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David Markham First American Scholar to
Attend Academic Conference in Borodino


INS VP David Markham and

1. INS VP David Markham and "General" Oleg Sokolov, commander of the French forces for the Borodino Reenactment.

The State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve celebrated its 160th anniversary and the 187th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino September 3—8, 1999. The celebration consisted of three parts: a ceremony and reenactment of the battle, a solemn ceremony on the actual anniversary of the battle, and an academic conference.

At the special invitation of Museum Director Alisa D. Kachalova, J. David Markham was the first American scholar to participate in this academic conference, which has been held for at least the past fifteen years. The conference featured papers on various aspects of the campaign of 1812, as well as on difficulties associated with museums and battlefield preservation. Markham presented a paper entitled Napoleon's Fatal Mistakes in Russia: Blindness and Indecision. Approximately twenty participants from Russia, Bulgaria, France, and several other eastern European nations gave papers. The papers will be translated into Russian and published in an annual proceedings in the year 2000.

Markham also gave some congratulatory remarks during the opening ceremonies of the conference. He recognized the outstanding job of museum display and battlefield conservation done by the Museum and Preserve, and pointed out that this was in keeping with the wishes of none other than Field Marshal Kutusov himself. A complete text of his remarks follows this report. Markham also presented materials to the libraries of the Borodino Museum and the Borodino Panorama.

Markham, who serves as Executive Vice-President of both the International Napoleonic Society and the Napoleonic Alliance, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the INS, presented INS fellowships to Irina Nikolaeva, Director of the Borodino Panorama in Moscow, Milko Asparuchov, Director of the Military Historical Museum in Pleven, Bulgaria, and Victor Anfilatov, Chief Curator of the Borodino Museum. As a token of the growing friendship between Russian and Western scholars, he and his wife Barbara gave a dinner party for their Russian hosts at the Metropol Restaurant in Moscow.

The INS is dedicated to promoting further cooperation between Russian and Western scholars, and has been instrumental in the translation and publication of important material previously unknown in the west. This event, which was a great success, is yet another step toward further cooperation.

During the conference, Kachalova and Markham agreed to hold an INS International Congress in Borodino, possibly in 1804. Further details will be announced as plans are finalized.

 

 

Remarks Delivered by J. David Markham to the Borodino Conference

September 7, 1999

David Markham and part of the relief on the Kutosuv Monument in Moscow

2. David Markham and part of the relief on the Kutosuv Monument in Moscow.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to attend this conference, and I want to thank Alisa Kachalova and Alexander Gorbunov for all the work they did to make this conference possible. I want to also thank them for inviting me to participate: it is an honor and experience that I will never forget.

Today we commemorate a battle that represents a division of Europe between east and west. That division continued for too long, and cost the world too much in lives and fortune. Yet in our commemoration of this event we are actually drawn closer together. As Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of the International Napoleonic Society, I can pledge our efforts to use our interest in our common past to draw us even closer together. Already I have moved to publish articles from Russian and other Eastern European scholars, as well as English translations of important Russian documents in our journal. The memoirs of Denis Davidov have just been translated into English and published by Gregory Troubetzkoy, and I am proud to have played a role in that effort.

The papers presented here will be translated and published, and this will be a great thrill for me and I am sure for the other scholars present here today. If you want a definition of a small world try this: an American teacher, presenting a paper about a French Emperor to an international group of scholars in Russia.

I cannot pass by the opportunity to congratulate the directors and staff of the Borodino museum for the fine job they have done in preserving the memory and the site of this important battlefield. In doing so, they are simply following the request of none other than the great General Kutusov who, in October of 1812, said:

I humbly beg you…to leave these fortifications inviolate. May they decay with time but never be destroyed by the hand of man; may the husbandman, tilling his peaceful fields, never disturb them with his plow; may they be sacred monuments of courage for the Russians of later times; may our descendents on looking at them be inspired with the flame of emulation and say admiringly "This was the place where the pride of these beasts of prey fell before the fearless sons of our fatherland!"

You have done your general proud.


Legion of Merit members David Markham, Alisa Kachalova, and Fernand Beaucour in front of the Borodino Convent

3. Legion of Merit members David Markham, Alisa Kachalova, and Fernand Beaucour in front of the Borodino Convent.


INS VP David Markham awards and INS Fellowship to Milko Asparuchov, Director of the Military Historical Museum in Pleven, Bulgaria

4. INS VP David Markham awards and INS Fellowship to Milko Asparuchov, Director of the Military Historical Museum in Pleven, Bulgaria.


The Markhams gave a dinner party in honor of their Russian hosts

5. The Markhams gave a dinner party in honor of their Russian hosts. Attending were (l to r) Deputy Director Alexander Gorbunov, Barbara Markham, Chief Librarian Olga Gorbunova, Director of Security (and Alisa's husband) Oleg Masyagin, Chief Curator Victor Anfilatov, Director Alisa Kachalova, and David Markham.


INS Vice President and Editor-in-Chief David Markham presents copies of the INS Journal and Napoleon: The Final Verdict to Borodino Museum Director Alisa Kachalova

6. INS Vice President and Editor-in-Chief David Markham presents copies of the INS Journal and Napoleon: The Final Verdict to Borodino Museum Director Alisa Kachalova.


Reenactment cavalry take a final turn around the battlefield

7. Reenactment cavalry take a final turn around the battlefield.


Flanked by officials and a military chorus, Museum Director Alisa Kachalova delivers remarks to the thousands of people assembled for the Borodino Ceremony

8. Flanked by officials and a military chorus, Museum Director Alisa Kachalova delivers remarks to the thousands of people assembled for the Borodino Ceremony.


NS VP David Markham pins the INS Eagle on Museum Curator Victor Anfilatov
Irina Nikolaeva, Director of the Borodino Panorama in Moscow

9. INS VP David Markham pins the INS Eagle on Museum Curator Victor Anfilatov.


10. Irina Nikolaeva, Director of the Borodino Panorama in Moscow.


In The Service Of The Tsar Against Napoleon

11. In The Service Of The Tsar Against Napoleon, The Memoirs Of Denis Davidov, 1806-1814

 


 

 

 

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