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RUSSIAN
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history
Free
history
Non-fiction

Project 1917 is a series of events that took place a hundred years ago as described by those involved. It is composed only of diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers and other documents

I have a serious concern: my favourite area of work - women’s issues - has been abandoned and put to one side. I am being thrown into all sorts of other activities and barely have any time and energy left to devote to working women and soldiers’ wives.


Lenin, Nadezhda Konstantinovna and I were walking together to the Tauride Palace and I told Lenin about my work with the soldiers’ wives and mothers. It’s wrong of us to see them as being in favour of the war, although it is true that the pro-war liberal women are making great efforts to organise them, to create their own union of soldiers’ wives and mothers, and win their support. Meanwhile, we are doing nothing. I am the only one bothering with them, now they themselves invite me to address them. They lament the current high prices. “Bring my husband back from the trenches,” they say. “What is this war to us?” There are many soldiers’ mothers, and still more soldiers’ wives with children, who are unable to survive on their rations, but how can they go to work when they can’t leave their babies? Lenin was interested.

✍    Also today

A funny coincidence. I left St.Petersburg for Crimea, being sure that I would never return, and provided the “Apollo” magazine room on Razhezhey Street and my personal apartment at Ivanovskaya Street - with everything that remained in them, at full disposal (through the secretary of Lozinsky’s editorial office) to the Apollonians. As far as I know, almost the first to move into my apartment were Akhmatova with her friend - Shileiko, a scientist Assyriologist, an employee of “Apollo”, and someone, who I thought was long and hopelessly in love with her.

As the dangers of the Russian revolution came home to the British ministers at home, strenuous efforts were made to bring the Russians to their senses and to recall them sternly to the obligations of their alliance. Some genius hit on the idea of sending out a Franco-British Socialist delegation to persuade the Russian comrades to continue fighting. And in the middle of April, MM. Mouet, Cachin and Lafont, representing French Socialism, and Messrs. Jim O'Grady, Will Thorne, and W. W. Sanders, as stalwarts of British Labour, arrived in St. Petersburg to preach wisdom and patriotism to the Soviets. See more

The hand of reconciliation extended by our Social-Democrats to German "comrades" remains to this day unacknowledged and is left hanging in the air. The extent to which the German people are bound by the bewitching notion of subservience to their Kaiser is remarkable.

The French socialist deputies are beginning to be less rapturous about the Russian revolution now that they have seen it at close quarters. The contemptuous reception given them by the Soviet has somewhat cooled their ardour. But they still cherish a colossal number of illusions: they still believe in the possibility of galvanizing the Russian people by a "boldly democratic policy in the direction of internationalism." See more

Consider the awful condition of the world before this thunder-bolt struck it. Could anyone, tracing back down the centuries and examining the record of the wickedness of man, find anything which could compare with the story of the nations during the last twenty years! Think of the condition of Russia during that time, with her brutal aristocracy and her drunken democracy, her murders on either side, her Siberian horrors, her Jew baitings and her corruption.

Sadness and silence. In the evening we read Chekhov. I think Chekhov is hugely talented, but also vulgar and lacking in values.

The weather cleared up and was fine. I took a long walk during the morning because it was nice. During the day I worked with Tatiana and Alexis. The faces of the guards have not been as free and easy as before. They usually talk with us and give us their impressions of the revolution, I read for a long time. At 10:15 I laid myself down.

It is the shallow fashion of these times to dismiss the Czarist régime as a purblind, corrupt, incompetent tyranny. But a survey of its thirty months’ war with Germany and Austria should correct these loose impressions and expose the dominant facts. We may measure the strength of the Russian Empire by the battering it had endured, by the disasters it had survived, by the inexhaustible forces it had developed, and by the recovery it had made. See more

Although the subscription lists to the “Liberty Loan” only opened yesterday, the public is already contributing freely, according to the official news bureau. In two hours after the lists were open 2,500,000 rubles were received.