>> Link zu Prezi „The Russian Revolution 1917“

>> Link zu Prezi „Stalinism and the USSR“

>> Link zum Quiz über „Die Russische Revolution und die UdSSR“

>> The Russian Revolution – Übersicht als PDF-Datei

>>> Ursachen und Auswirkungen von Revolutionen – Die Russische Revolution und die Sowjetunion als PDF

>> Jacobin Radio Podcast: Suzi Weissmann – 100 Years Since October


Hier eine 5-minütige (!) Dokumentation, die sich mit Kritikpunkten an der Russischen Revolution auseinandersetzt und deren Titel „Busting the Scare Stories“ schon eindeutig Position bezieht:

Im folgenden eine Dokumentation über „Aufstieg und Fall“ des Revolutionärs Leo Trotzki, mit Schwerpunkt auf der russischen Revolution und die Entwicklung der Sowjetunion unter Stalin. Die Doku wurde vom Sender ARTE mitproduziert.

The same documentary produced by ARTE on Trotsky, the Russian Revolution and the USSR in English:

Fraternization between German and Russian soldiers on the Eastern FrontFraternization between Russian and German soldiers on the Eastern Front

The February Fevolution took place in the context of heavy military setbacks during the First World War (1914–18), which left much of the Russian army in a state of mutiny. By February 1917, around 2.5 Million Russian soldiers had lost their lives on the battlefield, millions more were injured. Reports of fraternization between Russian and German soldiers circulated.

Workers, many of them women who had replaced male workers, went hungry, lacked shoes and clothes. For International Women’s Day (March 8th = February 23rd), workers went on strike in virtually every industrial enterprise in Petrograd and demonstrations were organized to demand bread. When Tsar Nicholas II ordered the army to suppress the demonstrations, troops began to mutiny and soldiers joined the workers‘ demonstrations.

Tsar Nicholas was forced to step down and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government with Ministers from liberal parties. Male Soldiers marching through Petrograd in support of the Revolutionand female workers and peasants as well as soldiers elected their own workers‘, peasants‘ and soldiers‘ councils, called “Soviets” in Russian.  A period of dual power ensued, during which the provisional government held state power while the Soviets started arming workers‘ militias and Red Guards that, in many cities, replaced the old police force.

Although many soldiers were not willing to continue fighting in the war, the provisional government chose to continue the war on the side of the Entente. As a result, over the course of spring and summer 1917, public dissatisfaction with the government and the war grew.

The Bolsheviks, a radical, revolutionary faction of the Social Democratic Party, were campaigning for „Peace, Bread and Land“. When the leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, arrived in Russia from his exile in Switzerland in April 1917, he called for turning over all power to the Soviets.


The moderate Social Democrats were opposed to overthrowing the provisional government.  The moderate Social Democrats had held the majority in most Soviets in the beginning. But the support for the Bolsheviks in the workers‘ and soldiers‘ councils increased steadily.

By September 1917, the Bolsheviks were in the majority in the workers‘ and soldiers‘ councils in Petrograd and Moscow. In the country-side it was Lenin speaking at a rally in Petrogradthe Social-Revolutionary Party („Narodniki“) who had the most support from the peasants‘. Also, a growing number of Social-Revolutionaries joined sides with the Bolsheviks in their call for turning all power over to the Soviets.

On 7 November 1917 (= 25 October),  Red Guard forces led by Leon Trotsky were successful in taking over government buildings and storming the Winter Palace, the seat of the Provisional government in Petrograd. As there were only few soldiers left who were willing to fight for the government, the take-over resulted in only a few casualties

The October Revolution ended the power of the Provisional Government. Power was taken over by the Congress of Workers‘, Soldiers‘, and Peasants‘ Deputies (= Soviets). The Congress passed a series of revolutionary decrees, starting with the decree on land, passed on 26 OctoberPro-Tsarist forces, supported by the governments of France, Great Britain, the U.S. and Japan, organized into the White Army and went to war against the Soviets‘ Red Army.Russ_Revolution_Trotzki_Rote_Armee

To end Russia’s participation in the First World War, the Soviet leaders signed the Peace-Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918. The The Treaty of Brest-Litovsktreaty was signed because the Bolsheviks hoped for the spread of the revolution to Germany and other European countries. Ultimately, the treaty was annulled after the end of World War I in November 1917.

The Decree on Land legalized the dissolution of many wealthy estates by peasants‘ councils that had already taken place before. More than 1 Mio square kilometers of arable land, formerly controlled by the nobility and the Russian Orthodox Church, was handed over to the peasants‘ councils

The Decree on Peace declared Russia’s immediate withdrawal from the First World War and called for a peaceful settlement without annexations. This fulfilled the demands of many war-tired Russian soldiers. It was followed by the signing of the Peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the Bolsheviks in March 1918. According to the treaty, the German government took control over the Ukraine and the Baltic territory, it took away 25% of Russia’s population, 35% of the grain producing area and a vast part of its industrial production.

The Decree on the Rights of the peoples of Russia allowed for national self determination for the national minorities of the former Russian Empire. Finland declared its independence in December 1917 and became a sovereign state.

Other decrees introduced include the 8 Hours‘ Working Day, the Nationalization of Banks and still another decree established the Red Army, providing for the election of Army-Officers by the soldiers.

The Red Army was ultimately victorious in the Civil War against the Anti-Bolshevik White Army. This paved the way for the creation of the „Union of Soviet Socialist Republics“ (= USSR) in 1922, uniting the Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Trans-Caucasian Soviet republics. „TheFlag of the USSR Internationale“ became its National Anthem.

In the course of the Civil War, the Bolsheviks, changing their name to Communists, took over more and more political power. The power of the workers‘ and soldiers‘ councils was weakened and their former allies, the Social Revolutionaries, were stripped off all their political power.

Former Social Democrats, who were in favor of the October Revolution, split from their parties and formed Communist parties all over the world. The communist parties formed a new, communist international with its head-quarters in Moscow. In the course of the 1920ies and 1930ies, the politics of the communist parties were increasingly controlled by the leadership of the Communist party of the Soviet Union.

In the early 1920s, the Soviet government permitted some private enterprise to coexist alongside nationalized industry. As Stalin proclaimed the building of „socialism in one country„, an intensive program of industrialization was undertaken by the state. In agriculture, Stalin implemented forced collectivization of farms all over the country. In this way, the USSR was able to raise industrial production significantly. By 1940, the Soviet industry had the second largest output in the world after the United States‘ industry. This was the main reason why the Red Army was able to defeat Hitler’s Wehrmacht in World War II.

A new powerful layer of economically and politically privileged state- and party-bureaucrats emerged in the Soviet Union. After Lenin’s death in Stalin and Nikolai Yezhov, head of the Secret Service. After Yezhov was removed from office in 1938, he was not only executed, but was edited out of the image as well.1923, the Secretary-General of the Communist Party, Josef Stalin, gradually centralized all the state and political power in his hands. Stalin expelled Trotsky and all other dissident members who opposed his politics from the party. In the 1930ies, Stalin’s opponents were put on trial and were executed, if found guilty of „Trotskyism.“ Millions of people were sentenced to work in forced labor camps, also known as „Gulags“.

Stalin’s authoritarian bureaucratic rule became known as „Stalinism“. Many key accomplishments of the October Revolution were reversed. In the 1930ies, non-Russian nationalities were stripped off many of their minority rights. As Stalin promoted Russian nationalism as a state policy, a new national anthem promoting Russian nationalism was introduced.

The October Revolution had abolished the old laws regarding sexual relations, effectively legalizing homosexuality as well as a woman’s right to an abortion. Under Lenin’s leadership, openly gay people were allowed to serve in government. In the 1930ies, Stalin’s government re-criminalized homosexual activity and abortions. This was done in order to improve the relations with the Orthodox Church.


After Stalin’s death in 1953, Nikita Krushchev became Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Denouncing Stalin’s dictatorship he aimed at liberal reforms including less political control of the arts. 12 April 1961 the first man, Juri Gagarin, and in 1963 the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, travelled into space. Lev Jaschin was elected best goal keeper of the 20th century. In more than 400 games he saved 151 penalties and kept over 270 clean sheets. In 1960 the Soviet team became the first European football champions.

Soviet football team 1960



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