V. I. Lenin

Speech Delivered At The First Moscow

Soviet Commanders’ Courses

April 15, 1919

Brief Newspaper Report

Delivered: 15 April, 1919
First Published: Pravda No. 83, April 17, 1919; Published according to the Pravda text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, page 304
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002; Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Lenin recalled the words of a certain German general who said that if the soldiers knew what they were fighting for, there would be no war. The situation was different in our times. The Red Army had a great and definite task to perform-to emancipate the working class. The workers’ and peasants’ Red Army was growing and gaining strength day by day. This growth was due to the fact that the workers and peasants were profoundly conscious of their aims. And although they had suffered a number of reverses on the Eastern Front, they still had to halt Kolchak and defeat him. And they would do it. Krasnov’s gangs had more than once created a serious situation for Soviet Russia, but in spite of the help they had been receiving from the whole of the bourgeois world, these gangs had been routed, and would soon suffer complete defeat. That had been achieved only because of the political consciousness of the workers and peasants. “In accepting this Red Flag from the District Committee,” continued Lenin, “you must firmly and resolutely carry it forward. Every day brings us news to the effect that the Red Flag of liberty has been raised, now in one place, now in another. You have seen the formation of the Soviet Republic of Hungary, of Soviet Bavaria and of the Third, Communist International; and soon you will see the formation of the World Federative Republic of Soviets.

“Long live the World Federative Republic of Soviets!

“Long live the Red Army!

“Long live our Red Commanders!” (Stormy applause.)