It was a revolutionary week at Dickinson College. As the world marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, students in the Russian Culture Club commemorated a revolutionary act of a different sort: the Russian Revolution.
The students created an on-campus reenactment of the October Revolution, when Bolshevik workers seized the capital building of the Russian government, ushering in a five-year civil war that would place Russia under decades of Soviet rule.
The reenactment began when Russian revolutionaries Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, (played by Eric Souder ’10 and Travis Brown ’13) delivered incendiary speeches to workers and soldiers (played by other Russian Club members) who had gathered in the streets. When Trotsky told the crowd to storm the Winter Palace (a.k.a. Old West), the townsfolk complied. Chanting, “peace, land, bread,” they tore through the building, intent on seizing any member of the government who was hiding inside.
That lone official was portrayed by Christopher Lemelin, assistant professor of Russian. After the reenactors had found Lemelin, the group gathered to discuss what they had learned.
“We had a great turnout, and the revolutionaries really got everybody psyched,” said Laura Hechtlinger ’12, president of the Russian Club, who portrayed one of the townsfolk. “I mean, it’s not every day you get to run through Old West, and capture your Russian professor.”
Thanks to Laura Hechtlinger ’12, president of the Russian Club, for contributing to this article.