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Why Restore the Library?


50,000 Volumes of rare books written in many languages of Europe about Russian history are presently decaying on the shelves of a storage room of the State Historical Library in Moscow

Why Restore the Tchertkoff Library?

Since the October Revolution, a thousand years of culture has been hidden from its own people. The Russian identity was destroyed through the revolution: the loss of 70-80 million lives in war, labor camps and purges; the destruction of churches, monuments and libraries; and a political doctrine teaching that the history of the Russian people began in 1917. People who cannot remember their origin become animals and a government without culture becomes a wild beast. Culture is collective memory, and memory and identity are intertwined. Without knowing our own unique past, we cannot envision our own distinctive future.

The current government is focusing on economic investment, but it ignores Russia’s true strength – its culture and its children. The future of the nation depends on the health and wisdom of its children, yet children receive inadequate nutrition, medical care and education. Russia must invest in its essential institutions such as schools and libraries to build the people’s capacity for self-governance to the same extent it invests in its economic structures. To encourage the conservation and development of Russia’s cultural legacy, the country must develop laws and a tax structure to support the arts, education and the public welfare. Culture and business must work together to create a better, more stable Russia. In order for the country to flourish businessmen must invest some of their profits in Russian institutions that strengthen the people. The wealth of the country requires that all political factions work together to preserve what is most important – their children and their shared culture and history. Attention to these fundamentals of human ecology will help create a strong Russia that can assume its rightful place as a great country in the community of nations.

Nicolai Tchertkoff strongly believes that in order for Russia to survive as a democracy, its people must know who they are. He currently has the support of many leading Russian intellectuals, including Dmitri S. Likhachev, a respected academician known as the “conscience of Russia” who told him:

Likachev1“Libraries are the foundation of the culture of a country. The culture of the country depends upon libraries and their accessibility to the people. It could happen that we could lose our universities and have no higher education whatsoever, but if we have good libraries, everything can be recreated. If libraries disappear, higher education serves no purpose… We have to make sure that old, so-called unnecessary books will not be destroyed and that manuscripts are accessible to the people who will study and work with them. The culture of the country depends on this. That is why our government must rank libraries as the highest priority.”