V. I. Lenin

Heroism Of The Presnya Workers

Delivered: 24 December, 1918
First Published: Byednota No. 222, December 24, 1918; Published according to the Byednota text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 28, pages 373-374
Translated: Clemens Dutt; Edited by Robert Daglish
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Online Version: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive May, 2002

Thirteen years ago the workers of Moscow raised the standard of revolt against tsarism. This was the culminating point in the development of the first workers’ revolution against tsarism. The workers were defeated, and Presnya ran with workers’ blood.

The unforgettable heroism of the Moscow workers set an example of militancy to the working people throughout Russia. But these people were then too ignorant, too disunited, and failed to back the heroes of Presnya and Moscow as a whole who rose in arms against the tsarist, landlord monarchy.

The defeat of the Moscow workers was followed by the defeat of the first revolution as a whole. For twelve long and painful years the savage landlord reaction tortured all the workers and peasants of all nationalities of Russia.

The heroism of the Presnya workers was not in vain. Their sacrifices bore fruit. The first breach was made in the tsarist monarchy; the breach was slowly but surely widened, weakening the obsolete, medieval regime. The heroism of the Moscow workers started a deep ferment among the urban and rural working people, the effects of which never died down, in spite of all persecution.

Before the armed insurrection of December 1905, the people of Russia were incapable of waging a mass armed struggle against their exploiters. After December they were no longer the same people. They had been reborn. They had received their baptism of fire. They had been steeled in revolt. They trained the fighters who were victorious in 1917 and who now, despite the incredible difficulties, and overcoming the torments of hunger arid devastation caused by the imperialist war, are fighting for the world victory of socialism.

Long live the workers of Red Presnya, the vanguard of the world workers’ revolution!

N. Lenin