‘Red Easter’

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Excerpt/translation from Kerzhentsev’s Revolutsiayannaya Irlandiya (1918):

Easter Monday in Ireland — a day with an aura of reverence. Therefore, the arrival of a small group of Irish volunteers in the province did not give rise amongst individuals to any particular attention. The vigilance of the administration was weakened, even more so, [as] many responsible people were on holidays due to Easter. Early in the morning the order of Pearse was published, scheduling the parade of volunteers for 10am. At the same time there was an announcement all over the country—‘Dublin is begun. Pearse’.

While the streets of Dublin were half-empty, a detachment of volunteers appeared in full combat preparedness, passers-by were not at all surprised: because they had seen enough of these parades. A large detachment of volunteers moved down the central street of the city, they encircled the post office, in a few minutes they captured it. The staff were removed. On the columns of the building they put the manifesto of the provisional government. That drew a crowd. It became clear to those who gathered that the uprising had begun. Applause could be heard and shouts of welcoming. Some old woman started to pray loudly, asking God to bless the cause of those uprising.
Once on the roof of the post office the flag of the Irish republic was unfurled, the sound of a new eruption of applause.

An English squad of rangers arrived and exchanged volleys with the Irish, then moved off. Afterwards Pearse marched out to gather at the post office and read out in a grand voice the proclamation of Ireland . . .

There follows Kerzhentsev’s (very faithful) translation of the 1916 Proclamation. He used poetic and archaic Russian forms to mirror the original’s belletristic content. The line ‘In the name of God’, removed in later Soviet writings on the Easter Rising, was included.


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