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Episode 781             Episode 783
Episode 782

1907 Tiflis bank robbery
Wed, 2019-Jun-26 00:37 UTC
Length - 4:02

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Wednesday, 26 June 2019 is 1907 Tiflis bank robbery.

The 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, also known as the Erivan Square expropriation, was an armed robbery on 26 June 1907 in the city of Tiflis in the Tiflis Governorate in the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire (now Georgia's capital, Tbilisi). A bank cash shipment was stolen by Bolsheviks to fund their revolutionary activities. The robbers attacked a bank stagecoach and surrounding police and military using bombs and guns while the stagecoach was transporting money through Erivan Square (now Freedom Square) between the post office and the Tiflis branch of the State Bank of the Russian Empire. The attack killed forty people and injured fifty others, according to official archive documents. The robbers escaped with 341,000 rubles (equivalent to around US 3.86 million in 2017).

The robbery was organized by a number of top-level Bolsheviks, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Maxim Litvinov, Leonid Krasin, and Alexander Bogdanov, and executed by a party of revolutionaries led by Stalin's early associate Ter-Petrosian (Kamo). Because such activities were explicitly prohibited by the 5th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), the robbery and the killings caused outrage within the party against the Bolsheviks (a faction within the RSDLP). As a result, Lenin and Stalin tried to distance themselves from the robbery. The events surrounding the incident and similar robberies split the Bolshevik leadership, with Lenin against Bogdanov and Krasin. Despite the success of the robbery and the large sum involved, the Bolsheviks could not use most of the large bank notes obtained from the robbery because their serial numbers were known to the police. Lenin conceived of a plan to have various individuals cash the large bank notes at once at various locations throughout Europe in January 1908, but this strategy failed, resulting in a number of arrests, worldwide publicity, and negative reaction from European social democrats.

Kamo was caught in Germany shortly after the robbery but successfully avoided a criminal trial by feigning insanity for more than three years. He managed to escape from his psychiatric ward but was captured two years later while planning another robbery. Kamo was then sentenced to death for his crimes including the 1907 robbery, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment; he was released after the 1917 Revolution. None of the other major participants or organizers of the robbery were ever brought to trial. After his death, a grave and monument to Kamo was erected near Erivan Square in Pushkin Gardens. This monument was later removed, and Kamo's remains moved elsewhere.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:37 UTC on Wednesday, 26 June 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see 1907 Tiflis bank robbery on Wikipedia.

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