V. I. Lenin

Speech To Men Of The Red Army

Leaving For The Polish Front

May 5, 1920[1]

Newspaper Report

Delivered: 5 May, 1920
First Published: Pravda, May 2, 1920; Published according to the newspaper text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 31, pages 127-128
Translated: Julius Katzer
Transcription\HTML Markup: David Walters & R. 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

Comrades: You know that, instigated by the Entente, the Polish landowners and capitalists have forced a new war on us. Remember, comrades, that we have no quarrel with the Polish peasants and workers; we have recognised Poland’s independence and the Polish People’s Republic, and shall continue to do so. We have proposed peace to Poland on the basis of the integrity of her frontiers, although these frontiers extend far beyond the purely Polish population. We have agreed to make all concessions, which is something each of you should remember at the front. Let your attitude to the Poles there prove that you are soldiers of a workers’ and peasants’ republic, that you are coming to them, not as aggressors but as liberators. Now that, despite our efforts, the Polish magnates have concluded an alliance with Petlyura, launched an offensive, are approaching Kiev, and are spreading rumours in the foreign press that they have already captured Kiev—which is the sheerest fabrication since only yesterday I was talking on the direct line with F. Kon, who is in Kiev—we say: Comrades, we have been able to repel a more terrible enemy; we have been able to defeat our own landowners and capitalists, and we shall defeat the Polish landowners and capitalists too! All of us here today should pledge ourselves, give a solemn promise, that we shall stand as one man so as not to allow a victory of the Polish magnates and capitalists. Long live the peasants and workers of a free independent Polish Republic! Down with the Polish magnates, landowners and capitalists! Long live our Red Workers’ and Peasants’ Army! (The mighty strains of the "Internationale" and cries of "Hurrah" drown Comrade Lenin’s final words.)


[1] This speech was made by V. I. Lenin on May 5, 1920, in Teatralnaya Square (now Sverdlov Square), whore a parade of the Moscow garrison troops took place. Petrograd Communists leaving for the Polish front were also present at the parade.—Editor.