Table of contents:
- Renaming Yaik to Ural
- Lost Romanov - Ivan VI
- Forgotten songs about Catherine II
- Struggle with monuments
- Scissors - a tool of the proletariat
Video: Events that the government tried to erase from history
2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 22:42
Since ancient times, the rulers of states have actively used what in ancient Rome was called damnatio memoriae - "the curse of memory." In Ancient Egypt, the names of the pharaohs were chopped off the steles, in Rome they smashed the statues of the unwanted, in Europe they deleted the names from the chronicles. Russia is no exception. Throughout the history of the country, attempts were made to erase someone or something from the people's memory.
Renaming Yaik to Ural
Damnatio memoriae punished not only historical figures, but also geographical objects. This happened with the Yaik River, on which an uprising led by Yemelyan Pugachev broke out and spread throughout the country.
After the suppression of the uprising, the execution of its instigators and participants, the authorities began to etch out any memories of the riot from the people's memory in order to avoid new unrest. In the decree of January 13, 1775, the reason was stated in plain text - for "complete oblivion."
The renaming affected all places associated with the uprising. The house in which the rebel was born was burned, and his native village Zimoveyskaya became Potemkin. The Yaik River was renamed into the Ural - after the mountains in which it originates. Accordingly, all names associated with the river have undergone changes. The Yaitsk Cossack army became the Ural, the Yaitsk town became the Ural, and the Verkhne-Yaitskaya pier became the Verkhneuralskoe. Yes, and the riot itself at that time was preferred to be called the most innocuous terms - "the well-known popular confusion" or "unfortunate incident."
Lost Romanov - Ivan VI
Ivan (John) VI came from the branch of the Romanovs parallel to the heirs of Peter I - Braunschweig - and was Peter's brother, Ivan V, a great-grandson. Ivan VI did not stay on the throne for long - a little more than a year, and it was not a reign: he became emperor, barely born, and state affairs were ruled first by the regent Biron, and then by the mother of the sovereign, Anna Leopoldovna.
During the reign of Ivan VI, two coups d'état took place at once. As a result of the first, Biron was removed from the regency by the guards under the leadership of Minich, and then Elizaveta Petrovna overthrew the baby king himself. So the Russian throne returned to the heirs of Peter I.
It was assumed that the ousted Brunswick Romanovs would be expelled from the country, but Elizaveta Petrovna decided that it would be safer to imprison them, and consign all the memory of the reign of Ivan VI to oblivion.
On December 31, 1741, by decree of the empress, the population was ordered to hand over all the coins on which the name of the little king was minted. At first, coins were accepted at face value, then the cost of exchange decreased, and in 1745 it became completely illegal to keep such money: it was equated with high treason. All documents bearing the name of Ivan VI also had to be replaced.
The portraits of the deposed tsar were burned, the odes to Lomonosov published in honor of Ivan VI, sermons with the tsar's name were confiscated. The struggle against the name of Ivan Antonovich Romanov continued throughout the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna, and her echo sounded for a long time in the history of Russia: Ivan VI is not on the Romanovsky obelisk in the Alexander Garden, nor on the monument in honor of the three hundredth anniversary of the Romanovs' house, nor on the famous Faberge egg “Three hundredth anniversary of the house Romanovs.
Forgotten songs about Catherine II
Even before her enthronement, there were all sorts of rumors about Catherine II. And if the aristocracy preferred to gossip about the queen on the sidelines and in a whisper, the common people composed songs about the empress's adventures and misadventures.
Of course, the authors and performers of openly blasphemous songs were subjected to the most severe punishment, and the texts of these works were prohibited. But even couplets in which she was sorry could fall into disfavor of the queen. One of such works was the song "Complaints of Catherine", which told about her longing and sadness from the fact that her husband Peter III was walking in the grove with the maid of honor Elizaveta Vorontsova and was considering a plan to "cut down and destroy" Catherine.
At the request of Catherine, Chief Prosecutor Vyazemsky pointed out to Count Saltykov:
"Although this song is not worth a lot of respect … but her imperial majesty would be pleased that it … was consigned to oblivion, in order, however, that it was kept in an inconspicuous way, so that no one would feel that this prohibition comes from a higher power" …
Despite this, the text of the song, contrary to the wishes of the queen, has survived and has survived to this day. The same cannot be said about the more caustic and frankly blasphemous works.
Struggle with monuments
In 1917, after the February Revolution, the victors began to crack down on the legacy of the old regime, including monuments to prominent "figures of tsarism" and defenders of autocracy.
One of the most significant was the demolition of the Stolypin monument in Kiev. The dismantling of the monument, according to the tradition of that time, could not go on routinely: a large rally was assembled to perpetrate a "people's court" over Stolypin, following which it was decided to "hang" the monument - they dismantled it using a device similar to a gallows. The monument did not last long - from 1913 to 1917.
After the Bolsheviks came to power, the struggle against the monuments continued, but not spontaneously. According to Lenin's plan for monumental propaganda, a special commission was created whose main task was to determine which monuments should be dismantled and which ones should be left behind. The monument to Alexander III was dismantled symbolically: first, the mantle was removed from the sovereign, then - the head with a crown and hands with a scepter and orb. The entire dismantling process was documented on film, and then demonstrated throughout the country.
Monuments were also removed on the initiative from below. Thus, the workers of the Gujon plant in Moscow, renamed Hammer and Sickle, expressed a desire to demolish the monument to General Skobelev. The new government supported the initiative.
Scissors - a tool of the proletariat
If earlier, to consign to oblivion, it was enough to destroy the statues and blot out the name of an objectionable character from the chronicle, then in the 20th century - with the advent of photography and cinema - it became somewhat more difficult to erase a person from history.
Pictures of that time were often retouched. Thus, the Menshevik Vladimir Bazarov and the elder brother of Yakov Sverdlov, Zinovy Peshkov, were removed from the photographs of the chess match between Lenin and Bogdanov, which took place as a guest of Maxim Gorky on Capri. The first turned into a part of the column, and the second completely disappeared into the air.
The photo of the meeting of the Council of People's Commissars of 1918 was treated even more rudely. In the original photograph there are thirty-three people's commissars, but in one of the publications dedicated to the centenary of Lenin's birth, there are only three of them left next to Ilyich.
After Lenin's death and the end of the internal party struggle, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev and other enemies of Stalin began to disappear from the photographs. That there is only one famous photograph of Voroshilov, Molotov, Stalin and Yezhov on the banks of the Moscow-Volga canal, taken in 1937. In 1938, Yezhov disappeared from the photograph, slightly violating its composition.
However, retouching was not always done gracefully and imperceptibly for an uninformed viewer. Sometimes they got by with simple smearing of faces with ink.
And in 1954, a letter was sent to all the owners of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, who received it by mail, in which it was recommended to cut out the portrait it contained and the pages telling about Beria “with scissors or a razor blade”. Instead, other articles that were attached to the letter should have been pasted.
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