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Anatoly Baranov: "Running Walk to November, 7"

Anatoly Baranov: "Running Walk to November, 7"
Elena Nikolaeva, Маriya Ponomareva 06.11.2012

Source: "Osobaya Bukva"


On November, 4 Russia celebrates National Unity Day. The holiday is coincided with anniversary of exile of the Polish interventionists from the Kremlin. This year we celebrate 400 years since the feat of Minin and Pozharsky. Celebration, in principle, should have been celebrated on a large scope. Though no signs of the coming celebration of anniversary were seen. It is explainable — for the vast majority of citizens November, 4 means just one more day off. Nationalists coincided their annual “Russian marches” with this day. For people of senior generation this day — only transfer of November, 7 to the nearest date.

— When the authorities declared November, 4 holiday their purpose was clear — they wanted people to forget about November, 7... Whether they succeeded?

— The essence is as follows. October revolution — is an event of such scale which is very difficult to erase from history by means of the decision of any body, any parliament, any not so considerable state. It’s planetary event which changed shape of all mankind. It is the fact which is very difficult to argue.

— Whether November, 4 means anything for people, if to abstract from November, 7th?

— Firstly, if to treat it formally, nothing significant in the history of Russia took place on November, 4. Handoff of the fortress, handoff of the Kremlin occurred just on November, 6 — 7 on new style. I quote here Alexander Chubin, the professor-historian.

Though there are always people who, maybe, badly studied at institute, or maybe, they were offended at school. Thus from time to time they tried to correct something, to dress up or, on the contrary, to shade. For example, to proclaim November, 4 holiday — National Unity Day. Though all perfectly well know that nothing special in the history of Russia happened on that day. If to consider that it’s event of the Time of Troubles of the beginning of the XVII century, it’s rather doubtful date even from the point of view of its influence on the course of history. That date influenced just little even the course of history of Russia. The more so it didn’t influence the course of world history.

They gave some value to that date in imperial Russia because it brought Romanov's dynasty to power. You know, during a capture of the Kremlin the army of Minin and Pozharsky together with the Polish garrison took a lot of Russian boyars among whom were patriarch Philaret and his remarkable son Mikhail Romanov, future first Russian tsar from Romanov’s dynasty. So the event is doubtful even from the point of view of the national history.

— If young Russians remember what happened on November, 7?

— For some reason the French revolution is remembered not only in France. The Frenchmen aren't embarrassed with these events. All over the world people remember that the Great French revolution was an enormous event. Though on the cruelty, on its medieval atrocity it, of course, many times surpassed those heavy events which followed, say, after the October revolution. It often turns out in history so that significant events are very often accompanied by heavy stress for people, for states. History is arranged in such a way. Actually revolution on October, 25, 1917 was rather bloodless — it’s not comparable to either Bastille storm, or with something else. Yes, it was followed by Civil war but whether it is possible to blame in it only one party?

Attempt to erase this date from memory — backward attempts to remake history under today's political needs. Well, it’s as games of dwarfs with a giant. It’s possible to describe approximately as that.

I don’t agree with the saying that people who are younger than 35 don't know anything about it. Those who has enough gray substance know it perfectly well. I work a lot with the left, with the left movement. There are a lot of people younger than 35 years old there and all of them know it and understand.

If the history of the Russian State as well as world history would be told to us by such person as the present minister of culture, yes, of course, then we have chance to get generation which wouldn't receive necessary knowledge at school. It will be a trouble of the whole generation. Though it’s impossible to hide anything now, in conditions of information society. If they don’t receive anything at school — they will receive it on the Internet and so on.

— Whether such day when people will perceive the date November, 4 as important will come in general?

— I live long life and I remember several similar experiments with history. People forgot already about those experiments, not speaking about their results. These are dwarfs with momentary requirements.

What does ten, twenty years of madness of the country mean in the scale of history? It’s nothing.

If the Russians forget own history, the Germans, the Americans, the Italians, the Chinese will come and tell it to them — they would say that an important event of the world history took place in your country, the only time in its history your sub-power, your sub-state got at planetary level. Strictly speaking, once for more than thousand-year history Russia became the world power, super-state and remained it for seventy years.

I think that when hundred years passed after the ruin of the Roman Empire some Roman boatmen or dustmen could have forgotten that Rome was great. Though even they had possibility to observe majestic ruins. Though the Roman Empire made enormous impact on world culture and even defining influence on the European culture. Even if somewhere in provincial Italy someone forgot something, surrounding people for sure reminded. There are a lot of such examples in history.

We had a great era. It lasted seventy years. Seventy years passed and today Russia — is still imperialistic state, but it is already peripheral empire considerably conceding on its importance to other states. While the Soviet Union didn’t kiss up to anyone. The USSR was peak of the Russian history.

- “The Russian March” takes place on November, 4. Nationalists among whom there is a lot of youth correlate their action to the National Unity Day. Whether annual “Russian March” will really become important and will be connected with the Russian history? Perhaps the authorities even try to promote such succession of events, after all this year it’s authorized to carry out march in the center of Moscow?

— I communicate with many leaders of the Russian nationalists. I keep in touch with different significant people in all oppositional political range. No one from these enough educated, sensible people make a fetish of the date November, 4. They simply use this stupidity of the government. “You wanted to organize the National Unity Day, so we will organize you the day of “The Russian March”. Very well, many thanks,” — nationalists told. For nationalists this day on which nothing happened is simply an occasion which they use.

I want to look at the Kremlin inhabitants who instead of a holiday on November, 7 received the whole series of “The Russian Marches” on November, 4.

Semi-official festivals, by the way, pass not for the first year, money is spent for it, some fools are compelled to participate in them and nothing remains in the memory. While “The Russian Marches” is already different case. They received November, 4 — day of “The Russian Marches”, day of the Russian nationalists. The Russian nationalists — are a part of a political range, no matter if they authorities like them or not, they exist. If the authorities had plans to get it, I congratulate them, they succeeded.

If the Russian nationalists as at the beginning of the XVII century will go to expel enemy from the Kremlin, I think, many will join them. I do not share their views, but the public will understand them. Then, maybe, it will become important date in the history. Or now we are far from it.

— The protest now becomes left-inclined, the left ideas are again popular. Perhaps November, 7 in this light will receive new incentive? Whether this day can become a holiday of all left: from the communists to the social democrats?

— November, 7 is being celebrated without it. During Soviet times I never participate in any demonstrations on November ,7, while now I participate in them. And many people as well.

This date becomes real and informal in front of our very eyes.

For seventy years of the Soviet power many significant things became routine, bureaucratic, formal. While now thanks to protest moods November, 7 is celebrated not formally, but with a meaning. It really gained value for people. Not for all, but for a part of society it gained very notable value.

I would thank Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for it and would ask him to forbid celebration on November, 7. It would be better if he forbid it instead of making it usual working day. It would be better if he would forbid all demonstrations on November, 7. I suspect that then this date would become remarkable in general. Maybe it again would remain in the history as the next October revolution.

They want to take out Lenin from the Mausoleum. I say — certainly, take him out, arrange disco in the Mausoleum, insult people’s feelings the stronger you can. So that people feel it and start hating even strongly. The degree of hatred is insufficient now. Now there’s only discontent, it hasn’t come to hatred. But the Kremlin is on the right track, they do everything necessary. They want to be similar to Romanov's dynasty and they are quite successful.

For three hundred years Romanov's dynasty managed to cause hatred of all segments of the population. After all not a person acted in support of the imperial dynasty during the February bourgeois revolution. Moreover, relatives of the tsar, grand dukes put red bows on and walked along the streets. Nikolay Romanov, having renounced a throne, reconciled to the fact that he was already simply citizen Romanov.

Romanov's dynasty was equally hated and despised by all: white, red, green, everybody. The present Russian authorities have the same destiny ahead of them. At least they do all possible for this purpose. Only Romanovs had been triggering backflash for three hundred years, while our authorities have less time.

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