The courage and inclinations of a fashion designer made the peasant son a legend of the Civil War. He would not have quarreled with Nestor Makhno, he would have tried his luck in Paris.
Coups d'état and times of troubles give birth to their own heroes. People's love can be won not only by revolutionary ideas. People are greedy for visual impact. A gallant grunt, a croaker and a fashionista is able to lead an army. Such a character will not be able to rule for a long time, but he will definitely succeed in shining on the Olympus of the era.
The peasant Justin Shchus was not very happy about the birth of his son Theodosius in 1893. The family lived in the village of Bolshaya Mikhailovka, Ekatnerinoslavskaya province, and was constantly in need. Another hungry mouth did not improve the situation.
Little Fedos attended a local school, where they could only teach the basics of reading and writing. It was possible to sit down at the desk only when there was free time from work in the field. Peers recalled him as a dreamer who composed stories where he received fame and untold riches. The guys laughed at the strange friend.
In 1915, our hero was called to serve in the navy. The fact that the guy was an illiterate peasant embarrassed the command. However, the huge stature and heroic physique of the conscript was ideal for this kind of troops. It was the second year of the war, it would be madness to reject recruits with such data.
Shchus began his service on the battleship Ioann Chrysostom, which was based in Sevastopol. There were no active hostilities. The young man liked this life: he was always well fed, received a salary, wore a beautiful uniform. Theodosius got acquainted with the popular entertainment at that time - boxing. The guy became interested in this sport, became a local champion. Only strict discipline and the lack of prospects for a career did not bring joy to our hero.
The troops talked a lot about politics. The natives of the rural poor did not participate in the disputes, but they were keenly interested in what different parties and groups promised them. The sweetest promises were given by the anarchists. They had long dreamed of driving out statesmen with brooms and dividing all the land of the master among themselves. True, only a few could imagine how to live on.
The sailors received the news of the tsar's abdication with enthusiasm, and the October revolution was the start for action. Sheer confusion contributed to the fact that the soldiers left their posts. Now it was not considered desertion, in any case, there was no one to fight such a phenomenon. In 1917 Feodosiy Shchus went home. First of all, he visited Gulyai Pole and enrolled in the Black Guard - an anarchist fighting squad.
To help fellow countrymen
The lack of education did not allow the novice revolutionary fighter to self-actualize in the camp, where Nestor Makhno was in charge. The recruit was given small assignments, and he wanted to make his contribution to the liberation of the workers. Theodosius went to his native land. There he found devastation. The Germans often dropped in on Bolshaya Mikhailovka, robbing peasant yards. The arrival of Shchus, who had served and understood politics, inspired his fellow countrymen.
In the summer of 1918, a combat-ready partisan detachment appeared in the vicinity of the farm. Rumors about the exploits of this unit quickly reached Nestor Ivanovich. The famous leader of the anarchists wanted to meet with successful colleagues and make an alliance with them. A year ago Fedos could not even dream of such a thing.
The two dashing people were supposed to meet in neutral territory. When the cart with Makhn arrived there, a shiver went down my father's back - he was surrounded by fellows in German and Austrian uniforms. Only the South Russian dialect betrayed the rebels in them. A dandy in a hussar mentic, dressed over a vest, and hung with weapons like a Christmas tree, rode ahead.It was Theodosius Shchus himself. Assessing the number of trophy uniforms, Nestor realized that with such guys he was on the way.
Makhna was graciously invited to the location of the unit. Driving past his native village, of which only ashes remained, Fedos burst into tears like a child. In the camp of the anarchists, he cheered up. He lived beautifully now. In addition to a chic dress, he had a whole harem of young girls and dissolute wives who were looking for adventure, following the troops. The ataman devoted his free hours to creativity - he, like Nestor Ivanovich, wrote poetry. These two managed to agree on joint actions quickly.
A disastrous union
In intellectual terms, Shchus was seriously losing to his ally, who had a period of teaching in his biography. Makhno tried not to demonstrate his superiority over his younger comrade. But the soldiers of Fedos idolized - his courage in battle and hectic personal life became an example to follow.
Nestor Ivanovich considered an alliance with the Bolsheviks as a temporary measure. The fighting against the Reds did not shock him. But Theodosius was unhappy. The ambitious Shchus began to incite ordinary soldiers to overthrow Father Makhno and elect him ataman. In June 1921, he made a speech to the troops, proposing to arrest the commander who had not justified the trust and make peace with the Bolsheviks. Makhno was not taken aback. He offered to vote for this initiative. Few supported Fedos. After that, the main anarchist took out a Mauser and shot his former friend. Naturally, they blamed the loss of a fighter on the enemy.