V. I. Lenin


Communication On The Wireless

Negotiations With Béla Kun

Recorded: End of March 1919;
First Published: Published according to the gramophone records; Organization of these speeches was accomplished by Tsentropechat the central agency of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee for the Supply and Distribution of Periodicals between 1919 and 1921. 13 of Lenin’s speeches were recorded.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 242-243
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.

I knew Comrade Béla Kun very well when he was still a prisoner of war in Russia; and he visited me many times to discuss communism and the communist revolution. Therefore, when news of the Hungarian communist revolution was received, and in a communication signed by Comrade Béla Kun at that, we wanted to speak to him and ascertain exactly how the revolution stood. The first communication we received about it gave us some grounds for fearing that, perhaps, the so-called socialists, traitor-socialists, had resorted to some deception, had got round the Communists, the more so that the latter were in prison. And so, the day after the first communication about the Hungarian revolution was received, I sent a wireless message to Budapest, asking Béla Kun to come to the apparatus, and I put a number of questions to him of such a nature as to enable me to make sure that it was really he who was speaking. I asked him what real guarantees there were for the character of the government and for its actual policy. Comrade Béla Kun’s reply was quite satisfactory and dispelled all our doubts. It appears that the Left Socialists had visited Béla Kun in prison to consult him about forming a government. And it was only these Left Socialists, who sympathised with the Communists, and also people from the Centre who formed the new government, while the Right Socialists, the traitorsocialists, the irreconcilables and incorrigibles, so to speak, left the Party, and not a single worker followed them. Later communications showed that the policy of the Hungarian Government was most firm and so Communist in trend “that while we began with workers” control of industry and only gradually began to socialise industry, Béla Kun, with his prestige, his conviction that he was backed by vast masses, could at once pass a law which converted all the industrial undertakings in Hungary that were run on capitalist lines into public property. Two days later we became fully convinced that the Hungarian revolution had at once, with extraordinary rapidity, taken the communist road. The bourgeoisie voluntarily surrendered power to the Communists of Hungary. The bourgeoisie demonstrated to the whole world that when a grave crisis supervenes, when the nation is in danger, the bourgeoisie is unable to govern. And there is only one government that is really a popular government, a government that is really beloved of the people-the government of the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies.

Long live Soviet power in Hungary!