1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

A holy German doctor was the kindest person in the Russian history October 16, 2013

haas

Some time ago I  was taken aback by a film about one amazing Italian doctor  who was a remarkable 20th century saint – see my post here. I highly recommend watching this inspiring Italian film on Moscati’s life, “Giuseppe Moscati. Healing Love”.

Recently I discovered another – very similar! – saintly doctor, a German with  a Russian soul who’s life and deeds were not less impressive and inspiring. Unfortunately there is no film yet about him, but I am happy to post some words here.

Theodore Haas  (1780-1853) is called the “holy doctor.” They also say that he was the kindest man in the Russian history. And, as the Russian history is full of paradoxes, you probably should not be surprised that the kindest person in that predominantly Slavic and Orthodox country is considered to be a German Catholic Frederick Joseph Haas (Theodore Haas).

The holy doctor has done more for Russian commoners in the early nineteenth century than all the doctors in his era . His white robe was seen in prison hospitals and convict shipments . A German by birth, he had a great opportunity to become a successful ophthalmologist at home. However, having received an invitation to work temporarily in Russia , remained forever . Initially, Theodore Haas opened his private practice and made it very successful and generating much revenue. In his clinic , and some other medical institutions of Moscow , he was treating eye diseases free of ordinary people , for which he was given state awards. He was invited to treat members of the imperial family, as well as patients from all over the country. And, despite the fact that he spent much time on free medicine and charity, despite his wishes, he made ​​a fortune. He obtained two houses in Moscow and a cloth factory in the suburbs.

During the Napoleonic Wars , Theodore Haas leaves practice and joins the regular army . He comes to Paris with Russian troops. After the war, Theodore Haas goes home and , despite the entreaties of the family, returns to Russia . There he finds his destroyed hospital and a lot of the work waiting for him in the public service . Theodore Haas gets a new assignment. Now he is the chief physician of the Moscow prison . There he encountered a blatant system treatment of prisoners and persons under investigation . Iron shackles , the lack of effective treatment , both in prison and hard labor . And Theodore Haas gets to work , which has become his life’s work .

From 1828, he devoted himself as a member of the Moscow prison protection committee for 25 years of caring for the prisoners who had been exiled to Siberia. He was firmly convinced that man is inherently good because God created him in his image. Therefore, was a man who had strayed from the right path, nothing more than an unfortunate, sick man who is to heal only through humanity.

A short story. Every week on Sparrow Hills  the next party of convicts sentenced to hard labor was departing for Siberia . Relatives were allowed to accompany them to a village near Moscow . And every week doctor Haas had also been walking with them till this village. Before parting he used to give candies and oranges to the criminals.

– Well, how would your candies help these hungry people? ! – Detractors said. – You’d better give them some bread.

– They will get bread sooner or later, but sweets and oranges they will never see – replied Fedor Petrovich (as he was called in Russia) .

“The Holy doctor” recasts his personal funds for the prison clinic at Sparrow Hills . By complex contracts with the General Gendarmerie , Theodore Haas replaces the iron shackles of other, more humane. Now, they are trimmed with cloth or leather. It initiates the request for pardon convicts and redemption serfs. In his active support of revised sentences and built hospitals and schools for the prisoners and their families. He managed to overturn a humiliating procedure shaving heads. However, all “acts of humanity ” have not gone unnoticed in the king’s officials, who did not understand why make life easier for criminals. Through the efforts of a handful of bureaucrats Theodore Haas was removed from his post. This event did not break the spirit of the “good doctor” and he continued to be an angel in a white coat to all who need his help.

He knew people very well. He immediately saw what kind of a man was in front of him. Despite that he had no fear even before hardened villains, murderers and would boldly enter a chamber. He tried to soften their souls, to comfort. He wrote: “The medical profession gives me access to not only the body but also the soul of the patient. And a try to heal the soul is as important as the healing of the body.”

In 1844 he opened a hospital for the homeless, funded by his entire personal wealth and private donations. The holy doctor Haass worked until the end of his life in that hospital.

After the doctor’s death  only a few old telescopes were found in his apartment– that was all that remained of his property. Getting tired of the day view of human suffering , Haas at night enjoyed looking at the stars.

His coffin was carried on the hands of doctors to Vvedenskogo cemetery in Lefortovo. It was accompanied by a huge crowd of 20.000 people. Moscow Governor-General Earl Zakrevskii sent Cossack squadron under the command of captain with orders to ” disperse the mob .” But as they reached  the funeral , Captain, stunned by the sincere grief of ordinary people, dismounted , ordered the Cossacks to go back to the barracks , and he went on foot behind the coffin.

“HURRY UP TO DO GOOD!” – this is what the holy doctor Haas used to say, and this saying is still famous in Russia.

 

The Cosmonautics Memorial Museum in Moscow November 15, 2009

My father is  the “sky” person who has always been dreaming about flying as high as possible… Since he could not become a pilot for health reasons,  he became a paratrooper officer and made 2000 jumps with parashute. The space exploration has been fascinating him for ages. I obviously inherited some fo this fascination, since I love airplanes and everything that can take me higher :).

This time when I was visiting my parents in Moscow my father was delighted to show me and my mom the new Space museum. As you can imagine, Russia has something to show in that area…

This museum, the only one of its kind, situated inside an enormous monument to the explorers of the cosmos, is well worth the visit, not least for the nostalgia it should inspire in anyone who grew up in the heady days of the space race. The displays trace the history of space exploration, including the first interplanetary satellite flights, the first dogs in space and man’s journeys to the cosmos.

Let me show you some shots I made inside the museum.

My parents – by the way, they now live just next to the  Zvezdnyi Gorodok “Startown” by Moscow, where all cosmonauts are being trained:

      ——–

We saw an interesting documentary about the history of Space exploration. Juri Gagarin, the first ever human in space:

 his smile is unforgettable!

The typical space costume live:

The clothes cosmonauts wear inside a spaceship:

There’s plenty of fun gadgetry, plus an excellently conceived display explaining how astronauts survive a space flight, all of which should be interesting for children. The food in the space freezer: (more…)

 

My photo-impressions from Moscow in November November 12, 2009

I am back from a short Moscow trip with some images which I took for you.

The quality of images is not that good, but I think you will get an impression of how it is like in Moscow in November – cold, pretty nasty and windy, but still enjoyable :).

It was getting dark rather early, and I was mostly outside during late afternoon, therefore most of the images look like taken at night. In fact it was a daytime (from 3 till 6 p.m.).

LOVE; axinia

 

Intercultural differences seen from airplane June 15, 2009

Everylity time I take off in Vienna, I am fascinated by the structured geometry of the Austrian fields.

Love for clear lines and order is probably the reflection of the German blood in the Austrian character. Just look at this snap I took yesterday:

Amazing, isn’t it?

Just one hour by car away from Vienna we find Slovakia, a small Slavic country. It shares the same main river Danube with Austria, but obviously not much of Austrian mentality: (more…)

 

Who is looking for Russian men? January 25, 2009

Since I posted “What 1000 Russian men told about their female ideal”  last summer I keep getting most of the search engine visits for the term Russian men.  Apparently my post shows up on the second Google page while searching for “Russian men”.

That puzzles me every day when I look at my blog stats: who is actually looking for Russian men? I mean Russian women are quite popular on the bride market and if you search for “Russian women” on Google you will find pages and pages of dating sites, and very few articles. But Russian men? My experience tells that it it is mostly Russian women themselves who are interested in their fellow men but they will definitely not go to Google for that.

My blog stats made me investigate of what the world thinks of Russian men. Let`s see what the frist Google page shows:

“”What about the men? Are the Russian men all sexist alcoholics? How do they feel about Russian women looking elsewhere for husbands?…”

“Russian men attempt to treat women like princesses, and at least before marriage , When Russian men are out and about the city they ooze machismo…”

“If you ask russian men, they will say that women look for foreign men just for money. The single leading cause of death in Russian men is Russian women! …”

This feature is characteristic not only for Russian men but also for women, Let’s start with the fact that Russian men sometimes are very generous. “

“How to date Russian Men. Inspired by the heroic characters of Dostoevsky or Pushkin, many women regard dating a Russian men as a unique and exotic…”

Rather a controversial picture. But I think I can agree with everything here. And there is a lot more to say…

I like this article saying that Russian men attempt to treat women like princesses, and at least before marriage, cater to their girlfriend’s wishes. “But the Russian man, alone with his friends is almost always a hooligan! When Russian men are out and about the city they ooze machismo, but take a step into their home, or their parent’s home, and they are powerless. Russian women have figured this out. In the end the woman, mother or wife, will get her way. They have this subtle form of manipulation down to an exact science. But, a Russian woman loves her husband and needs him for other things than to rule the home life.”

This instruction how to date Russian men (I wonder who is intrested in that?)  is soooo sweet and pretty true: “Russian men are educated in the spirit of chivalry and are generally very romantic. They will drop bouquets of flowers to your feet and will protect you from burglars, even if it presents a risk for their own lives or budget. The only thing they want in exchange is your enthusiasm and praise.
The ideal woman of a Russian man should be very understanding and supportive of her partner’s ideas. (swives of Russian historical personalities have dedicated their lives to them, even without being fully appreciated by them). Russian men can accept many flaws in a woman and won’t give up on her easily, even if his friends or family are against her. But there are few things that can’t be forgiven: unfaithfulness, feminism and depreciation of russian culture or language. Russian men are very proud of their historical background and will not let anybody offend their culture.”

And this report tells another (bitter) truth: (more…)

 

What is special about New Year celebration in Russia December 30, 2008

 

image of a poster in Moscow

What is special about the New Year celebration in Russia? – No, not the amout of vodka being taken upon, although Russia is  notoriously famous for that.

There is something just opposite to the vulgar tradition of collectively getting drunk – there is a tradition of a sweet innocence, accopanying the arrivial of the New Year… So what is it then?

Ded Moroz (“Grandfather Frost”) is pretty much similar to Santa Claus, However, unlike the secretive ways of Santa Claus, he often brings presents in person, at the celebrations of the New Year, at New Year parties for kids by the New Year Tree. Generally, the traditional appearance of Ded Moroz has a close resemblance to that of Santa Claus, with his coat, boots and long white beard. Specifically, Ded Moroz wears a heel-long fur coat, a semi-round fur hat, and white valenki or high boots (sapogi), silver or red with silver ornament. Unlike Santa Claus, he walks with a long magical staff, does not say “Ho, ho, ho,” and drives no reindeer but a troika.

These are basically some differences which are rather understandable. But there is a female figure next to Ded Moroz – which is a very Russian tradition, not known anywhere around the Chrisitian world (didn`t I mention in my earlier posts, the attitude to women is special in Russia?)…

Ded Moroz is being accompanied by Snegurochka(” Snow Maiden”, his granddaughter). She is a beautiful (young) girl with a long blond plate wearing white or light blue fur-coat. (more…)

 

Social Advertisement in Moscow December 27, 2008

Russians have always been very good at idealistic motivation and inner-propaganda. May be because Russian people are easily inspired by values rather than materialistic ads, the phenomenon of Social Advertisement is very popular and effective in Russia.

Social advertisement (do not mix with advertising in social networks!!) has been around for years and it’s about applying marketing and advertising principles to promote health and social issues and bringing about positive behavior change.

During my trip to Moscow, it was one the things that stroke me and gave food for thought:  the social ads along the escalator in the Moscow tube. I have made some snapshots to illustrate that wonderful phenomenon.

FAMILY:

This ad goes hand in hand with the presently strong state campaign for family life  -the poster quotes a philosopher saying “Family is one of the masterpieces of nature”.  Please note the figures on the poster – the grandparent` look is very modern and rather untypical for Russia, but probably getting closer to the modern urban grandparents… Also both ladies looking rather masculine – a new tendency but still not very typical. (more…)

 

My Moscow impressions December 23, 2008

As promised, I am back with my Moscow impressions. Being a tourist in my “own” country gives me an interesting perspective to understand the background of things, but still see them detached and curious.

What is always breathtaking for me – sorry for the trivial take -is the Red Square. It is not only huge but it reminds me of a fairy-tale, see for yourself:

 ( me walking down the Red Square)

The oldest shopping center in Moscow (on the Red Square, facing Kremlin):

The figure-skating place directly on the Red Square: (more…)

 

One Week in Moscow December 14, 2008

Filed under: blogging,communication,жизнь,personal,Russia,thoughts,Travel — axinia @ 8:49 am
Tags: ,

image by axinia

I will be visiting Moscow for one week and most probably will not be blogging. Instead I promise to get you lots of pictures and the true feeling of Russia…

All my love and hug to everyone! 🙂

axinia (more…)

 

M.Lomonosov – a great sample of Russian Intellectual Quest November 19, 2008

People of great intellect and benevolent nature has been always fascinating me since my childhood. My regular readers know about my adoration for Nicola Tesla (post here). Another great personality, a universal genius of Da Vinci level (again generally unknown outside of Russia) is for me Mikhail Vasiliyevich Lomonosov (1711-1765). He was a physicist, a painter, an astronomer, a geographer, a historian, a poet and a statesman…Lomonosov was a Russian genius, a scholar, the first learned man in Natural Science, a researcher who gained the world fame, who was the supporter of Russia’s Enlightenment and who was struggling for the development of Russian science by its own way in the world.

His story is a brilliant example of the hunger for knowledge and a good example for everyone who claims that life conditionings do not let people to develop or achieve much. His life is a great example of a genuine seeking and will power. In a way, Lomonosov is for me a symbol of the Russian intellectual quest.

Lomonosov was born in the village in the Far North of Russia. When he was ten years old, the young Lomonosov had to help his father, a fisherman, and work. But the boy’s thirst for knowledge was unbounded. He almost learned by heart the few books he had access to – and, seeing there was no chance of education at home, he decided to walk(!) to Moscow (this took him 3 weeks in winter).

An opportunity occurred when he was nineteen and by the intervention of friends he obtained admission into the Slavic Greek Latin Academy in 1731. In only 5 years he completed a 12 year course, finished at the top of his class. He ultimately received a 2 year grant to study in German universities. Upon his return to Russia in 1745, he was appointed professor of chemistry at the Academy itself.

Among his amazing heritage are some following discoveries and ideas: (more…)

 

 
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