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22 September 2018


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Article

Author: Natalya Beskhlebnaya
Translation: Paul E. Richardson


Nov/Dec 2017
History
Page 30   (10 pages)


Summary: Every revolution needs its myths. The faithful must 
be inspired; successive generations must be enthused. 
We explore some myths about the “Great October Revolution” that persist even now, 100 years later.


Extract:

Every revolution needs its myths.

The faithful must be inspired. Successive generations must be enthused.

The October Revolution was built atop a raft of economic and political myths that would take most of 70 years to sink.

But there were also more mundane myths about the events of the revolution. Some of these persist even now, 100 years later.

1. Kerensky in Drag

Myth: The Bolsheviks constantly alluded to the supposed femininity of the leader of the February Revolution, Alexander Kerensky. Among other things, they nicknamed him Alexandra Fyodorovna – the name of the last Russian empress. They also concocted a myth that Kerensky fled the Winter Palace disguised as a nun. The story was effectively retold in several Soviet films, and then made its way into school textbooks. And there were other versions: that he fled not from the Winter Palace, but from Gatchina Palace, another royal residence; that he fled from the Winter Palace through a secret exit, not necessarily dressed as a woman.

Reality: Kerensky openly fled the Winter Palace in his normal clothing. He left the palace for the Western front, in an open car, driving through the streets of

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