One hundred years ago, on 8 March 1917, hundreds of thousands of women demonstrated against hunger, the tsarist government, against war and for peace. They claimed their men back from the murderous First World War. Only a week later, Tsar Nicholas II had to resign. The pressure of the peaceful protesters had grown too great, and the generals refused the Tsar to violently suppress the uprising and to shoot at the demonstrators. Thus, it was a bourgeois revolution led by women imposing a monarchical democracy in Russia already in March 1917. The women peacefully fought for and enforced freedom of the press, of religion and of opinion, and they succeeded in forbidding the banishment to Siberia.
Unfortunately, this great success could not be transformed into sustainable governmental action in the coming months. Marxists, Bolsheviks, socialists, and others took the lead of the movement, directing the masses into their tracks. The rest is known. In the October Revolution, Lenin with his followers took power in St. Petersburg, ordered the Tsarist family to be assassinated, and established a dictatorship in which at a later date millions of Russians were murdered under Stalin.
The International Women’s Day was proclaimed by Klara Zetkin in 1910 for the first time without a fixed date, and in 1921 it was established on the 8th of March, in memory of the Women’s March Revolution of 1917. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the women’s rebellion, even without many people being aware of the events of 1917. In history, the victors are usually dominating, so Lenin, the courageous women. But in the former Eastern bloc countries you do not find an empty table in a restaurant on 8th March, if you did not reserve in time. The men invite their wives to eat and offer them flowers in recognition of their commitment to peace. A wonderful tradition. •
(Translation Current Concerns)
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