Charter of the Union of the Russian People
|Armed Wing||Yellow Shirts|
|Colors||Black, white, and gold |
The Black Hundred (Russian: , transliterated Chornaya Sotnya), also known as the black-hundredists (Russian: ; Chernosotentsy), was a reactionary, monarchist and ultra-nationalist movement in Russia in the early 20th century. It was a staunch supporter of the House of Romanov and opposed any retreat from the autocracy of the reigning monarch. The name apparently arose from the Medieval concept of "black", or common (non-noble) people, organized into militias.
The Black Hundreds were also noted for extremism and incitement to pogroms, nationalistic Russocentric doctrines, and different xenophobic beliefs, including anti-Ukrainian sentiment and anti-semitism.
"Svjashchjennaja druzhina" (?a? a, or The Holy Brigade) and "Russkoye sobraniye" (? , or Russian Assembly) in St. Petersburg are considered[by whom?] to be predecessors of the Black Hundreds. Starting in 1900, the two organizations united representatives of conservative intellectuals, government officials, Russian Orthodox clergy and landowners. A number of black-hundredist organizations formed during and after the Russian Revolution of 1905, such as:
Members of the Black Hundreds organizations came from different social strata--such as landowners, clergymen, the high and petty bourgeoisie, merchants, artisans, workers and the so-called "declassed elements". The Postojannij Sowjet Ob'jedinjonnych dworjanskjich obschjestw Rossii (United Gentry Council) guided the activities of the black-hundredists; the tsarist regime provided moral and financial support to the movement. The Black Hundreds were founded on a devotion to Tsar, church and motherland, expressed previously by the motto of Tsar Nicholas I: "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality" (Pravoslawije, Samodjerschawije i Narodnostj). Despite certain program differences, all of the black-hundredist organizations had one goal in common, namely their struggle against the revolutionary movement. The black-hundredists conducted oral propaganda: in churches by holding special services, and during meetings, lectures and demonstrations. Such propaganda provoked antisemitic sentiments and monarchic "exaltation" and caused numerous pogroms and terrorist acts against revolutionaries and certain public figures, performed by the Black Hundreds' paramilitary groups, sometimes known as "Yellow Shirts".
The Black Hundred movement published newspapers, such as Znamja (The Banner) or Russkoje znamja (Russian Banner), Potschajewskij Listok (The Pochayev Page), Semschina, Kolokol (Bell), Grosa (Thunderstorm), Vetschje and others. Many rightist newspapers, such as Moskowskije wedomosti (Moscow News), Graschdanin (Citizen) and Kievljanin (Kievan), published their materials as well. Among the prominent leaders of the Black Hundred movement were Alexander Dubrovin, Vladimir Purishkevich, Nikolai Markov, A. I. Trishatny, Pavel Krushevan, Pavel Bulatsel, Ivan Vostorgov, M. K. Shakhovskoy, Saint John of Kronstadt, Hieromonk Iliodor, Bishop Hermogen, and others.
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When two Duma delegates, Grigori Borisovich Iollos (Poltava province) and Mikhail Herzenstein (b. 1859, d. 1906 in Terijoki), both from the Constitutional Democratic Party, were assassinated by members of the Black Hundreds, their press organ Russkoe Znamya declared openly that "Real Russians assassinated Herzenstein and Iollos with knowledge of officials", and expressed regret that "only two Jews perished in the crusade against revolutionaries." The black hundred were known to have used violence and torture on anyone they believed was a threat to the Tsar.
The Black Hundreds classified Ukrainians as Russians, and attracted the support of many "Moscowphiles" who considered themselves Russian and rejected Ukrainian nationalism and identity. The Black Hundred movement actively campaigned against what it considered to be Ukrainian separatism, as well as against promoting Ukrainian culture and language in general, and against the works of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, in particular. In Odessa, the Black Hundreds shut down the local branch of the Ukrainian Prosvita society, an organization that was dedicated to spreading literacy in the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian cultural awareness.
The black-hundredists organized four all-Russian congresses with the purpose of uniting their forces. In October 1906, they elected the so-called glavnaya uprava (a kind of board of directors) of the new all-Russian black-hundredist organization "Ob'yedinyonniy russkiy narod" ( ? , or Russian People United). After 1907, however, this organization disintegrated, and the whole Black Hundreds movement became weaker as the membership rate steadily declined. During the February Revolution of 1917, the remaining black-hundredist organizations were officially abolished.
After emigrating abroad, many black-hundredists became the main right-wing critics of the White movement. They blamed the movement for not only failing to stress monarchism as its key ideological foundation, but also supposedly being run under the influence of liberals and Freemasons. Boris Brasol (1885-1963), a former member of the Black Hundreds, was among those who later emigrated to the United States. There he befriended industrialist Henry Ford, who gave Brasol a job on The Dearborn Independent newspaper. Brasol also helped in the production of The International Jew.
The Black Hundreds' militants were organized into paramilitary groups, one of which took the name of 'Yellow Shirts,' anticipating the Brown and Black Shirts of Germany and Italy.
July 1, 1909, to June 30, 1910, Issue 1910-1911