Women of War

S3 E1: The Mother in Exile–Alexandra Sokolovskaya, the Creator of the Soviet Union

April 27, 2022

Welcome back (or welcome for the first time) to Women of War, and an episode with all the horrors of the Russian Revolution, the cruelties of the Tsarist regime, the horrors of the Russian Civil War, the cruelties of the Bolshevik regime AND the absence of women from the historical narrative! Yay! Let's put this woman back in the narrative, stop wasting time on tears, she (did not) live another fifty years...

This episode - meet one of the most influential women in modern history, who you’ve probably never heard of. Hear about Alexandra Sokolovskaya, the wife of some mildly interesting dude originally known as Lev Bronstein, and her struggle to bring an equal and socialist state to the Russian Empire. Spoilers: It did not work.

Thanks to Dorian (here’s his twitter) for voicework on this episode as the voices of Lev Bronstein and Varlam Shalamov. Dorian is a queer-, disability- and trans- rights activist and artist based in Melbourne. He also has a kofi: https://ko-fi.com/sindesiecle

This episode contains references to or discussion of torture, war crimes and atrocities committed by the Bolsheviks, the Red Army, and Stalin, mass executions, starvation, anti-Semitism, frostbite, suicide, imprisonment, exile, mental illness, and murder. 

It also contains naughty language and so may not be suitable for all listeners. We put this warning in for the Americans, really. And Nicola’s parents. 

The views put forth in this podcast are not representative of our employers. This episode was recorded before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies.

The quotes by Leon Trotsky were taken and slightly adapted from his autobiography, “My Life: An Attempt at an Autobiography.” The Gulag quotes were lifted and edited from the Varlam Shalamov website https://shalamov.ru/en/library/34/ , which is funded in part by the Russian government (ew). 

If you’re here because you’re studying Revs in VCE, nice work on looking for extra resources! Send this to three friends to gain luck from the Gods of VCAA.

Wanna learn some more stuff? Check out these fun videos for primers on the Russian Revolution. 

Mark Steele’s Revolution series, which kicked off Nicola’s interest in Alexandra many moons ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP8pUEmm1RI

The Complete History of the Soviet Union…to the tune of Tetris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWTFG3J1CP8

And the classic, the award-winning…the now slightly dated....Epic Rap Battle between Rasputin and Stalin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT2z0nrsQ8o

For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Sign up to our newsletter at womenofwarpod.com/subscribe to get notified of the newest episodes plus all the cool things we couldn’t fit into the episode.

Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com

Sound Effects by ZapSplat.com

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