Author Topic: Was It Easy to Leave St Petersburg in 1917-1918? How many people left?  (Read 11106 times)

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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: leaving st. petersburg
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2006, 11:42:09 AM »
The expression in English translation is homo sovieticus . In the  Russian language the same idea is colloquially expressed by the term sovok.

James1941, it's no surprise that the Soviet Union helped defeat Nazi Germany, when they had millions if not billions of dollars worth of war materiel and supplies flowing in, courtesy of the American program of Lend Lease (it's true, Russians aren't terribly familiar with the American contribution to their war effort, but it was huge, nonetheless). The Soviet Union also still had its enormous population to fall back on, which is no longer the case, and has not been for some time, as Russian population figures continue to decline precipitously. Indeed, so horrendous are these figures that a future historian might well ask, did the Bolshevik regime ultimately destroy Russia, or at least the Russian people?

Nor did the Soviet Union give the United States a "run for its money for nearly sixty years." In fact the USSR was only in the competition for forty years, from 1945-1985, if for even that long. Indeed, studies conducted within the USSR itself during the early 1980s showed that the Soviet economy was hopelessly in decline and the infrastructure of the country ready to collapse. These conclusions are somewhat surprising if you consider totalitarian regimes an economical and efficient means of harnessing all human resources - that is, all power, knowledge, and technology - to the state. Surely given such vast resources the Soviet Union should have lasted well into the twenty-first century? And yet somehow it collapsed into a heap of rubble from 1989-91, with barely a nudge from the outside...  



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Offline James1941

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Re: leaving st. petersburg
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2006, 01:51:50 PM »
1. I confess to my error about homo sovieticus--Soviet Man or Soviet Woman, as the case might be. I regret the mistake. I am very familiar with the term and it was sloppy of me.

2. The effect of the British and American aid to the Soviet Union is debated today among military historians. Certainly we are not going to settle that debate here. The concensus seems to tend toward that it was mainly significant in smaller vehicles like jeeps and trucks that gave the Soviet army greater mobility. In armor, the Soviet T-34 tank proved to be one of the best in the war, and the Soviets produced them in huge quantities. Even Hitler admitted that he had been mistaken about the Russians ability to produce such tanks.

3. Even so, it was not British or American materiel that made the difference in the heroic siege of Lenningrad, nor was it jeeps or trucks that held the Germans at Stalingrad. Here it was the sacrifice of the homo Sovieticus. Today when you see those old white haired men and women, their chests covered in medals, taking great pride in their part in the Great Patriotic War, one cannot help but cheer them.  Almost all military historians of the war acknowledge that without the great battles that took place on the eastern front, the Americans and British would never been able to land in France in 1944, not perhaps for years. The war was won in great measure on the blood soaked battlefields of the Motherland. Yes, I am aware that the Communist regime spent the blood of their men and women in prodigious quantities to defeat the Nazis, but that doesn't lessen the bravery of those men and women.

4. We quibble at how long the US-Soviet Russia confronted one another, but it was a real confrontation none the less. I remember vividly sitting glued to the TV in 1962 during the Cuban missle crisis and wondering whether I would live to graduate from college, while our next door neighbors were loading the car ready to flee north into the hills of Oklahoma and what they hoped would be safety from a nuclear blast. I also personally participated in a little war in Southeast Asia which came about mainly to prevent the spread of communisn (the domino theory). And North Vietnam was a Soviet client, not a Chinese one. And the U.S. poured out its treasure during the Reagan presidency to litterally spend the Soviet regime into its grave. In order to counter Soviet influence the U.S. spent trillions proping up tin pot dictators around the world, much to our discredit.
Had not the Soviet threat existed how much of that treasure could have been spent on building up the social fabric of poor nations rather than their military.

5. Yes, the communist system fell with a whimper because it had ceased to be what every government must do---meet the needs and hopes of its people. But, then the Romanov regime also was kicked over and collapsed without a trace by a few hundred thousand hungry and cold citizens, sick and tired of a war their government seemed could not win but would not end.

6. I do not defend the Soviets, but then again I do not denigrate their achievemnts either. No rational individual will deny that the communist rule of Russia was a tragedy for not only the Russian people and their captive nations but also for the world. Stalin's oppressive and monstrous reign was unsurpassed by any tsar. And very few regret its demise. But like all human endeavors it did have some good points, and whether we like it or not many ordinary Russian look back with some nostalgia to those good points.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by James1941 »

Offline Tania+

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Re: leaving st. petersburg
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2006, 03:04:26 PM »
[size=10]Dear James1941,

Your number at the end of your name is enough to evoke memories of the war. I was born in '43, but for many it was a war that was not easily forgot.

For Russians who had escaped or members of their family[ies] had managed to escape, this war must have seemed an added eternity. For those whose family members still lived in Russia, or who had friends who still lived, words can't possibly begin to express what they must have gone through. My heart goes out in remembrance of all of those involved. I just had to mention this, because it is so much a part of all of those war years...

I had heard many stories then, and later of how the British and Americans did and did not come to the aid of the Soviet Union. But as you stated, nothing to date is going to settle the debate here, when again, it is still being debated by military historians.

But the most important part no nation should forget is that the women and men, and their children of Russia put their very lives on the line countless times in order to keep the Nazis from invading thier land. The loss in life was horriffic again. In our trip to Russia in the 70's, we went to many set aside grave yards where countless numbers [in the thousands] lay in great mounds, and there were many burial mounds. To view this, of ordinary citizens graves, was deafining. Yet this was then, about 45 years after that war. If it made me stop and think of the loss then, I can imagine what the loss meant again for all who were burying their loved ones in those great mounds then. Poor Russia, for them it must have seemed, that war for them would never end.

I am not a defender of the soviets, but again, to be fair, the Russia people did not deserve such plunder, and the loss of life they have endured to this day. I am hoping that Russia will not ever have to meet war as they did when fighting the Nazis. No nation, or peoples should have to endure the suffering they endured, or the total in loss of life they lost. Many lost were just ordinary citizens like you and i.

Tatiana+[/size]
TatianaA


Offline Mie

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Re: leaving st. petersburg
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2006, 02:51:50 PM »
I know that many designer of Faberge were Finss and they had nationality of Finalnd so when revoluiton came they escaped to Finalnd -by train. But I know that train did not always worked very well so...  :-/ by ships I believe some did escape. For example Olga Aleksandrovna did... I have also red that there were navy of other country who *rescued* some *fine*people... the original population followed bolsevics or if they wanted to leave out of country they had to take a really long walk...  :-/ :(

Offline historylover

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Re: leaving st. petersburg
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2007, 11:59:12 PM »
Hello everyone,

There is an excellent book on the escape of some of the Romanovs - The Flight of the Romanovs.  I have just read it and enjoyed it very much.

Also Imperial Dancer describes the escape of the ballerina, Kschessinska, who was the mistress of the last Tsar.

Best Regards,

Lisa
www.webwritereditor.com
www.bookaddiction.blogspot.com

Alixz

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Re: leaving st. petersburg
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2009, 09:27:05 PM »
Hello everyone,

There is an excellent book on the escape of some of the Romanovs - The Flight of the Romanovs.  I have just read it and enjoyed it very much.

Also Imperial Dancer describes the escape of the ballerina, Kschessinska, who was the mistress of the last Tsar.

Best Regards,

Lisa
www.webwritereditor.com
www.bookaddiction.blogspot.com

I agree that this book give a good indication of how many Romanovs escaped and how hard it was.  However, once anyone has read this book, I think you will see that leaving was not easy.

It may have been easier for the common citizen, but for the royals and the members of the defunct government, it was almost impossible.

Offline historylover

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Re: Was It Easy to Leave St Petersburg in 1917-1918? How many people left?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2009, 05:37:41 PM »

That's true.  I have read many accounts now.  The former Empress Marie certainly had a very
difficult time. She was very lucky.

Constantinople

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Re: Was It Easy to Leave St Petersburg in 1917-1918? How many people left?
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2010, 12:53:15 AM »
It depends on where you left from.  Leaving from Crimea or Vladivostok was easier than leaving from St Petersburg or Moscow and after 1921, leaving from almost anywhere was difficult