Jean Longuet 1903


Source: Justice, 14 March 1903, Jean Longuet, p.6;
CopyLeft: this text is free of copyright restrictions;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.


The article published in the February 28 issue of JUSTICE: on “Armenia” surprised me very much. I know the sentiment of some of our best English friends on the Armenian question, quite different from the common feeling of the French, Belgian, Dutch, and a large part of the German Socialists (such as Rosa Luxembourg and Kautsky), but I cannot understand how you can misrepresent in such a way facts perfectly clear.

First, there was not one Socialist (Jaurès) but two, who spoke at the great meeting of the Chateau d'Eau, and that second Socialist — not Radical — Pressensé belongs to the advanced wing of the Parliamentary Socialist group. He is very anti-Ministerialist and anti- Bernsteinist.

Second, nobody asked for an armed intervention in favour of the Armenians. All those who have studied the story of the East, know that a purely pacific but coercive action can compel the Great Assassin to stop his abominable work of destruction of a whole people.

Third it is shocking to see that a Socialist paper speaks of the Armenians acting “foolishly if not wickedly” in the affair of the Bank. The heroic young revolutionists who entered in that bank with bombs, after 300,000 men, women and children had been murdered with horrible tortures, wanted to knock at the only sensitive place of capitalist Europe, as you have seen again with your Stock Exchange South African war.

Fourth, they did not shoot a single clerk of the bank, but only he savage soldiers of Abdul-Humid.

Fifth as for the hate of Tsarism I quite agree with you, but it is an impossible think to prove that Russia takes any interest in the Armenian question. On the contrary Prince Lobanof was with Lord Rosebery, M. Hanotaux (and the Stock Exchange interest of Berlin, London, Paris, and Petersburg), the responsible man for the horrible massacres of 1894-1896. As he said, “Russia does not want to have a second Bulgaria on her Caucasian frontier.”

How a Socialist can remain indifferent and even as you seem to be, hostile, before such abominable sufferings as those of the Armenian people I cannot understand!

For my part I think with the International that we Socialists must support all the oppressed — without any distinction of creed, nationality or sex.

Hoping that you will publish this letter, I am, my dear Quelch, very faithfully yours,

Jean Longuet.
Paris, March 10, 1903