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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2021 year, number 2


V.I. Shishkin
Institute of History SB RAS, 8, Ak. Nikolaev str., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
Keywords: Russia, Siberia, revolution, October coup, Bolsheviks, Soviets, memoirs, memoirists, publications, articles


The article aims to study the contribution of memoir publications of the 1920s to highlighting the Bolshevism triumphal march in Siberia, to forming the source base of the Siberian Sovietization concept. It defines the list of memoir authors, their status and party affiliation during the revolution events. The research shows that in 1917 at least half of the memoirists were members of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Bolsheviks), and among them, there were few prominent professional revolutionaries. The article argues that this fact largely explains the approaches of the memoirists to the description and interpretation of what happened, terminology choice, and language stylistics. The research finds out that the number of memoirs published on the October Revolution 10th anniversary and reflecting the revolutionary process in Siberia and its Sovietization is nearly 30 works, while neither both capitals, nor the adjacent regions of the Urals and the Far East had comparable numbers. The article studies the reasons for such small number of the memoirs about Siberia Sovietization. It analyzes the memoirs general topics and problems, as well as the specific episodes of the political struggle described by memoirists. The article examines how the memoir authors explained the reasons for the ten-day armed conflict in December, 1917 in Irkutsk. Based on the collected data and results of its analysis it establishes that the memoirs of the 1920s created two basic axioms of the Soviet concept of the Bolshevism triumphal march in Siberia. On the one hand, it claimed that the Soviets of Workers and Soldiers Deputies of some cities and towns seized power long before the October Revolution; on the other hand, they declared that the October Revolution occurred in Siberia around November-December 1917. The article concludes by arguing that the memoirs published in the 1920s fulfilled multiple functions, and, first of all, they were the most important and reliable source of information about the period of the revolution.