Russian Revolution

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Meeting at the Blagovescenskaya Square, 1917

The Russian Revolution was a period of political and social revolution across the territory of the Russian Empire, commencing with the abolition of the monarchy in 1917, and concluding in 1923 after the Bolshevik establishment of the Soviet Union and end of the Civil War.

Quotes[edit]

  • The Russian revolution was nominally based on Communist dogma; but its significant struggle was to find some instrument by which a vast backward country could be mauled into industrialization. The capitalist revolution in which the United States was the leader found apter, more efficient and more flexible means through collectivizing capital in corporations.
  • Each local Cheka had its own speciality. In Kharkov they went in for the ‘glove trick’ — burning the victim’s hands in boiling water until the blistered skin could be peeled off: this left the victims with raw and bleeding hands and their torturers with ‘human gloves’. The Tsaritsyn Cheka sawed its victims’ bones in half. In Voronezh they rolled their naked victims in nail-studded barrels. In Armavir they crushed their skulls by tightening a leather strap with an iron bolt around their head. In Kiev they affixed a cage with rats to the victim’s torso and heated it so that the enraged rats ate their way through the victim’s guts in an effort to escape. In Odessa they chained their victims to planks and pushed them slowly into a furnace or a tank of boiling water. A favourite winter torture was to pour water on the naked victims until they became living ice statues. Many Chekas preferred psychological forms of torture. One had the victims led off to what they thought was their execution, only to find that a blank was fired at them. Another had the victims buried alive, or kept in a coffin with a corpse.
    • Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924, p. 646
  • Looking back one perceives only a massive operation, struggle, and action. In reality there were no heroes or leaders. It was the people, the working people, in soldiers' uniform or in civilian attire, who controlled the situation and who recorded its will indelibly in the history of the country and mankind. It was a sultry summer, a crucial summer of the revolutionary flood-tide in 1917!
  • At Odessa, the Cheka tied White officers to planks and slowly fed them into furnaces or tanks of boiling water; in Kharkiv, scalpings and hand-flayings were commonplace: the skin was peeled off victims’ hands to produce ‘gloves’; the Voronezh Cheka rolled naked people around in barrels studded internally with nails; victims were crucified or stoned to death at Dnipropetrovsk; the Cheka at Kremenchuk impaled members of the clergy and buried alive rebelling peasants; in Orel, water was poured on naked prisoners bound in the winter streets until they became living ice statues; in Kiev, Chinese Cheka detachments placed rats in iron tubes sealed at one end with wire netting and the other placed against the body of a prisoner, with the tubes being heated until the rats gnawed through the victim’s body in an effort to escape.
    • George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police, pp 197-198
  • The Russian Revolution of 1917 was patently a continuation of the French Revolution of 1789 in its eastern advance. It smashed autocracy, gave land to the peasants, liberated oppressed nationalities, and in addition promised to rid the industrial system of the blemishes of exploitation. In its heroic age, Soviet socialism was given selfless support by the writers and artists of the West. They steeled their muscles in an epic defence of freedom, democracy, and socialism against the pagan upsurge of Teutonic fascism. Hitler’s persecution of Bolsheviks and Jews was in the last resort directed against Christian universalism and its derivatives in the industrial present. His onslaught on traditional values, root and branch, created the modern West.
  • THE Russian Revolution is one of the great heroic events of the world s history. It is natural to compare it to the French Revolution, but it is in fact something of even more importance. It does more to change daily life and the structure of society : it also does more to change men s beliefs. The difference is exemplified by the difference between Marx and Rousseau : the latter sentimental and soft, appealing to emotion, obliterating sharp out lines ; the former systematic like Hegel, full of hard intellectual content, appealing to historic necessity and the technical development of industry, suggesting a view of human beings as puppets in the grip of omnipotent material forces. Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam ; and the result is something radically new, which can only be understood by a patient and passionat effort of imagination.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource
Wikisource has original works on the topic: