracy, the British have left their mark in the world. The one has given half of mankind its religious beliefs; the other has given half mankind the nearest thing to an international language, as well as, the tradition of Parliamentary democracy.

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    Default Re: Russians and the Anglo-Boer War

    Book Review: The Russians and the Anglo Boer War

    Reviewed by Kobus du Pisani

    Estimates put the number of foreign volunteers who fought for the Boers at roughly 2500, of whom 225 were “Russians”. These numbers are disputable, because the Boer republics registered volunteers only during the first two months of the war. No complete list of names of the Russian volunteers exists. Fewer than 50 of them are known by name (p. 45). All “Russian” volunteers were not ethnic Russians. Many of them were Jewish emigres from Russia, who had come to the Transvaal before the war (p. 50). Others came from the Baltic states or parts of Eastern Europe (pp. 49,50,56). Both staunch monarchists and future Bolsheviks were among the volunteers.

    Only one Russian volunteer, Lieutenant Yevgeny Fiodorovich Augustus, published detailed memoirs about his participation in the war (p. 24). “What made me set off for the Transvaal to war to fight for an alien people, for an alien cause?”, he wrote (p. 23). He could not give a clear answer, neither could many of his compatriots. Davidson and Filatova are of the opinion that the motivations of the Russian volunteers were shaped by Russian realities. Most of them wanted to support what they considered to be the righteous cause of the Boers, a “national peasant democracy”, against the evils of capitalism, imperialism and authoritarianism. Some felt a romantic desire for military glory. They wanted to escape from the dreary routine of military drill to the exotic adventure of “wild Africa” (pp. 60, 61).

    The authors trace the involvement in the war of some prominent Russian volunteers. The most important of these is Yevgeny Yakovlevich Maximov, a former lieutenant colonel in the Russian army who came to South Africa as a war correspondent, but soon joined the European Legion as the Frenchman, General De Villebois-Mareuil’s, second in command. Maximov was a friend of several famous Boer leaders, an advisor to the presidents of the Boer republics (p. 68) and, according to the authors, probably had a secret mission in South Africa on behalf of the Russian War Ministry (pp. 82-86). Davidson and Filatova managed to locate Maximov’s handwritten South African diary, covering the period February to March 1900. As commander of the Hollander Corps Maximov distinguished himself as a disciplined leader and a brave soldier (pp. 75-76). His biggest and last battle in the war was at Thaba Nchu, where he was wounded by a shot from Captain Towse (p. 77). He was taken to Kroonstad and from there to Pretoria, where he received a hero’s welcome. He was elected “veggeneraal” (combat general), “an honour accorded to him alone among all the European volunteers” (p. 80). Villebois and he were the only foreigners who served as combat generals in the Boer commandoes during the war. Maximov’s wound made it impossible for him to go back to the battlefield, and he returned to Russia at the end of May 1900 (p. 81). In a letter President Kruger expressed his gratitude for Maximov’s services to the Boer cause (pp. 87-88). His further life history till his death in battle in Manchuria in October 1904 is sketched (pp. 96-103).

    Another prominent Russian volunteer was the Georgian prince Nikolai Georgiievich Bagration-Mukhransky, who was called “Niko the Boer” after the war. He was taken prisoner by the British and sent to St Helena, but was soon released. His memoirs, With the Boers, was published in Georgian in 1951 (pp. 112-22). The sketchy stories of the participation in the war of other Russian volunteers are related. They include Vasily Yosifovich Romeiko-Gurko, Mikhail Antonovich Zigern-Korn, Alexei Nikolaievich Ganetsky, Alexander Ivanovich Guchkov, Leo Pokrovsky and Boris Strolman. There is a chapter on the services in the war of Russian Red Cross doctors and nurses (pp. 149-62) and one on the information on military aspects of the war collected for the Russian War Ministry and published in 21 volumes totalling 3561 pages (pp. 130-48). In Russian military circles it was believed that the British army would not sustain a fight against the army of a continental power (p. 141).

    In their announcement of Davidson and Filatova’s book, the South African publishers stated that it would “fascinate those who enjoy reading history as a story”. The readibility of the book is enhanced by pursuing the life stories of some of the Russian volunteers after their return to Europe. Some of the former volunteers experienced the great upheavals of Russia’s history in the twentieth century. Interesting facets of Russian history become stories within the story.

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    THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR AND THE RUSSIAN PUBLIC

    ‘Church services are held for President Kruger’s health. Orchestras in public places are asked to play ’the Boer anthem’ and when they do they have to repeat it indefinitely, reported a St Petersburg magazine in 1901’. [1]

    ‘The Boers and everything that is in any way connected with them now attract the interest of all sections of the public. In a beau monde sitting room, at newspaper publishers, and in a cabmen’s inn you hear one and the same conversation, about the Boers and the Boer War’, wrote an anonymous Russian author, calling himself Boerophile, in a pamphlet ’In Relief to the Boers!’ published in St. Petersburg in 1902 [2].


    Things reached such a pitch of Boer-mania that another Russian author sounded an almost plaintive note: ’Wherever you go these days, you hear the same story-the Boers, the Boers and only the Boers’ [3].


    Literary Russia and the Anglo-Boer War

    This was hardly an uncommon observation for in truth at the turn of the century the Boers were at the height of fashion in Russia. Pictures of the Boer soldiers and officers and of President Kruger and his generals appeared in virtually every illustrated magazine on a regular basis. Thousands of articles and many books and booklets were published about the Boers and the Anglo-Boer War not only in the big cities of the Russian Empire (such as St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Warsaw, Tashkent, Yekaterinoslav, Odessa, Vilnius, Tiflis-now Tbilisi), but even in towns as small as Borisoglebsk,-a place not easily found on a map.


    The volume of these publications was enormous. In Georgia alone, for example, there were so many of them that a special study. The Reflection of the Anglo-Boer War in the Georgian Media’, could be undertaken several decades later [4]. So insatiable was the public demand for news of the Boers and their challenge to the British Empire that many magazines and publishers not normally given to coverage of international affairs hastened to get on the bandwagon. Among the publishers to carry such articles were, for example, such unlikely enterprises as the Printers of the Staff of the Separate Gendarme Corps, the Printers of the Turkestan Military District and the Printers of the Poor Children’s Home.


    The overwhelming majority of these publications, irrespective of their quality, were outspokenly pro-Boer. Even the titles were often so partisan that it was hardly necessary to read the text: Why We Should Wish Victory to the Boers; The Transvaal. The History of Its Suffering under British Domination; The Boers. The Fight for Freedom.


    It is impossible to tell how many translations of Boer literature appeared in Russia at this time. Hundreds of journals and magazines were published in St. Petersburg, Moscow and provincial towns and nearly all of them were interested in the Anglo-Boer War. No bibliography of these publications exists and a systematic search for translations, let alone general publications about the war, could take years. We have looked through many periodicals of the beginning of the century and discovered dozens of literary translations.


    One would hardly have expected to find a large survey of Boer songs and poetry in Russian at the beginning of the century, yet there exists an article entitled ‘The Poetry of the Boers’ [5], published in Russian in 1901 which had been translated from a volume of collected Boer poetry published in Amsterdam in 1898. No full texts were reproduced and the poems were anonymous since the Amsterdam volume did not give the names of the authors, yet the fact remains that as early as 1901 the Russians could read Boer poetry. The national anthems of both the Boer republics were published by many Russian newspapers and journals in prose and verse form [6]. Pamphlet publications were also available [7].


    Boer prose had come to Russia even earlier. In 1900 one of the most popular Russian journals published Jacob Swart’s story ‘For the Motherland’. The plot of this patriotic melodrama rested on the notion that Paul Kruger, in anticipation of war with England, spent large sums of state moneys purchasing arms in Europe without informing the government or the Volksraad. The missing funds have to be accounted for, and Kruger persuades a clerk in the Finance Ministry to declare that he should patriotically take responsibility and confess to having squandered the money.

    ‘You must put up with the idea that you will be considered a thief until such time that we can make our secret public and everybody sees that you are a hero’, Kruger tells him [8].


    Letters and first-hand accounts by Boer fighters appeared frequently in Russian literary periodicals. Their stories were simple and always touching in one way or another. One Boer, taken prisoner by the British, related his dramatic escape from the prisoners’ camp when he hid himself among the bodies of his dead comrades that were to be taken outside the camp to be buried [9]. Another, an officer from the Ladysmith district, wrote of how both the Boers and the British while not making a formal truce, spontaneously ceased fire during the 1899 Christmas night [10].


    Several books by Boer political leaders were published in Russia. The first of these, A Century of Wrong [11], and Piet Joubert’s ’Message to Queen Victoria’, appeared in 1900 [12]. General Christiaan De Wet’s memoirs were published in St. Petersburg in two different translations, both from the Dutch, with Pastor Gillot contributing a preface and commentary to the first translation and supplementing it with additional material. This first translation ran through three editions in 1903 and 1904 [13] and the second translation was published twice, in 1903 and 1908 [14]. Kruger’s memoirs were also translated into Russian in 1903 [15]. As these publication dates attest, the Russian public’s fascination with the Boers considerably outlasted their defeat in the war.


    It is hardly surprising that notes by Villebois-Mareuil, the Commander of the European Legion, should have been published in Russian in 1902 [16] but it is, on the face of it, far more surprising that in the same year the Russian translation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s strong statement of the British imperial case The War in South Africa, should have appeared [17]. This latter publication did not, however, derive from any belated demand for a less partisanly pro-Boer text. The publication of Conan Doyle’s book was subsidised by the British who must have regarded with some alarm the possible political implications of the Russian public’s pro-Boer passion. But even so the publisher could be only found in Odessa, not in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

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    The Pro-Boer Craze

    Writers, journalists, publishers and other representatives of literary circles were not the only group of Russian society to contribute to the pro-Boer sentiment. There were many other participants in and propagators of the pro-Boer campaign each with their inflections and contributions to the general cause.

    Churches collected donations for the Boers. Albums, icons, books, luxury editions of the Bible and gramophone records with Russian poems and songs about the Boers were all sent to the Transvaal. Several streets in Russian towns were renamed in honour of the Boers. In Kharkov the City Council was offered to name three new streets Transvaal’skaia, Joubertovskaia and Krugerovskaia [25] while Russian Mennonites [26] named two of their villages after Pretoria, one in Orenburg near the Ural Mountains, the other on the Terek river in the Caucasus [27].

    After news of Cronje’s imprisonment reached Russia a mass campaign was organised to collect donations for a gift for him. The gift, a huge two metre high porphyry cup of traditional Russian design, decorated with silver, enamel, emeralds and rubies, was despatched to South Africa only at the war’s end together with huge lists containing seventy thousand signatures of Russian well-wishers. After many adventures it finally arrived in the Transvaal only in 1921.

    The cup was symbolic. Such huge cups, known as bratinas, were used at community ceremonies for communal libations-every military regiment, for example, had a bratina. The libation was poured into it and then the whole community (regiment, members of a club etc.) ladled out their portions by small cups which, when not in use, hung along the sides of the bratina. A bratina signified unity and brotherhood, — the word itself deriving from ’brat’-’brother’ in Russian [28].

    Theatres and circuses tried to catch the public mood. The programme of the St. Petersburg Circus, for example, was based on South African events, and the programme of the Moscow City Circus was entitled At the heights of the Dragon Mountains, or the War between the British and the Boers [29].

    Business also contributed to the craze and certainly benefited from it. Children played with new toys which ridiculed John Bull and picturesquely glorified the Boers. Restaurants, inns and cafes were given South African names and their interior rearranged accordingly. An inn known as The Pretoria’ was opened in St. Petersburg near Tsarskoselsky railway station which served the line leading to the upper class suburb. Even in so small a town as Kozlov an inn known as The Transvaal was said to be ‘doing well’.

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    ‘The Boers have much in common with the Russians’, wrote the most influential Monarchist newspaper, Novoie Vremia, at the outset of the war. ‘First, they, as well as the Russians, are predominantly agricultural people inclined, just as we are, to the extensive cultivation. Second, the Transvaal is now suffering from the invasion of foreign capitalists, just as Russia. The Transvaal uitlanders, who are the cause of the war, can be safely compared to the American, Belgian and Jewish capitalists who overrun our country’.

    ********

    ‘The Boers look like our Cossacks’, wrote a Russian author M. Protasov. ‘They are tall and perfectly built. They are physically very strong, have remarkable endurance and are, indeed, indefatigable. An open face with large features, darkish brown hair and a light brown beard and moustache, kind thoughtful blue eyes-such is the appearance of the Boer’

    ********

    The conservative Novoie Vremia summed up this view:

    ‘Straightforward religious fanners, who have decided to shed their blood to defend the freedom of their Fatherland will always be closer to the heart of the Sacred Rus [39], than our enemy from time immemorial-cold and egoistic England. Their deep faith makes the Boers our own brothers’

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    A Russian folk song about Transvaal which appeared at the beginning of the century and began with the words ‘Transvaal, Transvaal, my country, you are all in flames!’ has survived throughout the Soviet era and is remembered even today.

    In 1948 Soviet poet Mikhail Isakovsky wrote a poem about it, expressing, perhaps, the feelings of many Russians [75].

    Mikhail Isakovsky - poem Russian/Romanization English translation
    Transvaal, Transvaal, my country… Transvaal, strana moja
    (Трансвааль, страна моя)
    Transvaal, Transvaal, my country
    How did it get
    To Smolensk land,
    Ты вся горишь в огне!
    Под деревом развесистым
    Задумчив бур сидел.
    You're all on fire!
    Thoughtful Boer is sitting
    Under the branchy tree.
    How did it enter a peasant home’…
    I hardly even knew then
    At twelve-
    О чём задумался, детина,
    О чём горюешь, седина?
    Горюю я по родине,
    И жаль мне край родной.
    What are thinking about, pal
    What are you sorrowing over, old man?
    'I yearn for home,
    And sorry for my homeland'.
    Where this Transvaal was,
    And whether it existed or not.
    Yet it found me
    Сынов всех девять у меня,
    Троих уж нет в живых,
    А за свободу борются
    Шесть юных остальных.
    I had nine sons,
    Three of them are in a better place now.
    And other six youngsters
    Are fighting for freedom
    In my native Smolensk land,
    It followed me
    Along the quiet village streets.
    А старший сын — старик седой
    Убит был на войне:
    Он без молитвы, без креста
    Зарыт в чужой земле.
    The older son, the grizzle one
    Was killed on the war.
    He was buried in an alien land without prayer
    And without a cross on the grave.
    And I understood its pain
    I saw that fire,
    I repeated:-Transvaal, Transvaal!-
    А младший сын — тринадцать лет —
    Просился на войну,
    Но я сказал, что нет, нет, нет —
    Малютку не возьму.
    A younger son of thirteen years old
    Asked to go the war
    But I replied, 'No, no, no,
    I won't take the baby'.
    And my voice trembled ….
    I was singing out my anger and my sorrow
    With the words of that song,
    Отец, отец, возьми меня
    С собою на войну —
    Я жертвую за родину
    Младую жизнь свою.
    'Father, father, take me
    To the war with you -
    I'll sacrifice my young life
    For my homeland!'
    I repeated:-Transvaal, Transvaal!
    — But I thought of the other country-
    About the one with which
    Я выслушал его слова,
    Обнял, поцеловал
    И в тот же день, и в тот же час
    На поле брани взял.
    I listened to him, then
    Hugged and kissed
    And on the same day
    I took him to the battlefield.
    My life was tied for ever…
    Transvaal, Transvaal! …
    -I knew Many beautiful words.
    Однажды при сражении
    Отбит был наш обоз,
    Малютка на позицию
    Патрон ползком принёс.
    Once Upon a Battle
    Our convoy was repulsed,
    The young one crawled for ammo
    And brought it to the troop location
    But I remember this song
    As my first love…
    Настал, настал тяжёлый час
    Для родины моей,
    Молитесь, женщины,
    За ваших сыновей.
    The dark time has come
    For my country
    So women, pray
    For your sons.
    Трансвааль, Трансвааль, страна моя!
    Бур старый говорит:
    За кривду Бог накажет вас,
    За правду наградит.
    Transvaal, Transvaal, my country,
    Old Boer says:
    God will punish you for the deception
    And he'll reward for the truth.

    The Anglo-Boer War must have touched upon some vital nerve in the Russian society if it proved to be so important to so many different people and has been remembered for so many decades. We still have to understand what it was that made the Russians during the Soviet era feel so nostalgic about it.

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    Iliya Glazunov

    Iliya Glazunov is one of the greatest present day true Russian artists. His works are inspiring and honest. His love of Russian culture and tragedy of the revolution affects his almost every painting.














    "Destruction of the Church during the Easter" (1999)

    Larger resolution

    What strikes the most of this artist, is his hope for Russia and cry for Russia's global repentance.

    In “Returning of the prodigal son” (1977) a young man wearing jeans, is standing on his knees before Jesus Christ Himself, and the ugly scene of what this guy is fed up with.


    Returning of the prodigal son

    Glazunov believes that through all sufferings and tragedies that occurred in Russia in the 20th century, the true Russian spirit will arise once again and Russia will shine in its glory until the end of the world. That is why he so devotedly inserts the image of Christ in contrast to the current state of afairs. But until then - “Russia! Awake!!!” (1994):


    Russia! Awake!


    Apocalypse and the Judgment Day will bring an end to the current situation. Glazunov brilliantly uses the image of our reality and prophecies of New Testament. “Apocalypse” (1990):



    Apocalypse



    The Mystery of 20th Century

    High resolution of “The Mystery of 20th Century”

    Notice to the right - Madelein Albright hugging a bomb “Happy Easter Serbia”.

    To the left – Crying Czar Nicholas II holding his dead son.

    Glazunov inserted his own self portrait on the left and right sides of the painting, below the nuclear mushroom, I'm not certain, but it looks like Menorah Candles arose from SS helmet.

    The art of Iliya Glazunov is quite complex. One has to study every detail in his works to get the full picture.


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    Default Re: Russians and the Anglo-Boer War



    Christ and antichrist” (Iliya Glazunov 1999)

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    Default Re: Russians and the Anglo-Boer War

    'n Vriend uit Rusland was behulpsaam en het die Russiese lied: "Transvaal, Transvaal. My land is in vlamme" opgespoor.

    Well, I found this song.



    And few details:

    "Transvaal, Transvaal, my country, you are all in flames!" is a Russian song composed on the basis of poem "Boer and his sons" by Glaphyre Galina. Poem was published in autumn 1899 and was a respond to the events of the Boer War.

    Later the poem was slightly changed by folk - first lines were added which became the title of the song. Melody and folk insert appeared under the influence of the song "Among the flat valleys». The song enjoyed popularity in Russia after the Boer War also, especially during the war (World War I and Civil).

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    Default Re: Russians and the Anglo-Boer War

    Smolensk is die plek van nog 'n tragedie.

    Polish president's plane crashes

    2010-04-10

    Smolensk, Russia - A plane carrying Polish president Lech Kaczynski has crashed on approach to Smolensk airport in western Russia, a Polish official at the airport told Reuters on Saturday.

    The Tass news agency reports that 87 people were onboard the plane. The official said there was no information yet about survivors.

    Bron.

    Quote Originally Posted by Die Ou Man View Post

    Transvaal, Transvaal, my country…

    How did it get

    To Smolensk land,

    How did it enter a peasant home’…

    I hardly even knew then

    At twelve-

    Where this Transvaal was,

    And whether it existed or not.

    Yet it found me

    In my native Smolensk land,

    It followed me

    Along the quiet village streets.

    And I understood its pain

    I saw that fire,

    I repeated:-Transvaal, Transvaal!-

    And my voice trembled ….

    I was singing out my anger and my sorrow

    With the words of that song,

    I repeated:-Transvaal, Transvaal!

    — But I thought of the other country-

    About the one with which

    My life was tied for ever…

    Transvaal, Transvaal! …

    -I knew Many beautiful words.

    But I remember this song

    As my first love…

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