Government suppression of Bolsheviks before the 1917 abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, in Russia, and by German forces in post-war Latvia, in 1919. Imperial Russian troops intrude on a gathering of persons ostensibly opposed to Tsarist policies. Slate states such persons are accused of "Pro-Germanism." View of a damaged prison building and high guard tower. View of women and children in a large common cell of the prison. View of prison wall from outside, with barred windows evident. Women walking about inside the prison, as an Imperial Russian guard walks past the cell. View through a barred window. The final short sequence was filmed near Riga, on May 26, 1919, by American Army cameraman, Lieutenant Johnson, who was in Latvia as part of a U.S. post-war relief effort. It shows three Latvian Bolshevik soldiers facing a German firing squad. Boots of the condemned (which were valuable) have been removed. The firing squad executes the Latvian soldiers. Next, the bodies of the victims are seen in a ditch where they had fallen. (Note: This entire film includes a mix of staged theatrical and documentary scenes from various sources, times, and places.)
Train passes on by the railway track in Bolshevik, Russia. A soldier stands nearby the track holding a gun. Smoke arises from the train. Troops on train desert Bolshevik army.
Czar Nicholas II out powered in Russia and the Bolsheviks gain power after the October Revolution. Romanav dynasty Emperor Nicholas II with his family including son Alexis and his four daughters and his wife at his palace in Moscow. Czar Nicholas II and his courtiers review troops of Russian Cossack soldiers at his palace for the last time. Czar's Russian soldiers march across frozen and snow-covered battlefields. Wounded Russian soldiers return to their villages from World War 1. Soldiers see the starving Russian citizens and begin to mutiny and the front and stop fighting. View of Alexander Kerensky with a crowd after he comes to power in Russia in February 1917 revolution and soon after the Bolsheviks gain rule of Russia in October Revolution. Parade of people and soldiers with pro Bolshevik signs and banners during the revolution. Russian soldiers of the Red Army parade with Commander Leon Trotsky at Red Square in Moscow. A famine strikes Russia and people struggel during the famine. View of snow covered streets and Russian citizens struggling with famine. Young children and orphans are fed at group tables assembled outside on a snowy plaza. Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin seen at his desk in his office in the Kremlin, talking. View of Lenin's wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, taking notes.
Russia during the Civil War fought between the White Guards and the Bolsheviks. A train arrives at a railroad station fully loaded with passengers. Refugees loaded on the roof of railroad wagons to its maximum capacity. Dead body of a child lies in a field. Snow covered armored vehicles. Dead bodies of two men and a young boy placed on road. Vladimir Lenin gives speech to a large crowd.
The Russian Revolution of 1917. Scenes of trench warfare on the Western Front during World War I. German soldiers firing at enemy positions. Ill-equipped Russian troops in the field, and suffering from pestilence and disease. A Russian soldier wearing no shirt and with no equipment is seen scratching at itches on his own body. Starving, sad Russian children are shown back in Russia. Scenes of St Petersburg, Russia in March 1917, during demonstrations for increased bread rations. Responding Russian troops defect and join demands for the transfer of power from the Czar to an elected parliament. A military vehicle loaded with troops is seen rallying and celebrating with Russian people. Minister of Justice in the Provisional Government Alexander Kerensky speaks to a large crowd. Czar Nicholas II, who has abdicated, sitting on a stump, with a few guards behind him. Political prisoners are freed from prisons. Leon Trotsky, speaking from a train platform, upon his return from exile in Canada. Summer, 1917, and Alexander Kerensky becomes Head of the Russian Provisional Government. Kerensky, standing in the balcony of a building, proclaims Russia a republic. A large crowd gathered outside the building. Vladimir Lenin speaking to a large crowd on the Kerensky Republic. View of Farmer workers with shovels in a field. Lenin and Trotsky call for the members of the Farmer Worker Army Union Soviet to work against the Kerensky Republic. View of Lenin speaking against the Republic and for class warfare. Lenin's Bolsheviks riot and seize the railroad stations, telegraph lines, and government offices. A tower column of the Russian monarchy is seen falling to the ground. Events on November 25 after the Russian Revolution: A number of people on a street during elections called for by Kerensky. View of Lenin talking to people in the streets. Lenin's Bolshevik group loses to the SR party. People in the streets near the time of the election. The elected assembly of the Socialist Revolutionary Party is seen meeting under the protection of Trotsky's Red Army which is seen marching near a crowd. Catherine Breshkovsky is seen standing and speaking at the assembly meeting. The elected assembly in session. The assembly refuses to turn power over to the Lenin Soviet. The members of the elected assembly are seen finally giving in to the Bolsheviks and the factions of the SR that have split to support the Bolsheviks. The leaders of the defeated faction of the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SR) are seen leaving the grounds of the assembly. In the next scene, a crowd protests against the dismissal of the elected assembly, to no avail.. Lenin speaking to a large crowd. He speaks about the power won and maintained by violence. Views of the demonstrating crowd.
Admiral Aleksandr Vasiliyevich Kolchak, Leader of the White Russian (anti-Bolshevik) forces during the Russian Civil War. He descends steps from palace at Omsk, Russia. He salutes an honor guard and enters an open car accompanied by his aides. Scene shifts to peasant recruits drilling in a field. They stand in formation and practice shouldering arms. Final scenes show White Russian troops assembled and on parade in Barnaul, Altai Krai (Russia). A group of soldiers stand by artillery field pieces. Others parade and include contingents of infantry, mounted cavalry, and horse-drawn artillery units. Troops seated on ground beside heavy machine guns. Troops bringing supplies ashore from a small ship on the Ob River.