J. V. Stalin

Speech at the Opening of the Second All-Russian
Congress of Communist Organizations
of the Peoples of the East

Date: November 22, 1919
First Published: Zhizn Nationalnostei No. 46, December 7, 1919
Source: J. V. Stalin, Works, Volume 4, pages 290-292. Foreign Languages Publishing House: Moscow, 1953
Transcription: Hari Kumar for Alliance-ML
HTML: Mike B. for MIA, 2005


On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party I have been charged with opening this Second Congress of representatives of the Moslem communist organizations of the East.(1)

Since the First Congress, a year has elapsed. This interval has been marked by two important events in the history of socialism. The first is the revolutionizing of Western Europe and America and the birth of Communist Parties over there, in the West; the second is the awakening of the peoples of the East, the growth of the revolutionary movement in the East, among the oppressed peoples of the East. Over there, in the West, the proletarians are threatening to demolish the vanguard of the imperialist powers and to take power into their own hands. Here the proletarians are threatening to disrupt imperialism's rear, the East, the source of its wealth, because the East is the basis on which the wealth of imperialism is built; it is from there that it derives its strength, and it is to there that it proposes to retire if it is beaten in Western Europe.

A year ago, in the West, world imperialism was threatening to surround Soviet Russia with a tight ring. It now turns out that it is itself surrounded, because it is being struck at both on the flanks and in the rear. When, a year ago, the delegates to the First Moslem Congress of the Peoples of the East were about to leave for their homes, they vowed to do everything in their power to rouse the peoples of the East from their slumber and to erect a bridge between the revolution in the West and the oppressed peoples in the East. Reviewing this work now, we may note with satisfaction that this revolutionary activity has not been in vain, that a bridge has been erected against those who strangle the liberty of all the oppressed peoples.

Lastly, if our forces, our Red forces, have advanced eastward so swiftly, not the least factor contributing to this, of course, has been your work, comrade delegates. If the road to the East is now open, that too the revolution owes to the supreme efforts of our comrades, the delegates here, in the work they have latterly accomplished.

Only the solidarity of the Moslem communist organizations of the peoples of the East — and, first and foremost, of the Tatars, Bashkirs, Kirghiz and the peoples of Turkestan — can explain those rapid developments which we observe in the East.

I have no doubt, comrades, that this Second Congress, which is more comprehensive both quantitatively and qualitatively than the First, will be able to continue the work already begun of awakening the peoples of the East, the work of strengthening the bridge erected between West and East, the work of emancipating the working masses from the age-long yoke of imperialism.

Let us hope that the banner raised at the First Congress, the banner of the emancipation of the labouring masses of the East, the banner of the destruction of imperialism, will be borne with honour to the goal by the militants of the Moslem communist organizations. (Applause.)

(1) The Second All-Russian Congress of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East met in Moscow from November 22 to December 3, 1919. It was attended by some 80 delegates representing Moslem communist organizations of Turkestan, Azerbaijan, Khiva, Bukhara, Kirghizia, Tataria, Chuvashia, Bashkiria, the Caucasus and individual towns (Perm, Vyatka, Orenburg, etc.). V. I. Lenin gave a report to the congress on current affairs. The congress heard a report on the activ- ities of the Central Bureau of the Moslem organizations of the R.C.P.(B.), discussed the Eastern question and other ques- tions, and outlined the tasks of Party arid Soviet organizations in the East.