With great sadness we inform you of the death of CamRuSS Honorary Adviser and long-standing supporter of CamRuSS, John Barber (1944 – 2021) on Saturday, 26 June at his home in Cambridge.
A distinguished scholar in Russian history and politics, he shared a passion for every aspect of Russian culture, from its language – which he mastered to perfection – to its culinary traditions.
A man of many talents, he loved music and song which he practised with CUMS, King’s Voices and latterly the St Botolph’s choir. John was an active contributor in Russian poetry classes and was a member of Parkrun for several years, among other endeavours.
John joined CamRuSS in the first years of its conception as an informal voluntary group and supported its development and growth throughout the years. He delivered talks, helped with organising lectures and film festivals and became one of the key organisers behind the ‘Elena Marttila: Art and Endurance in the Siege of Leningrad’ exhibition and series of events exploring the history and culture of the period in 2017, which he opened with his seminal talk “The Hungry Winter of 1941-42”. His last lecture for CamRuSS was in September 2020 “Operation Barbarossa: The Turning Point of WWII”.
He was a man of big heart and sharp wit. Erudite and diplomatic, he was at the core of our community and will be greatly missed by us all.
Our thoughts are with John’s family.
The family asks for any donations to be made to the Arthur Rank Hospice or Wood Green Animals Charity via Peasgood and Skeates.