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National Association of Russian Explorers

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The National Association of Russian Explorers (in Russian: Natsional'naya Organizatsiya Russkih Razvedchikov, abbreviated as NORR) is a youth organization founded by former Russian Scout Pavel Nikolaevich Bogdanovich, a White emigre and veteran of the Russian Imperial army, in the late 1920's after leaving the National Organization of Russian Scouts of Colonel Oleg Pantyukhov.

After failing to achieve the recognition of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in London, NORR abandoned the title "Scout", favoring the term "pathfinder". It reoriented its symbolism and traditions on Russian imperial military tradition, taking particular inspiration from tsar Peter the Great's poteshniye (childhood friends of Peter who later formed his most loyal Semyonovskiy and Preobrazhenskiy guard regiments), while retaining several Scout traditions.

NORR's militaristic focus (strongest prior to the war) was aimed at preparing the youth for potential military action against the USSR in the case of a "spring campaign" of liberation, similar to emigre organizations such as ROVS. The organization continued many military traditions after the war (i.e. marching drills) for cultural reasons, but gradually abandoned military training and preparation. As did many White emigre youth organizations, NORR focused on teaching children Russian history, pre-revolutionary Russian culture (songs, dances), and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

NORR, like other Russian youth organizations, aimed at fighting against the assimilation of Russians, as per Bogdanovich's words (from an article titled "Paths of Work", printed in "Chasovoi", 1933 issue 114-115):

Concerning patriotism, at the moment the Russian instructor has before him tasks that are more infinitely complicated and difficult than any of his foreign colleagues. The exclusive situation that all us Russians find ourselves in has called out a cruel enemy of the Russian youth - denationalisation. One of the most exceptional patriots of his country, Marshall Fosh, constantly repeated that nations of people die when they loose their memory. A peoples' memory is made of the study of exceptional occurrences and heroes of their country, pondering the givens of the peoples' experiences.

Prior to World War II the organization had its strongest chapters in Bulgaria (600 members counted in 1938) and France. After the war, the organization became based in the United States.

References

  • Molodezhniye Organizatsii Russkoi Emigratsii (1920-1945) A.V. Okorokov, Moscow 2000.