V. I. Lenin

Speech Delivered At The

Second All-Russia Congress Of Medical Workers ’[1]

March 1, 1920


Delivered: 1 March, 1920
First Published: Brief report published in Izvestia No. 51, March 6, 1920; Published according to the booklet Second All-Russia Congress of Representatives of the All-Russia Union of Medical Workers. Minutes and Resolutions, Moscow, 1920
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, page 380-400
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

(Comrade Lenin, who was greeted by prolonged applause and by the singing of the Internationale, delivered a brief speech of greeting.) Comrades, allow me to greet your Congress on behalf of the Council of People’s Commissars. There is no need to speak here at length about the purposes of the Con-gress and the work you have done. With the exception of the war front, there is perhaps no field of work that has involved so many sacrifices as yours. Four years of imperial-ist war have given mankind several million cripples and a number of epidemics.

A tremendous, difficult and responsible task has fallen on our shoulders. The struggle on the war front has shown that the attempts of the imperialists have produced no results. The greatest difficulties in the military field are behind us, but we must now set about the task of peaceful de-velopment. The experience we gained on the bloody front we shall apply to the bloodless front, where we shall meet with far greater sympathy.

We have succeeded in enlisting the services of thousands of experts, of a vast number of officers and generals, who are occupying responsible posts side by side with Communist workers. We must apply all the determination and all the experience of the Civil War to the fight against epidemics.

Time was when members of the medical profession, too, entertained a distrust of the working class; time was when they, too, dreamed of the restoration of the bourgeois sys-tem. But now they, too, are convinced that only together with the proletariat will it be possible to achieve a flourish-ing state of culture in Russia. Only collaboration between scientists and workers can put an end to oppressive poverty, disease and dirt. And this will be done.

No forces of darkness can withstand an alliance of the scientists, the proletariat and the technologists.


[1] The Second All-Russia Congress of Medical Workers was held February 25-March 2, 1920. It was attended by 312 delegates, of whom 125 were Communists. The agenda of the Congress was the following: report of the C.C. of the All-Russia Union of Medical Workers, elections of the auditing commission, organisational report, sanitary service in the Republic, medical service and others. Lenin addressed the Congress with a brief speech of greeting on March 1. The Congress paid special attention to the organisation of the medical services. It also dealt with the questions of training new medical personnel and drafted a plan for the organisation of medical education.