Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Alexander Palace => The Alexander Palace => Topic started by: Joanna on May 23, 2014, 08:46:42 PM

Title: 1930 Film AP
Post by: Joanna on May 23, 2014, 08:46:42 PM
Incredible film footage of Peterhof in 1930 and at approx. 5:47 Tsarskoe Selo - Catherine Palace, Agate Pavilion, Cameron Gallery - then at approx. 7:58 people pouring through gates which look like AP from Dvortsorvaya and then coming out from Nicholas & Alexandra's wing with original guard house still there:

Title: Re: 1930 Film AP
Post by: IvanVII on May 24, 2014, 09:41:46 AM
Great video
Title: Re: 1930 Film AP
Post by: Rodney_G. on May 24, 2014, 02:45:48 PM
Remarkable find. Some striking items: occasionally seen , especially in the earlier minutes , are some well and fashionably dressed (seemingly) middle, almost upper-middle class women. More than I would have expected, and not greartly different from what you might expect to find touring a British country home.

There is also a modest, but unmistakable military presence, with uniformed soldiers amidst the crowd.

Still, the palaces and grounds appear welll-maintained  and in good shape.

But I can't help remembering that at this exact moment, in the Ukraine and in southern USSR generally, Stalin's forced collectivization of the peasantry was in full-swing . Anyone working the land with a status above stable hand was being threatened, having taxes-in-kind demanded (i.e., his livestock and grain and seed reserves extorted) , subjected to the 'conveyor' form of near round-the-clock interrogations and brow-beatings, and in general being pressured to join the kolkhoz and relinquish his own bit of land, however modest.

In short, while it was literally a day in the park at Peterhof for the urban folks, life in the grainbelts of the USSR was breaking down, and this was  BEFORE the terror famine of 1932-33.!

But then again, maybe the park and palace visitors looked reasonably healthy because they were being fed with grain, pork, vegetables and poultry flowing, however wastefully and inefficiently, from the soon-to-be -liquidated ku;aks and peasants of the Ukrainian 'farm belt.'

But back to this film clip. I can see why the Soviet gov't would want this former tsarist idyll-turned proletariatian holiday grounds filmed. It does put a pretty face on the larger ugly  but truer picture of  early 1930s Soviet  Russia.
Title: Re: 1930 Film AP
Post by: Cathy on June 06, 2014, 07:26:21 AM
Thank you Joanna

Incredible footage - remember that some of the well-dressed people may have been a western tour group and not Russian. At the same time, I wonder how many of the Russian people you do see made it through the purges and the second world war/ siege of Leningrad!

Yes, yes, yes - that was the AP and the people were pouring out of the main gate. How wonderful to see film from 1930 - imagine!!
Title: Re: 1930 Film AP
Post by: Joanna on June 07, 2014, 05:52:20 PM
I too think of what was still to come when seeing photos/film from the 1930s. Did they survive? You hope yes but will never know - do their children and grandchildren recognize loved ones.

Another remembrance for 2014 - 70 years since the seige was lifted in Leningrad and surrounding towns of Peterhof and Pushkin. I read again A. Kuchumov’s 1944 letters - the stark reality of the horrors and suffering by the citizens - a solace when he wrote in the spring of grass and wildflowers covering the scars.