Kronstadt

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rebel_lion
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Oct 29 2003 16:49
Kronstadt

Alright, i have heard of Kronstadt and know vaguely what it was about, and that it is a BIG sticking point between trots and anarchists. But i haven't really read anything about Kronstadt and thus don't know any of the specifics like i know i ought to. Plus, i feel like a bit of Trot baiting... laugh out loud

So, anyone got any good links?

JoeBlack
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Joined: 28-10-03
Oct 29 2003 17:06

There are lots of links on Kronstadt at

http://struggle.ws/russia.html

This includes a translation of every issue of the rebels paper

http://struggle.ws/russia/izvestiia_krons1921.html

Ida Metts pamphlet is a good general introduction

http://struggle.ws/russia/mett.html

solitage
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Nov 9 2003 23:14

Ah Kronstadt, where Trotsky ordered the slaughter of anarchist sailors, and signalled the end of any hope for the soviets as forums for independent peasant and working class self liberation. It's still very much a live issue. Trots don't like it being mentioned even now, 80 odd years on. wink

Jo Bloggs
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Jan 20 2004 10:23

Does anyone have more references regarding Kronstadt.

I am trying to do some research into events in Kronstadt and St Petersburg between 1917 and the supression of the Uprising.

In particular I am interested in any first hand accounts, images, documents, contemporary anarchist responses etc...

butchersapron
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Jan 20 2004 10:41

Aside from the links above, the most important historical document is Pravda o Kronshtadte (The Truth about Kronstadt) which was a pro-rebellion pamphlet published by anarchists in 1921, almost immediately after the crushing of the uprising with "all proceeds from the sale of this publication were to go to the "Kronstadt refugees and their families." A student US produced a very good web-version of it for his degree which you can find at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mhuey/HOME.html.

Aside from this Paul Avrich produced a sympathetic book on the uprsing and Israel Getzler did one on the the base from 1917-21 - which also blows away most of the bolshevik lies about what happened.

nastyned
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Jan 20 2004 11:20
Jo Bloggs wrote:
Does anyone have more references regarding Kronstadt.

I am trying to do some research into events in Kronstadt and St Petersburg between 1917 and the supression of the Uprising.

The city was called Petrograd at that time.

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Jacques Roux
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Jan 20 2004 11:40

Daniel Guerin's interesting yet somehow very very boring book "no gods, no masters" (book 2) had an interesting section on Kronstadt contating Emma Goldman's Memories of Kronstadt and the journal of Kronstadt from Izvestia and a couple of other things smile

thegiddygoat
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Jan 20 2004 17:35
solitage wrote:
. Trots don't like it being mentioned even now, 80 odd years on. :wink:

I heard a Trot quite passionately defeding this massacre recently to a Class War geezer, by saying that it was necessary for the success of the revolution as the whites would have got in through kronstadt otherwise eek roll eyes

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Pilchardman
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Feb 5 2004 11:08

Trotsky Protests Too Much is helpful. But the most useful for the general reader is probably the section in

Augusto_Sandino
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Feb 26 2004 14:39

The Kronstadt sailors were anarchist influenced but i think they were more democratic socialists like the mensheviks or the Socialist Revolutionaries than actual makhno type anarchists. Either way the Bolsheviks wouldnt accept them and the revolutionary vanguard rapidly became the counter revolutionary threat. I think the attack on Kronstadt was a massacre wasnt it?

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Steven.
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Feb 26 2004 14:44

Actually I think in numbers it ended up about 600 Kronstadters dead versus 10,000 Red Soldiers (according to the Trots anyway). Apparently it's cos they blasted the ice out from under the advancing army

PS anyone know how near Kronstadt is to St Petersburg - I thought it was a few hundred miles but someone told me it was just a couple of miles away...

butchersapron
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Feb 26 2004 15:27

It's about 20 miles away from St Petersburg.

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Steven.
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Feb 26 2004 15:33

ah right. Hmmm that makes the Trots assertions that if it was "lost" to the workers there that it'd be an east entry point for the White Armies seem to be bullshit no?

butchersapron
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Feb 26 2004 15:46
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ah right. Hmmm that makes the Trots assertions that if it was "lost" to the workers there that it'd be an east entry point for the White Armies seem to be bullshit no?

Yep, absolute bullshit - and there was simply no way that the mutineers would have let the whites in anyway - most of them had spent time fighting the Whites - why on earth would they turn around and say to the Whites, "here you go, we've taken on the bolsheviks and fought you lot as well, but we're not really interested - you have this base if you want". Pure fantasy, and just one of the lies the bolsheviks and trots still spew out everytime this is brought up.

Augusto_Sandino
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Feb 26 2004 18:56

The sailors did quite well in defending themselves really then, didnt they. Although i guess that the Red Army's numbers showed in the end. The attack and occupation of Kronstadt was the death of all hope for the revolution in russia though, the end of the soviets was quick, and Makhno's anarchist army was dealt with not long after Kronstadt i think.

knightrose
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Feb 26 2004 22:24
revol68 wrote:
10,000 to 600 those bolshie fucks got owned lol tongue

pity they lost in the end sad

mind u if it was counter strike they still won on ratio.

now whether or not the revolution could have suceeded in such a largley agriculture country as russia at the time is up for debate but one thing that isn't is that the bolsheviks didn't fuckin help.

Mr. T "i pity the fool who advances over frozen water"

Except of course that the Red Army were driven on by the bolsheviks, weren't they? At least that's my memory from reading Voline and the others. The Red Army was hardly made up of volunteers, Trotsky had already brought in vicious military discipline, including shooting many soldiers wjho he considered didn't fight hard enough. Which he also had done to workers who wouldn't work hard enough.

The Trots don't like Kronstadt because it reveals what an absolute shit their hero was. That's why they lie about it and their members know nothing about it either.

butchersapron
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Feb 27 2004 11:27

That's entirely correct - there were machine gunners placed behind those ordered across the ice who shot anyone who dared to retreat - though i'm sure two or three units (or whatever the correct military term is) point blank refused to attack.

They were generally soldiers who had been brought in from Siberia and other far flung places and who didn't know the full SP - they were then told a load of lies about the mutineers (that they were whites, that they had sent sabotage teams out in the country to wreck railways and grain collections etc).

Also, 250 members of The Workers Opposition (a bolshevik faction that lots of people point to as proof of the existence of a libertarian current within the bolsheviks at that time i.e that bolshevism wasn't *that bad* before Stalin) actually voluinteered to take part in the attack on the base, even leaving the proceedinsg of the Bolsheviks 10th Party Congress to do so.

Augusto_Sandino
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Feb 27 2004 13:50

Oh yeah, im not saying that i support the red army and the bolsheviks or anything, im all for the sailors, its just that the sailors just didnt have the numbers to fight off all of the red army for any amount of time. And the bolsheviks were a disaster, their second revolution was probably the worst thing that could of happened i think. It was a coup, hardly a popular revolt.

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JoeMaguire
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Feb 27 2004 15:56

The concept of revolutionary violence as described by the red army always terrorified me, and its no coincidence you hear little of it ever metioned in trot ciricles now adays. How the reds would walk into town and force people to become conscripts quite frankly shows where their politics are heading regardless of them fighting the tsarist forces.

The only thing bordering on a defence of the bolshevik actions is summed up best by trotsky in the History of the Russian Revolution

But the misfortunes which have overwhelmed living people? The fire and bloodshed of the civil war? Do the consequences of a revolution justify in general the sacrifices it involves? The question is teleological and therefore fruitless. It would be as well to ask in face of the difficulties and griefs of personal existence: Is it worth while to be born? Melancholy reflections have not so far, however, prevented people from bearing or being born. Even in the present epoch of intolerable misfortune only a small percentage of the population of our planet resorts to suicide. But the people are seeking the way out of their unbearable difficulties in revolution.

It abhorently tries to fudge the harm inflicted upon them by the white army and not by the bolsheviks.... roll eyes