V. I.   Lenin

Speech to Adult-Education Course Students Leaving for the Front. October 28, 1919

Published: First published in 1960 in the journal Kommunist No. 6. Printed from the handwritten copy of the minutes.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 147b-148a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

The conference opened with a speech by Lenin. He greeted the students of the courses, who had resolved to go out to the front to help the Red Army, and gave a vivid description of the present situation on all the fronts and in the enemy’s rear.

The bourgeoisie, both of Russia and the West, had begun to celebrate victory prematurely. The Red troops were driving Kolchak before them. Denikin was retreating from Orel. There was demoralisation among the White troops. In Denikin’s rear there were uninterrupted uprisings. Today even the prosperous Cossacks were going against him.

Yudenich had scant forces, consisting mainly of Englishmen. Britain had given him a large fleet. Yudenich’s offensive was intended to save Denikin, draw our forces off, but his plan failed-the workers of Petrograd had displayed   examples of heroism. Europe was tensely watching the outcome of the struggle. The workers of France and Britain had already registered their protest against the attack upon Russia. Bolshevism in these countries was gaining ground. The elections in France were very significant in this respect.[1] Our chief attention was now directed to the Southern Front, where indescribably furious and sanguinary battles were raging, and where the fate of the revolution in the West as well as in Russia was being decided...

Denikin’s officer corps was well armed. In view of the uprisings in their rear, they were putting up a desperate fight. But the worker and peasant masses were beginning to see things clearer and there was a strong upsurge among them. Our weakness was that we had too few knowledgeable organisers among the peasants and workers. That was why we had so many old officials, saboteurs, etc., in our institutions. It was necessary to advance the best workers from among the people, and give them knowledge....

It was important to have social-minded people capable of talking to the peasants, people who would raise the morale of the army, and therefore everyone going to the front should show an example of bravery and selfless dedication. Victory then will be ours. We shall put transport in order and bring in grain....



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