Victor Serge

What everyone should know about repression


First published in 1926 as Les Coulisses d’une Sûreté générale. Ce qua tout révolutionnaire doit savoir de la répression, Librairie du Travail, Paris (see note).
Part I first published in Bulletin Communiste, November 1921 as Les Méthodes et les Procédés de la Police Russe.
Translated from the French by Judith White.
Translation & notes: Copyright © New Park Publications Ltd 1979.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.




This book first appeared in French:

  1. in Bulletin Communist, nos. 50, 51 and 52 of November 10, 17 and 24, 1921 on pages 829–836, 858–859 and 877–890, with the title Les Méthodes et les Procédés de la Police Russe (The Methods and Procedures of the Russian Police):
    I. Special training of the policeman. II. External Surveillance. Tailing. III. An Instruction on the recruitment and service of agents provocateurs. IV. A Monograph on provocation in Moscow (1912). V. Files on agents provocateurs. VI. Psychology of the provocateur. VII. Provocation, a two-edged weapon. VIII. Russian spies abroad. Mail opening. IX. How codes are deciphered. X. Synthesis of information. The diagram method. XI. Scientific study of the revolutionary movement. XII. Protection of the Tsar’s person. XIII. The cost of an execution. XIV. Conclusion: Why the revolution remains invincible. These 14 sections correspond to the first part of the present volume. They were dated Petrograd, October–November 1920.
  2. published by the Librairie du Travail in its collection Faits et Documents, IV, Paris 1926, entitled Les Coulisses d’une Sûreté générale. Ce que tout révolutionnaire devrait savour sur la répression (Corridors of the security police. What every revolutionary should know about repression). In 1934, extracts were published in the form of a pamphlet entitled: Les problémes de l’illégalité. Simples conseils au militant (Problems of illegality. Simple advice to the revolutionary) in the Faits et Documents collection, XII.
  3. The French police apparently published a pirate edition in the 1960s (?) ... for the use of their “employees”.
  4. published by François Maspero, Paris 1970, 1972 and 1977 under the title: Ce que tout révolutionnaire doit savoir de la répression.

Jean Rière. Paris, 1978


Last updated on 7 February 2017