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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

There was little sleep for me that night, but tired as I was by morning, I greeted happily the unkempt cook and his messy breakfast plate. All day I waited with the dumb patience only prisoners know, and at early evening I was rewarded by the appearance of Sheiman and Ostrovsky. "Put on your coat and follow me," said Sheiman.

"I have resolved to take you, on my own responsibility, to the hospital." To my nursing sister, who had spent the afternoon with me, he gave orders to go to Helsingfors and wait for further directions. At the prison gate Sheiman signed the neces- sary papers, and hurrying me past two gaping Bolshevist soldiers, he led the way down a bypath to the water. Boarding a small motor launch manned by a single sailor, we started off at high speed for Helsingfors. There was one bad moment when we approached a low bridge occupied by a strong guard, but at Sheiman's directions, uttered in a short whisper, I lay down flat in the launch and we passed unchallenged. The first stars were shining in the clear autumn sky as we reached the military quay of the town. We ran in under the lee of a huge warship and stepped ashore. There was a motor car waiting and the chauffeur, who evidently knew his business, started his engine without a word or even a turn of his head. Sheiman spoke only one sentence. "Tovarish Nicholai, drive to—" naming a street and number. At once we were off, my head fairly swimming at the sight of electric lights, shaded streets, and people walking up and down. Turning into a quiet street we left the car, all three of us shaking hands with the discreet driver. Bidding Ostrovsky find my nurse and my small luggage, Sheiman conducted me to the door of the hospital where a nice clean Finnish nurse took me in charge and put me to bed in one of the freshest, airiest, most comfortable rooms I have ever occupied. "Take good care of this lady," were the last words of the President of the Helsingfors Soviet, "and let no one intrude on her." His words and assured smile of the nurse were good soporifics and I fell almost instantly into a deep sleep.

✍    Also today

People are, essentially, so strange to me - especially the youth.

An evening with Anyuta at the Bohemia Theatre. Dull, wasn’t worth it. In general, opera is unbearably dull as a genre.  

Life in Petrograd is good. The children are studying. My insomnia is troubling me less than before. I work all day and am paid handsomely for my efforts.

Yesterday evening a group of sailors from the crew of the cruiser “Aurora” vandalized the “Freedom” restaurant at 13 Kolomenskaya Street. The sailors shattered several windows, as well as smashing items of crockery and furniture. See more

The Romanovs have been transferred to the Abalak monastery, situated about 20 verstsA Russian unit of distance equal to 1.067 kilometers (0.6629 mile) away from Tobolsk.

Thursday. Every day the papers are filled with troubling reports from all directions of pogroms, murders, bloody reprisals and arson attacks. Soldiers broke into a wine cellar in Bender and smashed the barrels of wine and spirit. They then regretted their haste and set to drinking the wine mixed with the earth from the ground where it had spilt. See more

Newspapers are publishing a letter from an artillery brigade stationed in Moscow. The letter reports some cases of insults or even beatings of officers by soldiers; and officers declare that, in such circumstances, they believe their service to be pointless and ask the Ministry of the Military to strip them of their rank: they would be more useful that way. See more

The impotence and indecision of the ever-changing Provisional Government was an argument nobody could refute.

The weather was wonderful, warm, and I sat for a while on my balcony. Ksenia went to Yalta, to Kostritsky the dentist. He was allowed to go to Tobolsk, to my poor Niki. Polyakov has been discharged from hospital, but he still looks terribly pale and haggard. He is much weakened.

Rogosin told me a story of Kerensky. One day, some weeks ago, the little Tsarevitch was playing at Tsarskoe Selo with a toy gun that the Cossacks had presented him with in the old days and of which he was passionately proud, when an officious soldier took the toy from him “lest he should shoot the sentries.” See more

This evening, I arranged a dinner for 40 artists and art lovers at the “Three Magi”. I had a long chat with Eli. Many people in this circle sympathize with Germany - not only Eli, sometimes combining this with a love of French lifestyle and culture.

VladimirovPeter Vladimirov - dancer, the last partner of Matilda Kshessinskaya came over to see me from Sotchi, where he was following a cure. While he was staying with me he fell off a horse; he suffered a broken nose and severe bruises, and was confined to his room for a long time.


in Petrograd
in Moscow