V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written before December 1 (14), 1902
Published: Published in Iskra No. 29, December 1, 1902. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 124.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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We reprint the speeches of the Nizhni-Novgorod workers from the lithographed leaflet issued by the Nizhni-Novgorod Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. To add anything to these speeches would only mean weakening the impression created by this ingenuous account of the workers’ misery, of the growing indignation among them and of their readiness to fight. It is now our duty to make every effort to have these speeches read by tens of thousands of Russian workers. The example of Zalomov, Bykov, Samylin, Mikhailov and their comrades, who courageously stood up in court for their fighting call: “Down with the autocracy!”, will inspire the whole working class of Russia to equally heroic and resolute struggle for the freedom of the whole people, and the freedom of steady working-class advance to the bright socialist future.


[1] Speeches in the tsarist court were delivered on October 28–31 (November 10–13), 1902, by P. A. Zalomov, A. I. Bykov, M. I. Samylin and a number of other workers from Sormovo and Nizhni-Novgorod who were put on trial for their participation in the demonstrations on May 1 and 5 (14 and 18), 1902. Out of 23  organisers and leaders of the demonstration who had been arrested, 13 were sentenced to exile in Siberia for life. The speeches were initially published by the Nizhni-Novgorod Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. as leaflets, and then reprinted in Iskra No. 29 on December 1, 1902, under the title “Nizhni-Novgorod Workers on Trial”, with a preface by Lenin.

For Lenin’s assessment of their behaviour at the trial see present edition, Vol. 6, pp. 282–83.

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