Lenin and the revolution — an unpleasant issue for Russia

Encased in ice on the Neva, the cruiser “Aurora” comes out of the winter haze. On one of the tower systems centenary of the ship flying the Soviet flag. In the court on January 27. Saint Petersburg marks the 73 anniversary of the lifting of the 900-day Nazi siege of the city, which then was still called Leningrad. In the basement turned into a Museum ship lead a lively conversation two teenagers with thick green sweaters. After an hour, Alex and Andrew will travel to the former front line to stage the liberation of the city from the Nazis. But while they argue about the yellowed photos of Russian sailors who proudly posing on the “Aurora” in February 1917. “I believe that to follow Lenin and the Bolsheviks was not necessary, — says Alexey. — It was a disaster for the whole of Russia. Millions died. They did not understand that. Russia has lost stability. Why kill the king? Our grandparents have suffered from this revolution. And then our parents.”

“You understand nothing, — said Andrey, looking at the mannequin in naval uniform. — They had a reason to go for Lenin. Thanks to the revolution the Russian people have received health care, public education, guaranteed employment. Do you think it means nothing? People in the picture — characters. They changed the world!” we are talking about sailors and officers, “Aurora”, after which entailed the end of the Romanov dynasty strikes at the Putilov factory in March 1917 (February by the Julian calendar) was formed to support the Bolsheviks of a revolutionary Committee, and was then allowed back in Zurich Lenin to win the support of the military. Later, on 7 November 1917 (25 October according to the Julian calendar) the “Aurora” made the first salvo that marked the start of the storming of the Winter Palace, then where was the provisional government…

Such disagreement, two students — a common occurrence in a country where the atmosphere on the anniversary of the revolution not be called quiet, and the image of Lenin regularly causes problems. Vladimir Putin also does not remain aloof and even take advantage of the situation to achieve the contradictions achieve their ideological goals, which, incidentally, reflected in the name of his party “United Russia”. So, at the meeting of the Russian popular front, he reproached the leader of the Bolsheviks, in the fact that from the very beginning sabotaged the Soviet Union, establishing the equality of its members and giving everyone the right to secede. “I said that we need to take another look at the ideas which were formulated by the then head of the Soviet state Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich. I talked about the fact that the mine was laid under the building of our statehood,” — said Putin. He clearly is closer to the autonomist stance of Stalin. Whatever it was, even the President of Russia today can easily cope with such a sensitive and irrational topic. At the same meeting he was asked about the burial of Lenin, whose embalmed body is still kept in the mausoleum on red square. “With regard to the reburial and other such matters, you know, I think this should be approached carefully, so as not to take any steps that would divide our society”, — answered he.

But let’s return to his native St. Petersburg, in the days when he was still called Petrograd. To the East of the Parking lot, “Aurora”, where the river changes direction and rushes to the South, is the area of Smolny. Near the beautiful Smolny Cathedral is the eponymous Institute, which Lenin chose as the headquarters of the Bolsheviks, and where the uprising began on 7 November. A few steps away from the current Museum of the revolution a doctor of philosophy and expert on “Marxism-Leninism” Mikhail Popov is holding a conference in the “red University”. Out and the shabby Elevator, we come to a nondescript door of the organization, which he founded ten years ago. On the wall hangs a gold-plated sign “Russian Communist workers ‘party”.

One gets the impression that this is a man in his 60s just returned from a meeting of Bolsheviks. Strict black suit, slicked back thin hair, a small moustache and neat tie. Historian with a laughing glance leads us down a long and dark corridor, at the end of which glows like a huge white bust of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. After a few steps we go into a lecture hall. At the left wall is an open bookcase with the works of Lenin. Top hung four portraits: Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. Right side covers a huge canvas, on which Lenin urged his comrades-the Bolsheviks to continue the revolution. That evening had already gathered about 30 people. Mikhail Popov sits at the table: “Ladies and gentlemen, greetings to all. Today we will talk about the origins of the Russian revolution. Since the Paris commune no single event did not allow people to truly take up the rule, however, the formation of Lenin Tips will help this experience be preserved…”

Two or three times a month in the gym are going to people. Convinced intellectuals, students and workers. “I’m studying “video, and communications with the public”, but I have a lot of questions about revolution and politics in General, explains came to remove seminar Natalia Ivanova. — Need to revisit history to see what failed. In school this subject is raised less and less. Perhaps the revolution and the Soviet experience was only a draft. Created by Marxist thought today tools still effective.”

Sitting next to a chemical engineer Nikolai sees here a way to continue the work: “Communism is not dead. The more time passes, the more I am convinced that the Communists were right. Lenin was a great man.” For Mikhail Popov, whose videos on YouTube gaining more views, transfer history plays a vital role: “of Course, the most important thing for me is the opposition to current flow in the country, which is to rewrite the history of the revolution paranoid way, blaming Lenin for all the ills of Russia of the twentieth century. Lenin’s internationalism, which, incidentally, defended and founder of your newspaper Jean jaurès, remains the only means of preventing war and the rise of destructive nationalism around the world. This is his legacy. So, let’s continue to protect him.”

That’s only 750 miles to the South, in the modern capital of Russia have a different opinion. One of the organizers of the Moscow film festival Eugene Tirdatova not hide the fact of the change: “Revolution is no longer in the centre of interests of contemporary Russian cinema. The issues are closely linked to the current Russia. This story has not been rethought, and not least because of the presence of a layer of propaganda films, which left a trace in memory. This applies to masterpieces of Eisenstein. The revolution of 1917 and Lenin — complex topics for our people. I was born in USSR and I have to say that the country gave me access to very high quality education.” Her daughter Sophia Tirdatova on the contrary criticizes those days: “I’m working on the script of the film “Resurrection” by Tolstoy.

In any case, now is the time to think about the real role of Lenin in the revolution. About his relationship with the German enemy and the fall of the Russian Empire!” With this agreement and the Director Kirill Moskalevskiy, which now takes the television series on the history of the Russian revolution. This man with long hair, with a leather jacket and with an Orthodox cross on his chest meets us at the hotel Marriott Tverskaya: “no One ever told the truth about this revolution. Everything was organized since the beginning of the nineteenth century the major European and British banks that financed the revolution, to adopt the Anglo-Saxon industrial orders. Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev… except For Stalin, all the leaders were Jewish or had Jewish roots. They were the only agents in the project of destruction of Russia. It seems to me that the best system for Russia was the tsarist government. Was the white kings and the red kings. If Putin wants to be king, the whole country will support him.” Such revisionist and anti-Semitic statements Lenin is probably turning in his grave in his mausoleum on red square a few steps from the luxurious hotel Marriott.