Poster of the Week
“Long live organized, armed people!”
This poster highlights the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) strike of March 8, 1917-- a strike that boiled over into the successive Russian Revolution. By March 12, Imperial Russian troops of the Petrograd garrison had declared mutiny. Their action is considered a key event leading to the formation of the Red Army and the Red Navy.
In April, Vladimir Lenin arrived in Petrograd after having spent time in exile. Upon arrival, he called for an end to Russia’s participation in WWI, an end to the Imperial Army, and the expropriation of land in the name of the people. Lenin's edicts (known as the April Theses) changed the course of the revolutionary directives. On October 29, the Military Revolutionary Committee was in control of the army and navy commands in Petrograd. The committee maintained connection to the revolutionary chaos through a five-man assembly called the Military Revolutionary Center.
The Center had also coordinated Petrograd's soldiers, sailors and workers during their seizure of the city on October 25 and during the overthrow of the Provisional Government on the 26th. The Military Revolutionary Center consisted of Josef Stalin, Iakov Sverdlov, Andrei Bubnov, Moisei Uritsky, Felix Dzerzhinsky, and other leaders. Decades later, Stalin’s involvement in the Revolutionary Center became the part of a larger historical narrative during the period when he led USSR. In contrast, Leon Trotsky’s role in the revolution (he later served on the Committee) laid the groundwork for his allegations against Stalin's “historical fraud” in recounting the history of the Petrograd uprising.
After the Second All-Russian Congress (in November 1917), the Military Revolutionary Center transferred all power to the Soviets. It was not until January 1918 that the Council of People’s Commissars re-organized the Bolshevik forces into the formalized Red Army.
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About The Collection
Poster Plakat is a private collection of Soviet and Eastern Bloc political ephemera spanning 1916 to 1991. The collection contains over 1,000 original posters and poster maquettes. Sizes range from windowpane posters up to large, multi-panel broadsides. Numerous artists are represented such as
Gustav Klutsis, Victor Deni, Nikolai Dolgorukov, Vladimir Stenberg, the Kukryniksy, Viktor Koretsky, and hundreds more. All posters are linen backed and ready for display.
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