V. I. Lenin

Speech at a Meeting In

Memory of Y. M. Sverdlov[1]

March 16, 1920

Brief Newspaper Report

Delivered: 16 March, 1920
First Published: Pravda No. 59, March 17, 1920 Published according to the Pravda text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, pages 433-434
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

Referring to the late Comrade Sverdlov's great talent as an organiser, Lenin said that this reminded one of the significance of organisation and of the role of organisers in Soviet development. Describing the extreme importance of organisation, Lenin pointed out that organisation was, in fact, the principal weapon of the working class in the revolutionary struggle. He spoke of the alignment of social forces at various periods since the October Revolution, and declared that the dictatorship of the proletariat would have been impossible had the working people not been united. He drew the conclusion that organisation was the mainspring of all our successes on the war fronts, as well as of the successes gradually being achieved in combating economic disruption. Lenin gave an appreciation from this angle of the work of the late Comrade Sverdlov as an organiser, and went on to say that we had such a vanguard of organisers because they had passed through a severe school of life when they had to work in underground organisations. Such a vanguard of organisers was particularly needed at that moment in Germany, which was passing through a stage of Kornilovism. Lenin said that there were many talented organisers among the working people, even among the non-party workers and peasants, but that we had not yet learned to find them and to place them in suitable posts. He expressed the conviction that increasing numbers of organizers would in future emerge from among the working people, and that they would remember the work of Comrade Sverdlov and firmly follow in his footsteps.


[1] On March 16, 1920, a meeting dedicated to the memory of Y. M. Sverdlov was held in the Bolshoi Theatre. It was attended by members of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.), All-Russia Moscow Committee of the R,.C.P.(B.), representatives of trade unions and factory committees, and delegates of the gubernia congress of Soviets which was going on at the same time. Comrades who knew Sverdlov closely spoke of their work with him. Lenin spoke on behalf of the C. C., R.C.P.(B.).