Calm during the Storm

On display is a real photo postcard, which sees a photo printed onto a postcard backing.  Below the image is the legend ‘Peaceful demonstration on 17 December 1917 in Petrograd’.  Demonstrators bear banners supporting the Soviets and also banners praising peace; the recent armistice would doubtless have been a cause of celebration here.  Russia’s involvement in World War One was largely over, but now new fronts were opening across the old empire as the civil war took hold.

Visible in the background here is St Michael’s Castle, which allows us to determine that this part of the 1917 demonstration took place along the eastern edge of St Petersburg’s Field of Mars. Having been a site for military exercises and victory memorials, the park took on a bleaker significance in 1917 as the dead of the February and October Revolutions were buried there in mass graves.

Mirnaia manifestatsiia 17 dekabria 1917 g. v Petrogradie (1917?)  Cooke.Postcards