The myth of the storm on the Winter Palace | politics

The myth of the storm on the Winter Palace | politics

Russia is having a hard time with the Revolutionary Jubilee? also because one knows that the historiography of the Soviet era is in contradiction to the historical facts.

The Kronstadt sailors came through the back door, ground floor, from the Neva shore. "Energetic tapping, a gray liveried servant opens frightened. 'Where do we come to the provisional government here?' "The Soviet historian Witali Strelzow wrote in 1988 still a pathetic style. But even then he published details that contradicted the official myth of "storm". The servant had vaguely waved that the revolutionaries had lost their way in the nearly 1100 rooms of the Winter Palace and had been disarmed to dozens of officers' classmates. Then they would have discussed with their guards whether they should not surrender better.

On the waterfront Oleg, a tourist from Anapa on the Black Sea, strolls past the parterre wooden door with a paper cup of coffee. Yes, of course, he knows about the October Revolution. "We also took them to the law school. Do not ask me exact dates! "But afterwards blacksmiths and workshops were allowed. They did not exist before. "I do not know what Russia would have done without a revolution."

On November 7, 1917, according to the Tsarist-Julian calendar on October 25, the "Great Socialist October Revolution" took place in St. Petersburg, then Petrograd. It is considered in Russia as in the West as a turning point in world history. Although it was only a mediocre military coup, even though the big decisions came before and after. And although she plunged Russia into disaster.

The real revolution had already happened in March: Russia was threatening to lose the First World War against Germany, hundreds of thousands of capitalists took to the streets, garrison regiments mutinied, and the Tsar abdicated. In Petrograd a dual power established itself: the national-democratic provisional government wanted to continue the war, but the local workers 'and soldiers' councils were increasingly under the influence of the Bolsheviks Vladimir Lenin. & Nbsp;

"The Bolsheviks won because they were the most cynical," says St. Petersburg historian Konstantin Zhukov. The provisional government became increasingly unpopular as a war party. But Lenin and his comrades scored with slogans: "peace", "bread" and "land". This was mainly due to the army, which mostly recruited from farmers. "In a way, you can compare the Bolsheviks with the right-wing populists today," says Zhukov. Especially since Lenin was silent at that time about the sensitive, leftist points of his program - of nationalization, class hatred and world revolution was no question.

When the Bolsheviks resorted to power on 6 November, it quickly became apparent that it was vacuum. Armed workers and soldiers began to occupy railway stations, telegraph offices and bridges. "All the important points of the city go into our hands, almost without resistance, without struggle, without sacrifice," wrote Lev Trotsky, who commanded the action. Hardly any soldier wanted to defend the regime that wanted to send him back to the front. Premier Alexander Kerensky took off in the automobile. The population saturated with rallies and demonstrations barely took note of the change of power. & Nbsp;

"Revolution means the change of one social system through another in the interest of the people," says historian Zhukov. "The so-called October Revolution was simply a coup d'├ętat."

At 10 o'clock in the morning of November 7, General Yakov Bagrutani, Chief of Staff of the Petrograd Garrison, telegraphed to the High Command: Normal quiet life prevailed in the streets, but the troops no longer obeyed. "The government has lost the remnants of its power."

There remained another formality: the arrest of ministers in the Winter Palace, which the Bolsheviks had surrounded. He was defended by a squadron of Donkosaken, a female volunteer company, and more than 2,000 "Junker" officers. But only ten percent of the squires were nobles, the rest were peasants, laborers, artisans. It was followed by a few shootings, and most Junker aimed at the night sky. In between, the defenders negotiated again and again with parliamentarians of the Bolsheviks. As a result, women and Cossacks left. & Nbsp;

Soviet historiography later revealed that a hospital with about 1,000 war wounded was in the Winter Palace. Nevertheless, the Bolsheviks opened fire from several guns. But the artillerymen confined themselves to 40 shots with practice ammunition or weak shrapnels. & Nbsp;

At about one o'clock in the morning, an observer who paused above the left portal of the palace reported: "A delegation of 300 to 400 men is approaching." Even their leader Vladimir Antonov-Ovsejenko noted no fighting: "The Junkers made no resistance, we came unhindered inside the palace and committed to seek the provisional government. "She was arrested 50 minutes later. "The 'storm' of the Winter Palace, as it is shown in numerous revolutionary paintings and films of the Soviet era, has practically not occurred," summarizes the historian Igor Simin. & Nbsp;

Hardly anyone sensed an era change. Especially as the revolution wobbled. In late November, the Bolsheviks lost the constituent assembly elections, solving the problem by having their guards block out the new parliament the night after the first sitting in January. Civil protests were shot down.

The civil war began, but the Bolsheviks also wanted to conquer the sovereignty over the year 1917. Together with sympathetic intellectuals they created a myth, "the storm on the Winter Palace". He was transfigured to the dramatic climax of human history.

The communist US reporter John Reed, in his book "Ten Days Shaking the World," raves about the powerful fists and jaws of the October Revolutionaries, their brutality becoming the early Soviet ideal of beauty. The third anniversary was celebrated with a mass spectacle on site. Stars of the young Soviet culture put 150 spotlights and 8,000 participants in position, including several hundred acrobats and 500 musicians. Then it hailed paintings, poems, films that created a bloody-heroic battle for the Winter Palace. Cinema director Sergei Eisenstein used his legendary silent film "October" to burn the icon of the Bolshevik heroic man who storms, dies, but finally, gains the consciousness of the Soviet public. Photos of his mass scenes made it as illustrations to the "storm" of the Winter Palace in Western textbooks. The October coup became a big fake revolution.

Vladimir Putin's Russia faces the 100th anniversary of the event rather indecisively. On the one hand, the experts argue how many victims of Soviet-era terrorism cost. On the other hand, Josef Stalin is celebrated as the victor over Adolf Hitler. According to the polling institute WZIOM, 46 percent of Russians consider the consequences of the overthrow of 1917 positively, 46 percent negative. "The revolution divides society," says historian Boris Kolonitsky. "One had long preferred to forget them, now one wants to go through them somehow." In St. Petersburg there was a laser show at the weekend and in Moscow a youth symphonic concert entitled "Future". As if to let the year 1917 itself rest. & Nbsp;

From the Vasilyevsky Island of St. Petersburg, the wind blows the shadows of huge clouds over the Neva. The tourists in front of the Winter Palace are not disturbed by this. In the direction of the Eisenstein film satellites, Indonesian students photograph laughing behind a banner: "Islamic University of Jakarta." Dark navy naval cadets chatter in front of the left portal. & Nbsp;

A huge baroque-green Peter the Great and his dainty wife Ekaterina look for customers. Why no Lenin and no Stalin are available here for the selfies of the tourists. "The? They are in Moscow, "says Yekaterina I. Then she puts a hand on her arm and smiles:" Come on, we take pictures! "At least Russia's first empress seems to be able to do without the October Revolution perfectly. & Nbsp;

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