Communist Party of France 1924

The Death of Lenin

Source: L'Humanité, January 23, 1924;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2005.

Marcel Cachin, one of the founding members of the PCF, and long-time editor of L'Humanité, wrote the following article on Lenin’s death for the Party newspaper.

Yesterday, at the end of the afternoon, the news of Lenin’s death reached us at L'Humanité. We can’t translate into words the pain and emotion that swept over us.

The militant who died will leave in human history a name that deserves to be associated with that of the greatest. In his person this powerful leader of masses united those most eminent and most rare faculties of a scholar and a man of action.

Since the death of Marx and Engels no revolutionary had studied, commented upon or developed the doctrine of the two great masters with so ample and vigorous an intelligence. In newspapers, in speeches at congresses, in pamphlets, in books — some of which were written by Lenin in the heat of proletarian combat — he illuminated, clarified, made living Marx’s theses, which he had made the very substance of his spirit.

It was to Lenin that was given the immortal privilege of leading to victory the first proletariat in the world to carry out its revolution. He was more or less alone in seeing, from the moment of Czarism’s fall, the possibility of success of immediate action on the part of the working masses. He brought over to this position his Bolshevik comrades, from some of whom he sometimes met a certain amount of resistance; he brought over to this position the Russian proletariat. From the very beginning he believed in the victory of a purely proletarian and peasant government, chasing out the bourgeoisie of all forms, and alone taking power in order to arrive at the revolutionary expropriation of capital.

This gigantic task was led by him with an energy that brings to mind that of our Montagnards of ‘93, who he knew and venerated as the most precious of guides. But at the same time that he opposed to counter- revolution his iron will in order to save the working class movement. Like all great politicians, he knew how to find the correct and opportune formula to attach the immense mass of Russian peasants to the nascent Revolution.

His work is now protected against all of destiny’s blows and the hatred of the bourgeois class, which he defeated. He dies leaving to all revolutionaries the most magnificent of examples and the most fulfilled of lives. And now that he is no more, the international proletariat will, alas, better understand the extent of the misfortune that has just struck it.

All of Russia cries for him, as the liberator who freed it from its centuries-old chains.

From all over the world, the workers of two continents, their eyes saddened, turn towards the Soviet republic, deprived of its chief.

On this day of mourning, from all the corners of the globe, working class gratitude will go out to this great man who left us. And towards the Russian proletariat in tears there will also rise a cry of solidarity, of confidence, and faith in the indestructible proletarian federative republic, forged by the powerful hands of Vladimir Ulyanov.