because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rozaliia Zemliachka

One's view of Rozaliia Zemliachka would depend largely upon which side of the Russian Revolution of 1917 one was on, but certainly she was an in-your-face woman. Born in 1876, she joined the Communist Party in Russia when she was twenty-years-old and shortly found herself allied with in-your-face woman Vera Zasulich' newspaper-driven movement entitled Iskra. Described by her peers as commanding, energetic, and hard-working, Zemliachka was also often referred to as "tactless," which meant that many found her unbearably driven and far too demanding for their taste.

More to the point, however, was the fact that Zemliachka was eventually called "the hardest of the hard" Bolsheviks against those she considered "enemies of the people." Stories  about the woman some called "Demon" included brutally violent descriptions of people being burned alive or loaded on barges and drowned, especially in Crimea, where those still supporting the monarchy were crushed by the Bolsheviks. By the time Stalin had taken over and implemented his own bloody purges, Zemliachka was the only woman he trusted anywhere near the top of his governmental organization.

Regardless how anyone feels about her or her legacy, though, Zemliachka was buried with honors at Red Square on the Kremlin Wall, having believed to the end that the brutalities committed and the terrible sacrifices made would be shown eventually to be worth it all. Sometimes in-your-face women are correct in their assumptions. Sometimes they are not. Those who come after them may judge.

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