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 The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now

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nordmann
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PostSubject: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Tue 07 Mar 2017, 09:24

I'm a sucker for these "then and now" images when I come across them. This one from today's Guardian shows scenes from the two revolutions of 1917 - clicking on each image shows you the view as it appears today.

The Guardian: Russian Revolution Then and Now


It doesn't look like much today but this was actually the most poignant one in my view ... check the article to see it 100 years ago.
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Minette Minor
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Tue 07 Mar 2017, 15:22

Hi nordmann! 
Poignant picture indeed! All it needs is a gaunt Nicholas II sitting on a tree stump. Don't know why but the Russian revolution has always fascinated me. I suppose it was inevitable but according to Marx it should never have happened in Russia, he predicted it would happen in the UK or Germany...I think we always underestimate how industrialized Russia had become by 1917. 
One thing that haunts me is the cold hearted way George V virtually gave the Romanov family the death sentence by refusing to have them here. But then he was cowardly and allowed people to believe it was Lloyd George's fault. The Windsors or should that be Sax Coburg Gothes can be deadly.
Spelled it wrong I know. 
But another thing which truly fascinates is Stalin's (Josef Djugashvili) relentless climb to power, everyone underestimated him and confided in him their secrets, hence all the triumverates. Making him Commissar for Nationalities was so stupid! Lenin and Trotsky were such intellectual snobs they always saw him as a thug who simply raised money and when they realized how powerful he was, it was too late. Another reason why I love doing Richard III! If you know about Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler etc., etc., you can see how he doesn't fit the profile of a slow, power scheming Leviathan. Trump could though! Do hope people get stuck into this. So glad you've raised it. Thanks nordmann!
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Tue 07 Mar 2017, 20:30

@Minette Minor wrote:
Hi nordmann! 
Poignant picture indeed! All it needs is a gaunt Nicholas II sitting on a tree stump. Don't know why but the Russian revolution has always fascinated me. I suppose it was inevitable but according to Marx it should never have happened in Russia, he predicted it would happen in the UK or Germany...I think we always underestimate how industrialized Russia had become by 1917. 
One thing that haunts me is the cold hearted way George V virtually gave the Romanov family the death sentence by refusing to have them here. But then he was cowardly and allowed people to believe it was Lloyd George's fault. The Windsors or should that be Sax Coburg Gothes can be deadly.
Spelled it wrong I know. 
But another thing which truly fascinates is Stalin's (Josef Djugashvili) relentless climb to power, everyone underestimated him and confided in him their secrets, hence all the triumverates. Making him Commissar for Nationalities was so stupid! Lenin and Trotsky were such intellectual snobs they always saw him as a thug who simply raised money and when they realized how powerful he was, it was too late. Another reason why I love doing Richard III! If you know about Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler etc., etc., you can see how he doesn't fit the profile of a slow, power scheming Leviathan. Trump could though! Do hope people get stuck into this. So glad you've raised it. Thanks nordmann!

 Minette,


(and Nordmann) I did a lot of research for especially the first of the two revolutions, the Kerensky revolution and in fact it all started hopefully to be a constitutional socialist oriented country.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Provisional_Government
In my opinion it is still the fault of Kerensky to not have sought for an armistice with Germany despite the pressure from the Allies. Lenin did it, why couldn't Kerensky do it?


And Stalin...wasn't an Herr Hitler...but yes later in your sentence you included the others too...as the underestimated guys, who rose to power by their ruthlessness...

About the character of Richard III...it was indeed a complex character...if it was true what the British female historian wrote in her novel about Eleonora of Aquitaine (I commented the novel in another thread)...

Kind regards from your old (litteraly and figurative) friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Tue 07 Mar 2017, 21:58

Minette,

again about the Russian revolution: The First one.

I read the first tome of the book by the French historian Marc Ferro about the Kerensky revolution.
https://www.amazon.fr/R%C3%A9volution-1917-Marc-Ferro/dp/2226093214
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Ferro


There Marc Ferro mentioned the Stockholm conference and among others the participation of our Emile Vandervelde, but it was somehow not clear to me what the purposes were and what about the implementation of peace.
It was there in my opinion that the split between the Socialists and the Bolshevists of the Second Internationale became implemented.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Vandervelde

And the emerging of the Socialist as separate from the Communists.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_International
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Working_Union_of_Socialist_Parties
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_and_Socialist_International
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_International

And by reading this book among others about the Stockholm conference of 1917 I am more and more conviced that had Kerensky had been more firm in his search for peace, even on its own Russian conditions, the Russian revolution (the first one!) could have been saved, adding a new neutral country to the neutral bloc as for instance Sweden. The Allies would have still been victorious but history could have had a complet other turn...
goo.gl/K2ijBo



Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Tue 07 Mar 2017, 22:05

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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Tue 07 Mar 2017, 23:02

I found the one of the Nevsky Prospekt in St Petersburg very evocative. The reason is that there looks to be a Louis Vuitton shop in the contemporary photo which wouldn't have been out of place in 1917 - and maybe even on the exact same plot too. Louis himself died 25 years before the February revolution and Vuitton was already a well established global brand by that time. One for Meles' Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose thread perhaps.    

@Minette Minor wrote:
One thing that haunts me is the cold hearted way George V virtually gave the Romanov family the death sentence by refusing to have them here. But then he was cowardly and allowed people to believe it was Lloyd George's fault.

It's not quite as simplistic as that Minette. The wherefores and whys of the British government's reaction to the abdication of Nicholas II were actually discussed on the following thread:

King George and the Tsar: Why did he refuse refuge?

Appreciating the timelines of 1917-18 seems key in this.
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Minette Minor
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Wed 08 Mar 2017, 15:05

Dear Paul, 
You'll never be old! 
Thanks for the links I'll have a look. But I've always felt rather sorry for Kerensky and I agree that it would have been very different if he had sued for peace but...as Lenin and Trotsky discovered, the French and the British were never going to let go of their vast investments in Russia's new and flourishing industrial base. The so called White Army would have acted in exactly the same way towards a new "Kerensky government" had he sued for peace too. 

A Kerensky government may have been considered to be more acceptable by the West but would it ever have been forgiven for unilaterally bailing out of WW1? And taking in the real politics of the Germans they wanted upheaval in Russia and they would very probably still have sent in Lenin in his sealed train to cause it. What would Kerensky have done then?
 
The Duma was too late and took too long to recognize the complete insanity of the mobilization of Russia in WW1 and I believe the institutionalized power of the Tsar would always have been an obstacle and would Nicholas II ever have accepted being a Constitutional Monarch? 
I can't help but think there was a type of inevitability about the first Revolution especially when Russia joined the war or some believe started it! It could well be argued that they set off the Domino Effect of WW1, don't you think? It may sound simplistic but I don't think the French, the British or the Belgans wanted a war and people almost took the vapid posturing of Willie/Wilhelm II as par for the course but when the Russians mobilized against Germany they lit the fuse and Prussian pride could not resist. 

I could well be talking total nonsense but the situation in Russia was so unstable - a large agrarian base could not calmly co-exist with the super fast industrialization of so much of the country - the war helped to rush matters along but in some ways it was always going to combust! Kerensky couldn't have contained it and he'd always have to have dealt with Lenin and Trotsky who were far more ruthless than he was. 
All countries knew upheaval with the Industrial Revolution but it was almost and I mean almost, comparatively gradual in many western countries whilest Russia zoomed from an agrarian based "late medieval country," (in some areas there was still serfdom!) into the c20th in an incredibly short space of time, like a train going faster and faster and you could see the nuts and bolts flying off! It was bound to crash!          
I'm probably being Baroque again! Smile No doubt simplistic but it fascinating and thank you Paul.
Old? Never! 
Fondest Regards, Minette,
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Wed 08 Mar 2017, 15:33

Thank you Vizzer, I'll have a look at it.
 
I do appreciate that what did happen to the Romanovs was very complicated they were probably a doomed family. Its members all led such ridiculously enclosed lives especially the four Grand Duchesses which was tragic. I can't help but believe the Tsarina, Alex, was in many ways responsible for distancing the family from everything! Even the Court who thought them all to be very strange and isolated but Alex is said to have been very strongly influenced by Queen Victoria with whom she spent large parts of her youth. Her entire family were made to live like the Widow of Windsor, madness!

It's been said that the Windsors have been the most successful royal dynasty due to their ruthlessness and I can't but believe that there is something in this. I don't really want to drag Diana into this but even though she strangely dragged them kicking and screaming into the c21st she still has no memorial except that ditch by the Serpentine. It's so ugly and useless. Meanwhile the two Severn Bridges (of which I know much being Welsh) actually need to be properly named and to call one of them the Princess Diana Bridge would actually be useful! She was the Princess of Wales. But there are no buildings, no statues, no hospitals, nothing named after her as though she really has been air-brushed out of history. Things may change a little this summer on the twentieth anniversary of her death but I don't think much will be done until the older generation dies and they'll have to be shot! 
They certainly have an extremely strong sense of preservation and the way people treat them is a total mystery to me, so much obsequiousness in the c21st and I do still believe that George V could well have put in a word for them, they didn't have to live in the UK, what about Denmark? Their royal family has provided the breeding stock for most of Europe. Queen Alexandra and Nicholas II's mother were sisters and Danish. Anyway, the Windsors are all Hanovarians, watery blue eyes and weird, give me a Stuart any day! 
Cheers, Minette.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:51

@Minette Minor wrote:
Dear Paul, 
You'll never be old! 
Thanks for the links I'll have a look. But I've always felt rather sorry for Kerensky and I agree that it would have been very different if he had sued for peace but...as Lenin and Trotsky discovered, the French and the British were never going to let go of their vast investments in Russia's new and flourishing industrial base. The so called White Army would have acted in exactly the same way towards a new "Kerensky government" had he sued for peace too. 

A Kerensky government may have been considered to be more acceptable by the West but would it ever have been forgiven for unilaterally bailing out of WW1? And taking in the real politics of the Germans they wanted upheaval in Russia and they would very probably still have sent in Lenin in his sealed train to cause it. What would Kerensky have done then?
 
The Duma was too late and took too long to recognize the complete insanity of the mobilization of Russia in WW1 and I believe the institutionalized power of the Tsar would always have been an obstacle and would Nicholas II ever have accepted being a Constitutional Monarch? 
I can't help but think there was a type of inevitability about the first Revolution especially when Russia joined the war or some believe started it! It could well be argued that they set off the Domino Effect of WW1, don't you think? It may sound simplistic but I don't think the French, the British or the Belgans wanted a war and people almost took the vapid posturing of Willie/Wilhelm II as par for the course but when the Russians mobilized against Germany they lit the fuse and Prussian pride could not resist. 

I could well be talking total nonsense but the situation in Russia was so unstable - a large agrarian base could not calmly co-exist with the super fast industrialization of so much of the country - the war helped to rush matters along but in some ways it was always going to combust! Kerensky couldn't have contained it and he'd always have to have dealt with Lenin and Trotsky who were far more ruthless than he was. 
All countries knew upheaval with the Industrial Revolution but it was almost and I mean almost, comparatively gradual in many western countries whilest Russia zoomed from an agrarian based "late medieval country," (in some areas there was still serfdom!) into the c20th in an incredibly short space of time, like a train going faster and faster and you could see the nuts and bolts flying off! It was bound to crash!          
I'm probably being Baroque again! Smile No doubt simplistic but it fascinating and thank you Paul.
Old? Never! 
Fondest Regards, Minette,

 Minette,

thank you for your insightful reply. I put it now on a French site with a lot of experts of the Russian Revolution (the first one)...will see what comes out of it...

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Mon 27 Mar 2017, 22:12

Oh dear!
This was not interesting enough to need a reply. Sorry Paul, but I thought you had a fascinating point. It is strange to think of it now but when I went to Warwick in the mid seventies it was considered to be a radical university and one of the people I loved most was Professor Chris Read, then a lowly lecturer. There was a queue to study Russian Politics and I didn't make it until the third year.
BUT meanwhile I had Dr Oakey who did Balkan History, "From Feudalism to Communism" and it was so useful. Good luck with your thread. If I can be of any use...I really loved the rise of Stalin and Czezhoslavkia, the Prague Spring. Dad actually met Dr Benes and Jan Masaryk, something I'm rather happy and proud of. 
Happy Cheers, 
Minette.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Mon 27 Mar 2017, 22:24

On the other hand Paul I am worried that you are taking me too seriously, I'm not used to it but I hope it helps the debate. You are so very interesting. 
Minette.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Thu 30 Mar 2017, 19:00

Have they ever found the remains of the Tsar's uncle who was shot on a stretcher in the fortress of St. Paul and Peter?
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Thu 30 Mar 2017, 20:43

The Bolsheviks said only that the mass grave over which the executed had been shot and in which they had then been interred was in "the courtyard". During post-war restoration however the large inner courtyard's ornately cobbled surface was removed and repaired before setting it back in place and some archaeological investigation was conducted in the portions least damaged by German shelling. Nothing apart from old foundations was recorded, and one of the museums on the site today shows photographs of the dig with an accompanying note, I remember, that actually states the Arch- and Grand Dukes' remains (four were assassinated that day, including Paul Alexandrovich) had not been found. As early as the late 1950s when this work was carried out in post-Stalinist times there was already some interest, it seems, in identifying and probably re-interring any Romanov remains that might have been found.

A problem is that, to the ordinary people of St Petersburg, the "courtyard" actually refers to the large area outside the fort's walls - where the tour buses pull up these days. It is very likely the Bolshevik guard, a local lad, who had informed the press a few weeks after the executions might actually have meant this parcel of land. This too was heavily shelled during World War Two (up to which point it had been converted to allotments) and then extensively landscaped afterwards, so it is unlikely that any remains will now ever be found.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Thu 30 Mar 2017, 20:47

@May wrote:
Have they ever found the remains of the Tsar's uncle who was shot on a stretcher in the fortress of St. Paul and Peter?


May,

I see that Nordmann already was before me...
But as I did the research...I found on Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duke_Nicholas_Mikhailovich_of_Russia


Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Thu 30 Mar 2017, 21:13

Thank you @PaulRyckier and @nordmann

It seems quite sad that men not politically involved with the Tsar regime got assinated too.
It seems they managed to located Ella Hesse and the people who were thrown in that mine with her remains so they could have a proper burial
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Thu 30 Mar 2017, 21:32

The more remote and deeper an interment the better chance it has of being preserved. Unfortunately the dukes ended up in the St Petersburg equivalent of London's Horse Guards Parade, if you can imagine the latter having had a few hundred high explosive mortars landing on it in addition to enduring years of drainage works, renovation, and Olympics volleyball events. A corpse would be doing well to survive that onslaught.

Having said that, in recent years the partial remains of no less than 106 people have been found during excavations around the fortress. A mausoleum to the executed dukes has been set up there too, and some local city officials are indeed pressing for DNA analysis to see if any of these are the lads in question so they can be interred there. So all is not over yet on that front either.

This plaque was put up in 2004. Your lad is first on the list.



How uninvolved these men might have been with the regime of their relative is a moot point, I think. The Bolshevik dilemma was when to draw the line once executions began, as each surviving aristocrat potentially could prove a focal rallying point of White Russian support after the revolution.
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PostSubject: Re: The Russian Revolutions of 1917 - Then and Now   Fri 31 Mar 2017, 22:21

Minette and Nordmann,


I have finished now my research about the Kerensky revolution on the French board. Thanks to an erudite on the Russian history I learned a lot and after all the reading my conclusion is that Kerensky even with all his flawns couldn't have reacted otherwise than he reacted. And it is due to the circumstances that this history had its flow. There would to have quite other circumstances to give the revolution another turn.
For instance if Kerensky hadn't given weapons to the Petrograd Soviets due to the Kornilov putsh attempt, but which was solved by the army without bloodshed. But in the meantime the Bolshevist Soviets had the weapons. And that after they had failed to take power and were incarcerated, Lenin described as an agent from the Germans and fled to Finland.
For those who understand French:
http://passion-histoire.net/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=39858

PS: reading on all kind of fora, among others guided by internet to the Historum site, there was a guy overthere, who had met Kerensky giving lectures at his university (in the US) and said that Kerensky was a person turning to all kind of sides...one is surprized that it is all not so long ago and that there are still Americans having met him at the university...



Kind regards, Paul.
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