First published in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV.
Printed from the typewritten copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 166c-167a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Volin, Chairman of the Orel Gubernia Executive Committee and Gubernia Party Committee, on the line:
I have just received a telegram from Surazh as follows: “On November 29, a congress of German Councils in the Ukraine is taking place at Gomel. It is essential to send representatives. We have sent the head of the Information Department, and others. We are conducting talks with a big German Council in the Ukraine and are enlisting in the Red Army volunteers from the German army. Send directives for talks to our representatives in the Ukraine. Our representatives have been guaranteed safety, they are under German protection. The temper of the German army is thoroughly Bolshevik.” I decided today to send to Gomel a Communist, Chairman of the Soviet, and a German, the Communist Meyer, from the International Detachment. Should the Chairman of the Orel Soviet only make a speech of greetings or can he take upon himself a political mission? I am asking you for a directive. If you know of this congress and have sent your representatives, then perhaps our delegation is not necessary.
Lenin: I know nothing about this congress. I advise you to get in touch immediately with the Ukrainian Communists and with their Central Committee via Kursk. The reports about the majority of the German Councils being on the side of the Bolsheviks must be carefully verified. If this is not the case, then it is necessary at the congress to deliver a detailed, well-substantiated, principled speech about Bolshevism and its tasks. If, however, the German soldiers are already Bolsheviks or Spartacists, then we must propose to them an immediate alliance with us for the speediest restoration of Soviet power in the Ukraine and for the arrest not only of whiteguards, but also of the supporters of the Rada. In any case people must be sent to the congress who are capable of accurately reporting back all the discussions and resolutions.
If it is already too late to send new representatives to the congress, then try to wire my note through to the people you have already sent. I await a reply.
Volin: Vladimir Ilyich, I informed you that I decided to send the Chairman of the Soviet to Gomel. He is leaving tonight. That was why I asked for your directive. Simultaneously with this I shall try to get in touch with Kursk.
Lenin: I am very glad that you are sending the chairman to the congress. I hope you are satisfied with my suggestions. Arrange for me to get information about each day of the congress.
 Lenin’s doubts about the correctness of the reports that most of the Councils of German soldiers in the Ukraine had adopted a Bolshevik stand were fully justified. The All-Ukraine Congress of Councils of German Soldiers, held in Kiev on December 13, 1918, was influenced by German opportunists and did not adopt any political resolution. The Congress decided to come to an agreement with Petlyura’s bands and to surrender Kiev to them without a fight in exchange for the free passage of westward-bound German troop trains.