This historic walking tour is organised by the Marx Memorial Library in collaboration with Russian Revolution Centenary Committee (1917.org.uk) and East End Walks (eastendwalks.com)
The tremors from the Russian Revolution of 1917 were felt across the world, including here in Britain. They had a special resonance in the East End of London which, from the early 1880s, was home to large numbers of Jewish immigrants and refugees who fled persecution and discrimination in the Tsarist Russian Empire. Many of them retained contact with the ‘old’ country, and helped to organise meetings and marches here to publicise, protest and campaign about what was happening there. Other non-Jewish Russians, including Stepniak, Kropotkin, Chicherin and Lenin, came to London as political exiles and spoke at rallies and other events in the East End. Many Russian revolutionaries stayed temporarily in the East End when London hosted the congresses of the Russian Revolutionary party in 1903, 1905 and 1907. Other radicals from the Russian Empire hit the headlines when they were holed up in a dramatic siege in Sidney Street in 1911. When conscription came in during the First World War, many Jews were alarmed at the prospect of joining an army allied with the Russian Tsar. They won support for their plight from significant radical political figures locally but encountered hostility from local “patriots". When the revolution happened in 1917, there was great excitement and anticipation in the East End and a significant number returned to take part in the revolution.
This 2.5 hour walk, led by David Rosenberg, takes you you through the stories of these people and these dramatic events.