Rus Articles Journal

Russian history of Harbin. Who left the mark in it?

In Harbin summer hot and solar. So was always. And where all harbinets aspire in hot day? Of course, to the river, on the embankment! Very few today`s harbinets know that exactly from here, from the river Songhua, this beautiful Chinese city with the Russian soul began to be under construction about 115 years ago.

Here for vacationers everything is. Shops are engaged in shady places, apparently, since the dawn. Here fans of active recreation dissect free space of the boulevard on the or leased roller skates. Slightly far away, among nearby building, under umbrellas, fans accommodated to eat, drink and communicate.

Kids, squealing a little from delight, start up bubbles by means of the special frame dipped into soap solution. Mummies, sharp-sightedly watching the posterity, conduct among themselves the female conversations. Old men discuss the latest news, joyfully squinting on the sun. Idyll is full.

Stalin`s park - so is called the Harbin embankment today. From here we will also begin our unusual virtual historical excursion.

I will show city history through destinies of his people who constructed Harbin, here were born, studied and fell in love, christened children, grandsons and went to a better world.

the First builders of the city to Songhua

the Project of construction of a railway line through Manchuria offered

and the former Minister of Finance of Russia Sergey Yulyevich Witte achieved its realization. Vestie the road across not populated Siberia was long and expensively, and danger of attack on Russia from Japan came nearer every day. The contract between China and the Russian Empire was signed in 1896, in a year of crowning of Nicholas II. It was signed by the plenipotentiary of the empress of China and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Celestial Empire of the Empire Li Hong Zhang.

The very first researchers came to the district of future Harbin in April, 1898.

I looked for a photo of the very first known Russian harbinets of Adam Ivanovich Shidlovsky who headed the first expedition from Vladivostok to the district of the settlement of that time of Songhua very long. Good luck did not want to help me in any way until I arrived to the library of Harbin located around Haythe`s university. Looking through library catalog, I found Evgeny Hrisanfovich Nilus`s book “Historical review of construction of KVZhD, 1896 - 1923“. And there, among other most worthy builders, I saw a photo of very modest and puny young man - the engineer - the pioneer Shidlovsky.

Its expedition as a part of 25 carpenters, the paramedic, the meteorologist and fifty Don Cossacks for protection from hunkhuz, came out Nikolsk - Ussuriysk on March 8, 1898. Already on April 11 they arrived to the district of future Harbin, examined boggy coast: fish tails splashes, ducks grunt, and are expensive normal even if they soil, to the river is not present. Adam Ivanovich long reflected - where to put the first mooring, where to place management of the road for the winter?

Found in eight versts from the coast the thrown old hanshinny plant (hanshin - the Chinese vodka, strong and dukhovity) - whole 32 enough strong construction. It was bought hardly from local Chinese owners - two days bargained, Chinese are able to bargain and very much love - for 8000 Liang of silver (400 kilograms, by the way). And the next day began to knock axes, started singing saws - construction began.

On this place there is a Railway station “Xiangfang“ now (quite so was called once zavodik on production of local alcohol).

On May 28 over Songhua, from below on a current, smokes seemed. Two steamships “Blagoveshchensk“ and “Saint Innokenti“ beeps notified vicinities on the arrival. So there arrived to future Harbin the first large consignment of construction materials and a staff of Management of KVZhD. We, Russians, consider on May 28 as birthday of Harbin!

of War and their monuments: Japanese, German and civil



the Road was constructed quickly. It was put into operation on July 1, 1903 - that day the managing director of KVZhD Dmitry Leonidovich the Croat entered on the post.

War with Japan (for the sake of what so hurried) began exactly in half a year - on the night of January 26, 1904. The Japanese ships were attacked and seriously damaged standing without protection on raid the Port - Artur the Russian battleships and the cruiser.

War demanded efficiency and clearness in loading and sending echelons for Hugo - the East, reception of sanitary trains, treatment of wounded and patients. Harbin very quickly turned into the front city. Here several hospitals, hospitals, dressing points for recovering were developed.

Remind of those times to us two obelisks on the Russian cemetery Huangshan. The first - to the captain of the second rank A. A. To Kornilyev, commander of a torpedo boat “Resolute“, to the participant of the first sea battle with the Japanese squadron. And the second - it stood on a mass grave of soldiers Russian, died in Harbin Noble hospital. From three parties of this monument marble slabs with names of the soldiers who died of wounds and diseases were established, but they did not remain. The obelisk in Moscow at the master - the stone-cutter Kabanov was made about what there is an inscription in the right lower part of a monument: “Kabanov, Moscow, Myasnitsky“.

Both of these obelisks in 2011 with the consent of the Harbin authorities were repaired. The orthodox community of the Pokrovsk temple, together with the Russian club in Harbin, helped is information and organizationally. The Chinese contractors performed all works on repair of monuments. Funds for this good deed were offered by Harbinsko - the Chinese Historical Society (HKIO) which is in Sydney, Australia and the Russian club in Shanghai.

World War I rattled somewhere in the distance from Harbin and was not really noticeable for harbinets. And here the Civil war which followed it pulled down Russia on two half - “red“ and “white“, and “white“ was forced to leave the Homeland.

These years will call “refugee“ in Manchuria. Through Harbin will pass to one and a half million Russian refugees from the Soviet power in those days. Many of them found for themselves a shelter and work in Harbin, but the majority left further on the South.

In Harbin not only businessmen and military, priests or engineers, but also doctors settled.

Vladimir Alekseevich Kazem - Beck was the most known of all local doctors. He was born in Kazan in the doctor`s family. In the childhood had very difficult illness - tuberculosis of a bone of the left leg. The boy could not go and play several years with peers. Having passed through these tests, doctor Kazem - Beck for the rest of life will keep the sympathetic attitude towards the patient in heart. To it it was not important who before it - the son of rich parents or the disabled person - a pobirushka from the city market. Before it there was a sick person to whom it has to help. He not only did not take money for reception from the poor, but also supported much. Vladimir Alekseevich all life subordinated to service to people. He dozed all night long, sitting in a chair, dressed and ready to a call to patients any minute.

He died, having caught scarlet fever. Saving the girl`s life, it, without having near at hand the necessary tool, punctured quickly growing tumor in a throat with a tubule for cocktail and, exhausting liquid, caught. On a funeral doctors Kazem - Beck followed his catafalque and thousands of absolutely different people cried - all of them were helped by “the kind doctor“!

Monument to the doctor V. A. Kazem - to Beck was postponed from the New cemetery for the cemetery Huangshan at the end of 60 - x years of the last century. Efforts of a couple of Kositsyn from Australia on it restored an orthodox cross at the very end of 20 - go centuries. In 2012 the grave of the doctor was put in order by the Chinese workers at the expense of HKIO (Sydney, Australia).

Read continuation of our virtual travel here.