Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:44 am

Paleontological Section of the Moscow Society of Nature Explorers in 2007 -- EXCERPT
by O.V. Amitrov
DOI: 10.1134/S0031030108040163
ISSN 0031-0301, Paleontological Journal, 2008, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 447–449.
© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © O.V. Amitrov, 2008
published in Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal, 2008, No. 4, pp. 108–110.  



In 2007, the section held seven meetings, with 70 reports delivered. As in 2006, there were no current meetings. Two meetings were regular annual meetings of the section and Moscow section of the Paleontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences “PALEOSTRAT-2007.” The Fourth All-Russian Scientific School of young paleontologists was represented by three meetings at the 47th Conference of Young Paleontologists of the Moscow Society of Nature Explorers. Like the previous three schools, this school was entitled “Modern Paleontology: Classical and Novel Methods.” It was organized by the section together with the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (PIN), Department of Paleontology of the Geological Faculty of Moscow State University (MGU), Paleontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and programs of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Support for Young Scientists,” “Origin and Evolution of the Biosphere,” and “Dynamics of Biodiversity and Gene Pool.” The session “Eustatic Variations in the Phanerozoic and Their Effect on the Marine Biota” supported by the Program of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Origin and Evolution of the Biosphere” was conducted jointly by the Section, PIN, and the Moscow Section of the Paleontological Society. The last session of the sections of sedimentary rocks, geology, and paleontology of Moscow Society of Nature Explorers was dedicated to the memory of Vladimir Vladimirovich Menner (1931–2006). The abstracts of almost all contributions were published, some contributions are prepared for publication as full-size papers.

Vladimir Vasilevich Menner

Born Nov. 11 (24), 1905, in the city of Shatsk, in present-day Riazan’ Oblast. Soviet geologist and paleontologist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1966).

After graduating from Moscow University in 1927, Menner worked in the Moscow division of the Geological Committee from 1927 to 1929. In 1929-30 he was an assistant at the Moscow Academy of Mines. Between 1930 and 1965 he served as dean of the geology department and head of the subdepartment of paleontology of the Moscow Institute of Geological Research. He has been head of the subdepartment of paleontology at Moscow State University since 1965. He became a senior researcher at the Geological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1934 and assistant director of the institute in 1960. He conducted geological research in the Crimea, Northern Caucasus, the Polar Urals, Bashkiria, Siberia, and Kamchatka, and he wrote works on belemnites, ichthyofauna, and plesiosaurs. Menner developed basic principles for the stratigraphic correlation of deposits having different facies and established that the development of faunas and floras occurs in stages. He initiated work aimed at creating a unified global stratigraphic scale. From 1968 to 1972 he was president of the stratigraphic commission of the International Union of Geological Sciences, and in 1972 he became its vice-president and president of the union’s subcommission on the stratigraphy of the Paleogene. A member of the French Geological Society and the Geological Society of London and a recipient of the S. M. Kirov Prize of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1951), Menner has been awarded three orders and various medals.


“Neravnomernosf (etapnosf) razvitiia organicheskogo mira i ee znachenie dlia detal’noi stratigrafii.”7>. Moskov-skogo geologo-razvedochnogo in-ta, 1961, vol. 37.
Biostratigraficheskie osnovy sopostavleniia morskikh, lagunnykh i kontinentaVnykh svit. Moscow, 1961.

Vladimir Vasilevich Menner, by The Free Dictionary by Farlex, by T.A. Sofiano

Some reports of the PALEOSTRAT meeting were topically grouped. Contributions dedicated to the centenary of the birth of Petr Aleksandrovich Gerasimov ...

The Fall of Tsarism: Untold Stories of the February 1917 Revolution
by Semion Lyandres
Print publication date: 2013
DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235759.001.0001

Petr Vasil’evich Gerasimov
by Semion Lyandres

This chapter presents a translation of the Russian-language transcripts of the interview with Petr Vasil'evich Gerasimov (1877–1919), a prominent liberal deputy to the last two imperial Dumas. The February uprising caught Gerasimov in the capital. By early morning on 27 February he was already in the Duma, witnessing firsthand some of the most important developments that led to the formation of the first revolutionary authority. On 28 February, he was appointed the Duma Committee commissar in charge of the Petrograd city police and administration. In his interview, Gerasimov describes his actions and impressions during the February Days, including the unprecedented admission of his authorship of the minutes of the private meeting of 27 February. Considered until now anonymous, the circumstances and timing of their compilation have often been called into question. This interview should lay these doubts to rest and provide a more complete and accurate context of when and how the single most important source on the formation of the Duma Committee was created.

-- The Fall of Tsarism: Untold Stories of the February 1917 Revolution, by Semion Lyandres, Oxford Scholarship Online

included the talk “Contribution of P.A. Gerasimov to the Study of the Jurassic and Cretaceous of Central Russia” by V.V. Mitta (PIN) and I.A. Starodubtseva (Vernadsky State Geological Museum, Moscow); two reports by A.P. Ippolitov (MGU, PIN) entitled “Contribution of P.A. Gerasimov to the Study of Mesozoic Serpulids (Annelida, Polychaeta) from Central Russia” and “On a New Method of Analysis of Assemblages of Encrusting Organisms, Based on Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Serpulids (Annelida, Polychaeta) of Central Russia”; the report “The Volgian Stage is Retained in the Jurassic System, with Evidence from Magnetostratigraphic Correlation” by V. Khosha, P. Pruner, M. Shadima, S. Shlekhta (Institute of Geology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague), M. Kostak, M. Mazukh (Univerzita Karlova v Praze), V.A. Zakharov, and M.A. Rogov (Geological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (GIN), Moscow); the report “Volgian Stage Boundaries” by V.V. Mitta; the report “Middle–Upper Jurassic Ostracodes of the Kursk Region” by E.M. Tesakova (MGU), and the report by D.V. Stryuchkov (Vernadsky State Geological Museum, Moscow) entitled “Jurassic Ichthyosaurs from the Collection of the Vernadsky State Geological Museum.”

The reports “Kh.I. Pander, the Discoverer of Conodonts” by I.A. Starodubtseva and “A New Representative of the Conodont Genus Antognathus from the Famennian of Southern Kazakhstan” by Yu.A. Gatovskii (MGU) were dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the discovery of conodonts.

Some general issues were addressed by V.K. Golubev (PIN) in his report “Perfection of the Stratigraphic Scale: True and Imaginary” and by S.S. Lazarev (PIN) in his report “A Young Man in Modern Science: Not of This World?”

Particular fossil groups were discussed in the contributions “Ecology and Taphonomy of Radiolarians” by M.S. Afanasieva (PIN) and E.O. Amon (Institute of Geology and Geochemistry, Yekaterinburg); “Permian Foraminifers of the Pechora Region” by E.E. Sukhov (Kazan State University); “Stratigraphic Distribution, Paleobiogeography, and Phylogenesis of Benthic Foraminifers Stensioeina of the Turonian–Santonian of the Mangyshlak and the Southeastern Russian Plate” by V.N. Benyamovsky (GIN) and A.Yu. Sadekov (University of Canberra, Australia); “Echinoids in the Cretaceous of the East European Platform” by A.N. Soloviev (PIN); and “Distribution of Arthrodira (Placodermi) in the Evlanovsk (Late Frasnian) Basin of the Central Devonian Field” by G.V. Zakharenko (PIN).

Eight reports addressed biotic assemblages: “The Challenger Expedition (1872–1876) and Its Significance for the Study of Marine Sediments” by T.M. Popesko (Central Research Geological Prospecting Museum, St. Petersburg); “Vendian Localities of the White Sea Region: Perspectives for their Preservation As Geological Natural Monuments” by M.A. Fedonkin, A.Yu. Ivantsov, M.V. Leonov, and E.A. Serezhnikova (PIN); “On Vendian–Cambrian Boundary Deposits of the Dzabkhan Zone of Western Mongolia” by D. Dorzhnamdzha, Enkhbaator (Mongolian Academy of Sciences), A.V. Krayushkin, A.L. Ragozina, and E.A. Serezhnikova (PIN); “Stratigraphy and Paleogeography of the Klintsyan Horizon (Devonian) of the Volgograd Volga Region” by V.N. Mantsurova and V.A. Tsygankova (VolgogradNIPImorneft); “New Data on the Carboniferous Stratigraphy of the Lower Reaches of the Onega River” by A.S. Alekseev, A.N. Reimers, O.A. Orlova, A.P. Ippolitov (MGU), O.A. Lebedev (PIN), V.A. Larchenko, and V.N. Stepanov (ALROSA, Arkhangelsk); “Biostratigraphy and Biogeography of the Marine Permian of Central and Northeastern Mongolia” by I.N. Manankov (PIN); “Microbiotas of Permian Carbonate Buildups of Turkey and Darvaz” by T.V. Filimonova (GIN); and “Sea Level Fluctuations and Events in the Mediterranean and Paratethys Regions during the Messinian” by S.V. Popov and L.A. Nevesskaya (PIN).

Along with standard reports, the School of Young Paleontologists provided six lectures by leading specialists: “Novelty in Bacterial, Precambrian, and Extraterrestrial Paleontology” by A.Yu. Rozanov (PIN), “Mathematical Biology: Present and Future” by V.D. Lakhno (Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences); “Radiolarians of the Past, Present, and Future” by V.S. Vishnevskaya (GIN); “Paleoichnology” by A.V. Dronov (GIN); “Coevolution of Echinoids and Predatory Cassid Gastropods” by A.N. Soloviev (PIN); “Agnathans: Evolutionary and Phylogenetic Significance” by L.I. Novitskaya (PIN).

Unlike in the PALEOSTRAT Meeting, the majority of reports presented in the School of Young Paleontologists were devoted to particular taxa. R.R. Yakupov (Institute of Geology of the Ural Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ufa) gave a talk “On the Age of the Metamorphic Strata of the Uraltau Ridge of the Southern Ural Mountains.” Three reports addressed lower plant topics: “The Diatom Flora of River-Mouth Surface Sediments of Northeastern Asia” by M.S. Obrezkova (Pacific Oceanological Institute of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok); “Cyanobacteria of the Hot Springs of Baikal Rift Zone: Species Composition and Silica Biomineralization” by E.G. Sorokovikova (Limnological Institute of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LI SO), Irkutsk) and “Investigation of Chrysophyte Cysts from Some Aquatic Basins of Eurasia and Their Role in the Chrysophyte Fossil Record” by A.D. Firsova (LI SO). The higher plants were discussed in the reports “A New Plant with Thick Cuticle from the Middle Devonian of the Voronezh Anteclise” by A.V. Broushkin (VSEGEI, St. Petersburg) and N.V. Gordenko (PIN); “On the Species Systematics of the Genus Peltaspermum Harris (Peltaspermaceae)” by E.V. Karasev (PIN); “Fossil Wood of Conifers from the Cretaceous of the Russian Far East” by M.A. Afonin (Biological-Soil Institute of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences); “The First Find of Conifer Macrofossils from the Lower Sarmatian of the Karpov Yar Site (Moldova)” by A.B. Klumova (MGU); and “The Holocene As an Unaccomplished Interglacial, from the Perspective of Paleophytocoenoses” by E.V. Pashkevich (Belarussian State University (BGU), Minsk). Protists were discussed by the report “Distribution of Radiolarians in the Surface Sediments of the Sea of Okhotsk” by E.A. Yanchenko (Pacific Oceanological Institute of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences); Porifera, by the contribution of V.V. Makhnach (BGU) entitled “Sponge Collection at Belarussian State University”; and brachiopods were discussed by A.V. Pakhnevich (PIN) in his report “Microtomographic Examination of the Interior of Brachiopod Holotypes.” Mollusks retained dominance: “Functional Morphology of Ammonoid Shell” by M.S. Boiko (PIN); “Plagioteuthis moscoviensis— A Coleoid or an Ammonoid?” by A.P. Ippolitov (MGU, PIN) and M.A. Rogov (GIN); “Ammonoid Characterization of the Kungurian–Roadian Boundary Deposits in China” by Mu Lin (Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Nanjing, China); “Holocene Malacofauna of the Ptich Site (Central Belarus)” by E.A. San’ko and O.V. Polyanitsa (BGU). The remaining contributions addressed vertebrate topics. E.V. Syromyatnikova and I.G. Danilov (Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg) reported the “Morphology of Turtles of the Genus Adocus from the Upper Cretaceous of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan.” N.V. Zelenkov (PIN) presented on “Phasianidae (Aves) from the Neogene of Central Asia.” V.V. Rosina (PIN) and Yu.A. Semenov (Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev) reported on “A New Representative of Vespertilionidae (Chiroptera) from the Early Vallesian of Ukraine.” K.O. Pecherskaya and A.V. Shpanskii (Tomsk State University) contributed “Remains of Quaternary Mammals from the Sergeevo Locality on the Chulym River (Tomsk Region).” A.V. Biryukov (Saratov Regional Museum) made a contribution “Datings of Early Pleistocene Deposits of the Eastern Oka–Don Plain with the Microtheriological Method.” E.A. Petrova (Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg) reported “A Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) from the Volga–Kama Region.” K.A. Simonov (MGU) and A.S. Tesakov (GIN) contributed with “Voles from the Middle Pleistocene Chuya Site on the Aldan River.” K.K. Tarasenko (Adygea State University, Maikop) and V.V. Titov (Rostov-on-Don, Southern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences) reported on “Findings of Cetotherium in the Middle Sarmathian of Adygea.”

The session on eustatics included ten reports: “Benthos of Icehouse Epeiric Basin and Sea Level Fluctuations: Moscovian Stage (Carboniferous) of the East European Craton” by P.B. Kabanov and D.V. Baranova (PIN); “Changes in Diversity of Permian Brachiopods of the East European Platform on the Background of Sea Level Changes” by G.A. Afanasjeva ....
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:58 pm

The Fall of Tsarism: Untold Stories of the February 1917 Revolution -- EXCERPT
by Semion Lyandres
© Semion Lyadres 2013



Petr Vasil’Evich Gerasimov

Petr Vasil’evich Gerasimov (1877-1919) was a leading Kadet deputy in the third and fourth Dumas from Kostroma province. He came from a family of prominent entrepreneurs (and hereditary honorary citizens), and was groomed from an early age to take over the family business. His parents sent him to a commercial school, which he duly completed, but in the upper grades he developed a strong interest in social and political questions. Following graduation in 1898, Gerasimov passed his external examinations at the Kostroma classical gymnasium and went on to study law at Moscow University. After two years, he was expelled for participating in student protests but was later able to complete his training at Yaroslavl’s Demidov Juridical Lyceum. In 1903, he returned to his native Kostroma to practice law and to become a leading liberal activist, publisher, and publicist. In October 1907, he was elected to the (third) Duma, where his good writing and organizational skills were quickly put to use. He served as secretary of the Kadet faction and authored or co-authored a number of important pieces of legislation on local courts, peasants’ bankruptcy protection, and on the property and family status of married women. One of his signature legislative initiatives in the next (fourth) Duma was the new and much more liberal law on the press (zakon o pechati), which he both helped to write and lobbied for its passage.

Like most of his Duma colleagues, Gerasimov greeted the news of the outbreak of the First World War with patriotic enthusiasm, which he promptly translated into action. He would spend most of the next two and a half years at the front, organizing medical and food supply detachments under the auspices of the All-Russian Zemstvo Union, and other wartime voluntary organizations.

The February uprising caught him in the capital. By early morning on February 27 he was already in the Duma, witnessing firsthand what was transpiring in the office of the Duma President, Rodzianko’s last-minute appeal to Nicholas II to grant political concessions, and some of the most important developments that led to the formation of the first revolutionary authority. That afternoon Gerasimov participated in the pivotal private meeting of the Duma deputies and, as soon as the Duma Committee was formed, readily placed himself at its service. On February 28, he was appointed the Duma Committee commissar in charge of the Petrograd city police and administration. Over the course of the next several days, he and his fellow commissars helped maintain order and discipline by touring the barracks of the rebellious units in Petrograd, Tsarskoe Selo, and the Kronstadt Naval Base. His other important assignment was to greet and deploy the revolutionary troops arriving in the capital from the nearby garrisons.

Gerasimov described his actions and impressions during the February Days in his interview with the Polievktov Commission; and he did so in an unassuming and dignified manner, without exaggerating his own role or diminishing that of his former Socialist allies now turned political rivals. Perhaps one of the more striking aspects of Gerasimov’s testimony is his admission of his authorship of the minutes of the private meeting of February 27. Considered until now anonymous, the circumstances and timing of their compilation have often been called into question. Gerasimov’s testimony should lay all doubts to rest and provide a more complete and accurate context of when and how this single most important source on the formation of the Duma Committee was created.

During the spring and summer months of 1917, he continued to play a leading role in the Kadet party and the Duma Committee. In early March, he replaced Miliukov as the Kadet representative on the still-functioning Duma Council of Elders. In May, he was elected to the Kadet Central Committee, and in August was nominated for the party’s list of candidates to stand for elections to the Constituent Assembly. At the same time, Gerasimov kept up with his work in the Duma Committee. He chaired the important Liaison Department with the Troops, Population, and the Provinces. One of the most significant tasks of this department was to publish and distribute massive amounts of pro-war patriotic literature to the armed forces and across the country. As always, Gerasimov approached this duty with his usual energy, skill, and dedication. Yet by the end of July, after realizing that all the efforts to restore order and fighting morale in the army were failing to achieve tangible results, his patience ran out. He soon found himself among the strong supporters of a temporary military dictatorship.

Gerasimov was profoundly anti-Bolshevik. Following the October takeover, he joined the leadership of the Petrograd branch of the anti-Bolshevik All-Russian National Center and until his arrest in the summer of 1919 remained very active in the anti-Bolshevik underground. He lived under false names and was responsible for coordinating contacts between various anti-Bolshevik organizations in and around Petrograd with General N. N. Iudenich’s forces in the northwest. After his arrest and initial interrogations, Gerasimov (under the alias “Grekov”) was transferred to Moscow and executed by a Cheka firing squad, along with sixty-six other members of the so-called Tactical Center, on September 23, 1919.

The interview – his only known testimony – is reproduced on the basis of a master copy compiled by Rusudana Polievktova-Nikoladze and three draft transcripts: the first transcript is in an unidentified hand, with comments and stylistic edits by Tamara Nikoladze; the second is in Rusudana Polievktova-Nikoladze’s hand, with abbreviated words and sentences; the final draft transcript was written by Tamara Nikoladze.


Petr Vasil’evich Gerasimov, Deputy of the Third and Fourth State Duma, member of the Party of People’s Freedom, member of the Agitation Commission of the Temporary Committee. May 9, [1917]

My contact with the Tauride Palace during the days of the coup manifested itself in that I was at the disposal of the Temporary Committee and of the Provisional Government. From the beginning of the revolution I was asked by the Temporary Committee to meet the incoming troops; I performed the responsibilities of the city police chief around the clock on the first two days. In that capacity, on the nights of February 28 and March 1, I imposed order. Later I was in charge of the liaison department to the troops, the distribution of literature, the publishing department, and the liaison department to the provinces.

I am a deputy of the third and fourth Duma from Kostroma province, and have resided in Petrograd since the time I became a deputy ten years ago. With the outbreak of the war, I went to the front and stayed there the whole time until just before the revolution, when I returned to Petrograd. I participated in the work of the Progressive Bloc. Over Christmas [1916], I was finally convinced that the reports about the mood of the opposition in the army were quite objective, and that the army had actually been revolutionized. Even common soldiers clearly understood where the danger was. The officer corps (officers, commanders of divisions, and so on) – who before that had been mostly fervent nationalists – opened their eyes. I was able to organize several open meetings in different units. The conversations showed me that everyone had a similar mindset.

The mood of the army today is completely different from what it was three months ago, before the revolution, During the three years of war before the revolution, even though there was a war-weariness and one could not detect a will to fight, there was also a feeling that people had gotten used to it. The trenches had been dug carefully and diligently, and they were getting warmer and more comfortable; the food was getting better, and so on. Today, soldiers have absolutely no desire to fight. They could not care less about annexations and contributions. They are being guided by one desire only – to be discharged as soon as possible. It is very difficult to understand such a complete change in the mood of the army and the shift in popular psychology that occurred after the revolution.

I arrived in Petersburg [sic!] a few days before the opening of the Duma. I could not adjust to local life right away, or immerse myself in the local mood, which was so different from the psychological mindset of a person at the front. I have many recollections about what was going on in the streets during four days, February the 23rd to the 27th.

On the 23rd, the disorders erupted. From the very first days, it was clear that, thanks to the conduct of the troops (Cossacks and dragoons), the mood was drastically different from all previous occurrences of this kind, and that the events had taken on a very different character. Two episodes can serve as an illustration of the conduct of the troops: at the corner of Fontanka Embankment and Nevskii Prospeckt, the dragoons were dispersing a crowd. An officer menacingly commanded, “Crush them!” However, the smiling soldiers used their horses’ heads to push not the workers in the street, but the public walking on the sidewalk. Right then, an exchange took place between the officer and a civilian lady. The officer yelled at the public, “Keep moving!” The lady shouted back, “It is easy for you to say keep moving – you’re on a horse!” and a laugh erupted all around her. In this instance, the appearance of the soldiers did not cause panic at all. The [Duma] deputy Stepanov [1] and I were on Nevskii. As we approached Znamenskii Square, we learned from the crowd that a clash between the Cossacks and precinct policemen had just occurred there. The Cossacks used force to disperse the policemen. All this was quite unlike anything that had happened in similar situations bfore.

On the 27th, I spent my day on the streets. On the evening of the 26th, we in the Duma knew about the disorders in the 4th Company of the Pavlovskii Regiment and about the murder of Eksten, [2] the company commander. On the 27th, at eight in the morning, I was already in the Duma. There, I happened to be present at a telephone conversation between Maklakov and Pokrovskii. [3] The latter did not know anything about what was happening among the troops, and got very concerned. At 12:00, again in my presence, a very interesting conversation took place between Rodzianko and the war minister Beliaev. Judging by Rodzianko’s reply, it was clear that Beliaev was asking the Duma for help. Rodzianko raised his voice and very sharply replied: “You are destroying the country by yourselves; we cannot help you.” [4] With this answer, Rodzianko in part predetermined the outcome of the four-hour-long meeting of the State Duma. The Council of Elders [senioren convent] was in an ongoing session from 11:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. [5] So, with the exception of the conversation with Beliaev, we were cut off from the outside world. Our only sources of information about what was happening on the streets were reports to Shingarev from the medical-sanitary station of the City Duma. But these were sporadic reports, and 50 percent of them turned out to be incorrect.

Around 11:00, I went out into the streets: soldiers were still shooting at random. I walked to Kirochnaia Street. There, the Volynskii and Preobrazhenskii Regiments were approaching the Arsenal. [6] This took place between 11:00 and 12:00. They were attempting to get into formation. From somewhere appeared a young, mounted officer. He assumed command over the soldiers. It was the same officer who was described in Lukash’s brochure and was later killed near the Moskovskii [Regiment’s] barracks. [7]

When I came back to the Duma, the atmosphere was dominated by a mood of impatience. The deputies demanded immediate convocation of the meeting, but the representatives of the factions were not so eager and were waiting until events played themselves out. Around 3:00, a small crowd of about 50-6- people came to the Duma: 40 workers, 30 soldiers, and 2-3 students. Those in the Duma got nervous. Rodzianko, worrying about a clash between the newcomers and the Duma guard, wanted to send the guards away. The commander of the guard, Chikolini, objected, saying that it was his duty not to let anyone into the Duma. This further increased the already widespread anxiety. Kerenskii, Chkheidze, and five or six more deputies were the first ones to go out and greet the people. Krenskii delivered a very successful, well-constructed speech, and prevented the possibility of a clash between the crowd and the guards by asking the latter to become the first honorary guard o the Duma. Chkheidze spoke after Kerenskii. Someone unknown opened the small middle gate [kalitka]. When I went out to the crowd, the big gates were already open.

At 4:00, the meeting of the State Duma in the semicircular hall began. [8] It was interrupted when a frightened Chikolini suddenly burst in and exclaimed in horror that he was about to be killed. Rodzianko sent him to his office. The meeting ended with the decision to form the Temporary Committee and transfer all power to it. All factions agreed, and the Temporary Committee was formed. I was immediately assigned to the Committee, and this assignment was cleared with the factions. From that moment on, I have been considered on assignment to the Temporary Committee. Rodzianko did not invite stenographers, so there are no minutes of that historic meeting. For my own purposes, I sketched the whole meeting into my notebook, but so far I have not had time to transcribe it. [9]

On the night of the 27th, Krenskii and Nekrasov were asked by the Temporary Committee to organize a military commission to maintain connections with the troops. On the morning of the 28th, the leadership of that commission was transferred to Engel’gardt.

The first person from the outside whom I met in the Duma was Charnolusskii. [10] On the evening of the 27th, he sneaked into the Duma with others who had been released from prison, among whom, by the way, were Gvozdev and Khrustalev-Nosar’. [11] On the night of the 27th, the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies was formed. Their first document was issued on March 1st. In the beginning, they were situated in the vestibule, and later also occupied rooms. Only late in the evening and during the night of the 27th did the crowd find its way to the rooms of the Tauride Palace. However, from the moment when Charnolusskii showed up in the Duma, soldiers also appeared – at first as guards, and later as part of ever-growing crowds. On the evening of the 27th, Nikolai Dmitrievich Sokolov, who later organized the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, also arrived. On the second or the third day, Khrustalev-Nosar’ disappeared somewhere from the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies. In the beginning, the membership of the Soviet appeared to be random and scanty.

On the morning of the 28th, a general came to the Duma and reported that the Hotel Astoria, where he resided, had been ransacked by a mob. I was sent to the rescue at once. Somewhere in the vicinity, a police machine-gun could be heard. The mob, which consisted of some riff-raff made up of soldiers and sailors, was shooting at the windows of the Astoria, thinking that the machine-gun was firing from the roof. I went into the hotel. The lower level was completely ransacked. I was approached by second lieutenant Orel [12] and a sailor, who whispered to me, “Appoint sailors to be the guard.” He was thinking that sailors are better disciplined than infantry soldiers. I did as he said, and set a guard from among the sailors. Later, I ordered that about twenty officers from the Allied armies, who happened to be staying at the Astoria, be taken to the Duma. I also transferred women and children to nearby buildings. After that, we went to search the hotel. On the lower level, we found a murdered general [13] and a wounded woman. In the attics and basements, we didn’t find anything, and thereby proved to the crowd that there were no machine-guns in the Astoria. I appointed second lieutenant Orel to be the commandant of the Astoria (he was later killed), and after giving several speeches to the crowd, I returned to the Duma. As I was approaching the Duma, I saw military cadets heading toward it.

At the Duma, in the Military Commission, I met an officer of the General Staff, Prince Tumanov, who had set up the Commission’s headquarters. Two more officers of the General Staff were working with him – Tuga-Baranovskii and Iakubovich. In my subsequent work, I dealt with these three young and very energetic officers more than with anyone else. On the 28th, various military units from the immediate environs of Petrograd started to arrive. In the beginning, their intentions in coming to Petrograd were unknown, but soon it became clear that they were coming to support the Temporary Committee. I received instructions to meet the arriving troops. This kept me very busy. In addition to greeting them, I had to feed them and find accommodation. But there was nothing to feed them with, and nowhere to quarter them. We had to put them in cheap hotels near the train stations. The problem of food was especially acute. The mood of the arriving troops was panicky; they were expecting traps everywhere. They did not know where to go, and I had to take care of them. I was sending all arrivals to the Baltic Railway Station under the command of Captain Kossovich, [14] whom I had put in charge.

The following example of this panicky mood made an especially bad impression on me. I was talking to one of the arriving units, who came with the intention of defending the revolution against all sorts of perils. Just then, a gunshot was heard nearby that was answered by several others. As a result of this small, accidental shooting, all the units immediately ran away, leaving their artillery behind. What would have happened if an actual armored train had arrived and the revolutionary troops had had to engage it in battle?

Some units were not yet committed. A battery of the Artillery Guard, after long arguments with me, pretended that it was going to the BAltic Railway Station, but actually went to Beliaev in the Admiralty. But they soon left there and went to Kossovich, who arrested their commander. One of the arriving infantry regiments exhibited similar behavior. On another occasion, the Cossacks interrupted me repeatedly with hostile comments; some of the lower ranks directly harassed us, but soldiers took them away. I had to make trips particularly often to the Baltic and Tsarkoe Selo Railway Stations to meet and greet arriving troops. On the night of the 1st [March], I was again called to the Baltic Station for this purpose. While there, I was informed that the treasury was being robbed. It was necessary to send soldiers in automobiles to defend it. Therefore, I drove to the Technological Institute to pick up trucks. There, Svatikov [15] told me in confidence that things were not going well in the Izmailovskii Regiment. Two armed companies of this regiment were taken by their officers to the Manege, and they disarmed the rest. The regimental officer-in-charge ordered the officers to lock their personal weapons in the armory.

The officers were inviting disarmed soldiers into the Manege to talk, but the soldiers hesitated, uncertain what to do. I advised them not to go, but instead to invite the officers to their barracks for discussion. Later, it turned out that, in fact, the two companies of the Izmailovskii Regiment went to the Admiralty and placed themselves under Khabalov’s command. During that time, the Duma deputies were popular, and crowds in the streets would immediately start listening when they realized that a deputy was speaking. That is why, everywhere that there was ransacking, shooting, or where a police station was burning, the crowd would immediately listen to me and disperse. This is how I cleared Zagorodnyi Avenue when the crowds were awaiting the arrival of the famous armored train.

My most significant and vivid memory during the first days of the revolution come from the tense and emotional night when the final text of the declaration was worked out and the Provisional Government was formed. [16] The situation was overwhelming. Kerenskii had just received permission from the Soviet – but not the authority – to join the government. The mood brightened. Suddenly, the door flew open and a very pale but excited Skobelev walked into the room.

“So?...” Miliukov asked him. Skobelev quietly walked up and kissed him. It was the same unforgettable and uplifting mood during the night, when Guchkov and Shul’gin were sent to Pskov. (Guchkov showed up in the Duma on the 27th; Rodzianko wrote his second telegram to the tsar together with Guchkov.) [17]

The outbreak of World War I prompted general outcry directed at Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family. While the nation was initially caught up in a wave of nationalism, increasing numbers of defeats and poor conditions soon made the opposite true. The Tsar attempted to remedy the situation by taking personal control of the army in 1915. This proved disastrous, as the Tsar was now held personally responsible for Russia's continuing defeats and losses. In addition, the Tsarina Alexandra, left to rule in while the Tsar was commanding at the front, was German born, leading to suspicion of collusion, only exacerbated by rumors relating to her relationship with the controversial mystic Rasputin. Rasputin's influence led to disastrous ministerial appointments and corruption, resulting in a worsening of conditions within Russia. This led to general dissatisfaction with the Romanov family, and was a major factor contributing to the retaliation of the Russian Communists against the royal family.[3]

After the entry of the Ottoman Empire on the side of the Central Powers in October 1914, Russia was deprived of a major trade route through the Dardanelles, which further contributed to the economic crisis, in which Russia became incapable of providing munitions to their army in the years leading to 1917. However, the problems were primarily administrative, and not industrial, as Germany was producing great amounts of munitions whilst constantly fighting on two major battlefronts.[4]

The conditions during the war resulted in devastating loss of morale within the Russian army, as well as the general population. This was particularly apparent in the cities, owing to a lack of food in response to the disruption of agriculture. Food scarcity had become a considerable problem in Russia, but the cause of this did not lie in any failure of the harvests, which had not been significantly altered during wartime. The indirect reason was that the government, in order to finance the war, had been printing millions of ruble notes, and by 1917 inflation had made prices increase up to four times what they had been in 1914. Farmers were consequently faced with a higher cost of living, but little increase in income. As a result, they tended to hoard their grain and to revert to subsistence farming. Thus the cities were constantly short of food. At the same time, rising prices led to demands for higher wages in the factories, and in January and February 1916 revolutionary propaganda, in part aided by German funds, led to widespread strikes. This resulted in a growing criticism of the government, including an increased participation of workers in revolutionary parties.

Liberal parties too had an increased platform to voice their complaints, as the initial fervor of the war had resulted in the Tsarist government creating a variety of political organizations. In July 1915, a Central War Industries Committee was established under the chairmanship of a prominent Octobrist, Alexander Guchkov (1862-1936), including ten workers' representatives. The Petrograd Mensheviks agreed to join despite the objections of their leaders abroad. All this activity gave renewed encouragement to political ambitions, and, in September 1915, a combination of Octobrists and Kadets in the Duma demanded the forming of a responsible government. The Tsar rejected these proposals.[5]

All these factors had given rise to a sharp loss of confidence in the regime, even within the ruling class, growing throughout the war. Early in 1916, Guchkov discussed with senior army officers and members of the Central War Industries Committee about a possible coup to force the abdication of the Tsar. In December, a small group of nobles assassinated Rasputin, and in January 1917 the Tsar's uncle, Grand Duke Nicholas, was asked indirectly by Prince Lvov whether he would be prepared to take over the throne from his nephew, Tsar Nicholas II. None of these incidents were in themselves the immediate cause of the February Revolution, but they do help to explain why the monarchy survived only a few days after it had broken out.

-- Russian Revolution, by Wikipedia

About March the 2nd, quite accidentally, we succeeded in seizing the papers of Aleksandra Fedorovna. [18] In the street, a technology student arrested a suspicious couple – both of them carrying a suitcase – a gentleman in civilian clothes and a young lady. The student sent them to the Duma, to me, and I turned them over to an officer for questioning. Soon, the officer reported that the gentleman turned out to be a courier for the tsarina, and the young lady was his acquaintance. On the orders of the empress, they were on their way to the sovereign in Pskov. In one of the suitcases there were envelopes addressed to the sovereign, but the courier had not dared to open them. I immediately informed Rodzianko. He ordered that the suitcases be sent to him, and we turned the gentleman over to Papadzhanov’s investigative commission. [19] The documents unquestionably pointed to a certain duplicity in the intentions of the empress. The young lady was soon released. She explained that the gentleman had visited her place in the afternoon, and that from there they left for Pskov. The Duma deputy Vershinin [20] could tell you more details about this interesting episode.

I specialized in maintaining liaison with the troops, and in dealing with the consequences of Order Number One. For two days, I was acting city police chief, and was therefore on call in the city police building [gradonachal’stvo], where every 10-15 minutes telephone reports came in with information about lootings, the burning of houses, and so on. All these reports were remarkably inaccurate. Eighty percent turned out to be false. There were very few soldiers at the disposal of the city police office, and there was no one to send when help was asked for. I had to give up this duty. Apparently, these false reports were generated either as pranks or as the work of remnants of the old authorities trying to scare us with impending anarchy. The same was happening at the State Duma. It was contacted through the Military Commission – where the reports that were similarly unfavorable to the revolution were consistently coming in – that a train had come with a punitive expeditionary force; that the troops had already disembarked and were moving toward the Duma; that there was already a battle raging on Zagorodnyi Avenue; and so on. The city thrived on fantastic rumors.

There was unrest in the barracks. The officers were very nervous, and their nervousness played a big role in disorders and developing events. Soldiers insisted on their newly received civic freedoms; whereas officers, nervous and not yet fully acclimated to the revolution, viewed this insistence as rebellion. Afraid of being slaughtered for some little thing, they were constantly telephoning the Duma and calling deputies for help. At that time, the deputies had enormous influence, and with their authority, immediately tamed the most aggressive soldiers. The deputies were able to calm the sharpest conflicts between soldiers and officers without much difficulty. But this picture soon began to change dramatically: as our soldiers came under the influence of radical parties, our hold over them was quickly evaporating. In the barracks, the reason for that was becoming clear. I happened to visit the 4th Company of the Pavlovskii Regiment, where the effects of propaganda were becoming quite obvious.

While there, I was continuously followed around by a gentleman who objected to my speeches and demanded proof that I was a Duma deputy, etc. The Moskovskii Regiment very quickly escaped the influence of the Duma. It was open to all, with lithographed police leaflets of a reactionary nature and other similar literature. Already during March the 2nd and 3rd quickly penetrating, extreme maximalist propaganda was gaining ground in Oranienbaum Machine-Gun Regiment, in the 180th Reserve, and in the Finland Regiment stationed on Vasil’evskii Island.

After the agreement between the Provisional Government and the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies had been reached, the barracks were visited by one representative from the Soviet and one from the Duma. Captain V[r]zhosek [21] did us a great favor. There was a lot of work to do. Everywhere we went, we had to conduct discussions for three to four hours, and it always turned out to be very constructive, even in such regiments as the Finland Regiment, which very quickly slid toward the Left. By the way, their officer corps was very poor and spoiled many things. The wave spread further, into the suburbs and difference provinces (Novgorod) as well as to the northern front. We even had to send delegates there. As for myself, I did not have time to travel outside Petersburg, and went only to Porokhovye [22] and to Tsarskoe Selo.

From among the Duma deputies, the following can say interesting things about their impressions from the front: Stepanov, Taskin, Lebedev (Don Region), Demidov Igor’, [23] Karaulov (this one is a very effusive person, with mood swings).

The absence of the officer corps, who were hiding, was very dangerous. The relationships with soldiers were becoming very tense. The mood and atmosphere in the barracks intensified. This gave a push to the creation of the Propaganda Commission [agitatsionnaia komissiia], which from the very first moment had to work a lot and intensively. The Commission quickly grew and expanded, and its character gradually changed because of its activities. Newspapers and literature were needed for all those who visited us. Newspapers of all political shades were donated to us. But we had to create the literature. We got into the business of publishing. About 7,000,000 pieces of literature have been sent to the front and to the provinces, establishing ties with the country. The report about our publishing activity was printed in Izvestiia Vremennogo Komiteta Gosudarstvennoi Dumy. [24] Rodzianko, Shul’gin, Nekrasov, Vershinin (ecretary), Krenskii, and Chkheidze visited the provinces on behalf of our commission.

Besides myself, others were attached to the Temporary Committee, including Guchkov (from February 27) and G.E. L’vov, the Muscovite (from March 1). The following were also attached to the Committee, and stayed continuously in the Duma: Volkov, Vinogradov, and Lashkevich (from Kharkov), [25] through whom the Committee received all its reports. In addition to Duma deputies, a number of officials of the Duma Chancellery worked with the Committee: Iakov Vasil’evich Glinka [26] (who knows many interesting things about the revolution), Batov, and others. Ivan Ivanovich Pushchin [27] – who was the city’s commandant during March the 3rd and 4th – was a specialist on Petersburg’s “moods.” Pepeliaev is a specialist on Kronstadt. Mansyrev, [28] and especially Bublikov, [29] have interesting information about the revolution. The last was receiving all telegrams which tracked the movement of trains. He made it impossible for troops to arrive to suppress the revolution. He was our “rescue committee.”

My recollections about the arrest of ministers. Shcheglovitov was brought to the Duma on the 27th. Everyone in the [Tauride] Palace immediately ran to stare at him, but I did not go, and saw him only when he was taken to the Ministerial Pavilion. He was pale, but walked with dignity. Maklakov [30] was brought in, head bandaged, with some people who had been beaten. Beliaev was pitiful. Sukhomlinov was not brought to the room of the investigative commission (next to Rodzianko’s office), but into Bobrinskii’s office. [31] He looked awful. His eyes were filled with horror; he did not quite grasp what was happening around him. He was put in a chair, and at that very moment, Papadzhanov flew into the room and jumped on him, hysterically screaming, “epaulets, epaulets!” Several soldiers and others from the public ran in, following him. Papadzhanov cut the epaulets off of Sukhomlinov’s coat and immediately went back out to the troops. “You see, the epaulets,” he shouted. It turned out that soldiers in Catherine Hall, once they learned that Sukhomlinov had been brought in, were on the way to skewer him on their bayonets. They were stopped only after they had been promised that his epaulets would be cut off. Sukhomlinov himself cut the epaulets off of his overcoat, after asking permission to do so. He also took off his Cross of St. George and put it in his pocket. I did not see what happened next, but I was told that Sukhomlinov was taken from Bobrinskii’s office to the Ministerial Pavilion with Kerenskii (who told the soldiers that they could get to Sukhomlinov only over his dead body) in front and the guards walking behind.

Krenskii and Papdzhanov questioned the ministers who were brought in, whereas Volkov was in charge of sending them to the Peter and Paul Fortress.



1. Vasilii Aleksandrovich Stepanov (1872-1920) was a mining engineer and a prominent Kadet deputy in the last Duma from Perm province. During the February Days he was the Duma Committee’s commissar for liaison with the troops of the Petrograd, Tsarskoe Selo, and Kronstadt garrisons; on March 13 he was appointed commissar to the ministry of trade and industry and assistant to the minister. He died on his way to France from the Crimea while on a mission for General Wrangel, on August 29, 1920.

2. Aleksandr Nikolaevich Eksten (1873-1917) was a colonel in the Russian imperial army, and since January 1917 served as commander of the Pavlovskii Guards Regiment’s reserve battalion. He was murdered by a group of armed demonstrators as he stepped out of the 4th Company barracks into Koniushennyi Square around 7:00 in the evening on February 26, minutes after promising his soldiers that their patrolling of the streets would be halted. Earlier that day, soldiers from the 4th Company of the Pavlovskii Regiment fired on a police force near the City Duma on Nevskii Avenue, killing one policemen and wounding another in an attempt to prevent further shooting at the demonstrators by their comrades from the Pavlovskii training detachment. This incident was the first act of open revolt by a military unit and a prelude to the larger events, which came less than 24 hours later. Both sides of the rapidly worsening conflict took notice of the event; some saw it as grave and alarming, others as hopeful and encouraging. For the most reliable scholarly account of the Pavlovskii revolt, see V. Iu. Cherniaev, “Vosstanie Pavlovskogo poka 26 fevralia 1917 g.,” Rabochii klass Rossii, ego soiuzniki I politicheskie protivniki v 1917 godu, (Leningrad: Nauka, 1989), 152-77.

3. This important conversation between the last (since November 20, 1916) tsarist minister of foreign affairs, Nikolai Nikolaevich Pokrovskii (1865-1930) and Vasilii Alekseevich Maklakov (1869-1957) – in Shul’gin’s words, “the smartest and most moderate of the [Duma] Kadets” – took place at about 10:30 on the morning of February 27. Maklakov telephoned the minister to inquire about the government’s failure to fulfill its promise made the previous day. According to Maklakov, he and several of his moderate and conservative Duma colleagues (N.V. Savich, I. I. Dmitriukov, P.N. Balashev) met with the liberal ministers Pokrovskii and A.A. Rittikh, at the ministers’ invitation, to find a mutually agreeable solution to the current political crisis and avert a full-scale revolution. The deputies proposed the Duma be suspended for a very short cooling-off period. This was to be announced concurrently with the collective resignation of the cabinet and the naming of a new premier “who can enjoy the confidence of the country.” Maklakov specifically mentioned the name of General Alekseev. Both sides appeared to agree to the terms. Thus, when he was woken up the next morning (February 27) to speak with N.V. Nekrasov, Maklakov was unsurprised to hear of the tsarist prorogation decree, but was surprised that the rest of the plan had not been followed – the cabinet had not resigned and the new premier had not been named. Bewildered, Maklakov went to the Duma nad telephoned Pokrovskii at his residence. The minister had just woken up and knew nothing about the soldiers’ revolt. He told Maklakov that at least one part of their agreement (the prorogation) had been fulfilled while the rest would be addressed on March 1, after the tsar’s anticipated return to Tsarskoe Selo. Outraged, Maklakov ended the conversation. See N.N. Pokrovskii, Vospominaniia (1922], no pagination, S.E. Kryzhanovskii Collection, box 3, Bakhmeteff Archive, Columbia University; Maklakov, “Review of [Bernard] Pares’ book [The Fall of the Russian Monarchy: A Study of the Evidence],” Coll. Maklakov, box 16-8, p. 14. HIA; Maklakov, “Kanun revoliutsii,” Novyi zhurnal 14 (1946): 303.

4. This conversation indeed took place around 12:00 noon on the 27th. War minister Beliaev telephoned the Duma and proposed to Rodzianko that in the interest of the nation the Duma and the government should act together to restore order. Rodzianko was indignant at the proposition and demonstratively refused any cooperation with the government after it had prorogued the Duma.

5. Gerasimov refers to several consecutive (but separate, if overlapping) meetings of the Council of Elders (approximately from 11:00 to 12:00), as part of the private meeting of the Duma deputies (from approximately 2:30 to 4:00), and with the Duma Presidium (from approximately 4:30 to 5:00 on the same afternoon).

6. The Arsenal stood across from the Circuit Court on Liteinyi Avenue, adjacent to the Main Artillery Administration building. The insurgents captured the Arsenal and seized close to 40,000 rifles, 30,000 revolvers, and countless ammunition.

7. The reference is to I. Lukash’s brochure Preobrazhentsy (Petrograd: Izdanie “osvobozhdennaia Rossiia,” no. 4, 1917), 10, published in Petrograd in April of 1917. Ivan Sozontovich Lukash (1892-1940) was a prolific Petrograd writer, poet, and journalist. He later emigrated and lived in Latvia, Estonia, and France. The officer in question was “a very young ensign” who joined the initial group of 700 insurgents from the Volynskii and Preobrazhenskii Regiments and led them to the barracks of the Moskovskii Regiment, located on the Vyborg Side. As the rebels approached and prepared to storm the barracks, the loyal troops inside opened machine-gun and rifle fire, killing the ensign on the spot and forcing the rest of the insurgents to retreat.

8. The reference is to the private meeting of the Duma deputies that had actually started one and a half to two hours earlier, close to 2:30 in the afternoon. The first part of the meeting ended just before 4:00. After a short break, the deputies reconvened for less than an hour to elect the Temporary Committee of the Duma.

9. Gerasimov’s admission of his authorship of the minutes (also known as protocol) of the private meeting is of paramount importance. Considered until now anonymous, they represent the single most important source, used by generations of historians, documenting the creation of the first Duma-based revolutionary authority. It appears that sometime in May or in the early summer of 1917, Gerasimov provided his transcript to Ia.V. Glinka who, at Rodzianko’s request, was compiling the official chronicle of the Duma Committee. V.M. Vershinin, who served as the Duma Committee’s secretary at the time, took a draft of Glinka’s document, including the minutes, with him when he emigrated and subsequently published a shorter version of the minutes, anonymously and without any attribution, in a Russian newspaper in Prague (“Iz zametok o pervykh dniakh revoliutsii,” Volia Rossii, March 15, 1921, 4). For additional information on the complicated history of this document, see S. Lyandres, “Protokol’naia zapis’ ‘chastnogo’ soveshchianiia chlenov Gosudarstvennoi dumy 27 fevralia 1917 g. kak istochnik po istorii paralmentarizma v Rossii,” in V.I. Startsev, ed., Istoriia parlamentarizma v Rossii (k go-letiu I Gosudarstvennoi dimy). Sbornik nauchnykh statei (St. Petersburg, 1996),II:28, 30, 106-7; Lyandres, “On the Problem of Indecisiveness’ among the Duma Leaders during the February Revolution: The Imperial Degree of Prorogation and Decision to Convene the Private Meeting of February 27, 1917,” The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 24, 1-2 (1997): 123; A.B. Nikolaev, Revoliutsiia I vlast: IV Gosudarstvennaia duma, 27 fevralia – 3 marta 1917 goda (St. Petersburg:R GPU, 2005),” 73-84.

10. Vladimir Ivanovich Charnolusskii (1865-1941) was a well-known Popular Socialist and educator. He was among the first to bring a group of insurgent soldiers to the Tauride Palace on the morning of February 27 and on his arrival joined with the Kerenskii group (the future MC) to organize insurgent soldiers. He continued to work with the MC throughout the February Days. Under the Provisional Government, he was one of the founders and leaders of the State Committee for Education; he later worked in the People’s Commissariat of Enlightenment and various Soviet educational institutions.

11. Georgii Stepanovich Khrustalev-Nosar’ (real name: Petr Alekseevich Khrustalev) (1877-1918) was a lawyer by training and a veteran labor and political activist. In October 1905 he was elected chairman of the first St. Petersburg Soviet and subsequently joined the Social Democrats. He was arrested at the end of 1905, tried, and exiled to Siberia, but in 1907 was able to escape to Europe. An ardent patriot, he returned to Russia after the outbreak of the First World War but was again arrested and imprisoned. He was released by the insurgents only on February 27, 1917, together with K.A. Gvozdev and other members of the workers’ group of the WIC. Following his release from the Kresty prison and accompanied by a group of insurgent soldiers, Khrustalev came to the Duma between 3 and 4 in the afternoon on February 27 and proceeded to organize the Petrograd Soviet. His leading role in creating arguably the most important revolutionary institution was later deliberately minimized by his political rivals, mostly from the Petrograd Socialist establishment. His last appearance in the Soviet was recorded on March 3. Later that year he resurfaced in his native Pereiaslav (not far from Kiev) as a vocal critic of his former socialist colleagues, especially the Bolsheviks. He supported Hetman P.P. Skoropadskii and for a short while organized his own tiny autonomous “Khrustalev republic” in 1918. Following the Bolshevik takeover, he was arrested and shot as a counterrevolutionary and profiteer.

12. Aleksandr Fedorovich Orel (1879-1917) was a first lieutenant in the Chechen Cavalry Regiment. He was discharged from the military for health reasons in March 1908 but was recalled to service in January 1916 and assigned as staff officer to his old regiment. On the morning of February 28, 1917, he came to the Duma to offer his services as “officer-citizen.” He received a detachment of revolutionary troops (sailors and military cadets) with an assignment to capture Hotel Astoria, which was used by the military authorities to quarter officers on leave, their families, and the Allied military personnel. He was killed near the hotel around 2:00 that afternoon either by the officers who defended the hotel against the looters or by the drunken mob that broke into its famous wine cellars. Shortly after the incident, the insurgents captured the Astoria and at 2:45, Engel’gardt appointed Colonel V.A. Iurkevich as the hotel’s new commandant.

13. Reportedly, the same general fired on the insurgents’ representatives from one of the windows as they approached the Astoria and demanded that the Russian officers living in the hotel surrender. According to some reports, the general’s body was thrown into the Moika River. Stinton Jones, Russia in Revolution, Being the Experiences of an Englishman in Petrograd during the Upheaval (London, 1917), 164.

14. Kossovich (sometimes referred to as Kosovich) was apparently a lieutenant colonel in the so-called Special Brigade. He came to the MC on February 28 and before noon was assigned to Gerasimov and his Kadet colleague Stepanov to meet the troops arriving in Petrograd from the direction of Oranienbaum. On March 1, he was appointed commander of the troops in the districts surrounding the Baltic and Warsaw Railway Stations.

15. Sergei Grigor’evich Svatikov (1880-1942) was a well-known Socialist activist (at one time a Social Democrat) and an expert on the history of the Russian revolutionary movement. During February 27-8, 1917, he was the commissar of the Duma Committee and the Petrograd Soviet for the Technological Institute and the surrounding area, where many military schools and regimental barracks, including Izmailovskii, were located. On March 1, he was appointed deputy to the first public city police and administration chief (Iurevich).

16. Gerasimov refers to the night of March 1-2, when the basic agreement on the formation of the Provisional Government was reached between representatives of the Duma Committee (principally Miliukov) and the Soviet Executive Committee (represented by Sokolov, Steklov, Sukhanov, and Chkheidze). Then on the morning of March 2, the negotiations broke off but were soon reconvened to finalize the text of the Provisional Government’s declaration by early afternoon. It was published the next day. Kerenskii secured the Soviet’s permission to join the cabinet retroactively, after he had already committed himself to the justice portfolio. For the circumstances of Krenskii’s dramatic appeal to his Socialist colleagues on the afternoon of March 2, see the interview with M.I. Skobelev in this volume.

17. Rodzianko write his so-called second telegram to the tsar between 11:00 and 12:00 noon on February 27 (the first telegram had been sent the previous evening but had received no reply) and sent it to General Headquarters at 12:40 p.m. Guchkov helped Rodzianko to compose the telegram, in which the Duma President reported about the soldiers’ revolt, deplored the prorogation decree, and asked that the Duma be reconvened and a new cabinet named that could be trusted by the population as a whole (Krasnyi arkhiv 21, 2 (1927):6-7; Febral’skaia revoliutsiia, 1917. Sbronik dokumentov I materialov (Moscow: R GGU, 1996), 110-11).

18. That is, the spouse of Nicholas II and the last Empress of Russia.

19. The reference is probably to the so-called Higher Investigative Commission (HIC), organized in the early evening of February 27 in room 34 of the Tauride Palace by a group of intelligentsia volunteers led by A.F. Krenskii, in order to receive and register the detained high-ranking officials of the old regime who were being brought into the Duma by the insurgents. Later that day, the Duma Committee appointed the Kadet deputy Mikhail Ivanovich Papadzhanov (1869-1930) as the HIC’s first chairman (February 27-March 3). The detainees were kept in rooms 35, 35a, and 36. However, the most notorious and highest-ranking officials were transferred to the so-called Ministerial Pavilion, the spacious chambers meant to accommodate ministers and other state officials during their appearances before the Duma. The Pavilion was not used by the Duma deputies or staff, and was considered outside of the Duma’s jurisdiction. The HIC was dissolved on March 30, its records were incorporated, and the remaining detainees were transferred to the Provisional Government’s Extraordinary Investigative Commission under the Social Democratic lawyer N.K. Murav’ev. During its short existence, the HIC processed some 600 detainees.

20. Vasilii Mikhailovich Vershinin (1874-1946) was a leading Labor Group deputy to the last Duma from Tomsk province. During the first days of the February Days he was effectively in charge of keeping the Duma Committee records and distributing assignments. On March 7, he was appointed commissar of the Duma Committee to accompany the former tsar on his way from General Headquarters to Tsarskoe Selo. Vernshinin emigrated after October 1917, and lived in Berlin and Prague.

21. This may have been Sergei Karlovich Vrzhosek (1867-1957), a graduate of the Military-Juridical Academy in Petersburg and a prominent defense lawyer. He was also a well-known Petersburg Social Democrat and later a member of the Labor Group. During the First World War he was mobilized with an officer’s rank. On February 27, 1917 he came to the Tauride Palace and joined the MC. He subsequently helped organize and then chaired the executive committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Officers’ Deputies.

22. Porkhovye District, located approximately 3 km (2 miles) outside the city limits northeast of Bol’shaia Okhta District, was the home of two large Okhta gunpowder plants (Okhtenskie prokhovye zavody). Both factories were taken over by their workers on February 28, 1917, who also organized and controlled the local soviet.

23. Sergie Afana’evich Taskin (1876-1952) was Kadet Duma deputy from the Baikal region. During the February Revolution he performed various tasks assigned to him by the Duma Committee and its MC. Iurii Mikhailovich Lebedev (1874-?) was a Kadet deputy to the last Duma from the Don Region. On March 2, 1917, he was commandeered by the Duma Committee to Luga to ensure the resumption of regular railroad operation; on April 21 he was sent as the Duma Committee commissar to the 6th Army on the Romanian front. Igor’ Platonovich Demidov (1873-1946) was another Kadet deputy to the fourth Duma from Tambov province. In the fall of 1914, he organized one of the first frontline sanitary detachments that operated on the southwestern front; during the February Days he performed many different tasks assigned to him by the Duma Committee, including visits to Tsarskoe Selo and to units of the Petrograd garrison and the Kronstadt naval base, primarily to restore the authority of the officer corps. On March 15, 1917, he was appointed commissar of the Duma Committee and of the Provisional Government to the southwestern front, which he toured until April 21.

24. This report was published in the first issue of the official publication of the Duma Committee, Izvestiia Vremennogo Komiteta Gosudarstvennoi dumy (IVKGD), on April 17, 1917 (p. 3). Only 13 issues of IVKGD were published, all between April 27 and August 28, 1917.

25. Nikolai Konstantinovich Volkov (1875-1950) was a Kadet deputy to the fourth Duma from Baikal Region. On February 28, 1917 he was sent by the Duma Committee as a commissar to the ministry of agriculture and then, together with M.I. Skobelev, to the Peter and Paul Fortress. He served as assistant minister of agriculture under A.I. Shingarev in the first Provisional Government. He later emigrated and lived in Paris. Vladimir Aleksandrovich Vinogradov (1874-after 1923) was a Kadet deputy to the fourth Duma from Astrakhan’ province. On February 28, 1917, he was sent as commissar by the Duma Committee to the ministry of finance, and after March 3 served as assistant minister of transport (under Nekrasov). Valerian Valeriianovich Lashkevich (1876-after 1920) was yet another Kadet deputy to the fourth Duma from Khar’kov province; during the February Days he participated in the work of the MC. At the end of March he was sent by the Duma Committee and the Provisional Government as commissar to the Donetsk Coal Mining Basin.

26. Iakov Vasil’evich Glinka (1870-1950) was a longtime aide and confidant of the Duma President Rodzianko and a senior staffer in the Duma Chancellery throughout its existence (1906-17). On March 2, 1917 Rodzianko appointed him manager of affairs of the Duma Committee Chancellery. On Rodzianko’s recommendation, he was also appointed senator by the Provisional Government on April 29, 1917. In March 1917, Rodzianko asked Glinka to compile a detailed chronicle known as the “Protocol of Events,” documenting the activities of the Duma Committee from its inception on February 27 through March 4, 1917 (an incomplete version of the Protocol was published in Fevral’skaia revoliutsiia 1917 goda: sbornik dokumentov I materialov (Moscow: R GGU, 1996), 109-45). His work on the Protocol, which is considered one of the most valuable sources on the Duma Committee, was well known to his Duma colleagues at the time. Glinka also kept an informative diary about his service in the Duma and later wrote memoirs on his participation in the February Revolution. Both documents were unknown until Petersburg historian B.M. Witenberg discovered and published them, just recently (Ia.V. Glinka, Odinnadstat’let v Gosudarstvennoi dume, 1906-1917: dnevnik I vospominaniia [Moscow: NLO, 2001]).

27. Ivan Ivanovich Batov (1875-) was a senior staffer (since 1911) in the Duma Chancellery; on March 3, 1917 he became senior staffer of the Duma Committee chancellery; on June 14 he was appointed assistant manager of affairs (de factor manager of affairs) of the Duma Committee. Lavrentii Ivanovich Pushchin (1875-1929) was a Progressive Nationalist deputy to the fourth Duma from Orlov province and a member of the Progressive Bloc’s Bureau (since November 1915). During the February Days he was deputy commandant and (since March 4) commandant of the Tauride Palace and the surrounding district; during March 7-18 he was temporary commissar of Petrograd and of the Tauride Palace.

28. Prince Serafim Petrovich Mansyrev (1866-1928) was a Kadet and then a Progressist (since August 1915) deputy to the fourth Duma from Riga. He came to the Duma on the first day of the February Days, participated in the private meeting of the deputies, and helped establish Duma-based revolutionary authority. On March 1 he was appointed commissar of the Duma Committee to the units of the Petrograd garrison; on March 19 he was sent by the Duma Committee to the Western front, and on 6 April to the Romanian front. After the Bolshevik takeover, he lived in Latvia and Estonia.

29. Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bublikov (1875-1941) was a prominent railway engineer and a Progressist deputy to the fourth Duma from Perm Province. From 1914 to 1917, he was the Duma Committee’s commissar to the ministry of transportation.

30. Nikolai Alekseevich Maklakov (1871-1918) was a notoriously conservative minister of internal affairs from February 1913 to July 1915, and a younger brother of the prominent Kadet Duma deputy Vasilii Maklakov.

31. Count Vladimir Alekseevich Bobrinskii (1867-1927) was a leading Progressive Nationalist deputy to the last Duma from Tula province and a member of the Bureau of the Progressive Bloc. He also served as assistant Duma President (beginning on November 5, 1916) but resigned this position shortly before the February Days for medical reasons and left Petrograd. He returned only after March 20, 1917, but because the Duma had been prorogued and his replacement was not chosen, Gerasimov continued to refer to room no. 4 (next to the Duma President’s) as Bobrinskii’s office.
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Russian Revolution
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/3/18



Bolshevik forces marching on the Red Square
Date February Revolution:
8 – 16 March 1917
(O.S. 23 February – 3 March)
October Revolution:
7 – 8 November 1917
(O.S. 25 – 26 October)
Location Russian Empire
Participants Russian society, bolsheviks, mensheviks, SRs, etc.
Abdication of Nicholas II
Collapse of the Imperial Government
Collapse of the Provisional Government
Creation of the Russian SFSR
Beginning of the Russian Civil War

The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917 which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917 (March in the Gregorian calendar; the older Julian calendar was in use in Russia at the time). Alongside it arose grassroots community assemblies (called 'soviets') which contended for authority. In the second revolution that October, the Provisional Government was toppled and all power was given to the soviets.

The February Revolution (March 1917) was a revolution focused around Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg), the capital of Russia at that time. In the chaos, members of the Imperial parliament (the Duma) assumed control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government which was heavily dominated by the interests of large capitalists and the noble aristocracy. The army leadership felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution, resulting in Nicholas's abdication. The soviets, which were dominated by soldiers and the urban industrial working class, initially permitted the Provisional Government to rule, but insisted on a prerogative to influence the government and control various militias. The February Revolution took place in the context of heavy military setbacks during the First World War (1914–18), which left much of the Russian Army in a state of mutiny.

A period of dual power ensued, during which the Provisional Government held state power while the national network of soviets, led by socialists, had the allegiance of the lower classes and, increasingly, the left-leaning urban middle class. During this chaotic period there were frequent mutinies, protests and many strikes. Many socialist political organizations were engaged in daily struggle and vied for influence within the Duma and the soviets, central among which were the Bolsheviks ("Ones of the Majority") led by Vladimir Lenin who campaigned for an immediate end to the war, land to the peasants, and bread to the workers. When the Provisional Government chose to continue fighting the war with Germany, the Bolsheviks and other socialist factions were able to exploit virtually universal disdain towards the war effort as justification to advance the revolution further. The Bolsheviks turned workers' militias under their control into the Red Guards (later the Red Army) over which they exerted substantial control.[1]

In the October Revolution (November in the Gregorian calendar), the Bolsheviks led an armed insurrection by workers and soldiers in Petrograd that successfully overthrew the Provisional Government, transferring all its authority to the soviets with the capital being relocated to Moscow shortly thereafter. The Bolsheviks had secured a strong base of support within the soviets and, as the now supreme governing party, established a federal government dedicated to reorganizing the former empire into the world's first socialist republic, practicing soviet democracy on a national and international scale. The promise to end Russia's participation in the First World War was honored promptly with the Bolshevik leaders signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918. To further secure the new state, the Cheka was established which functioned as a revolutionary security service that sought to weed out and punish those considered to be "enemies of the people" in campaigns consciously modeled on similar events during the French Revolution.

Soon after, civil war erupted among the "Reds" (Bolsheviks), the "Whites" (counter-revolutionaries), the independence movements and the non-Bolshevik socialists. It continued for several years, during which the Bolsheviks defeated both the Whites and all rival socialists and thereafter reconstituted themselves as the Communist Party. In this way, the Revolution paved the way for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922. While many notable historical events occurred in Moscow and Petrograd, there was also a visible movement in cities throughout the state, among national minorities throughout the empire and in the rural areas, where peasants took over and redistributed land.


Soldiers blocking Narva Gate on Bloody Sunday

The Russian Revolution of 1905 was said to be a major factor contributing to the cause of the Revolutions of 1917. The events of Bloody Sunday triggered nationwide protests and soldier mutinies. A council of workers called the St. Petersburg Soviet was created in this chaos.[2] While the 1905 Revolution was ultimately crushed, and the leaders of the St. Petersburg Soviet were arrested, this laid the groundwork for the later Petrograd Soviet and other revolutionary movements during the leadup to 1917. The 1905 Revolution also led to the creation of a Duma (parliament), that would later form the Provisional Government following February 1917.[3]

The outbreak of World War I prompted general outcry directed at Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family. While the nation was initially caught up in a wave of nationalism, increasing numbers of defeats and poor conditions soon made the opposite true. The Tsar attempted to remedy the situation by taking personal control of the army in 1915. This proved disastrous, as the Tsar was now held personally responsible for Russia's continuing defeats and losses. In addition, the Tsarina Alexandra, left to rule in while the Tsar was commanding at the front, was German born, leading to suspicion of collusion, only exacerbated by rumors relating to her relationship with the controversial mystic Rasputin. Rasputin's influence led to disastrous ministerial appointments and corruption, resulting in a worsening of conditions within Russia. This led to general dissatisfaction with the Romanov family, and was a major factor contributing to the retaliation of the Russian Communists against the royal family.[3]

After the entry of the Ottoman Empire on the side of the Central Powers in October 1914, Russia was deprived of a major trade route through the Dardanelles, which further contributed to the economic crisis, in which Russia became incapable of providing munitions to their army in the years leading to 1917.
However, the problems were primarily administrative, and not industrial, as Germany was producing great amounts of munitions whilst constantly fighting on two major battlefronts.[4]

The conditions during the war resulted in devastating loss of morale within the Russian army, as well as the general population. This was particularly apparent in the cities, owing to a lack of food in response to the disruption of agriculture. Food scarcity had become a considerable problem in Russia, but the cause of this did not lie in any failure of the harvests, which had not been significantly altered during wartime. The indirect reason was that the government, in order to finance the war, had been printing millions of ruble notes, and by 1917 inflation had made prices increase up to four times what they had been in 1914. Farmers were consequently faced with a higher cost of living, but little increase in income. As a result, they tended to hoard their grain and to revert to subsistence farming. Thus the cities were constantly short of food. At the same time, rising prices led to demands for higher wages in the factories, and in January and February 1916 revolutionary propaganda, in part aided by German funds, led to widespread strikes. This resulted in a growing criticism of the government, including an increased participation of workers in revolutionary parties.

Liberal parties too had an increased platform to voice their complaints, as the initial fervor of the war had resulted in the Tsarist government creating a variety of political organizations. In July 1915, a Central War Industries Committee was established under the chairmanship of a prominent Octobrist, Alexander Guchkov (1862-1936), including ten workers' representatives. The Petrograd Mensheviks agreed to join despite the objections of their leaders abroad. All this activity gave renewed encouragement to political ambitions, and, in September 1915, a combination of Octobrists and Kadets in the Duma demanded the forming of a responsible government. The Tsar rejected these proposals.[5]

All these factors had given rise to a sharp loss of confidence in the regime, even within the ruling class, growing throughout the war. Early in 1916, Guchkov discussed with senior army officers and members of the Central War Industries Committee about a possible coup to force the abdication of the Tsar. In December, a small group of nobles assassinated Rasputin, and in January 1917 the Tsar's uncle, Grand Duke Nicholas, was asked indirectly by Prince Lvov whether he would be prepared to take over the throne from his nephew, Tsar Nicholas II.
None of these incidents were in themselves the immediate cause of the February Revolution, but they do help to explain why the monarchy survived only a few days after it had broken out.[5]

Meanwhile, Socialist Revolutionary leaders in exile, many of them living in Switzerland, had been the glum spectators of the collapse of international socialist solidarity. French and German Social Democrats had voted in favour of their respective governments' war efforts. Georgi Plekhanov in Paris had adopted a violently anti-German stand, while Parvus supported the German war effort as the best means of ensuring a revolution in Russia. The Mensheviks largely maintained that Russia had the right to defend herself against Germany, although Martov (a prominent Menshevik), now on the left of his group, demanded an end to the war and a settlement on the basis of national self-determination, with no annexations or indemnities.[5]

It was these views of Martov that predominated in a manifesto drawn up by Leon Trotsky (at the time a Menshevik) at a conference in Zimmerwald, attended by 35 Socialist leaders in September 1915. Inevitably Vladimir Lenin, supported by Zinoviev and Radek, strongly contested them. Their attitudes became known as the Zimmerwald Left. Lenin rejected both the defence of Russia and the cry for peace. Since the autumn of 1914, he had insisted that "from the standpoint of the working class and of the labouring masses from the lesser evil would be the defeat of the Tsarist Monarchy"; the war must be turned into a civil war of the proletarian soldiers against their own governments, and if a proletarian victory should emerge from this in Russia, then their duty would be to wage a revolutionary war for the liberation of the masses throughout Europe.[6]

Economic and social changes

Russian soldiers marching in Petrograd in February 1917

An elementary theory of property, believed by many peasants, was that land should belong to those who work on it. At the same time, peasant life and culture was changing constantly. Change was facilitated by the physical movement of growing numbers of peasant villagers who migrated to and from industrial and urban environments, but also by the introduction of city culture into the village through material goods, the press, and word of mouth.[nb 1]

Workers also had good reasons for discontent: overcrowded housing with often deplorable sanitary conditions, long hours at work (on the eve of the war a 10-hour workday six days a week was the average and many were working 11–12 hours a day by 1916), constant risk of injury and death from poor safety and sanitary conditions, harsh discipline (not only rules and fines, but foremen's fists), and inadequate wages (made worse after 1914 by steep wartime increases in the cost of living). At the same time, urban industrial life was full of benefits, though these could be just as dangerous, from the point of view of social and political stability, as the hardships. There were many encouragements to expect more from life. Acquiring new skills gave many workers a sense of self-respect and confidence, heightening expectations and desires. Living in cities, workers encountered material goods such as they had never seen in villages. Most important, living in cities, they were exposed to new ideas about the social and political order.[nb 2]

The social causes of the Russian Revolution mainly came from centuries of oppression of the lower classes by the Tsarist regime, and Nicholas's failures in World War I. While rural agrarian peasants had been emancipated from serfdom in 1861, they still resented paying redemption payments to the state, and demanded communal tender of the land they worked. The problem was further compounded by the failure of Sergei Witte's land reforms of the early 20th century. Increasing peasant disturbances and sometimes actual revolts occurred, with the goal of securing ownership of the land they worked. Russia consisted mainly of poor farming peasants, with 1.5% of the population owning 25% of the land.

The rapid industrialization of Russia also resulted in urban overcrowding and poor conditions for urban industrial workers (as mentioned above). Between 1890 and 1910, the population of the capital, Saint Petersburg, swelled from 1,033,600 to 1,905,600, with Moscow experiencing similar growth. This created a new 'proletariat' which, due to being crowded together in the cities, was much more likely to protest and go on strike than the peasantry had been in previous times. In one 1904 survey, it was found that an average of sixteen people shared each apartment in Saint Petersburg, with six people per room. There was also no running water, and piles of human waste were a threat to the health of the workers. The poor conditions only aggravated the situation, with the number of strikes and incidents of public disorder rapidly increasing in the years shortly before World War I. Because of late industrialization, Russia's workers were highly concentrated. By 1914, 40% of Russian workers were employed in factories of 1,000+ workers (32% in 1901). 42% worked in 100–1,000 worker enterprises, 18% in 1–100 worker businesses (in the US, 1914, the figures were 18, 47 and 35 respectively).[7]

Years / Average annual strikes[8]

1862–69 / 6
1870–84 / 20
1885–94 / 33
1895–1905 / 176

World War I added to the chaos. Conscription swept up the unwilling across Russia. The vast demand for factory production of war supplies and workers caused many more labor riots and strikes. Conscription stripped skilled workers from the cities, who had to be replaced with unskilled peasants, and then, when famine began to hit due to the poor railway system, workers abandoned the cities in droves seeking food. Finally, the soldiers themselves, who suffered from a lack of equipment and protection from the elements, began to turn against the Tsar. This was mainly because, as the war progressed, many of the officers who were loyal to the Tsar were killed, and were replaced by discontented conscripts from the major cities, who had little loyalty to the Tsar.

Political issues

The Petrograd Soviet Assembly meeting in 1917

Many sections of the country had reason to be dissatisfied with the existing autocracy. Nicholas II was a deeply conservative ruler and maintained a strict authoritarian system. Individuals and society in general were expected to show self-restraint, devotion to community, deference to the social hierarchy and a sense of duty to the country. Religious faith helped bind all of these tenets together as a source of comfort and reassurance in the face of difficult conditions and as a means of political authority exercised through the clergy. Perhaps more than any other modern monarch, Nicholas II attached his fate and the future of his dynasty to the notion of the ruler as a saintly and infallible father to his people.[nb 3]

This idealized vision of the Romanov monarchy blinded him to the actual state of his country. With a firm belief that his power to rule was granted by Divine Right, Nicholas assumed that the Russian people were devoted to him with unquestioning loyalty. This ironclad belief rendered Nicholas unwilling to allow the progressive reforms that might have alleviated the suffering of the Russian people. Even after the 1905 revolution spurred the Tsar to decree limited civil rights and democratic representation, he worked to limit even these liberties in order to preserve the ultimate authority of the crown.[nb 3]

Despite constant oppression, the desire of the people for democratic participation in government decisions was strong. Since the Age of Enlightenment, Russian intellectuals had promoted Enlightenment ideals such as the dignity of the individual and the rectitude of democratic representation. These ideals were championed most vociferously by Russia's liberals, although populists, Marxists, and anarchists also claimed to support democratic reforms. A growing opposition movement had begun to challenge the Romanov monarchy openly well before the turmoil of World War I.

Dissatisfaction with Russian autocracy culminated in the huge national upheaval that followed the Bloody Sunday massacre of January 1905, in which hundreds of unarmed protesters were shot by the Tsar's troops. Workers responded to the massacre with a crippling general strike, forcing Nicholas to put forth the October Manifesto, which established a democratically elected parliament (the State Duma). The Tsar undermined this promise of reform but a year later with Article 87 of the 1906 Fundamental State Laws, and subsequently dismissed the first two Dumas when they proved uncooperative. Unfulfilled hopes of democracy fueled revolutionary ideas and violent outbursts targeted at the monarchy.

One of the Tsar's principal rationales for risking war in 1914 was his desire to restore the prestige that Russia had lost amid the debacles of the Russo-Japanese war. Nicholas also sought to foster a greater sense of national unity with a war against a common and ancient enemy.

The Russian Empire was an agglomeration of diverse ethnicities that had shown significant signs of disunity in the years before the First World War. Nicholas believed in part that the shared peril and tribulation of a foreign war would mitigate the social unrest over the persistent issues of poverty, inequality, and inhuman working conditions. Instead of restoring Russia's political and military standing, World War I led to the horrifying slaughter of Russian troops and military defeats that undermined both the monarchy and society in general to the point of collapse.

World War I

The outbreak of war in August 1914 initially served to quiet the prevalent social and political protests, focusing hostilities against a common external enemy, but this patriotic unity did not last long. As the war dragged on inconclusively, war-weariness gradually took its toll. More important, though, was a deeper fragility: although many ordinary Russians joined anti-German demonstrations in the first few weeks of the war, the most widespread reaction appears to have been skepticism and fatalism. Hostility toward the Kaiser and the desire to defend their land and their lives did not necessarily translate into enthusiasm for the Tsar or the government.[9][10][11]

Russia's first major battle of the war was a disaster: in the 1914 Battle of Tannenberg, over 30,000 Russian troops were killed or wounded and 90,000 captured, while Germany suffered just 12,000 casualties.

The Battle of Tannenberg was fought between Russia and Germany between the 26th and 30th of August 1914, the first month of World War I. The battle resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Russian Second Army and the suicide of its commanding general, Alexander Samsonov. A series of follow-up battles (First Masurian Lakes) destroyed most of the First Army as well and kept the Russians off balance until the spring of 1915. The battle is particularly notable for fast rail movements by the Germans, enabling them to concentrate against each of the two Russian armies in turn, and also for the failure of the Russians to encode their radio messages. It brought considerable prestige to Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and his rising staff-officer Erich Ludendorff.

Although the battle actually took place near Allenstein (Olsztyn) [Poland], Hindenburg named it after Tannenberg, 30 km to the west, in order to, in German eyes, avenge the defeat of the Teutonic Knights 500 years earlier at the Battle of Grunwald (which was always known as the Battle of Tannenberg in German).

-- Battle of Tannenberg, by Wikipedia

The Battle of Grunwald, First Battle of Tannenberg or Battle of Žalgiris, was fought on 15 July 1410 during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War. The alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led respectively by King Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) and Grand Duke Vytautas, decisively defeated the German–Prussian Teutonic Knights, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen. Most of the Teutonic Knights' leadership were killed or taken prisoner. Although defeated, the Teutonic Knights withstood the siege of their fortress in Marienburg (Malbork) and suffered minimal territorial losses at the Peace of Thorn (1411) (Toruń), with other territorial disputes continuing until the Peace of Melno in 1422. The knights, however, would never recover their former power, and the financial burden of war reparations caused internal conflicts and an economic downturn in the lands under their control. The battle shifted the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe and marked the rise of the Polish–Lithuanian union as the dominant political and military force in the region.[8]

The battle was one of the largest in medieval Europe and is regarded as one of the most important victories in the histories of Poland and Lithuania and is also widely celebrated in Belarus.[9]

-- Battle of Grunwald, by Wikipedia

However, Austro-Hungarian forces allied to Germany were driven back deep into the Galicia region by the end of the year. In the autumn of 1915, Nicholas had taken direct command of the army, personally overseeing Russia's main theatre of war and leaving his ambitious but incapable wife Alexandra in charge of the government. Reports of corruption and incompetence in the Imperial government began to emerge, and the growing influence of Grigori Rasputin in the Imperial family was widely resented. In the eyes of Michael Lynch, a revisionist historian (member of the School of Historical Studies at the University of Leicester) who focuses on the role of the people, Rasputin was a "fatal disease" to the Tsarist regime.

In 1915, things took a critical turn for the worse when Germany shifted its focus of attack to the Eastern front. The superior German army – better led, better trained and better supplied – was terrifyingly effective against the ill-equipped Russian forces, driving the Russians out of Galicia, as well as Russian Poland, during the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive campaign. By the end of October 1916, Russia had lost between 1,600,000 and 1,800,000 soldiers, with an additional 2,000,000 prisoners of war and 1,000,000 missing, all making up a total of nearly 5,000,000 men.

These staggering losses played a definite role in the mutinies and revolts that began to occur. In 1916, reports of fraternizing with the enemy started to circulate. Soldiers went hungry, and lacked shoes, munitions, and even weapons. Rampant discontent lowered morale, which was further undermined by a series of military defeats.

Russian troops awaiting German attack in trenches

Casualty rates were the most vivid sign of this disaster. Already, by the end of 1914, only five months into the war, around 390,000 Russian men had lost their lives and nearly 1,000,000 were injured. Far sooner than expected, barely trained recruits had to be called up for active duty, a process repeated throughout the war as staggering losses continued to mount. The officer class also saw remarkable changes, especially within the lower echelons, which were quickly filled with soldiers rising up through the ranks. These men, usually of peasant or working-class backgrounds, were to play a large role in the politicization of the troops in 1917.

The huge losses on the battlefields were not limited to men. The army quickly ran short of rifles and ammunition (as well as uniforms and food), and, by mid-1915, men were being sent to the front bearing no arms. It was hoped that they could equip themselves with the arms that they recovered from fallen soldiers, of both sides, on the battlefields. The soldiers did not feel that they were being treated as valuable soldiers, or even as human beings, but rather as raw materials to be squandered for the purposes of the rich and powerful.

By the spring of 1915, the army was in steady retreat, which was not always orderly; desertion, plunder and chaotic flight were not uncommon. By 1916, however, the situation had improved in many respects. Russian troops stopped retreating, and there were even some modest successes in the offensives that were staged that year, albeit at great loss of life. Also, the problem of shortages was largely solved by a major effort to increase domestic production. Nevertheless, by the end of 1916, morale among soldiers was even worse than it had been during the great retreat of 1915. The fortunes of war may have improved, but the fact of the war, still draining away strength and lives from the country and its many individuals and families, remained an oppressive inevitability. The crisis in morale (as was argued by Allan Wildman, a leading historian of the Russian army in war and revolution) "was rooted fundamentally in the feeling of utter despair that the slaughter would ever end and that anything resembling victory could be achieved."[12]

The war devastated not only soldiers. By the end of 1915, there were manifold signs that the economy was breaking down under the heightened strain of wartime demand. The main problems were food shortages and rising prices. Inflation dragged incomes down at an alarmingly rapid rate, and shortages made it difficult to buy even what one could afford. These shortages were a problem especially in the capital, St. Petersburg, where distance from supplies and poor transportation networks made matters particularly bad. Shops closed early or entirely for lack of bread, sugar, meat and other provisions, and lines lengthened massively for what remained. It became increasingly difficult both to afford and actually buy food.

Not surprisingly, strikes increased steadily from the middle of 1915, and so did crime; but, for the most part, people suffered and endured, scouring the city for food. Working class women in St. Petersburg reportedly spent about forty hours a week in food lines, begging, turning to prostitution or crime, tearing down wooden fences to keep stoves heated for warmth, grumbling about the rich, and wondering when and how this would all come to an end.

Government officials responsible for public order worried about how long people's patience would last. A report by the St. Petersburg branch of the security police, the Okhrana, in October 1916, warned bluntly of "the possibility in the near future of riots by the lower classes of the empire enraged by the burdens of daily existence."[13]

Nicholas was blamed for all of these crises, and what little support he had left began to crumble. As discontent grew, the State Duma issued a warning to Nicholas in November 1916. It stated that, inevitably, a terrible disaster would grip the country unless a constitutional form of government was put in place. Nicholas ignored these warnings and Russia's Tsarist regime collapsed a few months later during the February Revolution of 1917. One year later, the Tsar and his entire family were executed.

February Revolution

Revolutionaries protesting in February 1917

Meeting Germans in No Man's Land

Meeting before the Russian wire entanglements

At the beginning of February, Petrograd workers began several strikes and demonstrations. On 7 March [O.S. 22 February], workers at Putilov, Petrograd's largest industrial plant, announced a strike.[14]

The next day, a series of meetings and rallies were held for International Women's Day, which gradually turned into economic and political gatherings. Demonstrations were organised to demand bread, and these were supported by the industrial working force who considered them a reason for continuing the strikes. The women workers marched to nearby factories bringing out over 50,000 workers on strike.[15] By 10 March [O.S. 25 February], virtually every industrial enterprise in Petrograd had been shut down, together with many commercial and service enterprises. Students, white-collar workers and teachers joined the workers in the streets and at public meetings.

To quell the riots, the Tsar looked to the army. At least 180,000 troops were available in the capital, but most were either untrained or injured. Historian Ian Beckett suggests around 12,000 could be regarded as reliable, but even these proved reluctant to move in on the crowd, since it included so many women. It was for this reason that when, on 11 March [O.S. 26 February], the Tsar ordered the army to suppress the rioting by force, troops began to mutiny.[16] Although few actively joined the rioting, many officers were either shot or went into hiding; the ability of the garrison to hold back the protests was all but nullified, symbols of the Tsarist regime were rapidly torn down around the city, and governmental authority in the capital collapsed – not helped by the fact that Nicholas had prorogued the Duma that morning, leaving it with no legal authority to act. The response of the Duma, urged on by the liberal bloc, was to establish a Temporary Committee to restore law and order; meanwhile, the socialist parties establish the Petrograd Soviet to represent workers and soldiers. The remaining loyal units switched allegiance the next day.[17]

The Tsar directed the royal train back towards Petrograd, which was stopped 14 March [O.S. 1 March],[16] by a group of revolutionaries at Malaya Vishera. When the Tsar finally arrived in Pskov, the Army Chief Nikolai Ruzsky, and the Duma deputees Guchkov and Vasily Shulgin suggested in unison that he abdicate the throne. He did so on 15 March [O.S. 2 March], on behalf of himself, and then, having taken advice, on behalf of his son, the Tsarevich.[16] Nicholas nominated his brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, to succeed him. But the Grand Duke realised that he would have little support as ruler, so he declined the crown on 16 March [O.S. 3 March],[16] stating that he would take it only if that was the consensus of democratic action.[18] Six days later, Nicholas, no longer Tsar and addressed with contempt by the sentries as "Nicholas Romanov", was reunited with his family at the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.[19] He was placed under house arrest with his family by the Provisional Government.

The immediate effect of the February Revolution was a widespread atmosphere of elation and excitement in Petrograd.[20] On 16 March [O.S. 3 March], a provisional government was announced. The center-left was well represented, and the government was initially chaired by a liberal aristocrat, Prince Georgy Yevgenievich Lvov, a member of the Constitutional Democratic party (KD).[21] The socialists had formed their rival body, the Petrograd Soviet (or workers' council) four days earlier.
The Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government competed for power over Russia.

Between February and throughout October: "Dual Power" (dvoevlastie)

The effective power of the Provisional Government was challenged by the authority of an institution that claimed to represent the will of workers and soldiers and could, in fact, mobilize and control these groups during the early months of the revolution – the Petrograd Soviet [Council] of Workers' Deputies. The model for the soviet were workers' councils that had been established in scores of Russian cities during the 1905 Revolution. In February 1917, striking workers elected deputies to represent them and socialist activists began organizing a citywide council to unite these deputies with representatives of the socialist parties. On 27 February, socialist Duma deputies, mainly Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, took the lead in organizing a citywide council. The Petrograd Soviet met in the Tauride Palace, the same building where the new government was taking shape.

The leaders of the Petrograd Soviet believed that they represented particular classes of the population, not the whole nation. They also believed Russia was not ready for socialism. So they saw their role as limited to pressuring hesitant "bourgeoisie" to rule and to introduce extensive democratic reforms in Russia (the replacement of the monarchy by a republic, guaranteed civil rights, a democratic police and army, abolition of religious and ethnic discrimination, preparation of elections to a constituent assembly, and so on).[22] They met in the same building as the emerging Provisional Government not to compete with the Duma Committee for state power but to best exert pressure on the new government, to act, in other words, as a popular democratic lobby.

The relationship between these two major powers was complex from the beginning and would shape the politics of 1917. The representatives of the Provisional Government agreed to "take into account the opinions of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies", though they were also determined to prevent "interference in the actions of the government", which would create "an unacceptable situation of dual power."[23] In fact, this was precisely what was being created, though this "dual power" (dvoevlastie) was the result less of the actions or attitudes of the leaders of these two institutions than of actions outside their control, especially the ongoing social movement taking place on the streets of Russia's cities, in factories and shops, in barracks and in the trenches, and in the villages.

The 2nd Moscow Women Death Battalion protecting the Winter Palace as the last guards of the stronghold.

A series of political crises – see the chronology below – in the relationship between population and government and between the Provisional Government and the soviets (which developed into a nationwide movement with a national leadership, The All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Soviets (VTsIK)) undermined the authority of the Provisional Government but also of the moderate socialist leaders of the Soviet. Although the Soviet leadership initially refused to participate in the "bourgeois" Provisional Government, Alexander Kerensky, a young and popular lawyer and a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SRP), agreed to join the new cabinet, and became an increasingly central figure in the government, eventually taking leadership of the Provisional Government. As minister of war and later Prime Minister, Kerensky promoted freedom of speech, released thousands of political prisoners, did his very best to continue the war effort and even organised another offensive (which, however, was no more successful than its predecessors). Nevertheless, Kerensky still faced several great challenges, highlighted by the soldiers, urban workers and peasants, who claimed that they had gained nothing by the revolution:

• Other political groups were trying to undermine him.
• Heavy military losses were being suffered on the front.
• The soldiers were dissatisfied and demoralised and had started to defect. (On arrival back in Russia, these soldiers were either imprisoned or sent straight back into the front.)
• There was enormous discontent with Russia's involvement in the war, and many were calling for an end to it.
• There were great shortages of food and supplies, which was difficult to remedy because of the wartime economic conditions.

The political group that proved most troublesome for Kerensky, and would eventually overthrow him, was the Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin. Lenin had been living in exile in neutral Switzerland and, due to democratization of politics after the February Revolution, which legalized formerly banned political parties, he perceived the opportunity for his Marxist revolution. Although return to Russia had become a possibility, the war made it logistically difficult. Eventually, German officials arranged for Lenin to pass through their territory, hoping that his activities would weaken Russia or even – if the Bolsheviks came to power – led to Russia's withdrawal from the war. Lenin and his associates, however, had to agree to travel to Russia in a sealed train: Germany would not take the chance that he would foment revolution in Germany. After passing through the front, he arrived in Petrograd in April 1917.

On the way to Russia, Lenin prepared the April Theses, which outlined central Bolshevik policies. These included that the soviets take power (as seen in the slogan "all power to the soviets") and denouncing the liberals and social revolutionaries in the Provisional Government, forbidding co-operation with it. Many Bolsheviks, however, had supported the Provisional Government, including Lev Kamenev.[24]

Street demonstration on Nevsky Prospekt in Petrograd just after troops of the Provisional Government opened fire in the July Days

Soviets attacking the tsarist police in the early days of the March Revolution.

With Lenin's arrival, the popularity of the Bolsheviks increased steadily. Over the course of the spring, public dissatisfaction with the Provisional Government and the war, in particular among workers, soldiers and peasants, pushed these groups to radical parties. Despite growing support for the Bolsheviks, buoyed by maxims that called most famously for "all power to the Soviets," the party held very little real power in the moderate-dominated Petrograd Soviet. In fact, historians such as Sheila Fitzpatrick have asserted that Lenin's exhortations for the Soviet Council to take power were intended to arouse indignation both with the Provisional Government, whose policies were viewed as conservative, and the Soviet itself, which was viewed as subservient to the conservative government. By some historians' accounts, Lenin and his followers were unprepared for how their groundswell of support, especially among influential worker and soldier groups, would translate into real power in the summer of 1917.

On 18 June, the Provisional Government launched an attack against Germany that failed miserably. Soon after, the government ordered soldiers to go to the front, reneging on a promise. The soldiers refused to follow the new orders. The arrival of radical Kronstadt sailors – who had tried and executed many officers, including one admiral – further fueled the growing revolutionary atmosphere. The sailors and soldiers, along with Petrograd workers, took to the streets in violent protest, calling for "all power to the Soviets." The revolt, however, was disowned by Lenin[25] and the Bolshevik leaders and dissipated within a few days. In the aftermath, Lenin fled to Finland under threat of arrest while Trotsky, among other prominent Bolsheviks, was arrested. The July Days confirmed the popularity of the anti-war, radical Bolsheviks, but their unpreparedness at the moment of revolt was an embarrassing gaffe that lost them support among their main constituent groups: soldiers and workers.

The Bolshevik failure in the July Days proved temporary. The Bolsheviks had undergone a spectacular growth in membership. Whereas, in February 1917, the Bolsheviks were limited to only 24,000 members, by September 1917 there were 200,000 members of the Bolshevik faction.[26] Previously, the Bolsheviks had been in the minority in the two leading cities of Russia—St. Petersburg and Moscow behind the Mensheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries, by September the Bolsheviks were in the majority in both cities.[27] Furthermore, the Bolshevik-controlled Moscow Regional Bureau of the Party also controlled the Party organizations of the thirteen (13) provinces around Moscow. These thirteen provinces held 37% of Russia's population and 20% of the membership of the Bolshevik faction.[27]

In August, poor or misleading communication led General Lavr Kornilov, the recently appointed Supreme Commander of Russian military forces, to believe that the Petrograd government had already been captured by radicals, or was in serious danger thereof. In response, he ordered troops to Petrograd to pacify the city. To secure his position, Kerensky had to ask for Bolshevik assistance. He also sought help from the Petrograd Soviet, which called upon armed Red Guards to "defend the revolution". The Kornilov Affair failed largely due to the efforts of the Bolsheviks, whose influence over railroad and telegraph workers proved vital in stopping the movement of troops. With his coup failing, Kornilov surrendered and was relieved of his position. The Bolsheviks' role in stopping the attempted coup further strengthened their position.

In early September, the Petrograd Soviet freed all jailed Bolsheviks and Trotsky became chairman of the Petrograd Soviet. Growing numbers of socialists and lower-class Russians viewed the government less and less as a force in support of their needs and interests. The Bolsheviks benefited as the only major organized opposition party that had refused to compromise with the Provisional Government, and they benefited from growing frustration and even disgust with other parties, such as the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, who stubbornly refused to break with the idea of national unity across all classes.

In Finland, Lenin had worked on his book State and Revolution[28] and continued to lead his party, writing newspaper articles and policy decrees. By October, he returned to Petrograd (St. Petersburg), aware that the increasingly radical city presented him no legal danger and a second opportunity for revolution. Recognising the strength of the Bolsheviks, Lenin began pressing for the immediate overthrow of the Kerensky government by the Bolsheviks. Lenin was of the opinion that taking power should occur in both St. Petersburg and Moscow simultaneously, parenthetically stating that it made no difference which city rose up first, but expressing his opinion that Moscow may well rise up first.[29] The Bolshevik Central Committee drafted a resolution, calling for the dissolution of the Provisional Government in favor of the Petrograd Soviet. The resolution was passed 10–2 (Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev prominently dissenting) and the October Revolution began.
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Part 2 of 2

October Revolution

The October Revolution was led by Vladimir Lenin and was based upon Lenin's writing on the ideas of Karl Marx, a political ideology often known as Marxism–Leninism. It marked the beginning of the spread of communism in the 20th century. It was far less sporadic than the revolution of February and came about as the result of deliberate planning and coordinated activity to that end.

Though Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik Party, it has been argued that since Lenin was not present during the actual takeover of the Winter Palace, it was really Trotsky's organization and direction that led the revolution, merely spurred by the motivation Lenin instigated within his party.[30] Critics on the Right have long argued that the financial and logistical assistance of German intelligence via their key agent, Alexander Parvus was a key component as well, though historians are divided, since there is little evidence supporting that claim.


It was not until the Bolsheviks had received from us a steady flow of funds through various channels and under varying labels that they were in a position to be able to build up their main organ Pravda, to conduct energetic propaganda and appreciably to extend the originally narrow base of their party.

-- Von Kühlmann, minister of foreign affairs, to the kaiser, December 3, 1917

In April 1917 Lenin and a party of 32 Russian revolutionaries, mostly Bolsheviks, journeyed by train from Switzerland across Germany through Sweden to Petrograd, Russia. They were on their way to join Leon Trotsky to "complete the revolution." Their trans-Germany transit was approved, facilitated, and financed by the German General Staff. Lenin's transit to Russia was part of a plan approved by the German Supreme Command, apparently not immediately known to the kaiser, to aid in the disintegration of the Russian army and so eliminate Russia from World War I. The possibility that the Bolsheviks might be turned against Germany and Europe did not occur to the German General Staff. Major General Hoffman has written, "We neither knew nor foresaw the danger to humanity from the consequences of this journey of the Bolsheviks to Russia."1

At the highest level the German political officer who approved Lenin's journey to Russia was Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, a descendant of the Frankfurt banking family Bethmann, which achieved great prosperity in the nineteenth century. Bethmann-Hollweg was appointed chancellor in 1909 and in November 1913 became the subject of the first vote of censure ever passed by the German Reichstag on a chancellor. It was Bethmann-Hollweg who in 1914 told the world that the German guarantee to Belgium was a mere "scrap of paper." Yet on other war matters — such as the use of unrestricted submarine warfare — Bethmann-Hollweg was ambivalent; in January 1917 he told the kaiser, "I can give Your Majesty neither my assent to the unrestricted submarine warfare nor my refusal." By 1917 Bethmann-Hollweg had lost the Reichstag's support and resigned — but not before approving transit of Bolshevik revolutionaries to Russia. The transit instructions from Bethmann-Hollweg went through the state secretary Arthur Zimmermann — who was immediately under Bethmann-Hollweg and who handled day-to-day operational details with the German ministers in both Bern and Copenhagen — to the German minister to Bern in early April 1917. The kaiser himself was not aware of the revolutionary movement until after Lenin had passed into Russia.

While Lenin himself did not know the precise source of the assistance, he certainly knew that the German government was providing some funding. There were, however, intermediate links between the German foreign ministry and Lenin, as the following shows:


From Berlin Zimmermann and Bethmann-Hollweg communicated with the German minister in Copenhagen, Brockdorff-Rantzau. In turn, Brockdorff-Rantzau was in touch with Alexander Israel Helphand (more commonly known by his alias, Parvus), who was located in Copenhagen.2 Parvus was the connection to Jacob Furstenberg, a Pole descended from a wealthy family but better known by his alias, Ganetsky. And Jacob Furstenberg was the immediate link to Lenin.

Although Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg was the final authority for Lenin's transfer, and although Lenin was probably aware of the German origins of the assistance, Lenin cannot be termed a German agent. The German Foreign Ministry assessed Lenin's probable actions in Russia as being consistent with their own objectives in the dissolution of the existing power structure in Russia. Yet both parties also had hidden objectives: Germany wanted priority access to the postwar markets in Russia, and Lenin intended to establish a Marxist dictatorship.

The idea of using Russian revolutionaries in this way can be traced back to 1915. On August 14 of that year, Brockdorff-Rantzau wrote the German state undersecretary about a conversation with Helphand (Parvus), and made a strong recommendation to employ Helphand, "an extraordinarily important man whose unusual powers I feel we must employ for duration of the war .... "3 Included in the report was a warning: "It might perhaps be risky to want to use the powers ranged behind Helphand, but it would certainly be an admission of our own weakness if we were to refuse their services out of fear of not being able to direct them."4

Brockdorff-Rantzau's ideas of directing or controlling the revolutionaries parallel, as we shall see, those of the Wall Street financiers. It was J.P. Morgan and the American International Corporation that attempted to control both domestic and foreign revolutionaries in the United States for their own purposes.

A subsequent document5 outlined the terms demanded by Lenin, of which the most interesting was point number seven, which allowed "Russian troops to move into India"; this suggested that Lenin intended to continue the tsarist expansionist program. Zeman also records the role of Max Warburg in establishing a Russian publishing house and adverts to an agreement dated August 12, 1916, in which the German industrialist Stinnes agreed to contribute two million rubles for financing a publishing house in Russia.6

Consequently, on April 16, 1917, a trainload of thirty-two, including Lenin, his wife Nadezhda Krupskaya, Grigori Zinoviev, Sokolnikov, and Karl Radek, left the Central Station in Bern en route to Stockholm. When the party reached the Russian frontier only Fritz Plattan and Radek were denied entrance into Russia. The remainder of the party was allowed to enter. Several months later they were followed by almost 200 Mensheviks, including Martov and Axelrod.

It is worth noting that Trotsky, at that time in New York, also had funds traceable to German sources. Further, Von Kuhlmann alludes to Lenin's inability to broaden the base of his Bolshevik party until the Germans supplied funds. Trotsky was a Menshevik who turned Bolshevik only in 1917. This suggests that German funds were perhaps related to Trotsky's change of party label.


In early 1918 Edgar Sisson, the Petrograd representative of the U.S. Committee on Public Information, bought a batch of Russian documents purporting to prove that Trotsky, Lenin, and the other Bolshevik revolutionaries were not only in the pay of, but also agents of, the German government.

These documents, later dubbed the "Sisson Documents," were shipped to the United States in great haste and secrecy. In Washington, D.C. they were submitted to the National Board for Historical Service for authentication. Two prominent historians, J. Franklin Jameson and Samuel N. Harper, testified to their genuineness. These historians divided the Sisson papers into three groups. Regarding Group I, they concluded:

We have subjected them with great care to all the applicable tests to which historical students are accustomed and ... upon the basis of these investigations, we have no hesitation in declaring that we see no reason to doubt the genuineness or authenticity of these fifty-three documents.7

The historians were less confident about material in Group II. This group was not rejected as outright forgeries, but it was suggested that they were copies of original documents. Although the historians made "no confident declaration" on Group III, they were not prepared to reject the documents as outright forgeries.

The Sisson Documents were published by the Committee on Public Information, whose chairman was George Creel, a former contributor to the pro-Bolshevik Masses. The American press in general accepted the documents as authentic. The notable exception was the New York Evening Post, at that time owned by Thomas W. Lamont, a partner in the Morgan firm. When only a few installments had been published, the Post challenged the authenticity of all the documents.8

We now know that the Sisson Documents were almost all forgeries: only one or two of the minor German circulars were genuine. Even casual examination of the German letterhead suggests that the forgers were unusually careless forgers perhaps working for the gullible American market. The German text was strewn with terms verging on the ridiculous: for example, Bureau instead of the German word Büro; Central for the German Zentral; etc.

That the documents are forgeries is the conclusion of an exhaustive study by George Kennan9 and of studies made in the 1920s by the British government. Some documents were based on authentic information and, as Kennan observes, those who forged them certainly had access to some unusually good information. For example, Documents 1, 54, 61, and 67 mention that the Nya Banken in Stockholm served as the conduit for Bolshevik funds from Germany. This conduit has been confirmed in more reliable sources. Documents 54, 63, and 64 mention Furstenberg as the banker-intermediary between the Germans and the Bolshevists; Furstenberg's name appears elsewhere in authentic documents. Sisson's Document 54 mentions Olof Aschberg, and Olof Aschberg by his own statements was the "Bolshevik Banker." Aschberg in 1917 was the director of Nya Banken. Other documents in the Sisson series list names and institutions, such as the German Naptha-Industrial Bank, the Disconto Gesellschaft, and Max Warburg, the Hamburg banker, but hard supportive evidence is more elusive. In general, the Sisson Documents, while themselves outright forgeries, are nonetheless based partly on generally authentic information.

One puzzling aspect in the light of the story in this book is that the documents came to Edgar Sisson from Alexander Gumberg (alias Berg, real name Michael Gruzenberg), the Bolshevik agent in Scandinavia and later a confidential assistant to Chase National Bank and Floyd Odium of Atlas Corporation. The Bolshevists, on the other hand, stridently repudiated the Sisson material. So did John Reed, the American representative on the executive of the Third International and whose paycheck came from Metropolitan magazine, which was owned by J.P. Morgan interests.10 So did Thomas Lamont, the Morgan partner who owned the New York Evening Post. There are several possible explanations. Probably the connections between the Morgan interests in New York and such agents as John Reed and Alexander Gumberg were highly flexible. This could have been a Gumberg maneuver to discredit Sisson and Creel by planting forged documents; or perhaps Gumberg was working in his own interest.

The Sisson Documents "prove" exclusive German involvement with the Bolsheviks. They also have been used to "prove" a Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy theory along the lines of that of the Protocols of Zion. In 1918 the U.S. government wanted to unite American opinion behind an unpopular war with Germany, and the Sisson Documents dramatically "proved" the exclusive complicity of Germany with the Bolshevists. The documents also provided a smoke screen against public knowledge of the events to be described in this book.

-- Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, by Antony C. Sutton

The dissolution of the Constituent Assembly on 6 January 1918. The Tauride Palace is locked and guarded by Trotsky, Sverdlov, Zinoviev and Lashevich.

On 7 November 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin led his leftist revolutionaries in a revolt against the ineffective Provisional Government (Russia was still using the Julian calendar at the time, so period references show a 25 October date). The October revolution ended the phase of the revolution instigated in February, replacing Russia's short-lived provisional parliamentary government with government by soviets, local councils elected by bodies of workers and peasants. Liberal and monarchist forces, loosely organized into the White Army, immediately went to war against the Bolsheviks' Red Army, in a series of battles that would become known as the Russian Civil War.

Soviet membership was initially freely elected, but many members of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, anarchists, and other leftists created opposition to the Bolsheviks through the soviets themselves. The elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly took place in November 1917. The Bolsheviks gained 24% of the vote.[31] When it became clear that the Bolsheviks had little support outside of the industrialized areas of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, they simply barred non-Bolsheviks from membership in the soviets.[citation needed] The Bolsheviks dissolved the Constituent Assembly in January 1918.[31] Not surprisingly, this caused mass domestic tension with many individuals who called for another series of political reform, revolting, and calling for "a third Russian revolution," a movement that received a significant amount of support. The most notable instances of this anti-Bolshevik mentality were expressed in the Tambov rebellion, 1919–1921, and the Kronstadt rebellion in March 1921. These movements, which made a wide range of demands and lacked effective coordination, were eventually defeated along with the White Army during the Civil War.

Russian Civil War

American, British, and Japanese Troops parade through Vladivostok in armed support to the White Army

The Russian Civil War, which broke out in 1918 shortly after the October Revolution, brought death and suffering to millions of people regardless of their political orientation. The war was fought mainly between the Red Army ("Reds"), consisting of the uprising majority led by the Bolshevik minority, and the "Whites" – army officers and cossacks, the "bourgeoisie", and political groups ranging from the far Right to the Socialist Revolutionaries who opposed the drastic restructuring championed by the Bolsheviks following the collapse of the Provisional Government to the soviets (under clear Bolshevik dominance).[32][33] The Whites had backing from nations such as Great Britain, France, USA and Japan, while the Reds possessed internal support which proved to be much more effective. Though the Allied nations, using external interference, provided substantial military aid to the loosely knit anti-Bolshevik forces, they were ultimately defeated.[32]

The Bolsheviks firstly assumed power in Petrograd, expanding their rule outwards. They eventually reached the Easterly Siberian Russian coast in Vladivostok, 4 years after the war began, an occupation that is believed to have ended all significant military campaigns in the nation. Less than one year later the last area controlled by the White Army, the Ayano-Maysky District, directly to the north of the Krai containing Vladivostok, was given up when General Anatoly Pepelyayev capitulated in 1923.

Several revolts were initiated against the Bolsheviks and their army near the end of the war, notably the Kronstadt Rebellion. This was a naval mutiny engineered by Soviet Baltic sailors, former Red Army soldiers, and the people of Kronstadt. This armed uprising was fought against the antagonizing Bolshevik economic policies that farmers were subjected to, including seizures of grain crops by the Communists.[34] This all amounted to large-scale discontent. When delegates representing the Kronstadt sailors arrived at Petrograd for negotiations, they raised 15 demands primarily pertaining to the Russian right to freedom.[35] The Government firmly denounced the rebellions and labelled the requests as a reminder of the Social Revolutionaries, a political party that was popular among Soviets before Lenin, but refused to cooperate with the Bolshevik Army. The Government then responded with an armed suppression of these revolts and suffered 10 thousand casualties before entering the city of Kronstadt.[36] This ended the rebellions fairly quickly, causing many of the rebels to flee to political exile.[37]

During the Civil War, Nestor Makhno led a Ukrainian anarchist movement, the Black Army allied to the Bolsheviks thrice, one of the powers ending the alliance each time. However, a Bolshevik force under Mikhail Frunze destroyed the Makhnovist movement, when the Makhnovists refused to merge into the Red Army. In addition, the so-called "Green Army" (peasants defending their property against the opposing forces) played a secondary role in the war, mainly in the Ukraine.

Execution of the imperial family

Execution of the Romanov family, Le Petit Journal

The Bolsheviks executed the tsar and his family on 16 July 1918.[38] In early March, the Provisional Government placed Nicholas and his family under house arrest in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of Petrograd. In August 1917 the Kerensky government evacuated the Romanovs to Tobolsk in the Urals, to protect them from the rising tide of revolution. After the Bolsheviks came to power in October 1917, the conditions of their imprisonment grew stricter and talk of putting Nicholas on trial increased. As the counter revolutionary White movement gathered force, leading to full-scale civil war by the summer, the Romanovs were moved during April and May 1918 to Yekaterinburg, a militant Bolshevik stronghold.

During the early morning of 16 July, Nicholas, Alexandra, their children, their physician, and several servants were taken into the basement and shot. According to Edvard Radzinsky and Dmitrii Volkogonov, the order came directly from Lenin and Sverdlov in Moscow. That the order came from the top has long been believed, although there is a lack of hard evidence. The execution may have been carried out on the initiative of local Bolshevik officials, or it may have been an option pre-approved in Moscow should White troops approach Yekaterinburg. Radzinsky noted that Lenin's bodyguard personally delivered the telegram ordering the execution and that he was ordered to destroy the evidence.[39][40]

The revolution and the world

Leon Trotsky said that the goal of socialism in Russia would not be realized without the success of the world revolution. Indeed, a revolutionary wave caused by the Russian Revolution lasted until 1923. Despite initial hopes for success in the German Revolution of 1918–19, in the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic and others like it, no other Marxist movement at the time succeeded in keeping power in its hands.

This issue is subject to conflicting views on communist history by various Marxist groups and parties. Joseph Stalin later rejected this idea, stating that socialism was possible in one country.

The confusion regarding Stalin's position on the issue stems from the fact that, after Lenin's death in 1924, he successfully used Lenin's argument – the argument that socialism's success needs the support of workers of other countries in order to happen – to defeat his competitors within the party by accusing them of betraying Lenin and, therefore, the ideals of the October Revolution.


Few events in historical research have been as conditioned by political influences as the October Revolution. The historiography of the Revolution generally divides into three camps: the Soviet-Marxist view, the Western-Totalitarian view, and the Revisionist view.[41] Since the fall of Communism in Russia in 1991, the Western-Totalitarian view has again become dominant and the Soviet-Marxist view has practically vanished.[42]

Lenin's biographer Robert Service, says he, "laid the foundations of dictatorship and lawlessness. Lenin had consolidated the principle of state penetration of the whole society, its economy and its culture. Lenin had practised terror and advocated revolutionary amoralism."[43]


Chronology of events leading to the revolution

Dates are correct for the Julian calendar, which was used in Russia until 1918. It was twelve days behind the Gregorian calendar during the 19th century and thirteen days behind it during the 20th century.

Date(s) / Event(s)

1874–81 / Growing anti-government terrorist movement and government reaction.
1881 / Alexander II assassinated by revolutionaries; succeeded by Alexander III.
1883 / First Russian Marxist group formed.
1894 / Start of reign of Nicholas II.
1898 / First Congress of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP).
1900 / Foundation of Socialist Revolutionary Party (SR).
1903 / Second Congress of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Beginning of split between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
1904–5 / Russo-Japanese War; Russia loses war.
1905 / Revolution of 1905.
1905 / January Bloody Sunday in Saint Petersburg.
1905 / June Battleship Potemkin uprising at Odessa on the Black Sea (see movie The Battleship Potemkin).
1905 / October General strike, Saint Petersburg Soviet formed; October Manifesto: Imperial agreement on elections to the State Duma.
1906 / First State Duma. Prime Minister: Petr Stolypin. Agrarian reforms begin.
1907 / Third State Duma, until 1912.
1911 / Stolypin assassinated.
1912 / Fourth State Duma, until 1917. Bolshevik/Menshevik split final.
1914 / Germany declares war on Russia.
1914 30 July / The All Russian Zemstvo Union for the Relief of Sick and Wounded Soldiers is created with Lvov as president.
1914 August–November / Russia suffers heavy defeats and a large shortage of supplies, including food and munitions, but holds onto Austrian Galicia.
1914 3 August / Germany declares war on Russia, causing a brief sense of patriotic union amongst the Russian nation and a downturn in striking.
1914 18 August / St. Petersburg is renamed Petrograd as 'Germanic' names are changed to sound more Russian, and hence more patriotic.
1914 5 November / Bolshevik members of the Duma are arrested; they are later tried and exiled to Siberia.
1915 / Serious defeats, Nicholas II declares himself Commander in Chief.
1915 19 February / Great Britain and France promise Russia Istanbul and other Turkish lands.
1915 5 June / Strikers shot at in Kostromá; casualties.
1915 9 July / The Great Retreat begins, as Russian forces pull back out of Galicia and Russian Poland into Russia proper.
1915 9 August / The Duma's bourgeois parties form the 'Progressive bloc' to push for better government and reform; includes the Kadets, Octobrist groups and Nationalists.
1915 10 August / Strikers shot at in Ivánovo-Voznesénsk; casualties.
1915 17–19 August / Strikers in Petrograd protest at the deaths in Ivánovo-Voznesénsk.
1915 23 August / Reacting to war failures and a hostile Duma, the Tsar takes over as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, prorogues the Duma and moves to military headquarters at Mogilev. Central government begins to seize up.
1916 / Food and fuel shortages and high prices. Progressive Bloc formed.
1916 January–December / Despite successes in the Brusilov offensive, the Russian war effort is still characterised by shortages, poor command, death and desertion. Away from the front, the conflict causes starvation, inflation and a torrent of refugees. Both soldiers and civilians blame the incompetence of the Tsar and his government.
1916 6 February / Duma reconvened.
1916 29 February / After a month of strikes at the Putílov Factory, the government conscripts the workers and takes charge of production. Protest strikes follow.
1916 20 June / Duma prorogued.
1916 October / Troops from 181st Regiment help striking Russkii Renault workers fight against the Police.
1916 1 November / Miliukov gives his 'Is this stupidity or treason?' speech in reconvened Duma.
1916 29 December / Rasputin is killed by Prince Yusupov.
1916 30 December / The Tsar is warned that his army will not support him against a revolution.
1917 S/ trikes, mutinies, street demonstrations lead to the fall of autocracy.

Chronology of the 1917 revolutions

Gregorian Date / Julian Date / Event

-- / January / Strikes and unrest in Petrograd.
-- / February / February Revolution.
8 March / 23 February / International Women's Day: strikes and demonstrations in Petrograd, growing over the next few days.
11 March / 26 February / 50 demonstrators killed in Znamenskaya Square Tsar Nicholas II prorogues the State Duma and orders commander of Petrograd military district to suppress disorders with force.
12 March / 27 February / * Troops refuse to fire on demonstrators, deserters. Prisons, courts, and police bumbs attacked and looted by angry crowds. Okhrana buildings set on fire. Garrison joins revolutionaries. Petrograd Soviet formed. Formation of Provisional Committee of the Duma by liberals from Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadets).
14 March / 1 March / Order No.1 of the Petrograd Soviet.
15 March / 2 March / Nicholas II abdicates. Provisional Government formed under Prime Minister Prince Lvov.
16 April / 3 April / Return of Vladimir Lenin to Russia. He publishes his April Theses.
3–4 May / 20–21 April / "April Days": mass demonstrations by workers, soldiers, and others in the streets of Petrograd and Moscow triggered by the publication of the Foreign Minister Pavel Miliukov's note to the allies, which was interpreted as affirming commitment to the war policies of the old government. First Provisional Government falls.
18 May / 5 May / First Coalition Government forms when socialists, representatives of the Soviet leadership, agree to enter the cabinet of the Provisional Government. Alexander Kerensky, the only socialist already in the government, made minister of war and navy.
16 June / 3 June / First All-Russian Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies opens in Petrograd. Closed on 24 June. Elects Central Executive Committee of Soviets (VTsIK), headed by Mensheviks and SRs.
23 June / 10 June / Planned Bolshevik demonstration in Petrograd banned by the Soviet.
29 June / 16 June / Kerensky orders offensive against Austro-Hungarian forces. Initial success only.
1 July / 18 June / Official Soviet demonstration in Petrograd for unity is unexpectedly dominated by Bolshevik slogans: "Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers", "All Power to the Soviets".
15 July / 2 July / Russian offensive ends. Trotsky joins Bolsheviks.
16–17 July / 3–4 July / The "July Days"; mass armed demonstrations in Petrograd, encouraged by the Bolsheviks, demanding "All Power to the Soviets".
19 July / 6 July / German and Austro-Hungarian counter-attack. Russians retreat in panic, sacking the town of Tarnopol. Arrest of Bolshevik leaders ordered.
20 July / 7 July / Lvov resigns and asks Kerensky to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Established 25 July.
4 August / 22 July / Trotsky and Lunacharskii arrested.
8 September / 26 August / Second coalition government ends.
8–12 September / 26–30 August / "Kornilov mutiny". Begins when the commander-in-chief of the Russian army, General Lavr Kornilov, demands (or is believed by Kerensky to demand) that the government give him all civil and military authority and moves troops against Petrograd.
13 September / 31 August / Majority of deputies of the Petrograd Soviet approve a Bolshevik resolution for an all-socialist government excluding the bourgeoisie.
14 September / 1 September / Russia declared a republic.
17 September / 4 September / Trotsky and others freed.
18 September / 5 September / Bolshevik resolution on the government wins majority vote in Moscow Soviet.
2 October / 19 September / Moscow Soviet elects executive committee and new presidium, with Bolshevik majorities, and the Bolshevik Viktor Nogin as chairman.
8 October / 25 September / Third coalition government formed. Bolshevik majority in Petrograd Soviet elects Bolshevik Presidium and Trotsky as chairman.
23 October / 10 October / Bolshevik Central Committee meeting approves armed uprising.
24 October / 11 October / Congress of Soviets of the Northern Region, until 13 October.
2 November / 20 October / First meeting of the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet.
7 November / 25 October / October Revolution is launched as MRC directs armed workers and soldiers to capture key buildings in Petrograd. Winter Palace attacked at 9:40pm and captured at 2am. Kerensky flees Petrograd. Opening of the 2nd All-Russian Congress of Soviets.
8 November / 26 October / Second Congress of Soviets: Mensheviks and right SR delegates walk out in protest against the previous day's events. Congress approves transfer of state authority into its own hands and local power into the hands of local soviets of workers', soldiers', and peasants' deputies, abolishes capital punishment, issues Decree on Peace and Decree on Land, and approves the formation of an all-Bolshevik government, the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), with Lenin as chairman.

Cultural portrayal

George Orwell's classic novella Animal Farm is an allegory of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. It describes the dictator Stalin as a big Berkshire boar named, "Napoleon." Trotsky is represented by a pig called Snowball who is a brilliant talker and makes magnificent speeches. However, Napoleon overthrows Snowball as Stalin overthrew Trotsky and Napoleon takes over the farm the animals live on. Napoleon becomes a tyrant and uses force and propaganda to oppress the animals.[44]


The Russian Revolution has been portrayed in or served as backdrop for many films. Among them, in order of release date:

• The White Guard, Mikhail Bulgakov, 1926. Partially autobiographical novel, portraying the life of one family torn apart by uncertainty of the Civil War times. Also, Dni Turbinykh (IMDB profile), 1976 – film based on the novel.
• Konets Sankt-Peterburga AKA The End of Saint Petersburg (IMDB profile). 1927. Directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin and Mikhail Doller, USSR.
• October: Ten Days That Shook the World (IMDB profile). 1927. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov. Soviet Union. Black and White. Silent.
• Arsenal (IMDB profile). 1929. Set in the Ukraine. Written and directed by Aleksandr Dovzhenko.
• Scarlet Dawn, a 1932 Pre-Code American romantic drama starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Nancy Carroll caught up in the fallout of the Russian Revolution.
• Knight Without Armour. 1937. A British historical drama starring Marlene Dietrich and Robert Donat, with Dietrich as an imperiled aristocrat on the eve of the Russian Revolution.
• Lenin v 1918 godu AKA Lenin in 1918 (IMDB profile). 1939. Directed by Mikhail Romm, E. Aron, and I. Simkov. Historical-revolutionary film about Lenin's activities in the first years of Soviet power.
• Doctor Zhivago. 1965. A drama-romance-war film directed by David Lean, filmed in Europe with a largely European cast, loosely based on the famous novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak.
• Reds (IMDB profile). 1981. Directed by Warren Beatty, it is based on the book Ten Days that Shook the World.
• Anastasia (IMDB profile). 1997. An American animated feature, directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman.

See also

• April Crisis
• Arthur Ransome
• Jacob Schiff
• John Reed (journalist)
• White Terror (Russia)
• Iranian Revolution


1. Scholarly literature on peasants is now extensive. Major recent works that examine themes discussed above (and can serve as a guide to older scholarship) Christine Worobec, Peasant Russia: Family and Community in the Post Emancipation Period (Princeton, 1955); Frank and Steinberg, eds., Cultures in Flux(Princeton, 1994); Barbara Alpern Engel, Between the Fields and the City: Women, Work, and Family in Russia, 1861–1914 (Cambridge, 1994); Jeffrey Burds, Peasant Dreams and Market Politics (Pittsburgh, 1998); Stephen Frank, Crime, Cultural Conflict and Justice in Rural Russia, 1856–1914 (Berkeley, 1999).
2. Among the many scholarly works on Russian workers, see especially Reginald Zelnik (pl), Labor and Society in Tsarist Russia: The Factory Workers of St. Petersburg, 1855–1870 (Stanford, 1971); Victoria Bonnell, Roots of Rebellion: Workers' Politics and Organizations in St. Petersburg and Moscow, 1900–1914(Berkeley, 1983).
3. See, especially, Dominic Lieven, Nicholas II: Emperor of all the Russias (London, 1993); Andrew Verner, The Crisis of the Russian Autocracy: Nicholas II and the 1905 Revolution (Princeton, 1990); Mark Steinberg and Vladimir Khrustalev, The Fall of the Romanovs: Political Dreams and Personal Struggles in a Time of Revolution (New Haven, 1995); Richard Wortman, Scenarios of Power, vol. 2 (Princeton, 2000); Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891–1924, Part One.


1. Orlando Figes, A Peoples Tragedy, p370
2. Wood, 1979. p. 18
3. Perfect; Ryan; Sweeny (2016). Reinventing Russia. Collingwood: History Teachers Association of Victoria. ISBN 9781875585052.
4. Wood, 1979. p. 24
5. Wood, 1979. p. 25
6. Wood, 1979. p. 26
7. Joel Carmichael, A short history of the Russian Revolution, pp 23–24
8. Abraham Ascher, The Revolution of 1905: A Short History, page 6
9. Allan Wildman, The End of the Russian Imperial Army, vol. 1 (Princeton, 1980): 76–80
10. Hubertus Jahn, Patriotic Culture in Russia During World War I (Ithaca, 1995)
11. Figes, A People's Tragedy, 257–258.
12. Wildman: The End of the Russian Imperial Army (I), p. 85–89, 99–105, 106 (quotation).
13. "Doklad petrogradskogo okhrannogo otdeleniia osobomu otdelu departamenta politsii" ["Report of the Petrograd Okhrana to the Special Department of the Department of the Police"], October 1916, Krasnyi arkhiv 17 (1926), 4–35 (quotation 4).
14. Service, 2005. p. 32.
15. When women set Russia ablaze, Fifth International 11 July 2007.
16. Beckett, 2007. p. 523.
17. Wade, 2005. pp. 40–43.
18. Browder and Kerensky, 1961. p. 116.
19. Tames, 1972.
20. Malone, 2004. p. 91.
21. Service, 2005. p. 34.
22. N. N. Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution: A Personal Record, ed. and trans. Joel Carmichael (Oxford, 1955; originally published in Russian in 1922), 101–8.
23. "Zhurnal [No. 1] Soveta Ministrov Vremennogo Pravitel'stva," 2 March 1917, GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), f. 601, op. 1, d. 2103, l. 1
24. Smele, Jonathan (2017). The "Russian" Civil Wars, 1916-1926. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 27.
25. Lenin, Vladimir (27 September 1964) [1917]. Apresyan, Stephen, ed. One of the Fundamental Questions of the Revolution (in Russian). 25. Jim Riordan (4th ed.). Moscow: Progress Publishers. pp. 370–77.
26. Stephen Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography 1888–1938 (Oxford University Press: London, 1980) p. 46.
27. Stephen Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography 1888–1938, p. 46.
28. V. I. Lenin, "State and Revolution" contained in the Collected Works of Lenin: Volume 25 (Progress Publishers: Moscow, 1974) pp. 3395–487.
29. V. I. Lenin, "The Bolsheviks Must Assume Power" contained in the Collected Works of Lenin: Volume 26(Progress Publishers: Moscow, 1972) p. 21.
30. Isaac Deutscher The Prophet Armed
31. Caplan, Bryan. "Lenin and the First Communist Revolutions, IV". George Mason University.
32. Riasanovsky, Nichlas V.; Steinberg, Mark D. (2005). A History of Russia (7th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195153944.
33. article "Civil War and military intervention in Russia 1918–20", Big Soviet Encyclopedia, third edition (30 volumes), 1969–78
34. "The Kronstadt Mutiny notes on Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy (1996)"
35. Petrograd on the Eve of Kronstadt rising 1921 Archived 15 July 2012 at (10 March 1921). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
36. Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891–1924 (New York: Viking Press 1997), 767.
37. Kronstadtin kapina 1921 ja sen perilliset Suomessa (Kronstadt Rebellion 1921 and Its Descendants in Finland) by Erkki Wessmann.
38. Robert K. Massie (2012). The Romanovs: The Final Chapter. Random House. pp. 3–24.
39. Dmitrii Volkogonov, Lenin: A New Biography (New York: Free Press, 1994).
40. Edvard Radzinsky, The Last Tsar: The Life And Death Of Nicholas II (New York: Knopf, 1993).
41. Acton, Critical Companion, 5-7.
42. Edward Acton, ed. Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution, 1914–1921 (Indiana University Press, 1997), pp 3-17.
43. Robert Service, "Lenin" in Edward Acton; et al. (1997). Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution, 1914-1921. Indiana University Press. p. 159.
44. Robert W. Menchhofer (1990). Animal Farm. Lorenz Educational Press. pp. 1–8.

Further reading

• Acton, Edward, Vladimir Cherniaev, and William G. Rosenberg, eds. A Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution, 1914–1921 (Bloomington, 1997).
• Ascher, Abraham. The Russian Revolution: A Beginner's Guide (Oneworld Publications, 2014)
• Beckett, Ian F.W. (2007). The Great war (2 ed.). Longman. ISBN 1-4058-1252-4.
• Brenton, Tony. Was Revolution Inevitable?: Turning Points of the Russian Revolution (Oxford UP, 2017).
• Cambridge History of Russia, vol. 2–3, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-81529-0(vol. 2) ISBN 0-521-81144-9 (vol. 3).
• Chamberlin, William Henry. The Russian Revolution, Volume I: 1917-1918: From the Overthrow of the Tsar to the Assumption of Power by the Bolsheviks; The Russian Revolution, Volume II: 1918-1921: From the Civil War to the Consolidation of Power (1935), famous classic
• Figes, Orlando (1996). A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924. Pimlico.
• Daly, Jonathan, and Leonid Trofimov, eds. "Russia in War and Revolution, 1914-1922: A Documentary History." (Indianapolis and Cambridge, MA: Hackett Publishing Company, 2009). ISBN 978-0-87220-987-9.
• Fitzpatrick, Sheila. The Russian Revolution. 199 pages. Oxford University Press; (2nd ed. 2001). ISBN 0-19-280204-6.
• Lincoln, W. Bruce. Passage Through Armageddon: The Russians in War and Revolution, 1914–1918. (New York, 1986).
• Malone, Richard (2004). Analysing the Russian Revolution. Cambridge University Press. p. 67. ISBN 0-521-54141-7.
• Marples, David R. Lenin's Revolution: Russia, 1917-1921 (Routledge, 2014).
• Mawdsley, Evan. Russian Civil War(2007). 400p.
• Piper, Jessica. Events That Changed the Course of History: The Story of the Russian Revolution 100 Years Later (Atlantic Publishing Company, 2017), popular history.
• Rappaport, Helen. Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917–A World on the Edge(Macmillan, 2017).
• Pipes, Richard. The Russian Revolution (New York, 1990)
• Pipes, Richard (1997). Three "whys" of the Russian Revolution. Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-679-77646-8.
• Service, Robert. Lenin: A Biography (2000); one vol edition of his three volume scholarly biography
• Robert Service (2005). A history of modern Russia from Nicholas II to Vladimir Putin. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01801-3.
• Service, Robert (1993). The Russian Revolution, 1900-1927. Basingstoke: MacMillan. ISBN 0333560361.
• Shukman, Harold, ed. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Russian Revolution (1998) articles by over 40 specialists
• Smele, Jonathan. The 'Russian' Civil Wars, 1916-1926: Ten Years That Shook the World (Oxford UP, 2016).
• Stoff, Laurie S. They Fought for the Motherland: Russia's Women Soldiers in World War I & the Revolution (2006) 294pp
• Swain, Geoffrey. Trotsky and the Russian Revolution (Routledge, 2014)
• Tames, Richard (1972). Last of the Tsars. London: Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 978-0-330-02902-5.
• Wade, Rex A. (2005). The Russian Revolution, 1917. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-84155-9.
• Wade, R. (2000). The Russian Revolution, 1917. Cambridge: University Press.
• Walston, Oliver (2005). Russian revolution. 76: Farmers Weekly.
• White, James D. Lenin: The Practice & Theory of Revolution (2001) 262pp
• Wood, Alan (1993). The origins of the Russian Revolution, 1861-1917. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415102324.


• Gatrell, Peter. "Tsarist Russia at War: The View from Above, 1914–February 1917" Journal of Modern History 87#4 (2015) 668-700 online
• Haynes, Mike and Wolfreys, Jim (eds). History and Revolution: Refuting Revisionism. Verso Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1844671502
• Smith, S. A. "The historiography of the Russian revolution 100 years on." Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 16.4 (2015): 733-749.
• Smith, Steve. "Writing the History of the Russian Revolution after the Fall of Communism." Europe‐Asia Studies 46.4 (1994): 563-578.
• Wade, Rex A. "The Revolution at One Hundred: Issues and Trends in the English Language Historiography of the Russian Revolution of 1917." Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography 9.1 (2016): 9-38.
• Warth, Robert D. "On the Historiography of the Russian Revolution." Slavic Review 26.2 (1967): 247-264.

Participants' accounts

• Reed, John. Ten Days that Shook the World. 1919, 1st Edition, published by BONI & Liveright, Inc. for International Publishers. Transcribed and marked by David Walters for John Reed Internet Archive. Penguin Books; 1st edition. 1 June 1980. ISBN 0-14-018293-4. Retrieved 14 May 2005.
• Serge, Victor. Year One of the Russian Revolution. L'An l de la revolution russe, 1930. Year One of the Russian Revolution, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Translation, editor's Introduction, and notes © 1972 by Peter Sedgwick. Reprinted on Victor Serge Internet Archive by permission. ISBN 0-86316-150-2. Retrieved 14 May 2005.
• Steinberg, Mark, Voices of Revolution, 1917. Yale University Press, 2001
• Trotsky, Leon. The History of the Russian Revolution. Translated by Max Eastman, 1932. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 8083994. ISBN 0-913460-83-4. Transcribed for the World Wide Web by John Gowland (Australia), Alphanos Pangas (Greece) and David Walters (United States). Pathfinder Press edition. 1 June 1980. ISBN 0-87348-829-6. Retrieved 14 May 2005.

Primary documents

• Ascher, Abraham, ed. The Mensheviks in the Russian Revolution (Ithaca, 1976).
• Browder, Robert Paul and Alexander F. Kerensky, eds., The Russian Provisional Government, 1917: Documents. 3 volumes (Stanford, 1961).
• Bunyan, James and H. H. Fisher, eds. The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917–1918: Documents and Materials (Stanford, 1961; first ed. 1934).
• Daly, Jonathan, and Leonid Trofimov, eds. "Russia in War and Revolution, 1914-1922: A Documentary History." (Indianapolis and Cambridge, MA: Hackett Publishing Company, 2009). ISBN 978-0-87220-987-9.
• Miller, Martin A., ed. Russian Revolution: The Essential Readings (2001) 304pp
• Steinberg, Mark D. Voices of Revolution, 1917. In the series "Annals of Communism," Yale University Press, 2001. 404pp On-line publication of these texts in the Russian original: Golosa revoliutsii, 1917 g. (Yale University Press, 2002)
• Zeman, Z. A. B. ed. Germany and the Revolution in Russia, 1915-1918: Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry (1958) in Questia

External links

• Read, Christopher: Revolutions (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Brudek, Paweł: Revolutions (East Central Europe) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Sumpf, Alexandre: Russian Civil War , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Mawdsley, Evan: International Responses to the Russian Civil War (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Melancon, Michael S.: Social Conflict and Control, Protest and Repression (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Sanborn, Joshua A.: Russian Empire , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Gaida, Fedor Aleksandrovich: Governments, Parliaments and Parties (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Albert, Gleb: Labour Movements, Trade Unions and Strikes (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Gatrell, Peter: Organization of War Economies (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Marks, Steven G.: War Finance (Russian Empire) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
• Orlando Figes's free educational website on the Russian Revolution and Soviet history, May 2014
• Avrahm Yarmolinsky, Road to Revolution: A Century of Russian Radicalism, 1956.
• Soviet history archive at
• Précis of Russian Revolution A summary of the key events and factors of the 1917 Russian Revolution.
• Kevin Murphy's Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize lecture Can we Write the History of the Russian Revolution, which examines historical accounts of 1917 in the light of newly accessible archive material.
• Thanks to Trotsky, the 'insurrection' was bloodless
• Violence and Revolution in 1917. Mike Haynes for Jacobin. 17 July 2017.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

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Bloody Sunday (1905)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/3/18



Bloody Sunday/Red Sunday
Part of the 1905 Russian Revolution

Crowd of petitioners, led by Father Gapon, near Narva Gate, St. Petersburg
Date 22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1905
Location St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Goals To deliver a petition to Tsar Nicholas II, calling for reforms such as: limitations on state officials' power; improvements to working conditions and hours; and the introduction of a national parliament
Methods Demonstration march
Resulted in Dispersal of the workers' procession; beginning of the 1905 Russian Revolution
Parties to the civil conflict
Assembly of Russian Factory Workers of St. Petersburg
Imperial Guard, cossacks, line infantry.
Lead figures
Father Georgy Gapon
3,000 to 50,000 demonstrators
10,000+ soldiers
Casualties and arrests
Deaths 143–234
Injuries 439–800
Arrested 6831

Bloody Sunday or Red Sunday[1] (Russian: Крова́вое воскресе́нье, tr. Krovávoye voskresén'e, IPA: [krɐˈvavəɪ vəskrʲɪˈsʲenʲjɪ]) is the name given to the events of Sunday, 22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1905 in St Petersburg, Russia, when unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard as they marched towards the Winter Palace to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Bloody Sunday caused grave consequences for the Tsarist autocracy governing Imperial Russia: the events in St. Petersburg provoked public outrage and a series of massive strikes that spread quickly to the industrial centres of the Russian Empire. The massacre on Bloody Sunday is considered to be the start of the active phase of the Revolution of 1905. In addition to beginning the 1905 Revolution, historians such as Lionel Kochan in his book Russia in Revolution 1890–1918 view the events of Bloody Sunday to be one of the key events which led to the Russian Revolution of 1917.


After the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 by Tsar Alexander II of Russia, there emerged a new peasant working class in Russia’s industrializing cities. Prior to emancipation no working class could be established because serfs working in the cities to supplement their incomes retained their ties to the land and their masters. Although the working conditions in the cities were horrific, they were only employed for short periods of time and returned to their village when their work was complete or it was time to resume agricultural work.[2]

The emancipation of the serfs resulted in the establishment of a permanent working class in urban areas, which created a strain on traditional Russian society. Peasants “were confronted by unfamiliar social relationships, a frustrating regime of factory discipline, and the distressing conditions of urban life.”[3] This new group of peasant workers made up the majority of workers in urban areas. Generally unskilled, these peasants received low wages, were employed in unsafe working environments, and worked up to fifteen hours a day. Although some workers still had a paternalistic relationship with their employer, factory employers were more present and active than the noble landowners that previously had ownership of the serfs. Under serfdom, peasants had little, if any, contact with their landowner. In the new urban setting, however, factory employers often used their absolute authority in abusive and arbitrary manners. Their abuse of power, made evident by the long working hours, low wages, and lack of safety precautions, led to strikes in Russia.]

Early strikes

“The Russian term for strike, stachka, was derived from an old colloquial term, stakat’sia- to conspire for a criminal act.”[4] As such, Russian laws viewed strikes as criminal acts of conspiracy and potential catalysts for rebellion. The governmental response to strikes, however, supported the efforts of the workers and promoted strikes as an effective tool that could be used by the workers to help improve their working conditions. Tsarist authorities usually intervened with harsh punishment, especially for the leaders and spokesmen of the strike, but often the complaints of the strikers were reviewed and seen as justified and the employers were required to correct the abuses about which the strikers protested.

These corrections did not address a grossly unbalanced system that clearly favored the employers. This caused the continuation of strikes and the first major industrial strike in Russia, which occurred in the year 1870 in St. Petersburg.[5] This new phenomenon was a catalyst to many more strikes in Russia, which increased until they reached a peak between 1884 and 1885 when 4,000 workers went on strike at Morozov's cotton mill.[6] This large strike prompted officials to consider regulations that would restrain the abuses of employers and ensure safety in the work place. A new law was passed in 1886 that required employers to specify working conditions in their factories in writing. This included the treatment of the workers, the workers' hours, and the safety precautions that were taken by the employer. This new law also created factory inspectors who were charged with preserving industrial peace. Despite these changes, strike activity again reached high proportions during the 1890s, resulting in the restriction of the workday to eleven and a half hours in 1897.[7]

Father Gapon

Father Georgy Gapon, a Russian Orthodox priest, led the workers' procession to present a petition to the Tsar on January 22 [O.S. January 9] 1905, known as Bloody Sunday

A leading role in these events was played by a priest Father Georgy Gapon.[8] Fr. Gapon was a charismatic speaker and effective organiser, who took an interest in the working and lower classes of the Russian cities.

The "Assembly of the Russian Factory and Mill Workers of the City of St. Petersburg", otherwise known as “the Assembly”, had been headed by Fr. Gapon since 1903.[9] The Assembly was patronized by the Department of the Police and the St. Petersburg Okhrana (secret police); during 1904 the membership of the association had grown rapidly, although more radical groups saw it as being a "police union" – under government influence.[10] The Assembly's objectives were to defend workers' rights and to elevate their moral and religious status. In the words of Fr. Gapon, this organization served as:

…a noble endeavor, under the guidance of truly Russian educated laymen and clergy, to foster among the workers a sober, Christian view of life and to instill the principle of mutual aid, thereby helping to improve the lives and working conditions of laborers without violent disruption of law and order in their relations with employers and the government.

— G.A. Gapon, quoted in Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 89

The Assembly served as a type of union for the workers of St. Petersburg. Depicted as strictly conservative in its support of the autocracy, the Assembly was a means of preventing revolutionary influences and appeasing the workers by striving for better conditions, hours, and pay. The Assembly would act as one of the catalysts for what would later be known as Bloody Sunday.


Putilov incident

In December 1904, four workers at the Putilov Ironworks in St Petersburg were fired because of their membership of the Assembly, although the plant manager asserted that they were fired for unrelated reasons. Virtually the entire workforce of the Putilov Ironworks went on strike when the plant manager refused to accede to their requests that the workers be rehired.[11] Sympathy strikes in other parts of the city raised the number of strikers up to 150,000 workers in 382 factories.[12] By 21 January [O.S. 8 January] 1905, the city had no electricity and no newspapers whatsoever and all public areas were declared closed.

Petition and preparation for the March

The decision to prepare and present a petition was made in the course of discussions during the evening of 19 January [O.S. 6 January] 1905, at the headquarters of Father Gapon's movement—the "Gapon Hall" on the Shlisselburg Trakt in Saint Petersburg. The petition,[13] as drafted in respectful terms by Gapon himself, made clear the problems and opinions of the workers and called for improved working conditions, fairer wages, and a reduction in the working day to eight hours. Other demands included an end to the Russo-Japanese War and the introduction of universal suffrage. The idea of a petition resonated with the traditionally minded working masses. In the 15th to the early 18th centuries individual or collective petitions were an established means of bringing grievances to the attention of the Tsar's administration. They could be submitted to the Petitions Prikaz (office) in Moscow, or directly to the Tsar or his courtiers when the tsar was making an appearance outside the palace.

The march on the Winter Palace was not a revolutionary or rebellious act. Political groups, such as the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, and the Social Revolutionaries disapproved of the procession due to its lack of political demands.[14] Fr. Gapon even encouraged his followers to tear up leaflets that supported revolutionary aims.[15] The majority of Russian workers retained their traditional conservative values of Orthodoxy, faith in the autocracy, and indifference to political life.[16] The workers of St. Petersburg wished to receive fair treatment and better working conditions; they decided, therefore, to petition the tsar in hopes he would act on it. In their eyes, the tsar was their representative who would help them if he was made aware of their situation. God appointed the tsar, therefore the tsar had an obligation to protect the people and do what was best for them. Their petition was written in subservient terms, and ended with a reminder to the tsar of his obligation to the people of Russia and their resolve to do what it took to ensure their pleas were met.[17] It concluded: "And if Thou dost not so order and dost not respond to our pleas we will die here in this square before Thy palace". Gapon, who had an ambiguous relationship with the Tsarist authorities, sent a copy of the petition to the Minister of the Interior together with a notification of his intention to lead a procession of members of his workers' movement to the Winter Palace on the following Sunday.[18]

Troops had been deployed around the Winter Palace and at other key points. Despite the urging of various members of the imperial family to stay in St. Petersburg, the Tsar left on Saturday 21 January [O.S. 8 January] 1905 for Tsarskoye Selo. A cabinet meeting, held without any particular sense of urgency that same evening, concluded that the police would publicize his absence and that the workers would accordingly probably abandon their plans for a march.[19]

Events of Sunday 22 January

Beginning of march

Still from the Soviet movie Devyatoe Yanvarya ("9th of January") (1925) showing a line of armed soldiers facing demonstrators at the approaches to the Winter Palace in St Petersburg

In the pre-dawn winter darkness of the morning of Sunday, 22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1905, striking workers and their families began to gather at six points in the industrial outskirts of St Petersburg. Holding religious icons and singing hymns and patriotic songs (particularly "God Save the Tsar!"), a crowd of "more than 3,000"[20] proceeded without police interference towards the Winter Palace, the Tsar's official residence. The crowd, whose mood was quiet, did not know that the Tsar was not in residence. Insofar as there was firm planning, the intention was for the various columns of marchers to converge in front of the palace at about 2pm. Estimates of the total numbers involved range wildly from police figures of 3,000 to organizers' claims of 50,000. Initially it was intended that women, children and elderly workers should lead, to emphasize the united nature of the demonstration. Vera Karelina, who was one of Gapon's inner circle, had encouraged women to take part and she expected that there would be casualties. On reflection, younger men moved to the front to make up the leading ranks.[21]

Government measures

Soviet painting of the Bloody Sunday massacre in St Petersburg

A report had been made to the Tsar at Tsarskoe Selo on Saturday night on the measures being taken to contain the marchers. Substantial military forces were deployed in and around the environs of the Winter Palace. These comprised units of the Imperial Guard, who provided the permanent garrison of Saint Peterburg and cossacks, plus infantry regiments brought in by rail in the early morning of 9 January from Revel and Pskov. The troops, who now numbered about 10,000, had been ordered to halt the columns of marchers before they reached the palace square but the reaction of government forces was inconsistent and confused. Individual policemen saluted the religious banners and portraits of the Tsar carried by the crowd or joined the procession. Army officers variously told the marchers that they could proceed in smaller groups, called on them to disperse or ordered their troops to fire into the marchers without warning. When the crowds continued to press forward, cossacks and regular cavalry made charges using their sabers or trampling the people.[22]


The first instance of shooting occurred between 10 and 11am. There was no single encounter directly before the Winter Palace, as often portrayed, but rather a series of separate collisions at the bridges or other entry points to the central city. The column led by Gapon was fired upon near the Narva Gate. Around forty people were killed or wounded there, although Gapon himself was not injured.[23]

As late as 2pm large family groups were promenading on the Nevsky Prospekt as was customary on Sunday afternoons, mostly unaware of the extent of the violence elsewhere in the city. Amongst them were parties of workers still making their way to the Winter Palace as originally intended by Gapon. A detachment of the Preobrazhensky Guards previously stationed in the Palace Square where about 2,300 soldiers were being held in reserve, now made its way onto the Nevsky and formed two ranks opposite the Alexander Gardens. Following a single shouted warning a bugle sounded and four volleys were fired into the panicked crowd, many of whom had not been participants in the organized marches.[24]


Bloody Sunday (Angelo Agostini, O Malho, 1905).

The total number killed in the day's clashes is uncertain but the Tsar's officials recorded 96 dead and 333 injured; anti-government sources claimed more than 4,000 dead; moderate estimates still average around 1,000 killed or wounded, both from shots and trampled during the panic.[24] Another source noted that the official estimate was 132 people killed.[25] Leon Trotsky did not put forward a precise figure, but claimed that hundreds were killed, and that many casualties were secretly buried by the authorities. [26]

Nicholas II described the day as "painful and sad".[27] As reports spread across the city, disorder and looting broke out. Gapon's Assembly was closed down that day, and Gapon quickly left Russia.


Although the Tsar was not at the Winter Palace and did not give the order for the troops to fire, he was widely blamed for the inefficiency and callousness with which the crisis had been handled. While it was unrealistic for the marchers to expect Nicholas to ride out into the Palace Square to meet them, his absence from the city, against at least some advice, reflects a lack of imagination and perception that he was to show on other occasions. The killing of people, many of whom had seen the Tsar as their "Little Father", resulted in a surge of bitterness towards Nicholas and his autocratic rule. A widely quoted reaction was "we no longer have a Tsar".

This event was seen by the British ambassador as inflaming revolutionary activities in Russia and contributing to the Revolution of 1905.
Media commentary in Britain and the United States was overwhelmingly negative towards the actions of an already unpopular regime. The writer Leo Tolstoy was emotionally impacted by the event,[28] reflecting the revulsion of liberal and intellectual opinion within Russia itself.


The immediate consequence of Bloody Sunday was a strike movement that spread throughout the country. Strikes began to erupt outside of St. Petersburg in places such as Moscow, Riga, Warsaw, Vilna, Kovno, Tiflis, Baku, Batum, and the Baltic region. In all, about 414,000 people participated in the work stoppage during January 1905.[29] Tsar Nicholas II attempted to appease the people with a Duma; however, the autocracy eventually resorted to brute force near the end of 1905 in order to curtail the burgeoning strike movement that continued to spread. It is estimated that between October 1905 and April 1906, 15,000 peasants and workers were hanged or shot, 20,000 injured, and 45,000 sent into exile.[30]

Perhaps the most significant effect of Bloody Sunday was the drastic change in attitude of the Russian peasants and workers. Previously the tsar had been seen as the champion of the people: in dire situations, the masses would appeal to the tsar, traditionally through a petition, and the tsar would respond to his people promising to set things right. The lower classes placed their faith in the tsar. Any problems that the lower classes faced were associated with the boyars of Russia; however, after Bloody Sunday the tsar was no longer distinguished from the bureaucrats and was held personally responsible for the tragedy that occurred.[31] The social contract between the tsar and the people was broken, which delegitimized the position of the tsar and his divine right to rule. Although Bloody Sunday was not initiated as a revolutionary or rebellious movement, the repercussions of the government’s reaction laid the foundations for revolution by bringing into question autocracy and the legitimacy of the tsar.

In popular culture

Dmitri Shostakovich's 11th Symphony, subtitled The Year 1905, is a programmatic work centered on Bloody Sunday. The second movement, entitled "The Ninth of January", is a forceful depiction of the massacre.[32] The sixth of Shostakovich's Ten Poems on Texts by Revolutionary Poets is also called "The Ninth of January".[32] Shostakovich's father and uncle were both present at the march that day, a year before the composer's birth.[33] Maxim Gorky's novel The Life of a Useless Man (1908) portrays the effects of Bloody Sunday on the Russian working class and operations of the spies employed by the Tsar.


1. A History of Modern Europe 1789–1968 by Herbert L. Peacock m.a.
2. Walter Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday: Father Gapon and the St. Petersburg Massacre of 1905 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), 4.
3. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 3.
4. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 20.
5. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 21.
6. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 22.
7. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 25.
8. Abraham Ascher, The Revolution of 1905: A Short History(Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), 22.
9. Ascher, The Revolution of 1905, 23.
10. Salisbury, Harrison E. (1981). Black Night White Snow. Da Capo Press. pp. 104–105. ISBN 0-306-80154-X.
11. Sidney Harcave, First Blood: The Russian Revolution of 1905(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1964), 68-71.
12. Salisbury, Harrison E. (1981). Black Night White Snow. Da Capo Press. p. 117. ISBN 0-306-80154-X.
13. Petition Prepared for Presentation to Nicholas II, Documents in Russian History.
14. Ascher, The Revolution of 1905 25.
15. Harcave, First Blood, 73.
16. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 15.
17. Phillip Blom, The Vertigo Years: Europe (New York: Basic Books, 2008), 140.
18. Salisbury, Harrison E. (1981). Black Night White Snow. Da Capo Press. pp. 119–120. ISBN 0-306-80154-X.
19. Salisbury, Harrison E. (1981). Black Night White Snow. Da Capo Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-306-80154-X.
20. Gapon, Address to the Tsar, February 1905, in Ascher, The Revolution of 1905, Vol. 1
21. Salisbury, Harrison E. (1981). Black Night White Snow. Da Capo Press. p. 121. ISBN 0-306-80154-X.
22. Salisbury, Harrison E. (1981). Black Night White Snow. Da Capo Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 0-306-80154-X.
23. Ascher, Abraham. The Revolution of 1905. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford UP, 1988. p. 91. Print
24. Salisbury, Harrison E. (1981). Black Night White Snow. Da Capo Press. p. 125. ISBN 0-306-80154-X.
25. Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, A History of Russia, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-19-503361-2
26. ... htmTrotsky, Leon 1905 Chapter 6, Ninth January
27. Kurth, Peter. Tsar: the Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra. Boston: Back Bay, 1998. p. 81
28. Rolland, Romain (1911). Life of Tolstoy. London: T. Fisher Unwin. p. 212.
29. Ascher, The Revolution of 1905, 28.
30. Blom, The Vertigo Years, 148.
31. Sablinsky, The Road to Bloody Sunday, 274.
32. Laurel E. Fay, Symphony No. 11 in G minor, "The Year 1905," Op. 103 (1957), American Symphony OrchestraProgram Notes
33. Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 Archived December 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., Classics Online
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:12 am

Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov was probably poisoned, German medics say
by Atika Shubert, Stephanie Halasz and Judith Vonberg
Updated 2107 GMT (0507 HKT) September 18, 2018



Berlin (CNN)

German doctors say there is a "high plausibility" that a member of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot, who was taken ill in Russia last week, was poisoned.

plau·si·bil·i·ty: the quality of seeming reasonable or probable.
"he offers no support for the plausibility of his theory"

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Dr. Kai-Uwe Eckardt of the Berlin Charite Hospital said that an external substance appears to have affected Pyotr Verzilov's nervous system.

Doctors have been unable to determine the nature of the substance or the source
, he said, adding that while the activist remains in intensive care, his life is no longer in danger.

"The information we currently have... shows a high plausibility that poisoning has taken place here," Eckardt said. "To turn it around, so far we have no indication that there might be another explanation for his state."

The announcement adds weight to claims made by other Pussy Riot members
on Thursday that Verzilov was poisoned in Russia. The Russian punk band -- known for obscuring their identities with colorful balaclava-style masks -- is an outspoken critic of the Putin government.

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Pussy Riot founding member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said that Verzilov was probably the victim of an "assassination attempt," alleging that multiple law enforcement agencies in Russia have been "trying to find a way to get to Pyotr."

"Nobody who has taken part in political activity in Russia can really be safe," she said.

When contacted by CNN last week, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had no comment on Verzilov's illness.

Verzilov is removed from the field after protesting at the 2018 World Cup Finals in Moscow.

Doctors confident of 'complete cure'

Speaking to CNN Tuesday, Verzilov's girlfriend and fellow Pussy Riot activist Veronika Nikulshina said he fell ill last Tuesday. Verzilov first lost some sight and became unable to walk straight, Nikulshina said, adding that his condition worsened as the hours passed.

Following treatment in Moscow, Verzilov flew into Berlin on Saturday, according to Germany's Cinema for Peace Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian group that has previously advocated for Pussy Riot and which organized the flight.

He was admitted to the Charite Hospital with symptoms of intoxication and in a state of confusion, the hospital said in a statement Tuesday.

The hospital's Chief Executive Office, Dr. Karl Max Einhäupl, said in the statement that Verzilov's condition had since improved significantly and that doctors are "confident that a complete cure will come."

He added that doctors in Moscow had provided good initial treatment and had cooperated well with the hospital in Berlin.

Doctors believe that Verzilov was poisoned almost a week ago. They are working with toxicologists in an effort to identify the substance used, the statement said.

Verzilov is a joint Russia-Canada citizen, and on Thursday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the situation was of concern, "particularly given actions of recent months by the Russians in the UK."

Trudeau appeared to be referring to the alleged Russian poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the southern English city of Salisbury in March. CNN asked the Russian foreign ministry for comment on Trudeau's comments but has yet to receive a reply.

It was later determined that they had been poisoned with a powerful nerve agent called Novichok, which British investigators tied to the Russian government. Russia has denied the claims.

NGO: 'Poisoning was revenge for World Cup protest'

Verzilov was one of four protesters dressed as police officers who rushed the field during the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow in July.

In a statement, Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the demonstration and called for political prisoners to be freed, for the arrests of opposition protesters to cease, and for the jailing of citizens over their social media activity to end.

"The attack (last week) is regarded as revenge for appearing in the World Cup final to support human rights in Russia," said the Cinema for Peace Foundation in a statement Sunday.

re·gard (rĭ-gärd′) v. re·gard·ed, re·gard·ing, re·gards 1. To think of or consider in a particular way: I regard him as a fool.

Verzilov's then-wife Nadezhda Tolokonnikova appears at a court hearing in 2012.

Nearly six years ago, three of Pussy Riot's members -- Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich -- were charged with hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison for performing an anti-Putin protest song called "Punk Prayer" at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.

One of them, Samutsevich, had her sentence suspended on appeal, but the others served their sentences until being released in December 2013.

They have continued to be critical of Putin and his government in subsequent years. On their release, they founded an independent media outlet that advocates for political prisoners, including through "immersive" theater projects.

Atika Shubert reported from Berlin and Judith Vonberg wrote in London.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:27 am

Jaka Bizilj
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/19/18




Jaka Bizilj (born December 8, 1971 in Ljubljana) grew up in Slovenia, Libya, Tanzania, Malaysia and Germany. During his school and studies in politics, literature and film at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, he devoted himself to journalism. Jaka Bizilj posted articles and reports for print, radio and television, for example for ZDF, Bild and Der Spiegel. Since 1995 he has been working as promoter and producer. With his Berlin-based production company Star Entertainment Jaka Bizilj is the founder and since 2002 the largest financial sponsor of the global Cinema for Peace initiative, which has been reaching billions of people via media coverage and could collect more than 10 million USD for charity, confirmed by external audit. Since its inception in 2008 Jaka Bizilj also volunteers as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cinema for Peace Foundation.

Promoter and Producer

Jaka Bizilj is as writer, promoter and producer. He began organizing concerts in 1995 with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Bryan Adams, Montserrat Caballe, Liza Minnelli and toured with artists such as José Carreras. Since the end of the 1990s, Jaka Bizilj has been working internationally as a producer and was the largest presenter of open-air opera in Europe for many years. Jaka Bizilj annually staged up to 700 concerts and live productions. Among his productions are "Magic of the Dance", Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita", Elton John’s musical Aida and the Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde. Moreover he has launched a number of festivals. In 2002 he founded the Cinema for Peace initiative and in 2008 the Cinema for Peace Foundation with the goal of creating awareness of the social relevance of films and the influence of movies on the perception and resolution of global social, political and humanitarian challenges of our time. Jaka Bizilj is also involved in the production of films, including the Richard Curtis remake “Suddenly Gina (de)” and the documentary “Letter to Anna” about Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. He was also involved in the realization of the documentary "This Prison Where I Live" about the detained Myanmar comedian "Zarganar" and the recent film productions "After the Silence" and "Song of Names" with Dustin Hoffman and Anthony Hopkins.

Goodwill efforts

Jaka Bizilj is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and collaborates with and supports, among others, UNICEF, Unifem, Amnesty International, ONE, amfAR, Richard Gere's work for Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet, which was initiated through a meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2004. After visiting Nelson Mandela in November 2006, he began working with the "Schools for Africa"- program, a joint initiative of UNICEF and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Since 2002, Jaka Bizilj has raised a notarized amount of more than three million Euros for a variety of charitable causes. He has co-chaired various charitable events alongside Federal Ministers, head of states and legendary artists such as Elizabeth Taylor.

Following the tragedy of 9/11 Jaka Bizilj launched the Cinema for Peace initiative with an annual gala as a platform for communicating humanitarian, political and social issues through the medium of film. The Cinema for Peace Gala has grown to the attention of well over a billion media hits each year, possibly making it one of the most relevant film events in the world. Bob Geldof described the awards gala as "the Oscars with brains". George Clooney said to have found inspiration for his Oscar-nominated film "Good Night and Good Luck" in the Cinema for Peace initiative.

Previous hosts, chairs and speakers at the Cinema for Peace galas include Leonardo DiCaprio, President Mikhail Gorbachev, Richard Gere, Buzz Aldrin, Sean Penn, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Antonio Banderas, Sharon Stone, Catherine Deneuve, Forest Whitaker, Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Robert De Niro and Uma Thurman. In 2007 Cinema for Peace launched together with Amnesty International the “International Human Rights Film Award” and together with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the “Cinema for Peace Award for Justice” in 2009. President Mikhail Gorbachev presented the first “International Green Film Award” on the occasion of Cinema for Peace 2009 to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Jaka Bizilj distributed the Bosnian Oscar-winning war-satire "No Man's Land" by Danis Tanovic. Ahead of the G8 Summit in Germany he produced at the initiative of Bob Geldof and Richard Curtis a remake of the Golden Globe-winning film "The Girl in the Café" with Iris Berben, Julia Jentsch, Jan Josef Liefers and Catherine Deneuve in 2007. He also initiated Bob Geldof to become the editor of Europe's biggest-selling newspaper BILD for a day in order to publish an issue solely dedicated to Africa, with guest contributions by personalities such as the Pope, Bill Gates and Bono.

Together with the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court he organized with the Cinema for Peace Foundation - "The Special Evening on Justice" on the eve the International Criminal Court Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda. The Cinema for Peace Foundation presented on this occasion the first "Justitia Award" to honor the United Nations and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for establishing and supporting the International Criminal Court. The award was presented to Ban Ki-moon by the Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger, founder and chairperson of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation. Ban Ki-moon said that it is a great honour to accept the first "Justitia Award" and he thanked the CFPF for recognizing the UN's persistent efforts to establish justice in the world.[1]

On the occasion of the 12 IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin 2009 he launched together with Gerhard Janetzky the initiative "Sports for Peace". This was preceded in 2008 by a unilateral appeal in the International Herald Tribune on the occasion of the Olympic Games, signed by more than 100 world champions, Olympic champions and world record holders in order to remind China to live up to the Olympic ideals and universal human rights. The first “Sports for Peace” Awards were presented at the “Sports for Peace” inauguration 2009 to IOC Vice President Sergey Bubka, Laureus ambassador Dr. Edwin Moses and those players of the Iranian national football team, who wore green wristbands during their match against South Korea, thus expressing their solidarity with the freedom and democracy movement in Iran. They all identified themselves with the “Sports for Peace” goal: to create awareness for the peace-building ideals of sport and the need for the implementation of a global communications platform designed to also support various sports oriented aid projects.

On June 8, 2010, Jaka Bizilj hosted the "Sports for Peace" gala on the occasion of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa - the world's biggest single sporting event and first ever FIFA World Cup to take place in Africa - bringing together the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, South African President Jacob Zuma, Madama Graça Machel, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, 1Goal Ambassadors and many other dignitaries from across the globe in order to address this serious issue - the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG): "achieve universal primary education by 2015".[2]

In 2011 he organized for the first time a Cinema for Peace Dinner in Cannes [3] and accompanied the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Wiesbaden with a film program and a charity dinner to support the culture of Tibet.[4] Furthermore, he assisted on 24 and 25 August in The Hague a symposium on the issue of child soldiers which was held at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on the occasion of the closing statements of the case against Thomas Lubanga by arranging for film screenings and a charity dinner. Together with former child soldiers, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and the UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy all parties involved signed a petition urging all UN member states to condemn the use of child soldiers, to fight the use of sexual violence in war and to make efforts to prevent that schools and hospitals become targets of armed attacks. On 23 September 2011 Jaka Bizilj produced the presentation of the first universal human rights logo on the occasion of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Bizilj also produced the Los Angeles premiere of Cinema for Peace in January 2012 by staging “Help Haiti Home” benefiting Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization.;[5][6] Cinema for Peace Los Angeles raised 5 million USD for Haiti with the help of Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Hillary Clinton amongst others. The Cinema for Peace-Gala in Berlin 2012 saw Angelina Jolie receiving the “Honorary Award for Opposing War and Genocide” for her directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey”.[7] In this context Bizilj arranged for a press workshop with Angelina Jolie and Luis Moreno-Ocampo, initiating a global campaign against sexual violence in war and post-conflict zones. ... y=10619908 In June 2012 Jaka Bizilj welcomed 100 personalities from the world of arts, film and society on the occasion of Art Basel and “Art & Cinema for Peace” in honour of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This occasion included the premiere of the documentary film “Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry” by Alison Klayman. Two time Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon concluded the evening with a video statement expressing the worldwide support for Ai Weiwei.[8] At the Cinema for Peace Gala for Humanity in Los Angeles, produced by Jaka Bizilj in January 2013, Ben Affleck received the Cinema for Peace Humanitarian Award for his work with the Eastern Congo Initiative.[9] At the Cinema for Peace Award Gala in Berlin in February 2013 Charlize Theron and her Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project was awarded the Cinema for Peace Honorary Award for the exemplary dedication to prevent South African Youth from HIV and Aids.[10] On 12 July 2013 actress Nicole Kidman and UN Women Action Head Lakshmi Puri were honored by Jaka Bizilj at a 'Cinema for Peace' Honorary Dinner for their furthering of women's rights.[11] In 2014, Jaka Bizilj as the Founder of Cinema for Peace invited Pussy Riot to the Olympic Games in Sochi [12] and introduced them to Hollywood [13] and to Washington [14] in order to promote global Human rights responsibility and advocate a global Sanktion List for Human rights offenders.


Entertainment / Shows

• since 1996 - The Black Gospel Singers
• since 1997 - Nabucco, Aida
• since 1998 - Carmen
• since 1999 - Magic of the Dance
• since 2000 - Romanza with Helen Schneider, Königstein Castle Festival, Nahe-Festival (until 2005)
• since 2001 - Stardance, Dancing Queen/Abbafever
• since 2002 - Evita
• since 2003 - The Vienna Johann Strauss Waltz Gala, Festival under the Stars (Herrenchiemsee Castle)
• since 2004 - The Magic Flute, Jedermann
• since 2005 - Last Night of Spectacular Classic, Arena di Bavaria, Wörthersee Festival
• 2006 - The World Football Concerts at the FIFA World Cup, Jesus Christ Superstar, Galanacht des Musicals, Mozart Gala
• 2007 - The Lord of the Rings in concert, Queen - a ballet homage by Ben van Cauwenberg
• 2008 - Aida, the musical by Elton John and Tim Rice
• 2009 - Jekyll & Hyde
• 2011 - Phantom of the Opera Birthday Gala at the O2 World in Berlin, The Fantastic Shadows
• 2012 - The Fantastic Shadows

Advocacy Events

• since 2002 - annual Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin
• 2005 - Long Walk to Justice / Live 8 Germany
• 2008 - Sports for Peace Campaign at the Summer Olympics in Beijing
• 2009 - Cinema for Peace Dinner Honoring Mikhail Gorbachev on the occasion of the 20 anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
• 2010 - A Special Evening on Justice at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda
• 2010 – Sports for Peace Gala Event South Africa
• 2010 - Art & Cinema for Peace Dinner at the 41 Art Basel
• 2010 - Special Youth Day Screening of "Themba - A Boy Called Hope" at Cape Town, presented by Desmond Tutu, starting the anti-AIDS-film-campaign
• 2010 - An Evening for Africa in New York with Bob Geldof and Sharon Stone
• 2010 - Green Evening in Berlin with Sebastian Copeland and Orlando Bloom
• 2011 – Cinema for Peace Honorary Dinner Cannes with Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Jane Fonda
• 2011 – Cinema for Peace Dinner and film symposium honoring Hans-Dietrich Genscher in Ljubljana
• 2011 – Cinema for Peace Welcome Dinner in St.Tropez
• 2011 – Cinema for Peace Dinner for Tibet, screenings, symposium and speeches on the occasion of the visit of His Holyness the 14 Dalai Lama to Wiesbaden
• 2011 - Cinema for Peace Evening on the Issue of Child Soldiers and petition in The Hague at the International Criminal Court
• 2011 – Cinema for Peace Dinner in New York celebrating the presentation of the first universal human rights logo
• 2011 - Justice Gala in New York staged together with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court[15]
• 2012 - Cinema for Peace Los Angeles – Help Haiti Home
• 2012 – Art & Cinema for Peace Art Basel in support of Ai Weiwei
• 2012 – In the Name of Justice - Farewell Event for Luis Moreno-Ocampo at the International Criminal Court
• 2012 – “Sports for Peace” London honoring Muhammad Ali and celebrating his core values on the occasion of the Olympic Games
• 2012 – Cinema for Peace Dinner New York – Artists help Development and Climate Protection, honoring Sting and Trudie Styler
• 2013 – Cinema for Peace Gala for Humanity, Los Angeles
• 2013 - Cinema for Peace Dinner Honoring UN Women, Berlin

Film Productions

• Not the same procedure as every year - Dinner for All with Bob Geldof and Katja Riemann (2007)
• Suddenly Gina (de) with Iris Berben, Julia Jentsch, Jan Josef Liefers and Catherine Deneuve (2007)
• I don't feel like dancing short film (2008)
• Eric Bergkraut's documentary Letter to Anna about the murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya (2008) [16]
• This Prison Where I Live, co-production for Rex Bloomstein’s documentary about the Burmese comedian “Zarganar”(2010)
• Steuer gegen Armut - Eine gute Idee, producer of the German spot of the Robin-Hood-Tax-Campaign, following an idea of Richard Curtis (2010)
• After the Silence, co-production for Marcus Vetter's documentary (2011)
• The Song of Names, co-production for Vadim Perelman's feature film, starring Anthony Hopkins and Dustin Hoffman (2012)


• Václav Havel, the former Czech president, in 2008 committed the audience award for "Letter to Anna" at the One World International Human Rights Film Festival. The Prague festival uses international documentary films to highlight opportunities for individuals to champion human rights.
• "I don't feel like dancing" received the award "Best Short Fiction Film" by the "GoEast Festival" in April 2008

External links


1. Remarks by UN SG Ben Ki-moon upon accepting the first "Justitia Award" on behalf of the United Nations [1]
2. Announcement of "Sports for Peace" Johannesburg
3. ... annes.html
4. ... ichte.html
5. ... 1510356718
6. ... /?ref=bono
7. ... rtner.html
8. ... n/news/327
9. ... 62814.html
10. ... 013-berlin
11. ... in-berlin/
12. ... -beatdown/
13. ... -hollywood
14. ... video.html
15. ... 9Dec11.pdf
16. Letter to Anna: The Story of Journalist Politkovskaya's Death
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:39 pm

Pussy Riot Theatre
by Kulturfabrik
Accessed: 9/28/18





“ We have a voice. We have a choice. We want to inspire people. Community is stronger than any government. To overcome nationalism, sexism, racism, fear and indifference, we should riot together! You have a voice. I'll show you !” –Maria Alyokhina (Pussy Riot)

In December 2016, Maria Alyokhina and music producer Alexander Cheparukhin started a new project – Pussy Riot Theatre with Riot Days - a play based on Alyokhina's book Riot Days (published in UK in Summer 2017). There are 4 people on stage: 2 women and 2 men. Maria Alyokhina herself, Kyril Masheka - her main stage partner plus Nastya and Max of the music duo AWOTT (Asian Women On The Telephone). The project is produced by Alexander Cheparukhin and directed by Yury Muravitsky - one of the leading Russian theatre directors.

Pussy Riot is a Russian protest art collective founded in 2011 and based in Moscow. The group staged unauthorized provocative guerrilla punk rock performances in unusual public places, which were made into music videos and posted on the Internet. The collective's lyrical themes included feminism, LGBT rights, and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom the group considered to be a dictator. They gained global notoriety when five members of the group staged a performance inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012. On March, 2012, three of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested and charged with hooliganism and sentenced to two years of imprisonment. The trial and sentence attracted considerable attention and criticism, particularly in the West. Human-Rights groups, including Amnesty International, which designated the women as prisoners of conscience, adopted the case. Having served 21 months, the girls were released on December 23, 2013.

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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:24 pm

Nikolai Bukharin
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/28/18



"Bukharin" redirects here. For the Russian anarchist, see Mikhail Bakunin. For the Jewish ethnic group, see Bukharan Jews.

This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Ivanovich and the family name is Bukharin.
Nikolai Bukharin

Никола́й Буха́рин
Full member of the 13th, 14th, 15th Politburo
In office
2 June 1924 – 17 November 1929
Candidate member of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Politburo
In office
8 March 1919 – 2 June 1924
Personal details
Born Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin
9 October 1888
Moscow, Russian Empire
Died 15 March 1938 (aged 49)
Communarka shooting ground, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Cause of death Execution
Nationality Russian
Political party Bolshevik, Communist Party
Spouse(s) Anna Larina
Children Svetlana, Yuri Larin
Parents Ivan Gavrilovich and Liubov Ivanovna Bukharin
Alma mater Imperial Moscow University (1911)
Known for Editor of Pravda, Izvestia, author of The Politics and Economics of the Transition Period, Imperialism and World Economy, co-author of The ABC of Communism, principal framer of the Soviet Constitution of 1936

Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin[a] (9 October [O.S. 27 September] 1888 – 15 March 1938) was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary, Soviet politician and prolific author on revolutionary theory.

As a young man, he spent six years in exile, working closely with fellow exiles Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. After the revolution of February 1917, he returned to Moscow, where his Bolshevik credentials earned him a high rank in the party, and after the October Revolution, he became editor of the party newspaper Pravda.

Within the Bolshevik Party, Bukharin was initially a Left Communist, but his gradual move from the left to the right from 1921, as a strong supporter and defender of the New Economic Policy (NEP), eventually saw him lead the Right Opposition. By late 1924, this had positioned Bukharin favourably as Joseph Stalin's chief ally, with Bukharin soon elaborating Stalin's new theory and policy of Socialism in One Country. Together, Bukharin and Stalin ousted Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev from the party at the XVth Communist Party Congress in December 1927. From 1926 to 1929, Bukharin enjoyed great power as General Secretary of Comintern's executive committee. However, Stalin’s decision to proceed with collectivisation drove the two men apart, and Bukharin was expelled from the Politburo in 1929.

After the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922 ended, the Soviet government under Lenin introduced a semi-capitalist economic policy to stabilize Russia’s floundering economy. This reform, the New Economic Policy (NEP), introduced a new social policy of moderation and discipline, especially regarding Soviet youth. Lenin himself stressed the importance of political education of young Soviet citizens in building a new society.

The first Komsomol Congress met in 1918 under the patronage of the Bolshevik Party, despite the two organizations' not entirely coincident membership or beliefs. Party intervention in 1922-1923 proved marginally successful in recruiting members by presenting the ideal Komsomolets (Komsomol youth) as a foil to the "bourgeois NEPman".[3] By the time of the second Congress, a year later, however, the Bolsheviks had, in effect, acquired control of the organization, and it was soon formally established as the youth division of the Communist party. However, the party was not very successful overall in recruiting Russian youth during the NEP period (1921-1928).

This came about because of conflict and disillusionment among Soviet youth who romanticised the spontaneity and destruction characteristic of War Communism (1918-1921) and the Civil War period.[4] They saw it as their duty, and the duty of the Communist Party itself, to eliminate all elements of Western culture from society. However, the NEP had the opposite effect: after it started, many aspects of Western social behavior began to reemerge.[5] The contrast between the "Good Communist" extolled by the Party and the capitalism fostered by NEP confused many young people.[6] They rebelled against the Party's ideals in two opposite ways: radicals gave up everything that had any Western or capitalist connotations, while the majority of Russian youths felt drawn to the Western-style popular culture of entertainment and fashion. As a result, there was a major slump in interest and membership in the Party-oriented Komsomol.

In March 1926, Komsomol membership reached a NEP-period peak of 1,750,000 members: only 6 percent of the eligible youth population.[7] Only when Stalin came to power and abandoned the NEP in the first Five Year Plan (1928–1933) did membership increase drastically.[8]

-- Komsomol, by Wikipedia

When the Great Purge began in 1936, Stalin looked for any pretext to liquidate his former allies and rivals for power, and some of Bukharin's letters, conversations and tapped phone calls indicated disloyalty. Arrested in February 1937, he was charged with conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state and executed in March 1938, after a show trial that alienated many Western communist sympathisers.

Before 1917

Nikolai Bukharin was born on September 27 (October 9, new style), 1888, in Moscow.[1] He was the second son of two schoolteachers, Ivan Gavrilovich Bukharin and Liubov Ivanovna Bukharina.[1] His childhood is vividly recounted in his mostly autobiographic novel How It All Began.

Ivan Bukharin, father of Nikolai

Bukharin's political life began at the age of sixteen with his lifelong friend Ilya Ehrenburg when he participated in student activities at Moscow University related to the Russian Revolution of 1905. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1906, becoming a member of the Bolshevik faction. With Grigori Sokolnikov, he convened the 1907 national youth conference in Moscow, which was later considered the founding of Komsomol. By age twenty, he was a member of the Moscow Committee of the party. The committee was heavily infiltrated by the Tsarist secret police, the Okhrana. As one of its leaders, Bukharin quickly became a person of interest to them. During this time, he became closely associated with Valerian Obolensky and Vladimir Smirnov, and also met his future first wife, Nadezhda Mikhailovna Lukina, his cousin and the sister of Nikolai Lukin, who was also a member of the party. They married soon after their exile, in 1911.

In 1911, after a brief imprisonment, Bukharin was exiled to Onega in Arkhangelsk, but soon escaped to Hanover, where he stayed for a year before visiting Kraków in 1912 to meet Vladimir Lenin for the first time. During the exile, he continued his education and wrote several books that established him as a major Bolshevik theorist in his 20s. His work, Imperialism and World Economy influenced Lenin, who freely borrowed from it[2] in his larger and better known work, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Nevertheless, he and Lenin often had hot disputes on theoretical issues and Bukharin's closeness with the European Left and his anti-statist tendencies. Bukharin developed an interest in the works of Austrian Marxists and non-Marxist economic theorists, such as Aleksandr Bogdanov, who deviated from Leninist positions. Also, while in Vienna in 1913, he helped the Georgian Bolshevik Joseph Stalin write an article, Marxism and the National Question, at Lenin's request.

In October 1916, while based in New York City, he edited the newspaper Novy Mir (New World) with Leon Trotsky and Alexandra Kollontai.When Trotsky arrived in New York in January 1917, Bukharin was the first to greet him (as Trotsky's wife recalled, "with a bear hug and immediately began to tell them about a public library which stayed open late at night and which he proposed to show us at once" dragging the tired Trotskys across town "to admire his great discovery").[3]

In 1916, the year preceding the Russian Revolution, internationalist Leon Trotsky was expelled from France, officially because of his participation in the Zimmerwald conference but also no doubt because of inflammatory articles written for Nashe Slovo, a Russian-language newspaper printed in Paris. In September 1916 Trotsky was politely escorted across the Spanish border by French police. A few days later Madrid police arrested the internationalist and lodged him in a "first-class cell" at a charge of one-and-one-half pesetas per day. Subsequently Trotsky was taken to Cadiz, then to Barcelona finally to be placed on board the Spanish Transatlantic Company steamer Monserrat. Trotsky and family crossed the Atlantic Ocean and landed in New York on January 13, 1917.

Other Trotskyites also made their way westward across the Atlantic. Indeed, one Trotskyite group acquired sufficient immediate influence in Mexico to write the Constitution of Querétaro for the revolutionary 1917 Carranza government, giving Mexico the dubious distinction of being the first government in the world to adopt a Soviet-type constitution.

How did Trotsky, who knew only German and Russian, survive in capitalist America? According to his autobiography, My Life, "My only profession in New York was that of a revolutionary socialist." In other words, Trotsky wrote occasional articles for Novy Mir, the New York Russian socialist journal. Yet we know that the Trotsky family apartment in New York had a refrigerator and a telephone, and, according to Trotsky, that the family occasionally traveled in a chauffeured limousine. This mode of living puzzled the two young Trotsky boys. When they went into a tearoom, the boys would anxiously demand of their mother, "Why doesn't the chauffeur come in?"1 The stylish living standard is also at odds with Trotsky's reported income. The only funds that Trotsky admits receiving in 1916 and 1917 are $310, and, said Trotsky, "I distributed the $310 among five emigrants who were returning to Russia." Yet Trotsky had paid for a first-class cell in Spain, the Trotsky family had traveled across Europe to the United States, they had acquired an excellent apartment in New York — paying rent three months in advance — and they had use of a chauffeured limousine. All this on the earnings of an impoverished revolutionary for a few articles for the low-circulation Russian-language newspaper Nashe Slovo in Paris and Novy Mir in New York!

Joseph Nedava estimates Trotsky's 1917 income at $12.00 per week, "supplemented by some lecture fees."2 Trotsky was in New York in 1917 for three months, from January to March, so that makes $144.00 in income from Novy Mir and, say, another $100.00 in lecture fees, for a total of $244.00. Of this $244.00 Trotsky was able to give away $310.00 to his friends, pay for the New York apartment, provide for his family — and find the $10,000 that was taken from him in April 1917 by Canadian authorities in Halifax. Trotsky claims that those who said he had other sources of income are "slanderers" spreading "stupid calumnies" and "lies," but unless Trotsky was playing the horses at the Jamaica racetrack, it can't be done. Obviously Trotsky had an unreported source of income.

What was that source? In The Road to Safety, author Arthur Willert says Trotsky earned a living by working as an electrician for Fox Film Studios. Other writers have cited other occupations, but there is no evidence that Trotsky occupied himself for remuneration otherwise than by writing and speaking.

Most investigation has centered on the verifiable fact that when Trotsky left New York in 1917 for Petrograd, to organize the Bolshevik phase of the revolution, he left with $10,000. In 1919 the U.S. Senate Overman Committee investigated Bolshevik propaganda and German money in the United States and incidentally touched on the source of Trotsky's $10,000. Examination of Colonel Hurban, Washington attaché to the Czech legation, by the Overman Committee yielded the following:

-- Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, by Antony C. Sutton

1917 to 1923

At the news of the Russian Revolution of February 1917, exiled revolutionaries from around the world began to flock back to the homeland. Trotsky left New York on March 27, 1917, sailing for St. Petersburg.[4] Bukharin left New York in early April and returned to Russia by way of Japan (there he was temporarily detained by local police), arriving in Moscow in early May 1917.[3] Politically, the Bolsheviks in Moscow remained a definite minority to the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. However, as soldiers and workers began to be attracted to the Lenin's promise to bring peace by withdrawing from the war, membership in the Bolshevik faction began to skyrocket—from 24,000 members in February 1917 to 200,000 members in October 1917.[5] Upon his return to Moscow, Bukharin resumed his seat on the Moscow City Committee and also became a member of the Moscow Regional Bureau of the Party.[6]

Delegates of the 2nd World Congress of the Comintern in 1920

To complicate matters further, the Bolsheviks themselves were divided into a right wing and a left wing. The right wing of the Bolsheviks, including Aleksei Rykov and Viktor Nogin, controlled the Moscow Committee, while the younger left-wing Bolsheviks, including Vladimir Smirnov, Valerian Osinsky, Georgii Lomov, Nikolay Yakovlev, Ivan Kizelshtein and Ivan Stukov, were members of the Moscow Regional Bureau.[7] On October 10, 1917, Bukharin, along with two other Moscow Bolsheviks: Andrei Bubnov and Grigori Sokolnikov were elected to the Central Committee.[8] This strong representation on the Central Committee was a direct recognition of the fact that the Moscow Bureau had grown in importance. Whereas the Bolsheviks had previously been a minority in Moscow behind the Mensheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries, by September 1917 the Bolsheviks were in the majority in Moscow. Furthermore, the Moscow Regional Bureau was formally responsible for the party organizations in each of the thirteen (13) central provinces around Moscow—which accounted for 37% of the whole population of Russia and 20% of the Bolshevik membership.[7]

Kliment Voroshilov, Semyon Budyonny, Mikhail Frunze and Nikolai Bukharin in Novomoskovsk 1921 with the 1st Cavalry Army (Konarmia).

While no one dominated revolutionary politics in Moscow during the October Revolution, as Trotsky did in St. Petersburg, Bukharin certainly was the most prominent leader in Moscow.[9] During the October Revolution, Bukharin drafted, introduced, and defended the revolutionary decrees of the Moscow Soviet. Bukharin then represented the Moscow Soviet in their report to the revolutionary government in Petrograd.[10] Following the October Revolution, Bukharin became the editor of the party's newspaper, Pravda.[11]

Bukharin believed passionately in the promise of world revolution. In the Russian turmoil near the end of World War I, when a negotiated peace with the Central Powers was looming, he demanded a continuance of the war, fully expecting to incite all the foreign proletarian classes to arms.
[12] Even as he was uncompromising toward Russia's battlefield enemies, he also rejected any fraternization with the capitalist Allied powers: he reportedly wept when he learned of official negotiations for assistance.[12] Bukharin emerged as the leader of the Left Communists in bitter opposition to Lenin's decision to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.[13] In this wartime power struggle, he was urged by some of his more fiery allies to have Lenin arrested. He rejected this idea immediately, but the issue would later become the basis of Stalinist charges against him, culminating in the show trial of 1938.

Nikolay Bukharin with “Communist Bible” (ABC of Communism). 1923

After the ratification of the treaty, Bukharin resumed his responsibilities within the party. In March 1919, he became a member of the Comintern's executive committee and a candidate member of the Politburo. During the Civil War period, he published several theoretical economic works, including the popular primer The ABC of Communism (with Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, 1919), and the more academic Economics of the Transitional Period (1920) and Historical Materialism (1921).

By 1921, he changed his position and accepted Lenin's emphasis on the survival and strengthening of the Soviet state as the bastion of the future world revolution. He became the foremost supporter of the New Economic Policy (NEP), to which he was to tie his political fortunes. Considered by the Left Communists as a retreat from socialist policies, the NEP reintroduced money, allowed private ownership and capitalistic practices in agriculture, retail trade, and light industry while the state retained control of heavy industry. While some have criticized Bukharin for this apparent U-turn, his change of emphasis can be partially explained by the necessity for peace and stability following seven years of war in Russia, and the failure of communist revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe, which ended the prospect of worldwide revolution.

Power struggle

After Lenin's death in 1924, Bukharin became a full member of the Politburo.[14] In the subsequent power struggle among Leon Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev and Stalin, Bukharin allied himself with Stalin, who positioned himself as centrist of the Party and supported the NEP against the Left Opposition, which wanted more rapid industrialization, escalation of class struggle against the kulaks (wealthier peasants), and agitation for world revolution. It was Bukharin who formulated the thesis of "Socialism in One Country" put forth by Stalin in 1924, which argued that socialism (in Marxist theory, the transitional stage from capitalism to communism) could be developed in a single country, even one as underdeveloped as Russia. This new theory stated that revolution need no longer be encouraged in the capitalist countries since Russia could and should achieve socialism alone. The thesis would become a hallmark of Stalinism.

Trotsky, the prime force behind the Left Opposition, was defeated by a triumvirate formed by Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev, with the support of Bukharin. At the Fourteenth Party Congress in December 1925, Stalin openly attacked Kamenev and Zinoviev, revealing that they had asked for his aid in expelling Trotsky from the Party. By 1926, the Stalin-Bukharin alliance ousted Zinoviev and Kamenev from the Party leadership, and Bukharin enjoyed the highest degree of power during the 1926–1928 period.[15] He emerged as the leader of the Party's right wing, which included two other Politburo members Alexei Rykov, Lenin's successor as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars and Mikhail Tomsky, head of trade unions, and he became General Secretary of the Comintern's executive committee in 1926.[16] However, prompted by a grain shortage in 1928, Stalin reversed himself and proposed a program of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization because he believed that the NEP was not working fast enough. Stalin felt that in the new situation the policies of his former foes -- Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev — were the right ones.[17]

Nikolai Bukharin on the Congress of educators, USSR 1925

Bukharin was worried by the prospect of Stalin's plan, which he feared would lead to “military-feudal exploitation” of the peasantry. Bukharin did want the Soviet Union to achieve industrialization but he preferred the more moderate approach of offering the peasants the opportunity to become prosperous, which would lead to greater grain production for sale abroad. Bukharin pressed his views throughout 1928 in meetings of the Politburo and at the Party Congress, insisting that enforced grain requisition would be counterproductive, as War Communism had been a decade earlier.[18]

Fall from power

Bukharin's support of continuation of the NEP was not popular with higher Party cadres, and his slogan to peasants, "Enrich yourselves!" and proposal to achieve socialism "at snail's pace" left him vulnerable to attacks first by Zinoviev and later by Stalin. Stalin attacked Bukharin's views, portraying them as capitalist deviation and declaring that the revolution would be at risk without a strong policy that encouraged rapid industrialization.

Having helped Stalin achieve unchecked power against the Left Opposition, Bukharin found himself easily outmaneuvered by Stalin. Yet Bukharin played to Stalin's strength by maintaining the appearance of unity within the Party leadership. Meanwhile, Stalin used his control of the Party machine to replace Bukharin's supporters in the Rightist power base in Moscow, trade unions, and the Comintern.

Nikolai Bukharin on the meeting of the workers and peasants news reporters in Moscow, June 1926

Bukharin attempted to gain support from earlier foes including Kamenev and Zinoviev who had fallen from power and held mid-level positions within the Communist party. The details of his meeting with Kamenev, to whom he confided that Stalin was "Genghis Khan" and changed policies to get rid of rivals, were leaked by the Trotskyist press and subjected him to accusations of factionalism. Eventually, Bukharin lost his position in the Comintern and the editorship of Pravda in April 1929 and he was expelled from the Politburo on 17 November of that year.[19]

Bukharin was forced to renounce his views under pressure. He wrote letters to Stalin pleading for forgiveness and rehabilitation, but through wiretaps of Bukharin's private conversations with Stalin's enemies, Stalin knew Bukharin's repentance was insincere.[20]

International supporters of Bukharin, Jay Lovestone of the Communist Party USA among them, were also expelled from the Comintern. They formed an international alliance to promote their views, calling it the International Communist Opposition, though it became better known as the Right Opposition, after a term used by the Trotskyist Left Opposition in the Soviet Union to refer to Bukharin and his supporters there.

Friendship with Osip Mandelstam and Boris Pasternak

In the brief period of thaw in 1934–1936, Bukharin was politically rehabilitated and was made editor of Izvestia in 1934. There, he consistently highlighted the dangers of fascist regimes in Europe and the need for "proletarian humanism". One of his first decisions as editor was to invite Boris Pasternak to contribute to the newspaper and sit in on editorial meetings. Pasternak described Bukharin as "a wonderful, historically extraordinary man, but fate has not been kind to him."[21] They first met during the lying-in-state of the Soviet police chief, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky in May 1934, when Pasternak was seeking help for his fellow poet, Osip Mandelstam, who had been arrested -- though at that time neither Pasternak nor Bukharin knew why.

Old Bolsheviks: Nikolai Bukharin, the editor of Pravda and Projector. Ivan Skvortsov-Stepanov, the First People's Commissar (Minister) for Finance. Lev Karakhan, Deputy People's Commissar (Deputy Minister) for Foreign Affairs, the first Soviet Ambassador to China. 1928

Bukharin had acted as Mandelstam's political protector since 1922. According to Mandelstam's wife, Nadezhda, "M. owed him all the pleasant things in his life. His 1928 volume of poetry would never have come out without the active intervention of Bukharin. The journey to Armenia, our apartment and ration cards, contracts for future volumes -- all this was arranged by Bukharin."[22] Bukharin wrote to Stalin, pleading clemency for Mandelstam, and appealed personally to the head of the NKVD, Genrikh Yagoda. It was Yagoda who told him about Mandelstam's Stalin Epigram, after which he refused to have any further contact with Nadezhda Mandelstam, who had lied to him by denying that her husband had written "anything rash"[23] - but continued to befriend Pasternak.

Soon after Mandelstam's arrest, Bukharin was delegated to prepare the official report on poetry for the First Soviet Writers' Congress, in August 1934. He could not any longer risk mentioning Mandelstam in his speech to the congress, but did devote a large section of his to Pasternak, whom he described as "remote from current affairs...a singer of the old intelligensia...delicate and subtle...a wounded and easily vulnerable soul. He is the embodiment of chaste but self-absorbed laboratory craftsmanship..."[24] His speech was greeted with wild applause, though it greatly offended some of the listeners, such as the communist poet Semyon Kirsanov, who complained: "according to Bukharin, all the poets who have used their verses to participate in political life are out of date, but the others are not out of date, the so-called pure (and not so pure) lyric poets."[25]

When Bukharin was arrested two years later, Boris Pasternak displayed extraordinary courage by having a letter delivered to Bukharin's wife saying that he was convinced of his innocence.[26]

Great purge

Stalin's collectivization policy proved to be as disastrous as Bukharin predicted, but Stalin had by then achieved unchallenged authority in the party leadership. However, there were signs that moderates among Stalin's supporters sought to end official terror and bring a general change in policy, now that mass collectivization was largely completed and the worst was over. Although Bukharin had not challenged Stalin since 1929, his former supporters, including Martemyan Ryutin, drafted and clandestinely circulated an anti-Stalin platform, which called Stalin the "evil genius of the Russian Revolution".

However, Sergey Kirov, First Secretary of the Leningrad Regional Committee was assassinated in Leningrad in December 1934, and his death was used by Stalin as a pretext to launch the Great Purge, in which about a million people were to perish as Stalin eliminated all past and potential opposition to his authority.[27] Some historians now believe that Kirov's assassination in 1934 was arranged by Stalin himself or at least that there is sufficient evidence to plausibly posit such a conclusion.[28] After Kirov's assassination, the NKVD charged an ever-growing group of former oppositionists with Kirov's murder and other acts of treason, terrorism, sabotage, and espionage.[29]

Tightening noose

Nikolai Bukharin London 1931

In February 1936, shortly before the purge started in earnest, Bukharin was sent to Paris by Stalin to negotiate the purchase of the Marx and Engels archives, held by the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) before its dissolution by Hitler. He was joined by his young wife Anna Larina, which therefore opened the possibility of exile, but he decided against it, saying that he could not live outside the Soviet Union.

Bukharin, who had been forced to follow the Party line since 1929, confided to his old friends and former opponents his real view of Stalin and his policy. His conversations with Boris Nicolaevsky, a Menshevik leader who held the manuscripts on behalf of the SPD, formed the basis of "Letter of an Old Bolshevik", which was very influential in contemporary understanding of the period (especially the Ryutin Affair and the Kirov murder) although there are doubts about its authenticity.

According to Nicolaevsky, Bukharin spoke of "the mass annihilation of completely defenseless men, with women and children" under forced collectivization and liquidation of kulaks as a class that dehumanized the Party members with "the profound psychological change in those communists who took part in the campaign. Instead of going mad, they accepted terror as a normal administrative method and regarded obedience to all orders from above as a supreme virtue. ... They are no longer human beings. They have truly become the cogs in a terrible machine."[30]

Yet to another Menshevik leader, Fyodor Dan, he confided that Stalin became "the man to whom the Party granted its confidence" and "is a sort of a symbol of the Party" even though he "is not a man, but a devil."[31] In Dan's account, Bukharin's acceptance of the Soviet Union's new direction was thus a result of his utter commitment to Party solidarity.

To André Malraux, he also confided, "Now he is going to kill me". To his boyhood friend, Ilya Ehrenburg, he expressed the suspicion that the whole trip was a trap set up by Stalin. Indeed, his contacts with Mensheviks during this trip were to feature prominently in his trial.


Following the trial and execution of Zinoviev, Kamenev, and other leftist Old Bolsheviks in 1936, Bukharin and Rykov were arrested on 27 February 1937 following a plenum of the Central Committee and were charged with conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state.

Anna Larina (Bukharina), the second wife of Nikolai Bukharin 1936.

Bukharin was tried in the Trial of the Twenty One on 2–13 March 1938 during the Great Purge, along with ex-premier Alexei Rykov, Christian Rakovsky, Nikolai Krestinsky, Genrikh Yagoda, and 16 other defendants alleged to belong to the so-called "Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites". In a trial meant to be the culmination of previous show trials, it was now alleged that Bukharin and others sought to assassinate Lenin and Stalin from 1918, murder Maxim Gorky by poison, partition the Soviet Union and hand out her territories to Germany, Japan, and Great Britain.

Even more than earlier Moscow show trials, Bukharin's trial horrified many previously sympathetic observers as they watched allegations become more absurd than ever and the purge expand to include almost every living Old Bolshevik leader except Stalin. For some prominent communists such as Bertram Wolfe, Jay Lovestone, Arthur Koestler, and Heinrich Brandler, the Bukharin trial marked their final break with communism and even turned the first three into passionate anti-Communists eventually.[32]

While Anastas Mikoyan and Vyacheslav Molotov later claimed that Bukharin was never tortured and his letters from prison do not give the suggestion that he was tortured, it is also known that his interrogators were instructed with the order: "beating permitted". Bukharin held out for three months, but threats to his young wife and infant son, combined with "methods of physical influence" wore him down.[33] But when he read his confession amended and corrected personally by Stalin, he withdrew his whole confession. The examination started all over again, with a double team of interrogators.[34][35]

Bukharin's confession and his motivation became subject of much debate among Western observers, inspiring Koestler's acclaimed novel Darkness at Noon and a philosophical essay by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in Humanism and Terror. His confessions were somewhat different from others in that while he pleaded guilty to the "sum total of crimes," he denied knowledge when it came to specific crimes. Some astute observers noted that he would allow only what was in the written confession and refuse to go any further.

There are several interpretations of Bukharin's motivations (beside being coerced) in the trial. Koestler and others viewed it as a true believer's last service to the Party (while preserving the little amount of personal honor left) whereas Bukharin biographer Stephen Cohen and Robert Tucker saw traces of Aesopian language, with which Bukharin sought to turn the table into an anti-trial of Stalinism (while keeping his part of the bargain to save his family). While his letters to Stalin – he wrote 34 very emotional and desperate letters tearfully protesting his innocence and professing his loyalty – suggest a complete capitulation and acceptance of his role in the trial, it contrasts with his actual conduct in the trial. Bukharin himself speaks of his "peculiar duality of mind" in his last plea, which led to "semi-paralysis of the will" and Hegelian "unhappy consciousness", which likely stemmed not only from his knowledge of the ruinous reality of Stalinism (although he could not of course say so in the trial) but also of the impending threat of fascism.[36]

The result was a curious mix of fulsome confessions (of being a "degenerate fascist" working for the "restoration of capitalism") and subtle criticisms of the trial. After disproving several charges against him (one observer noted that he "proceeded to demolish or rather showed he could very easily demolish the whole case"[37]) and saying that "the confession of the accused is not essential. The confession of the accused is a medieval principle of jurisprudence" in a trial that was solely based on confessions, he finished his last plea with the words:

"the monstrousness of my crime is immeasurable especially in the new stage of struggle of the U.S.S.R. May this trial be the last severe lesson, and may the great might of the U.S.S.R. become clear to all."[38]

Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party and French author and Nobel laureate Romain Rolland. 1935

The state prosecutor Vyshinsky characterized Bukharin as an "accursed crossbreed of fox and pig" who supposedly committed a "whole nightmare of vile crimes".

While in prison, he wrote at least four book-length manuscripts including a lyrical autobiographical novel, How It All Began, philosophical treatise Philosophical Arabesques, a collection of poems, and Socialism and Its Culture -– all of which were found in Stalin's archive and published in the 1990s.


Among other intercessors, the French author and Nobel laureate Romain Rolland wrote to Stalin seeking clemency, arguing that "an intellect like that of Bukharin is a treasure for his country." He compared Bukharin's situation to that of the great chemist Antoine Lavoisier who was guillotined during the French Revolution: "We in France, the most ardent revolutionaries... still profoundly grieve and regret what we did. ... I beg you to show clemency."[39] He had earlier written to Stalin in 1937, "For the sake of Gorky I am asking you for mercy, even if he may be guilty of something," to which Stalin noted: "We must not respond." Bukharin was shot on 15 March 1938, but the announcement of his death was overshadowed by the Nazi Anschluss of Austria.[40]

According to Zhores and Roy Medvedev in The Unknown Stalin (2006), Bukharin's last message to Stalin stated "Koba, why do you need me to die?", which was written in a note to Stalin just before his execution. "Koba" was Stalin's nom de guerre, and Bukharin's use of it was a sign of how close the two had once been. The note was allegedly found still in Stalin's desk after his death in 1953.[41] This anecdote has been disputed due to inconsistencies in its reporting from various sources, however, particularly by professor Grover Furr.[42]

Despite the promise to spare his family, Bukharin's wife, Anna Larina, was sent to a labor camp, but she survived to see her husband officially rehabilitated by the Soviet state under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988.[43]

Political stature and achievements

Bukharin was immensely popular within the party throughout the twenties and thirties, even after his fall from power. In his testament, Lenin portrayed him as the Golden Boy of the party,[44] writing:

Speaking of the young C.C. members, I wish to say a few words about Bukharin and Pyatakov. They are, in my opinion, the most outstanding figures (among the youngest ones), and the following must be borne in mind about them: Bukharin is not only a most valuable and major theorist of the Party; he is also rightly considered the favourite of the whole Party, but his theoretical views can be classified as fully Marxist only with great reserve, for there is something scholastic about him (he has never made a study of the dialectics, and, I think, never fully understood it) ... Both of these remarks, of course, are made only for the present, on the assumption that both these outstanding and devoted Party workers fail to find an occasion to enhance their knowledge and amend their one-sidedness.

Bukharin delivers the welcome speech on the meeting of Young Communist International. 1925

Bukharin made several notable contributions to Marxist–Leninist thought, most notably The Economics of the Transition Period (1920) and his prison writings, Philosophical Arabesques,[45] (which clearly reveal Bukharin had corrected the 'one-sidedness' of his thought), as well as being a founding member of the Soviet Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a keen botanist. His primary contributions to economics were his critique of marginal utility theory, his analysis of imperialism, and his writings on the transition to communism in the Soviet Union.[46]

His ideas, especially in economics and the question of market-socialism, later became highly influential in Chinese market-socialism and Deng Xiaoping's reforms.

British author Martin Amis argues that Bukharin was perhaps the only major Bolshevik to acknowledge "moral hesitation" by questioning, even in passing, the violence and sweeping reforms of the early Soviet Union. Amis writes that Bukharin said "during the Civil War he had seen 'things that I would not want even my enemies to see'."[47]


Books and articles

• 1915: Toward a Theory of the Imperialist State
• 1917: Imperialism and World Economy
• 1917: The Russian Revolution and Its Significance
• 1918: Anarchy and Scientific Communism
• 1918: Programme of the World Revolution
• 1919: Church and School in the Soviet Republic
• 1919: The Red Army and the Counter Revolution
• 1919: Soviets or Parliament
• 1920: The ABC of Communism with Evgenii Preobrazhensky
• 1920: On Parliamentarism
• 1920: The Secret of the League (part I)
• 1920: The Secret of the League (part II)
• 1920: The Organisation of the Army and the Structure of Society
• 1920: Common Work for the Common Pot
• 1921: The Era of Great Works
• 1921: The New Economic Policy Of Soviet Russia
• 1921: Historical Materialism—a system of Sociology
• 1922: Economic Organization in Soviet Russia
• 1923: A Great Marxian Party
• 1923: The Twelfth Congress of the Russian Communist Party
• 1924: Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital
• 1924: The Theory of Permanent Revolution
• 1926: Building Up Socialism
• 1926: The Tasks of the Russian Communist Party
• 1927: Economic Theory of the Leisure Class
• 1927: The World Revolution and the U.S.S.R.
• 1928: New Forms of the World Crisis
• 1929: Notes of an Economist
• 1930: Finance Capital in Papal Robes. A Challenge!
• 1931: Theory and Practice from the Standpoint of Dialectical Materialism
• 1933: Marx's Teaching and its Historical Importance
• 1934: Poetry, Poetics and the Problems of Poetry in the U.S.S.R.
• 1937-38: How It All Began, a largely autobiographical novel, written in prison and first published in English in 1998.[48]


Nikolai Bukharin was a cartoonist who left many cartoons of contemporary Soviet politicians. The renowned artist Konstantin Yuononce told him: "Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."[49] His cartoons are sometimes used to illustrate biographies of Soviet officials. Russian historian Yury Zhukov stated that Nikolai Bukarin's portraits of Joseph Stalinwere the only ones drawn from the original, not from a photograph.[50]

See also

• Communist Party of the Soviet Union
• Historical materialism
• Marxian economics


1. Russian: Никола́й Ива́нович Буха́рин


1. Cohen 1980, p. 6.
2. Lenin wrote a preface to the book of Bukharin Imperialism and the World Economy (Lenin Collected Works, Moscow, Volume 22, pages 103–107).
3. Cohen 1980, p. 44.
4. Isaac Deutscher, The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879–1921(Vintage Books: New York, 1965) p. 246.
5. Cohen 1980, p. 46.
6. Cohen 1980, p. 49.
7. Cohen 1980, p. 50.
8. Leonard Shapiro, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union(Vintage Books: New York, 1971) pp. 175 and 647.
9. Cohen 1980, p. 51.
10. Cohen 1980, p. 53.
11. Cohen 1980, pp. 43–44.
12. Ulam, Adam Bruno (1998). The Bolsheviks: The Intellectual and Political History of the Triumph of Communism in Russia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 410–412. ISBN 0-674-07830-6. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
13. Rabinowitch, Alexander (2007). The Bolsheviks in power: the first year of Soviet rule in Petrograd. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 167, 174-175, 194 and passim. ISBN 978-0-253-34943-9. At the crucial meeting of the CEC convened at 3:00 AM, on 24 February 1918, few hours before the Gernan ultimatum was due to expire, Bukharin had the courage to break ranks and voted against accepting the treaty, while many other Left Communists either observed party discipline (V. Volodarsky and Stanislav Kosior, for instance) or were simply "no shows" (Dzerzhinsky, Kollontai, Uritsky, etc.) (p. 178).
14. Stephen F. Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938 (1980)
15. RUSSIA: Humble Pie, TIME Magazine, October 25, 1926
16. Cohen 1980, p. 216.
17. Coehn, 1980
18. Paul R. Gregory, Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin's Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina (2010) ch 3-6
19. Paul R. Gregory, Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin's Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina (2010) ch 17
20. Robert Service. Stalin: A Biography (2005) p 260.
21. McSmith, Andy (2015). Fear and the Muse Kept Watc, the Russian Masters - from Akhmatova and Pasternak to Shostakovich and Eisenstein - Under Stalin. New York: New Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-59558-056-6.
22. Mandelstam, Nadezhda (1971). Hope Against Hope, a Memoir, (translated by Max Hayward). London: Collins & Harvill. p. 113.
23. Mandelstam, Nadezhda. Hope Against Hope. p. 22.
24. Gorky, Karl Radek, Nikolai Bukharin, Maxim,; et al. (1977). Soviet Writers' Congress 1934, the Debate on Socialist Realism and Modernism. London: Lawrence & Wishart. p. 233.
25. Medvedev, Roy (1980). Nikolai Bukharin, The Last Years. New York: W W Norton. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-393-01357-X.
26. Medvedev, Roy. Nikolai Bukharin. p. 138.
27. Nikolaevsky, Boris, The Kirov Assassination, The New Leader, 23 August 1941
28. Conquest, Robert. Stalin and the Kirov Murder. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 122–138, ISBN 0-19-505579-9.
29. A. Yakovlev, "O dekabr'skoi tragedii 1934", Pravda, 28 January 1991, p. 3, cited in J. Arch Getty, "The Politics of Repression Revisited", in ed., J. Arch Getty and Roberta T. Manning, Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives, New York, 1993, p. 46.
30. Nicolaevsky, Boris. Power and the Soviet Elite, New York, 1965, pp. 18–19.
31. Radzinsky, Edward (1997). Stalin. New York: Random House. p. 358. ISBN 0-385-47954-9. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
32. Bertram David Wolfe, "Breaking with communism", p. 10; Arthur Koestler, Darkness of Noon, p. 258.
33. Orlando Figes, Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991, Pelican Books, 2014, p. 273
34. Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment, pp. 364–65.
35. Helen Rappaport, Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion(1999) p 31.
36. Stephen J. Lee, Stalin and the Soviet Union (2005) p. 33
37. Report by Viscount Chilston (British ambassador) to Viscount Halifax, No.141, Moscow, 21 March 1938.
38. Robert Tucker, "Report of Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet "Block of Rights and Trotskyites", pp. 667–68.
39. Radzinsky, p. 384.
41. Zhores A. Medvedev & Roy A. Medvedev, translated by Ellen Dahrendorf, The Unknown Stalin, I.B. Tauris, 2006, ISBN 1-85043-980-X, 9781850439806, chapter 14, p. 296.
42. Furr, Grover (2007). "Furr, Bobrov. Bukharin's 'Last Plea': Yet Another Anti-Stalin Falsification". Archived from the original on December 11, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
43. Alessandra Stanley (February 26, 1996). "Anna Larina, 82, the Widow Of Bukharin, Dies in Moscow". New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
44. Westley, Christopher (2011-03-30) A Bolshevik Love Story, Mises Institute.
45. Monthly Review Press, 2005, ISBN 978-1-58367-102-3,
46. Philip Arestis A Biographical Dictionary of Dissenting Economists, p. 88.
47. Amis, Martin. Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million(Hyperion, 2001), p 115
48. Nikolai Bukharin, How It All Began. Translated by George Shriver, Columbia University Press
49. Russkiy Mir, “Love for a woman determines a lot in life” – Interview with Yuri Larin, 7 August 2008
50. KP.RU // «Не надо вешать всех собак на Сталина» at (Komsomolskaya Pravda)


• Coates, Ken (2010). Who Was This Bukharin?. Nottingham: Spokesman. ISBN 978-0-85124-781-6.
• Cohen, Stephen F. (1980). Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888–1938. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-502697-7.
• Gregory, Paul R. (2010). Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin's Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8179-1034-1.
• Kotkin, Stephen (2014). Stalin: Volume 1: The Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928.
• Service, Robert (2004). Stalin: A Biography. ISBN 0-330-41913-7.
• Imperial Moscow University: 1755-1917: encyclopedic dictionary. Moscow: Russian political encyclopedia (ROSSPEN). A. Andreev, D. Tsygankov. 2010. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-5-8243-1429-8.

External links

• Nikolai Bukharin archive at
• Bukharin's death-cell letter to Stalin
• How it all began, Bukharin's last letter to his wife
• A site dedicated to Bukharin
• A Bolshevik Love Story, Mises Institute
• February–March Plenum discussions transcript (in Russian) on which Bukharin was finally defeated, humiliated and expelled from Party
• Some of Bukharin's famous cartoons
• Newspaper clippings about Nikolai Bukharin in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics(ZBW)
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

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Gabriele D'Annunzio
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/28/18



Gabriele D'Annunzio
Prince of Montenevoso
Duke of Gallese
Gabriele D'Anunnzio.png
Duce of the Carnaro
In office
12 September 1919 – 30 December 1920
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Office abolished
(Riccardo Zanella as President of the Free State of Fiume)
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
5 April 1897 – 17 May 1900
Constituency Florence
Personal details
Born 12 March 1863
Pescara, Kingdom of Italy
Died 1 March 1938 (aged 74)
Gardone Riviera, Kingdom of Italy
Resting place Vittoriale degli italiani, Gardone Riviera, Lake Garda
Nationality Italian
Political party Historical Right
Historical Far-Left[1]
Italian Nationalist Association
Spouse(s) Maria Hardouin (m. 1883)
Domestic partner Eleonora Duse (1898–1901)
Mario (1884–1964)Gabriellino D'Annunzio (1886–1945)Ugo Veniero (1887–1945)Renata Anguissola (1893-1976)Gabriele Cruyllas (1897-1978)
Parents Francesco Paolo Rapagnetta and Luisa de Benedictis
Profession Writer, journalist, poet, soldier
Military service
Nickname(s) "Il Vate" ("The Poet"); "Il Profeta" ("The Prophet")
Service/branch Royal Italian Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service active: 1915–18
Rank General (honorary)
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Unit 3rd Army
World War IImpresa di FiumeTenth Battle of the IsonzoFlight over Vienna
Writing career
Period 20th century
Genre Poetry, novel
Subject Individualism, existentialism
Literary movement Decadentism
Notable works
Il PiacereIl trionfo della morteLa Gioconda
Years active 1879–1938

General Gabriele D'Annunzio, Prince of Montenevoso, Duke of Gallese OMS CMG MVM (Italian pronunciation: [ɡabriˈɛːle danˈnuntsjo]; 12 March 1863 – 1 March 1938), sometimes spelled d'Annunzio,[2] was an Italian writer, poet, Master Mason, journalist, playwright and soldier during World War I. He occupied a prominent place in Italian literature from 1889 to 1910 and later political life from 1914 to 1924. He was often referred to under the epithets Il Vate ("the Poet")[3] or Il Profeta ("the Prophet").

D'Annunzio was associated with the Decadent movement in his literary works, which interplayed closely with French Symbolism and British Aestheticism. Such works represented a turn against the naturalism of the preceding romantics and was both sensuous and mystical. He came under the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche which would find outlets in his literary and later political contributions. His affairs with several women, including Eleonora Duse and Luisa Casati, received public attention.

During the First World War, perception of D'Annunzio in Italy transformed from literary figure into a national war hero.[4] He was associated with the elite Arditi storm troops of the Italian Army and took part in actions such as the Flight over Vienna. As part of an Italian nationalist reaction against the Paris Peace Conference, he set up the short-lived Italian Regency of Carnaro in Fiume with himself as Duce. The constitution made "music" the fundamental principle of the state and was corporatist in nature.[5] Some of the ideas and aesthetics influenced Italian fascism and the style of Benito Mussolini and, thereby, Adolf Hitler.

Early life

Birthplace of Gabriele D'Annunzio Museum in Pescara

D'Annunzio was born in the township of Pescara, in the province of Abruzzo, the son of a wealthy landowner and mayor of the town Francesco Paolo Rapagnetta d'Annunzio (1831–1893) and his wife Luisa de Benedictis (1839-1917). His father had originally been born plain Rapagnetta (the name of his single mother), but at the age of 13 had been adopted by a childless rich uncle Antonio d'Annunzio.[6][7] Legend has it that he was initially baptized Gaetano and given the name of Gabriele later in childhood, because of his angelic looks,[8] a story that has largely been disproven.[9]

His precocious talent was recognised early in life, and he was sent to school at the Liceo Cicognini in Prato, Tuscany.

He published his first poetry while still at school at the age of sixteen — a small volume of verses called Primo Vere (1879). Influenced by Giosuè Carducci's Odi barbare, he posed side by side some almost brutal imitations of Lorenzo Stecchetti, the fashionable poet of Postuma, with translations from the Latin. His verse was distinguished by such agile grace that Giuseppe Chiarini on reading them brought the unknown youth before the public in an enthusiastic article.

In 1881 D'Annunzio entered the University of Rome La Sapienza, where he became a member of various literary groups, including Cronaca Bizantina, and wrote articles and criticism for local newspapers. In those university years he started to promote Italian irredentism.

Literary work

D'Annunzio in 1889

He published Canto novo (1882), Terra vergine (1882), L'intermezzo di rime (1883), Il libro delle vergini (1884) and the greater part of the short stories that were afterwards collected under the general title of San Pantaleone (1886). Canto novo contains poems full of pulsating youth and the promise of power, some descriptive of the sea and some of the Abruzzese landscape, commented on and completed in prose by Terra vergine, the latter a collection of short stories dealing in radiant language with the peasant life of the author's native province. Intermezzo di rime is the beginning of D'Annunzio's second and characteristic manner. His conception of style was new, and he chose to express all the most subtle vibrations of voluptuous life. Both style and contents began to startle his critics; some who had greeted him as an enfant prodige rejected him as a perverter of public morals, whilst others hailed him as one bringing a breath of fresh air and an impulse of new vitality into the somewhat prim, lifeless work hitherto produced.[10]

Meanwhile, the review of Angelo Sommaruga perished in the midst of scandal, and his group of young authors found itself dispersed. Some entered the teaching career and were lost to literature, others threw themselves into journalism.[10]

Gabriele D'Annunzio took this latter course, and joined the staff of the Tribuna, under the pseudonym of "Duca Minimo". Here he wrote Il libro d'Isotta (1886), a love poem, in which for the first time he drew inspiration adapted to modern sentiments and passions from the rich colours of the Renaissance.[10]

Il libro d'Isotta is interesting also, because in it one can find most of the germs of his future work, just as in Intermezzo melico and in certain ballads and sonnets one can find descriptions and emotions which later went to form the aesthetic contents of Il piacere, Il trionfo della morte and Elegie romane (1892).[10]

D'Annunzio's first novel Il piacere (1889, translated into English as The Child of Pleasure) was followed in 1891 by Giovanni Episcopo, and in 1892 by L'innocente (The Intruder). These three novels made a profound impression. L'innocente, admirably translated into French by Georges Herelle, brought its author the notice and applause of foreign critics. His next work, Il trionfo della morte (The Triumph of Death) (1894), was followed soon by Le vergini delle rocce (1896) and Il fuoco (1900); the latter is in its descriptions of Venice perhaps the most ardent glorification of a city existing in any language.[10]

D'Annunzio's poetic work of this period, in most respects his finest, is represented by Il Poema Paradisiaco (1893), the Odi navali (1893), a superb attempt at civic poetry, and Laudi (1900).[10]

A later phase of D'Annunzio's work is his dramatic production, represented by Il sogno di un mattino di primavera (1897), a lyrical fantasia in one act; his Città Morta (1898), written for Sarah Bernhardt. In 1898 he wrote his Sogno di un pomeriggio d'autunno and La Gioconda; in the succeeding year La gloria, an attempt at contemporary political tragedy which met with no success, probably because of the audacity of the personal and political allusions in some of its scenes; and then Francesca da Rimini (1901), a perfect reconstruction of medieval atmosphere and emotion, magnificent in style, and declared by an authoritative Italian critic – Edoardo Boutet – to be the first real, if imperfect, tragedy ever given to the Italian theatre.[10]

In 1883, D'Annunzio married Maria Hardouin di Gallese, and had three sons, Mario (1884-1964), Gabriele Maria "Gabriellino" (1886-1945) and Ugo Veniero (1887-1945), but the marriage ended in 1891. In 1894, he began a love affair with the actress Eleonora Duse which became a cause célèbre. He provided leading roles for her in his plays of the time such as La città morta (The Dead City) (1898) and Francesca da Rimini (1901), but the tempestuous relationship finally ended in 1910. After meeting the Marchesa Luisa Casati in 1903, he began a lifelong turbulent on again off again affair with Luisa, that lasted until a few years before his death.

In 1897, D'Annunzio was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for a three-year term, where he sat as an independent. By 1910, his daredevil lifestyle had forced him into debt, and he fled to France to escape his creditors. There he collaborated with composer Claude Debussy on a musical play Le martyre de Saint Sébastien (The Martyrdom of St Sebastian), 1911, written for Ida Rubinstein. The Vatican reacted by placing all of his works in the Index of Forbidden Books. The work was not successful as a play, but it has been recorded in adapted versions several times, notably by Pierre Monteux (in French), Leonard Bernstein (sung in French, acted in English), and Michael Tilson Thomas (in French). In 1912 and 1913, D'Annunzio worked with opera composer Pietro Mascagni on his opera Parisina, staying sometimes in a house rented by the composer in Bellevue, near Paris.

Initiation to the Freemasonry

In 1901, D'Annunzio and his closely friend Ettore Ferrari, the [[Great Master] of the Grand Orient of Italy, inaugurated the Università Popolare of Milan, located in via Ugo Foscolo (33 degree Scottish Rite Mason). In that occasion, D'Annunzio took the inaugural speech, and in the following years was associated professor and lecturer at the same university[11].

D'Annunzio was 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason of the Great Lodge of Italy, which in 1908 had separated from the GOI[12], and some years later was introduced to the Martinism[13].

Among the volunteers of Fiume, there were many Freeamsons and occultists like Alceste De Ambris[14], Sante Ceccherini[15], Marco Egidio Allegri. The flag of the Regence of Carnaro would have contained gnostic and masonic symbols, like the Ouroboros and the seven stars of the Ursa Major[16], [17][18].

Flight over Vienna

Italian translation of the propaganda leaflet which D'Annunzio threw from his airplane during his flight above Vienna.

After the start of World War I, D'Annunzio returned to Italy and made public speeches in favor of Italy's entry on the side of the Triple Entente. Since taking a flight with Wilbur Wright in 1908, D'Annunzio had been interested in aviation. With the war beginning he volunteered and achieved further celebrity as a fighter pilot, losing the sight of an eye in a flying accident.

Gabriele D'Annunzio (left) with a fellow officer

In February 1918, he took part in a daring, if militarily irrelevant, raid on the harbour of Bakar (known in Italy as La beffa di Buccari, lit. the Bakar Mockery), helping to raise the spirits of the Italian public, still battered by the Caporetto disaster. On 9 August 1918, as commander of the 87th fighter squadron "La Serenissima", he organized one of the great feats of the war, leading nine planes in a 700-mile round trip to drop propaganda leaflets on Vienna. This is called in Italian "il Volo su Vienna", "the Flight over Vienna".[19]


1921 Postcard from Fiume and postage stamp with D'Annunzio's portrait. (The motto Hic Manebimus Optime is Latin for: "Here we'll stay wonderfully.")

The war strengthened his ultra-nationalist and irredentist views, and he campaigned widely for Italy to assume a role alongside her wartime allies as a first-rate European power. Angered by the proposed handing over of the city of Fiume (now Rijeka in Croatia) whose population, outside the suburbs, was mostly Italian, at the Paris Peace Conference, on 12 September 1919, he led the seizure by 2,000 Italian nationalist irregulars of the city, forcing the withdrawal of the inter-Allied (American, British and French) occupying forces.[20] The plotters sought to have Italy annex Fiume, but were denied. Instead, Italy initiated a blockade of Fiume while demanding that the plotters surrender.

Fiume residents cheering D'Annunzio and his raiders, September 1919

D'Annunzio then declared Fiume an independent state, the Italian Regency of Carnaro; the Charter of Carnaro foreshadowed much of the later Italian Fascist system, with himself as "Duce" (leader). Some elements of the Royal Italian Navy, such as the destroyer Espero joined up with D'Annunzio's local forces.[21] He attempted to organize an alternative to the League of Nations for (selected) oppressed nations of the world (such as the Irish, whom D'Annunzio attempted to arm in 1920),[22] and sought to make alliances with various separatist groups throughout the Balkans (especially groups of Italians, though also some Slavic and Albanian[23] groups), although without much success. D'Annunzio ignored the Treaty of Rapallo and declared war on Italy itself, only finally surrendering the city in December 1920 after a bombardment by the Italian navy.

Gabriele D'Annunzio (in the middle with the stick) with some legionaries (components of the Arditi's department of the Italian Royal Army) in Fiume in 1919. To the right of D'Annunzio, facing him, Lt. Arturo Avolio (commander of the Ardit's department of Bologna Brigade).

Later life

Villa of Vittoriale degli italiani

After the Fiume episode, D'Annunzio retired to his home on Lake Garda and spent his latter years writing and campaigning. Although D'Annunzio had a strong influence on the ideology of Benito Mussolini, he never became directly involved in fascist government politics in Italy. In 1922, shortly before the march on Rome, he was pushed out of a window by an unknown assailant, or perhaps simply slipped and fell out himself while intoxicated. He survived but was badly injured, and only recovered after Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister.

In 1924 he was ennobled by King Victor Emmanuel III and given the hereditary title of Principe di Montenevoso. In 1937 he was made president of the Royal Academy of Italy. D'Annunzio died in 1938 of a stroke, at his home in Gardone Riviera. He was given a state funeral by Mussolini and was interred in a magnificent tomb constructed of white marble at Il Vittoriale degli Italiani.

His son Gabriellino D'Annunzio became a film director. His 1921 film The Ship was based on a novel by his father. In 1924, he co-directed the historical epic Quo Vadis, an expensive failure, before retiring from filmmaking.


Picture of d'Annunzio

D'Annunzio is often seen as a precursor of the ideals and techniques of Italian fascism. His political ideals emerged in Fiume when he coauthored a constitution with syndicalist Alceste de Ambris, the Charter of Carnaro. De Ambris provided the legal and political framework, to which D'Annunzio added his skills as a poet. De Ambris was the leader of a group of Italian seamen who had mutinied and then given their vessel to the service of D'Annunzio. The constitution established a corporatist state, with nine corporations to represent the different sectors of the economy (workers, employers, professionals), and a tenth (D'Annunzio's invention) to represent the "superior" human beings (heroes, poets, prophets, supermen). The Carta also declared that music was the fundamental principle of the state.

It was rather the culture of dictatorship that Benito Mussolini imitated and learned from D'Annunzio. D'Annunzio has been described as the John the Baptist of Italian Fascism,[24] as virtually the entire ritual of Fascism was invented by D'Annunzio during his occupation of Fiume and his leadership of the Italian Regency of Carnaro.[25] These included the balcony address, the Roman salute, the cries of "Eia, eia, eia! Alala!" taken from the Achilles' cry in the Iliad, the dramatic and rhetorical dialogue with the crowd, and the use of religious symbols in new secular settings.[24] It also included his method of government in Fiume: the economics of the corporate state; stage tricks; large emotive nationalistic public rituals; and blackshirted followers, the Arditi, with their disciplined, bestial responses and strongarm repression of dissent.[26] He was even said to have originated the practice of forcibly dosing opponents with large amounts of castor oil, a very effective laxative, to humiliate, disable or kill them, a practice which became a common tool of Mussolini's blackshirts.[27][28][29]

D'Annunzio advocated an expansionist Italian foreign policy and applauded the invasion of Ethiopia.

First and last sheet of D'Annunzio's letter to Mussolini, 15 February 1920

Rivalry with Mussolini

As John Whittam notes in his essay "Mussolini and The Cult of the Leader":[30]

This famous poet, novelist and war hero was a self-proclaimed Superman. He was the outstanding interventionist in May 1915 and his dramatic exploits during the war won him national and international acclaim. In September 1919 he gathered together his 'legions' and captured the disputed seaport of Fiume. He held it for over a year and it was he who popularised the black shirts, the balcony speeches, the promulgation of ambitious charters and the entire choreography of street parades and ceremonies. He even planned a march on Rome. One historian had rightly described him as the 'First Duce' and Mussolini must have heaved a sigh of relief when he was driven from Fiume in December 1920 and his followers were dispersed. But he remained a threat to Mussolini and in 1921 Fascists like Balbo seriously considered turning to him for leadership.

In contrast Mussolini vacillated from left to right at this time. Although Mussolini's fascism was heavily influenced by the Carta del Carnaro, the constitution for Fiume written by Alceste De Ambris and D'Annunzio, neither wanted to play an active part in the new movement, both refusing when asked by Fascist supporters to run in the elections of 15 May 1921. Before the March on Rome, De Ambris even went so far as to depict the Fascist movement as: "a filthy pawn in Mister Giolitti's game of chess, and made out of the least dignified section of the bourgeoisie"

D'Annunzio was seriously injured when he fell out of a window on 13 August 1922; subsequently the planned "meeting for national pacification" with Francesco Saverio Nitti and Mussolini was cancelled. The incident was never explained and is considered by some historians an attempt to murder him, motivated by his popularity. Despite D'Annunzio's retreat from active public life after this event, the Duce still found it necessary to regularly dole out funds to D'Annunzio as a bribe for not re-entering the political arena. When asked about this by a close friend, Mussolini purportedly stated: "When you have a rotten tooth you have two possibilities open to you: either you pull the tooth or you fill it with gold. With D'Annunzio I have chosen for the latter treatment."[31]

Nonetheless, D'Annunzio kept attempting to intervene in politics almost until his death in 1938. He wrote to Mussolini in 1933 to try to convince him not to take part in the Axis pact with Hitler. In 1934, he tried to disrupt the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini after their meeting, even writing a satirical pamphlet about Hitler. Again, in September 1937, D'Annunzio met with the Duce at the Verona train station to convince him to leave the Axis alliance. Mussolini in 1944 admitted to have made a mistake not following his advice.[citation needed]


Gabriele D'Annunzio reading (photo by Mario Nunes Vais)

At the height of his success, D'Annunzio was celebrated for the originality, power and decadence of his writing. Although his work had immense impact across Europe, and influenced generations of Italian writers, his fin de siècle works are now little known, and his literary reputation has always been clouded by his fascist associations. Indeed, even before his fascist period, he had his strong detractors. A New York Times review in 1898 of his novel The Intruder referred to him as "evil", "entirely selfish and corrupt".[32] Three weeks into its December 1901 run at the Teatro Constanzi in Rome, his tragedy Francesca da Rimini was banned by the censor on grounds of morality.[33]

A prolific writer, his novels in Italian include Il piacere (The Child of Pleasure, 1889), Il trionfo della morte (The Triumph of Death, 1894), and Le vergini delle rocce (The Virgins of the Rocks, 1896). He wrote the screenplay to the feature film Cabiria (1914) based on episodes from the Second Punic War. D'Annunzio's literary creations were strongly influenced by the French Symbolist school, and contain episodes of striking violence and depictions of abnormal mental states interspersed with gorgeously imagined scenes. One of D'Annunzio's most significant novels, scandalous in its day, is Il fuoco (The Flame of Life) of 1900, in which he portrays himself as the Nietzschean Superman Stelio Effrena, in a fictionalized account of his love affair with Eleonora Duse. His short stories showed the influence of Guy de Maupassant. He was also associated with the bizarre Italian noblewoman Luisa Casati, an influence on his novels and one of his mistresses.

The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica wrote of him:

The work of d' Annunzio, although by many of the younger generation injudiciously and extravagantly admired, is almost the most important literary work given to Italy since the days when the great classics welded her varying dialects into a fixed language. The psychological inspiration of his novels has come to him from many sources—French, Russian, Scandinavian, German—and in much of his earlier work there is little fundamental originality.

His creative power is intense and searching, but narrow and personal; his heroes and heroines are little more than one same type monotonously facing a different problem at a different phase of life. But the faultlessness of his style and the wealth of his language have been approached by none of his contemporaries, whom his genius has somewhat paralysed. In his later work [meaning as of 1911], when he begins drawing his inspiration from the traditions of bygone Italy in her glorious centuries, a current of real life seems to run through the veins of his personages. And the lasting merit of D'Annunzio, his real value to the literature of his country, consists precisely in that he opened up the closed mine of its former life as a source of inspiration for the present and of hope for the future, and created a language, neither pompous nor vulgar, drawn from every source and district suited to the requirements of modern thought, yet absolutely classical, borrowed from none, and, independently of the thought it may be used to express, a thing of intrinsic beauty. As his sight became clearer and his purpose strengthened, as exaggerations, affectations, and moods dropped away from his conceptions, his work became more and more typical Latin work, upheld by the ideal of an Italian Renaissance.

In Italy some of his poetic works remain popular, most notably his poem "La pioggia nel pineto" (The Rain in the Pinewood), which exemplifies his linguistic virtuosity as well as the sensuousness of his poetry.


D'Annunzio's life and work are commemorated in a museum, Il Vittoriale degli Italiani. He planned and developed it himself, adjacent to his villa at Gardone Riviera on the southwest bank of Lake Garda, between 1923 and his death. Now a national monument, it is a complex of military museum, library, literary and historical archive, theatre, war memorial and mausoleum. The museum preserves his torpedo boat MAS 96 and the SVA-5 aircraft he flew over Vienna.

His birthplace is also open to the public as a museum, Birthplace of Gabriele D'Annunzio Museum in Pescara.


Poster by Adolfo De Karolis for Alberto Franchetti's opera La figlia di Iorio (1906)

Pro-Italy messages that D'Annunzio threw from his airplane during his 1915 flight above Trieste


• Il Piacere (The Child of Pleasure[3], 1889)
• Giovanni Episcopo (1891)
• L'innocente (The Intruder (UK) or The Victim (US)) (1892)
• Il trionfo della morte (The Triumph of Death, 1894)
• Le vergini delle rocce (The Maidens of the Rocks, 1895)
• Il fuoco (The Flame of Life: A Novel, 1900)
• Forse che sì forse che no (1910)


• La città morta (The Dead City: a Tragedy, 1899)
• La Gioconda (Gioconda, 1899)
• Francesca da Rimini (1902) [4]
• L'Etiopia in fiamme (1904)
• La figlia di Jorio (1904)
• La fiaccola sotto il moggio (1905)
• La nave (1908).
• Fedra (1909)

Short story collections

• La Riscossa (1918), Bestetti e Tumminelli Edizioni d'Arte, First Edition[34]
• Terra vergine (1882)
• Le novelle della Pescara (1884–1886)

Poetry collections

• Primo vere (1879)
• Canto novo (1882)
• Poema paradisiaco (1893)
• The five books of Laudi del cielo, del mare, della terra e degli eroi (1903–1912)
• Maia (Canto Amebeo della Guerra)
• Elettra
• Alcyone
• Merope
• Asterope (La Canzone del Quarnaro)
• Ode alla nazione serba (1914)

Autobiographical works

• La Leda senza cigno
• Notturno
• Le faville del maglio
• Le cento e cento e cento e cento pagine del Libro Segreto di Gabriele D'Annunzio tentato di morire o Libro Segreto (as Angelo Cocles)
His epistolary work, Solus ad solam, was published posthumously.

Movies of Gabriele d'Annunzio

• Cabiria, directed by Giovanni Pastrone (1914) – screenplay
• D'Annunzio, directed by Sergio Nasca (1985) – about the romantic relationships in the life of the poet


• D'Annunzio University in Chieti and Pescara is named after him.
• The Brescia Airport is named after him.
• In his honour, the Chilean poetess Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, 1945 Nobel Prize in Literature, took the first name of her pseudonym, Gabriela Mistral.
• Ernesto Giménez Caballero was given the nickname the "Spanish D'Annunzio".[35]
• The play Tamara is based on his meeting with the painter Tamara de Lempicka.
• Luchino Visconti's last film, The Innocent, is based on d'Annunzio's novel

See also

• Maurice Barrès, a friend and literary-political kindred spirit of D'Annunzio
• Tom Antongini, D'Annunzio's private secretary for more than thirty years
• The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War, a modern reappraisal of his life and work.


1. Francesco De Filippo (12 December 2014). "Gabriele D'Annunzio fu anche socialista". ANSA.
2. As he used to sign himself (Guglielmo Gatti, Vita di Gabriele d'Annunzio, Firenze, 1956, pp. 1–2).
3. The Italian vate directly stems from Latin vates. Its meaning is a poet with special emphasis on prophetic, inspiring or even divining qualities.
4. D'Annunzio and "Carnaro" irredentism
5. Parlato, Giuseppe (2000). La sinistra fascista (in Italian). Bologna: Il Mulino. p. 88.
6. Joseph Guerin Fucilla, Joseph Médard Carrière D'Annunzio abroad: a bibliographical essay Volume 2, page 29 1935 "(Translation of the birth certificate of d'Annunzio's father, Francesco Paolo Rapagnetta, of the legal act recognizing the latter's adoption by his uncle Antonio d'Annunzio, and the birth certificate of Gabriele d'Annunzio)."
7. André Geiger Gabriele d'Annunzio, 1918, page 142: "Après la légitimation, et conformément à la loi, il perdit ce nom de Rapagnetta pour prendre le seul nom du père qui l'avait légitimé. Il est probable que le Camillo Rapagnetta, qui figure dans- l'acte de naissance du poète, était un parent, ..."
8. Adrian Room, Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins (2010), p. 132
9. For the urban legend: Cfr. A. Rapagnetta, La vera origine familiare e il vero cognome del poeta abruzzese Gabriele D'Annunzio, Carabba, Lanciano, 1938; online sources on the real birthname of "Gabriele D'Annunzio": [1] and [2]
10. Chisholm 1911.
11. "Our History - Gabriele D'Annunzio". (in Italian). Università Popolare di Milano. Archived from the original on Jan 31, 2011. Retrieved Sep 21, 2018.
12. Fulvio Conti (2003). Storia della massoneria italiana. Dal Risorgimento al fascism. Bologna: Il Mulino. ISBN 978-88-15-11019-0.
13. M. Introvigne. "Gli ordini martinisti e l'ermetismo kremmerziano" (in Italian). Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni. Archived from the original on Dec 17, 2015. Retrieved Sep 20,2018.
14. "Alceste De Ambris. L'utopia concreta di un rivoluzionario sindacalista". (in Italian). Archived from the original on Feb 21, 2014.
15. Esoterismo e Fascismo (in Italian). Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee. 2006. p. 44. ISBN 978-88-272-1831-0. Unknown parameter |authir1= ignored (help)
16. De Turris 2006, p. 44.
17. S. Calasso (2011). Speciale movimenti moderni - La Reggenza del Carnaro (pdf) (in Italian). pp. 1–13. ISSN 2279-6924. Archived (PDF) from the original on Feb 10, 2002. Retrieved Sep 20, 2018. Unknown parameter |review= ignored (help) and Ermini, Armando (2011). Speciale movimenti moderni - Bilancio (pdf) (in Italian). pp. 13–16. ISSN 2279-6924. Archived (PDF) from the original on Feb 10, 2012. Retrieved Sep 20, 2018. Unknown parameter |review= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |Issue= ignored (|issue= suggested) (help) .
18. P. Colono. "A special flag". superEva (in Italian). Archivedfrom the original on Aug 4, 2002. Retrieved Sep 20, 2018.
19. Chisholm 1922.
20. H.R. Kedward, Fascism in Western Europe 1900–45, p 40 New York University Press New York, 1971
21. "D'ANNUNZIO PAYS DESERTING SAILORS; Hands Out 10,000 Francs to Crew of Destroyer—Its Officer Bound to Gun.WRANGEL TROOPS NEAR BYMany in Rome Look Hopefully to Giolitti to Find a Way Outof Flume Crisis". The New York Times. 11 December 1920. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
22. Mark Phelan, 'Prophet of the Oppressed Nations: Gabriele D'Annunzio and the Irish Republic, 1919–1921, History Irelandvol. 21, no, 5(Sept/Oct 2013, pp. 44–50.
23. Ekrem Vlora (1973). Lebenserinnerungen: 1912 bis 1925[Memoirs: 1912–1925] (in German). Walter de Gruyter. p. 154. ISBN 9783486475715.
24. Ledeen, Michael Arthur (2001). "Preface". D'Annunzio: the First Duce (2, illustrated ed.). Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9780765807427.
25. Paxton, Robert O. (2005). "Taking Root". The Anatomy of Fascism. Vintage Series (reprint ed.). Random House, Inc. pp. 59–60. ISBN 9781400040940.
26. The United States and Italy, H. Stuart Hughes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1953, pp. 76 and 81–82.
27. Cecil Adams, Did Mussolini use castor oil as an instrument of torture?, The Straight Dope, 22 April 1994. Accessed 6 November 2006.
28. Richard Doody, "Stati Libero di Fiume – Free State of Fiume". Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2002., The World at War.
29. Cali Ruchala, ""Superman, Supermidget": the Life of Gabriele D'Annunzio, Chapter Seven: The Opera". Archived from the original on 10 February 2005. Retrieved 6 November 2006., Degenerate magazine, Diacritica (2002).
30. Mussolini and the Cult of the Leader, John Whittam, New Perspective, vol 3, no 3, March 1998 pp. 12–16
31. The Vittoriale degli Italiani, Fred Licht, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 41, No. 4 (Dec. 1982), pp. 318–324
32. "D'Annunzio.; Books That Prove Him to Be Entirely Selfish and Corrupt", New York Times, 5 March 1898. p. RBA145.
33. "D'Annunzio's Tragedy Prohibited by Censor.; Further Performances of Francesca da Rimini at Rome Forbidden on Moral Grounds", New York Times, 31 December 1901. p. 5.
34. First edition of warlike prayers held on the Italian front from November 1917 to May 1918, in 16 °, pp. 171 broch. orig. xilografata, frontispiece and trim always engraved on wood by Sartorio
35. Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism: 1914–1945, London: Routledge, 2001, p. 258


• Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 22.
• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Annunzio, Gabriele D'". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "D'Annunzio, Gabriele". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.

Further reading

• Gabriele d'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (2013, ISBN 0307263932)
• Gabriele D'Annunzio: Defiant Archangel by J.R. Woodhouse (2001, ISBN 0-19-818763-7)
• D'Annunzio: The First Duce by Michael A. Ledeen (ISBN 0-7658-0742-4)
• D'Annunzio: The Poet as Superman by Anthony Rhodes (ISBN 0-8392-1022-1)
• Gabriele D'Annunzio: The Dark Flame by Paolo Valesio (trans. by Marilyn Migiel, ISBN 0-300-04871-8)
• D'Annunzio and the Great War by Alfredo Bonadeo (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8386-3587-3)
• Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 edited by Philip Rees (1991, ISBN 0-13-089301-3)
• The Appeal of Fascism: A Study of Intellectuals and Fascism 1919–1945 by Alastair Hamilton (London, 1971, ISBN 0-218-51426-3)
• D'Annunzio by Tom Antongini (William Heinemann, 1938) - the author was his private secretary
• David Gilmour, "He Dared the Undarable" The New York Review of Books 6 March 2014, pp. 21–22.
• Matteo Veronesi, Il critico come artista dall'estetismo agli ermetici. D'Annunzio, Croce, Serra, Luzi e altri, Bologna, Azeta Fastpress, 2006, ISBN 88-89982-05-5
• Nicoletta Pireddu, Antropologi alla corte della bellezza. Decadenza ed economia simbolica nell'Europa fin de siècle, Verona, Fiorini, 2002, ISBN 88-87082-16-2
• Nicoletta Pireddu, "Gabriele D'Annunzio: the art of squandering and the economy of sacrifice,” in _The Question of the Gift. Essays Across Disciplines_, ed. by Mark Osteen (London and New York: Routledge, 2002): 172–190.
• Nicoletta Pireddu, “’Il divino pregio del dono’: Andrea Sperelli’s economy of pleasures,” _Annali d’italianistica_, 15, 1997: 175–201.
• Rudolph Altrocchi (1922). Gabriele D'Annunzio: Poet of Beauty and Decadence. Chicago Literary Club.
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gabriele d'Annunzio.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Gabriele d'Annunzio

• Full texts of Gabriele D'Annunzio's works and chronology
• Works by Gabriele D'Annunzio at Project Gutenberg
• Works by Gabriele D'Annunzio at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about Gabriele D'Annunzio at Internet Archive
• Works by Gabriele D'Annunzio at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Gabriele D'Annunzio –
• Gabriele D'annunzio
• Casa D'Annunzio
• D'Annunzio's museum "Il Vittoriale"
• IL VITTORIALE "La Cittadella del d'Annunzio"
• Per non dormire Eleganze notturne al Vittoriale
• Eleganze notturne al Vittoriale
• Decennale di Fiume
• Stamp Fiume
• Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien "Epistolario D'Annunzio Debussy"
• Free scores by Gabriele D'Annunzio at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
• Newspaper clippings about Gabriele D'Annunzio in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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