Opening of the exhibition “But we are in commune now!”

In the atrium of the museum, there is an exhibition "But we are in a commune now! Petrograd in 1918-1921". The exhibition features more than 100 photographs from the museum's collections, including well-known photo artists Yakov Steinberg, Victor Bulla, Moses Nappelbaum.

"The exhibition is dedicated to the centenary of the moving the capital of Russia from Petrograd to Moscow, the creation of the Petrograd commune and to the dramatic events that took place in the city during the Civil War." The severe and life-threatening life of Petrograd in this period can be compared with the Siege of Leningrad, " – said the general director Evgeni Artemov at the opening of the exhibition. To immerse yourself in the era will help the excerpts from leaflets, newspapers, diaries and memoirs of contemporaries - Alexander Blok, Zinaida Gippius, Victor Shklovsky, Pitirim Sorokin, Fedor Dan. The materials are complemented by the huge map of Petrograd, which will help you to find out how the streets of the city were renamed, what monuments were installed according to the plan for "monumental propaganda", where prisons were located during the Civil War. The first wave of street renaming occurred in 1918, and by the end of 1919 almost the whole center of Petrograd was renamed.

Exactly 100 years ago, the Bolshevik authorities were hastily preparing for evacuation from Petrograd because of the danger of the occupation the city by German troops, says the author of the exhibition, the museum's research fellow Evgeni Lavrov. The special train that took the leaders of the Soviet state to Moscow went at night of March 10 to March 11, 1918, and on March 12 the residents of Petrograd were surprised to learn from the newspapers that the government had left, and the city would be ruled now by the Council of Commissioners of the Petrograd Labor Commune. In that moment, the move was considered as a temporary measure, but the capital has left in Moscow.

For all residents of Petrograd, regardless of their political views, the years of the Civil War were the time of terrible deprivations and trials, Lavrova said. Famine, epidemics, devastation, the policy of the "Red Terror" led to the fact that number of citizens was seriously reduced: by the year of 1921 there were only about 700,000 people in Petrograd (three times less than before revolution in the late 1916). Products that could be obtained by cards were catastrophically not enough: even for workers engaged in heavy physical labor, the daily bread norm was 200 grams. And this scarce pack was not always available.

It is known that in the autumn of 1917 the Bolsheviks were able appeal the significant part of the residents of Petrograd, but by the spring of 1918 the situation had changed: many workers and soldiers changed their attitude to the power. By the way, the dissatisfaction of the masses also became one of the reasons for the departure of party leaders from the city, Lavrova said. During the years 1918-1921, massive anti-Bolshevik strikes arose in Petrograd, rebellions and demonstrations broke out. The heat of protests started at the beginning of 1921.

What did effect havethe policy of the war communism - did it give any benefit, or, on the contrary,only increased the chaos in Petrograd? Why did the Bolsheviks, who took powerin October 1917, manage to keep it? The authors of the exhibition offer tothink over about it. It will be open until May 9.

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