I really missed you. Your sister Irina brought me a stork – you know, one of those big white birds with a red beak and long legs. Irina has dark eyes and hair, she sleeps, eats, cries and doesn’t understand anything. She cries just like Alyosha – you’ll like it.
I left some drawing paper for you with the nanny; draw a picture of you, me and Irina, and give it to Lilia, she’ll bring it to me. Behave yourself, Alyonka, don’t play with your food, swallow properly. I’ll bring you a new book when I arrive.
Big kisses, write a letter with Lilia for me.
I’m going to Kharkov, having accidentally bought a first-class ticket to Kiev. This ticket suited me perfectly until Kursk. I slept soundly in my top bunk, and no more than a dozen soldiers climbed into the corridor and they were very well behaved. See more
But from Moscow onwards, the whole wagon and our compartment were packed with soldiers and just the public in general to such a degree that getting out of the wagon seemed impossible. My only escape was to remain on the top bunk for thirty-six hours of the journey.
The hour of our release from the concentration camp struck. But we were released with the application of violence. We were simply ordered to lay down our things and go under escort. We demanded that we be told where we were being sent and why. They refused. The prisoners worried that they were taking us to the fortress. We demanded a call to the nearest Russian consul. They refused. See more
We had good reason to distrust the good intentions of these gentlemen from the great sea road. We said that we wouldn’t go voluntarily until they told us the reason for the new trip. The commandant ordered the use of force. The escorting soldiers carried our luggage. We stubbornly laid on our bunks. And only when the convoy was faced with carrying us out with their own hands, like we were carried out of the steamer a month before, and this time through a crowd of agitated sailors, the commandant yielded. He declared in his own Anglo-colonial style that he was putting us on a Danish steamer set for Russia. The colonel’s face convulsively twitched. He didn’t want to accept the idea that we were escaping his grasp. We would have taken him on the African coast!
Imprisoned comrades gave us solemn farewells as we were led away from the camp. Upon leaving I threatened the British police officer Mekken, who arrested us and came to our departure, that first thing I will request in the Constituent Assembly is for Foreign Minister Milyukov inquire into the mistreatment of Russian citizens by the Anglo-Canadian police.
"I hope," answered the resourceful police officer, "that you won’t get to the Constituent Assembly."
I met him in the evening with GilbeauxHenri Gilbeaux is a French socialist poet, publicist and politician.. He’d become younger, more energetic. After all, the triumph of the Bolsheviks belonged to him too. He told us unbelievable stories about the Bolsheviks in Bern’s community hall until 2 in the morning. He talked about how the “sealed carriage” travelled across Germany.
Its committees were entirely of soldiers, and would not permit officers to become members on the ground that their presence would weaken the authority of the committees with the men. In Dvinsk, on the contrary, the 5th Army Committee contained eight officers as well as thirty-seven soldiers.
Since the revolutionary drama began, not a day has passed without its ceremonies, processions, charity performances and "triumphs." There has been an uninterrupted series of demonstrations, demonstrations of victory or protest demonstrations, inaugural, expiatory and valedictory. The Slav soul, with its vague and fervent sensibilities, its intuitive notion of the bond of humanity and its violent passion for æsthetic and picturesque emotions, revels and wallows in them. See more
All the clubs and corporations, the political, professional, religious and ethnical associations, have been here to lay their grievances and aspirations before the Soviet.
On Easter Monday, the 16th April, I passed, not far from the St. Alexander Nevski Monastery, a long line of pilgrims who were marching to the Tauride Palace, reciting prayers as they went. They carried large red flags on which could be read: "Christ is Risen! Long live the free Church!" or, "A free and democratic Church for a free People!"
The Tauride Gardens have thus witnessed processions of Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists, working men and women, peasants of both sexes, school teachers, young apprentices, orphans, deaf mutes and midwives! There has even been a procession of prostitutes! Shades of Tolstoï! What an epilogue to Resurrection!
To-day it was the turn of mutilés of the war, who came in their thousands to protest against the pacifist theories of the war. At their head was a military band, and the front file carried scarlet banners inscribed thus: "War for liberty to our last breath!" or: "Let not our glorious dead have died in vain!" or: "Look at our wounds! They call for victory!" or: "The pacifists are disgracing Russia. Down with Lenin!"
An heroic and pitiable sight! The least damaged of the victims dragged themselves slowly along, keeping line as best they could. Most of them had lost one or more limbs. The worst cases, swathed in bandages, were fixed up on lorries. The blind were led by Red Cross sisters.
This mournful troop seemed a living embodiment of all the horrors of war and to stand for all that human flesh can endure in the way of mutilation and torture. A religious silence greeted them; heads were bared as they passed and eyes filled with tears; a woman in mourning fell to her knees and sobbed as if her heart would break.
At the corner of the Liteïny, where the crowd was thickest and the working-class element best represented, there was loud cheering.
But, alas, I very much fear that among these spectators who came to cheer there is more than one who will go to welcome Lenin to-night. The Russian nation is enthusiastic over "spectacles," whatever their purpose, so long as they affect its emotions and stir its imagination.
During the night the temperature went down to 3 degrees of frost; beside that, a cold wind was blowing. At 11 o'clock we went to Ifess. I walked with Tatiana and read until dinner to myself-and in the evening to the children,