zondag 24 augustus 2014

An Englishwoman -- 23 augustus 1918

• Een anonieme Engelse die in Rusland woonde hield tijdens de eerste jaren van de Russische revolutie een dagboek bij dat is gepubliceerd als From a Russian Diary 1917-1920.

August 23. — Last night the soldiers went to the monastery, where the Abbot lay ill. The monks fearing that their churches were to be robbed, rang the tocsin ; the other churches at once followed suit, and people began to flock to their own parish church as had been arranged. The Red Guards fired and dispersed them ; nobody was killed. When the Bol- sheviks heard the tocsin they put up two red balls on the fire-tower, so that people thought they had made a mistake and that the tocsin rang for fire, and they all started going home. Afterwards the Abbot was arrested and taken to the W Hospital. [This hospital was used as a prison.] Nearly all burguee houses were searched ; it seems we came off well ; some people had drunken soldiers in their houses. The Soviet was guarded by machine-guns. Seventy soldiers searched the convent after having broken open the gate ; they ate all the bread prepared for church use. Many motor-lorries hurried down the High Street to the Soviet ; people were not allowed to pass the convent.
    Tatiana Nicolaevna had to spend the night on the other side. Many merchants were arrested.
    To-day many say that the Abbot has been shot ; probably not true ; of course the W Hospital has a bad name; that, in fact, may be the origin of the rumours.
    Some say that all those written down in the Brother- hood [a religious society] are to be arrested. If so, the Baroness will be one of the first. I do not believe it. An awkward letter of Maria Petrovna's was taken last night ; perhaps they won't understand it. The Baroness is very much upset, though quite calm. Nadia's influenza quite passed with last night's excitement. The town is under martial law again — or rather, it was under that before, now it is what they call Siege Law. Nobody allowed out after 7 p.m. [old sun-time]. All men between 18 and 45 are being mobilised. We half expect another search to-night. Shall have my dressing-gown handy. The electric Hght in our half of the house is spoilt. No tickets to Moscow are being issued. Some say there is trouble there; most probable.
    People say that Michael Michaelovitch is thought to be among those arrested last night ; all along he has refused to hide.
    Vera Vassiliovna came just now and told us how the inventory of her belongings was drawn up. If it were not all so sad it would be screamingly funny. One of her grand pianos was written down as a " grand," the other as a " harmonium." She is still uncertain whether she may live here ; she goes to inquire to-morrow. We hope she may. She is very much upset about her youngest nephew ; he is already eighteen.
    In town they say there was an attempted contra- revolution in Moscow.
    Vera Vassihovna told us an almost unbeHevable tale ; but we are in Russia, and it may be true. The peasants hate the deputies. One village sent many versts away to a deputy, who was something like a coroner, to say that a female had committed suicide. He came; the female turned out to be a mouse which had allowed itself to be caught in a trap.

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