Veikko Huuska

Vuonna 1917 menin Venäjälle – ja mitä sitten tapahtui

Vuonna 1917 menin Venäjälle – ja mitä sitten tapahtui

”Minut lähetettiin torjumaan Bolshevikkien vallankumous ja estämään Venäjää tekemästä erillisrauhaa Saksan kanssa.”

Tänään on 100 ja yksi vuotta siitä, kun muuan brittiläinen herrasmies sai mahdottoman tehtävän.  Pelastaa maailma bolshevikkivallankumoukselta ja kaikelta mitä siitä seurasi.

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Kun W. Somerset Maugham, hänestä nimittäin on kysymys, kuoli 1965, 90-vuotiaana, hänet tunnettiin, joskin paljosta muusta, mutta ei niinkään vakoilijan urastaan, - hänet muistetaan yhä, mutta hänen hautaansa ei ole missään. Hänen tahtonsa mukaisesti hänen tuhkansa levitettiin hänen nimeään kantavan kuuluisan kirjaston ympäristöön Canterburyn King's Schoolissa. Uskotaan, että Ian Fleming loi James Bondin hahmon juuri tämä Maugham's Ashedenin mielessään. George Orwell väitti, että Maugham oli kirjailija, joka vaikutti häneen eniten.

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20. kesäkuuta 1917 muuan Britannian salainen agentti – vaikkakin sittemmin paremmin tunnettu erinomaisena kirjailijana, Somerset Maugham - määrättiin työtehtäviin Venäjälle. Tehtävä oli, ei enempää eikä vähempää kuin: estää sosialistien vallankumous.

Yhdistyneen kuningaskunnan salaisen tiedustelupalvelun (myöhemmin MI6) päällikön Sir William Wisemanin henkilökohtainen käsky Maughamille määritteli hänen matkansa tavoitteeksi pitää Kerenskin väliaikainen hallitus  vallassa ja rohkaista Venäjän osallistumista ensimmäisen maailmansodan taisteluihin, pyrkien romahduttamaan Saksan vastarinta lähinnä pasifistisella propagandalla.

Elo-marraskuulta 1917 käytettävissä olevien tietojen perusteella Maughamilla näyttää olleen käytännössä peräti johtavan agentin asema Venäjän-tiedustelussa.  Huomattavin rahankäyttövaltuuksin – jotka olivat peräti 21 000 Englannin puntaa, valtava summa rahaa tuolloin, - Maugham istutettiin Venäjälle amerikkalaisen toimittajan valetehtävällä, mutta hänen todellinen missionsa säilyi salassa jopa Britannian Venäjän-suurlähettiläältä.


Yksi Maughamin tavoitteista oli tukea niitä useita tšekkiläisiä poliittisia järjestöjä, jotka toimivat Venäjällä ja joilla on läheiset suhteet brittiläiseen tiedusteluun. Heidän kokonaismääräkseen arvioitiin peräti 70 tuhatta jäsentä. Tšekin varuskunnat oli sijoitettu ikään kuin varoituksina Venäjälle, ja jos tarvis vaatisi, ne olivat valmiita oitis antamaan sotilaallista  tukeaan vastavallankumouksellisille toimijoille.


Maughamin edellytettiin myös perustavan laajan tiedustelu- ja propagandaverkoston Venäjälle, lietsomaan levottomuuksia ja jouduttaa Venäjän sotavoiman heikentymistä  ensimmäisen maailmansodan rintamilla. Verkosto koostui ammattiryhmistä, jotka on koulutettu pitämän puheita työntekijöiden kokouksissa pelloilla ja tehtaissa sekä tuottamaan häiriötä sotilaallisissa ja teollisuusalojen kohteissa sekä kannustamaan erilaisia joukkomielenosoituksia.

Maugham painotti visuaalisen median tärkeyttä viestinsä kohdentamisessa entistä tehokkaammin kohdeyleisöön, mutta hän joutui toteamaan niiden tehottomuuden, niistä kun paistoi vastaansanomattomasti se, että niiden takana olivat brittiläiset tai amerikkalaiset spesialistit, - siihen tehoon nähden, mikä oli venäläisten omien kirjailijoiden ja taiteilijoiden tuottamilla teksteillä ja kuvaviesteillä. Näiden suhteellisen tehottomiksi osoittautuneiden propagandaponnistusten kokonaiskustannukset olivat arviolta 500 000 dollaria vuodessa.

 18. lokakuuta 1917 Maugham kutsuttiin väliaikaisen hallituksen pääministerin Aleksandr Kerenskin palatsiin, jossa tämä pyysi Maughamia henkilökohtaisena lähettiläänään matkustamaan Lontooseen ja vaikuttamaan kaikkensa sen eteen, että Lontoo myöntyisi antamaan lisää tukea vastavallankumoukselle; siis lisää aseita, ruoka-aineita sekä vahvempaa sivustatukea englantilaiselta lehdistöltä. Kerenskin väliaikainen hallitus oli tuolloin jo perin heikossa hapessa, kumouksellista taistelua hehkuttavien bolshevikkien odotettavissa olevan kaappauksen lähestyessä päivä päivältä.

Niinpä sitten kävi, että kun Maugham saapui Britannian pääministerin David Lloyd Georgen toimistoon, hän sai kuulla, että bolsevikit olivat jo ottaneet vallan. Ergo, hänen tehtävänsä oli epäonnistunut.

Maughamin saaman tehtävän suorittaminen oli luultavasti aivan mahdotonta, mutta Maugham itse väitti myöhemmin, että jos hän olisi päässyt Venäjälle kuusi kuukautta aikaisemmin, hän olisi voinut onnistua.

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PS. Bolshevikit kaappasivat Pietarin keskushallinnon käsiinsä yöllä 25. päivä lokakuuta 1917.  Eli länsimaisittain sanottuna 7. päivä marraskuuta 1917.

PS2.

W. Somerset Maugham tuli mieleeni, kun järjestelin kirjahyllyä kotikirjastossani ja käteeni osui taskukirja 1960-luvun puolivälistä.  Se oli ensimmäisiä halpispokkareita, joita 14-vuotiaana ostin, ja ihastuin siihen tyyten.  ”Olosuhteiden oikkuja”.  Hän oli juuri silloin kuollut.

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aiheesta:

Mielenkiintoinen kysymys:

Lähetettiinkö W. Somerset Maugham Pietariin niin sanottuihin “märkiin tehtäviin”?

Lähetettiinkö hänet Venäjälle murhaamaan Lenin?  Tätä kysymystä on aika ajoin pohdittu.

Was British spy Somerset Maugham sent to kill Lenin?

Culture

July 13 2017

Alexey Timofeychev

Maugham soon became disillusioned with Russia, however. “The endless talk when action was needed, the vacillations, the apathy when apathy could only result in destruction, the high-flown protestations, the insincerity and half-heartedness that I found everywhere sickened me with Russia and the Russians,” he recalled later.

There was one man, however, whom Maugham liked a lot. Boris Savinkov was one of the leaders of a terrorist organization in pre-revolutionary Russia who in 1917 worked for the government. Maugham described his as “one of the most extraordinary men” he ever met. Savinkov had no sympathy towards the Bolsheviks and had no illusion about the resolve of their leader, Vladimir Lenin. Savinkov allegedly said that “either Lenin will stand me up in front of a wall and shoot me, or I shall stand him in front of a wall and shoot him.” 

Lue: https://www.rbth.com/arts/history/2017/07/13/was-british-spy-somerset-maugham-sent-to-kill-lenin_800942

 

 

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Journal Article

W. Somerset Maugham: Anglo-American Agent in Revolutionary Russia

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

American Quarterly

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2712479?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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Vuonna 1917 menin Venäjälle.

Minut lähetettiin torjumaan Bolshevikkien vallankumous ja estämään Venäjää tekemästä erillisrauhaa Saksan kanssa.

“In 1917 I went to Russia. I was sent to prevent the Bolshevik Revolution and to keep Russia in the war. The reader will know that my efforts did not meet with success. I went to Petrograd from Vladivostok, .One day, on the way through Siberia, the train stopped at some station and the passengers as usual got out, some to fetch water to make tea, some to buy food and others to stretch their legs. A blind soldier was sitting on a bench. Other soldiers sat beside him and more stood behind. There were from twenty to thirty.Their uniforms were torn and stained. The blind soldier, a big vigorous fellow, was quite young. On his cheeks was the soft, pale down of a beard that has never been shaved. I daresay he wasn't eighteen. He had a broad face, with flat, wide features, and on his forehead was a great scar of the wound that had lost him his sight. His closed eyes gave him a strangely vacant look. He began to sing. His voice was strong and sweet. He accompanied himself on an accordion. The train waited and he sang song after song. I could not understand his words, but through his singing, wild and melancholy, I seemed to hear the cry of the oppressed: I felt the lonely steppes and the interminable forests, the flow of the broad Russian rivers and all the toil of the countryside, the ploughing of the land and the reaping of the wild corn, the sighing of the wind in the birch trees, the long months of dark winter; and then the dancing of the women in the villages and the youths bathing in shallow streams on summer evenings; I felt the horror of war, the bitter nights in the trenches, the long marches on muddy roads, the battlefield with its terror and anguish and death. It was horrible and deeply moving. A cap lay at the singer's feet and the passengers filled it full of money; the same emotion had seized them all, of boundless compassion and of vague horror, for there was something in that blind, scarred face that was terrifying; you felt that this was a being apart, sundered from the joy of this enchanting world. He did not seem quite human. The soldiers stood silent and hostile. Their attitude seemed to claim as a right the alms of the travelling herd. There was a disdainful anger on their side and unmeasurable pity on ours; but no glimmering of a sense that there was but one way to compensate that helpless man for all his pain.”


W. Somerset Maugham

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1231315-in-1917-i-went-to-russia-i-was-sent-to

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W. Somerset Maugham Meets Boris Savinkov in Russia, 1917

“In this year, [1917]” wrote W. Somerset Maugham in A Writer’s Notebook, “I was sent to Russia on a secret mission.” A secret agent during World War 1, he was tasked with helping the provisional government defeat the Bolsheviks. Among his contact were the Assistant War Minister Boris Savinkov, a revolutionary writer and assassin. 

“Savinkov. Before the revolution he was the leader of the terrorists. He planned and executed the assassinations of Plehve and of the Grand Duke Sergius. Hunted by the police, he lived for two years under a British passport. He was at last run to earth at an hotel. He was taken into the dinning-room while a compte rendu was being made. He was told he could have anything he wanted. He asked for soda water and cigarettes. Soda water was brought and the officer in charge of the soldiers who had effected the arrest took a cigarette out of his case and flung it to him. Savinkov lost his temper. He took the cigarette and threw it in the officer’s face. He laughed a little as he told me his words: ‘You forget, sir, that I am no less a gentleman than you.’ It bore out my theory that men in moments of great emotion express themselves in terms of melodrama. That is why the best writers are often so untrue to life.
I asked him what he felt when he was arrested, whether he was not horribly frightened. ‘No,’ he said, ‘after all, I knew it was inevitable sooner or later, and when it came, strangely enough I felt relieved. You must remember that I had been leading a terribly strenuous life and I was tired out. I think my first thought was: now I shall be able to rest.’

…I said that it must have required enormous courage to plan and commit his assassinations. He shrugged his shoulders. ‘Not at all, believe me,’ he answered. ‘It is a business like another, one gets accustomed to it.'”

W. Somerset Maugham, A Writer’s Notebook, William Heinemann Ltd, 1949.

https://theintermediateperiod.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/w-somerset-maugham-meets-boris-savinkov-in-russia-1917/

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Financial Review 11.12.2015;

Five writers who witnessed Lenin's 1917 revolution

In the lead-up to the Russian Revolution, five British writers visited the country and described what motivated the huge political and social upheaval, writes Jeffrey Myers.

http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/books/five-writers-who-witnessed-lenins-1917-revolution-20151005-gk1nvz

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In 1916 Maugham was invited by Sir John Wallinger, head of Britain's Military Intelligence (MI6) to act as a secret service agent. Maugham agreed and acted as a link between MI6 in London and its agents working in Europe. The following year he became involved in events in Russia.

When the Tsar Nicholas II abdicated on 13th March, a Provisional Government, headed by Prince George Lvov, was formed. On 5th May, Pavel Milyukov and Alexander Guchkov, the two most conservative members of the Provisional Government, were forced to resign. Guchkov was now replaced as Minister of War by Alexander Kerensky. He toured the Eastern Front where he made a series of emotional speeches where he appealed to the troops to continue fighting. Kerensky argued that: "There is no Russian front. There is only one united Allied front." Kerensky now appointed General Alexei Brusilov as the Commander in Chief of the Russian Army. On 18th June, Kerensky announced a new war offensive.

The Provisional Government made no real attempt to seek an armistice with the Central Powers. Lvov's unwillingness to withdraw Russia from the First World War made him unpopular with the people and on 8th July, 1917, he resigned and was replaced by Kerensky. Ariadna Tyrkova, a member of the Constitutional Democrat Party, commented: "Kerensky was perhaps the only member of the Government who knew how to deal with the masses, since he instinctively understood the psychology of the mob. Therein lay his power and the main source of his popularity in the streets, in the Soviet, and in the Government."

The British ambassador, George Buchanan welcomed the appointment and reported back to London: "From the very first Kerensky had been the central figure of the revolutionary drama and had, alone among his colleagues, acquired a sensible hold on the masses. An ardent patriot, he desired to see Russia carry on the war till a democratic peace had been won; while he wanted to combat the forces of disorder so that his country should not fall a prey to anarchy. In the early stages of the revolution he displayed an energy and courage which marked him out as the one man capable of securing the attainment of these ends."

Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the head of MI6, decided that the British government should do everything possible to keep Kerensky in power. He contacted William Wiseman, their man in New York City and supplied Wiseman with $75,000 (approximately $1.2 million in modern prices) for Kerensky's Provisional Government. A similar sum was received from the Americans. Wiseman now approached Somerset Maugham (to whom he was related by marriage) in June 1917, to go to Russia. Maugham was "staggered" by the proposition: "The long and short of it was that I should go to Russia and keep the Russians in the war."

Maugham, who could speak Russian, was asked by Wiseman to "guide the storm". Maugham told Wiseman: "I was staggered by the proposition. I told Wiseman that I did not think I was competent to do that sort of thing that was expected of me." He asked for forty-eight hours to think it over. He was in the early stages of tuberculosis, had a high fever and was coughing up blood. Maugham later wrote: "An X-ray photograph showed clearly that I had tuberculosis of the lungs. But I could not miss the opportunity of spending certainly a considerable time in the country of Tolstoi, Dostoyevski, and Chekov; I had a notion that in the intervals of the work I was being sent to do I could get something for myself that would be of value; so I set my foot hard on the loud pedal of patriotism and persuaded the physician I consulted that under the tragic circumstances of the moment I was taking no undue risk."

Maugham was supplied with $21,000 (worth approximately $350,000 today) for expenses and travelling from the west coast of the United States, through Japan and Vladivostok, Maugham reached Petrograd in early September 1917. With him went a group of four Czechoslovak refugees headed by Emanuel Voska, Director of the Slav Press Bureau in New York City. Maugham described Voska as the perfect spy: "Ruthless, wise, prudent and absolutely indifferent to the means by which he reached his ends... There was something terrifying about him... he was capable of killing a fellow creature without a trace of ill-feeling." Voska made contact with Tomáš Masaryk in the hope of mobilizing Czech and Slovak elements in Russia to work for the Allied cause. Maugham was impressed by his "good sense and determination" and helped set up a press bureau to disseminate anti-German propaganda.

While in Petrograd Maugham met a former mistress, Sasha Kropotkin, the daughter of Peter Kropotkin, who had a good relationship with Alexander Kerensky and the Provisional Government. Maugham entertained Kerensky or his ministers once a week at the Medvied, the best restaurant in Petrograd, paying for the finest vodka and caviar from the funds supplied by Wiseman. Maugham later recalled "I think Kerensky must have supposed that I was more important than I really was for he came to Sasha's apartment on several occasions and, walking up and down the room, harangued me as though I were at a public meeting for two hours at a time".

Maugham also met Boris Savinkov, a member of the government and a former terrorist. Maugham described Savinkov as "the most remarkable man I met." He found it difficult to believe that Savinkov had been personally responsible for the assassination of a number of senior imperial officials in the years before the war. Maugham wrote, he had the prosperous look of a lawyer." Savinkov believed that if the Bolsheviks gained power they would "annihilate" opposition leaders. Savinkov therefore wanted the government to arrest Lenin and other leading Bolsheviks: "Either Lenin will stand me up in front of a wall and shoot me or I shall stand him in front of a wall and shoot him."

Somerset Maugham worked closely with Major Stephen Alley, the MI1(c) station chief in Petrograd. On 16th October Maugham telegraphed Wiseman recommending a programme of propaganda and covert action. He said that Voska and Masaryk could both conduct "legitimate propaganda" and act as a cover for "other activities" in support of the Mensheviks and against the Bolsheviks. He also proposed setting up a "special secret organisations" recruited from Poles, Czechs and Cossacks with the main aim of "unmasking... German plots and propaganda in Russia".

On 31st October 1917 Maugham was summoned by Kerensky and asked to take an urgent secret message to David Lloyd George appealing for guns and amununition. Without that help, said Kerensky, "I don't see how we can go on. Of course, I don't say that to the people. I always say that to the people. I always say that we shall continue whatever happens, but unless I have something to tell my army it's impossible". Maugham was unimpressed by Kerensky: "His personality had no magnetism. He gave no feeling of intellectual or of physical vigour."

Maugham left the same evening for Oslo to board a British destroyer which, after a stormy passage across the North Sea, landed him in the north of Scotland. Next morning he saw Lloyd George at 10 Downing Street. After the agent told the Prime Minister what Kerensky wanted, he replied: "I can't do that. I'm afraid I must bring this conversation to an end. I have a cabinet meeting I must go to." On 7th November, 1917, Kerensky was overthrown by the Bolshevik Revolution. Maugham later recalled: "Perhaps if I had been sent to Russia six months sooner... I might have been able to do something."

After the First World War Maugham returned to writing. Another successful book, The Moon and Sixpence, was published in 1919. Maugham also developed a reputation as a fine short-story writer, one story, Rain, which appeared in The Trembling of a Leaf (1921), was also turned into a successful feature film. Popular plays written by Maugham include The Circle (1921), East of Suez (1922), The Constant Wife (1926) and the anti-war play, For Services Rendered (1932).

In his later years Maugham wrote his autobiography, Summing Up (1938) and works of fiction such as The Razor's Edge (1945), Catalina (1948) and Quartet (1949).

William Somerset Maugham died in Nice on 15th December 1965.

Lähde: http://spartacus-educational.com/Jmaugham.htm

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Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 - a World on the Edge

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Romanov Sisters, Caught in the Revolution is Helen Rappaport's masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eyewitness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold.

Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin's Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St. Petersburg) was in turmoil - felt nowhere more keenly than on the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt. There, the foreign visitors who filled hotels, clubs, offices, and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps and beneath their windows.

Among this disparate group were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, bankers, governesses, volunteer nurses, and expatriate socialites. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home: from an English nurse who had already survived the sinking of the Titanic to the black valet of the US ambassador, far from his native Deep South, to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who had come to Petrograd to inspect the indomitable Women's Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareva.

Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action - to see, feel, and hear the revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped in a "red madhouse".

This program includes a bonus interview with the author and her editor.  https://www.amazon.com/Caught-Revolution-Petrograd-Russia-World/dp/B01N4UDE0M

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Veikko Huuska

Tekstissä toistuvasti mainitusta Boris Savinkovista täällä:

https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Savinkov

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