Capri: February 3, 1912.
2 pp. typed manuscript on paper, in Russian, 1 p. autograph cover letter, in English, with a typed English translation of the manuscript. 4to. “creating … a new and irreconcilable enemy in Persia”. Very light foxing, overall very good. Item #252028
Frederick Whelen was a member of the Persia Committee, which was a group formed in opposition to Britain's policy toward Persia in the wake of the 1907 Anglo-Russian treaty, which crushed the nascent constitutionalist movement and divided Iran into Engish and Russian “spheres of influence.”
Early in 1912, when Russian troops invaded northern Iran, ostensibly to restore order, Whelan invited Gorky, via Prince V. Bariatinsky, to comment on the “Persian trouble”; Gorky responds with this manuscript, arguing that the Russian government’s invasion is inhumane, futile, and “is creating, by its senseless conduct, a new and irreconcilable enemy in Persia for the Russian people. Moreover, the conduct of the Russian troops in Persia is serving to strengthen the spread of Orthodox Pan-Islamism, which rejects the creative ideas and principles fostered in Europe, and in this way the Russian Government's actions are injurious to the interests of European culture ... I cannot see what ideas useful to the Persians the Russian Bureaucracy can possibly introduce. Finally I think that the seizure of Persia has been due not so much to the interests of Russian capital as to the desire of the Dynasty of the Romanoffs to give to their people a new extensions of territory and by so doing to commemorate the 300th anniversary of their own establishment in Russia. This tercentenary—as it is well known, is fictitious, and this gift will develop into a source of misfortune for the Russian people, for it is impossible to believe that Persia will reconcile herself to the enslavement which threatens her”.
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