The War with Poland

Order No.241

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic to the Western Front and the zone adjoining the front, September 9, 1920, No.241, Minsk

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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Severe punishment for the agents of the Polish gentry!

A considerable number of friends and agents of the Polish gentry, enemies of the working people and the Workers’ and Peasants’ power, remained behind in the regions liberated by the Red forces. At first they lay low. But when our Red forces suffered a temporary setback, these Polish hirelings and White-Guard reptiles lifted their heads in our rear. They began to spread rumours that the Red forces would soon quit Byelorussia. This stupid rumour was taken by speculators trading in foreign currency. The provocateurs acting for the Polish gentry, who sometimes (as, for example, in Smolensk) call themselves SRs, are trying to give the Byelorussian peasant in the barracks the idea that the war will cease at once as soon as the Red Army leaves Byelorussia.

Naturally, the honest Byelorussian peasant, who groaned for a year under the yoke of Polish occupation, cannot be convinced by such talk. He knows that the Red Army did not seek war. The war was started by the Polish gentry. We threw them out of Byelorussia. We have no designs on Polish land. The war will stop as soon as Poland renounces her encroachments on the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Lithuania. The Byelorussian peasant needs peace, as does all Workers’ and Peasants’ Russia.

But so long as the landlords and capitalists of Poland will not agree to peace, and continue to threaten working people’s Byelorussia, we must and shall wage ruthless war against the White-Guard forces of Pan Pilsudski and against his agents in our rear.

It is the responsibility of all military organs and of the Soviet power generally in the area of the Western front to intensify vigilance in the towns, along the railway lines and in the villages, and to take the most severe measures against the troublemaking agents-provocateurs of Pilsudski, under whatever names they may hide themselves. Death to the enemies of the working people. Long live Soviet Byelorussia!

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Last updated on: 26.12.2006