Dora B. Montefiore 1919
Source: The Call, 20 November 1919, p. 6 (930 words)
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
Following on after the very fine and successful meeting of congratulation to the young Soviet Republic in Russia, organised by the B.S.P., it is our duty as an organisation to tell the truth, and the whole truth, about what is going on in that martyred country, in the name and under the sanction of the Allied Governments. Mr. Lloyd George has evidently been staggered lately by what he has learned from inside information about how our “intervention” which is not a war is proceeding, for he spoke at the Lord Mayor’s banquet of “reprisals,” which were against all ideals of civilisation; but he gave no details, doubtless not wishing to shock the feelings of the convivial company in which he found himself. But the manifesto published by the Secretariat of the Western Europe International Communists dots the i’s and crosses the t’s of our Prime Minister, and will be cheering news to his capitalist followers, who, linked with their brother capitalists in the League of Nations, are hot foot on the trail of the young Republic, and are lusting every day to hear of a Denikin-Yudenitch victory.
I quote from the manifesto the following passages.
“With the money and the arms of France, Polish armies were equipped against Soviet Russia, although the Soviets had recognised the independence of Poland. British money urged on Finland, to whom the Soviets gave liberty, against the Russian workers. In the North, at Archangel, the English Generals set to work to pillage the Russian forests, and to bombard Russian towns. In the east the White bands of Kolchak were armed with the help of American, Japanese, and English money, which was supplied to them in order that they might pillage the wealth of Siberia. The British fleet bombarded open Russian towns, and cut off the country, ruined by the war, from all importation of industrial products, without which it was impossible to start working the railways and mines, in order thus to destroy the means of transport, and to deliver the country over to famine.
With a wickedness, which till then was unknown, even in this barbarous war, the campaign was conducted by the Allies and their tools, against the workers of Russia. The White Guards were instructed by the civilised Allies how, besides the use of gibbets and of fusillades for thousands of workers, they were to employ “modern methods, AND THOUSANDS OF RUSSIAN SOLDIER’S WERE BLINDED ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE BY THE USE OF VIOLET RAYS.”
The manifesto closes with these words which each of us have to take to heart, because if the Soviet Republic is crushed under the pressure of these capitalist infamies, each of us is guilty, and will have to bear the consequences of the crime: “We cannot dictate to the workers of each country what they should do, but we know that the declarations of solidarity and of sympathy addressed to us at Lucerne by the Second International, are not sufficient. Sailors must refuse to arm the ships, or to embark the soldiers, who are being sent to the help of Koltchak, Denikin, or Yudenitch. But the boats are still leaving from Hamburg, from London, from Brest, and from Marseilles. The Governments of the Entente and of Germany will only make peace with the Russian Soviets if they are forced. They will only do so if hundreds of thousands of men will shout in the streets “Peace with Russia,” and will bare their breasts to the bayonets. They will only make peace if they realise that a refusal to do so will mean that the railways, the mines and the factories will stop working. If the proletariat of central and western Europe refuse to believe in the promises of ministers, if they force the Governments to declare an armistice, to negotiate peace terms, and to raise the blockade, then only will the Soviet Republic be able to believe in the sentiments or sympathy expressed towards the Russian proletariat The time for words is passed. Only action on the part of the proletarians of the whole world can save the advanced guard of the world revolution, can strike down the sword which threatens it, and can put an end to the horrors of famine. If the proletariat of central and western Europe cannot rise to such action the Russian workers will carry on the fight even to the bitter end. And then, covered with their own blood, they will cry to their class brothers in every country: “We have sacrificed all for the freedom of the proletariat. You have sacrificed nothing. We die free; and you will be condemned to live as slaves.”
Colonel Malone in his last letter on the Russian situation, published in the columns of the Express, told, how when he left Russia, the first snow had fallen. Those words mean that our heroic Russian comrades are preparing to face the third winter of starvation, cold, and darkness, that WE are forcing upon them. Let everyone of us go personally and ask for our Member in the House of Commons, and tell him face to face that these things must cease; and let the rank and file of the Trade Unionists tell their leaders that if they will not act, they, the rank and file will. One brave, dignified and determined action is worth a million words. Let us think of the thousands of Russian soldiers blinded, because of our apathy, by violet rays, and then we shall have courage to ACT.