The Russian Revolution and me

The Russian Revolution touched millions of lives.

From Moscow to Mali, and Vladivostok to Venezuela, BBC audiences share their stories.

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  • WalterBannon

    The Russian Revolution touched millions of lives… and then killed them

    • Alain

      That is the way of revolutions. The French revolution was no better even though it is touted as some glorious act.

  • Tooth&Claw

    I was unaware the ripples of the Russian Revolution spread so widely. Thanks for the post.

  • “If it wasn’t for the revolution, I wouldn’t have been born,” says Olga Ojala from Estonia.

    “My great-grandfather was a Bolshevik who took part in an attack on a convent in Smolensk. There he met my great-grandmother Alexandra, who was a novice nun. “My grandmother, the love child of the revolution, was born in 1924 and is still alive today. This is a photograph of the two of us.

    “So thank you revolution!”

    Nonsense.

    • Tooth&Claw

      Love child? I suspect rape result.

  • ntt1

    Eastern European counties are still creating first rate Artisans in carving, plaster and art technology in general. My Industry has been lucky enough to receive several as these technical skills are now considered passe by the marxist idiots now running most Canadian Arts Faculties . I most enjoy lunch table smackdowns of young Canadian Trudeau progressives by the older communist survivors from Bulgaria or Romania, who have first hand accounts of the deadly coercion behind socialism as it fails.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Both my aunts were Soviet Army or GRU in the Great Patriotic War. By 1954-5 they, and my father fled the country in the brief liberalization window following the death of Stalin. Their parents were too set in their ways to leave. No one talked about the War or about the Stalin era.

  • simus1

    Many defeated White Russians soldiers eventually wound up in Harbin or Mukden, China, after being pushed out of Siberia by the Red Army. Pretty marginal existence as railroad labourers which got much worse when the Japanese showed up. Then the Chinese Nationalists after WW2, then the Chinese Communists in 1949. The White Russians were told to get out, either back to Russia or out via Hong Kong to God only knew where because Mao and Stalin weren’t exactly buddies and they were just one more complication among many.

    The “colonel” was an old white haired man, the janitor and general handyman at a combined construction site office and parts prepping facilty to which he spent considerable time hauling pails of water. The staff were a really varied assortment, even including an American missionary from the mid west come to save the rain forest heathen, but short of funding from home, had hired on as timekeeper.

    The “colonel” was a genial sort, affable with everyone except the missionary, which prompted someone to pose the obvious question. His story:
    Like many expellees from communist China he was restricted to personal possessions only and US$10 in foreign currency. Chinese paper money was often put to final use in such cases by having deeply carved “refugee chests” made which were quick studies of traditional Chinese wedding chests into which personal possessions were packed and then they were in turn placed in custom made wooden shipping boxes for protection. The object being to sell the chests as exotica at final destination outside China for whatever they would bring. His personal possessions were few after spending 30 years in China, the only exception being his family heirloom, a large “plaster icon” of the Virgin Mary now carefully packed in its chest. Passing through multiple checkpoints approaching Hong Kong, he was one of many who were regarded with bored indifference by the guards who gave his virgin an uncomprehending glance and moved on. At the final checkpoint some hours later, the final guard looked at his stuff, picked up and viewed the icon. Turned to him and said in Chinese “I was educated by missionaries” and smashed the icon on the ground, which revealed a kilogram bar of gold among the wreckage. The “colonel” of course, showed by his manner he was just as astounded as the guards by this turn of events and sadly wheeled his little cart with its little chest to freedom as confusion reigned.

    • Alain

      I have known and had White Russian friends both in France and in Canada, and they were highly educated and wonderful people. Sadly they did not always experience a warm welcome by a lot of French or Canadian people. They were extremely anti-communist and had had first hand experience. At least they were fortunate to be able to escape compared to so many others who were executed by Stalin and his gang.

  • BillyHW

    1917: The year Russian women are allowed to vote.