Translation: Scott Zenkatsu Parker
Transcription: Mary Huey
HTML-markup: Jonas Holmgren
The Kronstadt seamen, and the workers with their toil-hardened hands, have torn the helm from the hands of the Communists, and taken their place at the wheel. With assurance and good cheer, they will lead the ship of Soviet power to Petrograd, whence the power of toil-hardened hands must surely capture long-suffering Russia.
But be on guard comrades. Increase your vigilance tenfold, for the path leading you to the clear channel is strewn with submerged rocks. One careless turn of the wheel, and the ship, with its cargo of social construction which you value so greatly, may founder on the cliffs.
Guard the helmsman's bridge vigilantly, comrades, for enemies already skulk near. A single negligence by you, and they will tear the wheel away. The Soviet ship may go to the bottom, to the malicious laughter of tsarist lackeys and servitors of the bourgeoisie.
You, comrades, now celebrate a great and bloodless victory over the Communist dictatorship, and your enemies celebrate with you. But your motives for joy and theirs are completely opposed. You are inspired with a burning desire to build true Soviet power, and by the noble hope of granting the worker freedom of labor, and the peasant the right to control his own land and the produce of his work. They are driven by the hope of raising anew the tsarist whip, and the privilege of generals.
Your interests are not the same, and you and they do not walk the same path. [sic] You needed to overthrow Communist authority for the goal of peaceful construction, and for constructive work. They need this for the enslavement of the workers and peasants. You search for freedom; they wish to once again throw onto you the chains of slavery. Be vigilant. Do not allow wolves in sheep's clothing close to the helmsman's bridge.
Below, we print word for word the text of a proclamation thrown out of an airplane over Kronstadt by the Communists.
The citizens regard this provocative slander with total contempt. The people of Kronstadt know how, and by whom, the hated power of the Communists was overturned. They know that at the head of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee stand elected, selfless martyrs, the best sons of the laboring people: soldiers, sailors and workers. They will not allow anyone to seat himself on their neck. Much less will they allow tsarist generals or White Guards. The Communists issue the threat, "A few more hours will pass, and you will be forced to surrender." Despicable hypocrites! Who do you want to deceive?
The Kronstadt garrison did not surrender to tsarist admirals, and will not surrender to Bolshevist generals. Do not lie and attempt to deceive the people, cowards! You know our strength, and our readiness to either be victorious, or to die with honor. You know that we will never bolt, like your commissars, loaded down with "tsarist" money, and gold extracted by the blood of the workers.
To the Deceived People of Kronstadt
Now do you see where the scoundrels have led you? You've gotten what you asked for! From behind the cover of the SR's and Mensheviks, former tsarist generals have already peered out with bared teeth. Kozlovsky, the tsarist general, Captain Burkser, Kostromitinov, Shirkanovsky [sic], and other notorious White Guards control all these Petrichenkos and Turins [sic] like puppets on strings. They are deceiving you! They have told you that you are struggling for "democracy." Not even two days have passed and you see that, in fact, you struggle not for democracy, but for tsarist generals. You have placed a new Viren on your own necks.
They tell you fairy tales, speaking as if Petrograd stood behind you, as if Siberia and the Ukraine supported you. All this is a shameless lie! In Petrograd the last sailor turned from you when it became known that tsarist General Kozlovsky was running things. Siberia and the Ukraine stand firmly for Soviet power. Red Petrograd laughs at the pathetic labors of a little bunch of SR's and White Guards.
You are completely surrounded. A few more hours will pass, and you will be forced to surrender. There is no bread and no heat in Kronstadt. If you are stubborn, you will be shot down like grouse. All these General Kozlovskys and Burksers, all these scoundrel Petrichenkos and Turins, will run away at the last minute, of course. And you, the deceived rank and file sailors and soldiers, where will you go? If they promise that Finland will feed you, then they are deceiving you! Can you really have not heard how they took the former soldiers of Wrangel away to Constantinople, and how they died there from disease by the thousands, like flies? Just such a fate awaits you too, if you do not come to your senses right now!
Surrender now, not losing a single minute!
Lay down your weapons, and come over to us!
Disarm and arrest the criminal ring leaders, and especially the tsarist generals!
The one who surrenders immediately will be forgiven his guilt.
THE PETROGRAD DEFENSE COMMITTEE
The broadcast below, received by the radio station of the Petropavlovsk, confirms yet again that the Communists continue to deceive not only workers and soldiers, but also the members of the Petrograd Soviet.
But they will not succeed in deceiving the revolutionary garrison of Kronstadt and its workers.
Passed at an expanded session of the Petrograd Soviet, with the attendance, besides the members of the Soviet, of representatives from factory-plant committees and from the administrations of all trade unions. With the attendance, also, of commissions and delegations elected at factories and plants, among whom were hundreds of non-party workingmen, workingwomen, sailors and soldiers.
A little bunch of adventurers and counter-revolutionaries has led Kronstadt astray. Under cover of the Petropavlovsk sailors, spies sent by French counterintelligence have unquestionably been active. They tell the sailors that the whole matter is a struggle for "democracy," that they do not want the shedding of blood, and that the mutiny is passing without a single shot, for some kind of "democracy." French capitalists' spies, tsarist generals, and their faithful helpers the Mensheviks and SR's can struggle for such democracy.
If it had ever been fated for them to achieve success, the exploits of this gang of thieves and traitors would inescapably have led to the reestablishment of bourgeois power, and to bloody reprisal against the workers and peasants.
The Mensheviks and SR's, pointing to the difficult economic situation of the Soviet Republic, say that the Communists have been incapable of economic construction. But who, for three years, did not allow the Russian workers and peasants the possibility of peaceful economic construction?
If anyone worked to create hunger and economic ruin, then it was the Mensheviks and SR's. They have supported every counterrevolutionary rebellion, tirelessly fanned the flames of civil war in the name of re-establishing the power of landlords and capitalists, and directed international imperialists against Soviet Russia.
The leaders of the conspiracy say that they captured power in Kronstadt without a shot. But this occurred only because Soviet power wished to overcome this conflict by peaceful means. It cannot continue thus. The international bourgeoisie is raising its head. There is exultation in the camp of the enemies of the working class, exultation which may any day pour out in a new campaign against Soviet Russia.
This danger threatens all our attainments. The adventurers yell that the Communists cannot handle economic construction. With this they are pushing Soviet Russia into the embrace of a new war.
The Petrograd Soviet and central Soviet power cannot, and do not have the right to, allow things to come to that. The work of the counterrevolutionaries who have been planted in Kronstadt is hopeless. They are powerless in a dispute with Soviet Russia. The mutiny must be liquidated in the very shortest period.
Comrade workers, sailors and soldiers, understand that you are deceived. Understand that on you depends the bloody outcome of the adventurism into which the White Guards have drawn you. On you depends whether these White Guard scribblers escape their deserved punishment.
Comrades, immediately arrest the ringleaders of the counter-revolutionary conspiracy. Immediately reestablish the Kronstadt Soviet. Soviet power is able to distinguish unknowing, mistaken toilers from intentional counterrevolutionaries.
Comrades, once again the Petrograd Soviet states that on you depends whether fraternal blood does or does not spill. By the base will of enemies of the working class, their bloody scheme will collapse on the heads of the working class alone.
This is our last warning; time does not wait. Decide immediately, either you are with us against the common enemy, or you will perish shamefully and infamously together with the counterrevolutionaries.
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Deputies
radio station Novaia Golandiia
To all... To all... To all...
Comrade workers, soldiers and sailors! We in Kronstadt know very well how you and your half starved children and wives suffer under the yoke of the Communist dictatorship. We have overthrown the Communist Soviet here. The Provisional Revolutionary Committee is currently preparing to carry out new elections, to a new, freely elected Soviet, which will express the will of the entire laboring populace and garrison, and not of a little bunch of insane Communists.
Our struggle is rightful. We stand for power of Soviets, and not parties. We stand for freely elected representatives of laborers. The current Soviets, seized and subverted by the Communists, have always been deaf to all our needs and demands. In answer we received only executions. Now, when the limit to the laborers' patience has been reached, they want to shut your mouths with miserable pittances. By Zinoviev's decree, anti-profiteer roadblock detachments in Petrograd Province are being removed. Moscow is assigning ten million in gold for the purchase abroad of provisions and items of the first necessity. But we know that you cannot buy the Peter proletariat with these pittances. We extend the hand of fraternal aid to you from Revolutionary Kronstadt, past the heads of the Communists.
Comrades! They not only deceive you, but purposely obscure the truth, resorting to base slander. Comrades, do not be taken in! All entirety of power in Kronstadt is in the hands of revolutionary sailors, soldiers and workers alone, and not of White Guards with some General Kozlovsky at head, as the slanderous broadcasts from Moscow would have you believe.
The following comrades are included in the composition of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee: Arkhipov, Boikov, Valk, Vershinin, Kilgast, Kupolov, Oreshin, Ososov, Pavlov, Patrushev, Perepelkin, Petrichenko, Romanenko, Tukin and Yakimenko [sic].
From them were chosen: Comrade Petrichenko as President of the Prov. Rev. Com., Comrades Yakimenko and Arkhipov as Comrades of the President, Comrade Kilgast as Secretary of the Prov. Rev. Com. (he was also appointed the management of information); the management of civilian matters was appointed to Comrades Valk and Romanenko, of transport resources to Comrade Boikov, of the Investigative Unit to Comrade Pavlov, and of the Produce Department to Comrade Tukin.
A special courier from Petrograd has now arrived in Kronstadt with notification that the delegation sent by Kronstadt organizations arrived there safely. The delegation informed the capitol's workers and sailors of the events in Kronstadt, distributed the orders and leaflets issued by the Prov. Rev. Com., and departed for other missions, in a direction which it knows.
We, soldiers of fort Rif, have heard the report of representatives of the comrade sailors, regarding the current moment, about events in Kronstadt, and have resolved: to express full faith in the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, and to stay at our posts and fight until there isn't a single soldier left in the fort.
Long live the freedom of the workers and peasants.
Long live the Provisional Revolutionary Committee.
RIABOV, President of the Assembly
Comrade rank and file Communists, look about, and you will see that we have entered a terrible swamp, led by a little bunch of Communist bureaucrats. Under a Communist mask, they have built warm nests for themselves in our Republic. I, as a Communist, call on you to drive from us those false Communists who incite us to fratricide. We rank and file Communists, in no way guilty, suffer the rebukes of our comrade non-party workers and peasants because of them. I look with horror on the situation which has been created.
Will the blood of our brothers really be spilled for the interests of those Communist bureaucrats? Comrades, come to your senses, and do not submit to the provocations of those Communist bureaucrats who push us to slaughter. Drive them away, for a true Communist must not limit his ideas. He must walk hand in hand with the entire laboring mass.
ROZHKALI [sic] of the minelayer Narov, member of the R.C.P. (bolsheviks)
In accord with the resolution of the General Conference of representatives of seamen, soldiers and workers of March 4th, the Prov. Rev. Com. instructs the Revtroika [Revolutionary Tribunal] of the Bureau of Unions to carry out not later than Monday new elections to Raikoms [Regional Committees] and union administrations, and on Tuesday the 8th to carry out new elections to the Soviet of Trade Unions.
THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE
Do not delay, comrades. Lend your support, and enter into firm contact with us. Demand that your non-party representatives be allowed through to Kronstadt. Only they will tell you the entire truth, and dispel the provocative rumors of bread from Finland and plots by the Entente.
Long live the revolutionary proletariat and peasantry!
Long live the power of freely elected Soviets!"
THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE OF KRONSTADT
March 6th, 1921, radio station of the battleship Petropavlovsk