About the dungeons of the Russian capital, says the correspondent of Polskie Radio Maciej Jastrzembski, who recently published a book “the Ruby eyes of the Kremlin. Secrets of underground Moscow”.
Newsweek Polska: Moscow is not only traffic jams and sky-high prices, but also the underworld. What attracts historians and adventurers?
Jastrzembski Maciej (Maciej Jastrzębski): Moscow, you can open layer by layer. Diggers (“diggers”), which are collected in the Moscow underground, I think in a good way crazy, who find traces of new and ancient history. Getting into the old sewers, underground tunnels and basements, they find the places and subjects about which the world has long forgotten, like canned food during the Second world war or the gas masks issued in those years when the Soviet Union was afraid of chemical and nuclear attacks by the Americans. Diggers come in contact with the events of centuries ago and rejoice as children, finding items of Napoleonic campaigns or the chief princes, seated on the throne of Moscow. In the dungeons of the Russian capital held their meetings representatives of movements opposed to the king. Going down to the deepest levels of the underground corridors to get to places where the smell of those times, when the Kremlin started to build.
— This place has many legends. One of them refers to Ivan III, who married Byzantine Princess Sophia Paleologue. The heir of the last ruler of Constantinople is said to have brought a dowry — a whole load of priceless books. This treasure appreciated her grandson — Ivan the terrible, who hid the library in the vaults of the Kremlin. Modern authorities and historians can’t find her until now.
— In Russia she’s hearing. This is a Russian “gold train” (composition with treasures of the Third Reich, which the search was conducted around the city of wałbrzych in Lower Silesia). The most famous seeker of the medieval library was Professor Ignatius Stelletsky, which was dedicated to the attempts to find the missing library almost all his life. He began his investigations at the end of the existence of the tsarist Empire, and then, to ingratiate the revolutionary government, received permission from Joseph Stalin and took up the study of underground corridors around the Kremlin. However, this story does not have a happy ending.
Let me remind you that Moscow crosses many rivers and rivulets, some of them are now closed with asphalt, the other hidden in a stone or brick channels. Stelletsky, which, he said, was to step away from the discovery of the library of Ivan the terrible, inadvertently struck one of the walls that separated the dungeons from the riverbed, and the water destroyed it many years of work.
— As far as stories about Byzantium books like the truth?
— I went to the sources, tracing a possible route, which was moving the library from Sophia Paleolog of Greece to the Vatican, and from there to Moscow. It looks quite possible, another question, could not keep books. Who knows, maybe they have eaten rats, spoiled water or consumed by fire? However, while no one found the metal salaries, and precious stones, which many centuries ago was decorated with valuable books, so many archaeologists believe that the search for priceless library should continue. I belong to those who believe that someday we’ll find it.
— In your book you write about the rumors which say that the library has been found.
— I think it’s not true. Such reports appear from time to time. Most often, Russian officials refer people who claim they know where is the library, but need to take it under special protection, and to appoint a special Commission. The authorities, however, still did not take such signals seriously. I myself received e-mails whose authors claimed that they know where is the library in Grozny.
Interestingly, the authorities did not comment on such reports, but at the same time (what a coincidence) in different parts of Moscow begin repair and construction works in which discover the old cellars and tunnels.
© RIA Novosti, Vladimir Vdovin | go to fotoreceptori portrait of Ivan the terrible
Based on this, I dare to say that the library is not found, but the Kremlin officials do not want to openly confess their desire to discover this legendary book collection.
The Russians is a topic that concerns not only the library of Ivan the terrible, but Metro-2 — secret tunnel of the Stalin era.
— History of the object D-6 the world became familiar with publications in the press, books and films. I believe that such communication artery, which connects the Kremlin with the strategic military objects there. It is difficult to imagine that the Kremlin rulers with his entourage going in the bombing case to get to shelters and command centers along the roads located on the surface. I do not believe that the paranoid attitude of the Russian authorities to the subject weapons and the threat posed by “Western enemy”, it has not established such facilities. Old bunkers and command centers of the 1960-ies, which are now opened to tourists, is also probably connected with the Kremlin’s secret tunnels. Looks like Metro-2, we do not know. It might not be a railroad, and wide, covered with asphalt highway that can fit trucks.
— You studied underground Moscow, not only literally but figuratively, exploring the tendency to believe in supernatural phenomena and conspiracy theories. What conclusions did you come?
— Labyrinths that lie beneath the surface of Moscow is connected with many legends. For example, say that capital is on a giant cavity filled with salt water. Some geologists claim that urban chaos can lead to the fact that the shell of this cavity will crack, and then the whole centre will go under the ground. Talk about sects, the members of which live underground, or that Lenin’s mausoleum on red square is part of the mechanism that is used to control the minds of citizens.
— They say that under the earth are not only members of the sects, but, for example, mutant animals.
— Yes, the Russians tell incredible stories about the huge animals, insects, and underground plant. I came across a description of the experiment carried out in one Moscow University. A group of volunteers for six months down in the dungeons, and tried to survive there with no contact with the outside world. In the records of the participants were virtually identical reports that they felt the presence of someone, and sometimes moving through tunnels, I saw someone’s shadow and eyes. For many years there was talk about whether these mystery monitors are to be people who are not first century live in the underworld of the Russian capital.
— They say that metro is the wormhole.
— Time portal, the entrance to another dimension, a gateway to hell — this kind of versions a lot. A popular legend about the spirit of the black driver, who so loved his job that left underground, even after his death. It became black due to the fact that burned in the crash of his train. Now his spirit roams the rails, and everyone who he will meet, awaiting misfortune. I tried to figure out how this story was born. It turned out that some time in the Moscow metro worked dark-skinned immigrant from Ethiopia.
— A rat the size of a dog?
— It might just be feral dogs, although the Moscow authorities assure that in the subway they are no more. Time no dogs, this might actually rats? The diggers say that they saw the mutated snakes, lizards, huge spiders and even photographed them. They explain what these mutations are? No experiments with chemical weapons or secret experiments, and the lack of light and pollution of groundwater. As evidence of this theory cite the example of the colorless fish that live there. How to write Russian journalists, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov had been down to the dungeons and saw such creatures never dared to explore the underground of Moscow.
— The Russians actually believe in all these paranormal phenomena? How is this possible in the XXI century?
— According to many studies, up to the XVI century part of the population of Moscow despite the spread of Christianity was sympathetic to pagan beliefs. The legend of the founding of Moscow says that those who decided to build around the Kremlin of the city, killed the last priest of the pagan God Yarilo, and that before death had time to utter a curse. Apparently, Orthodoxy to a greater degree than Catholicism, entices people to mysticism. In the West we try to stay away from superstitions because they open the soul to evil.
In my book I describe the story of the alchemist James Bruce, who lived in the XVII century. He was interested in the stars and created the astrological calendar, which is still in use in Russia. The way of life of the scientist, his manner of dress has contributed to the emergence of many legends related to his biography. Now people consider him a magician who revealed the secret of the philosopher’s stone, has learned to teleport and be in two places at once. Handed down from generation to generation, these stories begin to sound all the more unbelievable.
— The role played by the Soviet censorship, which persuaded the people to explain the reality with metaphysics. It is said that even the KGB was studying UFOs.
— In the Soviet Union the government is constantly up to something. People wanted to know that, and so created a legend. In the previous epoch was hiding something from the people kings. In the end, one man saw something, the other heard something, they met in the tavern, were the wine conversation, and this resulted in conspiracy theories, is converted gradually into tales.
— Plunged in the secrets of your friend Boris, who discovered in the Kremlin archives documents describing the closure of diamond mines on the river Popigay.
— This field a few years ago the press wrote on the subject even officially expressed Vladimir Putin. Theoretically, diamond reserves of the Popigai field state could be enough for a few thousand years. The problem is that this technical minerals, not of gem-quality, so conduct a large-scale development of this Deposit proved to be unprofitable, it was cheaper to produce synthetic diamonds. Meanwhile, someone was there mining in the 1930-ies. Why aren’t we told that these mines worked the POWs and political prisoners? One gets the impression that the memory of these people try to erase. This information is still not published. Through the history of diamonds, Boris seeks to tell the fate of the prisoners who were brought to the mine including the Polish Eastern Borderlands. Such places where was used a slave labor of prisoners of war and political prisoners, was on the territory of the former USSR very much.
— Your attitude to the Russians felt anger.
— In a city with 12 million people at the demonstration out of 30 thousand people. It is a drop that can grind the rock, but broken at first contact with her. Why not leave the rest? They are satisfied with the current socio-political situation? Russians walk the dogs, stand in line and discuss how bad everything is, but it do nothing. With my part — it’s not so much anger, much surprised and irritated. I was annoyed with some aspects of everyday life in Moscow. It is not too easy for the common man of the city. It annoys me for example that the store may not have enough trucks, because someone took them outside and did not think that others too want to make a purchase. I get annoyed by the traffic jams that are impossible to win, because all the drivers are driving at the same time, not paying attention to other traffic, and then stand in the centre of the intersection and can’t move neither left nor right.
— “Maybe it’s bad, corruption is rampant, but I don’t understand it, it’s dirty politics, which is not necessary to climb the common man,” they say.
— According to the survey, 45% of Russians believe that showed Alexei Navalny in his film, which he accuses of corruption, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, more than 70% of these 45% say that everything is fine. The sociologist Sergey Kovalev, with whom I recently spoke said that the Russians have developed a mistrust and caution. They do not protest and criticize the authorities for the sake of peace and security. If Putin says, “be so”, then so be it. My friends Russian journalists offended when I explain what the Russians differ from poles. Poles rarely believe what you read in the Newspapers, and the Russians mindlessly trust the press. It seems to me that this is so.
— You like the Russians?
— I love Russia ordinary people. The regime and the government there is totally unacceptable. In Poland, of course, also come in different periods, which not everybody likes, but if we are faced with such a total brainwashing, like in Russia, we would have found the strength to mobilize and to raise a rebellion against him. When I asked Kovalev what modern Russia is different from Soviet Union, he said, is now worse, because in the past people were not deceived by such a clever and devious methods, as it is now.