Evno Azef

Evno Azef

Evno Azef, the son of poor Jewish parents, was born in Lyskovo, in 1869. In an attempt to improve their fortunes, the family moved to Rostov-on-Don in 1874.

Educated at the local school, Azef worked as a journalist before becoming a travelling salesman. He became a revolutionary and in 1892, facing arrest for his political activities, he stole 800 rubles and escaped to Karlsruhe, Germany. He moved to Datmstadt where he successfully studied for a diploma in electrical engineering.

While in Germany he joined a group of exiled members of the Social Democratic Party. Unknown to his fellow comrades, he also became a paid police informer. In order to obtain the information that the Okhrana required, Azef toured Europe where he met all the leading Russian revolutionaries living in exile.

Azef was paid 100 rubles a month and in 1899 it was suggested by Okhrana that he would be more effective working in Russia. On his return he joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party where he advocated of armed terrorism. He was appointed a member of the party's Central Committee and in 1903 replaced Gregory Gershuni, as head of the SR Combat Organization. Boris Savinkov became his second in command.

Gershuni was unaware that his deputy was in the pay of the Okhrana. In 1904 Azef secretly provided the secret police with the information needed to arrest and try Gershuni with terrorism. Edward H. Judge, the author of Plehve: Repression and Reform in Imperial Russia (1983), has argued: "Azef sat in a very dangerous position, especially after Gershuni's arrest, and he had to think first of his own safety. A continual series of arrests, and a long train of assassination attempts gone awry, could only help convince his SR colleagues that they had a traitor in their midst. If he were found out, his game would be over, and so, most probably, would be his life. On the other hand, if he could successfully plan and accomplish the murder of Plehve, his position among the SRs would be secured. Azef had little love for Plehve: as a Jew, he could not help but resent the Kishinev pogrom and the minister's reputed role."

Azef organized the assassination of Vyacheslav Plehve in 1904 and Father Gregory Gapon in 1906. At the same time he was receiving 1,000 rubles a month from the Okhrana. Several members of the police leaked information to the leadership of the Socialist Revolutionary Party about the undercover activities of Azef. However, they refused to believe the stories and assumed the secret service was trying to undermine the success of the terrorist unit.

Eventually a police defector managed to persuade V. L. Burtsev that Azef was a police spy. He investigated the case and found confirmation in the accusation when he interviewed a former director of the Police Department in 1912.

When Azef heard the news he escaped to Germany. During the First World War Azef was arrested by the German authorities but was released in December, 1917.

Evno Azef died in Berlin in 1918.

The SR Battle Organization was founded by Gregory Gershuni in 1902; its first act, in the same year, was the execution of the Minister of Education Sipyagin by the student Balmashev (who was later hanged). On the day after the murder, the SR party published under a similar verdict. The arrest of Gershuni, who was delivered to the police by Azef, caused the latter's promotion to the top leadership of the terrorist detachment. A man named Boris Savinkov, for whom terrorism was a vocation and whose courage was indomitable, now found himself under the orders of the agent-provacateur. In 1904 the Prime Minister, Plehve, fell mutilated by Sazonov's bomb. Sazonov had organized the assassination on instructions from Azef.

Azef sat in a very dangerous position, especially after Gershuni's arrest, and he had to think first of his own safety. Azef had little love for Plehve: as a Jew, he could not help but resent the Kishinev pogrom and the minister's reputed role.

Yevno Azef

Yevno Fishelevich Azef (Template:Lang-ru, also transliterated as Evno Azef, 1869–1918) was a Russian socialist revolutionary who also operated as a double agent and agent provocateur. He worked as both an organiser of assassinations for the Socialist Revolutionary Party and a police spy for the Okhrana, the Russian Empire's secret police. He rose through the ranks to become the leader of the Socialist Revolutionary Party's terrorist branch, the SR Combat Organization, from 1904 to 1908.

After the revolutionary Vladimir Burtsev unmasked his activity in 1909, Azef fled to Germany, where he died in 1918.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Yevno Azef" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Azef. The main provocateur of Russia and an agent of the West

Russia has given the world a classic example of provocation. The Azef affair thundered throughout Europe and greatly discredited both the Socialist Revolutionary Party and the Russian police. A man over 15 years has been in the service as a secret police agent to fight the revolutionary underground and at the same time for over five years was the head of Russia's largest terrorist organization.

His very name became synonymous with betrayal, everyone hated him. Yevno Azef handed over hundreds of revolutionaries to the police and at the same time organized a number of major terrorist acts, the success of which attracted the attention of the world community. He became the organizer of the assassination of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire Pleve, the Moscow Governor-General, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and several other leading dignitaries of the Russian state. Azef was preparing an assassination attempt against Sovereign Nicholas II, which was not realized due to his exposure.

It is interesting that, acting perfectly in two worlds, in the world of special services and in the world of the “fifth column”, the revolutionary terrorist underground, Azef never completely associated himself with any of them. He always pursued only his own goals and, accordingly, with his worldview, he either betrayed the revolutionaries to the police, then deceived the police, committing terrorist attacks. Azef’s case is also interesting because stories one traitor can understand a lot in the events of the first Russian revolution.

Young Judas

Evno Fishelevich Azef (usually used the Russian version - Evgeny Filippovich) was born in 1869 in the town of Lyskovo, Grodno province, in a poor Jewish family. Later, the family moved to Rostov-on-Don, where Yevno graduated from high school in 1890. In 1892, hiding from the police (a dark story about theft), fled to Germany, where he began to study as an electrical engineer in Karlsruhe. With what means he left, studied and lived in Germany, it is not known. The Social Revolutionaries hadn’t funded him yet, just like the police.

In 1893, a young man appears in Switzerland, where in communication with political emigrants he shows himself to be a decisive supporter of terror. He considered acts of terrorism as the main method of political “work”. Apparently, in order to improve his financial situation, Azef sent a letter to the Police Department of the Russian Empire, where he offered to take young revolutionaries. Evno Fishelevich established ties with the revolutionary underground in Rostov. This was then a fashionable phenomenon among students. The police decided to establish cooperation with the young man and put him a monthly salary of 50 rubles. It was very good money, so Russian workers in the 1890's on average received 12-16 rubles a month. Thus, Yevno Fishelevich at the same time aroused interest in himself both on the part of the revolutionaries and the police of Russia.

Double life

In the next six years, the young traitor promptly sent information from Germany about members of foreign revolutionary organizations and their activities. Thus, he earned credibility in the Police Department. At the same time, he entered into confidence in the members of the revolutionary underground, revolutionary-minded youth. In 1899, Evgeny Filippovich received an engineering degree and arrived in Moscow. He worked in his specialty and was actively introducing himself into the party of socialist revolutionaries (SRs).

Then this party, which was born on the foundation of the popular movement, was the leading force of the revolutionary movement in Russia. Unlike their rivals from the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (social democrats, future Bolsheviks and Mensheviks), the Socialist-Revolutionaries believed that the main driving force of the revolution would be not the workers, but the peasants, who made up the vast majority of the agrarian Russian empire. Their main slogan: “Land to the peasants!” Already after the revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks borrowed it.

The Social Revolutionaries engaged in revolutionary propaganda, "educating" the peasants, tried to organize peasant uprisings, but their most famous method was terror. By eliminating the leading state and military leaders of the Russian Empire, the most proactive and decisive, loyal to the tsar’s throne, the terrorist revolutionaries tried to “rock the boat”, destabilize the situation, and cause a revolutionary explosion. The combat organization of the Social Revolutionaries led by Grigory Gershuni, created in the 1902 year, carried out more than 250 high-profile attacks. As a result of the activities of the Combat Organization, two ministers of the interior (Sipyagin and Pleve), 33 governor-general, governor and vice-governor (including Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, governor of the Ufa province Nikolai Bogdanovich), 16 town governors, 7 generals and admirals, etc. were killed. d.

Azef successfully infiltrated the party of socialist revolutionaries, entered into confidence in the leader of the Combat Organization of Gershuni, and he himself became one of the prominent members of the party. Since that time, Euno began to hide part of the information from the police, helping the formation of the Combat Organization and engaging in terror. He began a double game: he continued to turn in the participants of the revolutionary movement and at the same time was one of the “architects” of the great terror in Russia, soon the main one.

In April 1902, Minister of the Interior Dmitry Sipyagin, a staunch conservative and monarchist who resolutely fought the revolutionary movement, was assassinated. Soon Azef informed the police about the organizers of the assassination attempt. After an unsuccessful attempt on the Chief Prosecutor of the Synod, Konstantin Pobedonostsev, Gershunii and other members of the Combat Organization went underground. In June 1902, terrorists attempted the assassination of the governor of the Kharkov province, Ivan Obolensky. He was saved by his wife, who intercepted the hand of a shooting terrorist. As it became known later, the police were warned in advance by Evo Azef about the impending assassination attempt, but did not take any measures.

In May 1903, the governor of the Ufa province Nikolay Bogdanovich was killed, who was notorious after the suppression of a workers' strike in Zlatoust (dozens of people, including women and children) were killed. Gershuni was hiding in Kiev and Azef handed him over to the police. The Military District Court in St. Petersburg sentenced Gershuni to death, but she was replaced by life imprisonment. At first he was in Shlisselburg prison, then in hard labor in Eastern Siberia. In 1906, he, as a valuable shot of the “fifth column”, organized an escape, was transferred from Vladivostok to Japan, and from there to the United States. Interestingly, until his death in 1908, Gershuni believed that Azef was innocent and even wanted to come to Russia and kill Emperor Nicholas II with him.

Leader of the terrorists

Azef became the head of the Combat Organization and the successor of the Gershuni affair. He brought the organization to a new level: abandoned gunshot weaponsreplaced it with bombs. Explosives were manufactured in Switzerland, where several laboratories were created. It is worth noting that the rear bases of the Russian “fifth column” were Switzerland, France, England and the United States. That is, the real masters of the "Russian" revolutionary movement was the so-called. “World backstage” - “financial international”, which by any means tried to destroy the Russian autocracy and the Russian state.

Azef also strengthened discipline, strengthened secrecy, separating the Combat Organization from the general party environment. The main provocateur said: ". with a high prevalence of provocations in mass organizations, communication with them for combat will be disastrous . " And he knew what he was saying. The preparation for terrorist attacks has improved: now preliminary surveillance was carried out on the objects of attacks. Observers, arms manufacturers and bombing terrorists were divided, did not need to know each other. Azef's deputy was the talented revolutionary terrorist Boris Savinkov who fled from the Vologda exile to Switzerland. The backbone of the organization was young people, often half-educated students who were convinced of their work. Preparations for the attacks were carried out in France and Switzerland, where they hid after the assassination attempts. Active revolutionary terrorists could live without work for a long time, rest, everything was paid. Such activities required serious financial injections, but the terrorists did not experience problems with funds. The masters of the West were interested in their vigorous activity. The powerful Socialist-Revolutionary terror machine was well funded.

In addition, the terrorists received complete freedom of movement. After each case, they easily left for Switzerland, France or England, and held meetings there. They freely traveled to European capitals and cities of Russia. They had first-class documents, passports, real and not Russian. From the same source and weapons, dynamite. As a result, a fairly small group of fanatical terrorists (several dozen active members) kept the whole empire in fear.

Evno Fishelevich became famous for high-profile operations. In July 1904, Minister of Internal Affairs Vyacheslav Konstantinovich Pleve was blown up in St. Petersburg, who resolutely fought against the revolutionary movement. In February 1905, the Moscow Governor-General, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, died from a bomb. In June 1905, the Moscow town governor, General Pavel Shuvalov, was shot dead. After that, the police stepped up their activities, many active members of the terrorist organization were arrested. Azef also stood behind the decline of the Combat Organization.

However, after the suppression of the December uprising in Moscow, the combat organization was restored. In December and April of 1906, attempts were made on the Moscow Governor-General Fedor Dubasov (he was wounded) in August 1906, the convinced monarchist, the life guard commander of the Semenovsky regiment (with whom he crushed the uprising in Moscow), General George Min, was killed in December 1906, they shot and killed St. Petersburg mayor Vladimir von der Launitz. In December 1906, the Chief Military Prosecutor of Russia and the Head of the Main Military Court Directorate, Lieutenant General Vladimir Petrovich Pavlov, were killed. He was the initiator of the law on military courts, which allowed to bring down a wave of revolutionary terror in Russia.

Among the victims of Evo Azef was another famous provocateur - Gapon. The Socialist-Revolutionaries learned of his collaboration with the vice-director of the Police Department, Pyotr Rachkovsky, and sentenced to death. The action was to be performed by fellow Gapon Social Revolutionary Peter Rutenberg. In March 1906, the killers strangled a former priest.

All this time, the Police Department did not suspect that the largest assassination attempts and murders were “engineer Raskin” (as Azef was called in police documents). Yevno Fishelevich continued to regularly supply the police with important information, handed over revolutionaries, but was silent about the actions, where he himself played a prominent or leading role. Raskin skillfully prepared the operation. Part of it he kept secret from the police, so that they were successful and high-profile affairs created him unshakable authority in the party and in the entire revolutionary movement. He was simply adored. Therefore, until the very last moment, Raskin was beyond suspicion. How can there be a provocateur of a man who almost personally eliminated Pleve and Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich !? The great provocateur handed over the other part of the operations to the police, and there were no suspicions there either. From the 1905 of the year, he began to surrender his own comrades, members of a terrorist organization, whom he himself taught terror. Evno gave the police a group that was preparing an assassination attempt on the king and reported on the plan of the explosion in the State Council. For this, Azef received a huge salary - 500 rubles per month (comparable to the general salary), and at the end of his career - up to 1000 thousand rubles.


Until the 1908 of the year, Evno Fishelevich trowels managed to hide their essence. So, in 1906, the officer of the Police Department, L.P. Menschikov, informed the Socialist-Revolutionaries that there were two police informants in the party leadership. The party commission concluded that the traitor was Social Revolutionary Nikolai Tatarov. He really was an agent of the secret police, and according to his information, members of the Combat Organization were arrested who were preparing an attempt on the comrade (so called deputy ministers) of the Minister of Internal Affairs, the head of the police and gendarmes corps Dmitry Trepov. But suspicion fell on Azef. However, the authority of Yevno Azef was unquestioned at that time, and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, not believing Tatarov’s claims that he was not the traitor, but Azef, believed Raskin. The head of the Combat Organization managed to blame Tatarov and achieve its elimination.

Perhaps he could continue to lead the police and his party by the nose if Vladimir Burtsev, a former people's commander, publicist and publisher, hadn’t brought him out into the open. In 1906, he received evidence that there was an agent provocateur named Raskin in the Socialist Revolutionary Party. Having studied all the available information, previously obtained and rejected by the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the publicist came to the conclusion that Raskin was Azef. In the fall of 1908, Burtsev met with the former head of the Police Department, Alexei Lopukhin. Impressed by what Azef was doing as a secret police agent, Lopukhin confirmed that Raskin was Yevno Fishelevich.

At an internal party trial of the Central Committee of the Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, Burtsev presented all the facts, including the testimony of Lopukhin. In January 1909, Mr. Azef-Raskin was sentenced to death. However, he fled to Germany, where he lived the quiet life of a burgher. He played in a casino, spent huge sums. Azef always loved a beautiful life: expensive restaurants and women. Only with the outbreak of world war did he begin to have problems. The German authorities "cleared" a potential "fifth column", and Yevno Azef from 1915 to 1917. sat in prison. Died in April 1918 of the year.

Why did the Socialist Revolutionaries, who committed a number of major terrorist attacks, killing princes, governors, city governors, admirals, and generals, not killed an ordinary German burgher? There were funds, people, a well-established methodology for the preparation and implementation of operations. The answer, apparently, is that Azef-Raskin carried out the will of the masters of the West. It was a typical double agent of foreign intelligence services. He performed his task perfectly. In Russia, at an accelerated pace, they created a powerful revolutionary party, launched large-scale terror, worked out the methodology of plunging the country into trouble, controlled chaos. Eliminated the most loyal to the Russian throne, personally to the tsar of statesmen, on whom you could rely on in the conditions of a new revolution. The police department was successfully misinformed and discredited, its activities were paralyzed. Therefore, Yevno Azef was allowed to live in peace, he fulfilled his task.

The Great Tataria

[email protected] exposed this forgery, clearly showing that newager Levashov and employees of Moscow State University Fomenko and Nosovsky (probable authors of this hoax) were involved in its development and promotion. In their view: Tart-Aria is a great Eurasian antediluvian civilization, there are only brief references on the maps and old Western books about it, with their easy hand Tartaria became Russian or Aryan. Here are the details of this disclosure:

As it turned out, it is most likely, as many critics initially claimed, that Tartaria = Татария. The Tartars was exactly the Татары initially:

And at the time of use this term (100-300 years ago), this notion was not related to the Aryans and Russians, but was related to the Tatars (Turkic-speaking, predominantly, Muslim peoples). But over the past 20 years, thanks to the efforts of Moscow academics and adherents of the New Age movement, Tartaria has become associated with quite different peoples than it was originally.

The coats of arms of the cities of Moscow and Kazan (the capital of Tatarstan) look very symbolically in the aspect of this story:

It turns out that in just 20 years many enterprising Russians tried to rewrite the past so as to appropriate to their ancestors the merits of the Turkic peoples (under whose yoke, according to the official historiography, they were for a long time).

In this connection, i propose to listen to the song of the authentic Tartar singer:

It is also worth adding that the first printed Koran published not by Christians, but by Muslims themselves, was the Kazan Koran.

Previous Western notions of Tartars, in the Jungian sense, providing the basis for the modern fantasies:

And here are images of the Crimean Tatars, just at the time of the active use of the term "Tartaria" in the West:

Pictures of less than 200 years old with the image of the Crimean Tartars by Carlo Bossoli.

The example of the Transcaucasian Tatars shows exactly when the term "Tatars" began to be used in the West instead of "Tartar":


A thorough investigation based on all available documentary resources-available for the first time due to the Soviet government's demise-Entangled in Terror: The Azef Affair and the Russian Revolution sorts out the facts of the case from rumors and legends. More than 17,000 people were killed or wounde

A thorough investigation based on all available documentary resources-available for the first time due to the Soviet government's demise-Entangled in Terror: The Azef Affair and the Russian Revolution sorts out the facts of the case from rumors and legends. More than 17,000 people were killed or wounded throughout the empire between 1905 and 1910 as a result of political assassination attempts alone. party and its Combat Organization, the course of Azef's career, his role within the party, and the extent and frequency of his contacts with the secret police. His story is inseparable from the history of the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary party (P.S.R.) and the terrorism that plagued the tsarist regime in the first decade of the twentieth century. In the winter of 1909, a political bombshell exploded in tsarist Russia. Entangled in Terror explores the background and history of the radical S.R. Scandal swept not only the empire but the entire world with the exposure of the secret life of one man. Enter Evno Azef, a man who, before being reviled by Socialist-Revolutionary party leaders as a traitorous double agent, would spend fifteen ye

Anna Geifman is associate professor of history at Boston University.

As one of the premier historians of Russian terrorism, Geifman also explores the psychological realm of Azef's treachery, providing important insights into his motivations and career. It strives, on the basis of newly opened archival materials, to reevaluate the personality and career of tsarist Russia's notorious master 'spy.' Azef, who worked for the security police while heading the revolutionary terrorist organization, is here depicted, for the first time, as a complex person, less duplicitous than usually thought of but no less critical in discrediting the wave of terror that swept Russia in the early years of this century. Geifman's research is impeccable and her argument convincing. (Pipes, Richard) . (Norman M. Naimark)A revisionist work in the best sense of the word. Azef was neither a double agent

Chapter 11

In Russia—for another ten years it escaped its ruin—the best minds among the Russians and the Jews had had time to look back and evaluate from different points of view the essence of our common life, to seriously consider the question of culture and national destiny.

The Jewish people made its way through an ever‐changing present by dragging behind it the tail of a comet of three thousand years of diaspora, without ever losing consciousness of being “a nation without language nor territory, but with its own laws” (Salomon Lourie), preserving its difference and its specificity by the force of its religious and national tension—in the name of a superior, meta‐historical Providence. Have the Jews of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries sought to identify with the peoples who surrounded them, to blend into them? It was certainly the Jews of Russia who, longer than their other co‐religionists, had remained in the core of isolation, concentrated on their religious life and conscience. But, from the end of the nineteenth century, it was precisely this Jewish community in Russia that began to grow stronger, to flourish, and now “the whole history of the Jewish community in the modern age was placed under the sign of Russian Jewry”, which also manifested “a sharp sense of the movement of History.” 1

For their part, the Russian thinkers were perplexed by the particularism of the Jews. And for them, in the nineteenth century, the question was how to overcome it. Vladimir Solovyov, who expressed deep sympathy for the Jews, proposed to do so by the love of the Russians towards the Jews.

Before him, Dostoyevsky had noticed the disproportionate fury provoked by his remarks, certainly offensive but very scarce, about the Jewish people: “This fury is a striking testimony to the way the Jews themselves regard the Russians… and that, in the motives of our differences with the Jews, it is perhaps not only the Russian people who bears all the responsibility, but that these motives, obviously, have accumulated on both sides, and it cannot be said on which side there is the most.” 2

From this same end of the nineteenth century, Teitel reports the following observation: “The Jews are in their majority materialists. Strong in them is the aspiration to acquire material goods. But what contempt for these material goods whenever it comes to the inner ‘I’, to national dignity! Why, in fact, the mass of Jewish youth—who has completely turned away from religious practice, which often does not even speak its mother tongue—why did this mass, if only for the sake of form, not convert to Orthodoxy, which would have opened to it wide the doors of all the universities and would have given it access to all the goods of the earth?” Even the thirst for knowledge was not enough, while “science, superior knowledge was held by them in higher esteem than fortune.” What held them back was the concern not to abandon their co‐religionists in need. (He also adds that going to Europe to study was not a good solution either: “Jewish students felt very uncomfortable in the West… The German Jew considered them undesirable, insecure people, noisy, disorderly,” and this attitude was not only that of the German Jews, “the French and Swiss Jews were no exception.” 3

As for D. Pasmanik, he also mentioned this category of Jews converted under duress, who felt only more resentment towards the power and could only oppose it. (From 1905, conversion was facilitated: it was no longer necessary to go to orthodoxy, it was enough to become a Christian, and Protestantism was more acceptable to many Jews. In 1905 was also repealed the prohibition to return to Judaism. 4 )

Another writer bitterly concluded, in 1924, that in the last decades preceding the revolution it was not only “the Russian government… which definitely ranked the Jewish people among the enemies of the country”, but “even worse, it was a lot of Jewish politicians who ranked themselves among these enemies, radicalising their position and ceasing to differentiate between the ‘government’ and the fatherland, that is, Russia… The indifference of the Jewish masses and their leaders to the destiny of Great Russia was a fatal political error.” 5

Of course, like any social process, this—and, moreover, in a context as diverse and mobile as the Jewish milieu—did not take place linearly, it was split in the hearts of many educated Jews, it provoked rifts. On the one hand, “belonging to the Jewish people confers a specific position in the whole of the Russian milieu.” 6 But to observe immediately a “remarkable ambivalence: the traditional sentimental attachment of many Jews to the surrounding Russian world, their rootedness in this world, and at the same time an intellectual rejection, a refusal across the board. Affection for an abhorred world.” 7

This approach so painfully ambivalent could not fail to lead to equally painfully ambivalent results. And when I. V. Hessen, in an intervention in the second Duma in March 1907, after having denied that the revolution was still in its phase of rising violence, thus denying right‐wing parties the right to arise as defenders of the culture against anarchy, exclaimed: “We who are teachers, doctors, lawyers, statisticians, literary men, would we be the enemies of culture? Who will believe you, gentlemen?”—They shouted from the benches of the right: “You are the enemies of Russian culture, not of Jewish culture!” 8 Enemies, of course not, why go so far, but—as the Russian party pointed out—are you really, unreservedly, our friends? The rapprochement was made difficult precisely by this: how could these brilliant advocates, professors and doctors not have in their heart of hearts primarily Jewish sympathies? Could they feel, entirely and unreservedly, Russian by spirit? Hence the problem was even more complicated. Were they able to take to heart the interests of the Russian State in their full scope and depth?

During this same singular period, we see on the one hand that the Jewish middle classes make a very clear choice to give secular education to their children in the Russian language, and on the other there is the development of publications in Yiddish—and comes into use the term “Yiddishism”: that the Jews remain Jewish, that they do not assimilate.

There was still a path to assimilation, doubtlessly marginal, but not negligible: that of mixed marriages. And also a current of superficial assimilation consisting in adapting artificial pseudonyms to the Russian way. (And who did this most often?! The great sugar producers of Kiev “Dobry” * , “Babushkin” ** , prosecuted during the war for agreement with the enemy. The editor “Iasny” *** that even the newspaper of constitutional‐democrat orientation Retch called an “avid speculator”, an “unscrupulous shark.” 9 Or the future Bolshevik D. Goldenbach, who regarded “all of Russia as a country without worth” but disguised himself as “Riazanov” to bother the readers with his Marxist theoretician ratiocinations until his arrest in 1937.)

And it was precisely during these decades, and especially in Russia, that Zionism developed. The Zionists were ironical about those who wanted to assimilate, who imagined that the fate of the Jews of Russia was indissolubly linked to the destiny of Russia itself.

And then, we must turn first to Vl. Jabotinsky, a brilliant and original essayist, who was brought, in the years preceding the revolution, to express not only his rejection of Russia but also his despair. Jabotinsky considered that Russia was nothing more than a halt for the Jews on their historical journey and that it was necessary to hit the road—to Palestine.

Passion ignited his words: it is not with the Russian people that we are in contact, we learn to know it through its culture, “mainly through its writers…, through the highest, the purest manifestations of the Russian spirit,”—and this appreciation, we transpose it to the whole of the Russian world. “Many of us, born of the Jewish intelligentsia, love the Russian culture with a maddening and degrading love… with the degrading love of swine keepers for a queen.” As for the Jewish world, we discover it through the baseness and ugliness of everyday life. 10

He is merciless towards those who seek to assimilate. “Many of the servile habits that developed in our psychology as our intelligentsia became russified,” “have ruined the hope or the desire to keep Jewishness intact, and lead to its disappearance.” The average Jewish intellectual forgets himself: it is better not to pronounce the word “Jew”, “the times are no longer about that” we are afraid to write: “we the Jews”, but we write: “we the Russians” and even: “we the Russkoffs”. “The Jew can occupy a prominent place in Russian society, but he will always remain a second class Russian,” and this, all the more so because he retains a specific ‘inclination of the soul’.”—We are witnessing an epidemic of baptisms for interest, sometimes for stakes far more petty than obtaining a diploma. “The thirty pennies for equal rights…” When abjuring our faith, strip yourself also of our nationality. 11

The situation of the Jews in Russia—and not at any time, but precisely after the years 1905‒1906—seemed to him desperately gloomy: “The objective reality, that is, the fact of living abroad, has turned itself against our people today, and we are weak and helpless.”—“Already in the past we knew we were surrounded by enemies” “this prison” (Russia), “a pack of dogs” “the body lying, covered with the wounds of the Jewish people of Russia, tracked, surrounded by enemies and defenceless” “six million human beings swarming in a deep pit…, a slow torture, a pogrom that does not end” and even, according to him, “newspapers financed by Jewish funds” do not defend the Jews “in these times of unprecedented persecution.” At the end of 1911, he wrote: “For several years now the Jews of Russia have been crammed on the bench of the accused”, despite the fact we are not revolutionaries, that “we have not sold Russia to the Japanese” and that we are not Azefs * or Bogrovs ** ” and in connection with Bogrov: “This unfortunate young man—he was what he was—, at the hour of such an admirable death[!], was booed by a dozen brutes from the cesspool of the Kievian Black Hundreds, come to ensure that the execution had indeed taken place.” 12

And, returning again and again to the Jewish community itself: “Today we are culturally deprived, as at the bottom of a slum, of an obscure impasse.”—“What we suffer above all is contempt for ourselves what we need above all is to respect ourselves… The study of Jewishness must become for us the central discipline… Jewish culture is now the only plank of salvation for us.” 13

All of this, we can, yes, we can understand it, share it. (And we, Russians, can do it, especially today, at the end of the twentieth century.)

It does not condemn those who, in the past, have campaigned for assimilation: in the course of History “there are times when assimilation is undeniably desirable, when it represents a necessary stage of progress.” This was the case after the sixties of the nineteenth century, when the Jewish intelligentsia was still in its embryonic state, beginning to adapt to the surrounding environment, to a culture that had reached maturity. At that time, assimilation did not mean “denying the Jewish people, but on the contrary, taking the first step on the road to autonomous national activity, taking a first step towards renewal and rebirth of the nation.” It was necessary to “assimilate what was foreign to us in order to be able to develop with new energy what was our own.” But half a century later, many radical transformations took place both inside and outside the Jewish world. The desire to appropriate universal knowledge has become widespread as never before. And it is then, now, that must be inculcated to the younger generations the Jewish principles. It is now that there is a threat of an irremediable dilution in the foreign environment: “There is no day that passes in which our sons do not leave us” and “do not become strangers to us” “enlightened by the Enlightenment, our children serve all the peoples of the Earth, except ours no one is there to work for the Jewish cause.” “The world around us is too magnificent, too spacious and too rich”—we cannot admit that it diverts Jewish youth from “the ugliness of the daily existence of the Jews… The deepening of national values of Jewishness must become the main axis… of Jewish education.”—“Only the bond of solidarity allows a nation to hold” (we ourselves would need it!—A. S.), while denial slows down the struggle for the right of the Jews: one imagines that there is a way out, and “we leave… lately… in compact masses, with lightness and cynicism.” 14

Then, letting himself be carried away: “The royal spirit [of Israel] in all its power, its tragic history in all its grandiose magnificence…” “Who are we to justify ourselves before them? Who are they to demand accountability?” 15

The latter formula, we can also respect it fully. But under the condition of reciprocity. Especially since it is not up to any nation or religion to judge another.

The calls to return to Jewish roots did not remain unheeded in those years. In Saint Petersburg, before the revolution, “we could note in the circles of the Russo‐Jewish intelligentsia a very great interest in Jewish history.” 16 In 1908, the Jewish Historical‐Ethnographic Commission expanded into a Jewish Historical‐Ethnographic Society, 17 headed by M. Winaver. It worked actively and efficiently to collect the archives on the history and ethnography of the Jews of Russia and Poland—nothing comparable was established by Jewish historical science in the West. The magazine The Jewish Past, led by S. Dubnov, then was created. 18 At the same time began the publication of the Jewish Encyclopædia in sixteen volumes (which we use extensively in this study), and the History of the Jewish People in fifteen volumes. It is true that in the last volume of the Jewish Encyclopædia, its editors complain that “the elite of the Jewish intelligentsia has shown its indifference to the cultural issues raised by this Encyclopædia,” devoting itself exclusively to the struggle for the equality—all formal—of rights for the Jews. 19

Meanwhile, on the contrary, in other minds and other Jewish hearts there was a growing conviction that the future of the Jews of Russia was indissolubly linked to that of Russia. Although “scattered over an immense territory and among a foreign world…, the Russian Jewish community had and was conscious of being a unique whole. Because unique was the environment that surrounded us…, unique its culture… This unique culture, we absorbed it throughout the whole country.” 20

“The Jews of Russia have always been able to align their own interests to those of all the Russian people. And this did not come from any nobility of character or a sense of gratitude, but from a perception of historical realities.” Open controversy with Jabotinsky: “Russia is not, for the millions of Jews who populate it, a step among others on the historical path of the wandering Jew… The contribution of Russian Jews to the international Jewish community has been and will be the most significant. There is no salvation for us without Russia, as there is no salvation for Russia without us.” 21

This interdependence is affirmed even more categorically by the deputy of the second and third Dumas, O. I. Pergament: “No improvement of the internal situation of Russia ‘is possible without the simultaneous enfranchisement of the Jews from the yoke of inequality’.” 22

And there, one cannot ignore the exceptional personality of the jurist G. B. Sliosberg: among the Jews he was one of those who, for decades, had the closest relations with the Russian State, sometimes as Deputy to the Principal Secretary of the Senate, sometimes as a consultant to the Ministry of the Interior, but to whom many Jews reproached his habit of asking the authorities for rights for the Jews, when the time had come demand them. He writes in his memoirs: “From childhood, I have become accustomed to consider myself above all as a Jew. But from the beginning of my conscious life I also felt like a son of Russia… Being a good Jew does not mean that one is not a good Russian citizen.” 23 —“In our work, we were not obliged to overcome the obstacles encountered at every step by the Jews of Poland because of the Polish authorities… In the Russian political and administrative system, we Jews did not represent a foreign element, insofar as, in Russia, cohabited many nationalities. The cultural interests of Russia did not conflict in any way with the cultural interests of the Jewish community. These two cultures were somewhat complementary.” 24 He even added this somewhat humorous remark: the legislation on Jews was so confusing and contradictory that in the 90s, “it was necessary to create a specific jurisprudence for the Jews using purely Talmudic methods.” 25

And again, in a higher register: “The easing of the national yoke which has been felt in recent years, shortly before Russia entered a tragic period in its history, bore in the hearts of all Russian Jews the hope that the Russian Jewish consciousness would gradually take a creative path, that of reconciling the Jewish and Russian aspects in the synthesis of a higher unity.” 26

And can we forget that, among the seven authors of the incomparable Milestones * , three were Jews: M. O. Gershenzon, A. S. Izgoev‐Lande, and S. L. Frank?

But there was reciprocity: in the decades preceding the revolution, the Jews benefited from the massive and unanimous support of progressive circles. Perhaps the amplitude of this support is due to a context of bullying and pogroms, but it has never been so complete in any other country (and perhaps never in all the past centuries). Our intelligentsia was so generous, so freedom‐loving, that it ostracised anti‐Semitism from society and humanity moreover, the one who did not give his frank and massive support to the struggle for equal rights of the Jews, who did not make it a priority, was considered a “despicable anti‐Semite”. With its ever‐awakening moral consciousness and extreme sensitivity, the Russian intelligentsia sought to understand and assimilate the Jewish view of priorities affecting the whole of political life: is deemed progressive all that is a reaction against the persecution of the Jews, all the rest is reactionary. Not only did Russian society firmly defend the Jews against the government, but it forbade itself and forbade anyone to show any trace of a shadow of criticism of the conduct of each Jew in particular: and if this bore anti‐Semitism within me? (The generation formed at that time retained these principles for decades.)

V. A. Maklakov evokes in his memoirs a significant episode that occurred during the congress of the Zemstvos in 1905, when the wave of pogroms against the Jews and intellectuals had just swept through and began to rise in strength the pogroms directed against landowners. “E. V. de Roberti proposed not to extend the amnesty [demanded by the congress] to the crimes related to violence against children and women.” He was immediately suspected of wanting to introduce a “class” amendment, that is to say, to concern himself with the families of the noble victims of pogroms. “E. de Roberti hastened… to reassure everybody: ‘I had absolutely no plan in regard to the property of the noblemen… Five or twenty properties burned down, this has no importance. I have in view the mass of immovable property and houses belonging to Jews, which were burned and pillaged by the Black Hundreds’.” 27

During the terror of 1905‒1907, Gerzenstein (who had been ironic about the property fires of the noblemen) and Iollos were considered as martyrs, but no one among the thousands of other innocent victims, were considered so. In The Last Autocrat, a satirical publication that the Russian liberals published abroad, they succeeded in placing the following legend under the portrait of the general whom the terrorist Hirsch Lekkert had attempted in vain to assassinate: “Because of him”[I emphasise—A. S.], the tsar “had executed… the Jew Lekkert.” 28

It was not just the parties of the opposition, it was the whole mass of middle‐class civil servants who were trembling at the idea of sounding like “non‐progressives”. It was necessary to enjoy a good personal fortune, or possess remarkable freedom of mind, to resist with courage the pressure of general opinion. As for the world of the bar, of art, of science, ostracism immediately struck anyone who moved away from this magnetic field.

Only Leo Tolstoy, who enjoyed a unique position in society, could afford to say that, for him, the Jewish question was in the 81 st place.

The Jewish Encyclopædia complained that the pogroms of October 1905 “provoked in the progressive intelligentsia a protestation that was not specific [i.e., exclusively Jewish‐centred], but general, oriented towards all manifestations of the ‘counter‐revolution’ in all its forms.” 29

Moreover, Russian society would have ceased to be itself if it had not brought everything to a single burning question: tsarism, still tsarism, always tsarism!

But the consequence was this: “After the days of October [the pogroms of 1905], concrete aid to the Jewish victims was brought only by the Jews of Russia and other countries.” 30 And Berdyaev added: “Are you capable of feeling the soul of the Jewish people?… No, you are fighting… in favour of an abstract humanity.” 31

This is confirmed by Sliosberg: “In politically evolved circles,” the Jewish question “was not political in the broad sense of the term. Society was attentive to manifestations of the reaction in all its forms.” 32

In order to correct this misjudgement of Russian society, a collection of articles entitled Shchit [The Shield] was published in 1915: it took on globally and exclusively the defence of the Jews, but without the participation of the latter as writers, these were either Russian or Ukrainian, and a beautiful skewer of celebrities of the time was assembled there—nearly forty names. 33 The whole collection was based on a single theme: “Jews in Russia” it is univocal in its conclusions and its formulations denote in some places a certain spirit of sacrifice.

A few samples—L. Andreev: “The prospect of an approaching solution to the Jewish problem brings about a feeling of ‘joy close to fervour’, the feeling of being freed from a pain that has accompanied me all my life,” which was like “a hump on the back” “I breathed poisonous air…”—M. Gorky: “The great European thinkers consider that the psychic structure of the Jew is culturally higher, more beautiful than that of the Russian.” (He then rejoiced at the development in Russia of the sect of the Sabbatists and that of the “New Israel”.)—P. Maliantovitch: “The arbitrariness to which the Jews are subjected is a reproach which, like a stain, covers the name of the Russian people… The best among the Russians feel it as a shame that pursues you all your life. We are barbarians among the civilised peoples of humanity… we are deprived of the precious right to be proud of our people… The struggle for the equal rights of the Jews represents for the Russian man… a national cause of prime importance… The arbitrariness subjected to the Jews condemns the Russians to failure in their attempts to attain their own happiness.” If we do not worry about the liberation of the Jews, “we will never be able to solve our own problems.”—K. Arseniev: “If we remove everything that hinders the Jews, we will see ‘an increase in the intellectual forces of Russia’.”—A. Kalmykova: “On the one hand, our ‘close spiritual relationship with the Jewish world in the domain of the highest spiritual values’ on the other, ‘the Jews may be the object of contempt, of hatred’.”—L. Andreev: “It is we, the Russians, who are the Jews of Europe our border, it is precisely the Pale of Settlement.”—D. Merezhkovsky: “What do the Jews expect of us? Our moral indignation? But this indignation is so strong and so simple… that we only have to scream with the Jews. This is what we do.”—By the effect of I am not sure which misunderstanding, Berdyaev is not one of the authors of the Shield. But he said of himself that he had broken with his milieu from his earliest youth and that he preferred to frequent the Jews.

All the authors of the Shield define anti‐Semitism as an ignoble feeling, as “a disease of consciousness, obstinate and contagious” (D. Ovsianikov‐Kulikovsky, Academician). But at the same time, several authors note that “the methods and processes… of anti‐Semites [Russians] are of foreign origin” (P. Milyukov). “The latest cry of anti‐Semitic ideology is a product of the German industry of the spirit… The ‘Aryan’ theory… has been taken up by our nationalist press… Menshikov * [copies] the ideas of Gobineau” (F. Kokochkin). The doctrine of the superiority of the Aryans in relation to the Semites is “of German manufacture” (see Ivanov).

But for us, with our hump on our backs, what does it change? Invited by the “Progressive Circle” at the end of 1916, Gorky “devoted the two hours of his lecture to rolling the Russian people in the mud and raising the Jews to the skies,” as noted by the Progressive deputy Mansyrev, one of the founders of the “Circle”. 34

A contemporary Jewish writer analyses this phenomenon objectively and lucidly: “We assisted to a profound transformation of the minds of the cultivated Russians who, unfortunately, took to heart the Jewish problem much more greatly than might have been expected… Compassion for the Jews was transformed into an imperative almost as categorical as the formula ‘God, the Tsar, the Fatherland’” as for the Jews, “they took advantage of this profession of faith according to their degree of cynicism.” 35 At the same time, Rozanov spoke of “the avid desire of the Jews to seize everything.” 36

In the 20s, V. Choulguine summed it up as follows: “At that time [a quarter of a century before the revolution], the Jews had taken control of the political life of the country… The brain of the nation (if we except the government and the circles close to it) found itself in the hands of the Jews and was accustomed to think according to their directives.” “Despite all the ‘restrictions’ on their rights, the Jews had taken possession of the soul of the Russian people.” 37

But was it the Jews who had seized the Russian soul or did the Russians simply not know what to do with it?

Still in the Shield, Merezhkovsky tried to explain that philo‐Semitism had arisen in reaction to anti‐Semitism, that the blind valourisation of a foreign nationality was asserted, that the absolutisation of the “no” led to that of the “yes”. 38 And Professor Baudouin de Courtenay acknowledged that “many, even among the ‘political friends’ of the Jews, experience repulsion and acknowledge it in private. Here, of course, there is nothing to do. Sympathy and antipathy… are not commanded.” We must nevertheless rely “not on affects, but on reason.” 39

The confusion that reigned in the minds of those days was brought to light with greater significance and reach by P. B. Struve, who devoted his entire life to breaking down the obstacles erected on the path that would lead him from Marxism to the rule of law, and, along the way, also obstacles of other kinds. The occasion was a polemic—fallen into a deep oblivion, but of great historical importance—which broke out in the liberal Slovo newspaper in March 1909 and immediately won the entirety of the Russian press.

Everything had begun with the “Chirikov affair”, an episode whose importance was inflated to the extreme: an explosion of rage in a small literary circle accusing Chirikov—author of a play entitled The Jews, and well disposed towards them—to be anti‐Semitic. (And this because at a dinner of writers he had let himself go on to say that most of the literary critics of Saint Petersburg were Jews, but were they able to understand the reality of Russian life?) This affair shook many things in Russian society. (The journalist Lioubosh wrote about it: “It is the two kopeck candle that set fire to Moscow.”)

Considering that he had not sufficiently expressed himself on the Chrikov affair in a first article, Jabotinsky published a text entitled “Asemitism” in the Slovo newspaper on 9 March 1909. He stated in it his fears and his indignation at the fact that the majority of the progressive press wanted to silence this matter. That even a great liberal newspaper (he was referring to the Russian News) had not published a word for twenty‐five years on “the atrocious persecutions suffered by the Jewish people… Since then the law of silence has been regarded as the latest trend by progressive philo‐Semites.” It was precisely here that evil resided: in passing over the Jewish question. (We can only agree with this!) When Chirikov and Arabajine “assure us that there is nothing anti‐Semitic in their remarks, they are both perfectly right.” Because of this tradition of silence, “one can be accused of anti‐Semitism for having only pronounced the word ‘Jew’ or made the most innocent remark about some particularity of the Jews… The problem is that the Jews have become a veritable taboo that forbids the most trivial criticism, and that it is them that are the big losers in the affair.” (Here again, we can only agree!) “There is a feeling that the word ‘Jew’ itself has become an indecent term.” “There is here an echo of a general state of mind that makes its way among the middle strata of the progressive Russian intelligentsia… We can not yet provide tangible proofs of it, we can only have a presentiment about this state of mind”—, but it is precisely this that torments him: no proofs, just an intuition—and the Jews will not see the storm coming, they will be caught unprepared. For the moment, “we see only a small cloud forming in the sky and we can hear a distant, but already menacing roll.” It is not anti‐Semitism, it is only “Asemitism”, but that also is not admissible, neutrality cannot be justified: after the pogrom of Kishinev and while the reactionary press peddles “the inflamed tow of hatred”, the silence of the progressive newspapers about “one of the most tragic questions of Russian life” is unacceptable. 40

In the editorial of the same issue of Slovo, were formulated the following reservations about Jabotinsky’s article: “The accusations made by the author against the progressive press correspond, in our opinion, to the reality of things. We understand the sentiments that have inspired the author with his bitter remarks, but to impute to the Russian intelligentsia the intention, so to speak deliberately, of sweeping the Jewish question under the rug, is unfair. The Russian reality has so many unresolved problems that we cannot devote much space to each one of them… Yet, if many of these problems are resolved, this will have very important effects, including for the Jews who are citizens of our common homeland.” 41

And if the editorialist of the Slovo had then asked Jabotinsky why he did not defend one or the other of those fools who uttered “the most innocent remark about some particularity of the Jews”? Was Jewish opinion interested only in them, did they take their part? Or was it enough to observe how the Russian intelligentsia got rid of these “anti‐Semites”? No, the Jews were no less responsible than the others for this “taboo”.

Another article in the same paper helped launch the discussion: “The agreement, not the fusion”, of V. Golubev. Indeed, the Chirikov affair “is far from being an isolated case”, “at the present time… the national question… is also of concern to our intelligentsia”. In the recent past, especially in the year of the revolution * , our intelligentsia has “sinned very much” by cosmopolitanism. But “the struggles that have been fought within our community and between the nationalities that populate the Russian State have not disappeared without leaving traces.” Like the other nationalities, in those years, “the Russians had to look at their own national question… when nationalities deprived of sovereignty began to self‐determine, the Russians felt the need to do so as well.” Even the history of Russia, “we Russian intellectuals, we know it perhaps less well than European history.” “Universal ideals… have always been more important to us than the edification of our own country.” But, even according to Vladimir Solovyov, who is however very far removed from nationalism, “before being a bearer of universal ideals, it is essential to raise oneself to a certain national level. And the feeling of raising oneself seems to have begun to make its way into our intelligentsia.” Until now, “we have been silent on our own peculiarities.” Remembering them in our memory does not constitute a manifestation of anti‐Semitism and oppression of other nationalities: between nationalities there must be “harmony and not fusion”. 42

The editorial team of the newspaper may have taken all these precautions because it was preparing to publish the following day, 10 March, an article by P. B. Struve, “The intelligentsia and the national face”, which had coincidentally arrived at the same time than that of Jabotinsky and also dealing with the Chirikov case.

Struve wrote: “This incident,” which will “soon be forgotten”, “has shown that something has moved in the minds, has awakened and will no longer be calmed. And we will have to rely on that.” “The Russian intelligentsia hides its national face, it is an attitude that imposes nothing, which is sterile.”—“Nationality is something much more obvious [than race, colour of skin] and, at the same time, something subtle. It is the attraction and repulsion of the mind and, to become aware of them, it is not necessary to resort to anthropometry or to genealogy. They live and palpitate in the depths of the soul.” One can and must fight to make these attractions/repulsions not be brought into law, “but ‘political’ equity does not require from us ‘national’ indifference.” These attractions and repulsions belong to us, they are our goods”, “the organic feeling of our national belonging… And I do not see the slightest reason… to renounce this property in the name of anyone or anything.”

Yes, insists Struve, it is essential to draw a border between the legal, the political domains and the realm where these sentiments live. “Especially with regard to the Jewish question, it is both very easy and very difficult.”—“The Jewish question is formally a question of law”, and, for this reason, it is easy and natural to help solve it: to grant the Jews equal rights—yes, of course! But at the same time it is “very difficult because the force of rejection towards the Jews in different strata of Russian society is considerable, and it requires great moral force and a very rational mind to, despite this repulsion, resolve definitively this question of right.” However, “even though there is a great force of rejection towards the Jews among large segments of the Russian population, of all the ‘foreigners’ the Jews are those who are closest to us, those who are the most closely linked to us. It is a historico‐cultural paradox, but it is so. The Russian intelligentsia has always regarded the Jews as Russians, and it is neither fortuitous nor the effect of a ‘misunderstanding’. The deliberate initiative of rejecting Russian culture and asserting Jewish ‘national’ singularity does not belong to the Russian intelligentsia, but to this movement known as Zionism… I do not feel any sympathy for Zionism, but I understand that the problem of ‘Jewish’ nationality does indeed exist,” and even poses itself more and more. (It is significant that he places “national” and “Jewish” in quotation marks: he still cannot believe that the Jews think of themselves as others.) “There does not exist in Russia other ‘foreigners’ who play a role as important in Russian culture… And here is another difficulty: they play this role while remaining Jews.” One cannot, for example, deny the role of the Germans in Russian culture and science but by immersing themselves in Russian culture, the Germans completely blend into it. “With the Jews, that’s another matter!”

And he concludes: “We must not deceive [our national feeling] or hide our faces… I have a right, like any Russian, to these feelings… The better it is understood… the less there will be misunderstandings in the future.” 43

Yes… Oh, if we had woken up, as much as we are, a few decades earlier! (The Jews, they, had awakened long before the Russians.)

But the very next day, it was a whirlwind: as if all the newspapers had waited for that! From the liberal Hacha Gazeta (“Is this the right moment to talk about this?”) and the right‐wing newspaper Novoie Vremia to the organ of the Democratic constitutional party Retch where Milyukov could not help exclaiming: Jabotinsky “has succeeded in breaking the wall of silence, and all the frightening and threatening things that the progressive press and the intelligentsia had sought to hide from the Jews now appear in their true dimension.” But, later on, argumentative and cold as usual, Milyukov goes on to the verdict. It begins with an important warning: Where does it lead? Who benefits from it? The “national face” which, moreover, “we must not hide”, is a step towards the worst of fanaticism! (Thus, the “national face” must be hidden.) Thus “the slippery slope of æsthetic nationalism will precipitate the intelligentsia towards its degeneration, towards a true tribal chauvinism” engendered “in the putrid atmosphere of the reaction reigning over today’s society.” 44

But P. B. Struve, with an almost juvenile agility in spite of his forty years, retaliates as soon as 12 March in the columns of the Slovo to the “professorial speech” of Milyukov. And, above all, to this sleight of hand: “Where does it lead?” (“Who benefits from it?” “Who will draw the chestnuts from the fire?”—this is how people will be silenced—whatever they say—for a hundred years or more. There is a falsifying process that denotes a total inability to understand that a speech can be honest and have weight in itself.)—“Our point of view is not refuted on the merits”, but confronted on the polemic mode to “a projection”: “Where does it lead?” 45 (A few days later, he wrote again in the Slovo: “It is an old process to discredit both an idea that one does not share and the one who formulates it, insinuating perfidiously that the people of Novoie Vremia or Russkoye Znamya will find it quite to their liking. This procedure is, in our opinion, utterly unworthy of a progressive press.” 46 ) Then, as to the substance: “National questions are, nowadays, associated with powerful, sometimes violent feelings. To the extent that they express in everyone the consciousness of their national identity, these feelings are fully legitimate and… to stifle them is… a great villainy.” That is it: if they are repressed, they will reappear in a denatured form. As for this “‘Asemitism’ which would be the worst thing, it is in fact a much more favourable ground for a legal solution of the Jewish question than the endless struggle between ‘anti‐Semitism’ and ‘philo‐Semitism’. There is no non‐Russian nationality that needs… all Russians to love it without reservation. Even less that they pretend to love it. In truth, ‘Asemitism’, combined with a clear and lucid conception of certain moral and political principles and certain political constraints, is much more necessary and useful to our Jewish compatriots than a sentimental and soft ‘philo‐Semitism’”, especially if this one is simulated.—And “it is good that the Jews see the ‘national face’” of Russian constitutionalism and democratic society. And “it is of no use to them to speak under the delusion that this face belongs only to anti‐Semitic fanaticism.” This is not “the head of the Medusa, but the honest and human face of the Russian nation, without which the Russian State would not stand up.” 47 —And again these lines of Slovo‘s editorial team: “Harmony… implies recognition and respect for all the specificities of each [nationality].” 48

Heated debates continued in the newspapers. “Within a few days a whole literature was formed on the subject.” We assisted “In the Progressive Press… to something unthinkable even a short time ago: there is a debate on the question of Great‐Russian nationalism!” 49 But the discussion only reached this level in the Slovo the other papers concentrated on the question of “attractions and repulsions”. 50 The intelligentsia turned its anger towards its hero of the day before.

Jabotinsky also gave voice, and even twice… “The bear came out of his lair,” he lashed out, addressed to P. Struve, a man who was however so calm and well‐balanced. Jabotinsky, on the other hand, felt offended he described his article, as well as that of Milyukov, as “a famous batch”: “their languorous declamation is impregnated with hypocrisy, insincerity, cowardice and opportunism, which is why it is so incorrigibly worthless” and to ironise in quoting Milyukov: thus “the holy and pure Russian intelligentsia of old” “felt feelings of ‘repulsion’ at the encounter of the Jews?… Bizarre, no?” He criticised “the ‘holy and pure’ climate of this marvellous country”, and the zoological species of Yursus judaeophagus intellectualis.” (The conciliatory Winaver also took for his rank: “the Jewish footman of the Russian palace”). Jabotinsky fulminated at the idea that the Jews should wait “until was resolved the central political problem” (i.e. the tsar’s deposition): “We thank you for having such a flattering opinion on our disposition to behave like a dog with his master”, “on the celerity of faithful Israel”. He even concluded by stating that “never before the exploitation of a people by another had ever been revealed with such ingenuous cynicism.” 51

It must be admitted that this excessive virulence hardly contributed to the victory of his cause. Moreover, the near future was going to show that it was precisely the deposition of the tsar which would open the Jews to even more possibilities than they sought to obtain, and cut the grass under the foot of Zionism in Russia so much and so well that Jabotinsky was also deceived on the merits.

Much later and with the retreat of time, another witness of that era, then a member of the Bund, recalled that “in the years 1907‒1914, some liberal intellectuals were affected by the epidemic, if not of open anti‐Semitism, at least ‘Asemitism’ that struck Russia then on the other hand, having gotten over the extremist tendencies that had arisen during the first Russian revolution, they were tempted to hold the Jews accountable, whose participation in the revolution had been blatant.” In the years leading up to the war, “the rise of Russian nationalism was present… in certain circles where, at first sight, the Jewish problem was, only a short time before, perceived as a Russian problem.” 52

In 1912, Jabotinsky himself, this time in a more balanced tone, reported this judicious observation of a prominent Jewish journalist: as soon as the Jews are interested in some cultural activity, immediately the latter becomes foreign to the Russian public, who is no longer attracted to it. A kind of invisible rejection. It is true, that a national demarcation cannot be avoided it will be necessary to organise life in Russia “without external additions which, in so large a quantity, perhaps cannot be tolerated [by the Russians].” 53

To consider all that has been presented above, the most accurate conclusion is to say that within the Russian intelligentsia were developing simultaneously (as history offers many examples) two processes that, with regard to the Jewish problem, were distinguished by a question of temperament, not by a degree of sympathy. But the one represented by Struve was too weak, uncertain, and was stifled. Whilst the one who had trumpeted his philo‐Semitism in the collection The Shield enjoyed a wide publicity and prevailed among public opinion. There is only to regret that Jabotinsky did not recognise Struve’s point of view at its fair value.

As for the 1909 debate in the Slovo columns, it was not limited to the Jewish question, but turned into a discussion of Russian national consciousness, which, after the eighty years of silence that followed, remains today still vivacious and instructive,—P. Struve wrote: “Just as we must not Russify those who do not want it, so we must not dissolve ourselves in Russian multinationalism.” 54 —V. Golubev protested against the “monopolisation of patriotism and nationalism by reactionary groups”: “We have lost sight of the fact that the victories won by the Japanese have had a disastrous effect on the popular conscience and national sentiment. Our defeat not only humiliated our bureaucrats,” as public opinion hoped, “but, indirectly, the nation as well.” (Oh no, not “indirectly”: quite directly!) “Russian nationality… has vanished.” 55 Nor is it a joke that the flourishing of the word “Russian” itself, which has been transformed into “authentically Russian”. The progressive intelligentsia has let these two notions go, abandoning them to the people of the right. “Patriotism, we could only conceive it in quotation marks.” But “we must compete with reactionary patriotism with a popular patriotism… We have frozen in our refusal of the patriotism of the Black Hundreds, and if we have opposed something of it, it is not another conception of patriotism, but of universal ideals.” 56 And yet, all our cosmopolitanism has not allowed us, until today, to fraternise with the Polish society… 57

A. Pogodin was able to say that after V. Solovyov’s violent indictment of Danilevsky’s book, Russia and Europe, after Gradovsky’s articles, were “the first manifestations of this consciousness which, like the instinct of self‐preservation, awakens among the peoples when danger threatens them.” (Coincidentally—at the very moment when this polemic took place, Russia had to endure its national humiliation: it was forced to recognise with pitiable resignation the annexation by Austria of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was equivalent to a “diplomatic Tsou‐Shina”.) “Fatality leads us to raise this question, which was formerly entirely foreign to the Russian intelligentsia, but which life itself imposes on us with a brutality that forbids all evasion.” 58

In conclusion, the Slovo wrote: “A fortuitous incident triggered quite a journalistic storm.” This means that “Russian society needs national awareness”. In the past, “it had turned away not only from a false anti‐national policy… but also from genuine nationalism without which a policy cannot really be built.” A people capable of creation “cannot but have its own face.” 59 “Minine * was certainly a nationalist.” A constructive nationalist, possessing the sense of the State, is peculiar to living nations, and that is what we need now. 60 “Just as three hundred years ago, history tells us to reply,” to say, “in the dark hours of trial… if we have the right, like any people worthy of the name, to exist by ourselves.” 61

And yet—even if, apparently, the year 1909 was rather peaceful—one felt that the Storm was in the air!

However, certain things were not lost sight of (M. Slavinski): “Attempts to Russify or, more exactly, to impose the Russian‐Russian model on Russia… have had a disastrous effect on living national peculiarities, not only of all the non‐sovereign peoples of the Empire, but also and above all of the people of Great‐Russia… The cultural forces of the people of Great Russia proved insufficient for this.” “For the nationality of Great Russia, only the development of the interior, a normal circulation of blood, is good.” 62 (Alas! even today, the lesson has not been assimilated). “Necessary is the struggle against physiological nationalism, [when] a stronger people tries to impose on others who are less so a way of life that is foreign to them.” 63 But an empire as this could not have been constituted solely by physical force, there was also a “moral force”. And if we possess this force, then the equality of rights of other peoples (Jews as well as Poles) does not threaten us in any way. 64

In the nineteenth century already, and a fortiori at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Russian intelligentsia felt that it was at a high level of global consciousness, universality, cosmopolitanism or internationality (at the time, little difference was made between all these notions). In many fields, it had almost entirely denied what was Russian, national. (From the top of the tribune of the Duma, one practised at the pun: “patriot‐Iscariot.”)

As for the Jewish intelligentsia, it did not deny its national identity. Even the most extreme of Jewish socialists struggled to reconcile their ideology with national sentiment. At the same time, there was no voice among the Jews—from Dubnov to Jabotinsky, passing by Winaver—to say that the Russian intelligentsia, who supported their persecuted brothers with all their souls, might not give up his own national feeling. Equity would have required it. But no one perceived this disparity: under the notion of equality of rights, the Jews understood something more.

Thus, the Russian intelligentsia, solitary, took the road to the future.

The Jews did not obtain equal rights under the tsars, but—and probably partly for this very reason—they obtained the hand and the fidelity of the Russian intelligentsia. The power of their development, their energy, their talent penetrated the consciousness of Russian society. The idea we had of our perspectives, of our interests, the impetus we gave to the search for solutions to our problems, all this, we incorporated it to the idea that they were getting of it themselves. We have adopted their vision of our history and how to get out of it.

Understanding this is much more important than calculating the percentage of Jews who tried to destabilise Russia (all of whom we did), who made the revolution or participated in Bolshevik power.

Jevno Azef

Jevno Fišelevitš Azef (ven. Е́вно Фи́шелевич Азе́ф , 1869 Grodnon läänin Volkovyskin kihlakunnan Lyskov, nykyinen Valko-Venäjä – 24. huhtikuuta 1918 Berliini) oli yksi Venäjän sosialistivallankumouksellisen puolueen johtajista, joka samaan aikaan toimi poliisin ilmiantajana.

Jevno Azef syntyi juutalaisen [1] räätälin perheeseen. Vuonna 1890 hän valmistui lukiosta Donin Rostovissa ja vuonna 1892 matkusti Saksan Karlsruheen, [2] jossa hän opiskeli sähköinsinööriksi. [3]

Vuonna 1893 Azef tarjoutui toimittamaan Donin Rostovin santarmipäällikölle tietoja venäläisistä opiskelutovereistaan. Seuraavien 16 vuoden ajan hän toimi Venäjän salaisen poliisin ilmiantajana. Poliisin kehotuksesta hän liittyi vuonna 1899 sosialistivallankumoukselliseen järjestöön. [2] Vuonna 1901 hän oli mukana perustamassa sosialistivallankumouksellista puoluetta ja vuodesta 1903 lähtien toimi sen terrorismia harjoittaneen taistelujärjestön johtajana. [4] Kaksoisroolissaan Azef osallistui sisäministeri Vjatšeslav von Plehwen ja suuriruhtinas Sergei Aleksandrovitšin murhien sekä lähes 30 muun terroriteon suunnitteluun. Samaan aikaan hän ilmiantoi suurimman osan puolueen taistelujärjestön jäsenistä. [5]

Toimittaja Vladimir Burtsev todisti Azefin poliisin agentiksi vuonna 1908. Hänen paljastumisensa oli vakava isku sekä hallitukselle että sosialistivallankumouksellisille. Puolueen keskuskomitea langetti Azefille kuolemantuomion, mutta keräämänsä pääoman turvin hänen onnistui paeta ulkomaille. Saksan poliisi vangitsi hänet vuonna 1915 venäläisenä vakoilijana. Brest-Litovskin rauhan jälkeen Azef vapautettiin, mutta hän kuoli pian munuaissairauteen. [2]

Jevno Azef

Jevno Fisjelevitj Azef, född 1869 i Lyskovo, död 1918 i Berlin, var en rysk revolutionär och dubbelagent.

Azef var född i en fattig judisk familj. Redan som student vid Karlsruhes Polytechnikum (varifrån han utgått såsom diplomingenjör) började han sin tjänst i ryska hemliga polisen. 1899 började han samtidigt att energiskt medarbeta i social-revolutionärernas parti. 1903 blåste Azef nytt liv i detta partis terrororganisation, inom vilket han åtnjöt en självhärskares auktoritet, och började nu ett synnerligen listigt och lömskt dubbelspel, i det han än förrådde sitt partis verksamhet för hemliga polisen - så till exempel terroristorganisationen 1903, upprorsplanen i Sankt Petersburg 1905, attentatet mot tsaren 1907 med flera - än planerade och personligen deltog i terroristhandlingar som ministern Vjatjeslav von Plehves mord 1904, mordet på storfurst Sergej Alexandrovitj 1905 med flera. Azef var i sina djärva planer ovanligt förutseende, även beträffande de minsta detaljer, i deras utförande tålmodig och försiktig och fordrade ett exakt och noggrant uppfyllande av alla konspirationsregler. De egenskaparna gjorde det möjligt för honom att under lång tid samtidigt bana sin två karriärer, dels som medlem av hemliga polisen, dels som framstående revolutionär. 1907 börande Azef för att motarbeta uppkomna rykten om opålitlighet planera ett mord på Nikolaj II, men avslöjades redan 1908 av den välkända revolutionären och publicisten Vladimir Burtsev. Social-revolutionärernas parti dömde nu Azef till döden, men han lyckades försvinna och levde från 1910 under antaget namn i Berlin, en tid hade han tillsammans med sin hustru en korsettateljé. Under världskriget arresterades Azef i egenskap av rysk undersåte av de tyska myndigheterna.

Scholarly Books and Journals

Geifman, Anna. Thou Shalt Kill: Revolutionary Terrorism. Princeton University Press. Princeton. 1995

Thou Shalt Kill does a good job explaining both the political and cultural motives behind terrorism from the late imperial period to the after the October Revolution. The book is structured in a way that analyses the role of terrorism in each political faction (Social Democrats, Social Revolutionaries, Kadets, etc.). Specifically, Prof. Geifman focuses on how each faction resorted to terror to fight the imperial government. She also documented the historically significant acts of terrorism such as the assassination of Stylopin.

  • Social Revolutionaries– Agrarian communists faction founded in 1902. The SR party was founded on the ideology of the Russian Populist movement. Terrorism could be considered an integral part of this party. Supporters of this faction mainly comes form the relatively rural caucus regions. The SR often align with various local bandits and anarchists. The terrorism conducted by the SR included attacks on police officers, assassinations of public figures, destruction of government buildings and monuments. Due to the largely unorganized nature of the attacks, it was ambiguous to whether the majority of the terrorist activity was actually approved by SR party officials.

Grigory Gershuni was the Socialist Revolutionary who founded the terrorist branch, Combat Organization. He was arrested as a result of the Azef Affair.

  • Social Democrats– This group was the original Proletarian Communist Party which later separated into the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Founded in 1883 this political faction was mainly based in the more urban areas and populous cities such as St. Petersburg and Moscow. In comparison to the Social Revolutionaries, the SD was much more organized. They wanted a communist revolution from the proletariat. In terms of terror, the SD were much more discrete and organized than their agrarian counterparts. Although the party agreed that terrorism was necessary to bring down the Tsarist regime, opinions differ on the scope of terrorism. The Bolsheviks believe that terror and violence were crucial in pushing for revolution, whereas the Mensheviks believed in a slower paced revolution and minimal terror.

Kamo was a Bolshevik terrorist who robbed a bank in 1907 in order to fund the party

  • Anarchists- The most radical and disorganized group. The political aims of the Anarchists were “to demolish the contemporary order” and essentially create a stateless society through violent social revolution. Many Anarchist factions were composed of overly radical members from the SR and SD. Though the ideology behind Anarchism differs from place to place, one prominent theory comes from the writings of Petr Kropotkin, who believed in mass violence against a the government rather than individual terrorist acts. However the extent and frequency of violence from the anarchist exceeds that of the SD and SR, partly because it was difficult to distinguish Anarchist political terrorism and regular crime committed my a party member. Anarchists often used political terror as an excuse to rob civilian homes and destroy property.

Weeks, Theodore R. Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia: Nationalism and Russification of the Western frontier, 1863-1914. Northern Illinois University Press. DeKalb. 2008

  • Although this book is not about terrorism, it nevertheless explains the political and cultural background of Late Imperial Russia. The author focuses on the conflicts between the multi-ethnic groups and nationalism. The interactions between Slavs, Poles, Jews, Russians and various other minorities brings to light some of the causes for the rise terrorist violence in the years following.This book also analyzes the idea of “National Mentality” of the Russian Empire. I will compare the Week’s insights regarding the national and ethnic problems Imperial Russia with Geifman’s points on how various political groups viewed Terrorism as a necessity. This comparison will provide a more comprehensive understanding on the why terrorism was so widespread in late imperial Russia.

Geifman, Anna. Entangled in Terror: The Azef affair and the Russian Revolution. Scholarly Resources. Wilmington. 2000

  • This is one of the few sources that focuses on the psychological aspects of terrorism. Evno Azef was a double agent who worked as a spy for the Tzarist imperialist police and as an active member of the Combat Organization (A branch of the Socialist Revolutionaries in charge of carrying out acts of terrorism and assassinations.) Through manipulation Azef was able to get Gershuni, the leader of the Combat Organization, arrested and obtain the position for himself. At the same time he also carried out a multitude of significant assassinations including that of the Grand duke Sergius Alexandrovitch. According to popular historiography Asef was remembered as a provocateur but Geifman argues otherwise. This book focuses on the psychological aspects of the Azef affair. The author ultimately concludes that it was both Azef’s complicated personal life and the chaotic political background that caused him to do what he did. This goes to show that logic and rationality does not always dictate human actions. The nature/nurture paradox, in this case, applies to explain some of the intricacies of terrorism in this period.

Yevno Azef was a double agent who worked as a member of the Tzarist police and leader of the SR terrorist branch.

Geifman, Anna. Death Orders: The vanguard of modern terrorism in revolutionary Russia. Praeger Security International. Westport. 2010.

  • This book is specifically about terrorism in revolutionary. What makes this source special is that it focuses more on the perspective of the terrorists as opposed to how terrorism plays into greater political scheme. It also analyses the trends in organized violence and how it gradually shifts from targeting high profile targets such as members of the Tzarist monarchy to simply senseless murder of civilians. Geifman attributes this moral degradation to “historical dislocation.” Taking a psychological approach, she explains that the disintegration of traditional values and rise of anarchism, and death culture, created the perfect conditions for a revolution rooted in terrorism. She also makes the argument that revolutionary Russia was the origin of modern terrorism.

Hutchinson, John F. Late Imperial Russia, 1890-1917.Longman. London New York. 1999

  • This book covers the last days of Imperial Russia. It analyzes the various reasons for its collapse including problems in social structures, terrorism, radicalization, the 1905 revolution, and finally, the First World War. It also analyzes Tzar Nicholas as a leader and as a person. This source is useful because the scope is large enough to provide the bigger picture on how each factor falls into the historiography but just narrow enough to stay in the boarders of the Late Imperialist period.

Mayer, Arno J. The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolution.Princeton University Press. Princeton. 2000.

  • This source focuses on the connection between social ideologies and terror. Mayer compares the role of capitalism in the French Revolution to the role of Marxist ideology in it’s Russian counterpart. He explores the subject of organized violence in both cases and how it developed. Mayer juxtaposes the exportation of the revolutionized France, in the form the Napoleonic conquests, with Russia’s internal terrorism.

Verhoeven, Claudia. The odd man Karakozov: Imperial Russia, modernity, and the birth of terrorism. Cornell University Press.Ithaca. 2009

  • This source analyzes the development of terrorism and anti-state violence in late imperial Russia. Verhoeven focuses on Karakozov’s attack on Tzar Alexander II as the spark that catalyzed terrorism for later Revolutionary groups. This book touches on both political and psychological factors that began modern terrorism. She argues that, in an autocratic state, the people are politically helpless by nature. Thus, thus terrorism became one of the only means of making change. She also juxtaposes the development of violence to the developments of ideology, science and public political participation. This source serves as both a case study on the assassination of Alexander II and a analysis of how modern terrorism in Russia came to be.

Dmitry Karakozov was the first person to attempted to assassinate a Tzar.

Naimark, Norman M. Terrorists and social democrats: the Russian revolutionary movement under Alexander III. Harvard University Press. Cambridge. 1983

  • This book address the issue of political violence from a narrower scope than the previous scholarly sources. First this book only focuses on the Social Democrats, which includes the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Second it specifically deals with the wave of terrorism prior to the First World War. Naimark considers the assassination of Alexander II as the spark that started modern terrorism in Russia. The conservative backlash adopted by his success Alexander III only further radicalized the estranged Russian society. This source not only explains the motives of the SD’s in carrying out seemingly anarchic acts of violence but also describes many of the Tzarist countermeasures. For instance, Pyotr Stolypin social reforms in improving the peasant class gave many of the radicals exactly what they wanted. However Stolypin was nevertheless assassinated. In short the author is arguing that the social unrest and hatred for the autocracy was beyond repair. The wave of terrorism between the assassination of Alexander II and World War I was a calculated strategy to create social chaos before starting the revolution.

Pyoty Stopypin was the prime minister, known for his progressive social reforms and suppression of terrorism. He was assassinated in Kiev in 1911

Geifman, Anna. Russia under the Last Tsar: opposition and subversion, 1894-1917. Blackwell Publishers. Malden. 1999

  • This book deals exclusively with the regime of the last Tzar, Nicholas II with an attention to terrorism. Moreover it covers many of the factors that contributed to the end of autocratic rule in Russia. Geifman analyzes the end of imperial Russia from both political and psychological perspectives. In terms of politics, Russia was in a troublesome state. The failure and humiliation of the Russo-Japanese, the various problems of World War I and the internal outcry for reform and revolution all accumulated onto the weak imperial government. On a personal and psychological level, the prince’s hemophilia and Nicholas’ indecisive and reactionary personality only contributed to the collapse of the autocracy.

Pipes, Richard, Degaev, Sergei. The Degaev affair: terror and treason in Tsarist Russia. Yale University Press. New Haven. 2003

  • Sergei Degaev, like Azef, was a double agent who worked for the Russian police and an active member of Narodnaya. This book serves as both a primary and secondary source because Degaev contributed to it after he fled to the United States. This source is useful because it could be compared and contrasted with the Azef affair. Although the stories seem parallel, the psychology and social background in the two cases ultimately provide very different understandings of terrorist mentality.

Leon Trotsky. Dictatorship Vs. Democracy (Terrorism and Communism)

This is both a primary and secondary source. Although it was written by Trotsky, it was written as a response to Karl Kautsky, a prominent critic of the Soviet State who believes that the Bolsheviks’ tactics in assuming control was in accordance with true Marxist ideology. This book is Trotsky’s defense of terrorism during the revolution. It explains why terrorism was necessary in the context of the Russian Revolution. It also aims to legitimize the actions of the Bolsheviks with Marxism.

Ждем Павла на свежем воздухе (2)

18 июня состоялся новый административный процесс над членом Рады Объединения белорусов мира «Бацькаўшчына» и членом общественного объединения «Союз белорусских писателей» Павлом Северинцем. Общественному деятелю и писателю присудили новый срок административного наказания. Суммарно, в результате нескольких судебных заседаний, Павел Северинец приговорён к 90 суткам в изоляторе временного содержания.

Основанием для такого неоправданно сурового наказания стало участие Павла Северинца в разрешённом пикете по сбору подписей за выдвижение кандидаткой в президенты Республики Беларусь Светланы Тихановской, на котором (точнее, «после которого» – belisrael) он был задержан 7 июня 2020 года. На следующий день он был осуждён на 15 суток ареста с отбыванием в изоляторе временного содержания (ИВС) по адресу 1-й переулок Окрестина, 36а, где находится до сих пор.

Из сообщений средств массовой информации, куда обратились граждане, отбывавшие наказание в ИВС в то же время, что и Павел Северинец, следовало, что после появления в изоляторе осуждённых по политическим мотивам граждан и Павла Северинца в частности, узники этого учреждения начали ежедневно сталкиваться с беспрецедентными нарушениями прав, психологическим давлением и пытками, среди которых полный запрет на передачи со средствами личной гигиены, лишение спального белья и матрасов, сокращение времени пребывания на свежем воздухе, конфискация письменных принадлежностей и печатной продукции, заливание камер водой с хлоркой, унижение и употребление оскорблений в отношении арестованных, применение физического насилия и лишение сна.

По информации правозащитного центра «Весна», во время очередного судебного заседания, которое состоялось через Skype в суде Фрунзенского района [г. Минска] 18 июня, стало известно, что Павел Северинец последние 10 дней находился в карцере без доступа к питьевой воде и без личных вещей, которые у него были предварительно конфискованы.

Объединение белорусов мира «Бацькаўшчына» и ОО «Союз белорусских писателей» расценивают эти действия как грубое нарушение основных принципов национального законодательства и международного права. Нечеловеческие условия содержания Павла Северинца и иных узников прямо нарушают статью 23 Конституции РБ (точнее, статью 25 – belisrael): «Лицо, заключенное под стражу, имеет право на судебную проверку законности его задержания или ареста. Никто не должен подвергаться пыткам, жестокому, бесчеловечному либо унижающему его достоинство обращению или наказанию», а также ст. 5 Всеобщей декларации прав человека, ст. 7 Международного пакта о гражданских и политических правах, Конвенцию ООН против пыток и других жестоких, бесчеловечных или унижающих достоинство видов обращения и наказания, принятых Республикой Беларусь как страной-учредителем Организации Объединённых Наций.

Требуем прекратить преследование общественного деятеля и писателя Павла Северинца, освободить его из-под стражи и снять несправедливые обвинения.

Мы призываем власти страны безотлагательно инициировать служебное расследование в отношении сотрудников изолятора временного содержания ГУВД Мингорисполкома, допустивших злоупотребления своими полномочиями и строжайшим образом наказать виноватых.

Рада МОО ОБМ «Бацькаўшчына»

Рада ОО «Союз белорусских писателей»

Источник (дата публикации – 19.06.2020). Перевод с белорусского.

Недавние публичные собрания в поддержку белорусов, бросивших вызов режиму Лукашенко. Германия, Израиль (с 1:58)

Том Урецкий, бывший мозырянин Гена Кадинов из Гомеля

Павел Северинец


Не дай меня потопу унести,

сомкнуться могильной пасти надо мной.

Далеко-далеко, где-то на краю земли, есть такие места, глубина которых неизмерима. Бросишь туда камешек – и не услышишь ни звука в ответ.

В Беларуси такое место вдруг разверзается перед тобой на 52° 51ʹ 17ʹʹ северной широты и 24° 36ʹ 54ʹʹ восточной долготы, на границе Брестчины и Гродненщины, между Ружанской и Беловежской пущами. Деревенька Лысково на несколько десятков дворов, место захоронения классика польского сентиментализма Франтишка Карпинского, рождения епископа Александра Николая Гараина и родина величайшего провокатора ХХ века, лидера партии российских социалистов-революционеров, террориста Азефа.

Теперь Лысково – это 40 километров от Пружан, 443 жителя, средняя школа, Дом культуры, библиотека… валы бывшего королевского замка XVI в., костёл Наисвятейшей Троицы, церковь Рождества Пресвятой Богородицы… большое старинное кладбище. Но если углубляешься в прошлое – занимает дух и земля уходит из-под ног.

Рождённый в Лысково в 1869-м, в семье бедного еврейского портного, Евно с юности участвовал в кружках революционной еврейской молодёжи.

Обычный еврейский мальчик из белорусского местечка… Но на фото из досье охранки (анфас, профиль) – уже тяжёлый чёрный взгляд небритого, звероподобного лица.

Когда же зародилось чудовище?

Ещё подростком, украв большую сумму денег, юный Евно выезжает за границу. Обман, крупные деньги и переход всяких границ отныне станут знаком его жизни.

Начинал великий провокатор ХХ века так же, как и какой-нибудь агент Вектор – за 50 рублей в месяц от секретного департамента полиции Российской империи пошёл постукивать на своих однокурсников в Политехническом институте в Карлсруэ. Оказался очень проворным: в результате успешной шпионской работы выдвинулся на первые роли в российском социал-революционном движении, участвовал в объединении разрозненных подпольных кружков – и вот после ареста литовского еврея Гершуни уже в 1903-м стал руководителем Боевой организации эсеров. Террористом № 1 в империи. На этот момент жалованье Евно Фишелевича Азефа («инженера Раскина», согласно полицейскому досье) достигло 1000 рублей.

Азеф организовал более 30 террористических актов, осуществил убийства ключевых деятелей царского правительства, в том числе своих начальников: министра внутренних дел и шефа корпуса жандармов Плеве (которого считали главным организатором еврейского погрома в Кишинёве в 1903-м), генерал-губернатора Москвы, великого князя Сергея Александровича, петербургского градоначальника фон дер Лауница, главного военного прокурора Павлова…

Именно Азеф инициировал ликвидацию Гапона как провокатора. И он же выдал весь состав эсеровского ЦК, да и десятки эсеров-боевиков.

Разоблачённый в 1908-м, убежал за границу, где и умер от болезни – через месяц после того, как на его родине была провозглашена независимость БНР.

Ударами своего предательства Азеф, словно молотобоец, наносил страшные пробоины Российской империи изнутри. Каждый взрыв или арест требовал всё большей и большей жестокости, ненависти, крови и от государства, и от народа.

Неразговорчивый, мрачный, но чрезвычайно изощрённый, Азеф виртуозно, с бильярдным расчётом и нечеловеческой изворотливостью взрывал своих кураторов – и другой рукой тут же сдавал исполнителей. Единственный, кому Азеф оставался верным, был, наверное, дьявол, чей дух и почерк в бесконечных кровавых предательствах и убийствах очевиден.

На могиле Азефа посадили куст шиповника – шыпшыны.

О Беларусь, мая шыпшына, зялёны ліст, чырвоны цвет. [1] Кто бы мог себе представить, что прёт из твоей прелой болотистой земли, что в твоей глубокой, покорной душе родятся Азеф, Дзержинский, Шейман и даже Геннадий Давыдько.

Ночью у зарешёченного окна спецкомендатуры в Куплине, на полдороге между Лысково и Достоево, смотришь в бездну, полную далёких огоньков, – и думаешь: страшно стать Азефом.

Своя маленькая, как родимое пятнышко, деревенька Лысково есть в каждом белорусе.

Теребишь этой земли щепоть и ищешь содержание: чей ген победит? Поэта? Священника? Предателя.

А предать родного человека? Ближнего? Предательство Родины? Веры? Памяти?

На самом деле, мы предаём каждый день, и правда в том, что наши бесконечные маленькие и большие предательства становятся причиной духовной смерти многих и многих.

Кто может понять Азефа? Простить Азефа? Вырвать Азефа с самого дна своего сердца?

Павел Северинец написал этот очерк, находясь на «химии» в Куплине Пружанского района Брестской области, куда попал за активное участие в событиях декабря 2010 г. Перевод с белорусского выполнен по изданию: П. Севярынец. Беларуская глыбіня. Вільня: Логвінаў, 2014. Перевёл WR.

Другие тексты П. Северинца на нашем сайте:

«Беларусалим» (ещё один отрывок, в переводе на рус.)

[1] Начальная строка знаменитого стихотворения Владимира Дубовки (1925) – прим. пер.

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