Holodomor
Photo Display Board: “Those who rejected a Christian upbringing and fell under the influence of a mindless crowd”
:
Description
Creator
Bokan, Nikolai, 1881-1942, Photographer
Media Type
Image
Text
Item Type
Photographs
Description
A photo display board created by Nikolai Bokan in 1935. The board features brief descriptions of his three eldest sons, Nikolai Bokan (Jr.), Vladimir Bokan, and Konstantin Bokan, and their failure to adhere to the moral standards and religious beliefs of their father. The board displays portraits of Nikolai (Jr.) and Vladimir.

In his description of Konstantin written on the display board, Nikolai notes his son’s corruption by “atheists.” He states that during the famine in 1933, Konstantin renounced his father for his inability to feed him. He claims that Konstantin’s departure from the family home ultimately led to his death.

Konstantin died of starvation in June 1933. In the few months prior to his death, he had been working on a collective farm where he was overworked and poorly fed. He had left his family home earlier in the spring of 1933, as his parents were struggling to provide for their large family during the famine. It is unclear whether Konstantin was asked to leave or whether he left of his own accord. Konstantin would have been around twenty-two years old at the time of his departure from the family home.

In the text on the display board, Nikolai appeals to his four younger children, advising them not to follow in the footsteps of their older siblings and to instead prioritize their moral and spiritual improvement through adherence to Christianity.

Nikolai Bokan was an adherent of the Tolstoyan movement, which was based on the philosophical and religious writings of Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy’s views were formed by the study of the ministry of Jesus. The movement promoted values of non-militarism, vegetarianism, and moral improvement, and aspired for the attainment of a rural, self-sufficient livelihood. Among Nikolai's children, only Boris appears to have briefly engaged with Tolstoyan philosophies.

These dynamics within the Bokan family occurred amid widespread anti-religious sentiment propagated by Soviet authorities beginning in the late 1920s as a means of disseminating atheism and promoting loyalty to the state. These anti-religious campaigns coincided with the beginning of the forced mass collectivization of agriculture.


Inscriptions
A transcription of the Russian text and English translation are available in the "Inscription Details" document on the right-hand side of the screen.
Date of Original
1935
Subject(s)
Personal Name(s)
Nikolai Bokan (Jr) ; Vladimir Bokan ; Konstantin Bokan
Local identifier
PD401
Collection
Nikolai Bokan
Language of Item
Russian
Geographic Coverage
  • Chernihiv, Ukraine
    Latitude: 51.34567 Longitude: 32.87794
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Location of Original
State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine: https://ssu.gov.ua/ua/pages/98
Terms of Use
Any reproductions of images from the Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine must include the following reference: Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, fonds 6, case № 75489-fp, volume 2.

Iнформуємо, що при публікації документів ГДА СБУ обов'язкове посилання на місце їх зберігання за зразком: ГДА СБ України, фонд 6, справа 75489-фк, том 2.
Reproduction Notes
Reproduced with the permission of the State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine.
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Photo Display Board: “Those who rejected a Christian upbringing and fell under the influence of a mindless crowd”


A photo display board created by Nikolai Bokan in 1935. The board features brief descriptions of his three eldest sons, Nikolai Bokan (Jr.), Vladimir Bokan, and Konstantin Bokan, and their failure to adhere to the moral standards and religious beliefs of their father. The board displays portraits of Nikolai (Jr.) and Vladimir.

In his description of Konstantin written on the display board, Nikolai notes his son’s corruption by “atheists.” He states that during the famine in 1933, Konstantin renounced his father for his inability to feed him. He claims that Konstantin’s departure from the family home ultimately led to his death.

Konstantin died of starvation in June 1933. In the few months prior to his death, he had been working on a collective farm where he was overworked and poorly fed. He had left his family home earlier in the spring of 1933, as his parents were struggling to provide for their large family during the famine. It is unclear whether Konstantin was asked to leave or whether he left of his own accord. Konstantin would have been around twenty-two years old at the time of his departure from the family home.

In the text on the display board, Nikolai appeals to his four younger children, advising them not to follow in the footsteps of their older siblings and to instead prioritize their moral and spiritual improvement through adherence to Christianity.

Nikolai Bokan was an adherent of the Tolstoyan movement, which was based on the philosophical and religious writings of Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy’s views were formed by the study of the ministry of Jesus. The movement promoted values of non-militarism, vegetarianism, and moral improvement, and aspired for the attainment of a rural, self-sufficient livelihood. Among Nikolai's children, only Boris appears to have briefly engaged with Tolstoyan philosophies.

These dynamics within the Bokan family occurred amid widespread anti-religious sentiment propagated by Soviet authorities beginning in the late 1920s as a means of disseminating atheism and promoting loyalty to the state. These anti-religious campaigns coincided with the beginning of the forced mass collectivization of agriculture.