Apocalypse 10 lives - Learning resource files

Vassili Godovkin

  • Nationality: Russian
  • Birth date: April 9, 1886
  • Family/social situation:

    Of humble parentage. As his father is dead, Vassily supports his mother and his sister, Tania.

  • Occupation:

    Army officer and poet

Biographical elements of the character
Elements of the historical context
  • August 1, 1914

    Literary salon of poet Anna Akhmatova, St. Petersburg, Russia, in the season of the “white nights.”
    Vassili, a close friend of the poet, is taking part in a reading.

  • Anna Akhmatova. Nikolai Gumilev. The assassination of Jean Jaurès. Mobilization in Russia.

  • August 20, 1914

    The Imperial railway station at Tsarskoye Selo, on the line to St. Petersburg.
    Vassili prepares for combat.

  • The state of the Russian army in August 1914. Kudacheva, the legendary Cossack heroine. The departure of troops to the front.

  • September 11, 1914

    Camp of Russian prisoners of war, Tannenberg, East Prussia.
    Vassili and his men are prisoners.


  • Prisoner-of-war camp. General Samsonov. At Tannenberg, the Germans turn back the Russians.

  • March 17, 1917

    The Godovkin’s apartment, Petrograd, Russia.
    Vassili has escaped from the prison camp and rejoined the army. He is on leave.

  • Bolshevik Revolution of February and the abdication of Nicholas II. Death of Rasputin. The surveillance methods of the Tsar’s powerful secret police, the Okhrana, are adopted by the Bolsheviks.

  • April 3, 1917

    The Finland Station in Vyborg, outside Petrograd.
    Vassili is in the crowd of revolutionaries welcoming Lenin.


  • Rise of Bolshevism. Russian disengagement in the war. Lenin’s return from exile. 

  • November 6, 1917

    Winter Palace, Petrograd.
    Vassili meets Dim Seed’s colleague, the photographer Howard Kumer. They join the crowd during the taking of the Palace. 


  • The October Revolution. The end of the Romanovs. Kerensky’s provisional government.

  • November 11, 1918

    In Trotsky’s armoured train car on the trans-Siberian line, Russia.
    Vassili is aide-de-camp to Trotsky.

  • Trotsky. The former train car of the tsars. Civil war in Russia. The Armistice of November 11. The launching of the Siberian Expedition.

  • December 25, 1919

    In a Cheka interrogation room, Moscow, Russia.
    Vassili has been accused of treason.


  • Purges against the “enemies of the Revolution.”