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V.M. Chernov and eserovsky emigration in the early twenties.



v. M. CHERNOV I ESEROVSKY EMIGRATION In the early twenties

In 1920 when Cheka developed the real hunting for eminent persons of party of revolutionary socialists, V.M. Chernova it was necessary to leave borders of Russia. At the end of August he emigrated to Estonia, having received a special task of the Central Committee of party: to market publication abroad and to rally eserovsky emigration on the basis of the left-centrist party platform developed by the IV congress of the Party of Social Reforms and the IX Council of the party.

By then abroad there was already a significant amount of the eminent persons of the Party of Social Reforms emigrating in 1917-1920. Paris became the main place where eserovsky emigration originally concentrated. Here many party figures running generally from Siberia settled, and later - from the South of Russia: A.A. Argunov, N.D. Avksentyev, I.I. Bunakov-Fondaminsky, M.V. Vishnyak, A.I. Gukovsky, E.F. Rogovsky, V.V. Rudnev and others. In the spring of 1920 from London A.F. Kerensky moved to Paris, having rallied around himself mainly centrist forces of eserovsky emigration. There were and here those who supported the ideological and political platform developed by the IX Council of the party: ML. Slonim, V.I. Lebedev, N.A. La-zarkevich, L.V. Rossel. And still in the Parisian colony of emigrants representatives of the right wing of the party who from the IV congress of the Party of Social Reforms (end of 1917) were, in fact, in opposition to the leading party bodies prevailed and in the actions constantly separated from them. Contrary to party decisions they continued to support the coalition with cadets and considered acceptable foreign intervention to Russia for the help to "the anti-Bolshevist front", did not refuse tactics of "obvolakivaniye", that is still hoped for a possibility of democratization of the white governments "under pressure of the Russian democracy and allies".

In July, 1920 under the leadership of A.F. Kerensky - without coordination with the Central Committee - the emigre Nonparty political organization objedineniye1, consisting mainly of right and the right of centrist forces of eserovsky emigration was created. Its purpose it was proclaimed "the organization and unity of democratic forces in Russia for 1) overthrows of tyranny of Bolsheviks; 2) restoration of the United federal republican Russia constructed on realization, strengthening and development of the political and social principles of the March revolution of 1917" 2.

For all the time of existence of the "non-party" organization of the most effective there was its information publishing. With financial support of Nonparty association in Prague there were a Volya Rossii newspaper and a series of advocacy brochures, in Revel were issued the Narodnoye Delo newspaper ("For national business") and the magazine "Za Narod!", in Paris - the Sovremennye Zapiski magazine and the newsletter "Pour la Russie", in Rome - the La Russia del Lavoro newspaper. Around them gradually there were main ideological and political centers of eserovsky emigration, there was a disengagement and formation of the main currents in her environment: right (Paris), right-centrist (Paris and Prague) and left-centrist (Prague and Revel).

Chernov, having appeared in Estonia, first of all developed vigorous activity with the purpose to unite eserovsky forces abroad. He wrote Kerensky: "Data, the truth sketchy which reach me force me to think for some reason that now it will be much easier for us to understand each other, than earlier. To me on some signs it is thought that hardly we especially will disperse both in situation assessment, and directed by milestones for a way which there has to be our party" 3.

Kerensky expressed readiness to completely support the offer Chernova4. But already 1921 brought the first mutual contentions.

In January in Paris the Meeting of the former members of the All-Russian Constituent assembly took place. The idea of its carrying out arose among the left cadets grouped in Paris around P.N. Milyukov and M.M. Vinaver and seeking for creation abroad of a certain representative body which would have powers to address on behalf of democratic Russia the international community. This idea was not alien also to the right Social Revolutionaries. In December, 1920 in the eserovsky press there was "An address to members of the All-Russian Constituent assembly" 5 in which the main goal of the projected Meeting was formulated so: creation abroad the legitimate organization or body which would represent the interests of democratic Russia before foreign public opinion and influential political circles of the West.

Preparation for a meeting was conducted without any sanctions or consultations with the Central Committee of the Party of Social Reforms and members of its Foreign Delegation (FD) which actual head was Chernov. He, in fact, was confronted with a fait accompli. The decision to boycott the planned meeting was its first reaction to separate acts of the Parisian Social Revolutionaries. But after a while he changed the mind and at the end of December went

through Berlin and Prague to Paris. It was its first tour across the European capitals, and he did not want to lose an opportunity to visit the main centers of the Russian emigration and to meet her prominent representatives.

In Berlin Chernov had detailed conversations syu. O. Martov. Described his mood concerning a meeting of March so: "He tore and threw concerning Kerensky's invention which does not have another washed away how to repeat the Ufa history, explained it with Avksentyev's influence and K0 which broke up with socialists long ago, and says that in this question they will have a split which he considers necessary" 6, and then "people, for us valuable as the Minor, Zenzinov and even Kerensky, will refuse all enterprise, and Avksentyev, Bunakov and K0... we will have an opportunity to exclude officially" 7. Also other members of Foreign Delegation were so considerably ready. So, V.V. Sukhomlin wrote Chernova: "To poison May that business goes to split and it is necessary to work after careful consideration and in concert... I think that it is necessary to act sharply against" 8.

However no split happened. Moreover, Chernov stood up for centrists and some decisions of the meeting before the Central Committee of party which sharply condemned both the idea of a meeting, and the adopted resolutions. And business here at all not in Chernov's unscrupulousness that even his closest foreign associates tried to attribute to it. He never changed the political principles and never traded in them. Just the opposite: at this conjuncture Chernov proved as skillful tactics, having once again shown such property, enviable for the political figure, as tolerance. It was made first of all for basic reasons: for the sake of unity of the most part of eserovsky emigration on the party platform. Speaking about the mission in Paris, he noted: "I consider that fulfilled the duty... I will do everything that sense of duty, party discipline gained a victory over the central trends here" 9.

What has happened?

Having met in Prague V.M. Zenzinov and other employees of "Will of Russia", Chernov for the first time received detailed data on a situation in emigre circles. From them he found detailed information on activity of Nonparty association, on the developed currents and a real ratio of forces among Social Revolutionaries emigrants. The Parisian meetings with members of Foreign Delegation and also with the Minor, Kerensky and others completed a picture: abroad there was quite strong right-centrist eserovsky block, and positions left were very shaky, many of them were psychologically captivated right centrists who were completely controlling Nonparty association with its solid funds. Such eminent persons of party as Zenzinov, the Minor and Kerensky, according to Chernov, were completely engaged in all being coming enterprise and considerably became more conservative.

And Chernov came to a conclusion that the demarches conceived by it would lead to leaving the organization already few representatives left and by that to bigger strengthening of a position of right. And then "money, the organization, say, everything would remain in hands right and the center, and the center would become the captive right" 10.

It chose other line of conduct: to strengthen abroad positions of left, to win round centrists and to create the strong left-centrist block to neutralize and isolate right, long ago ceased to be, according to it, not only socialists, but also democrats. With such spirit it also was on a meeting.

The meeting of the former members of the All-Russian Constituent assembly worked in Paris from January 8 to January 21, 1921. It adopted a number of resolutions, among them - about the relation of foreign powers to the Soviet power, about the relation to the possible trade intercourses with the Soviet Russia, about the relation to rejection by foreign powers of separate parts of the Russian state territory and others. The action program designed to rally all democratic forces for revival of Russia and to draw attention of the western public opinion and the foreign governments to the Russian problems was outlined in them.

For preparation and convocation of the second meeting and for carrying out in practice of the made decisions the working body - the Executive commission was created. 5 Social Revolutionaries (N.D. Avksentyev, V.M. Zenzinov, A.F. Kerensky, N.V. Makeev and O.S. Minor), 3 cadets (M.M. Vinaver, A.I. Konovalov and P.N. Milyukov) and the representative from national groups entered it

S.N. Maksudov. As subsequently Chernov noted, the "coalition" Executive commission was considered by organizers of a meeting as body, "which could apply for representation abroad of "original Russia", unlike Russia Soviet, s1e] a yoke in those days still nobody recognized" 11.

Chernov did not take official part in work of a meeting. However, he made a speech at the first meeting, but only to say that as the chairman of the Constituent assembly of 1917 does not consider himself to have the right to participate in a meeting of private group which this meeting is. Chernov took the most active part in work of eserovsky fraction where there was a preliminary discussion of all questions and where positions and resolutions of Social Revolutionaries were developed, seeking to affect the course and results of work of a meeting thus.

From its party nevertheless it was not without demarches. He made an attempt of psychological pressure upon the colleagues on several lines at once: "pointed out the main abnormality in all action" as it was started without the preliminary intercourse with the Central Committee of the Party of Social Reforms; announced the refusal of official participation in the gathered conference because as the member of the Central Committee cannot take similar step without approval of the Central Committee; noted that Paris as the venue of a meeting was chosen quite unsuccessfully as for many it will serve "as the instruction on by what "order" business" 12 is undertaken.

To help foreign Social Revolutionaries "with naivozmozhno smaller political damage to get out of all this enterprise" 13, he participated in development and editing eserovsky resolutions. Not without its influence at a meeting in the spirit of party decisions the foreign intervention and establishment of any forms of military dictatorship in the Russian territory underwent condemnation, the decision on inexpediency and inadmissibility of economic blockade of Russia was made.

Chernov very critically estimated the participation in meetings of eserovsky fraction of a meeting. He recognized that its work not absolutely bore necessary fruits, and pointed to two main a question which appeared, from his point of view, solved unsatisfactorily: about non-recognition of the Soviet government by foreign powers and about executive body of the Meeting. In these questions right-centrist most eserovsky fraction did not support Chernov.

During the discussions on the first question Chernov resolutely objected to that form in which the resolution on non-recognition of the Soviet power was adopted. In particular, he specified that an appeal directly to the western governments to refuse establishment of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Russia formally contradicts the resolution of a meeting on need of the termination of economic isolation of Russia. Such illegibility and uncertainty of a position, he warned, will inevitably lead to the conflict with the Central Committee of the Party of Social Reforms

On the second question he directly said that the structure of executive body of a meeting should be formed on majority, but not by coalition party principle because "Russia will not be able to accept the body carrying a type of the coalition from tsenzovika" 14. At most, what can be accepted the Central Committee, Chernov, so said this addition of majority representation with business cultural workers from a territorial shrodskogo of association. However and this its offer did not pass. However, it did not remain unaddressed: it was decided not to elect officially any special body prior to the next meeting, and to assign all current work to the Executive commission made nevertheless by the coalition principle. Such approach as Chernov believed, did not solve a problem and gave the grounds to accuse foreign Social Revolutionaries of revival of the coalition policy which is strongly condemned by party forums.

After a while he noted: "I regret that in particular in two specified points (in a question of majority elections of representation, as well as in a question of our indifference how the foreign bourgeois governments will get out of impossibility for them formal full recognition of the Soviet power and need to trade with it) was not even more persistent though, judging by mood of most fraction, it would help?" 15.

These words Chernov, in fact, recognized the mistake and involuntarily associated with those who accused him of allegedly indecisive behavior in operating time of a meeting later. But whether there was his behavior wrong? Hardly. The cited words - it is rather, a sincere regret about a political divergence with old party colleagues whose actions did not strengthen now authority of party in any way, and so sincere hope that they still can with honor serve purity of a party banner.

After completion of work of a meeting Chernov remained more than a month in Paris and Prague: there were numerous meetings, discussions and consultations concerning party affairs. With Kerensky he managed to agree about financing due to Nonparty combination of the appearing and planned party editions in Estonia and also about transfer of a part of its material and human resources to Revel and Finland where it was supposed to create its branches. With members of Foreign Delegation and edition of "Will of Russia" he talked about need to start construction of the party organizations and more active upholding of party positions. He led the real fight for attraction to the left flank of Zenzinov which, according to him, more, than any of centrists, "was tied to party by an indissoluble spiritual bond".

Chernov returned to Revel in the first of March and found at himself the whole mountain of correspondence. Its considerable part concerned the Parisian meeting.

Especially it was disturbed by two letters of the Central Committee of the Party of Social Reforms of January 28 and on February 4: they contained sharp criticism of activity of Social Revolutionaries abroad and the plan of holding a meeting was condemned, it was pointed out inadmissibility of any joint actions with cadets, the requirement to all Social Revolutionaries who entered into the Executive commission to leave immediately it contained.

It at once informed on these messages of the Parisian and Prague Social Revolutionaries. He emphasized that similar reaction of the Central Committee to the Parisian meeting is quite natural and it was easy to expect it what he also warned participants soveshchaniya16 about. Having noted that so painful relation of the Central Committee to a meeting was dictated first of all by a situation in Russia where the people's anti-Bolshevist movement which was extremely suspiciously treating various restoration and nonsocialist forces, any unions and the coalitions with them accrued, he recommended not to go for strain of relations from the Central Committee. Offered the intermediary services in settlement of the conflict. Promised to write the special letter in which it will in detail and objectively show "psychology and logic of all state of affairs here that there understood the general difficulty of a situation". At last, stated to organizers of a meeting a wish to write to the Central Committee the detailed letter with explanation of their position.

Soon Chernov, as promised, sent to the Central Committee the extensive report on the activity in Paris. It gave detailed information on a situation in emigre eserovsky circles and own estimates of current situation, stated the conclusions and offers, asked the Russian party figures not to hurry with premature, excessively sharp and final prigovorami17. Still it asked to hold off sharp attacks to the Nonparty organization: "Now to destroy the non-party organization would be blow to work" 18. And advised her members the conflict with the Central Committee concerning a meeting not to do by an internal question of the organization because this conflict formally affected only eserovsky fraction of a meeting, in particular those who were a part of the Executive commission. "Your organization, - he wrote to Prague, - there is an organization nonparty, and discussion of the decision of the Central Committee cannot even be point of its agenda. Therefore it has to work as earlier what development would not be gained further by the conflict and what consequences it would not have for party position of certain members of the organization" 19.

Its so "trembling" relation to Nonparty association was defined, first of all, by tactical reasons. Most fully and frankly the approach to the "non-party" organization he stated Sukhomlina in the letter: "Now it is necessary to be considered that we have no means, and at the non-party organization is and that it is necessary to contrive that at all tendency of the non-party organization to a samodovleniye though partially to use these means for Russia... Anyway, now from the non-party organization I have funds for the edition two times in a month of "Revolutionary Russia", and it transport adjusted in very wide sizes is now financed... From here clearly it is visible that the non-party organization as it is bad, and nevertheless its destruction now preyaedevremenno. There is nobody and nothing it to replace. Purely - the party organization abroad for the present in the germ. And if so, then we keep still foreign organization..." 20

Meanwhile the criticism of the foreign Social Revolutionaries initiating convocation of a meeting continued to accrue. To Chernov as the representative of the Central Committee of the Party of Social Reforms protest letters, resolutions and resolutions both from the organizations, and from certain party members abroad came. They contained the requirement consistently and accurately to follow a party course on inadmissibility of any forms of the coalition with representatives of cadets and other nonsocialist forces, parties and currents, to fix communications with the international socialism and most strictly to observe party discipline for unity, the authority and power of party. In a number of letters and resolutions, sharp critical statements and to Chernova21 contained.

But here the Kronstadt events broke out. They became the first serious test for foreign Social Revolutionaries on durability and fighting capacity. However neither durability, nor fighting capacity at eserovsky emigration as political force appeared. While its left-centrist part led by Draft made desperate attempts to establish connection with residents of Kronstadt, the right and right centrists acting through Nonparty

associations almost made nothing to turn Kronstadt as Chernov offered, in the leader and a stronghold of national anti-Bolshevist fight. All attempts of Chernov to mobilize eserovsky emigration for effective support of the risen sailors and workers encountered absolute obstacles: ideological and political divergences in the eserovsky environment, absence at left centrists of considerable material supplies, unreasonable personal ambitions of leaders right and right-центристстов22.

Something to undertake defeat of Kronstadt and powerlessness of foreign Social Revolutionaries to render real including military, support risen, internal contradictions in eserovsky emigration and a desperate situation of party in Russia - all this considerably shook positions of Nonparty association in the opinion of his allies and patrons. Already from the middle of 1921 it began to be in serious financial difficulties which led to the actual curtailment of its activity in the fall though formal dissolution of the organization took place in April, 1922 However, the right-centrist block had still Executive commission of the Meeting of the former members of the All-Russian Constituent assembly.

At the end of summer of 1921 of passion began to inflame around it with a new force. The X Council of the party which took place in August paid special attention to the situation created among foreign Social Revolutionaries. To strengthen party discipline, to finish ideological and political and organizational swayings and disorder, he ordered to all party members who are abroad to become organized immediately in party groups, and assigned the leadership in all party foreign work to Foreign Delegation, thereby having once again confirmed its status of official representative body of the Central Committee of the Party of Social Reforms abroad. And having sharply condemned "the Parisian enterprise", demanded from foreign Social Revolutionaries under the threat of an exception of party to leave structure Executive komissii23.

However it became obvious in the fall that Social Revolutionaries and in Nonparty association, and in the Executive commission do not intend to follow directives the Central Committee and the Central bureau Party of Social Reforms: they still continued to ignore them and persisted in upholding of the positions. The executive commission was left by only one Zenzinov who was at once included in the structure of left-centrist Foreign Delegation. But soon he made offers which, in fact, were directed to protection and even to strengthening of positions of the right and right centrists. He sent to the Central Bank of the Party of Social Reforms a letter in which he suggested not to insist on immediate implementation of the party decision on an exit of Social Revolutionaries from the structure of the Executive commission. He began to press to enter into the structure of Foreign Delegation of Kerensky despite his membership in the Executive commission. He recommended to place Foreign Delegation headquarters in Paris that is where there were main centers of Nonparty association and the Executive commission. In this case kernel Foreign

delegations would consist of Kerensky, I.A. Rubanovich and N.S. Rusanov, other members - Chernov, Sukhomlin and Zenzinov - would stay in "dispersion" that with inevitability would turn back decrease in their role, first of all Chernova, in activity of Foreign Delegation.

These offers met total rejection of Chernov. By then its former compromise relation to Nonparty association and the Executive commission changed: now he considered that with final registration of Foreign Delegation the existence of other eserovsky bodies abroad became excessive and only interferes with process of consolidation of eserovsky emigration on the party platform. Time has come, considered he, resolutely to start the translation of all foreign work of Social Revolutionaries "from non-party rails on party" and to begin to untangle "a foreign ball" 24.

It did not support and Kerensky's candidacy as one of possible members of Foreign Delegation though the idea to enter Kerensky into its structure expressed the Central Bank of the Party of Social Reforms long before Zenzinov's proposal and at one time did not raise special doubts at Chernov. Now he so proved the position: "I am a big supporter of that A.F. was returned to party and will involve in the thick of party work. But he has a weakness to personal policy and a kyakshanye with high spheres of the Entente. And A.F. not as the member of Delegation and the revolutionary socialist, and as at least member of the Administrative center of the "non-party" organization or just as the former member of Provisional government will continue this line of conduct - all value of Delegation will be perverted" 25.

Considered these arguments of Chernov of the Central Bank of the Party of Social Reforms convincing and did not begin to insist on Kerensky's introduction to the structure of Foreign Delegation. At the same time it let know that its doors for the former prime minister remain open - on condition of an exit from the Executive commission Parisian soveshchaniya26. Concerning a residence of Foreign Delegation of the Central Bank found it necessary to give an opportunity to her members to resolve this issue on the forthcoming plenum.

The first plenum of Foreign Delegation took place in Prague from December 26, 1921 to January 8, 1922. Chernov, Zenzinov, Rubanovich, Rusanov, Sukhomlin and also S.P. Postnikov with advisory capacity as the member of the editorial office of "Revolutionary Russia" participated in it. In total nine meetings took place, about four dozen voprosov27 were heard and discussed.

The main principles of formation and functioning of foreign party groups and groups of assistance which had to form the basis of their charter were defined. The leading role at the same time was assigned to the principle of a centralism. Prague temporarily was defined by a residence of a kernel of Foreign Delegation (Chernov, Zenzinov and Sukhomlin), and with adjustment of party publishing house in Berlin it was planned to move there and "business bureau" Foreign delegatsii28. At two meetings participants

a plenum considered a question of Nonparty association and the Executive commission. The report on the state of affairs in the "non-party" organization was made by one of executives of the Administrative center of Rogovsky who declared the beginning of liquidating process of the organization. More difficult the situation with the Executive commission was. Considering ambiguity of the situation which developed here, the plenum was limited to hearing of information of her representative, and decided to transfer the final decision of the question to a discretion of the Central Bank of the Party of Social Reforms

So, the fact of holding a plenum and accepted by it, with active participation of Chernov, decisions gave the grounds to hope for consolidation of forces of eserovsky emigration, their expansion between national communications, acquisition of new allies from among relatives to them emigre organizations and groups.

1 See: Cuckoo I.A. Put of revolutionary socialists in emigration//the Russian outcome. SPb., 2004. Page 87-97.
2 GARF. F. R-5893. On. 1. 1. L. 1.
3 Hoover Institution Archives. Nicolaevsky (Boris I.). Collection (HIA NC). Box 27. Fold. 5.
4 HIA NC. Box 10. Fold. 11.
5 Will of Russia. 1920. On Dec. 15
6 Mensheviks in Bolshevist Russia, 1918-1924. M, 2002. Page 77.
7 In the same place. Page 89.
8 GARF. F. R-5847. Op. 2. 81. L. 6-6ob.
9 Tsit. on: Gusev K.V.V.M. Chernov: Strokes to a political portrait. M, 1999. Page 163.
10 Party of revolutionary socialists: Documents and materials. T. 3. Part 2. M, 2000. Page 736.
11 Party of revolutionary socialists after the October revolution of 1917: Documents from P. S.-R. archive Amsterdam, 1989. Page 733.
12 Party of revolutionary socialists. T. 3. Part 2. Page 737.
13 In the same place.
14 In the same place.
15 GARF. F. R-5893. On. 1. 130. L. 7ob.
16 In the same place. L. bean.
17 K.V. Gusev. Decree. soch. Page 153-164.
18 In the same place. Page 158.
19 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-5893. On. 1. 130. L. 8 about.
20 Party of revolutionary socialists after the October revolution of 1917. Page 682, 683.
21 Party of revolutionary socialists after the October revolution of 1917. Page 664, 668-669; HIA NC. Box 9. Fold. 10, 18.
22 See: Novikov of A.P. Eserovskiye leaders and Kronstadt mutiny of 1921//National history. 2007. No. 4. Page 57-64.
23 Party of revolutionary socialists. T. 3. Part 2. Page 784; HIA NC. Box 9. Fold. 3.
24 HIA NC. Box 9. Fold. 3.
25 In the same place.
26 In the same place.
27 HIA NC. Box 9. Fold. 9; Revolutionary Russia. 1922. No. 16-18. Page 49-51.
28 HIA NC. Box 9. Fold. 3.
Felix Joachim
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