Bakunin 1862

Preface to a Pamphlet on Poland

Source: Correspondance de Mikhail Bakounine; Lettres ... Herzen et ... Ogareff. Edited by Michel Dragomanov. Paris, Perrin et Cie., 1896;
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2014.

Publishing in this pamphlet important documents having to do with the new era in the Russian and Polish movements, notably the Letter from the Polish National Committee to the Editors of “The Bell, “ the Response of the Editors of “The Bell” to the Polish Committee” the Response to the Letter of the Russian Troops Based in Poland, and the Address of His Troops to the Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich, we ask all our Russian friends, and particularly those in the military, to pay particular attention to them. We hope that with the publication of these documents an end will be put to the unfortunate misunderstanding contrary to the progress of Freedom that has until today divided the defenders of the Russian people and those who fight for Polish emancipation. Having confidence in each other we will henceforth act in solidarity with each other and thus with greater strength and success.

You, Polish brothers, and you, Russian comrades, in all circumstances and wherever you might meet, fighting against the common enemy or defeated by him and sent into exile, will extend your hand to each other and offer fraternal assistance for the defense of our common cause; you will unite your efforts to deliver yourselves from the painful and shameful yoke that the Petersburg government imposes on you in oppressing both Poland and Russia. And when you will have reconquered the freedom of these two countries it will be up to them alone to establish their borders, to choose their allies, and to specify the form of their future existence which, renewed, will henceforth be based on an legitimate and incontestable right: that of the sovereignty of the people.

In conclusion, for our part we express our profound conviction that as long as Poland remains in chains Russia, condemned to the role of executioner, cannot hope to see shine the least ray of Liberty’s light.