Maxim Gorky and the Bolsheviks in Russia

Gorky wrote his autobiographical series of works and at the same time was involved in rescuing Russian culture during the change of political system.

In RussiaMaxim Gorky gradually became less popular, but his books with honest description of reality began gaining ground among the working class. It is possible that they, among other factors, prepared the revolution of 1917.

In the years before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and immediately after it Gorky wrote his autobiographical trilogy: “Childhood”, “People”, “My Universities”.

Untouchable Island During a Storm

Stalin Gorky 1931

J. Stalin and M. Gorky (1931)

During World War I, Gorky took an international position, considering the source of war to be the ruling classes of the participant states, which became enriched during the war and planned to expand their areas of influence.

With the advent of the February Revolution of 1917, Gorky was completely on the side of the revolutionaries. At the same time he was strongly opposed to the excesses of the revolution policy “who is not with us – is against us.”

The Bolsheviks began reprisals against former allies. Maxim Gorky protected representatives of culture, organized unions for writers, literary associations, which were funded by the state. And Bolsheviks could not do anything about it – the international prestige of Gorky was that strong. In these years of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” Gorky became the only force capable to defend the culture and save lives.

The Death of Writer

In 1922-1932 Gorky lived abroad. Then he returned to Russia. To a large extent due to the letters from Joseph Stalin:

“I shake your hand and wish you all the best.

Mostimportantly, take care of yourhealth.”

J. Stalin.

In the central newspaper “Pravda” Gorky published his address to the intelligentsia in Russia and abroad: “Who are you with, masters of culture? …”:

“what a harsh lesson gave history to  the Russian intelligentsia: they did not join their working class and now they are dissolving in impotent rage, rotting in exile.”

During this period, Gorky wrote his novel “Life of KlimSamgin”, which was never finished. He also organized literary magazines, associations.

After getting familiarized with the situation in the Soviet Union, Gorky published some critical articles. This was extremely annoying to the authorities and gradually led to basically a house arrest for Gorky.

In 1936, shortly before Stalin began his political trials, Maxim Gorky is killed.

There is a versionthat he was poisoned. This is confirmed by strange visits to the patient by representatives from the top ranks of the NKVD (Gorky had a cold) – a couple of hours before his death. Also, just a few days before his death, the NKVD took Gorky’s archives. Perhaps NKVD already knew that Gorky was not coming back?

Why was it necessary to get rid of Gorky? It is possible that Gorky had already played his role, and with his critic he began annoying the authorities. Perhaps he would start interfering in the upcoming political trials, because among the defendants there were a lot of Maxim Gorky’s friends. There is also a scenario that Gorky has written very harshly about Stalin, and those notes got to the leader. Stalin never forgave personal insults.

Gorky’s literary heritage is extremely important, but not just that: thanks to Gorky, a huge layer of Russian culture and its representatives were saved in the harshest conditions of revolution and civil war.

To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

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