Spying for the Revolution

by NANDITA HAKSAR

The Soviet Union is no more. However, the legacy of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union is still honoured by remembering those who laid down their lives for the idea and ideals of socialism.

On November 9, Google Doodle celebrated 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But 30 years on, many are remembering the dream of socialism that had fired their imagination; and how they had not realised that the fall of the wall would also be the crushing of their dreams.

As a pastor, Elfriede Begrich, who had celebrated the fall, reflects 30 years on: “I had taken to the streets for a third way, not the old socialism we had in the GDR, but neither the rapacious Manchester capitalism of the west. I wanted socialism with a human face … But the peaceful revolution soon slipped from the grasp of those who really wanted it. It became the revolution of those who wanted to buy colour TVs and bananas.”

The idea and ideals of socialism inspired people across the globe; it was not only the poor and the oppressed, but many men and women in Britain and America who were living in the heart of the capitalist society. They were so inspired by the Russian Revolution that they were willing to risk their lives by spying for the Soviet Union.

On the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, it is important to remember why Soviet Union inspired so many millions of people around the world; and why it inspired so many men and women in Britain and the USA to risk their lives to spy for Soviet Union.

Melita Norwood was 87 years old when the British government discovered that she had been a spy for the Soviet Union for 40 years—making her the longest serving spy for the Soviet Union in Britain. When the press asked whether she thought it was right to spy, she replied that she wanted to help Russia’s “new system”.

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