Military Review

Bomb in the cafe Libman: no-motivated terror

In the early twentieth century, all kinds of revolutionary parties and movements flourished in the Russian Empire. Among them were those that proclaimed terrorist activity as their main tactical line. But if the Social Revolutionaries and most of the anarchists still sought to carry out their terrorist acts “targeted”, guided by understandable motives of revenge on a particular leader or replenishing their cash in case of expropriation, then part of the anarchists who professed the most radical ideas and were considered, as they would say now, “frostbitten ", Called for non-motivated terror - that is, attacks on any people, shops, cafes, restaurants. The only explanation was the principle of “cumulative guilt” of all members of the “philistine layers” in the exploitation of the social lower classes and the support of the existing system (although the victims of the terrorist attacks could not maintain, but they could be very indirectly connected with the exploitation workers).

Ravachol and "ravasholevschina"

For Russian non-motivators, one of the “idols” was a French anarchist - the terrorist Ravachol. In fact, his name was Francois Claudius Königstein. The son of a German who settled in France, Ravachol was just a classic lumpen proletarian. He worked with eight years in all sorts of non-prestigious work - a shepherd, miner, boiler maker, apprentice dyer. Obviously, from an early age, he harbored a deep anger at the world around him. Not having received a profession, in adulthood Ravachol was interrupted by odd jobs. He played the accordion for dancing, smuggled in alcohol, and was involved in counterfeiting.

In the 1890 year, at the age of 30, he was arrested for theft. After being released from prison, he moved to the commission of the crimes of the lowest degree. So, he opened the grave of Countess Rochetel, hoping to profit from the jewels from the body of a noble deceased, but he did not find any jewels. Then a month later he killed the 93-year-old hermit Brunel. This old man was a professional beggar and, according to Ravachol, had to accumulate a certain state by his begging activity. For the murder of the old man Ravachol was arrested, but escaped from prison. After escaping, Ravachol "went to the bottom" and engaged in terrorist activities, joining anarchists. In March, 1892, he arranges a series of explosions against police facilities, then finally goes to non-motivated terror. He blew up a bomb on the second floor of a residential building, then recruited a waiter from a Parisian restaurant. A bomb in a restaurant exploded just before the trial of the criminal. Ravachol was already detained when his accomplice waiter blew up the restaurant, killing the owner and client of the establishment. Initially, Ravachol was sentenced to life imprisonment, but the second court sentenced him to death. 11 July 1892, Ravachol was guillotined.

The famous Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, who became famous for his theory of the anthropological types of criminals, used the appearance of Ravachol to further confirm the correctness of his concept. He emphasized that “in the person of Ravachol, at first we are struck by brutality and ferocity. The physiognomy of Ravachol is extremely asymmetrical, the brow ridges are excessively developed, the nose is strongly curved to the right side, the ears are degenerative, placed at different heights, the mandible is huge, square and protrudes forward - all these are characteristic signs of a born criminal. Add more lack of pronunciation, common among degenerates. His psychology is in complete harmony with his appearance. He left elementary school almost illiterate and, due to his inability, had to give up all crafts. Then, mired in vices, he begins to steal and fabricate fake coins, digs up a corpse to use the rings, kills the old hermit for his savings. They say (however, this is not proven) that at the same time he wants to kill his mother and rape his sister. There is also a painful heredity: his grandfather and great-grandfather died on the scaffold as robbers and arsonists ”(Cesare Lombroso. Anarchists).

Unfortunately, the revolutionary boom of the early 20th century also contributed to the emergence of the ideological and practical heirs of Ravachol in the Russian Empire. Part of the Russian anarchists took the position of "non-motive terror". Justification and perpetration of non-motivated terrorist acts in the Russian revolutionary movement received the nominal name “ravasholevschina” - that is, even like-minded anarchists drew parallels between the non-motivated acts of the Russian radicals and the crimes committed by the French either an anarchist or just a maniac. One of the most notorious terrorist acts "non-motivated" orientation occurred in Odessa. Ironically, in the 2014 year, after a century, dozens of people, burned by activists of Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups, would die here. At the beginning of the century, a simple cafe turned out to be the object of a terrorist attack ...

Odessa at the beginning of the twentieth century became one of the centers of anarchism in the Russian Empire. This is not surprising - the port city, which is still styled throughout Russia not only as “Odessa - mother”, was inhabited by people who are quite susceptible to radical ideas: sailors, porters, dock workers, “crazy” lumpen proletarians. Even the criminal authority Mishka Jap (Mikhail Vinnitsky, whom the famous Soviet writer Isaac Babel showed in the image of the raider Beni Creek) sympathized with the revolutionary movements and even provided material assistance to the Left SRs and anarchists.

The first revolutionary group, ideologically approaching anarchism, the Macha group “Implacable” appeared in Odessa in 1903 year. It was precisely its active participants Kopel Erdelevsky and Olga Taratuta (Elka Ruvinsky), who switched to anarchist positions, that the Odessa working group of anarchist communists was created a little later, adjoining the Black-Banner movement.

Makhaysky and "Makha"

Here we should briefly dwell on what constituted the ideology of the Makhaevites - the so-called "Makhaevism." In Soviet times, “Makhaevschina” was written in historical literature as a negative phenomenon in the revolutionary movement. However, in many ways the “Makhaev” ideas formed the general model of the world outlook of the left communists who were critical of the intelligentsia and idealized people of physical labor.

Jan Vaclav Mahaysky (1866-1926) was originally Polish. At the same time, he had nothing to do with the proletariat - he came from an official’s family, he studied at the university, where he first encountered radical ideas. Makhaysky participated in the Polish national liberation movement, for which he was exiled to Vilyuisk, and after being released from exile he settled in Irkutsk. It was in exile that he wrote his manifesto, The Mental Worker, in which the ideas laid the basis for a very specific direction in the Russian revolutionary movement. Although the Mahaev groups proper were always extremely small in number and did not play a special role in the revolutionary movement, certain ideological tenets of the Mahai concept influenced social democratic, Social Revolutionary and anarchist organizations. The essence of the teachings of Makhaysky was that the intelligentsia was no less dangerous for the proletariat by the exploiting class than the bourgeoisie. Only if the bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat, relying on ownership of the means of production, does the intelligentsia exploit the proletariat with their knowledge. The latter give the intelligentsia status and material superiority over the workers and allow them to be manipulated in their own interests.

Political parties, including the revolutionary ones, in the opinion of Makhaysky are created by the intelligentsia with the aim of subordinating the workers to their influence. The proletarians who support the revolutionary parties believe that they are fighting for their interests and rights, but in reality they only change "some gentlemen for others", facilitating the coming to power of the intelligentsia - the leaders and leading activists of the revolutionary parties. Hatred of the intelligentsia became the decisive postulate of Makha’s theory, which contributed to the fact that Makha’s people began to be seen as a common name for any rejection of the intelligentsia and mental labor as a whole by the workers (of course, this is a vulgarized definition, but not devoid of a certain degree of truth).

After the liberation of Makhaysky from exile, he managed to create a small circle in Irkutsk, mostly staffed by workers. Irkutsk residents of Maya 1 May 1902 of the year released a leaflet calling for May Day to become the workers' day of economic struggle for their interests. For underground activities in Irkutsk, Makhaysky received a second term - this time seven years of exile in Kolyma. However, this time Mahaysky managed to escape. He ended up in Switzerland, where he released a new edition of The Mental Worker. Unlike Marxists, Makhaysky believed that it was not the nature of the relations of production that determined the course of the historical development of society — the relationship between the elites and the masses playing a large role. However, Makhaysky himself in exile worked as a bank clerk, not a digger or a loader, and after the February Revolution, returning to Russia, he was a technical editor in the magazine “People's Economy”. In 1926, he died of a heart attack.

The ideas of Makhaysky had a definite influence on a part of the anarchists. Radically-minded young people saw in his concept a striving for genuine equality of working people, denying power and money (the bourgeoisie), and knowledge (the intelligentsia). Hence the contempt for mental labor and the idealization of people of physical labor. Especially many of the works of the Makhaysky were anchored by the anarchists, who had no beginning. They, who inherited the Bakuninist notions of the revolutionary spirit of “bossia”, the lumpen-proletariat, also called to consider the intelligentsia as potential enemies of “all the oppressed.” Small Macha circles operated in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinoslav and Odessa. As a rule, all their leading activists subsequently joined the most radical groups of anarchists — the communists — the black-banner and the beznachalts.

Bang in the cafe

Kopel Moshkovich Erdelevsky, who preferred, however, the Russian manner to call himself Konstantin Moiseyevich, was an experienced revolutionary and was quite old for that time: in the 1905 year he was twenty-nine years old, about ten of which were in the revolutionary struggle. By the way, the bulk of the anarchists were then represented by 16-19 boys and girls. People older than 25 were rightfully considered “old men,” and such characters as Peter Kropotkin or Varlaam Cherkezov, who were over sixty, were considered simply “fossil”.

A native of Elisavetgrad, Erdelevsky, still in the 90 of the 19th century, joined the Social Democrats, but after becoming acquainted with the theory of the “working plot” of Makhai, he left the Social Democracy and organized in Odessa, where he lived in 1903, the Machaevsky circle “ Implacable. A little later, after moving to Yekaterinoslav, Erdelevsky was noted there as the creator of the Party of Struggle against Small Property and All Power, which held mixed Makha-Anarchist positions, in August 1904 was arrested and sent to St. Petersburg, where he was released due to lack of evidence. In 1905, we see Erdelevsky already an active anarchist, a member of the Elisavetgrad group of anarchist communists (black banner), responsible for preparing terrorist acts and making bombs.

Comrade Erdelevsky on wrestling and his age-mate Elka Golda Elievna Ruvinskaya, better known as Olga Taratuta Ilyina, was from the village of Novo-Dmitrovka of the Kherson province. A teacher by profession, she began her career as a revolutionary, at the end of the 19th century, in 1897, joining the Social Democratic circle in Elisavetgrad. Her husband Alexander, who later became one of the leaders of the food industry, also began a revolutionary “career” there. In 1901-1904, while in exile in Switzerland, Olga met with a group of Russian anarchists operating there. After returning to Russia, she settled in Odessa and became one of the active members of the group “Irreconcilable”. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, it was a very interesting and brave woman. Among the Russian anarchists, she was respectfully called "Grandma."

Being in the position of Chernomnaments, the Odessa working group of anarchist communists decided in the autumn of 1905 of the year to conduct a “non-motivated” terrorist act against the city bourgeoisie. After consulting, the anarchists chose the Liebman cafe as an object of a terrorist attack - a place of rest that is quite well-known in Odessa for a more or less affluent part of the population. “How can you sit in a cafe when children and old people are dying of hunger around, and the workers are working hard, getting only a penny”, argued the militants going to the attack, not thinking about the fact that both children and old people could be in the cafe and even well paid workers. The coffee house was located in the famous house of Liebman. This architectural monument, built in 1887-1888, has been preserved in Odessa to this day. During the events described there were a bakery, a pastry shop and an ill-fated coffee shop.

17 December 1905 of the year in the coffee shop of Liebman there was an explosion. Five anarchist militants threw five bombs at a cafe. However, the police succeeded in detaining the perpetrators of this terrorist action - the black banners of Olga Taratutu, Stanislav Szaszek, Moses Metz, Yosif Bronstein and Bella Shershevskaya. The organizer of the explosion, Kopel Erdelevsky, was also detained. The arrested anarchists were placed in Odessa prison. The experienced revolutionary Erdelevsky, however, soon managed to deceive the secret police and break free: like the beginningless Divnogorsky in St. Petersburg, Kopel Erdelevsky pretended to be insane and was placed in a psychiatric hospital in Odessa. Then from Odessa he was transferred to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Hospital in St. Petersburg, whence in the winter of 1906, he escaped and fled abroad.

Bomb in the cafe Libman: no-motivated terror

Other Odessa Black Banners were less fortunate. 1 On November 1906, a trial was held on participants in the explosion of the Liebman coffee shop. The convicts refused to recognize the criminal guilt. Moses Metz, for example, readily admitted that it was he who threw one of the bombs in a cafe and did it intentionally, in order to kill members of the exploiting class. But this terrorist act, according to Metz, was not a crime, but only an episode of the struggle against the existing system, for the construction of a new, free and fair society.


Thirty-year-old Olga Taratuta and Stanislav Shashek, a young 21 guy of the year, were sentenced to seventeen years hard labor. Three direct perpetrators of the terrorist act, regardless of their young age, were sentenced to death. Bella Shershevskaya nicknamed “Scherk”, 22 years, carpenter Moses Metz nicknamed “Boris”, 21, and Josif Bronstein (“Yoska Belenky”), 18 years, were executed.

Historical sources have very little information about the perpetrators of this crime. Therefore, the main points can be restored only by the recollections of the participants in the revolutionary movement of the early twentieth century. One of them was Nadezhda Derkach. Nadezhda Yakovlevna Derkach - member of the revolutionary movement. Born in December 1883 in the town of Snitovka, Letychivsky district, Kamenetz-Podolsk province in a Jewish family. Participated in the revolutionary movement since 1901, she joined the Social Democrats in 1903. In the 1905 year, while imprisoned in a Kiev prison, she switched to anarchist positions. Participated in the combat activities of anarchist groups in Unecha, Starodub, Odessa. In Odessa, 15 March 1906 was arrested for expropriation and armed resistance, and 8 May was sentenced to death by hanging. After 3 months, the death penalty was replaced with indefinite penal servitude. In prison, N. Ya. Derkach spent 6 years. In 1912, she found herself in exile in Geneva, where she withdrew from anarchism and returned to social democratic positions, without formally joining the party. She returned to Russia after the February 1917 revolution of the year. Adjacent to the left wing of the Mensheviks. She led a revolutionary work in Chita and Chita district. 15 May 1920 of the year joined the RCP (b). She left interesting memories of her activities in the ranks of the anarchists and her prison epic.

It was Nadezhda Derkach, who was in Odessa prison at that time, left a more or less detailed description of the death penalty of anarchists who blew up Libman's café: “Beyla Shereshevskaya, the daughter of wealthy parents, was a real proletarian. In the name of revolution, for the idea of ​​anarchism, she boldly went to the most desperate enterprises. In this small, slightly stooped girl with a soft smile, it was difficult, without knowing her close, to imagine a person with tremendous energy and tremendous strength of will, as she was in reality. Seriously wounded in the act in the stomach, she never groaned or complained. Shereshevskaya accepted the death penalty as steadfastly as she did at the anti-bourgeois act. ”

The lawyers of the accused terrorists decided to use the grave condition of the arrested and delay the term of the trial, hoping that the sentence would be commuted. But the situation in the country developed in a slightly different scenario. The growth of the terrorist activity of the revolutionary organizations led to a tightening of the state law enforcement policy in relation to the arrested terrorists - the Social Revolutionaries, anarchists, social democrats. Therefore, nothing good was expected and Odessa non-motivators. Although the most prominent lawyers of the country and liberal-minded politicians spoke in defense of Bella Shereshevskaya, they were not allowed to transfer her to the city hospital for the operation. Fragments from the abdomen of Shereshevskaya were taken out in the prison infirmary. He was also treated by Mets and Belenky, wounded during the terrorist attack.

In the end, all three were considered healthy and taken to court. Shereshevskaya, Metz and Belenky were sentenced to death by hanging, Taratuta and Shashki were sentenced to seventeen years of hard labor, because they were recognized as accomplices in the attack, and not its direct perpetrators.

“Finally the day came when they were declared healthy, and they, in fact, still sick, were taken to court. All three were sentenced to death by hanging. Taratuto and Drafts received 17 years of hard labor as accomplices. Lawyers were waiting for Kaulbars to replace the death penalty with penal servitude. And we waited.

One day, in October, when we were on an evening walk, the warden summoned Shereshevskaya to the office. We all rushed to her, anticipating something amiss, but she told us with a laugh that a sister from Bialystok had come to see her. Yet. we are on our guard. An hour has passed. Sherochka was not. Superintendents began to call us into the cells, but we did not get up. Surprisingly, as soon as someone's execution was to take place, the prison administration became very cautious with us, avoiding collisions, It was already getting dark. From the courtyard, where we walked, we could see the windows of Metz and Belenky. We agreed beforehand that a towel should hang on their window, as a sign that everything is fine. There was no towel, a terrible sign, which means that today is a penalty. In heavy silence, we parted on the cameras. There was a deathly silence. Suddenly, Ms Boyko, a guard, with a bandaged cheek, entered (she always had fluxes, thanks to these fluxes, Olga Taratuto managed to escape under the guise of Mr. Boyko, with a tied cheek), and told us that Olga Taratuto was given a meeting with Metzem, Belenky and Shereshevskaya, withdrawn to execution.

At three in the morning they were taken away. When they were taken out into the yard and seated in a prison carriage, Boris Metz lifted the collar of his coat and said: “How cold, you can catch a cold”. They invited a Jewish rabbi. The comrades told him that repentance was out of the question, that if they had ten lives, they would give them all to fight.

Hung one by one, Belenky last. Shereshevskaya tormented 25 minutes. Those who were waiting should have looked at her death convulsions ”(N.Ya. Derkach. By stages and prisons. M.-L., 1930.).


The explosion at the Liebman coffee shop made a great impression on the Russian and emigrant public. Opinions were divided not only in society, but among the anarchists themselves - from the extreme rejection of non-motivated terror to enthusiastic praise to the brave ones who openly challenged the entire bourgeois class. There was no unity even among Odessa anarchists on the issue of the explosion at the Liebman coffee shop: the ideologue of the anarcho-syndicalist group operating in the city in parallel with the black banner, publicist Daniil Novomirsky, an act of terrorism of the black banner, was sharply condemned. But, despite the obvious and declared non-participation in the explosion, Novomirsky had to leave Odessa because of police persecution. He returned to the city only in September 1906, created the South-Russian group of anarchist syndicalists (YRGAS), but she, despite the ideological attitudes of Novomirsky himself, did not avoid terrorist acts and expropriations.

Subsequently, the Russian anarchists still disowned the terrorist attacks committed by non-motivators. Most of the anarchist leaders, with all their radicalism, understood very well that such actions would only alienate the masses, and not only the well-to-do, but also the proletariat. Acts of non-motivated terror gradually faded away in the Russian Empire. After the 1905-1907 revolution, when the radical tendencies in domestic anarchism - bezachachaltsy and Chernomenmentsi - ceased to exist due to the death or arrest of the main part of activists, the Kropotkin (“bread-and-food”) direction, which preached mass actions — revolutionary seizure strikes, strikes, rebellions. However, in the modern world we see a revival of such terrorist practices - only on completely different ideological principles. Without terror, some totalitarian sects and fundamentalist organizations are preaching today.

The explosions in the subway, in buses, in shopping centers, the explosions of residential buildings are the same non-motivated terror, any people regardless of their nationality, race, religion, political views or social status can become victims. Fanatic terrorists who commit acts of unmotivated terror, in a number of cases, are zombied tools in the hands of interested organizations or individuals. But there are among them those who are convinced that with their criminal actions he can entail any fundamental changes in the social structure, bring closer the triumph of his social or religious ideal.

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  1. zeksus
    zeksus 11 November 2014 07: 38
    Hmm ... Then there were anarchists, and now it’s NPO ((The essence of the matter is one, only now the rate is on time!
    1. Ingvar 72
      Ingvar 72 11 November 2014 19: 30
      But there, and here the first places are occupied by the same Guss guys ...
  2. Kapitan Oleg
    Kapitan Oleg 11 November 2014 17: 29
    At the beginning it was probably not necessary to write "At the end of the 19th century, at the end of the 20th century." Although over time that terrorism in the XNUMXth century, that in the XNUMXth .... What parallels are being clarified!