Saturday, April 12, 2008

BOLSHEVIK PRESS MESSAGE – 30th Aug 1919

I found this record of a decree giving women to any men who desire them at NORTH RUSSIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 1918-1919. I can only hope it is bogus or mistranslated. What a horror the Russian Revolution must have been for some poor women if this is a real document and it is the actual text.

Here is the text:

BOLSHEVIK PRESS MESSAGE – 30th Aug 1919

A decree is proclaimed by the association of Anarchists of the town of Savator in compliance with decisions of the Soviet of Peasants Soldiers and Workers deputies of Kronstadt. The private possession of women is abolished and social inequalities and legitimate marriage having been an instrument in the hands of the Bourgeoisie thanks to which all the best species of beautiful women have been the property of the Bourgeoisie. The proper continuation of human race has been presented and such arguments have induced the organization to issue the present decree.

From March the 1st the right to possess women of the ages from 17 to 32 is abolished. The age of women shall be determined by birth certificates and passport. Failing to produce documents the age shall be determined by Committee which shall judge according to appearance.

Former husbands may retain the right of using their wives. In case of resistance of husband he shall forfeit his right under former paragraph. All women according to this decree are exempted from private ownership and are proclaimed to be the property of the whole nation. The distribution and management of appropriated women in compliance with the decision of aforesaid organization are transferred to the Savator Anarchists Club from the date of publication of this decree. All women given by it to the use of the whole nation are obliged to represent themselves to a given representative and to supply the required information. A Special Committee is formed for realisation of these decrees.

Any citizen noticing any women not submitting herself to the address under the decree must make the fact known to the Anarchist Club giving name of woman.

Men citizens have right to use one woman 3 times a week for 3 hours observing rules specified below.

Every man wishing to use a piece of public property should be bearer of certificate from Authoritative Committee of Workmen Soldiers and Peasants Council certifying it belongs to a working class family.

Every working member is obliged to discount 2% of his earnings to the funds of the Public General Action.

This Committee in charge will put these discount funds into state banks and other concerns handing down the funds to the population.

Women when they become pregnant are released for three months before and one month after child birth.

Children borne are given to a constitution for training after they are one month old, when they are to be trained and educated until they are 17 at the cost of the Public Funds.

In case of birth of twins a mother is to receive a prize of £20.

All citizens are obliged to watch theirselves carefully and those who are guilty of spreading venereal disease will be held responsible and severely punished.

Women having lost their health may apply to the Soviet for a pension.

The Chief of the Anarchists will be in charge of the temporary measure relating to the decree.

All refusing to recognise and support this decree will be proclaimed enemies of the people and country and will be held strictly responsible.

Signed Councillor City of Savator

4 comments:

One Salient Oversight said...

Seems like this decision was made by Anarchists rather than Communists. I'm no supporter of Communism, but Anarchists were those who desired to be rid of all forms of government, and were essentially trouble for the Bolsheviks at the time.

Moreover, the idea that a bunch of anarchists could create a series of "rules" like a government seems rather unlikely. It's probably fake propaganda, created by Communists to convince Russian people at the time that Anarchists were terrible, horrible people.

Dmitri Minaev said...

The "decree" was written and published in 1919 by a merchant from Saratov (not Savator!), Mikhail Uvarov, who attempted to discredit the anarchists. The Saratov citizens swallowed the fake decree, sieged and broke into the anarchists' headquarters. The anarchists hardly escaped through the back door.

Probably, it was just a joke, we'll never know. Two weeks later the anarchists killed Uvarov in revenge.

Andy Walpole said...

Really interesting stuff - thanks for the comments clarifying matters.
What a bizarre document - it actually reads like some dystopian piece of bureaucracy gone wrong.
No wonder it's a fake, I can't remember ever reading and document like this from the Russian Revolution before.

Anonymous said...

Discussed in "Two lies that shook the world : the Protocols of the elders of Zion, the Nationalisation of women"
Kate Sharpley Library, [1993?] (currently out of print)