The Funeral of Nikolai Berdjajew

The Funeral of Nikolai Berdjajew
on 26th of March 1948
                                                                   by Klaus Bambauer

As we know from our reading of the D Lowrie biography (“The Rebellious Prophet”, pp. 278), N. Berdjajew was buried in the little peaceful cemetery of
Clamart near Paris.

Different priests, all of them friends of N. Berdjajew, attended or headed the Divine-service for the deceased philosopher. Among them as noted by Lowrie were: Father Nicolas Eremin, Father Sergej Schewitsch and Father Stefan Swetozarew.

Father Evgraf Kowalewskij delivered the eulogy, “The Search for the Truth”.

In the course of my investigations I have discovered some details to the Orthodox priests, that are named above:

1. Father Nicolas Eremin became later Metropolitan and Exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate for Western-Europe, then he lived in retirement in Paris. But first, and I conjecture here, he was priest at the church of the Three Hierarchs. Berdjajew belonged to this church in Paris.

2. Father Sergej Schewitsch was together with other priests and laymen a founder of the St. Photius-brotherhood. After the decease of Metropolit Evlogij a delegation, headed by Metropolitan Serafim, went to Russia. Among the delegation members was also the monk Father Sergej Schewitsch. And N. A. Poltoratskij was also a member, who was later in Odessa and then in the United States of America a professor for Russian church-history, well known to all specialists on this subject both there and in Europe.

3. Father Stefan Swetozarew became familiar with Berdjajew towards the end of Berdjajew’s life in Paris. He (Swetozarew) maintained contact with Berdjajew until
his own return to Russia. Father Swetozarew wrote later to Eugenie Rapp:
“I consider him (B.) as a faithful member of the Orthodox Church”.
Swetozarew was later Archimandrite and head of the church of the Three Hierarchs. He died at the Monastery of the Holy Ghost in Vilnius in 1968.