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The following program is produced under a grant and aid from the educational radio and television centers and is distributed through the National Association of educational broadcasters and the University of Michigan proudly presents one nation indivisible. Self determination. Home Rule independence. Sovereignty. These are the catch words of one of the most powerful forces on march in the world today. Words which symbolize the desire of people everywhere. To be masters of their own political destiny. This is our story. The story
of nationalism in the twentieth century. Told in a series of 13 radio documents created by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. And now. One nation indivisible. You're. Right. This is not a mayor really is letting the high priest of communism in a recording provided especially for this program from the archives of radio Moscow. Of the two major events that have indelibly stained Russian history Russian character and Russian nationalism communism represented by Lenin is the second and we shall return to it later in the program to
find the first of these major events we must go back six hundred years back to the invasion of Baku Khan leader of the Golden Horde in the 13th century they came to Russia thundering out of the mysterious vastness of Asia. Among those scourge of the east the fighting men of Genji is Con Son of a ninth in descent from boom and sire who sprang from a blue wool treacherous irresistible cruel beyond belief among the horde engulfed Russia. And there they stayed. Not for a year or ten years nor even for a century for three hundred years they stayed in Russia while Europe trembled at the awful threat of the Mongols on their doorstep. The Russians suffered the full burden of their presence. The effects of the Mongol invasion reached every part of Russia and every class of Russian society all people became bound to the service of the state and the
prince became the autocrat. The all powerful unchallenged ruler Russia sank into a profound decline for centuries. The best craftsmen became servants of the Mongol Khans. The rest were dead. Russians borrowed Mongol words Mongol customs such as capital punishment which had been unknown to the Russians or introduced and accepted the price Russia paid for its survival was serfdom unchallenged authority of the ruler and the extinction of the principles of free government. Yet in the teeth of the Mongol invasion rose the first great hero of the Russian people it was Prince Alexander Nevsky who ruled a small community called Gouraud buried in the thick northern forests. The Mongols had come from the barren steppes to the east where the skies were crisp and the horizon a day's ride in the distance. They feared neither man nor God but the dense forest of northern Russia filled them with
awe and suspicion. The Golden Horde could have crushed Alexander Nevsky had they so desired but Netsky made it unnecessary. He quieted their distrust appease their desires and paid them tribute. So with nothing to gain by invasion the leaders of the horde left the control of the forests to Prince nest. But then on November 15th and the year 12 63 the metropolitan of lot a mayor announced. No my dear children there this son of Russia has sat. Friends Alexander who followed throughout his life to preserve this last small corner of Russia is dead. He who defended our faith in our ancient customs took ill of a disease and go to jets on the Volga.
He died with him. Die is our hope. And then 300 years of darkness settled over Russia. For three centuries the Russians lived in fear of the Golden Horde. But even during these growing centuries the small realm of bronze Nevsky gradually expanded first came Daniel who became Duke of a forest trading center called Moscow then Eve on the first and second the expanded Moscow into a large province. Then Dimitri. Great great grandson of Nevsky added domains around the upper Volga by fourteen eighty just twelve years before Columbus set sail for the West. Moscow had cautiously expanded into a center for trade did ministration and military rule in Northern Russia.
Already the Duke of Moscow was sometimes called the Grand Duke of all Russia that year of fourteen 80 the Grand Duke. Even the third took a calculated risk. For the first time he refused to pay the annual tribute to the Mongol Khans even waited expectantly. But the Mongol army did not come. The Gamble had been successful and when he won the fourth game to the throne the Russians were ready for more daring deeds. It was an heroic age throughout the known world. Elizabeth the first sat on the throne of England and her Sea Rover is probably oceans for gold and glory from Spain came adventurers like Cortez Balboa and Coronado. I ship load of men under Magellan blazed a sea lane around the earth and in Moscow there were great deeds to be done and the man to do them was Eve on the fourth Eve on that terrible kinds are fat they have
grown careless. I say I can crush them. It's a dangerous plan your highness. Only if I fail but I shall not fail. But the Mongols have enough now Mongols for three hundred years we have worried about the Mongols from now on with the Mongols what about us. Plan to attack. If I may venture an opinion I'd like to say that you may not venture an opinion from my boy as I expect decisions action we will prepare we will drown us in a sea of blood and fire. Might they not strike back even again. But we cannot risk that. And why not. Your highness must go. This city is the third Rome. This is the capital of the true faith. Rome itself follows the wrong path. Constantinople is in the hands of the Turk. What have we left. But Moscow we have a more important thing than Moscow. We have Russia.
But if you are then I would think only of the disaster that we can bring. In the year 15 52 the Mongol stronghold of Payson fell to the attack led by Eve on the Terrible. The Russian forces moved on southward. They marched 600 miles to the shores of the Caspian Sea and there captured the city of Astrakhan. Now for the first time in three centuries the Volga became a Russian River and the Mongols struck back with all their engine speed and ferocity. The Khan of Crimea launched an army toward Moscow the heart of the revolt. His army cut its way through all the resistance even could put in the way and entered the city. Russian troops fell back behind the solid walls of the Kremlin. Among those attempted to breach the defenses failed then turned their fury against the city itself. They began a systematic slaughter of the
200000 inhabitants and then they started the fires. Whole sections of the city gushed upwards in flame and smoke. Even the stock the battlements of the Kremlin watching the destruction of his capital. Among those would like us to all come out of the Kremlin to be slaughtered. But we shall not we shall keep our army intact. When the city has all ashes the Mongols will be forced to leave and then they shall be gone forever. Czar Eve on the fourth witnessed the destruction of his city. There's Moscow the third grome. But he witnessed to this during growth of Russian national spirit under his drastic guidance both the territory and the spirit of Russia blossomed again. The enemy faded away into the far east into oblivion and as his empire grow even the terrible could identify himself to Queen Elizabeth of England. And these pontifical terms taken from a communique of St.. The great lord prince of all Russia. Of lot of Mary
must. Scoff and grand great prince of the land of the chair of and the riots. And the ruler of Siberia and all northern land. Now for the first time in three centuries the Russians would rule themselves. But Russian nationalism had to face perpetual tragedy Scarcely had the Mongols withdrawn to far Asia than powerful states of Europe began to move in from the west. Among these were the poles. War broke out in October of the year 16 11 with Moscow occupied by the poles. A certain letter by the patriarch of Moscow left the city by a secret messenger.
It came to the cathedral enough to Rod and there was read to the faithful citizens of Novgorod Greetings the holy city of Moscow is occupied not only by foreigners but by heretics who have turned from the Arthur duck's faith those of us who remain in the city and appeal to you I was not going to and drew the Russian moves everywhere to members of the true faith come to our aid to liberate us from these Polish heretics. This strongly does your book in the North Quarter odd cathedral that October days out a man who seemed to be the most unlikely candidate imaginable for a 17th century national hero he was a humble meat cutter an artisan who had a small shop there enough to Rod his name was Kosmo meanin. But the words of the announcement stirred him just like the mysterious voices had once stirred Joan of Arc. And when the reader had finished
it was Kosmo mean and who rose to his feet. You have only this message from the top up Mother Russia is in danger. The holy city of Moscow lies in the hands of foreign oppress us. If we wish to save the must read Empire yeah we must spare neither our lands nor was goods joined me or whatever I own it whatever I am on this to offer for the liberation of Moscow. That is always a lot of this and put our bikes and our children to service that I see a man who will fight for the Orthodox faith and march under his band but not loose spurred by means example of people of wealth Grodd and surroundings that he has rallied and formed an army among the leaders was Prince plus husky one of the great noblemen of the day and when the army began to move these two led the way the meat cutter of Knopf garage and the prince of the realm mean an end post Tarski side by side they finally succeeded in liberating the holy city and their names were branded forever
into Russian history to this day. The statues of Kosmo mean and Prince both are skis down probably in Moscow's Red Square a monument to Russian patriotism at its best. But perhaps Moscow was created under an evil star across the ages it has suffered invasion by Mongols Swedes. Then in the early 19th century a new catastrophe. The most powerful army Europe had ever seen marched into Austria into Prussia Spain Poland it fought at Austerlitz at Reagan's burg and was everywhere victorious. I'm June 24th of the year 1812 the Grand Army of friends crossed the Nieman River into Russia its destination Moscow. The Russians fell back steadily until September 20th Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the Kremlin. A tremendous fire
broke out and engulfed the city. It raged for two days and forced the French to move their headquarters out into the country. Yes General Lauriston I summoned you. I have decided to make overtures to the side. I have completed a letter that I want you to deliver to Alexander. In this letter I described the chaotic conditions of the Russian forces still in the field. I invite them to appoint envoys to discuss peace terms. I order them to report here immediately so the issue can be settled. So I know it's true the enemy is in poor shape but we ourselves are not in the other side does not know that all that he has to know is that the Grand Army of France holds Moscow and that we order him to send peace delegates. Tell him that. Tell him Bonaparte is here and Russia is ours. So Your Majesty I am empowered by my commander the Emperor Napoleon to advise you to name envoys who will discuss terms of a just and
lasting peace between us. Now you trust Napoleon has brought many blankets with as I'm a general Lauriston blanket your majesty because without them your army in a very short time will freeze to death. General I have no need and no desire to discuss peace with Napoleon. The weather will not fight battles for you your majesty. Your army is completely defeated. You have no course open but you to go if you Napoleon can be generous. You're not talking to the Alexander of a year ago. I am Alexander of all Russians who has witnessed the wanton destruction of the most holy city in all the world. My city. I would sooner let my beard grow and live on potatoes in Siberia that talk of peace. I have not one soldier left. I will stand at the head of my gentry and my good peasants will sacrifice all the resources of my empire. Tell that to the Corsican and tell him also that before this year is out I firmly expect to hear the bells of Moscow appealing the news that the last live Frenchman has gone from Russia.
Napoleon's bluff had failed. Faced with the impossibility of wintering in the burned out city Bonaparte led his dismal army back to France and one of the most ghastly retreats in military history. On November 26 1812 five months and two days after the campaign began shattered remnants of the French army recrossed the Nieman river and in Moscow the victory celebration began. The era it was you're hearing the actual bells of Moscow specially recorded for this story. Many of them rang out the end of Bonaparte's Grand Army and rang in a thrilling new achievement of Russian patriotism. The poet Pushkin said it this way. Yeah yeah. Seuss like the chance to see if Stein you once we shall see a dreamy daughter go to glass. Rick Perry this is the sweetest all or Russia I don't I
mean the universal voice of our triumph be here throughout the land. But foreigners were not the only ones who ruptured the tranquility of Russia. The legacy of intrigue and distrust from centuries of Mongol rule left the nation wracked by internal discord and constant suspicion plots and counter plots. Palace intrigue assassination murder and revolution. These are the standard ballot boxes of Russian government at the start of our present century paralyzing inefficiency rotted out the foundations of the collapse came during World War 1 and out of it came a spontaneous revolution unplanned and unexpectedly successful. For a brief instant of history Russia truly belonged to the Russian people. But then on November 7th 1917 the Bolsheviks snatched the revolution out of the hands of the people. The mastermind and supreme oracle of this new movement
the greatest Bolshevist of them all was not a mere Lenin. Why don't you. Write. Yes this is Lenin. This is one of his speeches which set the course of modern communism. Soviet power is a new power which will make its influence felt throughout the world. For the first time the workers have obtained control of the government and economic wealth. The government has the power to develop the wealth of the nation for the workers. This is for the first time my government which is not composed of small minorities and excludes exploiters. And for this reason is popular everywhere with the workers communist freedom will soon spread on a world wide scale. Communist government will bring the workers freedom from want ignorance backwardness the fear of war and the thralls of capitalism.
We the workers will take into our own hands. The government and the development of production and the economy. Soviet power is desirable but inevitable and unbeatable. Yeah but what about communism and Russian nationalism for a comment on this question. Here is Professor George Kish of the University of Michigan. From its beginnings in 1917 the communist regime in Russia faced two alternatives. The establishment of communism was a strong going concern in Russia where the pursuit of world revolution. Lenin threw his weight behind the first of these and Stalin continued Lenin's policy. It was necessary to make communism strong within Russia. They argued before foreign adventures could be entered upon at first. Nationalism Russian nationalism was very much discredited within the Soviet Union. For example the coins in use by the Soviets then
proudly proclaimed the model world revolution proletarians of all countries unite. That model no longer appears in Soviet coins and Russian nationalists that imponderable factor that helped the Soviet Union overcome the German onslaught in 1901 that Russian nationalism is fully in an Audi. In 1941 300 German divisions had rolled across the Soviet borders and forced the Russian armies backward ever backward into the Ukraine. But in Stalin Grodd the Russian army halted turned around and dug in for the most monumental siege in modern warfare. The city was reduced to ruins. But they fought on for what. Communism and world brotherhood. This scene from Stalingrad comes from the pen of a Russian war correspondent who covered the fighting. Support of. What's this about an offensive operation. I want to capture that building I used to hold. I'll be on can your cost position and when tonight.
Tours again sober up. It's we were besieged not the Germans. When you give me some man comrade Colonel. Of course. And. The first man I'll give you support of will be myself. Bored with being on the defense. We're going to take that building a shell of a building. What's a building after all. As a matter of fact that building is an awful lot. It's it's everything. It's Russia. Russia. Can you imagine the feeling we'll have a dawn tomorrow. We've got that building more walls and not even walls or ruins. Your heart tells you to take that building today and tomorrow. Tomorrow we'll take all Russia back again. Understand support off. The important thing is to begin to begin with that building. And once we begin. We'll keep going. And we will keep going until it's all finished.
Finished and done. They're installing Brad began the surge of determination and national spirit that helped the Russians roll back the heavy German divisions back they went across the fields and meadows of the Ukrainian step across the lakes and rivers across the villages and towns and cities of Russia until in May 1945 the Russian armies joined the Allies at the River Elbe and victory in Europe was achieved once more the great victory bells rang jubilantly from the Moscow towers. The communist leaders began studying the emotional foundation of their conquests over
Germany. Not communism but love of country had saved Russia from Hitler Stalin himself showed an awareness of this in a toast he gave at the Victory banquet held in the Kremlin. I should like to drink to the health of our Soviet people. And first of all to the Russian people. I drink first of all to the Russian people because they are the most outstanding nation of all the nations forming a part of the Soviet Union and from Prague the official Communist Party newspaper came this statement in one thousand forty seven. We may say with confidence that the center of artistic culture of the world has now moved to Moscow from here mankind receives the art of the most advanced thought of great feelings of higher morality and a note where they are to straight. So the communists mindful of the ancient Russian traditions are again building the idea of Moscow as the center of the world. The third Rome concept originated as we have seen in the time of the Mongols. It applied solely to the true Russians those living close to the city of Moscow itself. But today it is
expanding throughout the entire Soviet Union and the worldwide Communist movement. Listen again to Professor George Kish there remains more than a little doubt as to the ultimate aim of communism. We have seen increasingly since World War Two communist regimes installed under the shield of that army. We have observed Soviet help financial political and military open and planned us to go into many corners of the world is communism to be triumphant and strong in the Soviet Union supported by Russian nationalism is communism to be victorious the world over. This is an argument of forty years duration on the outcome of this argument depends much of our own future and that of the rest of the world. Each year to stir the hearts of the Russian people to keep the adrenaline of national pride
flowing through the veins of the country a mighty celebration is staged along Red Square in Moscow. This is an actual recording made on the scene. The band they are craft fly overs the massive parade of tanks rocket battalions and infantry flags snapping in the breeze and behind it all the rust colored walls of the Kremlin a monument to Russian survival since the days of the Mongol horde. This then has been the course of Russian nationalism an incredibly powerful force for rallying the people in the past half century. Russia has lived through two of the greatest wars in history. She has rebuilt her industry her cities her railroads. She has made striking cultural and military advances and in science in
one thousand fifty seven she launched the first manmade Earth satellite. She has been able to do all this because of the fundamental pride of our people in their land their history and their nation. And because of their belief that given time they could match wits and ability with the best. That is a Soviet challenge to the world. And the heart and core of Soviet Communism is Russia. They're going. One nation indivisible. One of a series of thirteen radio documents
on nationalism in the twentieth century. Resource advisable this program was Dr. George of the University of Michigan. The program was written by William Bender Jr. narrated by Lou Hamers. We wish to acknowledge the cooperation of Radio Moscow for providing special recordings. The program was directed by William stag and was produced and transcribed by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. One nation indivisible is produced underground in aid from the educational radio and television center and is distributed through the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the Radio Network. Of
when. And where. I.
One nation indivisible
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University of Michigan
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Russia: The national tradition is adapted to the demands of Soviet doctrine.
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A documentary series about nationalism in the 20th century.
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Global Affairs
Politics and Government
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Narrator: Hemmers, Lou
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Subject: Lenin, Vladimir Il_ich, 1870-1924
Writer: Bender, William, Jr.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-17-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:00?
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Chicago: “One nation indivisible; Russia,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2023,
MLA: “One nation indivisible; Russia.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2023. <>.
APA: One nation indivisible; Russia. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from