“Prostitute Trotskaya, nicknamed Mata Hari”: what children know about the revolution

The day that was previously called the holiday of the Great October Socialist Revolution, today is not called in any way. And it’s a pity – no matter how you treat this event, this is a global milestone in world history, and it should be remembered at least as an illustration to the catch phrase “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” …

We decided to find out: what do today’s children know about the 1917 revolution?

As for the younger age group of our respondents, the results here fully coincided with our expectations.

– Not revolution, but evolution, pronounce it correctly! – 6-year-old Tema, a big fan of paleontology and Darwin’s theory, said edifyingly. – This is when microbes turn first into insects, then into birds, then into dogs, then into elephants, then into monkeys and finally into people.

Oleg, who is already in first grade, shook his head condemningly:

– This is a battle of robots, don’t you know ?!

And 6-year-old Tasya replaced the lack of knowledge with logical reasoning: “This is the finale of the war that took place in October.” And it is celebrated on November 7, because it was in November that this October war ended. And 8-year-old Zhenya answered without hesitation: “Of course, I know about the revolution! This is a metro station! “

Older children, pupils of grades 4-6, offered several versions: one recalled that the tsar was shot on that day “near some stone,” another said that a world war had begun, the third gave a very lengthy wording (apparently, when he grows up , will go to officials): “This is a very great event that made us all happy and about which you must tell your children.” True, the boy could not explain what exactly the great event consisted of.

When it came to personalities, things went even worse: no one could name the main organizer of the revolution, only 11-year-old Marina said with full confidence: “Putin!” At the same time, two of the children interviewed had even been to the Mausoleum, but the man lying there did not evoke any associations with the revolution. And among the options for the name of the deposed tsar, both Peter the First and Ivan the Terrible were nominated. And only a fifth-grader Misha from an Orthodox family gave the correct answer, since he knows that there is an icon of Nicholas II.

Among 7-8-graders, the result was a little more encouraging: the majority remembered Lenin and even the monuments installed to him, however, one girl called the revolution a slave uprising, and the other shrugged her shoulders, surprised at our stupid question: “The October revolution is the one that was in October , everyone understands this! ” The 13-year-old Temir looked like a real polymath against the general background, who answered without hesitation that on that day “the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government and, together with it, all the Romanovs.” A little behind him was his contemporary Ira, who recognized Lenin and the establishment of Soviet power, and even flashed her knowledge of the famous slogan – albeit with a couple of inaccuracies: “Socialism is Soviet power plus the computerization of the entire country.”

The tenth-grader Olya, who is practically an excellent student and is generally considered a well-read girl, also correctly designated all the reference points. Therefore, I decided to ask her a question of increased complexity: does she know such characters as Zinoviev, Bukharin, Trotsky? Well, Zinoviev and Bukharin found themselves in full flight, did not evoke even a shadow of distant memories on Olya’s face, but Trotsky made him think tensely.

– I may be wrong, – the girl delicately made a slip, – but, in my opinion, your question is a tricky one: after all, not Trotsky, but Trotskaya. She was such a famous prostitute at that time.

– What was she famous for?

– She seems to have worked as a scout, and for Soviet Russia and Western countries. Although no, that Mata Hari was called. Or Mata Hari – was that her pseudonym? ..

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 28660 of November 8, 2021

Newspaper headline:
Prostitute Trotskaya nicknamed Mata Hari

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