Rus Articles Journal

Nestor Makhno: father of country outlaws, ideological anarchist or bandit?

Life of this person is divided into three parts. The first - since the birth before imprisonment for anarchist activity, the second - four years of continuous battles, campaigns and treatments for numerous wounds, and the third - thirteen years` stay in the foreign land.

Nestor Makhno was born on October 26, 1888 in Gulyaypole in a family of the former serf, groom. Eyewitnesses claimed that during christening at the priest the cassock lit up, and he in a fit of temper exclaimed that the baby will grow up “the robber what light did not see before“. If to take all these components into account, there is nothing strange that the lad left the unsurpassed master of cavalry raids and fights.

Study at territorial school was short, and in 10 years Nestor began to work - at first as the father, with horses, and then the unskilled worker. Subsequently its destiny was affected by revolution of 1905 which caused quite notable wave of hobby for ideas of anarchism. The young workers disappointed in activity of Social Revolutionaries and Bolsheviks went to ranks of the anarchist movement which center was Ekaterinoslav (Dnipropetrovsk).

It was necessary to be the member of anarchist of “The union of poor grain-growers“ in Gulyaypole to the guy not for long. On revolutionary activity money therefore the opposition to the imperial mode got them by means of expropriations - the armed robbery of the enterprises, banks, post offices and in general bourgeoises were necessary. After police officers and mail carriers were killed, Nestor in August, 1908 was arrested, and he was expected by the death sentence. Mother of the revolutionary wrote the letter of mother of the tsar Nikolay ²² - to Maria Fiodorovna, with a request to reconsider case as Nestor then was considered as a minor - he was not 21 years old yet.

A hard labor the young man left in the Moscow central prison - Butyrka. Among political prisoners was many teachers and students with whom in political debates it formed the outlook. In a chamber the young prisoner received the nickname “Modest“ as his companions repeatedly heard from him: “I will become the great person!“ In Butyrsky prison he spent seven years and was released by February revolution of 1917.

In March Nestor returned to the native village - Gulyaypole. He headed local council and labor union of metalworkers and derevoobrabotchik, became the cofounder of the Country union and organized group of country self-defense. And in 1918 in “The free Gulyaypolsky republic“ own insurgent army appeared. Makhno and his fighting sworn brothers were at war with all who came to conquer the Zaporizhia steppes - avstro - the German army, the hetman Skoropadsky, Denikin and Wrangel, Bolsheviks, the Entente and the Directory. And not only with them.

Having taken Ekaterinoslav, Nestor Ivanovich together with the staff on pleasures strongly got drunk, and later began to be amused in city park. Namely: makhnovets, having taken seat on a swing and roundabouts, began to shoot at city dwellers who had misfortune to be dressed not on - proletarian and to walk that day in park. Well, and others arranged disorder in the city. Then the sobered-up Makhno shot several tens the most malicious thugs. Of course, not from the environment.

The first steps of the newly appeared republic were interrupted with heavy footfall avstro - the German army which Skoropadsky invited for fight against the Bolshevist groups approaching from the North. At the end of April after Makhno was beaten out from Ukraine, it through Rostov, Saratov and Samara, reached Moscow. There it met Sverdlov and Lenin on whom made big impression (more, than Lenin on Makhno). The Soviet historians long hushed up the meeting fact. Constructive conversation did not turn out. Nestor was interested in Lenin`s relation to anarchism, and Lenina - as it is possible to use anarchists in fight against Germans and Skoropadsky.

The bigger impression on Makhno was made by a meeting with the theorist of anarchism Pyotr Kropotkin . That answered all interesting questions and told at parting words which Nestor remembered well: “Dedication, determination and will on the way to the planned purpose win against everything“. having Secretly returned to Gulyaypole, Makhno began armed struggle with retaliatory groups of the hetman and the German troops. To it there were peasants dissatisfied with return of landowners, elimination of democratic institutions, requisition. After one victorious fight on October 10, 1918 insurgents called the thirty-year-old commander “father“.

Makhno won thanks to original tactics and an ingenuity. He the first guessed to put on the acquaintance since the childhood the spring cart of the German colonists a machine gun of “Maxims“. So legendary “cart“ was born . Having the turning forward axis and harnessed by the four of horses, it was terrible force in fight. The military science of that time did not know such counter cavalry attacks: towards to the enemy the cavalry, and behind it - hundreds of machine-gun carts flew. Instantly, on command, the cavalry went to the parties - and the enemy crashed into a wall of machine-gun fire. Machine-gun regiments were quite effective in fight against the Don and Kuban cavalry of Denikin and Wrangel`s .

Twice in fight of against them the Father (Batko) of Makhno was an ally of Red Army. And on June 4, 1919 in Gulyaypole even Klim Voroshilov welcomed personally to award the order to Nestor of the Red Banner No. 1. Twice it was beyond the law, and its troops tried to destroy. Protecting peasants, he opposed a surplus-appropriation system, willfulness of “check“ and commissioners. In the document accepted at congress of representatives of peasants in Gulyaypole it was told: “The Soviet government the orders tries to select their freedom at local councils... Us not the elected commissioners monitor activity of councils and ruthlessly finish with undesirable. The slogan of dictatorship of the proletariat in practice means monopoly of one party“.

in the Fall of 1919 the number of groups of Makhno under black flags reached hundred thousand people. Then it concluded the alliance with Petliura, and his stab in the back of Denikin`s army considerably decided destiny of the White movement. And in a year it helped Bolsheviks to take the Crimea: makhnovets the first forced Sivash, and right after it the Red Army began against them war. Within the next ten months Makhno carried out fighting campaigns in Priazovye, to Don and the Volga region, having lost the most part of the troops.

With Denikin and Wrangel`s defeat the Red Army threw all the power on makhnovets. Having experienced defeat, Makhno on August 28, 1921 from the remains of the army - group from 77 people, it was transported through Dniester to Romania. He lived in Bucharest, then in Warsaw and there, in September, 1923 - go was arrested on a charge of preparation of revolt in the Western Ukraine, however is acquitted by court. After wanderings in Poland and Germany of veins in Torun, and in April, 1925 moved with the wife and the daughter to Paris where worked while there were forces, the turner, the printer, the shoemaker.

Nestor Makhno died in Paris on July 25, 1934. His body cremated and buried on a cemetery Per - Lashez, in a columbarium wall, at number 6686 - near the Parisian Communards.

Long time from Makhno molded the cinema ataman, impetuous in rage, not predicted, capable only of senseless acts, not connected with the people at all. Whom was he actually? Bandit? Then why it had such support of local population?

Everything remains a riddle so far. If it is possible to solve Nestor Makhno`s secret, so one more key to history of our past, or perhaps and the future will be found.