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Gleb Rahr

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'''Gleb Alexandrovich Rahr''' (Russian: Глеб Александрович Рар) ([[October 3]], 1922-[[March 3]], 2006) was an exiled Russian journalist who dedicated his life to the Orthodox Church. He is a survivor of Nazi concentration camps, and his account of Pascha at Dachau in 1945 is one of the few to be recounted of this momentous occasion. He was active in trying to bring the Gospel into Soviet Russia, as well as informing the rest of the world of the plight of the Orthodox Church within the Soviet Union. As conditions for the Church slowly started to improve in his homeland, he was at the forefront of the effort to reunite the [[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]] (ROCOR) with the [[Church of Russia|Moscow Patriarchate]].
Since the Americans could not immediately release all the prisoners at Dachau, and in that year [[Pascha]] occurred on [[May 6]] (April 23, on the Julian Calendar). Among the prisoners at Dachau, many of them were Orthodox, including priests, deacons, and a group of monks from [[Mount Athos]]. It was decided that there would be an effort made, in conjunction with the Yugoslav and Greek National Prisoner's Committees, to celebrate the Paschal service there in Dachau.
However, there were no liturgical items to be found at the concentration camp, and attempts to procure any of these items from a Russian Orthodox Church in Munich was futile. Besides the Orthodox in Dachau, a "block" of Catholic priests had been allowed to stay together during their imprisonment, and they had been allowed a room in their barrack in which they could say Mass every day before they began their work. They offered this makeshift "chapel" - a bare room containing only an icon of the [[Theotokos of Czestochowa]]. Vestments were made of new linen-towels raided from the hospital of the SS-guards, and red crosses, meant to denote medical personnel, were sewn to adorn these towel-vestments.
Although 40 percent of the prisoners at Dachau were Soviet prisoners of war, very few were allowed to participate, as Russian forces, in the days between liberation and Pascha, started the "repatriation" process for this group. However, the services commenced, there being twelve Orthodox priests and one deacon there, mostly Greek and Serbian, and the entire service, from the Paschal Canon to the Sticheras to the Gospel to the Homily of St. John Chrysostom were all done by memory, alternating between Slavonic and Greek.
==After the War==
After spending some time in a displaced persons camp, Gleb Rahr ended up in back in Hamburg and served as secretary to [[Nathaniel (Lvov) of Vienna|Bishop Nathaniel]]. Here he was also ordained a subdeacon. By the end of 1947, he was working at a publisher of Russian materials in Frankfurt am Main. From 1949-1950, he and his family lived in Casablanca, in (French-occupied) Morocco, where he worked at an architecture firm and continued to be involved with Church life. From 1950, Rahr worked for the NTS in West Germany, and from West Berlin he attempted to spread anti-communist propaganda into East Germany. He was a particpant in the in the "Big Four" talks of 1954 in [[w:Berlin Conference (1954)|Berlin]] and [[w:Geneva Conference (1954)|Geneva]] as well as the 1957 Pan-American Conference for the Protection of the Continent, located in Lima, Peru. His area of expertise was the fate of the Church and its faithful in Russia. In 1954, under the alias of Alexei Vetrov, he wrote the Russian-languge book "Plenennaja Zerkow" (The Church in Bondage), describing the situation of the Church in the Soviet Union.
In 1957, Rahr, now married, moved to [[Orthodoxy in Taiwan |Taiwan]] with his wife to work at the NTS radio station "Free Russia" there. With only about 100 Orthodox faithful on the island at that time, there was no consecrated Orthodox church, so most services were conducted in the Rahr home. In September of 1958, [[Ireney (Bekish) of New York|Archbishop Ireney, then Archbishop of Japan]], visited Taiwan, and conducted services there.
From 1960-1963, the Rahr family relocated to Japan, where he directed a Russian-language program on Japanese radio in Tokyo. During this time, he also taught Russian at the Tokyo campus of the University of Maryland. (When the Rahr family returned to Germany, he would teach Russian Literature and History at one of the University of Maryland's campuses there.) From 1963 until 1974, Gleb Rahr again worked for the Frankfurt publisher he had years before.
From 1974-1995, Rahr worked for [[w:Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|Radio Liberty ]] in Munich. He led programs going into the Soviet Union of religious nature along with the programs "The Baltic Lighthouse", "Russia Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow", and "Not from Bread Alone." For many in the Soviet Union, these radio programs were the only opportunity to get truthful information about the plight of the Russian Orthodox Church. 
==Church Work==
Gleb Rahr was ordained a subdeacon in 1967 by Metropolitan [[Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York|Philaret (Voznesensky)]], First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
During the years 1967-1968, Gleb Rahr was an active member of the building committee of [[St. Nicholas Church (Frankfurt am Main, Hessen)|St. Nicholas Church]] in the Hausen district of the German city Frankfurt am Main. Among other things, he was responsible for the creation of the bells, and their casting, which was done in the traditional manner in the city of Saarburg. The crosses and inscription on the bells were done according to his sketches. The chandelier was also created according to his plans.
After the Millennial celebrations, as the Church in Russia began to experience more freedom from the state, Rahr began to work on the effort to reunify ROCOR and the MP. In 1990, he vehemently opposed the establishment of ROCOR parishes within Russia, which he considered to canonically be the territory of the MP. In August of 1991, Rahr and his wife were received by Patriarch Alexei II in Moscow, where Rahr brought up the subject of rapproachment with ROCOR on their behalf. Even though this attempt was rebuffed, Rahr strengthened his resolve to keep working toward this goal.
For his work with the churches, Rahr was recognized with a number of awards, from both ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate, including one in 1988 from the ROCOR Synod of Bishops and Archbishop [[Mark (Arndt) of Berlin]], one in 2001 from the Polish Orthodox [[Church of Poland]] for his work in rebuilding and reestablishing the Orthodox Church at Sokołowsko, and one in 2004 from Patriarch [[Alexei II (Ridiger) of Moscow|Alexei II ]] for his life's work.
==Charitable Work==
==The Chapel at Dachau==
On the initiative of Archbishop [[Longin (Talypin) of Klin]], as Russian forces were completely withdrawn from Germany in 1994-1995, a memorial chapel was built at the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, outside of Munich. [[Resurrection of Our Lord Chapel of the Resurrection (Dachau, Bavaria)|This chapel]], named for the Resurrection of Christ, (and which led to a [[Resurrection of Our Lord Church of the Resurrection (Munich, Bavaria)|parish of the same name]] - a church Rahr belonged to for years - being founded in Munich in 1996), was built to remember the Orthodox victims of the Nazi regime, as well as any other regimes of terror. The main icon of the chapel depicts Christ leading the prisoners of Dachau out of the camp through the gates, held open by angels. One of the prisoners depicted wears the prisoner number R64923 - Gleb Rahr's number. Since his death, a small wooden cross, fashioned by Rahr whilst a prisoner, is also housed at this chapel.
*[ German Wikipedia Article] (This article is based on the article Leben und Wirken des exilrussischen Journalisten und Kirchenhistorikers Gleb Rahr. Quelle: "Bratstwo-Bote" Ausgabe 2007, Bad Kissingen. / The Life and Works of the Exile Russian Journalist and Church Historian Gleb Rahr; Source: "Bratstwo-Bote"; 2007 edition; Bad Kissingen, Germany)
*[ Detailed obituary] SputnikNews, March 10, 2006 (in German)
*[ The Death Train to Dachau]
*[ Dachau 1945: The Souls of All are Aflame]
*[http com/Athens/Parthenon/4541/dachau.html Pascha (Easter) at Dachau] recollections of Gleb Rahr('''Note:''' Mr. Rahr's account of Pascha at Dachau was written in English by his daughter Xenia in 1998, most likely for the book ''Dachau 29 April 1945: The Rainbow Liberation Memoirs'' by Sam Dann (ISBN 0896723917). This account has been republished in many, many places. However, over the years, even many reputable sites have pieces that have been altered or missing. This snapshot of a Geocities page is probably the original online posting, as it was first posted in early 2000, seems to be the most complete, and was published with the knowledge and blessing of Mr. Rahr's daughter Xenia.)
*[ Ein Russe Erzaehlt] A Russian Tells His Story (In German)
*[ The Russian Orthodox Chapel at Dachau]
*[ Archbishop Ireney's visit to Taiwan, 1958]
*[ Why Are We Not Together] Alexander Rahr biography from the National Research University Higer School of Economics, Moscow
==For Further Reading==
*[ 2005 interview with Gleb Rahr about Dachau] (in Russian)
*[ Russian version of Rahr's Dachau account, plus biography] Official site of the Moscow Patriarchate.
[[Category:Modern Writers|Rahr]]
[[Category:Orthodoxy in Western Europe|Rahr]]
[[Category:Orthodoxy in Japan|Rahr]]
[[Category:Orthodoxy in Germany|Rahr]]

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