Vladimir Lenin

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Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov "Lenin"
Vladimir Lenin
Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars
In office
November 8, 1917 – January 21, 1924
Preceded by Alexander Kerensky
Succeeded by Alexey Ivanovich Rykov
Born April 22, 1870
Simbirsk, Russia
Died January 21, 1924
Moscow, USSR
Political party Bolshevik Party
Profession Politician

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Russian: Владимир Ильич Ульянов, better known by the alias Lenin (Ленин)) (April 22, 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, a communist politician, the main leader of the October Revolution, the first head of the Soviet Union, and the primary theorist of Leninism, a variant of Marxism.



Early life

Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) circa 1887
Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) circa 1887

Born in Simbirsk, Russian Empire (now Ulyanovsk), Lenin was the son of Ilya Nikolaevich Ulyanov and Maria Alexandrovna Ulyanova. His father was a Russian official in public education who worked for progressive democracy and free universal education in Russia. The family was of mixed ethnicity, his ancestry being "Russian, Kalmyk, Jewish, German and Swedish, and possibly others" according to biographer Dimitri Volkogonov.[1] Lenin was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 1886, Lenin's father died of a cerebral hemorrhage. In May 1887, his eldest brother Alexander Ulyanov was hanged for participating in a terrorist bomb plot threatening the life of Tsar Alexander III. His sister Anna, who was with Alexander at the time of his arrest, was banished to his family estate, the village of Kokushkino, about 40 km (25 mi) from Kazan. This event radicalized Lenin, and his official Soviet biographies describe it as central to the revolutionary track of his life. A famous painting by Belousov, "We Will Follow a Different Path", reprinted in millions of Soviet textbooks, depicted young Lenin and his mother grieving the loss of his elder brother. The phrase "We will follow a different path" refers to Lenin choosing a Marxist approach to popular revolution, instead of anarchist, individualist methods. As Lenin became interested in Marxism, he was involved in student protests and was subsequently arrested. He was then expelled from Kazan University. He continued to study independently and by 1891 had earned a license to practice law.[2] He also distinguished himself in Latin and Greek, and learned German, French and English.


Revolutionary activity, travel and exile

Lenin worked for some years in Samara, Russia, then in 1893 moved to St Petersburg. Rather than settling into a legal career, he became more involved in revolutionary propaganda efforts and the study of Marxism. On December 7 1895, he was arrested and held by authorities for 14 months, then exiled to the village of Shushenskoye in Siberia.

Lenin's mug shot, Dec. 1895
Lenin's mug shot, Dec. 1895

In July 1898, he married Nadezhda Krupskaya, who was a socialist activist. In April 1899, he published the book The Development of Capitalism in Russia.[3] In 1900 his exile ended and he traveled in Russia and elsewhere in Europe. He lived in Zurich, Geneva (where he lectured and studied at Geneva State University), Munich, Prague, Vienna, Manchester and London, and during his tour co-founded the newspaper Iskra with Julius Martov (who later became a leading opponent). He also wrote several articles and books related to the revolutionary movement. At this period, he started using various aliases, finally settling upon Lenin.

He was active in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP; РСДРП in Russian), and in 1903 he led the Bolshevik faction after a split with the Mensheviks that was partly inspired by his pamphlet What is to be Done?. This is said to be one of the most influential pamphlets in pre-revolutionary Russia, with Lenin himself claiming that 3 out of 5 workers had read it or had it read to them.[4] In 1906 he was elected to the Presidium of the RSDLP. In 1907, he moved to Finland for security reasons. He continued to travel in Europe and participated in many socialist meetings and activities, including the Prague Party Conference of 1912 and the Zimmerwald Conference of 1915. In response to philosophical debates on the proper course of socialist revolution, Lenin wrote Materialism and Empirio-criticism in 1909, a work that became fundamental in Marxist-Leninist philosophy. Lenin was the main leader of the Zimmerwald Left. When Inessa Armand left Russia and settled in Paris, she met Lenin and other Bolsheviks living in exile, and it is believed that she became Lenin's lover during this time. Lenin later moved to Switzerland.

When the First World War began in 1914 and the large Social Democratic parties of Europe (at that time self-described as Marxist), including luminaries such as Karl Kautsky, supported their various countries' war efforts, Lenin was shocked, at first refusing to believe that the German Social Democrats had voted for war credits. This led him to a final split with the Second International, which was composed of these parties. Lenin adopted the position that what he described as an 'imperialist war' should be turned into a civil war between the classes.


Return to Russia

After the 1917 February Revolution in Russia and the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II, Lenin realised he must return to Russia as soon as possible. He was isolated, however, in neutral Switzerland as the First World War raged throughout neighbouring states. The Swiss communist Fritz Platten nonetheless managed to negotiate with the German government for Lenin and his company to travel through Germany by rail, on the so-called "sealed train". The German government clearly hoped Lenin's return would create political unrest back in Russia, which would help to end the war on the Eastern front, allowing Germany to concentrate on defeating the Western allies. Once through Germany, Lenin continued by ferry to Sweden; the remainder of the journey through Scandinavia was subsequently arranged by Swedish communists Otto Grimlund and Ture Nerman.

On April 16, 1917 Lenin arrived in Petrograd and took a leading role within the Bolshevik movement, publishing the April Theses,[5] which called for an uncompromising opposition to the provisional government. Initially, Lenin isolated his party through this lurch to the left. However, this uncompromising stand meant that the Bolsheviks were to become the obvious home for all those who became disillusioned with the provisional government, and with the "luxury of opposition" the Bolsheviks did not have to assume responsibility for any policies implemented by the government.[6]

Lenin disguised as "Vilén", wearing a wig and with his beard shaved off. Finland, August 11, 1917.
Lenin disguised as "Vilén", wearing a wig and with his beard shaved off. Finland, August 11, 1917.

Meanwhile, Aleksandr Kerensky and other opponents of the Bolsheviks accused Lenin of being a paid German agent. In response Leon Trotsky, formerly a Menshevik, but now moving closer to the Bolshevik position, made a defensive speech on July 17, saying: "An intolerable atmosphere has been created, in which you as well as we are choking. They are throwing dirty accusations at Lenin and Zinoviev. Lenin has fought thirty years for the revolution. I have fought twenty years against the oppression of the people. And we cannot but cherish a hatred for German militarism. ... I have been sentenced by a German court to eight months’ imprisonment for my struggle against German militarism. This everybody knows. Let nobody in this hall say that we are hirelings of Germany."[7]

After a failed Bolshevik rising in July, Lenin fled to Finland for safety. Here he wrote "State and Revolution,"[8] which called for a new form of government based on workers' councils, or soviets elected and revocable at all moments by the workers. He returned to Petrograd in October, inspiring the October Revolution with the slogan "All Power to the Soviets!" Lenin directed the overthrow of the Provisional Government from the Smolny Institute from the 6th to the 8th of November 1917. The storming and capitulation of the Winter Palace on the night of the 7th to 8th of November marked the beginning of Soviet rule.


Head of the Soviet state

On November 8, Lenin was elected as the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars by the Russian Soviet Congress.

"Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the entire country,"[9] Lenin said, emphasizing the importance of bringing electricity to all corners of Russia and modernizing industry and agriculture. "We must show the peasants that the organization of industry on the basis of modern, advanced technology, on electrification which will provide a link between town and country, will put an end to the division between town and country, will make it possible to raise the level of culture in the countryside and to overcome, even in the most remote corners of land, backwardness, ignorance, poverty, disease, and barbarism."[10] He was very concerned about creating a free universal health care system for all, the emancipation of women, and teaching the illiterate Russian people to read and write.[11] But first and foremost, the new Bolshevik government needed to take Russia out of the World War.

Faced with the threat of a continuing German advance eastwards, Lenin argued that Russia should immediately sign a peace treaty. Other Bolshevik leaders, such as Bukharin, advocated continuing the war as a means of fomenting revolution in Germany. Trotsky, who led the negotiations, advocated an intermediate position, of "No War, No Peace", calling for a peace treaty only on the conditions that no territorial gains on either side be consolidated. After the negotiations collapsed, the Germans renewed their advance, resulting in the loss of much of Russia's western territory. As a result of this turn of events, Lenin's position consequently gained the support of the majority in the Bolshevik leadership. On March 3 1918, Lenin removed Russia from World War I by agreeing to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, under which Russia lost significant territories in Europe.

After the Bolsheviks lost the elections for the Russian Constituent Assembly, they used the Red Guards to shut down the first session of the Assembly on January 19 and relied on support from the soviets. This marked the beginning of the steady elimination from political life all factions and parties whose views did not correspond to the position taken by Lenin and the Bolsheviks, especially as further exhibited by the Civil War pattern of repeatedly dissolving not-so-favourable Congresses of Soviets.

Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and Mikhail Kalinin 1919
Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and Mikhail Kalinin 1919

The Bolsheviks formed a coalition government with the left wing of the Socialist Revolutionaries. However, their coalition collapsed after the Social Revolutionaries opposed the Brest-Litovsk treaty, and joined other parties in seeking to overthrow the Bolshevik government. Lenin responded to these efforts by a policy of wholesale persecution, which included jailing some of the members of the opposing parties.

Lenin had a certain admiration for the Irish socialist revolutionary James Connolly, and the Soviet Union was the first country to recognise the Irish Republic which fought a war of independence against Britain.

Lenin in his Kremlin office, 1918
Lenin in his Kremlin office, 1918

Creation of the secret police

From early 1918, Lenin campaigned for a single, democratically accountable individual to be put in charge of each enterprise, contrary to most conceptions of workers' self-management, but absolutely essential for efficiency and expertise. As S.A. Smith wrote: "By the end of the civil war, not much was left of the democratic forms of industrial administration promoted by the factory committees in 1917, but the government argued that this did not matter since industry had passed into the ownership of a workers' state."

To protect the newly-established Bolshevik government from counterrevolutionaries and other political opponents, the Bolsheviks created a secret police, the Cheka. The Bolsheviks had planned to hold a trial for the former Tsar, but in August 1918, when the White Army was advancing on Yekaterinburg where the former royal family was being held, Sverdlov acceded to the request of the local Soviet to execute the Tsar right away, rather than having him freed by the Whites. The Tsar and the rest of his immediate family were executed, though whether this was a decision of the central government or the local Soviet remains the subject of historical dispute. Lenin was informed about the execution only after it had taken place, but did not express any criticism against it.[12]

Lenin and Fritz Platten in 1919.
Lenin and Fritz Platten in 1919.

Assassination attempt

On January 14, 1918, an assassination attempt was made against Lenin’s car in Petrograd by unknown gunmen. Lenin and Fritz Platten were in the back of the car together, after having given a public speech. When the shooting started, "Platten grabbed Lenin by the head and pushed him down. ... Platten’s hand was covered in blood, having been grazed by a bullet as he was shielding Lenin."[13]

On August 30 1918, Fanya Kaplan, a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, approached Lenin after he had spoken at a meeting and was on the way to his car. She called out to Lenin, who turned to answer. She immediately fired three shots, two of which struck him in the shoulder and lung. Lenin was taken to his apartment in the Kremlin, refusing to venture to a hospital since he believed that other assassins would be waiting there. Doctors were summoned but decided that it was too dangerous to remove the bullets. Lenin eventually recovered, though his health declined from this point. It is believed that the incident contributed to his later strokes.

Lenin with Trotsky and soldiers in Petrograd, 1921
Lenin with Trotsky and soldiers in Petrograd, 1921

Lenin and the Red Terror

Following the assassination attempt on Lenin, and the successful assassination of Petrograd chief of secret police Moisei Uritsky, Stalin, in a telegram to Lenin, argued that a policy of "open and systematic mass terror" be instigated against "those responsible". Lenin and the other Bolsheviks agreed, and instructed Felix Dzerzhinsky, whom Lenin had appointed to head the Cheka in 1917, to commence a "Red Terror", which was officially announced to the public on September 1, 1918, by the Bolshevik newspaper, Krasnaya Gazeta.[1] Approximately 12,700 were executed in the course of 1918-20.[14]Scholars estimate that between 1918-21 up to 200,000 were executed. This was during the Civil War when excesses were carried out by both Reds and Whites, and Lenin's regime was in deadly peril from the latter [2][3].

In May 1919, there were 16,000 people in labor camps based on the old Tsarist katorga labor camps, and in September 1921 there were more than 70,000.[15] This system later was transformed into the Gulags.

Lenin's Hanging Order documents that Lenin himself ordered terror[4]: The text is as follows:

Send to Penza To Comrades Kuraev, Send to Penza To Comrades Kuraev, Bosh, Minkin and other Penza communists Comrades! The revolt by the five kulak volost's must be suppressed without mercy. The interest of the entire revolution demands this, because we have now before us our final decisive battle "with the kulaks." We need to set an example. 1) You need to hang (hang without fail, so that the public sees) at least 100 notorious kulaks, the rich, and the bloodsuckers. 2) Publish their names. 3) Take away all of their grain. 4) Execute the hostages - in accordance with yesterday's telegram. This needs to be accomplished in such a way, that people for hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know and scream out: let's choke and strangle those blood-sucking kulaks. Telegraph us acknowledging receipt and execution of this. Yours, Lenin P.S. Use your toughest people for this.

Although there are ultimately claims from emigre memoirists about "mass repression" in the Crimea, Lenin himself instructed in December 1920 when the Crimea had been liberated that 300,000 captured bourgeois would be spared:

For instance, there are at present 300,000 bourgeois in the Crimea. These are a source of future profiteering, espionage and every kind of aid to the capitalists. However, we are not afraid of them. We say that we shall take and distribute them, make them submit, and assimilate them[5]

Emigre Russian literature by Vladimir Brunovskii alleges that 250,000 to 300,000 were executed by the Cheka. [16] [17] [18] [19]

The Red Terror coincided with an escalation of terror against the Bolsheviks. Pravda reported that 4140 Soviet activists had been killed by July 1918 and 6350 in the period August-September.[20] It was found that 25,000 in Ekaterinburg province alone were murdered by the Kolchak regime. [21]

According to Orlando Figes, Lenin had always been an advocate of "mass terror against enemies of the revolution" and was open about his view that the proletarian state was a system of organized violence against the capitalist establishment. Figes also claims that the terror, while encouraged by the Bolsheviks, had its roots in a popular anger against the privileged.[22] When in late 1918 Kamenev and Bukharin tried to curb the "excesses" of the Cheka, it was Lenin who defended it.[23]


Russian Communist Party and civil war

Further information: On the Allies invasion of Russia: Polar Bear Expedition, North Russia Campaign, American Expeditionary Force Siberia

In March 1919, Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders met with revolutionary socialists from around the world and formed the Communist International. Members of the Communist International, including Lenin and the Bolsheviks themselves, broke off from the broader socialist movement. From that point onwards, they would become known as communists. In Russia, the Bolshevik Party was renamed the "Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)," which eventually became the CPSU.

Meanwhile, the civil war raged across Russia. A wide variety of political movements and their supporters took up arms to support or overthrow the Soviet government. Although many different factions were involved in the civil war, the two main forces were the Red Army (communists) and the White Army (traditionalists). Foreign powers such as France, Britain, the United States and Japan also intervened in this war (on behalf of the White Army), though their impact was peripheral at best. Eventually, the more organizationally proficient Red Army, led by Leon Trotsky, won the civil war, defeating the White Russian forces and their allies in 1920. Smaller battles continued for several more years, however.

"Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth," 1920 Communist poster
"Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth," 1920 Communist poster

The civil war has been described as one "unprecedented for its savagery," with mass executions and other atrocities committed by both sides. Between battles, executions, famine and epidemics, many millions would perish.[24]

In late 1919, successes against the White Russian forces convinced Lenin that it was time to spread the revolution to the West, by force if necessary. When the newly independent Second Polish Republic began securing its eastern territories annexed by Russia in the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century, it clashed with Bolshevik forces for dominance in these areas, which led to the outbreak of the Polish-Soviet War in 1919. With the revolution in Germany and the Spartacist League on the rise, Lenin viewed this as the perfect time and place to "probe Europe with the bayonets of the Red Army." Lenin saw Poland as the bridge that the Red Army would have to cross in order to link up the Russian Revolution with the communist supporters in the German Revolution, and to assist other communist movements in Western Europe. However the defeat of Soviet Russia in the Polish-Soviet War invalidated these plans.

Lenin was a harsh critic of imperialism. In 1917 he declared the unconditional right of self-determination and separation for national minorities and oppressed nations, usually defined as those nation-states that were previously subject to capitalist imperial control. However, when the Russian Civil War was won he used military force to assimilate the newly independent nations Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, arguing that the inclusion of those countries into the newly emerging Soviet government would shelter them from capitalist imperial ambitions.[25]

During civil war, as part of the policy of war communism, the Bolsheviks started "requisitioning" supplies from the peasantry for little or nothing in exchange. This led peasants to drastically reduce their crop production. In retaliation, Lenin ordered the seizure of the food peasants had grown for their own subsistence and their seed grain. The Cheka and the army began by shooting hostages, and ended by waging a second full-scale civil war against the peasantry, including the use of poison gas, death camps, and deportations. In 1920 Lenin ordered increased emphasis on the food requisitioning from the peasantry, at the same time that the Cheka gave detailed reports about the large scale famine.[26] The long war and a drought in 1921 also contributed to the famine. Estimates on the deaths from this famine are between 3 and 10 million.[6][7].

The long years of war, the Bolshevik policy of war communism, the Russian famine of 1921, and the encirclement of hostile governments took their toll on Russia, however, and much of the country lay in ruins. There were many peasant uprisings, the largest being the Tambov rebellion. After an uprising by the sailors at Kronstadt in March 1921, Lenin replaced the policy of War Communism with the New Economic Policy (NEP), in a successful attempt to rebuild industry and especially agriculture. The new policy was based on a recognition of political and economic realities, though it was intended merely as a tactical retreat from the socialist ideal. The whole policy was later reversed by Stalin.


Lenin's stance on anti-Semitism

On a gramophone recording in 1919, Lenin stated:

The Tsarist police, in alliance with the landowners and the capitalists, organized pogroms against the Jews. The landowners and capitalists tried to divert the hatred of the workers and peasants who were tortured by want against the Jews. ... Only the most ignorant and downtrodden people can believe the lies and slander that are spread about the Jews. ... It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people. The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries. Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority. They are our brothers, who, like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for socialism. Among the Jews there are kulaks, exploiters and capitalists, just as there are among the Russians, and among people of all nations... Rich Jews, like rich Russians, and the rich in all countries, are in alliance to oppress, crush, rob and disunite the workers... Shame on accursed Tsarism which tortured and persecuted the Jews. Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews, who foment hatred towards other nations.[27]

While Lenin remained opposed to outward forms of anti-semitism (and all forms of racism), allowing Jewish people to rise to the highest offices in both party and state, the record of his government in this regard was highly uneven. The 1921 campaign against religion saw the seizure of many synagogues. Lenin, moreover, was aware of pogroms carried out by units of the Red Army during the war with Poland, though the whole issue was effectively ignored. It has been said of this by the Russian historian Dimitri Volkogonov that "While condemning anti-Semitism in general, Lenin was unable to analyse, let alone eradicate, its prevalence in Soviet society."

However, according to Jewish historian Zvi Gitelman: "Never before in Russian history - and never subsequently has a government made such an effort to uproot and stamp out anti-Semitism".[28]


Later life

Kamenev and Lenin at Gorki Leninskiye, 1922
Kamenev and Lenin at Gorki Leninskiye, 1922

Lenin's health had already been severely damaged by the strains of revolution and war. The assassination attempt earlier in his life also added to his health problems. The bullet was still lodged in his neck, too close to his spine for medical techniques of the time to remove. In May 1922, Lenin had his first stroke. He was left partially paralyzed on his right side, and his role in government declined. After the second stroke in December of the same year, he resigned from active politics. In March 1923, he suffered his third stroke and was left bedridden for the remainder of his life, no longer able to speak.

After his first stroke, Lenin dictated several papers regarding the government to his wife. Most famous of these is Lenin's Testament, which among other things criticized top-ranking communists, especially Joseph Stalin. Of Stalin, who had been the Communist Party's general secretary since April 1922, Lenin said that he had "unlimited authority concentrated in his hands" and suggested that "comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post." Upon Lenin's death, his wife mailed his Testament to the central committee, to be read at the 13th Party Congress in May 1924. However, because the will criticized all of the most prominent figures in the central committee: Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and Stalin, the committee had a vested interest in not releasing the will to the wider public. The central committee justified this by stating that Lenin had been mentally ill in his final years and, as such, his final judgments were not to be trusted. Lenin's Testament was first officially published in 1926 in the United States by Max Eastman.[29]

Lenin died on January 21, 1924, aged 53. Rumors of Lenin having syphilis sprang up shortly after his death. The official cause given for Lenin's death was cerebral arteriosclerosis, or a fourth stroke. But out of the 27 physicians who treated him, only eight signed onto that conclusion in his autopsy report. Therefore, several other theories regarding his death have been put forward.

Documents released after the fall of the U.S.S.R., along with memoirs of Lenin's physicians, suggest that Lenin was treated for syphilis as early as 1895. Documents suggest that Alexei Abrikosov, the pathologist in charge of the autopsy, was ordered to prove that Lenin did not die of syphilis. Abrikosov did not mention syphilis in the autopsy; however, the blood-vessel damage, the paralysis and other incapacities he cited are typical of syphilis. Upon a second release of the autopsy report, none of the organs, major arteries, or brain areas usually affected by syphilis were cited.

In 1923, Lenin's doctors treated him with Salvarsan, the only drug at the time specifically used to treat syphilis, and potassium iodide, which was customary at the time in treating the disease.

Although he might have had syphilis, he had no visible lesions anywhere on his body that normally accompany the later stages of the disease. Most historians still agree that the most likely cause of his death was a stroke induced by the bullet still lodged in his neck from the assassination attempt.

Lenin's body in the Lenin Mausoleum, Moscow
Lenin's body in the Lenin Mausoleum, Moscow

The city of Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in his honor three days after Lenin's death. This remained the name of the city until the collapse and liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1991, when it reverted to its original name, St Petersburg.

During the early 1920s the Russian movement of cosmism was quite popular and there was an intent to cryonically preserve Lenin's body in order to revive him in the future. Necessary equipment was purchased abroad, but for a variety of reasons the plan was not realized. Instead his body was embalmed and placed on permanent exhibition in the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow on January 27 1924.


After death

 The Lenin Mausoleum at Red Square, Moscow

The Lenin Mausoleum at Red Square, Moscow

Lenin's preserved body is on permanent display at the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow. Because of Lenin's unique role in the creation of the first Communist state, and despite his expressed wish shortly before his death that no memorials be created for him, his character was elevated over time to the point of near religious reverence. By the 1980s, every major city in the Soviet Union had a statue of Lenin in its central square, either a Lenin street or a Lenin Square near the center, and often 20 or more smaller statues and busts throughout its territory. Collective farms, medals, hybrids of wheat, and even an asteroid were named after him. Children were taught stories about "granddad Lenin" while they were still in nursery.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the level of reverence for Lenin in post-Soviet republics has gone down considerably, but he is still considered an important figure by the generations who grew up during the Soviet period.[30] Most statues of Lenin have been torn down in Eastern Europe, but many still remain in Russia. The city of Leningrad returned to its original name, St Petersburg, but the surrounding Leningrad Oblast still carries his name. The citizens of Ulyanovsk, Lenin's birthplace, have so far resisted all attempts to revert its name to Simbirsk. The subject of interring Lenin's body has been a recurring topic for the past several years in Russia.


Censorship of Lenin in the Soviet Union

Lenin's writings were carefully censored under the Soviet regime after his death. In the early 1930s, it became accepted dogma under Stalin to assume that neither Lenin nor the Central Committee could ever be wrong. Therefore, it was necessary to remove evidence of situations where they had actually disagreed, since in those situations it was impossible for both to have been right at the same time. Trotsky was a particularly vocal critic of these practices, which he saw as a form of deification of a mere human being who could, and did, make mistakes.[31] Later, even the fifth complete Soviet edition of Lenin's works (published in 55 thick volumes between 1958 and 1965) left out parts that either contradicted dogma or showed their author in too poor a light.[32]


See also

Statue of Lenin in Kaluga Square (former October Square), in central Moscow
Statue of Lenin in Kaluga Square (former October Square), in central Moscow


  1. Volkogonov, Dimitri. Lenin - A New Biography, p. 8. ISBN 0-02-933435-7.
  2. Service, Robert. Lenin: A Biography. ISBN 0-330-49139-3.
  3. The Development of Capitalism in Russia
  4. What is to be done?
  5. April Theses
  6. Read, Christopher (1996). From Tsar to Soviets: The Russian People and Their Revolution, 1917-21. Oxford University Press, pp. 151-153. ISBN 0-19-521241-X.
  7. Trotsky, Leon. The Month of The Great Slander. The History of the Russian Revolution; Volume 2,Chapter 27.
  8. Lenin, Vladimir (1917). The State and Revolution.
  9. Lenin "Collected Works", vol. 31, page 516.
  10. Lenin "Collected Works", vol. 30, page 335.
  11. Archive of Lenin's works
  12. King, Greg and Wilson, Penny (2003). The Fate of the Romanovs. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-20768-3.
  13. Volkogonov, Dimitri. Lenin - A New Biography, p. 229. ISBN 0-02-933435-7.
  14. Лацис М. Я., Чрезвычайные комиссии по борьбе с контрреволюцией. М., 1921. С.8.
  15. Black Book of Communism, p. 80
  16. Vladimir Khristianovich Brunovskii, Delo bylo v SSSR (Stranichka iz vospominanii byv. "smertnika")' Arkhiv Russkoi revoliutsii, Vol. XIX, Berlin, 1928, 5-156
  17. Leggett, George (1981). The Cheka. Oxford, p. 467.
  18. Barnes, Paul (2003). GCSE History for WJEC Specification A. Harcourt Heinemann, p. 88. ISBN 0435308025.
  19. Rummel, R. J. (1990). Lethal Politics: Soviet genocide and mass murder since 1917. Transaction Publishers, p. 39. ISBN 1560008873.
  20. Evan Mawdsley, The Russian Civil War
  21. L.M Siprin, Klassy i partii v grazhdanskoivoine v Rossii (1917-20 gg.)
  22. Figes, Orlando (1998). A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924. Penguin, pp. 524-5. ISBN 0-14-024364-X.
  23. Figes, Orlando (1998). A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924. Penguin, p. 649. ISBN 0-14-024364-X.
  24. Lincoln, W. Bruce (1999). Red Victory: A History of the Russian Civil War. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80909-5.
  25. Lenin, Vladimir (1915). The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination.
  26. Black Book of Communism p. 92-97, 116-121.
  27. Lenin, Vladimir (1919). Anti-Jewish Pogroms. Speeches On Gramophone Records.
  28. Gutelman, Zvi, Curtis, M. (ed.) (1986). Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. Westview Press, pp. 189-90. ISBN 0-8133-0157-2.
  29. Trotsky, Leon (1928). On Max Eastman.
  30. Pipes, Richard (May/June 2004). "Flight From Freedom: What Russians Think and Want". Foreign Affairs.
  31. Trotsky, Leon (1930). Volume Three: The Triumph of the Soviets; Appendix No. 1.
  32. Figes, Orlando (October 27, 1996). "Censored by His Own Regime". The New York Times.

Further reading


External links


Selected works

Preceded by:
Aleksandr Kerensky (as Head of the Provisional Government of 1917)
Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars
Succeeded by:
Alexey Ivanovich Rykov

Premiers of the Soviet Union Flag of the Soviet Union
Lenin | Rykov | Molotov | Stalin | Malenkov | Bulganin | Khrushchev | Kosygin | Tikhonov | Ryzhkov | Pavlov | Silayev
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich
Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov, Владимир Ильич Ульянов (Ленин) (Russian)
Russian politician, led October Revolution
22 April 1870
Simbirsk, Russia
21 January 1924
Moscow, Russia


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