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Zuckerman Final Version

Zuckerman Final Version

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218 French History and Civilization
Policing the Russian Emigration in Paris, 1880-1914:The Twentieth Century as the Century of Political Police
*
 
Fredric Zuckerman
 
IntroductionThe growth and spread of modern political police institutions across Europeansocieties from London to St. Petersburg is one of the major cultural and politicalphenomena that is identified with the changingcomplexion of European society at theturn of the twentieth century and afterwards.
1 
By the last years of the nineteenthcentury political policing institutions were becoming a critical element of political andsocial control within every modernizing state, and their steadily increasingprofessionalism caused them to become more and more alike—a true internationalbrotherhood.
2
As Louis Lépine, the Prefect of Paris during the first years of thetwentieth century remarked, “one cannot possibly conceive of a relatively well-organized society without the existence of a political police department.”
3
 Nowhere can this phenomenon be better seen and analysed than in the close,but covert, relationship between the political police of Europe’s most repressive
*
I would like to thank the publishers for granting permission me to reprint extractsfrom my book: Fredric S. Zuckerman,
The
 
Tsarist Secret Police Abroad: Policing Europe in a Modernising World 
(Basingstoke, 2003).
Fredric Zuckerman is Associate Professor of History at the University of Adelaide.
1
Richard J. Johnson, “The Okhrana Abroad”, 1885-1917: A Study of InternationalPolice Cooperation.” (Ph.D. diss. Columbia University,1971), 81.
2
Clive Emsley and Barbara Weinberger, “Introduction,” in
Policing Europe: Politics, professionalism and Public Order 
, xi; David Bayley,
Patterns of Policing: aComparative International
 
 Analysis
(New Brunswick, NJ, 1985), 49-52.
3
Jean Marc Berlière, “A Republican Political Police? Policing Under The ThirdRepublic,” in
The Policing of Politics in the Twentieth Century: HistoricalPerspectives
, ed. Mark Mazower (Oxford, 1997), 29.
 
Policing the Russian Emigration in Paris 219state—Tsarist Russia—and the political police of arguably its most notabledemocracy—Republican France. This study of the co-operation between the ImperialRussian and the French political police in the late nineteenth and early twentiethcenturies is derived principally but not exclusively from Russian archival andsecondary sources.
4
 The Lev Gartman CaseOn 5 February 1880, an explosion rocked the Tsar’s Winter Palace in St.Petersburg. It signalled another failed attempt on the life of Alexander II. Shortlythereafter, a young terrorist named Lev Nikolaevich Gartman, who had participated inthe affair, fled Russia with the agents of the Third Section (the tsarist political policeprior to its reorganisation in 1883) in pursuit. They caught up with Gartman in Paris.The Paris Prefecture, without consulting its own ministry, ordered his arrest. On 16February 1880, the Tsarist government formally requested Gartman’s extradition toRussia on political grounds, apparently expecting a rapid positive response.As word spread of Gartman’s plight, left-wing Parisian public opinionmobilised in his defence. Gartman became a
cause célèbre
. Pressure began to mounton the French government on Gartman’s behalf from every quarter of left-wingEuropean society. Even the threat made by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairsthat the failure to extradite the terrorist would be considered an unfriendly act andcould lead to closer ties with Germany could not overcome the Third Republic’s
4
The foundation for this research is the Archive of the Russian political abroadknown as the Foreign Agentura. This bureau, headquartered in Paris, ultimatelydirected Russian political police operations throughout Europe. The Foreign Agenturaarchive is located at the Hoover Institution on the Stanford University campus. Itcontains 100,000 documents, or about one million pieces of paper, covering the years1883 to late February 1917,when the February Revolution brought about the downfallof Tsardom. The archive is a goldmine of information dealing with the
Okhrana
’scontacts with other European police forces, especially its relationship with the ParisPrefecture, including official correspondence, personal letters and officialmemoranda. In 1918, a book by V.K. Agafonov entitled
 Zagranichnaia okhranka
 (Petrograd, 1918) based on the Agafonov’s perusal of the archive appeared. This work was an immense help in serving as a guide to this huge archive. The HooverInstitution is the repository for several other archives that contain valuable materialfor the study of Franco-Russian political police relations. These are listed in my book,
The
 
Tsarist Secret Police Abroad: Policing Europe in a Modernising World 
 (Basingstoke, 2003).Another source of invaluable information for this paper are pre-1917 Russianémigré Russian and Soviet historical journals, several dating from the early 1920s thatpublished articles and documents dealing with one of their favourite topics: theRussian revolutionary emigration and its seemingly endless struggle with the Russianpolitical police. This material is supported by memoirs, biographies andautobiographies of former Russian émigrés and police officials. The titles of thesearticles and books, beside the ones used herein and listed in the notes, can be found inthe bibliography of my earlier book,
The Tsarist Secret Police in Russian Society,1880-1917 
(Basingstoke, 1996).
 
220 French History and Civilizationreticenceas it confronted this groundswell of opinion. The French refused Russia’srequest.
5
 The Russian new Minister of Internal Affairs, Mikhail Loris-Melikov, realizedthat the dynamics of formal diplomatic relations in such matters would necessarilyinvolve public opinion, which was bound to interfere with the pursuit of the Russianémigrés in France. After he completely reorganised the Russian political policesystem in 1883 under the gifted and ruthless V.K. Plehve,
6
the Russian Minister of Internal Affairs began to expand and reshape police operations designed to harass andundermine the émigrés. Melikov and Plehve thought this could best be accomplishedthrough a clandestine
 
relationship between the Russian and French police. TheRussians established the Foreign Agentura of the
Okhrana
also in 1883 as part of thetsarist political reform. The Paris Office (as the Foreign Agentura was popularlyknown) would maintain a continuous and intimate informal contact with the Frenchpolitical police force, carrying out the assault on the émigrés by both legitimate andnefarious means until 1917.
7
 The Russian and French Political PoliceFrom 1880 onwards, the French and the Russian forces of order strove toreorganise and professionalise their political police institutions. During the first partof this era, the Paris Office and the police of the Paris Prefecture came under thetutelage of two of the most notorious political policemen of the late nineteenthcentury whose combined techniques and attitudes, no matter how distasteful, wouldbecome an integral part of modern policing methods. These men were A.C. Puibaraudand Peter Ivanovich Rachkovskii.The political police of the Paris Prefecture performed three principal tasks:they collected intelligence on individuals and groups that the Ministry of the Interiorbelieved threatened the stability of the Republic; they served as the technical advisorsto the Ministry, suggesting strategies and tactics devised to anticipate and neutraliseconfrontations before they arose; andultimately, if worst came to worst, they fulfilledthe Ministry’s orders in the field.
8
However, their initial lack of professionalismcreated an odd situation. The men who directed political police operations weremembers of the administrative elite with a tradition of service. They were generalistswith little police training, even if they were capable of collecting, collating andanalysing information.
 9
How would they cope with the demands placed upon them bythe post-1880 world, which presented France with all sorts of new policing problems,especially in the two decades preceding the First World War?
5
Michael B. Millard, “Russian Revolutionary Emigration Terrorism and the ‘PoliticalStruggle’” (PhD. Diss., University of Rochester, 1973), 87-89.
6
Fredric S. Zuckerman,
The Tsarist Secret Police Abroad: Policing Europe in a Modernising World 
(Basingstoke, 2003), 80.
7
Ibid., 50.
8
Arthur Fryer Calhoun, “The Politics of Internal Order: French Government andRevolutionary Labor, 1898-1914” (PhD. Diss., Princeton University, 1973), 33-34.
9
Howard C. Payne,
The Police State of Napoleon Bonaparte, 1851-1860
(Seattle,1966), 282; Howard C. Payne and Henry Grosshaus, “The Exiled Revolutionaries andthe French Political Police in the 1850s
 ,” American Historical Review
68 (1963):456-457.

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