№1-2018 — 01

Alfyorova I.V., Fisher E.S.
«Accept», «organize», » arrange»…:refugees in orel province (july-august 1915)
The First World War brought countless disasters to the population of the Russian Empire. The movement of refugees from the provinces adjacent to the front in the rear areas of the country is among them. A mass displacement began in June 1915, however, the Head Office on the arrangements for refugee relief was created only on 24 July 1915. The Law on refugees was adopted on August 30, 1915. To guide and unite the activities of governmental and public organizations in this field the Special Council for Refugees was founded.  It was chaired by the Minster of the Interior. Until that time the local authorities of the provinces which turned out to be a place of concentration of refugees had to rely on their own resources and funding. The article deals with the first days and months of refugees ‘ stay in the internal Russian provinces, in Oryol province in particular. The role of various bodies of Russian and local self-government, including the Orel regional Committee of the all-Russian Union of cities, public organizations and the population in providing assistance to refugees is demonstrated. Various, sometimes insurmountable difficulties faced by masses of people who were hostages of military realities, ill-considered decisions of military command, sluggishness of all-Russian and local authorities were revealed. All events happened are shown by the authors of the article as «history from the inside», i.e. on behalf of direct witnesses of the events. For this purpose not only office documents of local authorities, who had to make decisions in an extreme situation of mass displacement fast enough, who did not have enough time to document, but local periodicals, which combined detailed, informative and representative public moods of that time were used.
Keywords: World War I, Orel province, refugees, local authorities, Orel Committee of the all-Russian Union of cities, charity.

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