“To Remove Oblivion from the Abyss Old Slogan: “In Unity – power”: Hopes and Worries of the Liberal Centrists
The author analyzes the first stage of the formation of political organizations of Russian liberal centrists (between cadets and Octobrists) in January-April 1906, during the election campaign for the first State Duma. Conclusions of the article are based on materials from periodicals and archival sources. The author focuses not only on Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also on other regions of the country, where the mentioned parties, unions, clubs were formed (Partiya demokraticheskih reform, Klub nezavisimyh, Umerenno-progressivnaya partiya, Partiya «svobodomyslyashchih», Demokraticheskij soyuz konstitucionalistov-demokratov, Soyuz mirnogo obnovleniya). The article attempts to explain the phenomenon of liberal centrism.
liberal centrists of St. Petersburg and Moscow; the provincial organization of liberal centrists; election campaign for the first State Duma in Russia
“The Task is not to Turn Russia into Paradise, but to Prevent it from Turning into Hell”: Centrist Liberals in the First Duma
The author analyzes the activities of those liberal deputies of the first Duma, who occupied a middle position between the Сadets and the Octobrists. The author concludes that they managed to consolidate their position in “big politics” at that time. They managed in some cases to influ-ence the course of events in the Duma. During its work, they tested their views on reforms in Russia, as well as the tactical principles of their own political parties.
Partiya demokraticheskih reform; Partiya mirnogo obnovleniya; the First State Duma; M.M. Kovalevskij; V.D. Kuz'min-Karavaev; S.D. Urusov; P.A. Gejden; M.A. Stahovich; N.S. Volkonskij.
Kakhanovskaya Commission and the Reforms of the 1880s –1890s
This article presents an analysis of the complex and largely contradictory process of developing reforms of the local government (peasant, zemstvo and city) performed in the 1880s - 1890s, which has started with the senatorial revisions of 1880 and ended with their implementation under the governance of Alexander III. There are two distinct stages of this development pro-cess, performed by the Kakhanov commission and the Ministry of the Interior, holding opposite points of view.The question of the nature of the transformations worried both the government and split into two factions society. The first one hold believe that a way out of the crisis based on the further expansion of the pro bono basis, while the second one saw it in the strengthening of a local government. Presented work aims to consider the process of transformations, known as "counter-reforms" of the 1880-1890s, from the standpoint of their historical conditionality. Also, it reveals the degree of influence of these reforms on the organization of local governance.
local government; reform and “counterreform” projects; Kakhanovskaya commission; Ministry of the Interior; Zemsky chiefs; organization of Zemstvo and city institutions
At the origins of liberal centrism in Russia in the early twentieth century.
The article traces the origins of the centrist trend in Russian liberalism in the early 20th century.
The author analyzes the views and activities of some leaders of this trend throughout the years
1860–1905. The conclusion is substantiated that the process of formation of the liberal center
has accelerated since the end of the 19th century.
liberal centrism; "Vestnik Evropy"; "Russkie vedomosti"; M.M.Stasyulevich;
K.K.Arsenyev; D.V.Stasov; A.S.Posnikov; I.I.Ivanyukov.
“... Illusory independent Azerbaijan…”: Information M.-E.Rasulzade for the Central Committee of the RCP(b)
The article is devoted to the reasons for the fall of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which existed in 1918–1920, to the analysis of the goals of its leaders, to the relations between Baku and Moscow, and to diplomatic contacts. Special attention is paid to the informal contacts of one of the leaders of this parliamentary republic, M.-E.Rasulzade, a socialist, theorist and leader of the ruling party “Musavat” (“Equality”) in this republic, with the Politburo of the
Central Committee of the RCP(b).
Azerbaijan Republic; M.-E.Rasulzade; A.M.Topchibashev; N.N.Narimanov; I.V.Stalin; G.V.Chicherin; A.Bodrero; A.Tsalikov; diplomacy; national policy; RCP(b); “Musavat”.
«I’m Pretty Sure That the Russian People Want Peace and Security No Less Than We, and Maybe Even More Passionately»
This article is the release of Vernadsky’s speech on the radio at the USA in 1946. The main purpose of this speech is to dispel the myth about the aggressive intentions of the USSR to establish the Communist regime around the world by enslaving Western Europe democracy. There already was strong ideological battle at the beginning of the Cold War period. All of the USSR actions were under the close eye of the American mass media, and were commonly followed by negative reports. G.V.Vernadsky thoroughly analyses and exposes many cases of so well known now ‘fake news’. He also discusses the problem of the implementation of the double standards policy by comparing different points of view on important issues of the USSR, the USA and the Great Britain.
Russian abroad, USSR image, the history of emigration.
Ukraine and Russia: Year 1920. Disputes about the Border
The article covers the complex transformation issues of the Russian-Ukrainian border in 1920. It is based on the study of the archive documents, critical analysis of publications of leading historians. The author marks, that economic factor determine the creation of the Donetsk province and the transfer to it the some Russian ethnic territories, that caused intense disputes about the contours of the Russian-Ukrainian border. The administrative-territorial dispute was settled by the orders of the Center, but the decision did not satisfy the parties.
Ukrainian SSR; The RSFSR; Don region; Donetsk Province; Ukrainian-Russian border; delimitation
USSR in 1946: public moods and mechanisms for managing
The publication analyzes the documents of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), reflecting the reaction of workers to the increase in ration prices in September 1946 and the mechanisms of public opinion management used by the Soviet government.
late Stalinism; monetary reform; post-war society; publication of the source
Much Better Revolutionists than Jewellers: to the Question about the Beginning of Irish-Soviet Diplomatic Relations
This article is devoted to the first contacts between the representatives of the Soviet Russia and the Irish Republic. As a result of these contacts there were two loans, which were given to the Soviet representatives in New York in 1920. The so-called “Russian Crown Jewels” secured one of the loans. The jewels were stored secretly in Ireland for about 30 years and even had been involved in some events of the Irish politics. In the author’s opinion, the events connected with the receipt, transportation, storage and return of those items to the USSR illustrate changes in the Irish-Soviet diplomatic relations. The author mentioned such political figures as Harry Boland, Eamon de Valera, Patrick McCartan, Michael Collins, Ludwig Martens, Santeri Nuorteva, Georgi Zaroubin.
Russian Crown jewels; Irish-Soviet Diplomatic Relations; Harry Bolland; Eamon de Valera; Patrick McCartan; Ludwig Martens; Santeri Nuorteva; Georgi Zaroubin.
From Portny's Daughter to “Enemy of the People”: Five Lives of Miza Boreva
The article of Miza Isaevna Boreva (1902–1969), a revolutionary and party leader from the 1930s through the 1940s. She was born in Odessa in a poor Jewish family, at the age of 15, Miza Boreva became a participant in the revolutionary events and joined the Bolshevik Party. She was involved in the Civil War in Ukraine and in the Crimea and the Caucasus. During the 1920s and early 1930s, after receiving a good education for the time, she had a most successful career in the CPSU(b), working at various party positions in Vladivostok, Moscow, Ivanovo and Semipalatinsk. In December 1934, at the invitation of a longtime acquaintance, A.Y.Stolyar, she left for work in the Kirov region, where she was arrested in April 1938. Freed in late 1939, in 1940 she was reinstated in the party and continued her career. In 1943, she was again expelled from the CPSU(b) and put on trial but was acquitted and reinstated once again. From 1944 to 1948, she served as secretary of the municipal party committee in Simferopol. She was removed because of an anti-Semitic campaign in the USSR. The life of M.I.Boreva is a prime example of how an historical era affects the fate of.
the revolutionary movement; Civil war; party nomenclature; political repression; The Great Terror; anti-Semitism in the USSR
"Ardent revolutionaries" Alexander Tsitovich and Anna tarelkina. The way from Irkutsk to Marseille
Based on a wide range of archival documents, the biographies of Siberian “fiery revolutionaries” – Alexander Vasilievich Tsytovich (1873–1942) and his wife – Anna Pavlovna, nee
Tarelkina (1879 – after 1957), active participants in the Irkutsk Social Democratic underground
of 1904–1912, then – of political emigrants. Information is presented on the activities of
A.V.Tsytovich after returning to Soviet Russia in 1919, on his work as director of the Library of
the State Historical Museum (1929–1933).
Irkutsk organization of the RSDLP; illegal Bolshevik press; Irkutsk security department; Russian political emigration in France; Library of the State Historical Museum; archival documents; Tsytovich Alexander Vasilievich; Tsytovich (Tarelkina) Anna Pavlovna.
Prince Oleg's Shield in the Revolutionary «Interior». Image of the Orient in Russian Journal Satire of 1917–1918
On the basis of analysis of the Russian satirical journals complex of 1917–1918 the article deals with the research of the formation and change of the images of the Orient in Russian public opinion and press in the period of Great Revolution and the beginning of the Civil War. The author proves the ambivalent attitude of Russian satirical journalists to the image of Turkey (hatred/empathy) as a satirical object. The context of such an attitude is common military, political and geopolitical situation of the epoch – the crash of old imperial regimes as a result of the Great War and revolutions.
revolution of the 1917; Civil War in Russia; satirical press; «Novy Satiricon» public opinion; images of the Orient; Turkey in the First World War; Caucasian front.
"It Would Make Sense to Publish These Letters Quickly in Light of Theirenormous Value...". D.B.Ryazanov and the Publication of Marx. 1931
This introduction and document publication reveals an unknown episode in the biography of D.B.Riazanov after his arrest in February 1931—his letters to the journal "Bolshevik" and the Central Committee Politburo regarding the publication of a letter of Marx to his daughter in 1881. The publication of Riazanov's two letters from 11 and 12 April 1931 and E.L.Gurevich's letter shed light on the history of the formation of the archival collections of the Marx Engels Institute, and in particular the history of the text of Marx's letter. The letters of V.V.Adoratskii published here from 29 March and 2 June 1931 uncover the political meaning of the Marx letters that Riazanov had "hidden", as well as the motives behind the removal of Riazanov from the post of Marx Engels Institute rector.
Marx Engels Institute, D.B.Riazanov, V.V.Adoratskii, stalinization of the historical sciences, the K.Marx archival collection, Marxist studies, publication of Marx.
Russian Immigrant Historians and the Second World War
This article examines the attitude of Russian emigrant historians in the United States to the Second world war and the participation of the USSR in it. This war left no one indifferent neither in Europe nor on other continents. How did they react to her Russian caught in this time far beyond his country and long ago left her? Whether they tried to help the USSR, whether participated in any actions or rejoiced that there was an opportunity at last to overthrow Bolsheviks? The author tries to give answers to these questions in this article.
Russian abroad, World War II.
he Soviet Journalism’s First Steps
There were many people who had no time to determine their side (because the process of division had just begun) in the first professional organization of journalists that was created in 1918 immediately upon the revolution. The organization was the Noah’s ark of the Soviet culture. The author considers the disputes that began among various representatives of the Soviet culture and revealed impossibility of their unity and solidarity. The Soviet journalists’ Union was doomed because the society in its post-revolutionary condition turned out to be absolutely fragmented. The Noah’s ark of the Soviet culture in the ocean of revolution found “the land” where it was decided to stop, to step out and gain the expanse under feet: for proletarian writers and journalists the expanse became the proletarian domain, for S.Yesenin and his comrades it turned out to be the imagistic land, for representatives of the Left front it became the Left front domain and for those who thought the culture as separated from the proletarian dictatorship still considered the culture as the modernist culture. So conditions for the harshest competition of new culture’s directions fighting with each other were gradually created. Each of these directions held to become the principal, mainstream and the only direction in culture and society.
The Soviet Journalists’ Union; the Proletarian Culture; Sergei Yesenin; modernism; dictatorship of the proletariat.
Liberal Centrist Vladimir Kuzmin-Karavayev: "The State Should Go Before Its Citizens, Leading Them Towards Law, Truth and Freedom"
The article presents a "portrait against the background of epoch": the profile of V.D.Kuz'min-Karavaev (1859–1927), military justice officer, the active participant of the Zemstvo movement, member of the 1st and the 2nd State Duma, participant of events that took place in 1917, and the active personality of the Russian émigré community abroad. By his political opinions he be-longed to the centrist current of the Russian liberalism (conditionally speaking, he occupied position between the Constitutional-Democrats and the Octyabrists and a peculiar position in the Russian multiparty system of the early 20th century. In 1906–1907 Kuz'min-Karavaev was one of the Democratic Reforms party, a member of the Progressive Party Central Committee in 1912. Kuz'min-Karavaev's position on the most important issues of the Russian life and perception of his ideas by coevals are reconstructed and characterized on the basis of various sources.
V.D.Kuz'min-Karavaev; school and politics (discussion held in 1900); centrism in the Russian liberalism of the early 20th century; the 1st and the 2nd State Duma; Progressism and the problem of nationalism; the Great October revolution of 1917; the Russian community abroad.
The publication presents new documentary evidence from the papers of the Council on Foreign Relations and Allen Dulles’s personal papers at Princeton University which pictures Dulles in 1944–1946 as a sober and pragmatic foreign policy expert quite different from the popular image of a rabid Cold Warrior bent on destruction of the Soviet Union from the end of World War II onwards. In fact Allen Dulles of that time was still in favor of finding some modus vivendi with the USSR based on mutual recognition of spheres of influence. He distanced himself from the Cold War hawks and proposed some practical ways of post-war settlement. These documents demonstrate that Dulles’s views had undergone some evolution before he became one of the main organizers of covert war against the Soviet Union as a Director of Central Intelligence Agency in 1950-s.
Allen Dulles, Office of Strategic Services, World War II, Cold War, Council on Foreign Relations, post-war settlement.
Moscow Everyday Life (м.б. Daily) Spring of 1952. Impressions of Foreign Guests
The work on scientific and publishing projects “Stalin’s economic heritage: Plans and discussions (1947–1953)” and “Social heritage of the late Stalinism” goes on the basis of the Russian State archive of social-political history”. This article deals with analysis of the International Economic Conference held of 1952. These materials demonstrate significance of economic aspect for the Soviet leadership’s choice of national economic strategy. Another aspect of the problem is attractive too. Reports of interpreters who worked with foreign delegation provide a unique opportunity to look into the humdrum of Moscow spring of 1952 through the “glance from without”, i.e. impressions of foreigners who tried to form their own attitude to achievements and omissions of Socialism while relying on the picture of common everyday life.
late Stalinism; foreign policy; the Soviet humdrum; standard of life; national economy; international conference; publication of a source.
Siberian Marxists on Examination Provided by the Revolution of 1905
The critique had to become Zereteli’s debut on pages of “The Russian Treasure”, one of the most popular and influential Russian monthlies of narodnik and, later on, liberal trend. For Zereteli a publication in so prestigious magazine was the desired but earlier unobtainable trial of strength in the path of Russian journalism. However that debut did not happen. As Zereteli put it himself, the great Russian revolution of 1917 opened opportunities for actual transition from words to deeds on the basis of implementation of lessons given by the revolution of 1905 and for unification of all democratic forces in the common struggle for the country’s happiness and prosperity. But that was only an illusion. New discords, political deafness of rivals and opponents, new splits and the fratricidal civil war waited in the future. And the scale and consequences of this civil war were on par with the bloody world war that had changed the world and hardened the human hearts.
prison; hard labor in exile; exile; political prisoners; deportees; agents provocateurs and provocations; capital punishment and justice; historical purpose of the revolution of 1905; “living forces of the nation”.
At the tipping point of epochs General N.N.Dukhonin (1876–1917), the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army, had to perform the most arduous task: he had not only to reinforce the defense of warring Russia but he had at the same time to restrain influence of rebelling elements on the tired army. The rebelling elements promised to solve painful problems if Russia made the immediate peace with Germany and its allies. Having committed himself to the uncompromising struggle against the imminent anarchy Dukhonin kept his guard at the General Headquarters in Mogilev and ignored threats and blandishments originated in Red Petrograd. Relying on the human reason Dukhonin strove to avoid the bloodshed though he was aware that the odd come shortly days of the revolution would be charged with deadly dangers for him personally.
General N.N.Dukhonin; World War I; аnarchy in the troops; demands of the Bolsheviks for concluding peace with Germany; death of the general.
“Siberian Marxists” about the Exam by the Revolution 1905
This publication introduces a previously unknown manuscript by Irakli Grigor’evich Tsereteli into scientific turnover. Tsereteli was one of the early 20th century Russian Social-Democracy leaders, a notable public and statesman of all-Russian level who was a member of the Socialist International Operative Executive Committee in 1918–1931. In that capacity Tsereteli represented the Georgian Social-Democracy in a very dignified way. The manuscript was discovered by Doctor of historical sciences, Professor and the Principal of the Parliamentary archive of Georgia I.P.Yakoboshvili. Yakobashvili and his colleagues from the Russian state archive of social and political history, R.M.Gainullina and P.Yu.Savel’ev prepared the manuscript for publication. For readers’ benefit and convenience I.G.Tsereteli’s manuscript will be published in two successive magazine issues.
I.G.Tsereteli;Vl.S.Voytinskiy; N.A.Rozhkov; political and literary activity; prison atmosphere; inner world of prisoners; single-heroes; an incentive to self-determination.
“All My Conscious Life Belongs to the Party and the Motherland…”. A.N.Garry’ Letter to I.V.Stalin
The article deals with the letter written to I.V.Stalin by A.N.Garry, the journalist who in 1938 was sentenced to 8 years of hard labor camp imprisonment. A.N.Garry described reasons of the sentence he had got, his own merits before the USSR and entreated Stalin to give him a chance to return to the literary activities. In autobiography attached to the letter A.Garry described the main events of his life.
A.N.Garry; I.V.Stalin; B.A.Dvinski; G.I.Kotovski; the “Izvestiya” newspaper.
“Siberian Marxists” about the Test by the Revolution of 1905 (the continuation)
We keep on publication one of those documents of the Great Russian revolution of 1917 that should close up a significant gap in our notions of how the Russian Social-Democrats tried to comprehend not considerable but their own historical experience in the years after the first Russian revolution, how they tried to define and enunciate particularity of Russia’s economic and political development, Russian social groups, their political culture and to explain inevitability of some Russian Social Democratic Labor Party’s programmatic ideas revision and refinement.
I.G.Tsereteli; Vl.S.Voytinskiy; N.A.Rozhkov; political and literary activity; prison atmosphere; inner world of prisoners; single-heroes; an incentive to self-determination.
“For "Great Russia" Only Four Nails are Needed…”: Female Images of the 1917 Revolution in Domestic Journalistic Satire
The article is based on the analysis of Russian satiric journals (“Novyj Satiricon”, “Pugach”, “Bich”, “Strekoza”, etc.), of their public position and political esteems of the revolutionary crisis in Russia. The central point of the study – the feminine images of the triad “Russia – Revolution – Liberty” as metaphors of the revolutionary changers. The research attests: Rus-sian political satire of the epoch in its main genres is a very valuable historical source because it demonstrates in a form of the images a way to appropriate by the society the experience of revolutionary changes and so provides a researcher with the instrument to penetrate the struc-tures of everyday life in times of revolutionary crisis of 1917–1918.
The Revolution of 1917; satirical press; “Strekoza”; “Bich”; “Pugach”; “Novyj Satirikon”; Russian journalism; imagology; feminine images; the Bolsheviks; Brest-Litovsk peace treaty.
1917 Mirrored by the Satire, Diaries and Contemporaries’ Reminiscences
Breakdown of monarchy in Russia brought about the fall of censorial restrictions Topics that until recently were under the ban became open for discussion and presentation on satirical publications, cinema and at theaters. How did the educated society take advantage of the freedom the society had got? First of all, the old regime in persons of Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, and czar’s ministers were subject to the total mockery. Upon V.I.Lenin’s return to Petrograd, enhancement of the Bolsheviks’ positions and the July crisis the total critics was hailed on the Bolsheviks. Later on the critics was diverted on “Kornilovschina”. Finally A.F.Kerensky became the subject of derision. In result a part of intelligentsia moved from reprobation of certain individuals to the criticism of the people and Russia as a whole.
Revolution of 1917; political satire; intelligentsia; political culture; historical psychology; diaries; reminiscences.
“Demons”, “Gamblers” and “Dreamers” or How a Person Becomes a Revolutionary. Part V
The Terror is one of the most mysterious and debatable subjects in the history of the French Revolution. For a long time it represented the main research focus for historians whose interpretations, however, were strongly influenced by contemporary ideological battles and political prejudice. The historiography of XIX and XX centuries traditionally offered two opposite hypothesis. On the one hand, the Jacobin dictatorship resulted probably from a whole complex of economic, social, and military difficulties in the country (“theory of circumstances”). On the other hand, the state violence perhaps put a logical end to philosophy of Enlightenment (conception of “historical fatalism”). The black-and-white picture was brightly coloured under a jubilee celebration (1989) by numerous alternative propositions.
French Revolution (1789–1799); political culture; theories of social and political organization; image of ideal state and society; law and violence in the system of public administration.
“Demons”, “Gamblers” and “Dreamers” or How a Person Becomes a Revolutionary. Part IV
The French revolution represented for enlighteners the most propitious occasion for the making a «kingdom of Reason» a reality. The evolution from fiction to reality, from subjective mood to indicative mood was imagined in most peaceful manner, without destructive rebels and indignation. During the first revolutionary period the legislation was directed to the creation of an ideal state and a citizen (new world and new man). However the permanent danger to social order brought the government to pass the extraordinary law against malevolents in contravention of the Constitution. The violent realization of an earthly paradise derived its strength from the revolutionary psychology but also from the ancient conceptions (the idea of social compact and the practice of “roi de guerre”).
French Revolution (1789–1799); political culture; theories of social and political organization; image of ideal state and society; system of public administration.
“Demons”, “Gamblers” and “Dreamers” or How a Person Becomes a Revolutionary. Part III
As a hostage of his own selfishness the individual is not acceptable in the ideal state. His only possibility is a self-regeneration in refusing his personal interests and liberty in favor of common wealth. As a representative of pure Virtue he is owned by Revolution. Out of private emotions, evaluations and profit he escapes vengeance and gets an omnipotence in defiance for somebody else’s ends. During the revolution hero’s archetype (as an originator of a new life, a victor of enemies and obstacles) creates in political culture a kind of «civil religion» abounding in «cathedrals» (Panthéon), iconography and cults (public holidays and ceremony).
French Revolution (1789–1799); political culture; theories of social and political organization; image of ideal state and society, historical psychology, personal history.
“Demons”, “Gamblers” and “Dreamers” or How a Person Becomes a Revolutionary. Part II
The political culture of the French revolution appropriated the ideas of Enlightenment. Owing to the evolution of natural and exact sciences the enforced confidence in an infinite capacity of human reason (rationalism) made possible not only activity in acquaintance and direction for social life but even the creation of an ideal state («kingdom of Reason»). The moral order replaced the religion as a main element of spiritual unity in a new society. The “virtue” represented in this way the principal category of social and political life; it was adopted by revolutionaries for their theory and practice.
French Revolution (1789–1799); social and political thought of the XVIII c.; political culture; theories of social and political organization; image of ideal state and society.
“Demons”, “Gamblers” and “Dreamers” or How a Person Becomes a Revolutionary. Part I
Contrarily to traditional analysis of the politics main components (property interests, lawful, institutional and social principles of power) the publication turns towards a new political history in studying mechanism or everyday life of power (methods, efficiency of function, image). Personality, subjectivity are the most characteristic features of revolution. How one comes to revolutionary? Is it possible to speak about number of persons, little active in ordinal but essentially important in critical moment? Or there are some circumstances able to provoke crucial deviation in one’s mind and action? Quantity of unpublished documents from archives helps us to understand the whole chain of problems: cultural origins of the revolution; making up a «new human being»; law and violence in revolutionary administration; discourse of the revolution.
French Revolution (1789–1799); social and political thought of the XVIII century; political culture; revolutionary leadership; new political history.
“But He is in our List…”: Remarks Related to the History of Public Sentiments in 1937
The article is devoted to description of the public sentiments in 1937, in the time of “Great Terror” in the USSR. Testimonies given by A. N. Garry, journalist from the “Izvestia” newspaper, in the course of investigation carried out in 1937 are published, commented and analyzed. Biography of Garry, his contacts and causes due to which he went up for three times are described.
A.N.Garry; the “Izvestia” newspaper; People’s Commissariat of Interior; H.H.Yagoda; war in Spain.
“Demons”, “Gamblers” and “Dreamers” or How a Person Becomes a Revolutionary. Part VI
The language, according to Jacobin leaders, was a political instrument, speaking and moving the revolution. The controversy normative language / jargon was represented as controversy of moral and spiritual values: patriots / emigrants, progress / darkness. The French language personified Republic, Enlightenment, Liberty, patriotism, positive knowledge, providing with gentle and harmonious sounding, lucidity and methodicalness, reason. On the contrary, the dialects were perceived as a symbol of feudalism, barbarity, slavery, superstition and fanaticism, translating harsh and indecent idioms, jargon and vulgarity, sensibility.
French Revolution (1789–1799); political culture; theories of social and political organization; image of ideal state and society, revolutionary discourse and linguistic policy in the system of public administration.
“One of the Last Mohicans of… the 1870s”. A.S.Posnikov, the Liberal Centrist
The article presents “the portrait against the background of the epoch”: A.S.Posnikov was a major authority in economics, publicist, organizer of higher education and pedagogue, public figure and politician, one of the leaders of the centrist (between the Constitutional Democrats and the Octobrists) current in the Russian Liberalism of the early 20th century. The particular attention is paid to contribution of Posnikov and his followers to elaboration of the “new Liberalism” ideas, of the “mixed economy” model for Russia, of innovative approach to problems of party building. For the first time Posnikov’s activities during his tenure as the Main Land Committee chairman under the Provisional government are characterized on the basis of archive sources and publicist writings and additional information on Posnikov’s life after the October revolution is adduced.
economist; political writer; organizer of higher education and pedagogue; public character; politician.
A.K.Voronski in the Literary and Political Process: the Mid-1920s – the Early 1930s
The author considers biography of A.K.Voronski, one of the principal figures of the literary process in the 1920s. In 1922 the Bolshevist Party entrusted him not only with censorship but also with guidance of writers whom L.D.Trotsky called “fellow-travellers”. Particularity of the situation consisted in the fact that in the mid-1920s the party admitted the proletarian culture’s inadequacy. The proletarian culture required cooperation with the old prerevolutionary culture in order to acquire the experience accumulated by the old culture. Voronski helped “fellow-travellers” to survive and at the same time tried to instruct representatives of the young proletarian culture in literary mastery skills. This activity caused bitter criticism of the Proletkult representatives who saw in Voronski’s activity the enginery of the class enemy. Co-existence of various literary groupings was possible because the idea of class war within the country still did not gained ascendancy in the party.
the proletarian culture; the Proletkult; censorship; fellow-travellers; literary process; Trotskyism.
A.K.Voronski in the Literary and Political Process: the Mid-1920s – the Early 1930s (the end)
In the final part of the article A.K.Voronskii’s political persecution is discussed, as well as investigative cases, that reveal harassment mechanism employed during the Stalinist era. The published archival excerpt from investigation file opened in 1937, contains a detailed description by Voronsky of the party and literary figures whom the authorities considered part of the Trotskyist opposition. Despite the origins of the document, its data does not contradict our information from alternative sources. Just the assessments are radically different. What was the legal factional activity in the second half of the 1920s, in 1937 already was treated as a grave crime against the Bolshevik Party. The new document, which is introduced into scientific circulation, will help researchers understand the intricacies of political and literary nature relating to the “Pereval” journal, where Voronsky was one of the founders.
the proletarian culture; the Proletkult; censorship; fellow-travellers; literary process; Trotskyism.
Echo of Churchill’s Fulton Speech in Light of New Documents
The documentary essay explores the less-known circumstances surrounding the famous Fulton speech by W.Churchill. It is based on the British archival sources, first of all – reports from the British Embassy in Washington on Churchill’s visit to the United States and on American public reaction to the Fulton speech. It demonstrates that the initial response was very mixed which pushed Churchill to change emphasis in his subsequent speeches in the U.S. But ultimately, as concluded by the author, the “iron curtain” speech contributed to the shift of American public to the cold war mode.
Fulton speech; Churchill; Truman; Halifax; cold war.
Thoughts Caused by a Letter. Once More about Intelligentzia on the Eve of February, 1917
In years prior to the fall of the Russian autocracy intelligentsia circles discussed urgent issues of war and patriotism, authority, inevitability or possibility of revolution. Activities of these circles were a part of political everyday reality and are reconstructed on the basis of coevals' correspondence including a little-known letter written by M.F.Andreeva to M.Gorky.
letters; everyday life; non-formal associations; patriotism; imperialism.
Mikhail Kol’tsov’s Political Articles Written and Published in 1918–1919 in Kiev: Materials to Bibliography
The article is devoted to the early journalist work of M. E. Kol’tsov who later on was the famous Soviet journalist and one of the Soviet press organizers. Kol’tsov’s little known early article ‘Kings' vengeance' originally published in Kiev newspaper «Free thoughts» in 1918 is reproduced.
M.E.Kol’tsov; “Free thoughts”; “kings’ vengeance”; the Civil war; Ukraine; hetman Skoropadski.
The «Satirists' Case» and «Krokodil» Magazine: from the History of the Soviet Journalism of the 1930s
The authors describe the popular feelings of the 1930s in connection with the history of «Krokodil» magazine reformation. The criminal case filed against three Soviet satirists (N.R.Erdman, V.Z.Mass and Emil Krotki who were accused of writing and disseminating «anti-Soviet» fables and subsequently sentenced) is analyzed. The authors also examine criminal cases brought against M.D.Volpin, M.A.Gloushkov, A.S.Bukhov and Ya.M.Bel'ski.
“Krokodil” magazine; the Soviet satire; N.R.Erdman, V.Z.Mass, Emil Krotki, J.V.Stalin, H.G.Yagoda, “God XVI” almanac.
Vassily Shulgin and the «Ukrainian Question»…
V.V.Shul'gin (1878−1976) is a politician and member of the Sate Dumas, a participant of the White movement, prominent publicist of the Russia community abroad. As early as prior the revolution Shul’gin paid attention to a great potential of the Ukrainian nationalism and warned about that. During the Civil war the topic acquired further development in Sul’gin’s articles that are relevant even today.
the Civil war; Ukraine; Russia; society; national question; geopolitics.
«Shuttle Diplomacy Harry Hopkins». On the History of the Letter to Stalin
During the World longest crisis — the Great Depression and the Second World War — in the USA one man stood nearest to the president Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was Harry L. Hopkins — trusted and loyal lieutenant of the president. From his work as a social worker in the New Deal through his most dangerous assignments during the war Hopkins demonstrated his best qualities — intellect and the art of creative diplomacy in negotiations with world leaders. By the fall of 1941 Hopkins became a key figure in US-Soviet relations. The main part of the article deals with the unknown Hopkins' letter to Stalin written by the special presidential envoy after his Moscow visit in July 1941.
The Second World War; shuttle diplomacy; Roosevelt; Churchill; Stalin; Hopkins; lend-lease; antinazis coalition; Hopkins visit to Moscow.
People from Footnotes. Maxim Maximovich Kovalevski as an Austrian Captive
The article is devoted to a poorly studied period of life of M.M.Kovalevski (1851−1916), the distinguished scientist and public figure. This period is connected with Kovalevski’s staying in intern condition in Karlsbad (Austro-Hungary) from July, 1914, to February, 1915. Analysis of various sources allows not only making up gaps in Kovalevski’s biography. The analysis also enables to elucidate difficulties experienced by Russians who happened to find themselves in a similar condition at the outbreak of the WWI. That is very important because issues like adaptation of Russian prisoners to new severe conditions, their everyday life, creation and testing of mechanism of prisoners and interns release and repatriation are yet poorly investigated.
M.M.Kovalevski; the Austrian captivity; attitude to the war; condition of Russians interned in Austro-Hungary in 1914–1915.
Moscow–Kaunas–Vil’nyus in 1940–1941. Between Geopolitics and Social Issue
Peculiarities of the Soviet power making in Lithuania in pre-war years are reflected in documents held in the Russian State Archive of social and political history that are published now. It is demonstrated the key motives of the Soviet power activities wee as follows: 1) military and political considerations connected with expectancy of war; 2) radical transformation of the Lithuanian society social and economic structure that relied upon a complex balance of ideology, practical needs and real possibilities.
geopolitics; foreign policy; the Baltic states; Lithuania; economy; ideology, archive documents.
«…An important phase of the peace offensive of Moscow …». Based on materials from the International Economic Conference 1952
This article analyzes the documents of the International Economic Conference held in Moscow in April 1952. The authors clarify and enhance the common point of view on the formation of foreign policy doctrine of late Stalinism. In addition, the published documents are a clear illustration of pragmatic solutions of current problems of internal and foreign policy of the Soviet government. The reader gets a rare opportunity to «see» the events in a historical context by the «eyes» of their members, which is especially relevant in the context of modernity.
late Stalinism; foreign policy; economic sanctions; trade embargo; an international meeting; the publication of the source.
«The Damned Revolt of the Matter Enslaved by the Man»: Contemporaries on the World War I
Assessments of the World War I as the war of an entirely new type are adduced in the article. Opinions of philosophers (Fr. Jünger, V.V.Rozanov, F.A.Stepun, politician L.D.Trotsky, psychiatrist I.A.Sikorsky, writer Pierre Drieu La Rochelle are presented. E.N.Trubetskoi and P.B.Struve demonstrated in their articles how the war aggravated national problems and engendered the «Ukrainian question». The conservative position expressed by Antony Khrapovistky, L.A.Tikhomirov and M.O.Men'shikov. L.B.Voitylovski and V.V.Korsak characterize the war as the direct participants of fighting.
the World War I; war of machines; society; anthropological approach; national question; moral crisis; war experience; geopolitics.
One of the biggest operation of the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War was operation Bagration held in 1944. We knew about that operation practically everything. But some documents found recently in Russian military archives open new interesting pages in history of operations Bagration and Overlord.
Overlord; Bodyguard; military deception; Fortitude-South; Fortitude-North; London Controlling Section; soviet General Staff; secret intelligence and counterespionage services.
The Dymovka Affair: an Episode of the Soviet Regional Press History
The authors relate details of so called Dymovka affair, a large-scale press campaign connected with slaughter of G.I.Malinovsky, the agrarian correspondent of the «Red Nikolaev» newspaper. The authors analyze press materials, art works and archive materials pertaining to the event as well as to the trial of «murders of the agrarian correspondents». The authors come to the conclusion that the real reason of the press campaign was the struggle for power between I.V.Stalin who was supported by F.E.Dzierzynsky and L.D.Trotsky. The article demonstrates how sinuosity of this struggle was reflected in press publications, first of all, in the «Red Nikolaev» newspaper.
the Soviet press; political struggle; press campaign; the “Red Nikolaev” newspaper; G.I.Malinovsky; Dymovka; I.V.Stalin; L.D.Trotsky; F.D.Dzierzynsky.
The End of the Pirogov Society
The most authoritative in the Russian empire the Pirogov society of doctors was established in December of 1885. It carried on regular congresses of doctors and occasional meetings with the collective discussions of every medical problem. After events of October, 1917, the board of society called doctors to boycott the Soviet instititons. In May of 1922 the Pirogov society members made the public protest against severe exploitation of the medical labor, humiliating labor duty and arbitrariness of medical establishments' administration. In summer of 1922 the Pirogov society was closed down and some of its members were deported to the Northern and Eastern regions of Russia or exiled to West Europe.
Pirogov society of doctors; creation of the People’s Commissariat of public health; labor duty; denunciation made by the People Commissar of public health; “Doctors” operation.
«I have Tasted of the Wine of Death, and its Flavor will be Forever in my Throat»
After nearly one hundred years the Great War of 1914−1918 continues to affect the spiritual climate and international conditions under which our contemporary global society exists. Among the important sources which unleash the untold stories of that global conflict there are forgotten reminiscences of a few trained eyewitnesses of the war actions on the Eastern front where the most dramatic confrontations between the Russian Army and the armed forces of the Central Powers began in the first days of August 1914. The Robert R. McCormick's book «With the Russian Army» belong to this kind of once published and «lost» memoirs. The media magnate from Chicago was the only stranger to be invited to Russia and the Russian armies. His duty was manifold: to bring to America the information which «was denied to others», to see from within the military organization of a country geographically so like American size and so eminent in military experience and to feel in the proper sense a call to genuine Russian patriotism that could not be refused by Russian haters. As a matter of fact McCormick’s book published in Autumn 1915 was first in-depth research which explores the conditions that gave rise to the military conflagration of 1914−1918. The article and two appendixes tell us the unique story which reflects the authentic vision of the observer, who came in touch with the bloody massacre of world war.
Great War; Russian army; Eastern front; Germany; France; Galicia; conscription; Balkan wars.
«For Me You are the Most Close and the Dearest Person»: Gratitude for Help Provided in Leningrad Besieged and Blockaded
The article deals with practices of survival in the blockaded city in the most difficult time, from autumn of 1941 through spring of 1942. It is demonstrated that despite the collapse of ethical norms and weakening of ties among different social groups provision of help to family members and to the most vulnerable social groups, i.e. elderly people, women and children, remained the ethical values inhabitants of Leningrad kept to profess even during the greatest social disaster of 20th century. A particular attention is paid to the practice of gratitude for help. It is noted that respondent presents to people who had provided support were scanty and poor but nevertheless were a tradition emerged in the besieged city. The author demonstrates that the moral values inherent to people could express themselves even on the period of enormous suffering though not to the full extent in interpersonal relations.
Ethical norms; blockade; the besieged city dwellers; moral traditions.
Co-authored with Himself: Two Autobiographies of S.Ya.Alliluev
This article is dedicated to the problem of how intertextual and contextual factors influence an autobiography. The aim of my thesis is analysis of the both S.Y.Alliluev's autobiographies, written in 1922−1923 and 1944−1945. I am trying to show peculiarities of the first text’s influence on the next, differences in systems of argumentation and plots' choice.
autobiography; S.Y.Alliluev; history of the USSR.
«We, „The Crocodile“ …»: the Power and the Satirical Press in the 1930s
The author considers the Soviet satirical press of the 1930s on the example of «The Crocodile» magazine. The historical and political context of the magazine’s existence is discussed in connection with tasks that were set for the Soviet satire of that period. The author analyzes «The Crocodile» editorial board’s policy, the circle of the magazine’s writers, main themes of publications. A particular attention is paid to the issue of denunciations on the magazine’s staff members made to the State Political Directorate. Reasons of «The Crocodile» reform of 1934 are considered in detail. The article is predominantly based on archive materials including documents from the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation Central Archive.
satirical press; “The Crocodile”; M.Z.Manuilskiy; A.S.Buhov; G.P.U. (Political State Administration); White Sea-Baltic Canal; M.E.Koltcov.
Anna Akhmatova under Surveillance of the MGB
In August, 1946, A.A.Zhdanov, the Secretary of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) launched the campaign against dissent and nonconformity in the Soviet literature. Zhdanov chose literary magazines «Zvezda» and «Leningrad» as well as M.M.Zoschenko, the writer, and A.A.Akhmatova as and his main targets. Preparing his huge report A.A.Zhdanov used the reference cited below and produced by the Ministry of State Security Department for Leningrad region.
dissent; “Zvezda” and “Leningrad” magazines; the Min-istry of State Security reference; A.A.Zhdanov’s report; Alhmayova’ verses.
«Toward New Horisons». Americans about the US Aims at WWII — First-Hand Information
The article is based on the US Office of War Information (OWI) brochure «Toward new horizons» (1942). The OWI was central governmental agency that promoted information on Franklin D. Roosevelt diplomacy and US war efforts during the World War II. The translated into Russian brochure consists of the chief US politicians and is designated to show the US aims at WWII to the general American reader. The main ideas of it are as follows: resistance to the Evil (Nazis and Japan militarists), that will be finished by victory of Good (United Nations) that will provide wellness all over the world.
US; WWII; Office of War Information; public diplomacy; public opininon; E.Davis; D.Nelson; G.Wallace; C.Hull; S.Welles; M.Perkins; J.Winant.
«Only Personal and Confidential». American Diplomats on Causes and Secret Springs of the World Catastrophe in 1938–1939
The article and publication of some unknown documents from a private correspondence of American diplomats describe the substance of the polemics in modern Russian historiography of the genesis of the WWII.
The author claims that the archival sources of special origin — personal diaries, letters of professional American diplomats to their colleagues, their highly confidential in governments' offices, newspapermen and family friends provide an upright overview of events in dramatic history of Europe in 1938−1939 which proves that the «traditional» school of historical research is more close in general to the correct interpretations of the international relations in the 1930s including the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
European crisis; Munich capitulation; Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact; collective security; Churchill; Hitler; Stalin.
V.E.Groum-Grzhimailo on Specialist Training on Technological Higher Education Institutions in the 1920s
The author considers problems of engineering and technical personnel training in the 1920s. In particular, the author investigates principal guidelines of the Soviet system devised for the purpose of cadre question solution in metallurgy. The greatest attention is paid to analysis of metallurgical high quality engineer training system ich was suggested by the prominent metallurgical scientist, the Associate Member of the USSR Academy of sciences Vladimir Efimovich Groum-Grzhimailo who was the father of hydraulic theory of flame furnace computation and the author of works on physical and chemical fundamentals of steel-smelting processes, size-grading of forming rolls and refractory materials making.
young engineers; high school; engineer training system; metallurgy.
A Walk along Paths of the Past. Fragments from Moshe Levin’s Attachments
Moshe Lewin is one of the major foreign explorers of Soviet Russia’s social and political history. His works «Lenin's Last Struggle» and «Russian Peasants and Soviet Power» (both books were published in 1968) occupy as of right the place among those fundamental writings that, according to prominent Steven Cohen’s words, «superceded single-mindedness and axioms of Soviet studies with scientific pluralism and broad vision». As it turned out, the only book by Lewin translated into Russian is his last book, «Soviet Age». Publisher Gleb Pavlovski in his foreword to the book titled «Textbook of caution for heroes» has justly remarked: «…It is the book on the Soviet school of politics, on the Soviet type of domination that emerged spontaneously (as result of acceptance of responsibility for the sinking country) and succeeded in entrenching itself in history though at a heavy cost». The keen and impartial vision and of Lewin’s expressions are in many ways determined by Lewin’s own life experience. In particular, these experiences are reflected in Lewin’s Attachments (that are published for the first time) and narrate about years of the Great Patriotic War Lewin spent in the USSR: about Sovietization of Lithuania, Jewish youth organization Gashomer Gozeir, work in a collective farm and in shops of Serov steelworks, about service in construction units and training in Podolsk military school.
Catastrophe; ghetto; uprising; collaboration; “Sparkles in the darkness”; collective farm; machine and tractor station; construction unit; Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Roosevelt–Litvinov: the Two Meetings in the White House with Interval Eight Years Long
The article brings to life a fulcrum moment in history of Russian-American relations in XX century which took place at the very time of the Great Depression and when it was recognized in full the seriousness of the Japanese threat in Asia and the reality of the Nazi menace in Europe. In Autumn 1933 the new president of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt fully appreciated the gravity of these development and initiated the recognition of the USSR. As a result of the negotiation with the Soviet foreign commissar M. Litvinov the establishment of relations between the United States and the Soviet Union was announced in November 16, 1933. Thus the sixteen years long, notorious non-recognition was closed and the path to more or less durable relationship between the two countries was opened. The article reveals not only the historical significance of the Roosevelt-Litvinov meeting as one of the first indications of the two states' marked solicitude for the precarious position of the peace-loving nations in the face of the Nazi menace and Japanese militarism. It was also a clear recognition of the Russia’s role in international relations and seriousness of Soviet offer to prevent attacks of the aggressors at the first sign. The efforts to stop the war failed but the ordeal of WWII proved definitely that the personal relationship of confidence between leaders and diplomats of the Big Three was entirely necessary and possible. M. Litvinov in his quality as a soviet envoy to Washington (1941−1943) was successful in gaining Roosevelt’s sympathy and involving him in talks concerning the postwar international security and world structure.
Soviet-American relations; non-recognition; Colby note; Roosevelt initiative; Washington negotiation; Litvinov; Skvirsky; Bullitt.
How about not Repealing the Law on Jews, but Simply not Applying it?» Leonid Brezhnev, Dйtente and Jewish Emigration from the USSR
The article describes the history of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union in the first half of the 1970s. The desire of the Soviet leadership to limit the opportunities for emigration, especially for those people who got higher education, led to a confrontation with the USA. On the basis of archival documents, including the notes from the L.I.Brezhnev's personal diary, we can examine the pragmatic policy of the General Secretary of the CPSU which was aimed at continuing the «détente», taking into consideration the «Jewish question».
Jews; emigration; tax; USA; Brezhnev; KGB.
People from Footnotes. «I was an Enfant Terrible of a Kind in the Constitutional-Democratic Party»
The article is devoted to a little-known page of A.V.Tyrkova-Williams' biography (1869−1962). A.V.Tyrkova-Williams was a public and political figure of pre-revolutionary Russia and the Russian emigration and died 50 years ago in Washington. The peculiar position this lady held in the Central Committee of the CD party as well as the analysis of her publications in ‘The Russian Buzz' (Saint-Petersburg, December 1912 — August, 1913) (Tyrkova-Williams was the unofficial editor-in-chief of the newspaper) allows the author to characterize her as a major figure of the centrist current in the Russian liberalism (tentatively speaking, between members of the CD party and members of the ‘Union of 17 October' party) that jelled in events of the Russian Troublous Time of the early 20th century).
A.V.Tyrkova; ‘The Russian Buzz’; centrism in the Russian liberal thought and practice.
A Contribution to the History of the Judaism-Christian Relations in Russia in the 1st Half of the 18th Century
The Russian-Jewish relationships in the early modern times are considered as poorly studied. The evidence of the fact is an extensive body of devoted to the history the Jews in Russia. Nevertheless, archive documents allow making a series of important conclusions in respect of the initial period of the first Jewish communities' adaptation in the territory of the Russian Empire. The author examines record keeping documents related to appearance of the first Jewish communities in Smolensk region in the first half of the 18th century. These documents highlight the circumstances under which the famous «affair» of Boroch Leibov was formed.
Russia of the 17th and the 18th centuries; the early modern period; historiography; the Russian-Jewish relationship; the first Jewish communities in Russia; local authorities; record keeping documents; the Boroch Leibov affair.
After Stalin. How the Mechanism of Repression Ran down
The article is devoted to events that occurred immediately upon death of Stalin. The apparatus of suppression functioned in non-stop regime for a while and the will was required to stop it. But was it the will indeed? Perhaps, it would be more precise to speak of the paralysis of will as a symptom that was also generated by working machine of suppression. New documents found in archives illuminate this puzzle of the Stalinist repression mechanism’s halt.
repression mechanism; Stalinism in masses
300 Years of Nomenclature Rollcall
In January of 1722 Czar Peter I affixed his signature on so called «Table of ranks». This original state act established three parallel ladders of ranks for civil, military, and court services in Russia. Components of the built vertical of ranks were united around the principle of permanent ascendancy of pretenders to certain peaks of bureaucratic career in accordance with length of personal service. Abrogation of this one of the most fundamental acts of autocracy was a natural sequence of revolutionary events of 1917. However the hidden impact of the ancient Czar’s decree, a reminder of the governing role of transformation its logic introduced in the society and armed forces was in different degrees felt for a long time. Most likely, in new Russia specialists of various profiles will express the attention to the ancient text in order to draw relevant conclusions required for understanding of the past problems and issues of current practice of state government.
“The Table of ranks”; principles of construction; changes in document; the present-day status of state servants.
How Truman sought the Kuriles from Stalin
The article deals with a little-known episode of Soviet-American relations in the end of World War II. It analyses a diplomatic struggle over adherence to Yalta agreements on Far East with an emphasis on Kurile islands. Using new documents from American military and diplomatic archives the author traces the origins of President Truman’s request for basing rights on Kuriles expressed in his August 18 message to Stalin. It is demonstrated that far from being an isolated improvisation it was a culmination of a long process of U.S. attempts to penetrate strategically important Kuriles.
Yalta agreements, Soviet-American relations, Kurile islands, Truman-Stalin correspondence, World War II
«I am thinking of one Thing Only: of the Public Weal and Grandeur of the Motherland»
It is the first publication of the full text of the letter sent by former Czar general K.L.Ghil'chevski to M.I.Kalinin. The reasons for writing the letter were cares about the pension. However the letter content is not confined to these cares. Ghil’chevski expounds his own biography emphasizing the fact that during the revolution of 1905 he refused to take part in punitive operations and during the Civil war he did not go to serve under A.I.Denikin. The ex-general analyzes the Soviet system uncompromisingly, sometimes on the verge of anti-Soviet appreciations. Ghil’chevski also emphasizes his commitment to patriotism. The letter caused a response and Ghil’chevski’s manuscript that summarized his battle experience during the World War I was published in the USSR as a single volume.
the World War I; the Civil War; K.L.Ghil’chevski; M.I.Kalinin; the letters to the power.
Origination of Double Standards in the Soviet Ideology
While Stalin was alive only he could be equal to the truth and only he could know the truth. Upon his death an ideological corporation emerged and this corporation took it upon itself to exercise control over the truth. Yet every functionary authorized to trace congruence of «practice» and «theory» knew that his functions of control were limited. The ideological apparatus of the Party inherited monopoly rights to the truth as a corporate heir. It was precisely the corporation which started to claim to the knowledge belonged to the caste. This knowledge released «the elected few» of unnecessary formalities. Answers to citizens concocted at the «Kommunist» journal were not different from answers produced under Stalin. However discussions within the editorial board (minutes started to be composed since January, 1954) are characterized by an important distinction: name of Stalin was nearly absent in these discussions. N.S.Khruschev in his report to the CPSU 20th Congress uncovered the terrible truth about the cult of Stalin’s personality to the communists yet still clung to the deep-seated double standards: his report was a «secret» one and its content was meant for «our crowd».
Stalin's death; collective leadership; “Kommunist” journal; double standards; july plenum of the CPSU in 1953.
Vassily Ivanovich Lyulin, the Worker from Yaroslavl City
On the basis of broad archive materials the author examines one of the Stalinism history particular episodes — the conflict of an Yaroslavl enterprise workers and the top party chiefs of the city. The author focuses his attention on the figure of V.I.Lyulin, the popular leader who dared to challenge the party chiefs. The workers rallied and supported him. The conflict provides the vivid example of the workers' confrontation with the authorities on the eve of «the great break» and the Stalinist repressions of the 1930s. The study is carried on along the lines of so widely known approach as micro-history. The essence of this scientific method consists in demonstration how an epoch’s trends, its universal, systemic principles are reflected in minor, particular collisions. The approach enables the author to come to a hypothesis that Stalinism was not so much the expression of the barbarian Asiatic mode of governance over the masses as one of manifestations of the all-European crisis which started in the 20th century, in the epoch when the Modern society entered the period of decisive trials.
Stalinism; the conflict of workers and the top party chiefs; the confrontation with party; the era of repressions.
Published but not Assimilated
Materials of six commissions (on general political issues, foreign policy, elaboration of legislative drafts, agrarian issues, national economy and labor regulation issues, and national issues) of the Social Democrat fraction of the Constituent Assembly are stored in the Russian State archive of social-political history. Though these documents were for the first time published more than 10 years ago, they still are not duly involved in the scientific turnover. Meanwhile these documents illustrate how the principal points of the Russian Social Democratic Workers (unified) Party’s Declaration were elaborated and discussed. I.G.Tsereteli's speech and the Declaration he read off were the brightest event of that extraordinary short but shattering day which predetermined the future of Russia. Having dispersed the Constituent Assembly the Bolsheviks transgressed the point of no return. The first step towards establishment of the single party system was made.
Russian State archive of social-political history; Documentary heritage of political parties of Russia; Russian Social Democratic Workers (unified) Party; the Constituent Assembly; the Social Democrat fraction; Yu.Martov; I.Tsereteli.
«The Former Anarchy is Over…»: the Russian Pro-German Еmigration after Hitler’s Aggression against the USSR
The publication indicates the mood of the part of Russian emigration when Hitler attacked the USSR and the efforts of pro-German emigration leaders to put everything in order by clarifying the German position towards refugees from Russia. It is shown that the former Russian empire citizens, who had left their country after the establishment of the Soviet government, were going to «save Fatherland from the oppression of Communism» using the German help and to take part in the Russia’s «revival». Despite this, Foreign Russia did not find its place in the Hitler’s plans. «The Russian question» was considered by German ruling group only with a view to widening their own living space. Emigration activity was considered as disorganizing factor.
Russian emigration; World War II; princess Vera Konstantinovna; Ju.Jerebkov; A. fon Lampe.
The British Spy’s Girl-friend
M.P.Golikova, a daughter of a peasant from Astrakhan region who had a large offspring, was a nurse in the N.V.Sklifosovski's Institute. From 1934 she was the permanent instrument nurse and the secretary of the famous surgeon the Academician S.S.Yudin. At dawn of December 23, 1948, Golikova was apprehended as a person involved in Yudin’s case (Yudin was denounced as the British spy). Golikova was forced to provide fictitious testimony against the Academician and 10 months later she was sentenced to 8 year imprisonment in the USSR Ministry of Interior Special regime camp. In spring of 1952, upon her denial of some evidence given earlier her sentence was reduced to 5 years and in May of 1953 she was released due to the amnesty. 4 years later all accusations against her were abrogated and she was exonerated. Yudin himself was exonerated in August, 1953. 10 months later he died of a heart disease. Having lost the most close to her heart man Golikova dedicated the rest of her life to preservation of Yudin’s archive and to publication of his works. For the first time in the history of Soviet medical science an editor-compiler of the Academician’s works was not a prominent professor but an unknown medical nurse.
the famous surgeon S.S.Yudin; nurse; arrest; consequence; verdict; amnesty; rehabilitation.
«The Critical Thought is a Revolutionary Factor in History»
The published text is the first public appearance of the prominent Russia Social Democrat, one of the Mensheviks' leaders Yuli Osipovich Martov. This text is the foreword written by Martov for the Russian translation of the «Collectivism» speech delivered by J. Guesde, the French Socialist. The illegal publication of this speech undertaken by Martov’s circle inaugurated transition of the circle members from ideologically undefined Radicalism to Marxism. Then when Martov was 20 years old he enunciated political principles he considered to be of highest priority. Martov remained to be loyal to these principles to the grave: the total rejection of the «conspiracy tactics» in struggle for power and the unconditional, independent value of struggle for democracy.
Y.O.Martov; the Russian Social Democracy; J.Gesde; Marxism; democracy; publication of the text of a source.
Grand Strategy of the USSR after WWII by the Eyes of the British Intelligence
The publication is devoted to estimates of Soviet strategic interests produced by the British intelligence toward the end of WWII. These documents from Britain’s National Archives are primarily interesting because of their fairly objective and comprehensive analysis of Soviet postwar security requirements and a rather accurate forecast of future Soviet policy in pursuit of those interests. The Soviet sphere of influence as outlined in these estimates is quite close to and sometimes even exceeds the actual geopolitical requests made by Stalin by the end of WWII. This implicit recognition of legitimacy of the Soviet geopolitical desiderata contradicts the conventional thesis that the Soviet Union after the war went far beyond its legitimate security interests and thus provoked the Cold War with the West.
World War II; Soviet security; Soviet security interests and policy; Stalin; borders and spheres of influence.
Babel’ and Voroshilov. Voroshilov’s Report to the Central Committee of RCP(b)
Present work is the first publication of the report on «Red Cavalry» by I.E.Babel’ from the archive of K.E.Voroshilov. It establishes the fact that the report written by the writer A.I.Tarasov-Rodionov had to become a culmination point of the annihilating campaign aimed at Babel and A.K.Voronsky, the editor-in-chief of the magazine «Krasnaya Nov». The publication allows readers to understand better the backstage literary life of the 1920s, and at the same time to follow the changes in the Bolshevick party policy towards the «poputchiki» in literature.
I.Babel’; K.Voroshilov; magazines; paper warfare; society; politics; Red Cavalry; Civil war.
The Old Patriotism «Reoriented to New Russia»: Eurasian conception of P.N.Savitski
The article and the attached letters P.N.Savitski exchanged with G.P.Struve and P.P.Suvchinski cover the principal guidelines of Savitski’s Eurasian conception that Savitski not only kept for 55 years but, after change of his mind, consistently applied to Soviet Russia. The author exposes the atmosphere of emigration in the late 1950s and the early 1960s. Renowned persons (M.Tsvetaeva, N.S.Trubetskoi, L.P.Karsavin etc.) are mentioned in the recollections. In an amazing way Savitski succeeded in combining an admiration for the Soviet Russia’s achievements with the impregnable faith in the Russian people’s religious feeling.
eurasian conception; russian emigration; soviet-russian messianism; westernization of Russia; world russification.
P.S. Details of Life of Franklin D.Roosevelt, the USA President
From his entrance into public life before World War I through the years of Truman administration and up until his last days Felix Frankfurter, a prominent American lawyer and university professor with a profound concern to the whole sphere of human rights and social reform was always at the vital center of American politics. He reached a key position in American intellectual elite during the Great Depression in the 1930's and thanks to President Roosevelt’s promotion became an influential member of the US Supreme Court. He was known as a leading adviser to the New Deal administration. Moreover he was closely associated with «the Roosevelt’s family circle» and frequently took part in conversations with the president behind the closed doors of the White House. Frankfurter’s previously unpublished letter to a friend from April 24, 1945 describing the first reaction on Roosevelt’s death and analyzing the future of American politics gives a vivid reflection of the transitional time the American nation was to live though in the immediate postwar situation.
Roosevelt; last days; Yalta; an image of the politician; memory of generations; a boundary situation; a world order.
People from Footnotes. «…Dear Grisha Tovstoles». An Addendum to the Eurasian Movement’s History
Grigori Nickolaevich Tovstoles (1887−1957) is a figure of the Russian emigrant community who is virtually unknown in the present day Russia. G. Tovstoles fought in the White army during the Civil war and he was one of the earliest participants of the Eurasian movement in emigration and a member of several Masonic lodges. In 1946 Tovstoles who lived at that time in France accepted the Soviet citizenship. In 1951 Tovstoles was detained by the USSR Ministry of State security in the territory of East Germany. The article for the first time introduces into the scientific turnover materials of investigation against Tovstoles (these materials are kept in the Russian Federation Federal Security Service' archive).
Russian abroad; the Euroasian movement; emigration; a freemasonry; political reprisals, G.Tovstoles
A Time to Throw Stones. The Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989, November 9–10
This year, it will be exactly 20 years since the opening of the border between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany that took place on 9 November 1989. The world saw in this event mainly the «fall» of the Berlin Wall that for 28 years had divided East Berlin, the capital of GDR, from West Berlin that maintained the nature of a territory occupied by the victorious powers of World War II. The legal status of the border between the sectors in Berlin, theoretically considered to be within quadrilateral responsibility, was not equal to the status of the «Germano-German» border, which, from the outset, had been the border between the autonomous zones of occupation, that in 1949 became (with a number of caveats) independent states. The inclusion of the Berlin sector border in the decision taken by the GDR authorities in November 1989 to liberalise the regime of the crossing of the border with FRG by East Germans was an unforgivable international-law mistake that resulted in serious domestic political problems. By midnight 9 November, the situation at the Berlin Wall border-crossing points became explosive: crowds of GDR citizens demanded to be allowed to cross to West Berlin, while the border guards had not yet received any clarifications of the new border regime. Those dramatic events that nearly degenerated into armed violence are described in the journal notes of the then Minister-Counsellor of the USSR Embassy in Berlin that are complemented by the memoirs of other participants and eye-witnesses of this turning point in post-war history of Europe.
Reunification of Germany; relations between FRG and GDR; internal political crisis in GDR; West Berlin; downfall of the Berlin Wall.
Decembrists and the People: Presentation of the Problem
This paper is a publication of documents on peasants' riots in Ukrainian village Germanovka in the mid-1820s. The documents reveal that in summer pf 1825 peasants were pacified by a troop team of the Chernigovski infantry regiment which a few months later took part in the Decembrist revolt. The publication is prefaced with the article analyzing Decembrists' attitude to the people at large and to the public disturbances in particular.
Persons from the Footnotes. S.E.Shevich, the American Socialist from Russia
What one can get to know of a person from a reference given in a footnote? Date of birth and death, social origin, positions the person occupied, and person’s party membership. The hero of this essay is a typical person from the footnotes. Gentleman, officer of the Senate, admirer of Marx he gained celebrity in radical liberal circles of the Russian intelligentsia in 1871, after his performance at the meeting hosted by Professor N.S.Tagantsev where the person made a report «On the essence of Constituition» according to F.Lassalle. 7 years later this person met the lady who had been the cause of Lassalle’s death in result of duel. Since that moment they lived together for nearly 25 years in Russia, USA, and Germany. The essay published in our magazine is the first narrative about their life, bright and difficult, with ascents, falls and the tragic outcome.
Which Way Germany? Soviet Plans to Resolve the German Question in 1953
The re-united ‘bourgeois-democratic' Germany on the pattern of the Weimar republic — this was the Soviet blueprint for resolving the German question as of late May-early June 1953 (see Doc.1). A month later a subject of a German unity was first tuned down (Doc.2) and eventually vanished altogether from the Soviet political agenda (Doc.3) Why this sea-change? In an introductory article an attempt is made to pinpoint the reasons and motives of the Soviet leadership in making such a sharp turn. In commentator’s view, it was the explosive events in East Germany in June 1953 that played a crucial role in this context. Further transformations in the Soviet treatment of the German question — up to the early 90s — are addressed to in a final part of the article.
«…As the Inveterate Foe of Bolshevists» (Excerpts from Judicial Scrutiny File of V.V.Shulgin)
V.V.Shulgin (1878−1976) was a well-known political and public figure of pre-revolutionary Russia and the Russian emigration. Even though his books are reprinted again in Russia, much in destiny of the man is a secret for historians. In particular, that refers to materials of the judicial scrutiny file that are stored in the Russian Federation Federal Security Service Central archive. The fragment published here refers to Shulgin’s public and political activities in pre-revolutionary period and during the Civil war in Russia.
As Szilard Wrote to Stalin
The article based on new documents from American archives illuminates a little-known episode of the Cold War history connected with a courageous struggle of a prominent physicist Leo Szilard to remove the threat of war and stop the nuclear arms race. It describes the story of his «Open letter» to I. Stalin of late 1947, that was preceded by internal fights among academic community and government bureaucracy. The letter itself is being published for the first time in Russia with necessary comments and background. The story of this document presents a vivid example of a collision between one of the earliest proponents of the new thinking with inertia of the Cold War policy and bureaucracy on both sides of the iron curtain.
V.S.Voitinski to Harvey and his Offsprings. Letters, 1933–1939: on the Time, Events and Politicians
Vladimir Savelievich Voitinski’s letters to Petr Abramovich Harvey are surprising examples of warmth toward the addressee, comprehensiveness of the most important world events coverage and depth of their analysis, of impartial characterization of known political figures (Russian as well as American ones), exactitude of everyday sketches, of lambent humor and of doubtless literary gift of their author. The selection includes just a small part of collection. Letters written by Harvey, his wife Sophia Samoilovna and their children, daughter Sylvia and son Yuri in response are unavailable. However the selection is quite self-sufficient. All consistent topics (economic, political, personal ones) are complete and provide no only panorama of the most important world events of that watershed period in the 20th century which was exceptionally saturated with all kinds of disasters but also assessment of these events by one of the most wise and bright Russian politicians and scientists who unfortunately is poorly known in his motherland (See publication «Economic opinions of V.S.Voitinski» in our magazine No. 6, 2005.).
V.S.Voitinski to Harvey and his Offsprings. Letters, 1933–1939: on the Time, Events and Politicians (the end)
Doctrianiarism can kill Weltanschauung, even the most developed and wholistic one. V.S.Voitinski's letters published in the issue are, inter alia, about that. They are about those objective and subjective circumstances that inexorably led to wreck opinions held by the Overseas Delegation of RSDWP leaders. A.N.Potresov justly characterized these opinions as «creation of revolutionary fiction». However let’s not forget that those leaders were not just politicians but also people of their own time, of that phantasmagoric world which had been created by WWI, Russian revolution of 1917, fratricidal civil war and emigration. These people experienced terror of the Bolshevist dictatorship, emergence and success of fascism, bitterness of Munich surrender and beginning of WWII. Their assessments were wrong. They overestimated their own potential and forces, they believed in triumph of socialism even in circumstances that were inappropriate for such expectations. Let us respect them with all their weaknesses and shortcomings.
«…... Everything is Heading to a Coup»
Leo Tikhomirov, a revolutionary and ideologue of «Narodnaya volya» who became a monarchist and editor of the «Moscovskie vedomosti», for more than 30 years kept a diary. Shortly before his death Tikhomirov passed his diaries over to the Rumyantsevs Museum for keeping it in custody. In recent years monarchists have republished Tikhomirov’s works and popularized his heritage actively. However Tikhomirov’s diary is actually unknown to general readers. In many ways that is due to the fact that thoughts and opinions contained in the diary not always complement what Tikhomirov declared in public. At the present time ROSSPEN publishers prepare publication of the full text of L.A.Tikhomirov's diary for 1915−1917. The commentaries will be attached to the text. Many of what was written by Tikhomirov 90 years ago can arouse interests of researchers who study history of Russia and of the Russian conservatism. Selection of fragments from the diary for 1917 (it is published for the first time) demonstrates the deep crisis of the author’s Weltanschauung and his disappointment in the principles he had professed upon his skip to the monarchist camp.
True Picture of the Beginning of the World War II
The article, based on contemporary press analysis together with the two attached original documents from American manuscripts collections, tackles some fundamental questions related to the breakdown of the old world order, the Versailles system in the «Era of Munich». As the title indicates the author chooses to focus on the explanation for the collapse of fragile, shaky peace in September 1939 by presenting the testimony of the first-class witnesses whose worldviews and capacity to evaluate the great powers' performance in the prewar crisis situation and over the first stage of the Second World War nobody could call preconceived or unreliable. The essay gives the picture of the pre-WWII international structure in the process of disintegration and disarray through the eyes of the most experienced observers from the New York Times staff and long-standing expert on Russian foreign and domestic affairs Professor Samuel Harper from Chicago University. Since the spring 1917 professor Harper was assigned to a special mission — to provide the American policy makers with advanced analyses of «Russian phenomenon» with the goal of culling lessons and meeting challengers. For many years he was an unofficial adviser to the US State Department in the field of soviet-american relations. Harper was very successful in communicating the main features and peculiarities of Stalinist modernization of Russia. He was also acknowledged as a leading authority on post-Versailles Europe, gliding down to the greatest catastrophe in its history, which culminated in Nazi invasion against Poland, the capitulation of France and the demise of the balance of powers in Europe. The basic thesis of the article is that in the face of Hitler’s aggression the Western democracies (including the USA) by neglecting or underrating the new global role of the Soviet Union endangered not only the interests of their own but the world peace as a major priority. It took almost two years for London and Washington to recognize the Soviet Union’s potentially crucial role in the fight against fascism in cooperation with Hitler’s foes. But it was done reluctantly only after the collapse of France on June 1940 and coming up to a clear comprehension what was at stake.
The Landscape after the Battle
What the World War II and the Great Patriotic War was about? Who was its main instigator and the source of danger? Which side was the truth on? These questions, which seemed to have been resolved once and for all, are being raised again by journalists, historians and politicians who try to replace labels of good and evil from some countries to other. That is why it may be instructive to go back to how the essence of this great struggle was perceived by its immediate participants in 1945. The most convincing evidence of Western allies' true feelings by the end of the war are American intelligence and diplomatic reports on a situation in a liberated Germany, discovered by the author in the U.S.National Archives. Of special interest are reports of summer 1945 interrogation of the top Nazi leaders which American high command never shared with its Soviet ally.
The unpopular mentor and his faithful disciple: Correspondence between Vladimir Gerier and Vassily Rozanov
The article represents the correspondence between Vladimir Ivanovich Gerier, the professor of Moscow university and his student Vassily Vassil’evich Rozanov accumulated for 30 years (1886−1916). V.I.Gerier who was not an ordinary personality is unjustly cosigned to oblivion nowadays though his contribution to the science is indubitable. Gerier was the author of brilliant monographs on the Roman history, medieval history and modern history. His books have not become obsolete and are read with the most vivid interest. Gerier was a prominent figure of the public and pedagogic fields (he was the founder of the Higher female courses). V.V.Rozanov is more famous in the history of literature and philosophy of the late 19th — early 20th century. He was a leader of the «new religious conscience»? the founder of a new genre in literature («The fallen leaves») which had a great impact on the Russian writers. Nowadays Rozanov books are widely republished and his heritage has been investigated by scholars. Actuality of the correspondence is obvious: the possibility of spiritual communion between persons of different ages and social standings is demonstrated on the example of relationship between the faithful disciple and the responsive mentor.
How the Russian Social Democrats Celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Their Party
When the Russian Social Democrats celebrated their first 25th anniversary 80 years ago they made the first step along the path of making myths of not only their own history but the whole Russian history of the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. As they took definite shapes both radical wings of the party, Bolshevists and Mensheviks, that in the old days stood at the origins of the single Russian Social Democratic Party tried, first of all, to purge centrists and rightists from their ranks. Having accused each other in betrayal of the working class and the world revolution’s interests both wings tried to credit to themselves the exceptional role in the struggle for the socialist future of Russia. However none of them succeeded in this undertaking: neither the RCP (b) though at the moment it was the ruling party which controlled the state propaganda and punitive structures, nor the RSDWP which went underground and continued its struggle not only against extremities of Bolshevism but also against apostasy in its own ranks. Thereby the RSDWP finally denied and rejected the chance to unite all those currents in the Russian Social Democracy that stepped forward for realization of broadly understood democratic transformations in Russia that, as they thought, would be possible after overthrow of the Bolshevist dictatorship. In a word, the silver jubilee of the Russian Social Democracy failed. It demonstrated that only an objective approach to understanding of the party’s history as well as of history of the country had not claim the decisive role for one group at the expense of all other groups and would not re-write its own inconvenient pages to please notions that temporarily gained the dominance.
«Letters are the Historical Documents; …They are to be Published as Works of Independent Value»
Overcoming of established stereotypes and notions related to evaluation of the past events is a very complicated undertaking. It requires the same sensitivity and creative effort as the work of restoration master. Only by removing all attempts to the past smooth and depositions in characterization of actual and chronological sequence of events and their actors one may escape that impersonal «resultant» against which Boris Nikolaevski, one of the leading investigators of the Russian political history, protested so vigorously.
Yu.V.Andropov on resignation of N.S.Khruschiov
The article is a comment to the document which is being published for the first time. It is a record of a conversation which was held between Yu.V.Andropov, then a Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, and Pavlovski, the Ambassador of Czechoslovakia to Moscow, on October 24, 1964, and was related tо reasons of N. Kruschiov's deposition from position of the First Secretary of the CPSU CC and the Chairman of the USSR Council of ministers in October, 1964. The document witnesses that at that time the new leaders of the CPSU preserved the line which presumed the necessity to inform the Soviet allies about most significant actions of the USSR in its domestic and foreign policies. The letter contains certain information about the way in which the CPSU CC letter on Kruschiov’s resignation was discussed in the USSR and reactions the event caused in of the party organizations of various levels. The document also contains some information on the reaction caused by Kruschiov’s deposition in Czechoslovakia. In the introductory comment to the document the Soviet leader is presented as a politician who cannot be reduced to a simple one-dimensional interpretation. Though Kruschiov was spotted with all birthmarks of the system which had nurtured him he undertook efforts to improve the system. However, the reformer’s good intentions paved the way to his fall from the political Olympus. Demise of Kruschiov put the end to the period of so called «Kruschiov's thaw».
On Issue of Internal Tensions and Contradictions within Eurasianism in 1920s
The original Eurasianism was driven by the pathetic protest against the petty political games of the Russian emigrants. The Eurasians thought that salvation of Russia lied not in new political upheavals but in preservation and multiplication of its spiritual and creative potential. However the Eurasians were seduced by their prompt successes and the prospect of influencing processes inside Russia and soon passed to concoction of immature historiosophic and politological concepts that were intended for broad presentation and not void of propaganda and blatant demagogic content. G. V. Flotrovski’s letters that are published here constitute the evidence of how painful this departure from original tasks proved to be for Eurasianism itself and how this reaction brought about, in the final resort, schism and degradation of Eurasianism.
On Eurasians' Attitude to the Nazism
The publisher resolutely reject some researchers' allegations about rapprochement of the Eurasianism and the Nazis. The Eurasianism which emerged among the Russian emigrants of the first wave was created not by politicians but by the prominent, outstanding representatives of the Russian culture and was absolutely incompatible with the Nazism. The political ideas of the Eurasian movement cannot be understood if they are considered not within their proper culture-centered and religious context. The letters which are published here demonstrate beyond any doubt that all attempts of Meller-Zakomelski who took pains to attract Eurasians to the Nazis' side failed because they were definitely rejected by N.S.Trubezkoi, one of the Eurasianism’s founding father.
Heroes of the Battle for Moscow
The memory about the Great Patriotic war of 1941−45 and its heroes was sacred in our country. So much the worse that in the course of 'reform' history of this war has been subject to desecration, abuse, and defamation. Publications have appeared where it is argued that the well known examples of heroism and courage of the Soviet people are mere fictions produced by the Stalinist propaganda. Therefore, it is important to examine the total mass of information on the war and to avoid suppression of some secondary details of the heroes' biographies. For authors of the abusive books mentioned above use these minor facts are as their principal data for their distortions of the history. Familiarization with archive data on Natasha Kovshova and Masha Polivanova who names are not so widely known as Zoya Kosmodem’yanskay and Aleksandr Matrosov cannot leave anybody unimpressed. Their heroic deed is but one example of heroism manifested by the Soviet people on the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War.
D.D.Shostakovich's Correspondence with Americans. Year 1942
The publication of some documents from the State Archives of the Russian Federation offers much fascinating material testifying to the deep sympathy between the outstanding representatives of the cultural elites and artistic communities of the USSR and USA during the World War II. This sympathy has arose from the identical understanding of the common danger — the world fashism, which brought the horrors and tremors of War to the peoples of both countries. These understanding and spiritual closeness found their embodiment in the short correspondence between the great soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the world famous conductor of the New York philharmonic orchestra Arturo Toscanini emerged from the genuine historical occasion in the history of the antifashist Resistance during WWII — the first performance of the Shostakovich’s symphony № 7 in the USA on 19 July 1942. It was a passionate call for solidarity of the two great nations in their struggle against the brown plague and for a better world.
1945: The National Interest as Viewed by Americans
As World War II was drawing to a close, U.S. policymakers, diplomats and publicists worried about the future of the international system but, even more than that, about the American national interest in each of its components. Given their country's overwhelming power, they now expected to refashion the world in America's image and establish "the American century". They intended to promote world peace, foster international stability, safeguard national security, perpetuate American power and prosperity in spite of the growing strength of the Soviet Union and its new role in the European affairs and geopolitical situation as a whole. The Hamilton Armstrong's memorandum for the Secretary of State (E.Stettinius), written on the eve of the Yalta conference, reveals the new global view of the American foreign policy ideologists, convinced in the superiority of the American values, as well as economic and military power.
The publication of little known working notes on background of Yalta conference by Charles E.Bohlen - a prominent American diplomat of 1940-1960-s and an active participant of Yalta proceedings sheds new light on the old debate about Franklin D.Roosevelt policy toward the Soviet Union. Was Yalta an honest mistake, a betrayal of American interests, or a realistic compromise? Which side was primarily responsible for Yalta's unfulfilled promise? Bohlen's case for FDR's realism, while quite convincing in some respects, goes too far in absolving the US from any responsibility for the collapse of the Grand Alliance. Yalta's ambiguous legacy remains an important lesson for future American-Russian relations.
The Russian-Persian Diplomatic Contacts and the «Caucasian Question» in the Early 17th Century
Even during the Troubled times when Russia experienced a painful and profound crisis, Moscow state tried to maintain contacts with Persia and to protect its interests in the Caucasian region. On his part, the Shah of Persia was looking for chances of rapprochement with Tsars of Moscow, Boris Godunov, Dmitri the False I and Vassily Shuiski. Shah needed their support in his struggle with the empire of Osman Turks. This consideration did not prevent Shah from planning annexation of southern Russian lands at the culmination of the Troubled times. Only restoration of the state and order in Moscow made Shah Abbas I to repudiate such plans and helped to revival of friendly relations between Russia and Persia.
The Last Days of the Third Republic of France
Herewith is digest of confidential meeting of the Council on Forein Relations (USA, New York City), July, 15, 1940 with count Carlo Sforza’s report on the last days of the Third Republic in France. The principal point of the eyewitness review of the generally known Italian politician and diplomat sounded like that: the basic reason for the collapse of France in June 1940 is not German tank divisions, Stuka dive bombers or espionage. These weapons assisted in the defeat but they were not fundamental. The real explanation is psychological. In contrast with the First World War (1914—1918) which unified France, the beginning of World War II divided the nation into two camps. It is the existence of these two Frances, Carlo Sforza argues, which more than anything else explains the collapse of the postversailles France. Generally speaking the lower and middle classes regarded Germany as the great enemy and believed in fighting to the bitter end. On the contrary the upper classes were implacably opposed to any kind of war with Germany for they were hipnotized by one danger and only one: Bolshevism. «They would have welcomed a war with Russia any time». That was the most essential Sforza’s account concerning the higher priority interests of the French upper classes during the crucial years of 1939 and 1940. The tragedy of France told by Carlo Sforza brings us to a historical parallel with the breakup of the Soviet Union in the course of which «the Petain syndrome» played almost the decisive role.