The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Orders, Circulars, Telegrams, etc.

Letter to a Red Army Man

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

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Red Army friend! I am writing to you on the First of May. And you are reading what I write. Literacy brings us together: that is its great power.

Everything that the thousands of generations of mankind before our time saw, experienced and accomplished is written down in books. Everything that men have learnt up to now is written down. And now that you are literate, all this is accessible to you.

The Red Army taught you to read. I congratulate you fraternally on this great success: for now you have in your hand the key that opens the door to learning.

But do not halt half way. The man who is not very literate often forgets his letters. You must get a firm foothold in reading, and then in writing as well. You must learn to read fluently, easily, freely, without effort or hesitation. Exercise yourself in reading whenever you have a free moment.

There are in the world so many splendid verses, songs, stories and books on history and science. A whole ocean of human thought. And how many more books will be written, more splendid than all those that exist today. After all, people do not stay put, they go forward. As soon as we have healed our country's wounds, we shall raise the level of the economy, we shall make life better and more beautiful - all our people will be freed and will go forward.

See to it, friend, that you do not lag behind. Study, don't waste time. Catch up with those who are ahead of you!

Krasnoarmeyets (The Red Army Man), No.47, May 1922

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006