Nestor Makhno

(biography, photos, videos) Makhno

photo of Nestor Makhno

  • Name: Nestor Makhno ( Makhno )
  • Date of birth: 7 November 1888
  • Age: 45 years
  • Date of death: 6 Jul 1934
  • Place of birth: huliaipole, Yekaterinoslav governorate, Russian Empire
  • Activities: a political and military activist, anarchist
  • Marital status: divorced was

    Nestor Makhno: a biography

    Legendary Makhno – colorful and controversial figure in Russian history, a convinced anarchist and an ardent fighter.

    Childhood and adolescence

    Born Nestor Makhno in the huliaipole village (now Zaporozhye region), on 7 November 1888. The boy’s parents were poor peasants, father Ivan Rodionovich worked for Mr. coachman, mother Evdokia Matveevna led house and took care of the children: Nestor was the youngest of five sons.

    Nestor Makhno in his youth
    Nestor Makhno in his youth

    With the death of the father, the family orphaned, the children have lost their sole breadwinner. The youngest of the brothers, too, had hard times. Reaching the age of seven, the boy was hired to day work: herding the cattle, rotten to the landlords. Despite that Nestor had four years to study at the parish school, where he gave eight years.

    Prison and anarchy

    In 1903, the young man worked at the iron foundry. In 1906, Makhno was arrested for carrying weapons but released him under age. In this period the future chieftain acquainted with the concept of anarchism, anarchy forever becomes his Muse.

    Joining the «Free Union of anarchists-farmers» Nestor Makhno took part in many terrorist acts related to the expropriation of the property of the landlords and rich peasants. In 1910, members of the group were tried. The military court of the city of Ekaterinoslav (now Dnepropetrovsk) sentenced the anarchists-terrorists to various terms of hard labor (according to others, the death penalty).

    Nestor Makhno
    Nestor Makhno |

    Nestor Makhno was sentenced to 20 years hard labor. For some time Makhno was kept in prison Ekaterinoslav, then transferred to the Moscow Butyrka. Here he met the anarchist by Arshinova, which had a considerable influence on young neighbor cell.

    In the Butyrka Nestor did not lose time in vain: he not only absorbed the foundations of the ideology gleaned from senior colleagues in the struggle, but he was self-educated, read lots of books on political economy, history, studied mathematics, grammar, Russian literature. Released from prison, Makhno together with Arshinova in March 1917, under the Amnesty in honor of the February revolution. In addition to the knowledge and experience of the prisoner made the conclusion and a terrible acquisition – consumption, which killed him after many years.

    Political and military career: the beginning

    In the biography of Makhno, there are many inaccuracies. Over time, his companions were killed, and the evidence of its activities in Ukraine is quite controversial. However, its role in the war, the Civil war cannot be underestimated, though, and he walked in the implementation of its anarchic ideals of the corpses.

    Nestor Makhno
    Nestor Makhno in the army | However

    When he returned after imprisonment in huliaipole, Nestor was in the whirlpool of revolutionary events. Him, «the victim for what is right», the villagers elected Chairman of the peasant Union and the local village Council. With the participation of Ukraine in the autumn of 1917 from Alexander parish, drove the representatives of the Provisional government and established Soviet power. In 1918, as representative of the Gulyai-pole revolutionary Committee, he participated in absensce of the conference of the revolutionary committees and Councils.

    The establishment of the new government have prevented the invasion of the invaders: in the summer of 1918 the Austro-German troops occupied Ukraine. This time can be considered the beginning of a military career Makhno, because that’s when the rebels first joined a partisan unit under his leadership. The detachment fought against the Germans and against the Ukrainian nationalists. In revenge, the authorities dealt with the elder brother of Nestor and burned the house where his mother lived.

    Nestor Makhno I. Pavlo Dibenko
    Nestor Makhno and Pavel Dybenko | KDKV

    Then, in may 1918 Nestor Makhno arrived in Moscow, where he personally met with Vladimir Lenin and Sverdlov, as well as with the leaders of the party of anarchists. A meeting with the leadership of the Soviet regime has not brought anything good, but at the Moscow conference of anarchists was developed by the tactics of the struggle against the invaders in Ukraine. Armed with fake documents, Makhno went home for the organization of the rebel army.

    «Like a father»

    All his life Makhno was an endless struggle. Recognizing correct some positions of the Bolsheviks, he wasn’t at peace with their desire to «subjugate the whole of the revolution and its achievements». At the same time, he concluded a temporary truce with the Soviet government, fighting against the white guards and interventionists.

    Nestor Makhno has become a living ideal for anarchists all over the world. He managed to create his own state within a state, to arrange a commune in the cities subject to him, to produce, to open schools, trade unions, and to create conditions for a peaceful life of ordinary people, without neglecting the principles of anarchy.

    Nestor Makhno
    Nestor Makhno | Gogomuz

    His army was a significant force on the political map of the former Russian Empire within a few years, but especially revered Makhno Ukrainian Jews, after all the riots and looting was only of the landlords, and nationalism in the ranks of the rebel army was severely punished, up to execution.

    The activities of Makhno in the Ukraine during the Civil war may be summarized by the following theses:

    • in 1918, he formed an Alliance with the red Army and fought against the troops under the command of Petlura;
    • in 1919 father again teamed up with the Bolsheviks and fought with the troops of Denikin;
    • May 29, 1919, broke the agreement with the Bolsheviks, announced the elimination of «Makhnovshchina»;
    • in July-December 1919 waged a guerrilla war against the white army, then again supported the «red», broke through the front of the whites and took the city huliaipole, Berdyansk, Nikopol, Melitopol and Yekaterinoslav;
    • in 1920, Makhno once again came into conflict with the Bolsheviks, but rejected the proposals of Wrangel on the establishment of the Union;
    • in September 1920 was held the regular reconciliation of the father with «red», further – participation in the Crimean campaign;
    • after defeating the whites in the Crimea Makhno refused to join the red army, the Bolsheviks destroyed almost all his troops;
    • at the end of 1920 father assembled a new fifteen-thousand army and waged a guerrilla war in the Ukraine, but the forces were unequal, and in August 1921, Makhno’s closest associates have crossed the border with Romania.

    Emigration and personal life

    The Soviet authorities Romania was not given, however, Makhno, together with his wife and associates were placed in a concentration camp. From there, Makhno fled to Poland, then to Danzig, and France. Only in Paris they managed to live a peaceful life. Local anarchists and other freedom-loving citizens took part in the fate of the legendary leader, providing him help.

    Nestor Makhno with his daughter
    Nestor Makhno / daughter | tvnz

    Especially made friends with the Nestor of the American anarchist Alexander Berkman, who eventually found the funds for the funeral of a great revolutionary. Makhno’s death was the result of a chronic disease, podrachivala his health since the days of hard labor. Cause of death – consumption. Died Nestor in a Paris hospital on 6 July 1934. Makhno’s grave is in the cemetery of Pere-Lachaise.

    About the personal lives of Nestor Makhno legends: without a doubt, the ataman of an army of thousands could afford any pleasure. At a fairly nondescript as the contemporaries of the appearance (although in the photo it looks bright person), low growth, the frail figure of a woman loved him. Loved and feared, because they, like his soldiers, brought in awe of his father’s gaze, cold, calculating, shrill.

    Nestor Makhno with his family
    Nestor Makhno’s wife Halyna Kuzmenko and daughter | Project Poltavka

    His first wife, Anastasia Vasetskii where Nestor got married after leaving prison, the marriage didn’t work out. They had a son, but died soon after, and the couple broke up. But the second wife of Makhno, Galina Kuzmenko passed him hand in hand throughout the war, emigration and camps. They say that she herself participated in the massacres and executions, finding such a life is a special pleasure. In Paris they have a daughter Elena, but Galina, unable to bear the plight, took the girl and left her husband.

    A Monument To Nestor Makhno
    A monument to Nestor Makhno | IO.UA

    In 2009, huliaipole was a monument to Nestor Makhno, it shot about a dozen films, written a lot of novels, studies, memoirs, and Nestor is the author of several books of memoirs. Latest on the domestic screens out the series «Nine lives of Nestor Makhno» with Paul Derevianko in the title role.


    Nestor Makhno

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