Russian Revolution (1917)
- See also Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a series of political, economic and social upheavals in Russia involving their hopeless position in The Great War, the overthrow of the Tsarist Imperial government by a liberal-socialist Russian Provisional Government, followed eight months later by the overthrow of that government by the Soviets, resulting in the establishment of power under the control of the Bolshevik party. This eventually led to the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, which lasted until its dissolution in 1991.
The February Revolution (March 1917 in the Gregorian calendar) was focused around Petrograd. Food had become non-existent and people were starving. In the worst winter in living memory, hundreds of railway locomotives' boilers had burst and what were still available took food to the Front, which was also in turmoil. The army garrison in Petrograd was mainly inexperienced conscripts and was psychologically unable to address or contain the growing revolt in the city. Some units deserted or went over to the rioters. The army H.Q. felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution because so many divisions were at war with the Central Powers hundreds of miles distant. In the chaos, liberal and socialist members of the Parliament (Duma), under Prince Georgy Lvov (Prime Minister) and Alexander Kerensky (Minister of Justice), assumed control of the country, forming a Russian Provisional Government. They then sent delegates to Nicholas II, who was at Mohylev, the HQ for the Front, demanding that he abdicate, which he did, in the Royal train at Pskov on the night of March 2, 1917. The monarchy was not formally abolished but this left the Provisional Government holding all power. The major error of this government was that it announced that the war would continue until final victory.
The February revolution came as a complete surprise to the career revolutionaries like Lenin and Trotsky. Exiles abroad, they then hurried back to incite a more radical revolution and take over power. Lenin and his entourage returned from Zurich in the infamous Sealed Train, with the blessing of the German government who were desperate to get Russia out of the war, which Lenin promised. He received a tumultuous reception at the Finland Station in St Petersburg just before midnight on April 3 (16 in the Gregorian Calendar) 1917. The Soviets (workers' councils), had been slowly building up their power bases in all the industrial cities, and were planning to take over. The Provision Government was soon out-manoeuvered by the Bolsheviks who had already formed workers militias which now became the Red Guards (precursors to the Red Army). The Mensheviks, another socialist faction, were also fighting for control of the government at this time. Red terrorism and murders became the order of the day. The Netherlands Ambassador at Petrograd also pointed out in his reports that the Bolshevik hierarchy was Jewish. Between October 24-26 (Nov 6-8) the Bolsheviks deposed Kerensky's Provisional Government and took power for themselves.
Vladimir I. Lenin
In the October Revolution (November in the Gregorian calendar), the Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government. They appointed themselves as leaders of various government ministries and seized control of the countryside, establishing the Cheka to ruthlessly quash dissent. The Bolshevik leadership signed a peace treaty with Germany in March 1918 and Russia left The Great War. A civil war now erupted between the Red and White (Royalist-nationalist) factions, which continued for several years, with the Bolsheviks being ultimately victorious. In this way the Revolution paved the way for the USSR with a death toll of some 85 million (see The Black Book of Communism) and a hopeless life in hunger, poverty, humiliation and terror for the vast majority of the non-Jewish population. While many notable historical events occurred in Moscow and Petrograd, there was also a broadly-based movement in cities throughout the state, among national minorities throughout the empire, and in the rural areas, where peasants seized and redistributed land.
Trotsky was living in New York City when the February Revolution of 1917 overthrew Tsar Nicholas II. He left New York on March 27, but his ship was intercepted by British naval officials in Canada at Halifax, Nova Scotia and he spent a month detained at Amherst, Nova Scotia. After initial hesitation, the Russian Provisional Government's Foreign Minister Pavel Milyukov was forced to demand that Trotsky be released, and the British government freed Trotsky on April 29. He finally made his way back to Russia arriving on May 4. Upon his return, Trotsky was in substantive agreement with the Bolshevik position, but did not join them right away. Russian social democrats were split into at least six groups and the Bolsheviks were waiting for the next party Congress to determine which factions to merge with. Trotsky temporarily joined the Mezhraiontsy, a regional social democratic organization in St.Petersburg, and became one of its leaders. At the First Congress of Soviets in June, he was elected a member of the first All-Russian Central Executive Committee ("VTsIK") from the Mezhraiontsy faction.
After an unsuccessful pro-Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd, Trotsky was arrested on August 7, 1917, but was released 40 days later in the aftermath of the failed counter-revolutionary uprising by General Lavr Kornilov. The Bolsheviks soon gained a majority in the Petrograd Soviet, and Trotsky was elected Chairman on October 8. He sided with Lenin against Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev when the Bolshevik Central Committee discussed staging an armed uprising, and he led the efforts to overthrow the Provisional Government headed by Alexander Kerensky. After the success of the October (November) Soviets' uprising, Trotsky led the efforts to repel a counter-attack by Cossacks under General Pyotr Krasnov, and other troops still loyal to the overthrown Provisional Government, at Gatchina. Allied with Lenin, he successfully defeated attempts by other Bolshevik Central Committee members (Zinoviev, Kamenev, Alexei Rykov, etc.) to share power with other socialist parties.
By the end of 1917, Trotsky was unquestionably the second man in the Bolshevik Party after Lenin, overshadowing the ambitious Zinoviev, who had been Lenin's top lieutenant over the previous decade, but whose star appeared to be fading. This turnaround led to enmity between the two Bolshevik leaders which lasted until 1926 and did much to destroy them both.
Russia is the last rampart and against her the Jews have constructed their final trench. To judge by the course of events, the capitulation of Russia is only a question of time. In that vast empire Judaism will find the fulcrum of Archimedes which will enable it to drag the whole of Western Europe off its hinges once for all. The Jewish spirit of intrigue will bring about a revolution in Russia such as the world has never yet seen. The present situation of Judaism in Russia is such that it has still to fear expulsion, but when it has laid Russia prostrate it will no longer have any attacks to fear. When the Jews have got control of the Russian state they will set about the destruction of the social organisation of Western Europe. This last hour of Europe will arrive at latest in a hundred or a hundred and fifty years.—Wilhelm Marr, Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum, 1879.
Six or eight weeks ago, the Jews [of the United States] would have heeded the call to arms as a duty but with heavy hearts, as they would have known they would be fighting to perpetuate Russian autocracy. But now all that has been changed. Russian democracy has become victorious, and thanks are due to the Jew that the Russian Revolution succeeded.
Under the revolutionary regimes of Lenin and the early Stalin the former majority population of Eastern Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, White Russians) in their own country were dispossessed and put under the jurisdiction of the prerevolutionary minority peoples (Jews, Georgians, Latvians, Poles, and Armenians). The October Revolution differed substantially from earlier Western revolutions as, for example, when Frenchmen were pitted against Frenchmen in the French Revolution or when Englishmen fought against fellow Englishmen in the American Revolution for the purpose of improving conditions for the less fortunate. In Russia in 1917, international misfits provided much of the leadership for that revolution as part of a world conspiracy to bring down all other governments that did not accept the dictatorial teaching of Karl Marx and his disciples.
The Bolshevik Revolution and some of its aftermath represented, from one perspective, Jewish revenge. During the heyday of the Cold War, American Jewish publicists spent a lot of time denying that—as 1930s anti-Semites claimed—Jews played a disproportionately important role in Soviet and world Communism. The truth is until the early 1950s Jews did play such a role, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. In time Jews will learn to take pride in the record of the Jewish Communists in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. It was a species of striking back.—Jewish Historain Norman Cantor
- Alexandrov, Victor, The End of the Romanovs, Hutchinson, London, 1966, pps:122 and 127-8.
- British War Office, A Collection of Reports on Bolshevism in Russia, Report no.6, September 1918, p.3. (1919).
- Urofsky 1975, p. 202.
- NKVD: Excerpt from Sergei Semanov, The Russian Club. The Occidental Observer. Retrieved on 14 October 2013.
- Norman Cantor, “The Jewish Experience” (1996, p. 364) Google Books
- Urofsky, Melvin I. (1975). American Zionism from Herzl to the Holocaust. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803295596.
- Jews, Bolsheviks and the Murder of Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov Family
- The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia’s Early Soviet Regime: Behind the Murder of Russia's Imperial Family
- Russian Orthodox Church: Jews May Have Killed Russia's Last Czar Nicholas II In Ritual Murder
- "such a masquerade deceived no one" at Winston Smith Ministry of Truth