7 March (23 February) 1894 was born a warlord, member of the civil war in Primorye Sergey G. Lazo (1894 - May 1920).
At the turn of the 19-20 of centuries, the Russian Empire was experiencing hard times, not only the epoch changed, the state itself changed. Its essence was completely different by the first quarter of the new 20 century. Together with the breaking of the fundamental foundations of government, the worldview of people also changed. It was one of the bloodiest and hardest periods of ours. storiesbut it was also the exit of the country to a new stage of development. Many will argue that the revolution was the Empire is not needed, but this opinion can not be considered true. Any global process always ripens deeply in the roots of a political system, and if its development has begun, it will inevitably result in some significant event. The revolution, whether it is bad or good, could not but be accomplished, since objective reality itself required it. We will not discuss the consequences of the activities of the Bolsheviks, but turn to the real personalities of that time in order to understand what our homeland lived and breathed in this difficult time.
In 1894, in a rich Lazo family, a boy was born who was expected to have a happy future and a long comfortable life. Bessarabia was one of the blessed corners of the empire, so Sergei Lazo spent his carefree adolescence days among lush gardens in an atmosphere of peace and well-being. Like any child from a wealthy noble family, Sergey Georgievich studied at a higher educational institution. Parents expected from their son diligent study at the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology, and then at the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the prestigious Imperial Moscow University, but the young man was burning with ideas of democracy and equality. His thoughts were wholly captured by Marx and Engels, and his heart was striving for revolutionary-minded youth.
According to contemporaries, Sergey Georgievich was a modest, cheerful and benevolent man. His eyes glowed with enthusiasm, but as soon as he spoke on the subject of government and class struggle, steel began to sound in his voice. He was a man of very firm convictions, principled and noble to the depths of his soul. A heightened sense of justice and selfless loyalty to the fatherland determined his entire fate.
Fortunately, fragments of photographs of that time are preserved. On the yellowed, wasted pictures of time, you can see a young boy in an inconspicuous military uniform of that period. His slightly plump cheeks and large eyes, framed by thick dark eyebrows, do not at all correspond to the image of brave officers who terrified their enemies. Lazo was surprisingly natural, perhaps it was precisely this that allowed him to subsequently gain infinite trust from his subordinates, who not only carried out all his commands, but also were ready to die for their commander.
Lazo belonged to the elite component of the revolutionaries, but was no less faithful to his ideas and, perhaps, more sincere in his desire to create a better state and society. From 1916, a young nobleman was mobilized into the army, where he was given the rank of ensign, and then lieutenant. Lazo received the high title, however, not at all due to his noble birth, but as a result of the successful graduation of the Alexander Infantry School.
It was in the army that the political activity of Sergey Georgievich began in the party of the Social Revolutionaries.
In the 15 Siberian reserve rifle regiment, Lazo meets with political exiles. His romantic nature is quickly fascinated by the ideas of equality and justice, and his strong character makes him one of the most ardent commanders who promote republican ideas. As an officer of the 10-th company, he actively conducts revolutionary propaganda among the repaired and already during the February events clearly show their position. In the first revolution, Lazo was one of the first officers to defend the council of workers' deputies in Krasnoyarsk. In addition, it was he who arrested the local administration: the governor of Gololobov and other officials of the local opposition administration.
Already in 1917, Sergey Georgievich has such confidence from the population that he is elected as a deputy to the city council, and during the October revolution takes power in Krasnoyarsk under his control. In many ways, the successful seizure of the telegraph and other administrative buildings in Krasnoyarsk, Lazo owed his soldiers and the respect they had for him.
Sergey Georgievich, despite his young age, was a highly respected commander. Educated, ambitious, strong, with leadership qualities, he was the epitome of the perfect red officer. He saw the leader of the Russian revolution only once in his twenty years, but for a long time he retained his image in his heart and words in memory. Decisiveness and devotion to the ideas of the revolution allowed him to become the author of a historical telegram about the triumph of Soviet power in Krasnoyarsk. After a short work in the soldiers section, Lazo is nominated to become a member of Tsentrosibiri, and he remains in Irkutsk.
The end of 1917 of the year is considered the beginning of the civil war, in which Sergey Georgievich sided with the Bolsheviks and participated in the suppression of the rebels in Omsk and Irkutsk. Successful actions to block the first unrest made Lazo the commandant of Irkutsk. A heightened sense of justice and revolutionary romance has repeatedly come up against counter incomprehension. The young man of noble blood fought for the right of the peasant and worker to live and work freely, and also rejected not only the king, but also the entire capitalist world, to which, in fact, he himself belonged.
In February 1918, the Bolsheviks trusted Lazo Trans-Baikal army, aimed at fighting the gangs of counter-revolutionary Semenov. The civil war covers the whole country with its flames, and the loyalty and authority of the red commanders is the only thing that Moscow hopes for in this terrible and bloody battle. The main task of the young commander in chief was to inflict a crushing defeat on the counter-revolutionary movement in a given territory. Simultaneously with his appointment, Sergei Georgievich joined the ranks of the Bolsheviks, forever abandoning the political program and convictions of the Social Revolutionaries.
However, the power of the Soviet government in the East was not as strong as in the central regions of Russia. In 1918, the councils finally lost their influence in the territory, and Lazo went underground. In order to justify Sergey Georgievich’s commanding qualities, it should be said that he couldn’t defeat his enemy Semenov in principle. First, the Trans-Baikal army consisted mainly of proletarians, poor people, and the local poor who were not accustomed to carry out the tasks assigned and to obey orders. In addition, the contingent had the character of a criminal, to eliminate which in a short time was simply impossible. Secondly, the population of the Far East more supported Semenov’s counter-revolutionary views, since for the most part it consisted of well-to-do peasants, whose position was much easier than in the Central Region. As a result, the army was defeated, but Lazo was able to escape.
In the period of confrontation with Semenov's gang, Sergey Georgievich met his love. Black-browed, beautiful Khokhlushka - this is how contemporaries describe Commander Lazo’s wife. Olga Grabova became his wife shortly before the army was clamped into the ring. Together the spouses fled and began underground work.
There were legends about Sergey Georgievich's eloquence. Yes, it was not for nothing that the institute was finished, and then the university, it was not for nothing that mountains of books and magazines were read. Speaking Lazo knew how. For example, 31 January 1920, on the street of Vladivostok, sounded his famous speech about the Russian land and loyalty to it. Lazo spoke about how the Bolsheviks are fighting for a bright future for all, and not just in the interests of the propertied classes. Much was said then to the townspeople, and the words touched the heart of each. The speech had an effect on the audience, largely due to the fact that the speaker believed in what he was talking about. Kolchak's deputy Rozanov was overthrown.
For his successful partisan activities in the enemy’s territory, as well as for past successes, Sergey Georgievich receives a responsible post as deputy chairman of the Military Council of the Provisional Government in the Far East. However, the merits of Lazo were noticed not only by the Bolsheviks. For his head, an old opponent, Semenov, established a large reward, the killing of a young red officer was a matter of honor for the counterrevolutionaries.
In the 1920 year after the occupation of the Red Army units of Vladivostok, his former allies, the anarchists Nina Lebedeva and Jacob Tryapitsyn, actively intervene in the affairs of Lazo. These figures are very vividly described by contemporaries. Nina Lebedeva differed bad temper, rude habits with a criminal bias, as well as rudeness and pronounced stupidity. Contrary to the opinion of the young commander, they declare Vladivostok a Soviet Republic and begin to terrorize the local population. The criminalization of the decayed parts of the Trans-Baikal Army reaches its apogee. Most of the Red Army are bandits, frankly engaged in robbery, murder and violence.
In the city, according to some estimates, it was from 20 to 30 -thousands of Japanese soldiers, who in the early stages watched what was happening quite peacefully. However, after another bloody terror, which Lazo could not cope with, the Japanese command decided to stop what was happening. In respect of the commander in chief, an order was issued to arrest him and transfer him into the hands of the White Guards.
Sergey Georgievich made the main mistake - he allowed the anarchists to lead a distraught crowd into which the once valiant fighters of the Red Army had become. In addition, his short-sighted behavior on the eve of his arrest played a role. An entire regiment of Japanese soldiers was massacred in Nikolayevsk. Lazo, most likely, understood that in the near future, the local population, or interventionists based in the city, which were significantly superior to the Bolsheviks in number, would be forced to take retaliatory actions. However, he did not take care of his elementary security, and this determined the course of further events.
On the night of 5 on April 1920, Sergey Georgievich was arrested by Japanese soldiers, and already 9, together with Sibirtsev and Lutsky, was sent in an unknown direction. Sergey's wife, Olga, tried in vain to get information from the Japanese command about her husband's whereabouts; all the information turned out to be false and not confirmed. From this point on, the further fate of the young revolutionary can be judged only by conjectures and unverified testimonies.
It is believed that Lazo was handed over to the Japanese for a fee and burned alive in the furnace of a locomotive. However, today there are many different views on this matter. Someone, for example, argues that it is almost impossible to burn a living person in a firebox, because the hole for coal is too small. According to the testimony of an unknown machinist, they burned three people, wrapped in sackcloth, after their execution. In any case, the death of Lazo was associated with the actions of the White Guards and was in the nature of violence.
The memory of Lazo was immortalized in the national memory by a pedestal on which a locomotive of a later modification was mistakenly installed. As a result, many researchers have doubts about the veracity of the official interpretation of the death of the commander.
Today we consider the fate of Sergei Georgievich as one of the elements of the history of the civil war. True to the ideals of Bolshevism, Lazo did not think about the future, he simply served his Fatherland for the sake of that bright and fair future that was promised to him and in which he believed. The short 26 years of his life are devoted to the well-being of his country, and we can rightly be proud of our valiant ancestor who fought for the freedom and happiness of his people.