“These bullets were fired at me but I’m alive and you’re lying without breathing”

100 years ago, in 1917, an attempt was made at the Berlin Philharmonic, where a conference was held by one of the key ministers of the former Russian Provisional Government – Minister of Foreign Affairs and leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party Pavel Milyukov. by two monarchist conspirators – Pyotr Shabelsky-Bork and Sergey Taboritsky. As a result of the attack and shooting, Milyukov was not injured, but while trying to detain the conspirators, his longtime partymate and also the father of the future famous writer Vladimir Nabokov, Vladimir Nabokov Sr. died.

The conference given by Milyukov, who had returned from Washington the day before, on March 28, 1922, in which he, together with other representatives of the Provisional Government, participated in the work of an international conference on the limitation of naval weapons and on the problems of the Far East. and the Pacific Ocean, called the “Restoration of America and Russia.” About 1200 people gathered to listen to him. The two main leaders of the Cadets – Pavel Milyukov and Vladimir Nabokov – long diverged in exile: the first began to retreat towards an alliance with the left, the second occupied more right, partially nationalist positions. They also dispersed geographically – Milyukov settled in Paris, Nabokov – in Berlin.

However, the old comrades had great respect for each other, and on the eve of the conference there was a tendency towards reconciliation, by the way, Nabokov received a nominal invitation to the lecture and sat on the front lines.

“In just a few minutes, we met very amicably after a painful political break. When I arrived in Berlin, I read your heartfelt greetings to me. I knew him as an old and loyal friend under the guise of an unconventional political dissident. Words of reconciliation were spoken. We kissed. Who would have thought that his kiss would be goodbye? Milyukov later wrote an article entitled “In Memory of an Old Friend” published in Nabokov’s newspaper Rul’. The day before, in the same newspaper, Nabokov placed the text “On the advent of PN to mean PN” and recommended Milyukov himself as “one of the greatest and most authoritative figures of the Russians”.

After the end of the lecture, some kind of “black-headed” man suddenly stood up, as it turned out later, Shabelsky stepped towards Milyukov, shouting something like: “This is the tsar’s revenge” – here are the options in the memories, some of them, the conspirator “State” He claims he shouted about revenge for “insulting the empress in the Duma” and then fired two shots, but missed both times. Milyukov was immediately knocked down by the doctor Alexander Asnes, and panic immediately broke out in the hall, many rushed to the exit.

Attacking a man with only a pistol and trying to disarm him, first pulling the gun out of him, and then leaning with his whole body against the shooter, Nabokov did not lose his head. However, there were two conspirators, and the second, Taboritsky, shot Nabokov three times in the back to save his comrade. One of these bullets hit the politician’s heart.

Then Taboritsky went to the wardrobe, took his outer clothes and was already approaching the exit from the building when a woman identified him as the murderer, after which Taboritsky was twisted by the crowd. In addition to Nabokov, who died at the scene, nine others, including the head of the Berlin Milyukov group of the Cadet Party, and one of the editors of the Rul newspaper, Lev Elyashev, were wounded by the indiscriminate gunfire during the assassination attempt. Kaminka and doctor Alexander Asnes.

The first of the attackers, Shabelsky, was detained while he was still in the hall. Both killers were handed over to the police, who immediately arrived at the scene. A medical examination showed that the detainees had been using drugs systematically and had taken a strong dose on the day of the assassination attempt.

Milyukov, who was not injured in the attack, wrote to his already dead friend: “These bullets were written for me, but I am alive and you are lying without breathing. A small red dot below the heart, two identical dots on the back. Three bullets fired by a mad fanatic were all it took to shatter the slender, graceful container made of precious alloy and transform it into an inert mass. You wanted to hold the murderer’s hand and you became the victim of your noble act… A voice directed directly at me from ten paces from the barrel of a pistol, two rounds of fire passing by, followed by a general skirmish and my fall, my friend, who suddenly took a bullet, shot at me; Three new quick shots, and a few minutes later your motionless corpse in the next room with the arm thrown back, the fixed eyes and this little red dot under the heart.

Such a tragic death of a popular politician, journalist and legal scholars shocked all Russian emigration. Immediate responses came from representatives of almost all political movements and famous writers – Alexander Amfiteatrov, Ivan Bunin, Alexander Kuprin and Dmitry Merezhkovsky.

Kuprin wrote of Nabokov a “calm, confident restraint” that “creates an external impression of coldness and aloofness, and behind him a great Russian spirit, controlled by a clear mind, a faithful, noble heart and a strong will and training habits. … Without ordinary pompous words, but without hesitation, he went where his mind, conscience and unpretentious instinct of chivalry led him. Thus he died, hastening towards inevitable death, unarmed, driven only by a momentary sense of necessity – to intervene in evil and vile affairs.

Vladimir Nabokov, Jr., who had just gained his first fame at the time and had his first stories published under a pseudonym in his father’s newspaper Rul, took this occasion to “Easter. On the death of a father”:

“I see a shining cloud, a roof
shines like a mirror in the distance… I hear it
How shadow breathes and how light drips…
So why aren’t you? you died and today
the moist earth shines, the spring of the Lord is coming,
grows, calls … You are not there … “

Milyukov and Nabokov always had a lot in common – both were excellent orators, intellectuals, popular publishers, teachers of metropolitan universities who entered the revolution, occupied liberal positions, sharply polemicized with the tsarist authorities, and were therefore subject to repression. , managed to both visit high positions and sit in prisons for a short time – both under tsarist and Soviet power. Many of his remarks, uttered during the magnificent speeches from the lectern, were scattered in aphorisms and are still remembered.

Miliukov was most pronounced on 1 November 1916 from the rostrum of the Fourth State Duma, II. war.

One of the famous quotes goes back to Nabokov and remains relevant to this day, he is remembered when it comes to the principle of separation of powers. Vladimir Dmitrievich delivered a speech on May 13, 1906, referring to the government’s refusal to come to terms with the Duma on the most important issues of political life, which concluded: The demands of popular representation, but their critics and denials, so we can say only one thing in terms of the principle of popular representation. : Let the executive power submit to the power of the legislature.

The case in the Shabelsky and Taboritsky case was later featured in the same newspaper Rul; It took place on July 3-7, 1922, at the Berlin Criminal Court in Moabit. The jury sentenced Taboritsky to 14 years in prison for complicity in the attempted assassination of Milyukov, and Shabelsky-Bork was given 12 years for murdering Nabokov. Although the murderers were officially sent to one of Germany’s worst prisons in Brandenburg an der Havel, their regime was relatively comfortable compared to other prisoners, and already in the spring of 1927 they were both released under an amnesty and even more willingly. He cooperated with the Nazis by raising their heads.

Taboritsky, hiding his mother’s Jewish ancestry, joined the NSDAP in 1942, proud of the Milyukov initiative, “leader of Jewish democracy” and “hating Germany”, and in Germany in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” In 1939, he became the founder of the National Organization of Russian Youth – NORM, similar to the Hitler Youth and under the control of the SS. He fled Berlin in the last days of the war and later lived in German Limburg. In his autobiography, Memory, Speak, author Vladimir Nabokov describes his father’s murderer as “Hitler’s World War II”.

With the arrival of Hitler, Shabelsky-Bork was also carried away by the ideas of Nazism, organically mixed with monarchism in his head, became General Vasily Biskupsky, Secretary of the Department of Russian Immigration in Berlin, as well as General Anton Turkul, Deputy Head of the Russian National Union of War Participants. He immigrated to Argentina after World War II.

On March 28, 1922, in Berlin, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Provisional Government and the leader of the Cadet Party, famously “Stupid or treasonous?” There was an attempt to assassinate Pavel Milyukov, the author of the phrase. Milyukov himself survived, but while trying to disarm the conspirators – Shabelsky-Bork and Taboritsky – Milyukov’s party member, a well-known politician and publisher, legal scholar and writer, Vladimir Nabokov, father of Vladimir Nabokov, died.

Source: Gazeta


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