How Russian nobility of the October socialist revolution did

Vladimir Lenin and Vladimir Bonch-Bruevich (both hereditary nobleman) on a walk in the courtyard of the Kremlin, 1918. © /

RIA Novosti

Klim Zhukov, a historian:

There is one good old joke.

Sat in jail a French nobleman, the aristocrat and the French socialist Communards during the revolution. On the streets, the noise, bustle and tumult — the bourgeoisie celebrates the victory. In the chamber the socialists — huddled in a corner and wolf looks at aristocrat. And how! The old regime item! The aristocrat was silent, silent, could not resist and said, pointing through the grille:

— Young man, what are you looking at me like that? If you would Marx have not read!? Class enemy we have in common!

Tale, it is of course, a lie. But a hint of it quite definitely is. And that’s what.

What would be Russia without the October revolution?


Let’s start with the diagnosis: the picture is a familiar and fairly. We perceive history (and world history too) in the form of dashed lines: feudalism, capitalism, socialism and then capitalism again. For the first time with socialism in Russia failed, and he was again replaced by the bourgeois socio-economic system. In the end, the line of centuries, and the dash-dotted, gaping almost a century gap, “the missing years”, which interrupted the normal course of history, turned out to be unnecessary and may be harmful.

Hence, a simple formal-logical construction: if socialism is the “chronological anomaly”, the previous iteration of Imperial Russia — a clear benefit, which was destroyed by the revolutionaries. Now same situation, if not ideal, at least, returned to its natural state.

Consequently, the “holders” of Imperial Russia perceived clearly positively, if not heroically, in defiance of the “rebels” socialists. The most striking layer of Empire — the Russian nobility, and in old footage. The rebels, accordingly, on the contrary: the robbers, robbers, zryashnoe people.

Simple and cozy pattern, meanwhile, is deeply flawed. Try to understand.

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Need to come from afar. Or the root of the problem, we will not see. Root, as always, in philosophy. The fact is that contemporary social consciousness is still ultimately metaphysical. Once you have mastered in school the basics of formal logic, we consider the elements that make up reality, outside of development and outside their relationships. Tellingly, in the best case, we are able to thoroughly formalize the moments of reality, verified by experience “given to us in sensations”. That is, in fact, we are natural society of positivists. It’s not bad, it’s not good — that’s a given.

This view of the world adequate to the knowledge of the truth only partially. Simply because even around us life is much more difficult because of the wide web of interconnections. The story is immeasurably more difficult, and to consider it should it terms of connection points and their development, from that history is the development of: an endless chain of formation, prehozhdenie and re-formation.

That is, a familiar scheme of “slavery-feudalism-capitalism-communism”, inherited from the dogmatic understanding of Marxism, not right, not quite healthy. In particular, when we talk about the history of Russia.

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The fact that capitalism Russian Empire was not just replaced feudalism as the clicking of a relay follows the state of the network “there is voltage” on “no voltage”. Bourgeois system grew out of the Russian edition of feudalism, and changed it only in that sense.

Development it’s been a long and extremely complex: from the manufactures of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and Berg, Manufactures, and Commerce of the boards of Peter I until the abolition of Serfdom, reforms of Witte and monopolies Morozov, Ryabushinsky and Balashevich.

Natural manner, the formation of the bourgeois basis of the productive forces came into conflict with the feudal superstructure. That is, the “factories, steamships, Newspapers” from the mid-nineteenth century worked quite hard on the basis of the bourgeois, and the leaders of public relations was “the old regime elements” — the nobility. No wonder the nobility for 200 years remained the most educated, and often wealthy contingent in Russia.

The image of the “Imperial nobility” of state media, culture and education, is not absolutely false, even for the late XIX–early XX centuries, when this class ceased to be a monopoly on wealth and education.

In place of the nobles was confident bourgeoisie. Of the 30 largest capital of the Russian Empire (from 60 to 6 million), only six belonged to the highborn nobility. Prince Abamelek-Lazarev, background, Wogau, Polovtsova, Knop, Balashov and Vorontsov-Dashkov — the rest came from merchants, burghers, and serfs.

The problem is that two centuries of the formation of the Russian bourgeoisie (which we always do — harness for a long time), managed to produce Marx classic contradictions in the basis. To a small but active minority of the industrial proletariat (according to estimates of the Lenin — 10 million by 1890.) after the reforms of 1861 and joined the mass of rural proletariat. The result was a unique “double-revolutionary situation”. It can only be understood considering the Russian Empire in the international system of capitalism, but that is another story.

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The meaning was that the reforms of 1861 and the rapid growth of financial and industrial capital gave rise to a discrepancy of the obsolete feudal superstructure (with all its monarchs, counts, princes and nobles) with the economic basis in the form of advanced capitalism. The bourgeois revolution was inevitable.

But at the same time, within the bourgeois basis is quite ripe the conflict of the productive forces (social character of production) and social relations based on private appropriation of the results of work. The first world was the trigger.

First went bankrupt feudal monarchy and then, after a short but significant reign — went bankrupt and capitalist power. Two revolutions in a year — it happens only in our paradoxical country!

So, the nobility (and other old-regime element) suddenly became quite objectively to the class enemy, the bourgeoisie, and therefore, in a purely military sense, an ally of the Socialist revolution on the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. The nobility had to make a choice: “rastvoryaetsya” under the bourgeois system, which inevitably would destroy class society, or the “restuarants” in socialist society, even more hostile to the estates division.

The choice was pure and Patriotic. Which project of the dispensation of the Motherland to join? Which one is worth the sacrifice in the form of tribal honor, origin, class privileges? And the nobility made a choice, as well as other “old footage”.

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Before going on to dry statistics and “live” faceted personalities, it is necessary to remember the fact that the main revolutionary, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) was a Russian hereditary nobleman in the second generation.

The last census of the Empire in 1897 revealed a number of 125 640 021. Of them the hereditary nobility: 1 220 169, personal — 630 119 people, for a total of 1 850 228 people. That is, 1.47% of the total population.

Now look at the composition of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) (the highest party organ of the Communist party of the Bolsheviks) at various times up to 1941.

1. The Members Of The Politburo:

  • Zhdanov A. A. the son of inspector of public schools, and personal noble
  • N. N. Krestinsky — nobleman
  • VV Kuibyshev — a hereditary nobleman, Lenin, V. I. — a hereditary nobleman
  • Ordzhonikidze, G. K. noble
  • Kamenev, L. B.
  • Stalin I. V.
  • Trotsky
  • Zinoviev GE
  • Rykov A. I.
  • Tomsk MP
  • Bukharin, N. And.
  • Ke Voroshilov
  • Kalinin, M. I.
  • Molotov, V. M.
  • J. E. Rudzutak
  • Kaganovich L. M.
  • Kirov S. M.
  • S. V. Kosior
  • Andreev A. A.
  • AI Mikoyan
  • V. Y. Chubar
  • With N. Khrushchev.

Total: 23 people, the nobles — 5 persons, approx. 21%.

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2. Candidates to the Politburo:

  • Fe Dzerzhinsky — the son of landed gentry
  • Malenkov, G. M. — from family of hereditary nobles
  • G. Y. Sokolnikov
  • Frunze M. V.
  • Peter G.
  • Uglanov N..
  • Baumann K. Ya.
  • Syrtsov, Sergey I.
  • Postyshev, P. P.
  • R. I. Eikhe
  • O. N. And.
  • Shvernik N. M.
  • Beria L. P.
  • Voznesensky, N. A.
  • Shcherbakov A. S.

Total: 15 people, nobles — 2, approx. 12%

Only 38 people, 7 of them noblemen — 15.42 part of the total population.

That is, the proportion of nobility in the leadership of the Communist party of 3.68 times superior to that of the General background population “source” of the country — the Russian Empire. Tellingly, of all the “former” arrested in 1938 was only N. N. Krestinsky.

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3. The user of the GPU-NKVD-KGB

It is exhaustively presented in the Handbook Petrov N. In., Scorchin K. V. , “Who headed the NKVD 1934-1941”. M., 1999. The total number of subject’s Ministers, deputies, chiefs of managements of Central office, Commissars and sumarkov republics — 571.

Of them:

  • Dzerzhinsky F. E. — nobleman
  • V. R. Menzhinsky — a nobleman
  • Blagonravov Georgy — nobleman
  • The Bokii Gleb Ivanovich — a nobleman, the son of a valid state Councilor
  • Kishkin Vladimir Alexandrovich — from an old family, a descendant of the Stolnik of Peter I, Ivan Pilotovich Kishkin
  • Krasovsky Nikolai Viktorovich — a nobleman, the son of a captain in the Imperial army. His father served in the white army in 1918-1919, and then in the red army 1919-1924.
  • Vsevolod Nikolaevich Merkulov — a hereditary nobleman, a son of the captain of the Imperial army, Princess, Tsinamdzgvrishvili.
  • Pillar Roman Aleksandrovich — real name Romuald Ludwig pillar, Baron von Pilchau, from the Baltic nobility.
  • Prokofiev, George E. — nobleman
  • Sergey Pozicky — nobleman
  • Vasily Mikhailovich Speransky — nobleman

Total: 11 out of 571 — 1.62%.

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4. Worker-peasant Red army and Navy.

In the first, but very detailed approximation of the statistics studied in the monograph A. G. Kavtaradze “Military experts in the service of the Soviet Republic in 1917-1920”, Moscow, 1988.

During the Civil war, the army and Navy was approx. 000 68 officers (including warrant officers), approx. 24 000 military doctors and officials (approx. 82 000). The total strength of the officer corps of the Russian Empire in 1917 subject to the warrant, officers in time of war and the losses of the Imperialist war. 240,000 people.

Approximately 53% of generals and the officer corps of the red army and f — come from “old army.” Of them — appr. 60 000 personal and hereditary noblemen. Who was among them?

The commander of the red army in 1919, Colonel S. S. Kamenev (1883-1935), a nobleman.

The chief of staff of Revvoensovet of the Soviet Republic, major General, graduate of the Nicholas Academy of the General staff, M. D. Bonch-Bruevich (1870-1956), hereditary nobleman, brother of V. D. Bonch-Bruevich.

Assistant military instructor military revolutionary Council of Republic — major General, S. G. Lukirsky (1873-1938), a hereditary nobleman.

The chief of staff of the red army in 1919-21., major-General p. P. Lebedev (1872-1933), a nobleman.

The chief of staff of the red army second Lieutenant M. N. Tukhachevsky (1893-1937), a nobleman.

Operations chief of the Field staff rvsr, Colonel B. M. Shaposhnikov (1882-1945), from the middle class, a graduate of the Nicholas Academy of the General staff, one of the founders of the Soviet General staff, the future Marshal of the Soviet Union.

Head of the engineering Department of the North Caucasus front, Colonel D. M. Karbyshev (1880-1945), the son of a personal noble, a graduate of the Nikolaev engineering school, a future Lieutenant General and hero of the Soviet Union.

The chief of staff and then commander of the 6 army of the red army, major-General A. A. samoilo (1869-1963). Interestingly, the future Lieutenant-General of aviation had joined the CPSU(b) only in 1944 that does not interfere with his career and service.

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The head of The Special Council of the Commander-in-chief of the red army, General of cavalry A. A. Brusilov (1853-1926), a hereditary nobleman, a son of General A. N. Brusilov, hero of the battle of Borodino.

The chief Artillery Directorate and the office of supply of the red army, the artillery General A. A. Manikovsky (1865-1920), a nobleman, a graduate of the Mikhailovsky artillery Academy, one of the founders of the red army artillery.

The chief of staff of the Petrograd military district, major-General L. A. Verkhovsky (1886-1938), a nobleman, member of the Russian-Japanese war, military theorist, war Minister of the Provisional government, member of the socialist revolutionary party.

Member of the trade representation of the Russian Federation-of the USSR in France, Colonel count Alexander Ignatiev (1877-1956), a graduate of His Majesty’s corps of the Nikolaev Academy of the General staff. Handed over to the Soviet government of 225 million francs.

The first chief of Naval staff, and then commander in chief fleet, rear Admiral V. M. Altfater (1883-1919), a hereditary nobleman, a hero of the defense of Port Arthur.

The next commander in chief: rear Admiral E. A. Berens (1876-1928), a participant of the battle at Chemulpo, lecturer at the Academy of the General staff.

The commander in chief of the fleet in 1920, rear Admiral A. V. nemitz (1879-1967), a hereditary nobleman, a knight of the order of the red banner, the Deputy naval inspector of the red army.

From the younger generation can recall of captain Fyodor Tolbukhin (1894-1949), who retired as a General in the Soviet army (1943), hero of the Soviet Union; second Lieutenant Leonid Govorov (1897-1955), who served in the army of Kolchak until 1919 (volunteer of the 51st division of the red army in 1920, retired Marshal, hero of the Soviet Union); captain Alexander Vasilevsky (1895-1977), in the red army in 1919 (started as company commander and finished with the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union commander of the Star of the hero).

And there were two cavalry Sergeant: Konstantin Rokossovsky (1896-1956) and Georgy Zhukov (1896-1974), who was destined to become the most celebrated marshals of the great Patriotic war, to accept and to command the Victory Parade 1945.

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Inevitably, there is an objection (rather strange). As all of these people thanked the young Republic, when they were not needed? “It is known” that all the king’s officers and nobles, when Stalin shot! But as the executions in the 1930s are associated with the conscious choice of citizens in 1917-1920? If they are then seriously guilty or was convicted falsely after 10-20 years, does this negate their personal position during the Revolution?

Secondly, as usual, “size matters”. The first wave of repression against the “former” is the 1930-31 years. The famous “business Spring”. “Spring” was connected with the facts of sabotage, negligence, coastal management and promiscuity of some friends who were one of the causes of the catastrophic consequences of the first phase of collectivization. “Spring” is over 3,400 arrested.

But not all of them were officers and noblemen — most of the defendants were civilians. Compare their numbers with 82 000 a lot of Imperial officers that had passed through the Revolution on the side of the Reds. 124 part!

A small illustration of “Spring” in 1931 by Ukrainian historian Tishchenko.

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Июль1931 G.

Just passed through Stroiku and the Board of the OGPU arrested in the case of “Spring” 2014 people, including: military — 305 persons, civilians — 1706 persons In relation to their made the following social security measures:

a) Military: shot — 27 pers., was sentenced to VMSZ with the replacement of 10 [to five] years of imprisonment in a concentration camp — 23 people condemned to concentration camps for imprisonment in a local Oprah — 215 persons, sentenced to exile — 40.

b) civilians: shot — 546 persons, sentenced to a concentration camp and sentenced to imprisonment in a local Oprah — 842 pers., adminicle — 166 persons, convicted to other measures of social] protection — 76 people., freed — 79 persons

Shot by case “Spring” 546 civilians by social structure are as follows: fists — 151 people, the middle — 103 people, poor people — 13 people, farmers — 1., workers — 9 persons, employees 153 people, private owners — 32 people, craftsmen — 12 people, priests—13 persons, without certain] classes of 17 people, other — 46 people

Convicted in the case “Spring” to imprisonment in a concentration camp — 842 civilians, on the social composition of the break: fists of 92 people, the middle is 157 people, poor people — 34 people, workers 19 people. serving — 407 persons, privateers — 29 people, craftsmen — 23., of the clergy— 13 persons, without certain classes of 35 people, other — 33 persons.

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Initial[Alnico] USO GPU of the Ukrainian SSR

YES, security service of Ukraine.- F. 6. — SPR. 8. Arc. 60-62. Nezavisinaya copy. Typescript.

As can be seen from the above data, the operation was not directed specifically against the “former” or specifically officers of the Imperial army. If the “old cadres” under repression? No doubt. Among them were innocent? For sure. They were all (or most) innocent prisoners? Dynamics of receipt of original archival material into scientific circulation makes the safe to assume that no.

In any case, the loss of the Royal specialists in the Spring of 1931 was insignificant relative to the total population.

The next 1936-1938 wave of reprisals and counter-reprisals of the years 1938-39 were a hundred times bigger. And suffered in their course a significant number of people, including and old professionals. However, as we see, at least from these brief questionnaires is a significant part of the persecution he had survived. Even including former whites — a Marshal of the Soviet Union Govorov worth.

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5. Some more questionnaires, this time not related to the army

Just for example — it is significant in the sense of social slice of the revolutionary leadership.

People’s Commissar for education A. V. Lunacharsky (1875-1929), a hereditary nobleman.

Deputy people’s Commissar of public education N. To. Krupskaya (1896-1939), noblewoman.

Commissar for foreign Affairs G. V. Chicherin (1872-1936), a hereditary nobleman, a distant descendant of Rurik, mother — baronial kind of Meyendorff.

The people’s Commissar of state charity A. M. Domontovich (Kollontay) (1872-1952), a descendant of the Pskov-Lithuanian Prince Dovmont and Maria Dmitrievna Pereyaslavl, granddaughter of Alexander Nevsky, the first female Minister in history.

Managing the Affairs of the RSFSR Council of people’s Commissars, V. D. Bonch-Bruevich (1873-1955), hereditary nobleman, doctor of historical Sciences, the closest ally of Lenin.

The commander of the Ukrainian Soviet army, Lieutenant V. A. Antonov-Ovseenko (1883-1938), a nobleman, the head of the Main political Directorate of the red army, until 1917 a member of the Menshevik party.

The Prosecutor of the RSFSR-the USSR A. Vyshinsky (1883-1954), of the ancient Polish nobility, a member of the Menshevik party, the Commissioner of police of the Provisional government, author of “the strict implementation of <…> the order of the Provisional government on the investigation, arrest and trial as a German spy, Lenin”, a member of the CPSU(b) since 1920, doctor of law, diplomat.

And there was red count Alexey Tolstoy, the nobles Alexander Greene and Yuri Olesha, the daughter of a tsarist General Olga Forsh, the son of a hereditary nobleman of major-General Mikhail Simonov and Princess Alexandra ObolenskyKonstantin Simonov. Do not forget the father of the electrification of the whole country Heinrich Osipovich Graftio, a prominent academician and shipbuilder and mathematician Alexei Krylov, the Creator of the first submarine “Dolphin” Mikhail Beklemishev… and many, many, many others. Whose biographies could take a multi-volume publication.

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Go back to the beginning.

Talking about all these statistics and personal information? All are about the same continuity of Russian history (and in history). Nothing comes from nothing. Russian socialism was not cultivated in the offices of the British or German intelligence and the body of the Russian Empire. Approximate distribution of the percent of nobles in the institutions of the Russian Federation as a whole with some excess (up to 20%!) consistent with the General proportion of their proportion in the Russian society.

As the socialist revolution was caused by internal factors, and was a conscious choice of the Russian people, it is not surprising that its the most educated part of the nobility, joined in the Revolution. Remember, finally, that the first revolutionaries of the Empire in 1825 became the color of nobility, we only describe the path of their successors.

Bonch-brilliantly put an end to this reasoning:

“History will not condemn us, stayed at Home and honestly do their duty, and those who hindered, forgot the interests of his country and spoke in front of foreigners, the obvious enemies of Russia in the past and in the future.”

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editorial Board

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