History lesson: how Tolstoy's daughter ended up in prison, and Lenin's savior in a concentration camp

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History lesson: how Tolstoy's daughter ended up in prison, and Lenin's savior in a concentration camp
History lesson: how Tolstoy's daughter ended up in prison, and Lenin's savior in a concentration camp
8 April, 19:40SocietyPhoto: Соцсети
Revolutions devour not only their leaders, great and small, but also innocent people

Sergei Baimukhametov

The mystery is that for us, the Soviet people, there was no question or problem here. Heads clear, unclouded.

“Good afternoon, Sergey Temirbulatovich!

We did not specially celebrate the 150th anniversary of Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yemelyanov. We had a post about N.A. in our social networks. Yemelyanov on his birthday... And since it was the New Year's weekend, and then there were still covid restrictions, no special event was planned. We constantly keep in touch with his granddaughter Nina Aleksandrovna and her son, congratulate us on the holidays and visit each other, especially since they are our neighbors and live in one of the Emelyanovsky houses.

Sincerely,

Mikhail Klimenko, Deputy Director for Scientific and Educational Work of the Historical and Cultural Museum Complex in Razliv.

This letter filled me with both warmth and sadness. Everything is far, everything is close, everything is connected and, fortunately, connected, including by simple human relationships.

Few now remember and know who Nikolai Alexandrovich Yemelyanov is. But it can be argued that he influenced the course of Russian, Soviet history. After the speech of the Bolsheviks in July 1917, the Provisional Government issued an order for the arrest of the Bolshevik leaders, primarily Lenin and Zinoviev. Let's imagine that they were arrested, maybe killed during the arrest, or - according to the laws of wartime - urgently convicted and shot. The October Revolution would have been accomplished without them. Practically it was prepared, headed by Trotsky. Lenin arrived in Petrograd just before the storming of the Winter Palace. And without Lenin, Trotsky would certainly have become the chairman of the Council of People's Commissars. (By the way, Lenin offered him this, but Trotsky refused.)

And how would the history of the USSR have developed then? Surely Stalin would not have existed...

Lenin and Zinoviev were saved from arrest by Sestroretsk worker Nikolai Yemelyanov. For several days he hid them in a barn, in a hayloft, and then settled them in a hut on the opposite shore of Lake Razliv from the village. He, his wife Nadezhda Kondratievna, their sons ensured the life and safety of Lenin. As Nikolai Aleksandrovich later wrote: “I ate with him from the same plate. My wife cooked food, and we warmed it up on the fire. My wife sold a lot at that time ... from her dowry, trying to better feed Lenin, but Vladimir Ilyich never hinted at this, and I myself never told anyone about it.

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yemelyanov, born in 1872, a participant in three revolutions, after the victory of the Bolsheviks, held party and Soviet positions on a regional scale. He did not approach the top of power, he had nothing to do with the struggle between Stalin and Trotsky and others. Besides, he retired in 1932. And he lived quietly in his small town of Sestroretsk, in a private house with a household. Retiree.

However, in 1934-35, she and Nadezhda Kondratievna also fell under the wheels of terror. Camps and exile - until 1954. And the whole family - in prison camps. Son Nikolai was shot immediately after his arrest. Son Kondraty - when trying to escape from the camp. Alexander served two terms - 18 years.

But Nikolai Alexandrovich Yemelyanov is one of the symbols of the revolution. Not just a savior of Lenin, but also a worker. After all, we had a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the power of the workers. And the worker who saved Lenin...

How can the symbol of the revolution be sent to the zone?

What's the explanation?

Perhaps none.

The worker Yemelyanov was sitting behind barbed wire, serving a link, and his name at that time fit into the history of the Great October Socialist Revolution. His house and barn became a museum of the revolution. (Now - the Historical and Cultural Museum Complex in Razliv.) Soviet people came and reverently examined the exhibits. Of course, they asked about the future fate of Comrade Yemelyanov, and the museum workers first answered: “Comrade Yemelyanov, who saved Lenin, is now in leadership work in Moscow”, and then: “Comrade Yemelyanov died heroically at the front”.

And when Nikolai Alexandrovich and Nadezhda Kondratievna Emelyanov returned to their hometown in 1954, old, sick, wanting to pass the remaining century in their home, then... they had nowhere to live. Two years after their return, Nikolai Alexandrovich and Nadezhda Kondratyevna rented a chicken coop from a local old woman.

Then, fortunately, there was a sharp turn in their lives. In 1956, Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Broz Tito, discussing his forthcoming visit to the USSR, expressed his desire to visit the museum in Razliv. Yemelyanov was urgently awarded the Order of Lenin, his personal pension was returned, he was settled in his own house and the street was named after him. And museum workers began to say to all visitors: “Here is the same worker Yemelyanov, who sheltered Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in Razliv”.

Nikolai Alexandrovich died in 1958. From the second heart attack. He was 86 years old. Nadezhda Kondratyevna passed away in 1961 at the age of 84.

Надежда Кондратьевна и Николай Александрович

At least in their homeland, and even in their home. Unlike Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy.

“Dear Vladimir Ilyich!

My father, whose views I hold, openly denounced the tsarist government and yet remained free even then ... I do not hide the fact that I am not a supporter of Bolshevism ... But I have never opposed and will not actively oppose the Soviet government, I have never been involved in politics and was not a member of any parties ... If I am harmful to Russia, send me abroad. If I am harmful even there, then, recognizing the right of one person to take the life of another, shoot me as a harmful member of the Soviet Republic. But don’t make me drag out the life of a parasite, locked up in 4 walls with prostitutes, thieves, bandits.”

These are excerpts from a draft - a letter to Lenin. Was sent or not sent - is unknown. It was written from prison by Alexandra Tolstaya, the daughter of Leo Tolstoy.

Александра Толстая и Лев Толстой, Ясная Поляна, 1909 год.
Photo:Фото Владимира Черткова

After being released, she continued her work as the keeper-hostess of Yasnaya Polyana, became the director of the Leo Tolstoy Museum in Moscow. In 1929 she went to Japan to give lectures, renounced her Soviet citizenship and left for the USA. In 1939, together with a group of emigrants, she founded and for forty years directed the famous Tolstoy Fund for helping Russian people abroad. In 1946, US President Harry Truman honored her humanitarian efforts during World War II. After the death of Alexandra Lvovna in September 1979, US President James Carter wrote: “With her death, one of the living threads that connected us with the great age of Russian culture broke. We can only be consoled by what she left behind. Thousands of people whom she benefited with her help, when they started a new life in this country as free people, will always remember Alexandra Tolstaya.

But that's in the future. And in August 1920, Alexander Tolstaya was sentenced to three years in prison in the first Soviet concentration camp, created on the territory of the Moscow Novospassky Monastery. She was accused in the case of the Tactical Center, about which Alexandra Lvovna first heard from the investigator. Friends gathered at her apartment, she set up a samovar for them. And - everything. But the KGB logic of those years is clear. She hosted the conspirators, which means she participated in the conspiracy.

However, in addition to the Chekists, there was also Lenin.

The case of Alexandra Tolstoy was considered twice by the Politburo, with the participation of Lenin. Author of the article "Leo Tolstoy as a Mirror of the Russian Revolution".

The surname "Tolstoy" was also a symbol of the Russian revolution. Proof that the revolution is a reflection of the deep, all-Russian processes, thoughts and aspirations of millions - from the peasant to the count.

And symbols cannot be thrown into a concentration camp. This is harmful for the revolution, for the authorities. Someone who, but Lenin should have understood.

However, it didn't count.

Over the next 20 years, the people who at the Politburo meeting decided the fate of Alexandra Tolstoy - Kamenev, Bukharin, Preobrazhensky, Trotsky, as well as the Chekists Agranov and Krylenko, who were invited to the meeting, will fall victims of the same terror.

Suppose, with them, and with many other arbiters of human destinies, it is more or less clear. The revolution devours its leaders, great and small. The bloody haze of inflamed fanatics.

But Nikolai Alexandrovich Emelyanov and Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya, the daughter of Leo Tolstoy, would seem to be in a completely different category here.

However, nothing surprised the Soviet people, nothing stopped their attention, did not raise questions. But Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, I repeat - "the mirror of the Russian revolution." Everyone was talking in schools. And yet, for us there was no question or problem here. Heads clear, unclouded.

Apparently, with a constant, habitual fear of reprisals hammered into the soul, something incomprehensible to a normal consciousness instills in a person, at the level of instinct.

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