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Ten Days that Shook the World

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By John Reed

Table of Contents


                Notes and Explanations.

                Chapter 1. Background.

                Chapter 2. The Coming Storm.

                Chapter 3. On the Eve.

                Chapter 4. The Fall of the Provisional Government.

                Chapter 5. Plunging Ahead.

                Chapter 6. The Committee for Salvation.

                Chapter 7. The Revolutionary Front.

                Chapter 8. Counter-Revolution.

                Chapter 9. Victory.

                Chapter 10. Moscow.

                Chapter 11. The Conquest of Power.

                Chapter 12. The Peasants’ Congress.

                Appendices I - XII


THIS book is a slice of intensified history—history as I saw it. It
does not pretend to be anything but a detailed account of the November
Revolution, when the Bolsheviki, at the head of the workers and
soldiers, seized the state power of Russia and placed it in the hands
of the Soviets.

Naturally most of it deals with “Red Petrograd,” the capital and heart
of the insurrection. But the reader must realize that what took place
in Petrograd was almost exactly duplicated, with greater or lesser
intensity, at different intervals of time, all over Russia.

In this book, the first of several which I am writing, I must confine
myself to a chronicle of those events which I myself observed and
experienced, and those supported by reliable evidence; preceded by two
chapters briefly outlining the background and causes of the November
Revolution. I am aware that these two chapters make difficult reading,
but they are essential to an understanding of what follows.

Many questions will suggest themselves to the mind of the reader. What
is Bolshevism? What kind of a governmental structure did the Bolsheviki
set up? If the Bolsheviki championed the Constituent Assembly before
the November Revolution, why did they disperse it by force of arms
afterward? And if the bourgeoisie opposed the Constituent Assembly
until the danger of Bolshevism became apparent, why did they champion
it afterward?

These and many other questions cannot be answered here. In another
volume, “Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk,” I trace the course of the
Revolution up to and including the German  peace. There I explain the
origin and functions of the Revolutionary organisations, the evolution
of popular sentiment, the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the
structure of the Soviet state, and the course and outcome of the Brest-
Litovsk negotiations….

In considering the rise of the Bolsheviki it is necessary to understand
that Russian economic life and the Russian army were not disorganised
on November 7th, 1917, but many months before, as the logical result of
a process which began as far back as 1915. The corrupt reactionaries in
control of the Tsar’s Court deliberately undertook to wreck Russia in
order to make a separate peace with Germany. The lack of arms on the
front, which had caused the great retreat of the summer of 1915, the
lack of food in the army and in the great cities, the break-down of
manufactures and transportation in 1916—all these we know now were part
of a gigantic campaign of sabotage. This was halted just in time by the
March Revolution.

For the first few months of the new régime, in spite of the confusion
incident upon a great Revolution, when one hundred and sixty millions
of the world’s most oppressed peoples suddenly achieved liberty, both
the internal situation and the combative power of the army actually

But the “honeymoon” was short. The propertied classes wanted merely a
political revolution, which would take the power from the Tsar and give
it to them. They wanted Russia to be a constitutional Republic, like
France or the United States; or a constitutional Monarchy, like
England. On the other hand, the masses of the people wanted real
industrial and agrarian democracy.

William English Walling, in his book, “Russia’s Message,” an account of
the Revolution of 1905, describes very well the state of mind of the
Russian workers, who were later to support Bolshevism almost

They (the working people) saw it was possible that even under a free
Government, if it fell into the hands of other social classes, they
might still continue to starve….

The Russian workman is revolutionary, but he is neither violent,
dogmatic, nor unintelligent. He is ready for barricades, but he has
studied them, and alone of the workers of the world he has learned
about them from actual experience. He is ready and willing to fight his
oppressor, the capitalist class, to a finish. But he does not ignore
the existence of other classes. He merely asks that the other classes
take one side or the other in the bitter conflict that draws near….

They (the workers) were all agreed that our (American) political
institutions were preferable to their own, but they were not very
anxious to exchange one despot for another (i.e., the capitalist

The workingmen of Russia did not have themselves shot down, executed by
hundreds in Moscow, Riga and Odessa, imprisoned by thousands in every
Russian jail, and exiled to the deserts and the arctic regions, in
exchange for the doubtful privileges of the workingmen of Goldfields
and Cripple Creek….

And so developed in Russia, in the midst of a foreign war, the Social
Revolution on top of the Political Revolution, culminating in the
triumph of Bolshevism.

Mr. A. J. Sack, director in this country of the Russian Information
Bureau, which opposes the Soviet Government, has this to say in his
book, “The Birth of the Russian Democracy”: The Bolsheviks organised
their own cabinet, with Nicholas Lenine as Premier and Leon Trotsky—
Minister of Foreign Affairs. The inevitability of their coming into
power became evident almost immediately after the March Revolution. The
history of the Bolsheviki, after the Revolution, is a history of their
steady growth….

Foreigners, and Americans especially, frequently emphasise the
“ignorance” of the Russian workers. It is true they lacked the
political experience of the peoples of the West, but they were very
well trained in voluntary organisation. In 1917 there were more than
twelve million members of the Russian consumers’ Cooperative societies;
and the Soviets themselves are a wonderful demonstration of their
organising genius. Moreover, there is probably not a people in the
world so well educated in Socialist theory and its practical

William English Walling thus characterises them:

The Russian working people are for the most part able to read and
write. For many years the country has been in such a disturbed
condition that they have had the advantage of leadership not only of
intelligent individuals in their midst, but of a large part of the
equally revolutionary educated class, who have turned to the working
people with their ideas for the political and social regeneration of

Many writers explain their hostility to the Soviet Government by
arguing that the last phase of the Russian Revolution was simply a
struggle of the “respectable” elements against the brutal attacks of
Bolshevism. However, it was the propertied classes, who, when they
realised the growth in power of the popular revolutionary
organisations, undertook to destroy them and to halt the Revolution. To
this end the propertied classes finally resorted to desperate measures.
In order to wreck the Kerensky Ministry and the Soviets, transportation
was disorganised and internal troubles provoked; to crush the Factory-
Shop Committees, plants were shut down, and fuel and raw materials
diverted; to break the Army Committees at the front, capital punishment
was restored and military defeat connived at.

This was all excellent fuel for the Bolshevik fire. The Bolsheviki
retorted by preaching the class war, and by asserting the supremacy of
the Soviets.

Between these two extremes, with the other factions which whole-
heartedly or half-heartedly supported them, were the so-called
“moderate” Socialists, the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries,
and several smaller parties. These groups were also attacked by the
propertied classes, but their power of resistance was crippled by their

Roughly, the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries believed that
Russia was not economically ripe for a social revolution—that only a
_political_ revolution was possible. According to their interpretation,
the Russian masses were not educated enough to take over the power; any
attempt to do so would inevitably bring on a reaction, by means of
which some ruthless opportunist might restore the old régime. And so it
followed that when the “moderate” Socialists were forced to assume the
power, they were afraid to use it.

They believed that Russia must pass through the stages of political and
economic development known to Western Europe, and emerge at last, with
the rest of the world, into full-fledged Socialism. Naturally,
therefore, they agreed with the propertied classes that Russia must
first be a parliamentary state—though with some improvements on the
Western democracies. As a consequence, they insisted upon the
collaboration of the propertied classes in the Government.

From this it was an easy step to supporting them. The “moderate”
Socialists needed the bourgeoisie. But the bourgeoisie did not need the
“moderate” Socialists. So it resulted in the Socialist Ministers being
obliged to give way, little by little, on their entire program, while
the propertied classes grew more and more insistent.

And at the end, when the Bolsheviki upset the whole hollow compromise,
the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries found themselves fighting
on the side of the propertied classes…. In almost every country in the
world to-day the same phenomenon is visible.

Instead of being a destructive force, it seems to me that the
Bolsheviki were the only party in Russia with a constructive program
and the power to impose it on the country. If they had not succeeded to
the Government when they did, there is little doubt in my mind that the
armies of Imperial Germany would have been in Petrograd and Moscow in
December, and Russia would again be ridden by a Tsar….

It is still fashionable, after a whole year of the Soviet Government,
to speak of the Bolshevik insurrection as an “adventure.” Adventure it
was, and one of the most marvellous mankind ever embarked upon,
sweeping into history at the head of the toiling masses, and staking
everything on their vast and simple desires. Already the machinery had
been set up by which the land of the great estates could be distributed
among the peasants. The Factory-Shop Committees and the Trade Unions
were there to put into operation workers’ control of industry. In every
village, town, city, district and province there were Soviets of
Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, prepared to assume the task
of local administration.

No matter what one thinks of Bolshevism, it is undeniable that the
Russian Revolution is one of the great events of human history, and the
rise of the Bolsheviki a phenomenon of world-wide importance. Just as
historians search the records for the minutest details of the story of
the Paris Commune, so they will want to know what happened in Petrograd
in November, 1917, the spirit which animated the people, and how the
leaders looked, talked and acted. It is with this in view that I have
written this book.

In the struggle my sympathies were not neutral. But in telling the
story of those great days I have tried to see events with the eye of a
conscientious reporter, interested in setting down the truth.
                                        J. R.
    New York, January 1st 1919.

                        Notes and Explanations

To the average reader the multiplicity of Russian
organisations-political groups, Committees and Central Committees,
Soviets, Dumas and Unions-will prove extremely confusing. For this
reason I am giving here a few brief definitions and explanations.

                        Political Parties

In the elections to the Constituent Assembly, there were seventeen
tickets in Petrograd, and in some of the provincial towns as many as
forty; but the following summary of the aims and composition of
political parties is limited to the groups and factions mentioned in
this book. Only the essence of their programmes and the general
character of their constituencies can be noticed....

  1. _Monarchists,_ of various shades, _Octobrists,_ etc. These
once-powerful factions no longer existed openly; they either worked
underground, or their members joined the _Cadets,_ as the _Cadets_
came by degrees to stand for their political programme.
Representatives in this book, Rodzianko, Shulgin.

  2. _Cadets._ So-called from the initials of its name,
Constitutional Democrats. Its official name is "Party of the People's
Freedom." Under the Tsar composed of Liberals from the propertied
classes, the _Cadets_ were the great party of _political_ reform,
roughly corresponding to the Progressive Party in America. When the
Revolution broke out in March, 1917, the _Cadets_ formed the first
Provisional Government. The _Cadet_ Ministry was overthrown in April
because it declared itself in favour of Allied imperialistic aims,
including the imperialistic aims of the Tsar's Government. As the
Revolution became more and more a _social economic_ Revolution, the
_Cadets_ grew more and more conservative. Its representatives in this
book are: Miliukov, Vinaver, Shatsky.

  2a. _Group of Public Men._ After the _Cadets_ had become unpopular
through their relations with the Kornilov counter-revolution, the
_Group of Public Men_ was formed in Moscow. Delegates from the _Group
of Public Men_ were given portfolios in the last Kerensky Cabinet.
The _Group_ declared itself non-partisan, although its intellectual
leaders were men like Rodzianko and Shulgin. It was composed of the
more "modern" bankers, merchants and manufacturers, who were
intelligent enough to realise that the Soviets must be fought by
their own weapon-economic organisation. Typical of the _Group:_
Lianozov, Konovalov.

  3. _Populist Socialists,_ or _Trudoviki_ (Labour Group).
Numerically a small party, composed of cautious intellectuals, the
leaders of the Cooperative societies, and conservative peasants.
Professing to be Socialists, the _Populists_ really supported the
interests of the petty bourgeoisie-clerks, shopkeepers, etc. By
direct descent, inheritors of the compromising tradition of the
Labour Group in the Fourth Imperial Duma, which was composed largely
of peasant representatives. Kerensky was the leader of the
_Trudoviki_ in the Imperial Duma when the Revolution of March, 1917,
broke out. The _Populist Socialists_ are a nationalistic party. Their
representatives in this book are: Peshekhanov, Tchaikovsky.

  4. _Russian Social Democratic Labour Party._ Originally Marxian
Socialists. At a party congress held in 1903, the party split, on the
question of tactics, into two factions-the Majority (Bolshinstvo),
and the Minority (Menshinstvo). From this sprang the names
"Bolsheviki" and "Mensheviki"-"members of the majority" and "members
of the minority." These two wings became two separate parties, both
calling themselves "Russian Social Democratic Labour Party," and both
professing to be Marxians. Since the Revolution of 1905 the
Bolsheviki were really the minority, becoming again the majority in
September, 1917.

  a. _Mensheviki._ This party includes all shades of Socialists who
believe that society must progress by natural evolution toward
Socialism, and that the working-class must conquer political power
first. Also a nationalistic party. This was the party of the
Socialist intellectuals, which means: all the means of education
having been in the hands of the propertied classes, the intellectuals
instinctively reacted to their training, and took the side of the
propertied classes. Among their representatives in this book are:
Dan, Lieber, Tseretelli.

  b. _Mensheviki Internationalists._ The radical wing of the
_Mensheviki,_ internationalists and opposed to all coalition with the
propertied classes; yet unwilling to break loose from the
conservative Mensheviki, and opposed to the dictatorship of the
working-class advocated by the Bolsheviki. Trotzky was long a member
of this group. Among their leaders: Martov, Martinov.

  c. _Bolsheviki._ Now call themselves the _Communist Party,_ in
order to emphasise their complete separation from the tradition of
"moderate" or "parliamentary" Socialism, which dominates the
Mensheviki and the so-called Majority Socialists in all countries.
The _Bolsheviki_ proposed immediate proletarian insurrection, and
seizure of the reins of Government, in order to hasten the coming of
Socialism by forcibly taking over industry, land, natural resources
and financial institutions. This party expresses the desires chiefly
of the factory workers, but also of a large section of the poor
peasants. The name "Bolshevik" can _not_ be translated by
"Maximalist." The Maximalists are a separate group. (See paragraph
5b). Among the leaders: Lenin, Trotzky, Lunatcharsky.

  d. _United Social Democrats Internationalists._ Also called the
_Novaya Zhizn_ (New Life) group, from the name of the very
influential newspaper which was its organ. A little group of
intellectuals with a very small following among the working-class,
except the personal following of Maxim Gorky, its leader.
Intellectuals, with almost the same programme as the _Mensheviki
Internationalists,_ except that the _Novaya Zhizn_ group refused to
be tied to either of the two great factions. Opposed the Bolshevik
tactics, but remained in the Soviet Government. Other representatives
in this book: Avilov, Kramarov.

  e. _Yedinstvo._ A very small and dwindling group, composed almost
entirely of the personal following of Plekhanov, one of the pioneers
of the Russian Social Democratic movement in the 80's, and its
greatest theoretician. Now an old man, Plekhanov was extremely
patriotic, too conservative even for the Mensheviki. After the
Bolshevik _coup d'etat, Yedinstvo_ disappeared.

  5. _Socialist Revolutionary party._ Called _Essaires_ from the
initials of their name. Originally the revolutionary party of the
peasants, the party of the Fighting Organisations-the Terrorists.
After the March Revolution, it was joined by many who had never been
Socialists. At that time it stood for the abolition of private
property in land only, the owners to be compensated in some fashion.
Finally the increasing revolutionary feeling of peasants forced the
_Essaires_ to abandon the "compensation" clause, and led to the
younger and more fiery intellectuals breaking off from the main party
in the fall of 1917 and forming a new party, the _Left Socialist
Revolutionary party._ The _Essaires,_ who were afterward always
called by the radical groups _"Right Socialist Revolutionaries,"_
adopted the political attitude of the Mensheviki, and worked together
with them. They finally came to represent the wealthier peasants, the
intellectuals, and the politically uneducated populations of remote
rural districts. Among them there was, however, a wider difference of
shades of political and economic opinion than among the Mensheviki.
Among their leaders mentioned in these pages: Avksentiev, Gotz,
Kerensky, Tchernov, "Babuschka" Breshkovskaya.

  a. _Left Socialist Revolutionaries._ Although theoretically sharing
the Bolshevik programme of dictatorship of the working-class, at
first were reluctant to follow the ruthless Bolshevik tactics.
However, the _Left Socialist Revolutionaries_ remained in the Soviet
Government, sharing the Cabinet portfolios, especially that of
Agriculture. They withdrew from the Government several times, but
always returned. As the peasants left the ranks of the _Essaires_ in
increasing numbers, they joined the _Left Socialist Revolutionary
party,_ which became the great peasant party supporting the Soviet
Government, standing for confiscation without compensation of the
great landed estates, and their disposition by the peasants
themselves. Among the leaders: Spiridonova, Karelin, Kamkov,

  b. _Maximalists._ An off-shoot of the _Socialist Revolutionary
party_ in the Revolution of 1905, when it was a powerful peasant
movement, demanding the immediate application of the maximum
Socialist programme. Now an insignificant group of peasant

                        Parliamentary Procedure

Russian meetings and conventions are organised after the continental
model rather than our own. The first action is usually the election
of officers and the _presidium._

  The _presidium_ is a presiding committee, composed of
representatives of the groups and political factions represented in
the assembly, in proportion to their numbers. The _presidium_
arranges the Order of Business, and its members can be called upon by
the President to take the chair _pro tem._

  Each question (_vopros_) is stated in a general way and then
debated, and at the close of the debate resolutions are submitted by
the different factions, and each one voted on separately. The Order
of Business can be, and usually is, smashed to pieces in the first
half hour. On the plea of "emergency," which the crowd almost always
grants, anybody from the floor can get up and say anything on any
subject. The crowd controls the meeting, practically the only
functions of the speaker being to keep order by ringing a little
bell, and to recognise speakers. Almost all the real work of the
session is done in caucuses of the different groups and political
factions, which almost always cast their votes in a body and are
represented by floor-leaders. The result is, however, that at every
important new point, or vote, the session takes a recess to enable
the different groups and political factions to hold a caucus.

  The crowd is extremely noisy, cheering or heckling speakers,
over-riding the plans of the _presidium._ Among the customary cries
are: _"Prosim!_ Please! Go on!" _"Pravilno!"_ or _"Eto vierno!_
That's true! Right!" _"Do volno!_ Enough!" _"Doloi!_ Down with him!"
_"Posor!_ Shame!" and _"Teesche!_ Silence! Not so noisy!"

                        Popular Organisations

1. _Soviet._ The word _soviet_ means "council." Under the Tsar the
Imperial Council of State was called _Gosudarstvennyi Soviet._ Since
the Revolution, however, the term _Soviet_ has come to be associated
with a certain type of parliament elected by members of working-class
economic organisations-the Soviet of Workers', of Soldiers', or of
Peasants' Deputies. I have therefore limited the word to these
bodies, and wherever else it occurs I have translated it "Council."

  Besides the local _Soviets,_ elected in every city, town and
village of Russia-and in large cities, also Ward _(Raionny)
Soviets_-there are also the _oblastne_ or _gubiernsky_ (district or
provincial) _Soviets,_ and the Central Executive Committee of the
All-Russian _Soviets_ in the capital, called from its initials
_Tsay-ee-kah._ (See below, "Central Committees").

  Almost everywhere the _Soviets_ of Workers' and of Soldiers'
Deputies combined very soon after the March Revolution. In special
matters concerning their peculiar interests, however, the Workers'
and the Soldiers' Sections continued to meet separately. The
_Soviets_ of Peasants' Deputies did not join the other two until
after the Bolshevik _coup d'etat._ They, too, were organised like the
workers and soldiers, with an Executive Committee of the All-Russian
Peasants' _Soviets_ in the capital.

  2. _Trade Unions._ Although mostly industrial in form, the Russian
labour unions were still called Trade Unions, and at the time of the
Bolshevik Revolution had from three to four million members. These
Unions were also organised in an All-Russian body, a sort of Russian
Federation of Labour, which had its Central Executive Committee in
the capital.

  3. _Factory-Shop Committees._ These were spontaneous organisations
created in the factories by the workers in their attempt to control
industry, taking advantage of the administrative break-down incident
upon the Revolution. Their function was by revolutionary action to
take over and run the factories. The _Factory-Shop Committees_ also
had their All-Russian organisation, with a Central Committee at
Petrograd, which co-operated with the Trade Unions.

  4. _Dumas._ The word _duma_ means roughly "deliberative body." The
old Imperial Duma, which persisted six months after the Revolution,
in a democratised form, died a natural death in September, 1917. The
_City Duma_ referred to in this book was the reorganised Municipal
Council, often called "Municipal Self-Government." It was elected by
direct and secret ballot, and its only reason for failure to hold the
masses during the Bolshevik Revolution was the general decline in
influence of all purely _political_ representation in the fact of the
growing power of organisations based on _economic_ groups.

  5. _Zemstvos._ May be roughly translated "county councils." Under
the Tsar semi-political, semi-social bodies with very little
administrative power, developed and controlled largely by
intellectual Liberals among the land-owning classes. Their most
important function was education and social service among the
peasants. During the war the _Zemstvos_ gradually took over the
entire feeding and clothing of the Russian Army, as well as the
buying from foreign countries, and work among the soldiers generally
corresponding to the work of the American Y. M. C. A. at the Front.
After the March Revolution the _Zemstvos_ were democratized, with a
view to making them the organs of local government in the rural
districts. But like the _City Dumas,_ they could not compete with the

  6. _Cooperatives._ These were the workers' and peasants' Consumers'
Cooperative societies, which had several million members all over
Russia before the Revolution. Founded by Liberals and "moderate"
Socialists, the Cooperative movement was not supported by the
revolutionary Socialist groups, because it was a substitute for the
complete transference of means of production and distribution into
the hands of the workers. After the March Revolution the
_Cooperatives_ spread rapidly, and were dominated by Populist
Socialists, Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, and acted as a
conservative political force until the Bolshevik Revolution. However,
it was the _Cooperatives_ which fed Russia when the old structure of
commerce and transportation collapsed.

  7. _Army Committees._ The _Army Committees_ were formed by the
soldiers at the front to combat the reactionary influence of the old
regime officers. Every company, regiment, brigade, division and corps
had its committee, over all of which was elected the _Army
Committee._ The _Central Army Committee_ cooperated with the General
Staff. The administrative break-down in the army incident upon the
Revolution threw upon the shoulders of the _Army Committees_ most of
the work of the Quartermaster's Department, and in some cases, even
the command of troops.

  8. _Fleet Committees._ The corresponding organisations in the Navy.

                        Central Committees

In the spring and summer of 1917, All-Russian conventions of every
sort of organisation were held at Petrograd. There were national
congresses of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Soviets, Trade
Unions, Factory-Shop Committees, Army and Fleet Committees-besides
every branch of the military and naval service, Cooperatives,
Nationalities, etc. Each of these conventions elected a Central
Committee, or a Central Executive Committee, to guard its particular
interests at the seat of Government. As the Provisional Government
grew weaker, these Central Committees were forced to assume more and
more administrative powers.

  The most important Central Committees mentioned in this book are:

  _Union of Unions._ During the Revolution of 1905, Professor
Miliukov and other Liberals established unions of professional
men-doctors, lawyers, physicians, etc. These were united under one
central organisation, the _Union of Unions._ In 1905 the _Union of
Unions_ acted with the revolutionary democracy; in 1917, however, the
_Union of Unions_ opposed the Bolshevik uprising, and united the
Government employees who went on strike against the authority of the

  _Tsay-ee-kah._ All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the
Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. So called from the
initials of its name.

  _Tsentroflot._ "Centre-Fleet"-the Central Fleet Committee.

  _Vikzhel._ All-Russian Central Committee of the Railway Workers'
Union. So called from the initials of its name.

                        Other Organisations

_Red Guards._ The armed factory workers of Russia. The _Red Guards_
were first formed during the Revolution of 1905, and sprang into
existence again in the days of March, 1917, when a force was needed
to keep order in the city. At that time they were armed, and all
efforts of the Provisional Government to disarm them were more or
less unsuccessful. At every great crisis in the Revolution the _Red
Guards_ appeared on the streets, untrained and undisciplined, but
full of Revolutionary zeal.

  _White Guards._ Bourgeois volunteers, who emerged in the last
stages of the Revolution, to defend private property from the
Bolshevik attempt to abolish it. A great many of them were University

  _Tekhintsi._ The so-called "Savage Division" in the army, made up
of Mohametan tribesmen from Central Asia, and personally devoted to
General Kornilov. The _Tekhintsi_ were noted for their blind
obedience and their savage cruelty in warfare.

  _Death Battalions._ Or _Shock Battalions._ The Women's Battalion is
known to the world as the _Death Battalion,_ but there were many
_Death Battalions_ composed of men. These were formed in the summer
of 1917 by Kerensky, for the purpose of strengthening the discipline
and combative fire of the army by heroic example. The _Death
Battalions_ were composed mostly of intense young patriots. These
came for the most part from among the sons of the propertied classes.

  _Union of Officers._ An organisation formed among the reactionary
officers in the army to combat politically the growing power of the
Army Committees.

  _Knights of St. George._ The Cross of St. George was awarded for
distinguished action in battle. Its holder automatically became a
_"Knight of St. George."_ The predominant influence in the
organisation was that of the supporters of the military idea.

  _Peasants' Union._ In 1905, the _Peasants' Union_ was a
revolutionary peasants' organisation. In 1917, however, it had become
the political expression of the more prosperous peasants, to fight
the growing power and revolutionary aims of the Soviets of Peasants'

                        Chronology and Spelling

I have adopted in this book our Calendar throughout, instead of the
former Russian Calendar, which was thirteen days earlier.

  In the spelling of Russian names and words, I have made no attempt
to follow any scientific rules for transliteration, but have tried to
give the spelling which would lead the English-speaking reader to the
simplest approximation of their pronunciation.


Much of the material in this book is from my own notes. I have also
relied, however, upon a heterogeneous file of several hundred
assorted Russian newspapers, covering almost every day of the time
described, of files of the English paper, the _Russian Daily News,_
and of the two French papers, _Journal de Russie_ and _Entente._ But
far more valuable than these is the _Bulletin de la Presse_ issued
daily by the French Information Bureau in Petrograd, which reports
all important happenings, speeches and the comment of the Russian
press. Of this I have an almost complete file from the spring of 1917
to the end of January, 1918.

  Besides the foregoing, I have in my possession almost every
proclamation, decree and announcement posted on the walls of
Petrograd from the middle of September, 1917, to the end of January,
1918. Also the official publication of all Government decrees and
orders, and the official Government publication of the secret
treaties and other documents discovered in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs when the Bolsheviki took it over.

Ten Days That Shook The World

Chapter I


TOWARD the end of September, 1917, an alien Professor of Sociology
visiting Russia came to see me in Petrograd. He had been informed by
business men and intellectuals that the Revolution was slowing down.
The Professor wrote an article about it, and then travelled around
the country, visiting factory towns and peasant communities-where, to
his astonishment, the Revolution seemed to be speeding up. Among the
wage-earners and the land-working people it was common to hear talk
of "all land to the peasants, all factories to the workers." If the
Professor had visited the front, he would have heard the whole Army
talking Peace....

The Professor was puzzled, but he need not have been; both
observations were correct. The property-owning classes were becoming
more conservative, the masses of the people more radical.

There was a feeling among business men and the _intelligentzia_
generally that the Revolution had gone quite far enough, and lasted
too long; that things should settle down. This sentiment was shared
by the dominant "moderate" Socialist groups, the _oborontsi_ (See
App. I, Sect. 1) Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, who
supported the Provisional Government of Kerensky.

On October 14th the official organ of the "moderate" Socialists said:

The drama of Revolution has two acts; the destruction of the old
régime and the creation of the new one. The first act has lasted long
enough. Now it is time to go on to the second, and to play it as
rapidly as possible. As a great revolutionist put it, "Let us hasten,
friends, to terminate the Revolution. He who makes it last too long
will not gather the fruits...."

Among the worker, soldier and peasant masses, however, there was a
stubborn feeling that the "first act" was not yet played out. On the
front the Army Committees were always running foul of officers who
could not get used to treating their men like human beings; in the
rear the Land Committees elected by the peasants were being jailed
for trying to carry out Government regulations concerning the land;
and the workmen (See App. I, Sect. 2) in the factories were fighting
black-lists and lockouts. Nay, furthermore, returning political
exiles were being excluded from the country as "undesirable"
citizens; and in some cases, men who returned from abroad to their
villages were prosecuted and imprisoned for revolutionary acts
committed in 1905.

To the multiform discontent of the people the "moderate" Socialists
had one answer: Wait for the Constituent Assembly, which is to meet
in December. But the masses were not satisfied with that. The
Constituent Assembly was all well and good; but there were certain
definite things for which the Russian Revolution had been made, and
for which the revolutionary martyrs rotted in their stark Brotherhood
Grave on Mars Field, that must be achieved Constituent Assembly or no
Constituent Assembly: Peace, Land, and Workers' Control of Industry.
The Constituent Assembly had been postponed and postponed-would
probably be postponed again, until the people were calm
enough-perhaps to modify their demands! At any rate, here were eight
months of the Revolution gone, and little enough to show for it....

Meanwhile the soldiers began to solve the peace question by simply
deserting, the peasants burned manor-houses and took over the great
estates, the workers sabotaged and struck.... Of course, as was
natural, the manufacturers, land-owners and army officers exerted all
their influence against any democratic compromise....

The policy of the Provisional Government alternated between
ineffective reforms and stern repressive measures. An edict from the
Socialist Minister of Labour ordered all the Workers' Committees
henceforth to meet only after working hours. Among the troops at the
front, "agitators" of opposition political parties were arrested,
radical newspapers closed down, and capital punishment applied-to
revolutionary propagandists. Attempts were made to disarm the Red
Guard. Cossacks were sent to keep order in the provinces....

These measures were supported by the "moderate" Socialists and their
leaders in the Ministry, who considered it necessary to cooperate
with the propertied classes. The people rapidly deserted them, and
went over to the Bolsheviki, who stood for Peace, Land, and Workers'
Control of Industry, and a Government of the working-class. In
September, 1917, matters reached a crisis. Against the overwhelming
sentiment of the country, Kerensky and the "moderate" Socialists
succeeded in establishing a Government of Coalition with the
propertied classes; and as a result, the Mensheviki and Socialist
Revolutionaries lost the confidence of the people forever.

An article in _Rabotchi Put_ (Workers' Way) about the middle of
October, entitled "The Socialist Ministers," expressed the feeling of
the masses of the people against the "moderate" Socialists:

Here is a list of their services.(See App. I, Sect. 3)

Tseretelli: disarmed the workmen with the assistance of General
Polovtsev, checkmated the revolutionary soldiers, and approved of
capital punishment in the army.

Skobeliev: commenced by trying to tax the capitalists 100% of their
profits, and finished-and finished by an attempt to dissolve the
Workers' Committees in the shops and factories.

Avksentiev: put several hundred peasants in prison, members of the
Land Committees, and suppressed dozens of workers' and soldiers'

Tchernov: signed the "Imperial" manifest, ordering the dissolution of
the Finnish Diet.

Savinkov: concluded an open alliance with General Kornilov. If this
saviour of the country was not able to betray Petrograd, it was due
to reasons over which he had no control.

Zarudny: with the sanction of Alexinsky and Kerensky, put some of the
best workers of the Revolution, soldiers and sailors, in prison.

Nikitin: acted as a vulgar policeman against the Railway Workers.

Kerensky: it is better not to say anything about him. The list of his
services is too long....

A Congress of delegates of the Baltic Fleet, at Helsingfors, passed a
resolution which began as follows:

We demand the immediate removal from the ranks of the Provisional
Government of the "Socialist," the political adventurer-Kerensky, as
one who is scandalising and ruining the great Revolution, and with it
the revolutionary masses, by his shameless political blackmail on
behalf of the bourgeoisie....

The direct result of all this was the rise of the Bolsheviki....

Since March, 1917, when the roaring torrents of workmen and soldiers
beating upon the Tauride Palace compelled the reluctant Imperial Duma
to assume the supreme power in Russia, it was the masses of the
people, workers, soldiers and peasants, which forced every change in
the course of the Revolution. They hurled the Miliukov Ministry down;
it was their Soviet which proclaimed to the world the Russian peace
terms-"No annexations, no indemnities, and the right of
self-determination of peoples"; and again, in July, it was the
spontaneous rising of the unorganised proletariat which once more
stormed the Tauride Palace, to demand that the Soviets take over the
Government of Russia.

The Bolsheviki, then a small political sect, put themselves at the
head of the movement. As a result of the disastrous failure of the
rising, public opinion turned against them, and their leaderless
hordes slunk back into the Viborg Quarter, which is Petrograd's _St.
Antoine._ Then followed a savage hunt of the Bolsheviki; hundreds
were imprisoned, among them Trotzky, Madame Kollontai and Kameniev;
Lenin and Zinoviev went into hiding, fugitives from justice; the
Bolshevik papers were suppressed. Provocators and reactionaries
raised the cry that the Bolsheviki were German agents, until people
all over the world believed it.

But the Provisional Government found itself unable to substantiate
its accusations; the documents proving pro-German conspiracy were
discovered to be forgeries; [*] and one by one the Bolsheviki were
[*Part of the famous "Sisson Documents"]
released from prison without trial, on nominal or no bail-until only
six remained. The impotence and indecision of the ever-changing
Provisional Government was an argument nobody could refute. The
Bolsheviki raised again the slogan so dear to the masses, "All Power
to the Soviets!"-and they were not merely self-seeking, for at that
time the majority of the Soviets was "moderate" Socialist, their
bitter enemy.

But more potent still, they took the crude, simple desires of the
workers, soldiers and peasants, and from them built their immediate
programme. And so, while the _oborontsi_ Mensheviki and Socialist
Revolutionaries involved themselves in compromise with the
bourgeoisie, the Bolsheviki rapidly captured the Russian masses. In
July they were hunted and despised; by September the metropolitan
workmen, the sailors of the Baltic Fleet, and the soldiers, had been
won almost entirely to their cause. The September municipal elections
in the large cities (See App. I, Sect. 4) were significant; only 18
per cent of the returns were Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary,
against more than 70 per cent in June....

There remains a phenomenon which puzzled foreign observers: the fact
that the Central Executive Committees of the Soviets, the Central
Army and Fleet Committees, [*] and the Central Committees of some of
[*See Notes and Explanations.]
the Unions-notably, the Post and Telegraph Workers and the Railway
Workers-opposed the Bolsheviki with the utmost violence. These
Central Committees had all been elected in the middle of the summer,
or even before, when the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries had
an enormous following; and they delayed or prevented any new
elections. Thus, according to the constitution of the Soviets of
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, the All-Russian Congress _should
have been called in September;_ but the _Tsay-ee-kah_ [*] would not
[*See Notes and Explanations.]
call the meeting, on the ground that the Constituent Assembly was
only two months away, at which time, they hinted, the Soviets would
abdicate. Meanwhile, one by one, the Bolsheviki were winning in the
local Soviets all over the country, in the Union branches and the
ranks of the soldiers and sailors. The Peasants' Soviets remained
still conservative, because in the sluggish rural districts political
consciousness developed slowly, and the Socialist Revolutionary party
had been for a generation the party which had agitated among the
peasants.... But even among the peasants a revolutionary wing was
forming. It showed itself clearly in October, when the left wing of
the Socialist Revolutionaries split off, and formed a new political
faction, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries.

At the same time there were signs everywhere that the forces of
reaction were gaining confidence.(See App. I, Sect. 5) At the
Troitsky Farce theatre in Petrograd, for example, a burlesque called
_Sins of the Tsar_ was interrupted by a group of Monarchists, who
threatened to lynch the actors for "insulting the Emperor." Certain
newspapers began to sigh for a "Russian Napoleon." It was the usual
thing among bourgeois _intelligentzia_ to refer to the Soviets of
Workers' Deputies (Rabotchikh Deputatov) as _Sabatchikh_
Deputatov-Dogs' Deputies.

On October 15th I had a conversation with a great Russian capitalist,
Stepan Georgevitch Lianozov, known as the "Russian Rockefeller"-a
Cadet by political faith.

"Revolution," he said, "is a sickness. Sooner or later the foreign
powers must intervene here-as one would intervene to cure a sick
child, and teach it how to walk. Of course it would be more or less
improper, but the nations must realise the danger of Bolshevism in
their own countries-such contagious ideas as 'proletarian
dictatorship,' and 'world social revolution'... There is a chance that
this intervention may not be necessary. Transportation is
demoralised, the factories are closing down, and the Germans are
advancing. Starvation and defeat may bring the Russian people to
their senses...."

Mr. Lianozov was emphatic in his opinion that whatever happened, it
would be impossible for merchants and manufacturers to permit the
existence of the workers' Shop Committees, or to allow the workers
any share in the management of industry.

"As for the Bolsheviki, they will be done away with by one of two
methods. The Government can evacuate Petrograd, then a state of siege
declared, and the military commander of the district can deal with
these gentlemen without legal formalities.... _Or if, for example, the
Constituent Assembly manifests any Utopian tendencies, it can be
dispersed by force of arms...."_

Winter was coming on-the terrible Russian winter. I heard business
men speak of it so: "Winter was always Russia's best friend. Perhaps
now it will rid us of Revolution." On the freezing front miserable
armies continued to starve and die, without enthusiasm. The railways
were breaking down, food lessening, factories closing. The desperate
masses cried out that the bourgeoisie was sabotaging the life of the
people, causing defeat on the Front. Riga had been surrendered just
after General Kornilov said publicly, "Must we pay with Riga the
price of bringing the country to a sense of its duty?" [*]
[* See "Kornilov to Brest-Litvosk" by John Reed. Boni and Liveright
N.Y., 1919]

To Americans it is incredible that the class war should develop to
such a pitch. But I have personally met officers on the Northern
Front who frankly preferred military disaster to cooperation with the
Soldiers' Committees. The secretary of the Petrograd branch of the
Cadet party told me that the break-down of the country's economic
life was part of a campaign to discredit the Revolution. An Allied
diplomat, whose name I promised not to mention, confirmed this from
his own knowledge. I know of certain coal-mines near Kharkov which
were fired and flooded by their owners, of textile factories at
Moscow whose engineers put the machinery out of order when they left,
of railroad officials caught by the workers in the act of crippling

A large section of the propertied classes preferred the Germans to
the Revolution-even to the Provisional Government-and didn't hesitate
to say so. In the Russian household where I lived, the subject of
conversation at the dinner table was almost invariably the coming of
the Germans, bringing "law and order."... One evening I spent at the
house of a Moscow merchant; during tea we asked the eleven people at
the table whether they preferred "Wilhelm or the Bolsheviki." The
vote was ten to one for Wilhelm...

The speculators took advantage of the universal disorganisation to
pile up fortunes, and to spend them in fantastic revelry or the
corruption of Government officials. Foodstuffs and fuel were hoarded,
or secretly sent out of the country to Sweden. In the first four
months of the Revolution, for example, the reserve food-supplies were
almost openly looted from the great Municipal warehouses of
Petrograd, until the two-years' provision of grain had fallen to less
than enough to feed the city for one month.... According to the
official report of the last Minister of Supplies in the Provisional
Government, coffee was bought wholesale in Vladivostok for two rubles
a pound, and the consumer in Petrograd paid thirteen. In all the
stores of the large cities were tons of food and clothing; but only
the rich could buy them.

In a provincial town I knew a merchant family turned
speculator_-maradior_ (bandit, ghoul) the Russians call it. The three
sons had bribed their way out of military service. One gambled in
foodstuffs. Another sold illegal gold from the Lena mines to
mysterious parties in Finland. The third owned a controlling interest
in a chocolate factory, which supplied the local Cooperative
societies-on condition that the Cooperatives furnished him everything
he needed. And so, while the masses of the people got a quarter pound
of black bread on their bread cards, he had an abundance of white
bread, sugar, tea, candy, cake and butter.... Yet when the soldiers at
the front could no longer fight from cold, hunger and exhaustion, how
indignantly did this family scream "Cowards!"-how "ashamed" they were
"to be Russians"... When finally the Bolsheviki found and requisitioned
vast hoarded stores of provisions, what "Robbers" they were.

Beneath all this external rottenness moved the old-time Dark Forces,
unchanged since the fall of Nicholas the Second, secret still and
very active. The agents of the notorious _Okhrana_ still functioned,
for and against the Tsar, for and against Kerensky-whoever would
pay.... In the darkness, underground organisations of all sorts, such
as the Black Hundreds, were busy attempting to restore reaction in
some form or other.

In this atmosphere of corruption, of monstrous half-truths, one clear
note sounded day after day, the deepening chorus of the Bolsheviki,
"All Power to the Soviets! All power to the direct representatives of
millions on millions of common workers, soldiers, peasants. Land,
bread, an end to the senseless war, an end to secret diplomacy,
speculation, treachery.... The Revolution is in danger, and with it the
cause of the people all over the world!"

The struggle between the proletariat and the middle class, between
the Soviets and the Government, which had begun in the first March
days, was about to culminate. Having at one bound leaped from the
Middle Ages into the twentieth century, Russia showed the startled
world two systems of Revolution-the political and the social-in
mortal combat.

What a revelation of the vitality of the Russian Revolution, after
all these months of starvation and disillusionment! The bourgeoisie
should have better known its Russia. Not for a long time in Russia
will the "sickness" of Revolution have run its course....

Looking back, Russia before the November insurrection seems of
another age, almost incredibly conservative. So quickly did we adapt
ourselves to the newer, swifter life; just as Russian politics swung
bodily to the Left-until the Cadets were outlawed as "enemies of the
people," Kerensky became a "counter-revolutionist," the "middle"
Socialist leaders, Tseretelli, Dan, Lieber, Gotz and Avksentiev, were
too reactionary for their following, and men like Victor Tchernov,
and even Maxim Gorky, belonged to the Right Wing....

About the middle of December, 1917, a group of Socialist
Revolutionary leaders paid a private visit to Sir George Buchanan,
the British Ambassador, and implored him not to mention the fact that
they had been there, because they were "considered too far Right."

"And to think," said Sir George. "One year ago my Government
instructed me not to receive Miliukov, because he was so dangerously

September and October are the worst months of the Russian
year-especially the Petrograd year. Under dull grey skies, in the
shortening days, the rain fell drenching, incessant. The mud
underfoot was deep, slippery and clinging, tracked everywhere by
heavy boots, and worse than usual because of the complete break-down
of the Municipal administration. Bitter damp winds rushed in from the
Gulf of Finland, and the chill fog rolled through the streets. At
night, for motives of economy as well as fear of Zeppelins, the
street-lights were few and far between; in private dwellings and
apartment-houses the electricity was turned on from six o'clock until
midnight, with candles forty cents apiece and little kerosene to be
had. It was dark from three in the afternoon to ten in the morning.
Robberies and housebreakings increased. In apartment houses the men
took turns at all-night guard duty, armed with loaded rifles. This
was under the Provisional Government.

Week by week food became scarcer. The daily allowance of bread fell
from a pound and a half to a pound, then three quarters, half, and a
quarter-pound. Toward the end there was a week without any bread at
all. Sugar one was entitled to at the rate of two pounds a month-if
one could get it at all, which was seldom. A bar of chocolate or a
pound of tasteless candy cost anywhere from seven to ten rubles-at
least a dollar. There was milk for about half the babies in the city;
most hotels and private houses never saw it for months. In the fruit
season apples and pears sold for a little less than a ruble apiece on
the street-corner....

For milk and bread and sugar and tobacco one had to stand in _queue_
long hours in the chill rain. Coming home from an all-night meeting I
have seen the _kvost_ (tail) beginning to form before dawn, mostly
women, some with babies in their arms.... Carlyle, in his _French
Revolution,_ has described the French people as distinguished above
all others by their faculty of standing in _queue._ Russia had
accustomed herself to the practice, begun in the reign of Nicholas
the Blessed as long ago as 1915, and from then continued
intermittently until the summer of 1917, when it settled down as the
regular order of things. Think of the poorly-clad people standing on
the iron-white streets of Petrograd whole days in the Russian winter!
I have listened in the bread-lines, hearing the bitter, acrid note of
discontent which from time to time burst up through the miraculous
goodnature of the Russian crowd....

Of course all the theatres were going every night, including Sundays.
Karsavina appeared in a new Ballet at the Marinsky, all dance-loving
Russia coming to see her. Shaliapin was singing. At the Alexandrinsky
they were reviving Meyerhold's production of Tolstoy's "Death of Ivan
the Terrible"; and at that performance I remember noticing a student
of the Imperial School of Pages, in his dress uniform, who stood up
correctly between the acts and faced the empty Imperial box, with its
eagles all erased.... The _Krivoye Zerkalo_ staged a sumptuous version
of Schnitzler's "Reigen."

Although the Hermitage and other picture galleries had been evacuated
to Moscow, there were weekly exhibitions of paintings. Hordes of the
female _intelligentzia_ went to hear lectures on Art, Literature and
the Easy Philosophies. It was a particularly active season for
Theosophists. And the Salvation Army, admitted to Russia for the
first time in history, plastered the walls with announcements of
gospel meetings, which amused and astounded Russian audiences....

As in all such times, the petty conventional life of the city went
on, ignoring the Revolution as much as possible. The poets made
verses-but not about the Revolution. The realistic painters painted
scenes from mediæval Russian history-anything but the Revolution.
Young ladies from the provinces came up to the capital to learn
French and cultivate their voices, and the gay young beautiful
officers wore their gold-trimmed crimson _bashliki_ and their
elaborate Caucasian swords around the hotel lobbies. The ladies of
the minor bureaucratic set took tea with each other in the afternoon,
carrying each her little gold or silver or jewelled sugar-box, and
half a loaf of bread in her muff, and wished that the Tsar were back,
or that the Germans would come, or anything that would solve the
servant problem.... The daughter of a friend of mine came home one
afternoon in hysterics because the woman street-car conductor had
called her "Comrade!"

All around them great Russia was in travail, bearing a new world. The
servants one used to treat like animals and pay next to nothing, were
getting independent. A pair of shoes cost more than a hundred rubles,
and as wages averaged about thirty-five rubles a month the servants
refused to stand in _queue_ and wear out their shoes. But more than
that. In the new Russia every man and woman could vote; there were
working-class newspapers, saying new and startling things; there were
the Soviets; and there were the Unions. The _izvoshtchiki_
(cab-drivers) had a Union; they were also represented in the
Petrograd Soviet. The waiters and hotel servants were organised, and
refused tips. On the walls of restaurants they put up signs which
read, "No tips taken here-" or, "Just because a man has to make his
living waiting on table is no reason to insult him by offering him a

At the Front the soldiers fought out their fight with the officers,
and learned self-government through their committees. In the
factories those unique Russian organisations, the Factory-Shop
Committees, [*] gained experience and strength and a realisation of
[* See Notes and Explanations]
their historical mission by combat with the old order. All Russia was
learning to read, and _reading-_politics, economics, history-because
the people wanted to _know...._ In every city, in most towns, along the
Front, each political faction had its newspaper-sometimes several.
Hundreds of thousands of pamphlets were distributed by thousands of
organisations, and poured into the armies, the villages, the
factories, the streets. The thirst for education, so long thwarted,
burst with the Revolution into a frenzy of expression. From Smolny
Institute alone, the first six months, went out every day tons,
car-loads, train-loads of literature, saturating the land. Russia
absorbed reading matter like hot sand drinks water, insatiable. And
it was not fables, falsified history, diluted religion, and the cheap
fiction that corrupts-but social and economic theories, philosophy,
the works of Tolstoy, Gogol, and Gorky....

Then the Talk, beside which Carlyle's "flood of French speech" was a
mere trickle. Lectures, debates, speeches-in theatres, circuses,
school-houses, clubs, Soviet meeting-rooms, Union headquarters,
barracks.... Meetings in the trenches at the Front, in village squares,
factories.... What a marvellous sight to see Putilovsky Zavod (the
Putilov factory) pour out its forty thousand to listen to Social
Democrats, Socialist Revolutionaries, Anarchists, anybody, whatever
they had to say, as long as they would talk! For months in Petrograd,
and all over Russia, every street-corner was a public tribune. In
railway trains, street-cars, always the spurting up of impromptu
debate, everywhere....

And the All-Russian Conferences and Congresses, drawing together the
men of two continents-conventions of Soviets, of Cooperatives,
Zemstvos, [*] nationalities, priests, peasants, political parties; the
[* See Notes and Explanations]
Democratic Conference, the Moscow Conference, the Council of the
Russian Republic. There were always three or four conventions going
on in Petrograd. At every meeting, attempts to limit the time of
speakers voted down, and every man free to express the thought that
was in him....

We came down to the front of the Twelfth Army, back of Riga, where
gaunt and bootless men sickened in the mud of desperate trenches; and
when they saw us they started up, with their pinched faces and the
flesh showing blue through their torn clothing, demanding eagerly,
"Did you bring anything to _read?"_

What though the outward and visible signs of change were many, what
though the statue of Catharine the Great before the Alexandrinsky
Theatre bore a little red flag in its hand, and others-somewhat
faded-floated from all public buildings; and the Imperial monograms
and eagles were either torn down or covered up; and in place of the
fierce _gorodovoye_ (city police) a mild-mannered and unarmed citizen
militia patrolled the streets-still, there were many quaint

For example, Peter the Great's _Tabel o Rangov-_Table of Ranks-which
he rivetted upon Russia with an iron hand, still held sway. Almost
everybody from the school-boy up wore his prescribed uniform, with
the insignia of the Emperor on button and shoulder-strap. Along about
five o'clock in the afternoon the streets were full of subdued old
gentlemen in uniform, with portfolios, going home from work in the
huge, barrack-like Ministries or Government institutions, calculating
perhaps how great a mortality among their superiors would advance
them to the coveted _tchin_ (rank) of Collegiate Assessor, or Privy
Councillor, with the prospect of retirement on a comfortable pension,
and possibly the Cross of St. Anne....

There is the story of Senator Sokolov, who in full tide of Revolution
came to a meeting of the Senate one day in civilian clothes, and was
not admitted because he did not wear the prescribed livery of the
Tsar's service!

It was against this background of a whole nation in ferment and
disintegration that the pageant of the Rising of the Russian Masses

Chapter II

The Coming Storm

IN September General Kornilov marched on Petrograd to make himself
military dictator of Russia. Behind him was suddenly revealed the
mailed fist of the bourgeoisie, boldly attempting to crush the
Revolution. Some of the Socialist Ministers were implicated; even
Kerensky was under suspicion. (See App. II, Sect. 1) Savinkov,
summoned to explain to the Central Committee of his party, the
Socialist Revolutionaries, refused and was expelled. Kornilov was
arrested by the Soldiers' Committees. Generals were dismissed,
Ministers suspended from their functions, and the Cabinet fell.

Kerensky tried to form a new Government, including the Cadets, party
of the bourgeoisie. His party, the Socialist Revolutionaries,
ordered him to exclude the Cadets. Kerensky declined to obey, and
threatened to resign from the Cabinet if the Socialists insisted.
However, popular feeling ran so high that for the moment he did not
dare oppose it, and a temporary Directorate of Five of the old
Ministers, with Kerensky at the head, assumed the power until the
question should be settled.

The Kornilov affair drew together all the Socialist
groups-"moderates" as well as revolutionists-in a passionate impulse
of self-defence. There must be no more Kornilovs. A new Government
must be created, responsible to the elements supporting the
Revolution. So the _Tsay-ee-kah_ invited the popular organisations
to send delegates to a Democratic Conference, which should meet at
Petrograd in September.

In the _Tsay-ee-kah_ three factions immediately appeared. The
Bolsheviki demanded that the All-Russian Congress of Soviets be
summoned, and that they take over the power. The "centre" Socialist
Revolutionaries, led by Tchernov, joined with the Left Socialist
Revolutionaries, led by Kamkov and Spiridonova, the Mensheviki
Internationalists under Martov, and the "centre" Mensheviki, [*]
[* See Notes and Explanations.]
represented by Bogdanov and Skobeliev, in demanding a purely
Socialist Government. Tseretelli, Dan and Lieber, at the head of the
right wing Mensheviki, and the right Socialist Revolutionaries under
Avksentiev and Gotz, insisted that the propertied classes must be
represented in the new Government.

Almost immediately the Bolsheviki won a majority in the Petrograd
Soviet, and the Soviets of Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and other cities
followed suit.

Alarmed, the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries in control of
the _Tsay-ee-kah_ decided that after all they feared the danger of
Kornilov less than the danger of Lenin. They revised the plan of
representation in the Democratic Conference, (See App. II, Sect. 2)
admitting more delegates from the Cooperative Societies and other
conservative bodies. Even this packed assembly at first voted for a
_Coalition Government without the Cadets._ Only Kerensky's open
threat of resignation, and the alarming cries of the "moderate"
Socialists that "the Republic is in danger" persuaded the
Conference, by a small majority, to declare in favour of the
principle of coalition with the bourgeoisie, and to sanction the
establishment of a sort of consultative Parliament, without any
legislative power, called the Provisional Council of the Russian
Republic. In the new Ministry the propertied classes practically
controlled, and in the Council of the Russian Republic they occupied
a disproportionate number of seats.

The fact is that the _Tsay-ee-kah_ no longer represented the rank
and file of the Soviets, and had illegally refused to call another
All-Russian Congress of Soviets, due in September. It had no
intention of calling this Congress or of allowing it to be called.
Its official organ, _Izviestia_ (News), began to hint that the
function of the Soviets was nearly at an end, (See App. II, Sect. 3)
and that they might soon be dissolved... At this time, too, the new
Government announced as part of its policy the liquidation of
"irresponsible organisations"-i.e. the Soviets.

The Bolsheviki responded by summoning the All-Russian Soviets to
meet at Petrograd on November 2, and take over the Government of
Russia. At the same time they withdrew from the Council of the
Russian Republic, stating that they would not participate in a
"Government of Treason to the People." (See App. II, Sect. 4)

The withdrawal of the Bolsheviki, however, did not bring
tranquillity to the ill-fated Council. The propertied classes, now
in a position of power, became arrogant. The Cadets declared that
the Government had no legal right to declare Russia a republic. They
demanded stern measures in the Army and Navy to destroy the
Soldiers' and Sailors' Committees, and denounced the Soviets. On the
other side of the chamber the Mensheviki Internationalists and the
Left Socialist Revolutionaries advocated immediate peace, land to
the peasants, and workers' control of industry-practically the
Bolshevik programme.

I heard Martov's speech in answer to the Cadets. Stooped over the
desk of the tribune like the mortally sick man he was, and speaking
in a voice so hoarse it could hardly be heard, he shook his finger
toward the right benches:

"You call us defeatists; but the real defeatists are those who wait
for a more propitious moment to conclude peace, insist upon
postponing peace until later, until nothing is left of the Russian
army, until Russia becomes the subject of bargaining between the
different imperialist groups.... You are trying to impose upon the
Russian people a policy dictated by the interests of the
bourgeoisie. The question of peace should be raised without delay....
You will see then that not in vain has been the work of those whom
you call German agents, of those Zimmerwaldists [*] who in all the
[* Members of the revoloutionary internationalist wing of the
Socialists of Europe, so-called because of their participation
in the International Conference held at Zimmerwald, Switzerland,
in 1915]
lands have prepared the awakening of the conscience of the
democratic masses...."

Between these two groups the Mensheviki and Socialist
Revolutionaries wavered, irresistibly forced to the left by the
pressure of the rising dissatisfaction of the masses. Deep hostility
divided the chamber into irreconcilable groups.

This was the situation when the long-awaited announcement of the
Allied Conference in Paris brought up the burning question of
foreign policy....

Theoretically all Socialist parties in Russia were in favour of the
earliest possible peace on democratic terms. As long ago as May,
1917, the Petrograd Soviet, then under control of the Mensheviki and
Socialist Revolutionaries,had proclaimed the famous Russian
peace-conditions. They had demanded that the Allies hold a
conference to discuss war-aims. This conference had been promised
for August; then postponed until September; then until October; and
now it was fixed for November 10th.

The Provisional Government suggested two representatives-General
Alexeyev, reactionary military man, and Terestchenko, Minister of
Foreign Affairs. The Soviets chose Skobeliev to speak for them and
drew up a manifesto, the famous _nakaz_- (See App. II, Sect. 5)
instructions. The Provisional Government  objected to Skobeliev and
his _nakaz;_ the Allied ambassadors protested and finally Bonar Law
in the British House of Commons, in answer to a question, responded
coldly, "As far as I know the Paris Conference will not discuss the
aims of the war at all, but only the methods of conducting it...."

At this the conservative Russian press was jubilant, and the
Bolsheviki cried, "See where the compromising tactics of the
Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries have led them!"

Along a thousand miles of front the millions of men in Russia's
armies stirred like the sea rising, pouring into the capital their
hundreds upon hundreds of delegations, crying "Peace! Peace!"

I went across the river to the Cirque Moderne, to one of the great
popular meetings which occurred all over the city, more numerous
night after night. The bare, gloomy amphitheatre, lit by five tiny
lights hanging from a thin wire, was packed from the ring up the
steep sweep of grimy benches to the very roof-soldiers, sailors,
workmen, women, all listening as if their lives depended upon it. A
soldier was speaking-from the Five Hundred and Forty-eight Division,
wherever and whatever that was:

"Comrades," he cried, and there was real anguish in his drawn face
and despairing gestures. "The people at the top are always calling
upon us to sacrifice more, sacrifice more, while those who have
everything are left unmolested.

"We are at war with Germany. Would we invite German generals to
serve on our Staff? Well we're at war with the capitalists too, and
yet we invite them into our Government....

"The soldier says, 'Show me what I am fighting for. Is it
Constantinople, or is it free Russia? Is it the democracy, or is it
the capitalist plunderers? If you can prove to me that I am
defending the Revolution then I'll go out and fight without capital
punishment to force me.'

"When the land belongs to the peasants, and the factories to the
workers, and the power to the Soviets, then we'll know we have
something to fight for, and we'll fight for it!"

In the barracks, the factories, on the street-corners, end less
soldier speakers, all clamouring for an end to the war, declaring
that if the Government did not make an energetic effort to get
peace, the army would leave the trenches and go home.

The spokesman for the Eighth Army:

"We are weak, we have only a few men left in each company. They must
give us food and boots and reinforcements, or soon there will be
left only empty trenches. Peace or supplies... either let the
Government end the war or support the Army...."

For the Forty-sixth Siberian Artillery:

"The officers will not work with our Committees, they betray us to
the enemy, they apply the death penalty to our agitators; and the
counter-revolutionary Government supports them. We thought that the
Revolution would bring peace. But now the Government forbids us even
to talk of such things, and at the same time doesn't give us enough
food to live on, or enough ammunition to fight with...."

From Europe came rumours of peace at the expense of Russia. (See
App. II, Sect. 6)...

News of the treatment of Russian troops in France added to the
discontent. The First Brigade had tried to replace its officers with
Soldiers' Committees, like their comrades at home, and had refused
an order to go to Salonika, demanding to be sent to Russia. They had
been surrounded and starved, and then fired on by artillery, and
many killed. (See App. II, Sect. 7)...

On October 29th I went to the white-marble and crimson hall of the
Marinsky palace, where the Council of the Republic sat, to hear
Terestchenko's declaration of the Government's foreign policy,
awaited with such terrible anxiety by all the peace-thirsty and
exhausted land.

A tall, impeccably-dressed young man with a smooth face and high
cheek-bones, suavely reading his careful, non-committal speech. (See
App. II, Sect. 8) Nothing.... Only the same platitudes about crushing
German militarism with the help of the Allies-about the "state
interests" of Russia, about the "embarrassment" caused by
Skobeliev's _nakaz._ He ended with the key-note:

"Russia is a great power. Russia will remain a great power, whatever
happens. We must all defend her, we must show that we are defenders
of a great ideal, and children of a great power."

Nobody was satisfied. The reactionaries wanted a "strong"
imperialist policy; the democratic parties wanted an assurance that
the Government would press for peace.... I reproduce an editorial in
_Rabotchi i Soldat_ (Worker and Soldier), organ of the Bolshevik
Petrograd Soviet:


The most taciturn of our Ministers, Mr. Terestchenko, has actually
told the trenches the following:

1. We are closely united with our Allies. (Not with the peoples, but
with the Governments.)

2. There is no use for the democracy to discuss the possibility or
impossibility of a winter campaign. That will be decided by the
Governments of our Allies.

3. The 1st of July offensive was beneficial and a very happy affair.
(He did not mention the consequences.)

4. It is not true that our Allies do not care about us. The Minister
has in his possession very important declarations. (Declarations?
What about deeds? What about the behaviour of the British fleet?
(See App. II, Sect. 9) The parleying of the British king with exiled
counter-revolutionary General Gurko? The Minister did not mention
all this.)

5. The _nakaz_ to Skobeliev is bad; the Allies don't like it and the
Russian diplomats don't like it. In the Allied Conference we must
all 'speak one language.'

And is that all? That is all. What is the way out? The solution is,
faith in the Allies and in Terestchenko. When will peace come? When
the Allies permit.

That is how the Government replied to the trenches about peace!

Now in the background of Russian politics began to form the vague
outlines of a sinister power-the Cossacks. _Novaya Zhizn_ (New
Life), Gorky's paper, called attention to their activities:

At the beginning of the Revolution the Cossacks refused to shoot
down the people. When Kornilov marched on Petrograd they refused to
follow him. From passive loyalty to the Revolution the Cossacks have
passed to an active political offensive (against it). From the
back-ground of the Revolution they have suddenly advanced to the
front of the stage....

Kaledin, _ataman_ of the Don Cossacks, had been dismissed by the
Provisional Government for his complicity in the Kornilov affair. He
flatly refused to resign, and surrounded by three immense Cossack
armies lay at Novotcherkask, plotting and menacing. So great was his
power that the Government was forced to ignore his insubordination.
More than that, it was compelled formally to recognise the Council
of the Union of Cossack Armies, and to declare illegal the
newly-formed Cossack Section of the Soviets....

In the first part of October a Cossack delegation called upon
Kerensky, arrogantly insisting that the charges against Kaledin be
dropped, and reproaching the Minister-President for yielding to the
Soviets. Kerensky agreed to let Kaledin alone, and then is reported
to have said, "In the eyes of the Soviet leaders I am a despot and a
tyrant.... As for the Provisional Government, not only does it not
depend upon the Soviets, but it considers it regrettable that they
exist at all."

At the same time another Cossack mission called upon the British
ambassador, treating with him boldly as representatives of "the free
Cossack people."

In the Don something very like a Cossack Republic had been
established. The Kuban declared itself an independent Cossack State.
The Soviets of Rostov-on-Don and Yekaterinburg were dispersed by
armed Cossacks, and the headquarters of the Coal Miners' Union at
Kharkov raided. In all its manifestations the Cossack movement was
anti-Socialist and militaristic. Its leaders were nobles and great
land-owners, like Kaledin, Kornilov, Generals Dutov, Karaulov and
Bardizhe, and it was backed by the powerful merchants and bankers of

Old Russia was rapidly breaking up. In Ukraine, in Finland, Poland,
White Russia, the nationalist movements gathered strength and became
bolder. The local Governments, controlled by the propertied classes,
claimed autonomy, refusing to obey orders from Petrograd. At
Helsingfors the Finnish Senate declined to loan money to the
Provisional Government, declared Finland autonomous, and demanded
the withdrawal of Russian troops. The bourgeois Rada at Kiev
extended the boundaries of Ukraine until they included all the
richest agricultural lands of South Russia, as far east as the
Urals, and began the formation of a national army. Premier
Vinnitchenko hinted at a separate peace with Germany-and the
Provisional Government was helpless. Siberia, the Caucasus, demanded
separate Constituent Assemblies. And in all these countries there
was the beginning of a bitter struggle between the authorities and
the local Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies....

Conditions were daily more chaotic. Hundreds of thousands of
soldiers were deserting the front and beginning to move in vast,
aimless tides over the face of the land. The peasants of Tambov and
Tver Governments, tired of waiting for the land, exasperated by the
repressive measures of the Government, were burning manor-houses and
massacring land-owners. Immense strikes and lock-outs convulsed
Moscow, Odessa and the coal-mines of the Don. Transportation was
paralysed; the army was starving and in the big cities there was no

The Government, torn between the democratic and reactionary
factions, could do nothing: when forced to act it always supported
the interests of the propertied classes. Cossacks were sent to
restore order among the peasants, to break the strikes. In Tashkent,
Government authorities suppressed the Soviet. In Petrograd the
Economic Council, established to rebuild the shattered economic life
of the country, came to a deadlock between the opposing forces of
capital and labour, and was dissolved by Kerensky. The old régime
military men, backed by Cadets, demanded that harsh measures be
adopted to restore discipline in the Army and the Navy. In vain
Admiral Verderevsky, the venerable Minister of Marine, and General
Verkhovsky, Minister of War, insisted that only a new, voluntary,
democratic discipline, based on cooperation with the soldiers' and
sailors' Committees, could save the army and navy. Their
recommendations were ignored.

The reactionaries seemed determined to provoke popular anger. The
trial of Kornilov was coming on. More and more openly the bourgeois
press defended him, speaking of him as "the great Russian patriot."
Burtzev's paper, _Obshtchee Dielo_ (Common Cause), called for a
dictatorship of Kornilov, Kaledin and Kerensky!

I had a talk with Burtzev one day in the press gallery of the
Council of the Republic. A small, stooped figure with a wrinkled
face, eyes near-sighted behind thick glasses, untidy hair and beard
streaked with grey.

"Mark my words, young man! What Russia needs is a Strong Man. We
should get our minds off the Revolution now and concentrate on the
Germans. Bunglers, bunglers, to defeat Kornilov; and back of the
bunglers are the German agents. Kornilov should have won...."

On the extreme right the organs of the scarcely-veiled Monarchists,
Purishkevitch's _Narodny Tribun_ (People's Tribune), _Novaya Rus_
(New Russia), and _Zhivoye Slovo_ (Living Word), openly advocated
the extermination of the revolutionary democracy....

On the 23rd of October occurred the naval battle with a German
squadron in the Gulf of Riga. On the pretext that Petrograd was in
danger, the Provisional Government drew up plans for evacuating the
capital. First the great munitions works were to go, distributed
widely throughout Russia; and then the Government itself was to move
to Moscow. Instantly the Bolsheviki began to cry out that the
Government was abandoning the Red Capital in order to weaken the
Revolution. Riga had been sold to the Germans; now Petrograd was
being betrayed!

The bourgeois press was joyful. "At Moscow," said the Cadet paper
_Ryetch_ (Speech), "the Government can pursue its work in a tranquil
atmosphere, without being interfered with by anarchists." Rodzianko,
leader of the right wing of the Cadet party, declared in _Utro
Rossii_ (The Morning of Russia) that the taking of Petrograd by the
Germans would be a blessing, because it would destroy the Soviets
and get rid of the revolutionary Baltic Fleet:

Petrograd is in danger (he wrote). I say to myself, "Let God take
care of Petrograd." They fear that if Petrograd is lost the central
revolutionary organisations will be destroyed. To that I answer that
I rejoice if all these organisations are destroyed; for they will
bring nothing but disaster upon Russia....

With the taking of Petrograd the Baltic Fleet will also be
destroyed.... But there will be nothing to regret; most of the
battleships are completely demoralised....

In the face of a storm of popular disapproval the plan of evacuation
was repudiated.

Meanwhile the Congress of Soviets loomed over Russia like a
thunder-cloud, shot through with lightnings. It was opposed, not
only by the Government but by all the "moderate" Socialists. The
Central Army and Fleet Committees, the Central Committees of some of
the Trade Unions, the Peasants' Soviets, but most of all the
_Tsay-ee-kah_ itself, spared no pains to prevent the meeting.
_Izviestia_ and _Golos Soldata_ (Voice of the Soldier), newspapers
founded by the Petrograd Soviet but now in the hands of the
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ fiercely assailed it, as did the entire artillery of
the Socialist Revolutionary party press, _Dielo Naroda_ (People's
Cause) and _Volia Naroda_ (People's Will).

Delegates were sent through the country, messages flashed by wire to
committees in charge of local Soviets, to Army Committees,
instructing them to halt or delay elections to the Congress. Solemn
public resolutions against the Congress, declarations that the
democracy was opposed to the meeting so near the date of the
Constituent Assembly, representatives from the Front, from the Union
of Zemstvos, the Peasants' Union, Union of Cossack Armies, Union of
Officers, Knights of St. George, Death Battalions, [*] protesting....
[*See Notes and Explanations.]
The Council of the Russian Republic was one chorus of disapproval.
The entire machinery set up by the Russian Revolution of March
functioned to block the Congress of Soviets....

On the other hand was the shapeless will of the proletariat-the
workmen, common soldiers and poor peasants. Many local Soviets were
already Bolshevik; then there were the organisations of the
industrial workers, the _Fabritchno-Zavodskiye Comitieti-_
Factory-Shop Committees; and the insurgent Army and Fleet
organisations. In some places the people, prevented from electing
their regular Soviet delegates, held rump meetings and chose one of
their number to go to Petrograd. In others they smashed the old
obstructionist committees and formed new ones. A ground-swell of
revolt heaved and cracked the crust which had been slowly hardening
on the surface of revolutionary fires dormant all those months. Only
an spontaneous mass-movement could bring about the All-Russian
Congress of Soviets....

Day after day the Bolshevik orators toured the barracks and
factories, violently denouncing "this Government of civil war." One
Sunday we went, on a top-heavy steam tram that lumbered through
oceans of mud, between stark factories and immense churches, to
_Obukhovsky Zavod,_ a Government munitions-plant out on the
Schlüsselburg Prospekt.

The meeting took place between the gaunt brick walls of a huge
unfinished building, ten thousand black-clothed men and women packed
around a scaffolding draped in red, people heaped on piles of lumber
and bricks, perched high upon shadowy girders, intent and
thunder-voiced. Through the dull, heavy sky now and again burst the
sun, flooding reddish light through the skeleton windows upon the
mass of simple faces upturned to us.

Lunatcharsky, a slight, student-like figure with the sensitive face
of an artist, was telling why the power must be taken by the
Soviets. Nothing else could guarantee the Revolution against its
enemies, who were deliberately ruining the country, ruining the
army, creating opportunities for a new Konilov.

A soldier from the Rumanian front, thin, tragical and fierce, cried,
"Comrades! We are starving at the front, we are stiff with cold. We
are dying for no reason. I ask the American comrades to carry word
to America, that the Russians will never give up their Revolution
until they die. We will hold the fort with all our strength until
the peoples of the world rise and help us! Tell the American workers
to rise and fight for the Social Revolution!"

Then came Petrovsky, slight, slow-voiced, implacable: "Now is the
time for deeds, not words. The economic situation is bad, but we
must get used to it. They are trying to starve us and freeze us.
They are trying to provoke us. But let them know that they can go
too far-that if they dare to lay their hands upon the organisations
of the proletariat we will sweep them away like scum from the face
of the earth!"

The Bolshevik press suddenly expanded. Besides the two party papers,
_Rabotchi Put_ and _Soldat_ (Soldier), there appeared a new paper
for the peasants, _Derevenskaya Byednota_ (Village Poorest), poured
out in a daily half-million edition; and on October 17th, _Rabotchi
i Soldat._ Its leading article summed up the Bolshevik point of view:

The fourth year's campaign will mean the annihilation of the army
and the country.... There is danger for the safety of Petrograd....
Counter-revolutionists rejoice in the people's misfortunes.... The
peasants brought to desperation come out in open rebellion; the
landlords and Government authorities massacre them with punitive
expeditions; factories and mines are closing down, workmen are
threatened with starvation.... The bourgeoisie and its Generals want
to restore a blind discipline in the army.... Supported by the
bourgeoisie, the Kornilovtsi are openly getting ready to break up
the meeting of the Constituent Assembly....

The Kerensky Government is against the people. He will destroy the
country.... This paper stands for the people and by the people-the
poor classes, workers, soldiers and peasants. The people can only be
saved by the completion of the Revolution... and for this purpose the
full power must be in the hands of the Soviets....

This paper advocates the following: All power to the Soviets-both in
the capital and in the provinces.

Immediate truce on all fronts. An honest peace between peoples.

Landlord estates-without compensation-to the peasants.

Workers' control over industrial production.

A faithfully and honestly elected Constituent Assembly.

It is interesting to reproduce here a passage from that same
paper-the organ of those Bolsheviki so well known to the world as
German agents:

The German kaiser, covered with the blood of millions of dead
people, wants to push his army against Petrograd. Let us call to the
German workmen, soldiers and peasants, who want peace not less than
we do, to... stand up against this damned war!

This can be done only by a revolutionary Government, which would
speak really for the workmen, soldiers and peasants of Russia, and
would appeal over the heads of the diplomats directly to the German
troops, fill the German trenches with proclamations in the German
language.... Our airmen would spread these proclamations all over

In the Council of the Republic the gulf between the two sides of the
chamber deepened day by day.

"The propertied classes," cried Karelin, for the Left Socialist
Revolutionaries, "want to exploit the revolutionary machine of the
State to bind Russia to the war-chariot of the Allies! The
revolutionary parties are absolutely against this policy...."

Old Nicholas Tchaikovsky, representing the Populist Socialists,
spoke against giving the land to the peasants, and took the side of
the Cadets: "We must have immediately strong discipline in the
army.... Since the beginning of the war I have not ceased to insist
that it is a crime to undertake social and economic reforms in
war-time. We are committing that crime, and yet I am not the enemy
of these reforms, because I am a Socialist."

Cries from the Left, "We don't believe you!" Mighty applause from
the Right....

Adzhemov, for the Cadets, declared that there was no necessity to
tell the army what it was fighting for, since every soldier ought to
realise that the first task was to drive the enemy from Russian

Kerensky himself came twice, to plead passionately for national
unity, once bursting into tears at the end. The assembly heard him
coldly, interrupting with ironical remarks.

Smolny Institute, headquarters of the _Tsay-ee-kah_ and of the
Petrograd Soviet, lay miles out on the edge of the city, beside the
wide Neva. I went there on a street-car, moving snail-like with a
groaning noise through the cobbled, muddy streets, and jammed with
people. At the end of the line rose the graceful smoke-blue cupolas
of Smolny Convent outlined in dull gold, beautiful; and beside it
the great barracks like façade of Smolny Institute, two hundred
yards long and three lofty stories high, the Imperial arms carved
hugely in stone still insolent over the entrance....

Under the old régime a famous convent-school for the daughters of
the Russian nobility, patronised by the Tsarina herself, the
Institute had been taken over by the revolutionary organisations of
workers and soldiers. Within were more than a hundred huge rooms,
white and bare, on their doors enamelled plaques still informing the
passerby that within was "Ladies' Class-room Number 4" or "Teachers'
Bureau"; but over these hung crudely-lettered signs, evidence of the
vitality of the new order: "Central Committee of the Petrograd
Soviet" and _"Tsay-ee-kah"_ and "Bureau of Foreign Affairs"; "Union
of Socialist Soldiers," "Central Committee of the All-Russian Trade
Unions," "Factory-Shop Committees," "Central Army Committee"; and
the central offices and caucus-rooms of the political parties....

The long, vaulted corridors, lit by rare electric lights, were
thronged with hurrying shapes of soldiers and workmen, some bent
under the weight of huge bundles of newspapers, proclamations,
printed propaganda of all sorts. The sound of their heavy boots made
a deep and incessant thunder on the wooden floor.... Signs were posted
up everywhere: "Comrades! For the sake of your health, preserve
cleanliness!" Long tables stood at the head of the stairs on every
floor, and on the landings, heaped with pamphlets and the literature
of the different political parties, for sale....

The spacious, low-ceilinged refectory downstairs was still a
dining-room. For two rubles I bought a ticket entitling me to
dinner, and stood in line with a thousand others, waiting to get to
the long serving-tables, where twenty men and women were ladling
from immense cauldrons cabbage soup, hunks of meat and piles of
_kasha,_ slabs of black bread. Five kopeks paid for tea in a tin
cup. From a basket one grabbed a greasy wooden spoon.... The benches
along the wooden tables were packed with hungry proletarians,
wolfing their food, plotting, shouting rough jokes across the room....

[Graphic page-33 -- text of placard in russian, translation follows]


Upstairs was another eating-place, reserved for the _Tsay-ee-kah-_
though every one went there. Here could be had bread thickly
buttered and endless glasses of tea....

In the south wing on the second floor was the great hall of
meetings, the former ball-room of the Institute. A lofty white room
lighted by glazed-white chandeliers holding hundreds of ornate
electric bulbs, and divided by two rows of massive columns; at one
end a dais, flanked with two tall many-branched light standards, and
a gold frame behind, from which the Imperial portrait had been cut.
Here on festal occasions had been banked brilliant military and
ecclesiastical uniforms, a setting for Grand Duchesses....

Just across the hall outside was the office of the Credentials
Committee for the Congress of Soviets. I stood there watching the
new delegates come in-burly, bearded soldiers, workmen in black
blouses, a few long-haired peasants. The girl in charge-a member of
Plekhanov's _Yedinstvo_ [*] group-smiled contemptuously. "These are
[* See Notes and Explanations]
very different people from the delegates to the first _Siezd_
(Congress)," she remarked. "See how rough and ignorant they look!
The Dark People...." It was true; the depths of Russia had been
stirred, and it was the bottom which came uppermost now. The
Credentials Committee, appointed by the old _Tsay-ee-kah,_ was
challenging delegate after delegate, on the ground that they had
been illegally elected. Karakhan, member of the Bolshevik Central
Committee, simply grinned. "Never mind," he said, "When the time
comes we'll see that you get your seats...."

_Rabotchi i Soldat_ said:

The attention of delegates to the new All-Russian Congress is called
to attempts of certain members of the Organising Committee to break
up the Congress, by asserting that it will not take place, and that
delegates had better leave Petrograd.... Pay no attention to these
lies.... Great days are coming....

It was evident that a quorum would not come together by November 2,
so the opening of the Congress was postponed to the 7th. But the
whole country was now aroused; and the Mensheviki and Socialist
Revolutionaries, realising that they were defeated, suddenly changed
their tactics and began to wire frantically to their provincial
organisations to elect as many "moderate" Socialist delegates as
possible. At the same time the Executive Committee of the Peasants'
Soviets issued an emergency call for a Peasants' Congress, to meet
December 13th and offset whatever action the workers and soldiers
might take...

What would the Bolsheviki do? Rumours ran through the city that
there would be an armed "demonstration," a _vystuplennie_-"coming
out" of the workers and soldiers. The bourgeois and reactionary
press prophesied insurrection, and urged the Government to arrest
the Petrograd Soviet, or at least to prevent the meeting of the
Congress. Such sheets as _Novaya Rus_ advocated a general Bolshevik

Gorky's paper, _Novaya Zhizn,_ agreed with the Bolsheviki that the
reactionaries were attempting to destroy the Revolution, and that if
necessary they must be resisted by force of arms; but all the
parties of the revolutionary democracy must present a united front.

As long as the democracy has not organised its principal forces, so
long as the resistance to its influence is still strong, there is no
advantage in passing to the attack. But if the hostile elements
appeal to force, then the revolutionary democracy should enter the
battle to seize the power, and it will be sustained by the most
profound strata of the people....

Gorky pointed out that both reactionary and Government newspapers
were inciting the Bolsheviki to violence. An insurrection, however,
would prepare the way for a new Kornilov. He urged the Bolsheviki to
deny the rumours. Potressov, in the Menshevik _Dien_ (Day),
published a sensational story, accompanied by a map, which professed
to reveal the secret Bolshevik plan of campaign.

As if by magic, the walls were covered with warnings, (See App. II,
Sect. 10) proclamations, appeals, from the Central Committees of the
"moderate" and conservative factions and the _Tsay-ee-kah,_
denouncing any "demonstrations," imploring the workers and soldiers
not to listen to agitators. For instance, this from the Military
Section of the Socialist Revolutionary party:

Again rumours are spreading around the town of an intended
_vystuplennie._ What is the source of these rumours? What
organisation authorises these agitators who preach insurrection? The
Bolsheviki, to a question addressed to them in the _Tsay-ee-kah,_
denied that they have anything to do with it.... But these rumours
themselves carry with them a great danger. It may easily happen
that, not taking into consideration the state of mind of the
majority of the workers, soldiers and peasants, individual hot-heads
will call out part of the workers and soldiers on the streets,
inciting them to an uprising.... In this fearful time through which
revolutionary Russia is passing, any insurrection can easily turn
into civil war, and there can result from it the destruction of all
organisations of the proletariat, built up with so much labour.... The
counter-revolutionary plotters are planning to take advantage of
this insurrection to destroy the Revolution, open the front to
Wilhelm, and wreck the Constituent Assembly.... Stick stubbornly to
your posts! Do not come out!

On October 28th, in the corridors of Smolny, I spoke with Kameniev,
a little man with a reddish pointed beard and Gallic gestures. He
was not at all sure that enough delegates would come. "If there _is_
a Congress," he said, "it will represent the overwhelming sentiment
of the people. If the majority is Bolshevik, as I think it will be,
we shall demand that the power be given to the Soviets, and the
Provisional Government must resign...."

Volodarsky, a tall, pale youth with glasses and a bad complexion,
was more definite. "The 'Lieber-Dans' and the other compromisers are
sabotaging the Congress. If they succeed in preventing its
meeting,-well, then we are realists enough not to depend on _that!"_

Under date of October 29th I find entered in my notebook the
following items culled from the newspapers of the day:

Moghilev (General Staff Headquarters). Concentration here of loyal
Guard Regiments, the Savage Division, Cossacks and Death Battalions.

The _yunkers_ of the Officers' Schools of Pavlovsk, Tsarskoye Selo
and Peterhof ordered by the Government to be ready to come to
Petrograd. Oranienbaum _yunkers_ arrive in the city.

Part of the Armoured Car Division of the Petrograd garrism stationed
in the Winter Palace.

Upon orders signed by Trotzky, several thousand rifles delivered by
the Government Arms Factory at Sestroretzk to delegates of the
Petrograd workmen.

At a meeting of the City Militia of the Lower Liteiny Quarter, a
resolution demanding that all power be given to the Soviets.

This is just a sample of the confused events of those feverish days,
when everybody knew that something was going to happen, but nobody
knew just what.

At a meeting of the Petrograd Soviet in Smolny, the night of October
30th, Trotzky branded the assertions of the bourgeois press that the
Soviet contemplated armed insurention as "an attempt of the
reactionaries to discredit and wreck the Congress of Soviets.... The
Petrograd Soviet," he declared, "had not ordered any _uystuplennie._
If it is necessary we shall do so, and we will be supported by the
Petrogruad garrison.... They (the Government) are preparing a
counter-revolution; and we shall answer with an offensive which will
be merciless and decisive."

It is true that the Petrograd Soviet had not ordered a
demonstration, but the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party was
considering the question of insurrection. All night long the 23d
they met. There were present all the party intellectuals, the
leaders-and delegates of the Petrograd workers and garrison. Alone
of the intellectuals Lenin and Trotzky stood for insurrection. Even   urrection. Even   |          |
the military men opposed it. A vote was taken. Insurrection was

Then arose a rough workman, his face convulsed with rage. "I speak
for the Petrograd proletariat," he said, harshly. "We are in favour
of insurrection. Have it your own way, but I tell you now that if
you allow the Soviets to be destroyed, _we're through with you!"_
Some soldiers joined him.... And after that they voted
again-insurrection won....

However, the right wing of the Bolsheviki, led by Riazanov, Kameniev
and Zinoviev, continued to campaign against an armed rising. On the
morning of October 31st appeared in _Rabotchi Put_ the first
instalment of Lenin's "Letter to the Comrades," (See App. II, Sect.
11) one of the most audacious pieces of political propaganda the
world has ever seen. In it Lenin seriously presented the arguments
in favour of insurrection, taking as text the objections of Kameniev
and Riazonov.

"Either we must abandon our slogan, 'All Power to the Soviets,' " he
wrote, "or else we must make an insurrection. There is no middle

That same afternoon Paul Miliukov, leader of the Cadets, made a
brilliant, bitter speech (See App. II, Sect. 12) in the Council of
the Republic, branding the Skobeliev _nakaz_ as pro-German,
declaring that the "revolutionary democracy" was destroying Russia,
sneering at Terestchenko, and openly declaring that he preferred
German diplomacy to Russian.... The Left benches were one roaring
tumult all through....

On its part the Government could not ignore the significance of the
success of the Bolshevik propaganda. On the 29th joint commission of
the Government and the Council of the Republic hastily drew up two
laws, one for giving the land temporarily to the peasants, and the
other for pushing an energetic foreign policy of peace. The next day
Kerensky suspended capital punishment in the army. That same
afternoon was opened with great ceremony the first session of the
new "Commission for Strengthening the Republican Régime and Fighting
Against Anarchy and Counter-Revolution"-of which history shows not
the slightest further trace.... The following morning with two other
correspondents I interviewed Kerensky (See App. II, Sect. 13)-the
last time he received journalists.

"The Russian people," he said, bitterly, "are suffering from
economic fatigue-and from disillusionment with the Allies! The world
thinks that the Russian Revolution is at an end. Do not be mistaken.
The Russian Revolution is just beginning...." Words more prophetic,
perhaps, than he knew.

Stormy was the all-night meeting of the Petrograd Soviet the 30th of
October, at which I was present. The "moderate" Socialist
intellectuals, officers, members of Army Committees, the
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ were there in force. Against them rose up workmen,
peasants and common soldiers, passionate and simple.

A peasant told of the disorders in Tver, which he said were caused
by the arrest of the Land Committees. "This Kerensky is nothing but
a shield to the _pomieshtchiki_ (landowners)," he cried. "They know
that at the Constituent Assembly we will take the land anyway, so
they are trying to destroy the Constituent Assembly!"

A machinist from the Putilov works described how the superintendents
were closing down the departments one by one on the pretext that
there was no fuel or raw materials. The Factory-Shop Committee, he
declared, had discovered huge hidden supplies.

"It is a _provocatzia,"_ said he. "They want to starve us-or drive
us to violence!"

Among the soldiers one began, "Comrades! I bring you greetings from
the place where men are digging their graves and call them trenches!"

Then arose a tall, gaunt young soldier, with flashing eyes, met with
a roar of welcome. It was Tchudnovsky, reported killed in the July
fighting, and now risen from the dead.

"The soldier masses no longer trust their officers. Even the Army
Committees, who refused to call a meeting of our Soviet, betrayed
us.... The masses of the soldiers want the Constituent Assembly to be
held exactly when it was called for, and those who dare to postpone
it will be cursed-and not only platonic curses either, for the Army
has guns too...."

He told of the electoral campaign for the Constituent now raging in
the Fifth Army. "The officers, and especially the Mensheviki and the
Socialist Revolutionaries, are trying deliberately to cripple the
Bolsheviki. Our papers are not allowed to circulate in the trenches.
Our speakers are arrested-"

"Why don't you speak about the lack of bread?" shouted another

"Man shall not live by bread alone," answered Tchudnovsky, sternly....

Followed him an officer, delegate from the Vitebsk Soviet, a
Menshevik _oboronetz._ "It isn't the question of who has the power.
The trouble is not with the Government, but with the war.... and the
war must be won before any change-" At this, hoots and ironical
cheers. "These Bolshevik agitators are demagogues!" The hall rocked
with laughter. "Let us for a moment forget the class struggle-" But
he got no farther. A voice yelled, "Don't you wish we would!"

Petrograd presented a curious spectacle in those days. In the
factories the committe-rooms were filled with stacks of rifles,
couriers came and went, the Red Guard [*] drilled.... In all the
[* See Notes and Explanations]
barracks meetings every night, and all day long interminable hot
arguments. On the streets the crowds thickened toward gloomy
evening, pouring in slow voluble tides up and down the Nevsky,
fighting for the newspapers.... Hold-ups increased to such an extent
that it was dangerous to walk down side streets.... On the Sadovaya
one afternoon I saw a crowd of several hundred people beat and
trample to death a soldier caught stealing.... Mysterious individuals
circulated around the shivering women who waited in _queue_ long
cold hours for bread and milk, whispering that the Jews had cornered
the food supply-and that while the people starved, the Soviet
members lived luxuriously....

At Smolny there were strict guards at the door and the outer gates,
demanding everybody's pass. The committee-rooms buzzed and hummed
all day and all night, hundreds of soldiers and workmen slept on the
floor, wherever they could find room. Upstairs in the great hall a
thousand people crowded to the uproarious sessions of the Petrograd

Gambling clubs functioned hectically from dusk to dawn, with
champagne flowing and stakes of twenty thousand rubles. In the
centre of the city at night prostitutes in jewels and expensive furs
walked up and down, crowded the cafés....

Monarchist plots, German spies, smugglers hatching schemes....

And in the rain, the bitter chill, the great throbbing city under
grey skies rushing faster and faster toward-what?

Chapter III

On the Eve

IN the relations of a weak Government and a rebellious people there
comes a time when every act of the authorities exasperates the
masses, and every refusal to act excites their contempt....

The proposal to abandon Petrograd raised a hurricane; Kerensky's
public denial that the Government had any such intention was met with
hoots of derision.

Pinned to the wall by the pressure of the Revolution (cried _Rabotchi
Put),_ the Government of "provisional" bourgeois tries to get free by
giving out lying assurances that it never thought of fleeing from
Petrograd, and that it didn't wish to surrender the capital....

In Kharkov thirty thousand coal miners organised, adopting the
preamble of the I. W. W. constitution: "The working class and the
employing class have nothing in common." Dispersed by Cossacks, some
were locked out by the mine-owners, and the rest declared a general
strike. Minister of Commerce and Industry Konovalov appointed his
assistant, Orlov, with plenary powers, to settle the trouble. Orlov
was hated by the miners. But the _Tsay-ee-kah_ not only supported his
appointment, but refused to demand that the Cossacks be recalled from
the Don Basin....

This was followed by the dispersal of the Soviet at Kaluga. The
Bolsheviki, having secured a majority in the Soviet, set free some
political prisoners. With the sanction of the Government Commissar
the Municipal Duma called in troops from Minsk, and bombarded the
Soviet headquarters with artillery. The Bolsheviki yielded, but as
they left the building Cossacks attacked them, crying, "This is what
we'll do to all the other Bolshevik Soviets, including those of
Moscow and Petrograd!" This incident sent a wave of panic rage
throughout Russia....

In Petrograd was ending a regional Congress of Soviets of the North,
presided over by the Bolshevik Krylenko. By an immense majority it
resolved that all power should be assumed by the All-Russian
Congress; and concluded by greeting the Bolsheviki in prison, bidding
them rejoice, for the hour of their liberation was at hand. At the
same time the first All-Russian Conference of Factory-Shop Committees
(See App. III, Sect. 1) declared emphatically for the Soviets, and
continued significantly,

After liberating themselves politically from Tsardom, the
working-class wants to see the democratic régime triumphant in the
sphere of its productive activity. This is best expressed by Workers'
Control over industrial production, which naturally arose in the
atmosphere of economic decomposition created by the criminal policy
of the dominating classes....

The Union of Railwaymen was demanding the resignation of Liverovsky,
Minister of Ways and Communications....

In the name of the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ Skobeliev insisted that the _nakaz_
be presented at the Allied Conference, and formally protested against
the sending of Terestchenko to Paris. Terestchenko offered to resign....

General Verkhovsky, unable to accomplish his reorganisation of the
army, only came to Cabinet meetings at long intervals....

On November 3d Burtzev's _Obshtchee Dielo_ came out with great

Citizens! Save the fatherland!

I have just learned that yesterday, at a meeting of the Commission
for National Defence, Minister of War General Verkhovsky, one of the
principal persons responsible for the fall of Kornilov, proposed to
sign a separate peace, independently of the Allies.

That is treason to Russia!

Terestchenko declared that the Provisional Government had not even
examined Verkhovsky's proposition.

"You might think," said Terestchenko, "that we were in a madhouse!"

The members of the Commission were astounded at the General's words.

General Alexeyev wept.

No! It is not madness! It is worse. It is direct treason to Russia!

Kerensky, Terestchenko and Nekrassov must immediately answer us
concerning the words of Verkhovsky.

Citizens, arise!

Russia is being sold!

Save her!

What Verkhovsky really said was that the Allies must be pressed to
offer peace, because the Russian army could fight no longer....

Both in Russia and abroad the sensation was tremendous. Verkhovsky
was given "indefinite leave of absence for illhealth," and left the
Government. _Obshtchee Dielo_ was suppressed....

Sunday, November 4th, was designated as the Day of the Petrograd
Soviet, with immense meetings planned all over the city, ostensibly
to raise money for the organisation and the press; really, to make a
demonstration of strength. Suddenly it was announced that on the same
day the Cossacks would hold a _Krestny Khod_-Procession of the
Cross-in honour of the Ikon of 1612, through whose miraculous
intervention Napoleon had been driven from Moscow. The atmosphere was
electric; a spark might kindle civil war. The Petrograd Soviet issued
a manifesto, headed "Brothers-Cossacks!"

You, Cossacks, are being incited against us, workers and soldiers.
This plan of Cain is being put into operation by our common enemies,
the oppressors, the privileged classes-generals, bankers, landlords,
former officials, former servants of the Tsar.... We are hated by all
grafters, rich men, princes, nobles, generals, including your Cossack
generals. They are ready at any moment to destroy the Petrograd
Soviet and crush the Revolution....

On the 4th of November somebody is organising a Cossack religious
procession. It is a question of the free consciousness of every
individual whether he will or will not take part in this procession.
We do not interfere in this matter, nor do we obstruct anybody....
However, we warn you, Cossacks! Look out and see to it that under the
pretext of a _Krestni Khod,_ your Kaledins do not instigate you
against workmen, against soldiers....

The procession was hastily called off....

In the barracks and the working-class quarters of the town the
Bolsheviki were preaching, "All Power to the Soviets!" and agents of
the Dark Forces were urging the people to rise and slaughter the
Jews, shop-keepers, Socialist leaders....

On one side the Monarchist press, inciting to bloody repression-on
the other Lenin's great voice roaring, "Insurrection!.... We cannot
wait any longer!"

Even the bourgeois press was uneasy. (See App. III, Sect. 2)
_Birjevya Viedomosti_ (Exchange Gazette) called the Bolshevik
propaganda an attack on "the most elementary principles of
society-personal security and the respect for private property."

[Graphic page-46 Appeal of the Petrograd Soviet]

Appeal of the Petrograd Soviet to the Cosacks to call off their
_Krestny Khod_-the religious procession planned for November 4th (our
calendar). "Brothers-Cossacks!" it begins. "The Petrograd Soviet of
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies addresses you."

But it was the "moderate" Socialist journals which were the most
hostile. (See App. III, Sect. 3) "The Bolsheviki are the most
dangerous enemies of the Revolution," declared _Dielo Naroda._ Said
the Menshevik _Dien,_ "The Government ought to defend itself and
defend us." Plekhanov's paper, _Yedinstvo_ (Unity) (See App. III,
Sect. 4), called the attention of the Government to the fact that the
Petrograd workers were being armed, and demanded stern measures
against the Bolsheviki.

Daily the Government seemed to become more helpless. Even the
Municipal administration broke down. The columns of the morning
papers were filled with accounts of the most audacious robberies and
murders, and the criminals were unmolested.

On the other hand armed workers patrolled the streets at night, doing
battle with marauders and requisitioning arms wherever they found

On the first of November Colonel Polkovnikov, Military Commander of
Petrograd, issued a proclamation:

Despite the difficult days through which the country is passing,
irresponsible appeals to armed demonstrations and massacres are still
being spread around Petrograd, and from day to day robbery and
disorder increase.

This state of things is disorganising the life of the citizens, and
hinders the systematic work of the Government and the Municipal

In full consciousness of my responsibility and my duty before my
country, I command:

1. Every military unit, in accordance with special instructions and
within the territory of its garrison, to afford every assistance to
the Municipality, to the Commissars, and to the militia, in the
guarding of Government institutions.

2. The organisation of patrols, in co-operation with the District
Commander and the representatives of the city militia, and the taking
of measures for the arrest of criminals and deserters.

3. The arrest of all persons entering barracks and inciting to armed
demonstrations and massacres, and their delivery to the headquarters
of the Second Commander of the city.

4. To suppress any armed demonstration or riot at its start, with all
armed forces at hand.

5. To afford assistance to the Commissars in preventing unwarranted
searches in houses and unwarranted arrests.

6. To report immediately all that happens in the district under
charge to the Staff of the Petrograd Military District.

I call upon all Army Committees and organisations to afford their
help to the commanders in fulfilment of the duties with which they
are charged.

In the Council of the Republic Kerensky declared that the Government
was fully aware of the Bolshevik preparations, and had sufficient
force to cope with any demonstration. (See App. III, Sect. 5) He
accused _Novaya Rus_ and _Robotchi Put_ of both doing the same kind
of subversive work. "But owing to the absolute freedom of the press,"
he added, "the Government is not in a position to combat printed
lies. [*]...." Declaring that these were two aspects of the same
[* This was not quite candid.  The Provisional Gevernment had
suppressed Bolshevik papers before, in July, and was planning to
do so again.]
propaganda, which had for its object the counter-revolution, so
ardently desired by the Dark Forces, he went on:

"I am a doomed man, it doesn't matter what happens to me, and I have
the audacity to say that the other enigmatic part is that of the
unbelievable provocation created in the city by the Bolsheviki!"

On November 2d only fifteen delegates to the Congress of Soviets had
arrived. Next day there were a hundred, and the morning after that a
hundred and seventy-five, of whom one hundred and three were
Bolsheviki.... Four hundred constituted a quorum, and the Congress was
only three days off....

I spent a great deal of time at Smolny. It was no longer easy to get
in. Double rows of sentries guarded the outer gates, and once inside
the front door there was a long line of people waiting to be let in,
four at a time, to be questioned as to their identity and their
business. Passes were given out, and the pass system was changed
every few hours; for spies continually sneaked through....

[Graphic page-49  Russian Pass to Reed, translation follows]

Pass to Smolny Institute, issued by the Military Revolutionary
Committee, giving me the right of entry at any time. (Translation)

Military Revolutionary Committee
           attached to the
Petrograd Soviet of W. & S. D.
        Commandant's office
16th November, 1917
               No. 955
           Smolny Institute


Is given by the present to John Reed, correspondent of
the American Socialist press, until December 1, the right of free
entry into Smolny Institute. Commandant

One day as I came up to the outer gate I saw Trotzky and his wife
just ahead of me. They were halted by a soldier. Trotzky searched
through his pockets, but could find no pass.

"Never mind," he said finally. "You know me. My name is Trotzky."

"You haven't got a pass," answered the soldier stubbornly.

"You cannot go in. Names don't mean anything to me."

"But I am the president of the Petrograd Soviet."

"Well," replied the soldier, "if you're as important a fellow as that
you must at least have one little paper."

Trotzky was very patient. "Let me see the Commandant," he said. The
soldier hesitated, grumbling something about not wanting to disturb
the Commandant for every devil that came along. He beckoned finally
to the soldier in command of the guard. Trotzky explained matters to
him. "My name is Trotzky," he repeated.

"Trotzky?" The other soldier scratched his head. "I've heard the name
somewhere," he said at length. "I guess it's all right. You can go on
in, comrade...."

In the corridor I met Karakhan, member of the Bolshevik Central
Committee, who explained to me what the new Government would be like.

"A loose organisation, sensitive to the popular will as expressed
through the Soviets, allowing local forces full play. At present the
Provisional Government obstructs the action of the local democratic
will, just as the Tsar's Government did. The initiative of the new
society shall come from below.... The form of the Government will be
modelled on the Constitution of the Russian Social Democratic Labour
Party. The new _Tsay-ee-kah,_ responsible to frequent meetings of the
All-Russian Congress of Soviets, will be the parliament; the various
Ministries will be headed by _collegia_-committees-instead of by
Ministers, and will be directly responsible to the Soviets....

On October 30th, by appointment, I went up to a small, bare room in
the attic of Smolny, to talk with Trotzky. In the middle of the room
he sat on a rough chair at a bare table. Few questions from me were
necessary; he talked rapidly and steadily, for more than an hour. The
substance of his talk, in his own words, I give here:

"The Provisional Government is absolutely powerless. The bourgeoisie
is in control, but this control is masked by a fictitious coalition
with the _oborontsi_ parties. Now, during the Revolution, one sees
revolts of peasants who are tired of waiting for their promised land;
and all over the country, in all the toiling classes, the same
disgust is evident. This domination by the bourgeoisie is only
possible by means of civil war. The Kornilov method is the only way
by which the bourgeoisie can control. But it is force which the
bourgeoisie lacks.... The Army is with us. The conciliators and
pacifists, Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviki, have lost all
authority-because the struggle between the peasants and the
landlords, between the workers and the employers, between the
soldiers and the officers, has become more bitter, more
irreconcilable than ever. Only by the concerted action of the popular
mass, only by the victory of proletarian dictatorship, can the
Revolution be achieved and the people saved....

"The Soviets are the most perfect representatives of the
people-perfect in their revolutionary experience, in their ideas and
objects. Based directly upon the army in the trenches, the workers in
the factories, and the peasants in the fields, they are the backbone
of the Revolution.

"There has been an attempt to create a power without the Soviets-and
only powerlessness has been created. Counter-revolutionary schemes of
all sorts are now being hatched in the corridors of the Council of
the Russian Republic. The Cadet party represents the
counter-revolution militant. On the other side, the Soviets represent
the cause of the people. Between the two camps there are no groups of
serious importance.... It is the _lutte finale._ The bourgeois
counter-revolution organises all its forces and waits for the moment
to attack us. Our answer will be decisive. We will complete the work
scarcely begun in March, and advanced during the Kornilov affair...."

He went on to speak of the new Government's foreign policy:

"Our first act will be to call for an immediate armistice on all
fronts, and a conference of peoples to discuss democratic peace
terms. The quantity of democracy we get in the peace settlement
depends on the quantity of revolutionary response there is in Europe.
If we create here a Government of the Soviets, that will be a
powerful factor for immediate peace in Europe; for this Government
will address itself directly and immediately to all peoples, over the
heads of their Governments, proposing an armistice. At the moment of
the conclusion of peace the pressure of the Russian Revolution will
be in the direction of 'no annexations,# no indemnities, the right of
self-determination of peoples,' and a _Federated Republic of Europe._...

"At the end of this war I see Europe recreated, not by the diplomats,
but by the proletariat. The Federated Republic of Europe-the United
States of Europe-that is what must be. National autonomy no longer
suffices. Economic evolution demands the abolition of national
frontiers. If Europe is to remain split into national groups, then
Imperialism will recommence its work. Only a Federated Republic of
Europe can give peace to the world." He smiled-that fine, faintly
ironical smile of his. "But without the action of the European
masses, these ends cannot be realised-now...."

Now while everybody was waiting for the Bolsheviki to appear suddenly
on the streets one morning and begin to shoot down people with white
collars on, the real insurrection took its way quite naturally and

The Provisional Government planned to send the Petrograd garrison to
the front.

The Petrograd garrison numbered about sixty thousand men, who had
taken a prominent part in the Revolution. It was they who had turned
the tide in the great days of March, created the Soviets of Soldiers'
Deputies, and hurled back Kornilov from the gates of Petrograd.

Now a large part of them were Bolsheviki. When the Provisional
Government talked of evacuating the city, it was the Petrograd
garrison which answered, "If you are not capable of defending the
capital, conclude peace; if you cannot conclude peace, go away and
make room for a People's Government which can do both...."

It was evident that any attempt at insurrection depended upon the
attitude of the Petrograd garrison. The Government's plan was to
replace the garrison regiments with "dependable" troops-Cossacks,
Death Battalions. The Army Committees, the "moderate" Socialists and
the _Tsay-ee-kah_ supported the Government. A wide-spread agitation
was carried on at the Front and in Petrograd, emphasizing the fact
that for eight months the Petrograd garrison had been leading an easy
life in the barracks of the capital, while their exhausted comrades
in the trenches starved and died.

Naturally there was some truth in the accusation that the garrison
regiments were reluctant to exchange their comparative comfort for
the hardships of a winter campaign. But there were other reasons why
they refused to go. The Petrograd Soviet feared the Government's
intentions, and from the Front came hundreds of delegates, chosen by
the common soldiers, crying, "It is true we need reinforcements, but
more important, we must know that Petrograd and the Revolution are
well-guarded.... Do you hold the rear, comrades, and we will hold the

On October 25th, behind closed doors, the Central Committee of the
Petrograd Soviet discussed the formation of a special Military
Committee to decide the whole question. The next day a meeting of the
Soldiers' Section of the Petrograd Soviet elected a Committee, which
immediately proclaimed a boycott of the bourgeois newspapers, and
condemned the _Tsay-ee-kah_ for opposing the Congress of Soviets. On
the 29th, in open session of the Petrograd Soviet, Trotzky proposed
that the Soviet formally sanction the Military Revolutionary
Committee. "We ought," he said, "to create our special organisation
to march to battle, and if necessary to die...." It was decided to send
to the front two delegations, one from the Soviet and one from the
garrison, to confer with the Soldiers' Committees and the General

At Pskov, the Soviet delegates were met by General Tcheremissov,
commander of the Northern Front, with the curt declaration that he
had ordered the Petrograd garrison to the trenches, and that was all.
The garrison committee was not allowed to leave Petrograd....

A delegation of the Soldiers' Section of the Petrograd Soviet asked
that a representative be admitted to the Staff of the Petrograd
District. Refused. The Petrograd Soviet demanded that no orders be
issued without the approval of the Soldiers' Section. Refused. The
delegates were roughly told, "We only recognise the _Tsay-ee-kah._ We
do not recognise you; if you break any laws, we shall arrest you."

On the 30th a meeting of representatives of all the Petrograd
regiments passed a resolution: _"The Petrograd garrison no longer
recognises the Provisional Government. The Petrograd Soviet is our
Government. We will obey only the orders of the Petrograd Soviet,
through the Military Revolutionary Committee."_ The local military
units were ordered to wait for instructions from the Soldiers'
Section of the Petrograd Soviet.

Next day the _Tsay-ee-kah_ summoned its own meeting, composed largely
of officers, formed a Committee to cooperate with the Staff, and
detailed Commissars in all quarters of the city.

A great soldier meeting at Smolny on the 3d resolved:

Saluting the creation of the Military Revolutionary Committee, the
Petrograd garrison promises it complete support in all its actions,
to unite more closely the front and the rear in the interests of the

The garrison moreover declares that with the revolutionary
proletariat it assures the maintenance of revolutionary order in
Petrograd. Every attempt at provocation on the part of the
Kornilovtsi or the bourgeoisie will be met with merciless resistance.

Now conscious of its power, the Military Revolutionary Committee
peremptorily summoned the Petrograd Staff to submit to its control.
To all printing plants it gave orders not to publish any appeals or
proclamations without the Committee's authorisation. Armed Commissars
visited the Kronversk arsenal and seized great quantities of arms and
ammunition, halting a shipment of ten thousand bayonets which was
being sent to Novotcherkask, headquarters of Kaledin....

Suddenly awake to the danger, the Government offered immunity if the
Committee would disband. Too late. At midnight November 5th Kerensky
himself sent Malevsky to offer the Petrograd Soviet representation on
the Staff. The Military Revolutionary Committee accepted. An hour
later General Manikovsky, acting Minister of war, countermanded the

Tuesday morning, November 6th, the city was thrown into excitement by
the appearance of a placard signed, "Military Revolutionary Committee
attached to the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies."

To the Population of Petrograd. Citizens!

Counter-revolution has raised its criminal head. The Kornilovtsi are
mobilising their forces in order to crush the All-Russian Congress of
Soviets and break the Constituent Assembly. At the same time the
_pogromists_ may attempt to call upon the people of Petrograd for
trouble and bloodshed. The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers'
Deputies takes upon itself the guarding of revolutionary order in the
city against counter-revolutionary and _pogrom_ attempts.

The Petrograd garrison will not allow any violence or disorders. The
population is invited to arrest hooligans and Black Hundred agitators
and take them to the Soviet Commissars at the nearest barracks. At
the first attempt of the Dark Forces to make trouble on the streets
of Petrograd, whether robbery or fighting, the criminals will be
wiped off the face of the earth!

Citizens! We call upon you to maintain complete quiet and
self-possession. The cause of order and Revolution is in strong hands.

List of regiments where there are Commissars of the Military
Revolutionary Committee....

On the 3rd the leaders of the Bolsheviki had another historic meeting
behind closed doors. Notified by Zalkind, I waited in the corridor
outside the door; and Volodarsky as he came out told me what was
going on.

Lenin spoke: "November 6th will be too early. We must have an
all-Russian basis for the rising; and on the 6th all the delegates to
the Congress will not have arrived.... On the other hand, November 8th
will be too late. By that time the Congress will be organised, and it
is difficult for a large organised body of people to take swift,
decisive action. We must act on the 7th, the day the Congress meets,
so that we may say to it, 'Here is the power! What are you going to
do with it?'"

In a certain upstairs room sat a thin-faced, long-haired individual,
once an officer in the armies of the Tsar, then revolutionist and
exile, a certain Avseenko, called Antonov, mathematician and
chess-player; he was drawing careful plans for the seizure of the

On its side the Government was preparing. Inconspicuously certain of
the most loyal regiments, from widely-separated divisions, were
ordered to Petrograd. The _yunker_ artillery was drawn into the
Winter Palace. Patrols of Cossacks made their appearance in the
streets, for the first time since the July days. Polkovnikov issued
order after order, threatening to repress all insubordination with
the "utmost energy." Kishkin, Minister of Public Instruction, the
worsthated member of the Cabinet, was appointed Special Commissar to
keep order in Petrograd; he named as assistants two men no less
unpopular, Rutenburg and Paltchinsky. Petrograd, Cronstadt and
Finland were declared in a state of siege-upon which the bourgeois
_Novoye Vremya_ (New Times) remarked ironically:

Why the state of siege? The Government is no longer a power. It has
no moral authority and it does not possess the necessary apparatus to
use force.... In the most favourable circumstances it can only
negotiate with any one who consents to parley. Its authority goes no

Monday morning, the 5th, I dropped in at the Marinsky Palace, to see
what was happening in the Council of the Russian Republic. Bitter
debate on Terestchenko's foreign policy. Echoes of the
Burtzev-Verkhovski affair. All the diplomats present except the
Italian ambassador, who everybody said was prostrated by the Carso

As I came in, the Left Socialist Revolutionary Karelin was reading
aloud an editorial from the London _Times_ which said, "The remedy
for Bolshevism is bullets!" Turning to the Cadets he cried, "That's
what _you_ think, too!"

Voices from the Right, "Yes! Yes!"

"Yes, I know you think so," answered Karelin, hotly. "But you haven't
the courage to try it!"

Then Skobeliev, looking like a matinée idol with his soft blond beard
and wavy yellow hair, rather apologetically defending the Soviet
_nakaz._ Terestchenko followed, assailed from the Left by cries of
"Resignation! Resignation!" He insisted that the delegates of the
Government and of the _Tsay-ee-kah_ to Paris should have a common
point of view-his own. A few words about the restoration of
discipline in the army, about war to victory.... Tumult, and over the
stubborn opposition of the truculent Left, the Council of the
Republic passed to the simple order of the day.

There stretched the rows of Bolshevik seats-empty since that first
day when they left the Council, carrying with them so much life. As I
went down the stairs it seemed to me that in spite of the bitter
wrangling, no real voice from the rough world outside could penetrate
this high, cold hall, and that the Provisional Government was
wrecked-on the same rock of War and Peace that had wrecked the
Miliukov Ministry.... The doorman grumbled as he put on my coat, "I
don't know what is becoming of poor Russia. All these Mensheviki and
Bolsheviki and Trudoviki.... This Ukraine and this Finland and the
German imperialists and the English imperialists. I am forty-five
years old, and in all my life I never heard so many words as in this

In the corridor I met Professor Shatsky, a rat-faced individual in a
dapper frock-coat, very influential in the councils of the Cadet
party. I asked him what he thought of the much-talked-of Bolshevik
_vystuplennie._ He shrugged, sneering.

"They are cattle-_canaille,"_ he answered. "They will not dare, or if
they dare they will soon be sent flying. From our point of view it
will not be bad, for then they will ruin themselves and have no power
in the Constituent Assembly....

"But, my dear sir, allow me to outline to you my plan for a form of
Government to be submitted to the Constituent Assembly. You see, I am
chairman of a commission appointed from this body, in conjunction
with the Provisional Government, to work out a constitutional
project.... We will have a legislative assembly of two chambers, such
as you have in the United States. In the lower chamber will be
territorial representatives; in the upper, representatives of the
liberal professions, zemstvos, Cooperatives-and Trade Unions...."

Outside a chill, damp wind came from the west, and the cold mud
underfoot soaked through my shoes. Two companies of _yunkers_ passed
swinging up the Morskaya, tramping stiffly in their long coats and
singing an oldtime crashing chorus, such as the soldiers used to sing
under the Tsar.... At the first cross-street I noticed that the City
Militiamen were mounted, and armed with revolvers in bright new
holsters; a little group of people stood silently staring at them. At
the corner of the Nevsky I bought a pamphlet by Lenin, "Will the
Bolsheviki be Able to Hold the Power?" paying for it with one of the
stamps which did duty for small change. The usual street-cars crawled
past, citizens and soldiers clinging to the outside in a way to make
Theodore P. Shonts green with envy.... Along the sidewalk a row of
deserters in uniform sold cigarettes and sunflower seeds....

Up the Nevsky in the sour twilight crowds were battling for the
latest papers, and knots of people were trying to make out the
multitudes of appeals (See App. III, Sect. 6) and proclamations
pasted in every flat place; from the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ the Peasants'
Soviets, the "moderate" Socialist parties, the Army
Committees-threatening, cursing, beseeching the workers and soldiers
to stay home, to support the Government....

An armoured automobile went slowly up and down, siren screaming. On
every corner, in every open space, thick groups were clustered;
arguing soldiers and students. Night came swiftly down, the
wide-spaced street-lights flickered on, the tides of people flowed
endlessly.... It is always like that in Petrograd just before trouble....

The city was nervous, starting at every sharp sound. But still no
sign from the Bolsheviki; the soldiers stayed in the barracks, the
workmen in the factories.... We went to a moving picture show near the
Kazan Cathedral-a bloody Italian film of passion and intrigue. Down
front were some soldiers and sailors, staring at the screen in
childlike wonder, totally unable to comprehend why there should be so
much violent running about, and so much homicide....

From there I hurried to Smolny. In room 10 on the top floor, the
Military Revolutionary Committee sat in continuous session, under the
chairmanship of a tow-headed, eighteen-year-old boy named Lazimir. He
stopped, as he passed, to shake hands rather bashfully.

"Peter-Paul Fortress has just come over to us," said he, with a
pleased grin. "A minute ago we got word from a regiment that was
ordered by the Government to come to Petrograd. The men were
suspicious, so they stopped the train at Gatchina and sent a
delegation to us. 'What's the matter?' they asked. 'What have you got
to say? We have just passed a resolution, "All Power to the
Soviets."'... The Military Revolutionary Committee sent back word,
'Brothers! We greet you in the name of the Revolution. Stay where you
are until further instructions!'"

All telephones, he said, were cut off: but communication with the
factories and barracks was established by means of military
telephonograph apparatus....

A steady stream of couriers and Commissars came and went. Outside the
door waited a dozen volunteers, ready to carry word to the farthest
quarters of the city. One of them, a gypsy-faced man in the uniform
of a lieutenant, said in French, "Everything is ready to move at the
push of a button...."

There passed Podvoisky, the thin, bearded civillian whose brain
conceived the strategy of insurrection; Antonov, unshaven, his collar
filthy, drunk with loss of sleep; Krylenko, the squat, wide-faced
soldier, always smiling, with his violent gestures and tumbling
speech; and Dybenko, the giant bearded sailor with the placid face.
These were the men of the hour-and of other hours to come.

Downstairs in the office of the Factory-Shop Committees sat Seratov,
signing orders on the Government Arsenal for arms-one hundred and
fifty rifles for each factory.... Delegates waited in line, forty of

In the hall I ran into some of the minor Bolshevik leaders. One
showed me a revolver. "The game is on," he said, and his face was
pale. "Whether we move or not the other side knows it must finish us
or be finished...."

The Petrograd Soviet was meeting day and night. As I came into the
great hall Trotzky was just finishing.

"We are asked," he said, "if we intend to have a _vystuplennie._ I
can give a clear answer to that question. The Petrograd Soviet feels
that at last the moment has arrived when the power must fall into the
hands of the Soviets. This transfer of government will be
accomplished by the All-Russian Congress. Whether an armed
demonstration is necessary will depend on... those who wish to
interfere with the All-Russian Congress....

"We feel that our Government, entrusted to the personnel of the
Provisional Cabinet, is a pitiful and helpless Government, which only
awaits the sweep of the broom of History to give way to a really
popular Government. But we are trying to avoid a conflict, even now,
to-day. We hope that the All-Russian Congress will take... into its
hands that power and authority which rests upon the organised freedom
of the people. If, however, the Government wants to utilise the short
period it is expected to live-twenty-four, forty eight, or
seventy-two hours-to attack us, then we shall answer with
counter-attacks, blow for blow, steel for iron!"

Amid cheers he announced that the Left Socialist Revolutionaries had
agreed to send representatives into the Military Revolutionary

As I left Smolny, at three o'clock in the morning, I noticed that two
rapid-firing guns had been mounted, one on each side of the door, and
that strong patrols of soldiers guarded the gates and the near-by
street-corners. Bill Shatov [*] came bounding up the steps. "Well," he
[* Well known in the American labor movement.]
cried, "We're off! Kerensky sent the _yunkers_ to close down our
papers, _Soldat_ and _Rabotchi Put._ But our troops went down and
smashed the Government seals, and now we're sending detachments to
seize the bourgeois newspaper offices!" Exultantly he slapped me on
the shoulder, and ran in....

On the morning of the 6th I had business with the censor, whose
office was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Everywhere, on all the
walls, hysterical appeals to the people to remain "calm." Polkovnikov
emitted _prikaz_ after _prikaz:_

I order all military units and detachments to remain in their
barracks until further orders from the Staff of the Military
District.... All officers who act without orders from their superiors
will be court-martialled for mutiny. I forbid absolutely any
execution by soldiers of instructions from other organisations....

The morning papers announced that the Government had suppressed the
papers _Novaya Rus, Zhivoye Slovo, Rabotchi Put_ and _Soldat,_ and
decreed the arrest of the leaders of the Petrograd Soviet and the
members of the Military Revolutionary Committee....

As I crossed the Palace Square several batteries of _yunker_
artillery came through the Red Arch at a jingling trot, and drew up
before the Palace. The great red building of the General Staff was
unusually animated, several armoured automobiles ranked before the
door, and motors full of officers were coming and going.... The censor
was very much excited, like a small boy at a circus. Kerensky, he
said, had just gone to the Council of the Republic to offer his
resignation. I hurried down to the Marinsky Palace, arriving at the
end of that passionate and almost incoherent speech of Kerensky's,
full of self-justification and bitter denunciation of his enemies.

"I will cite here the most characteristic passage from a whole series
of articles published in _Rabotchi Put_ by Ulianov-Lenin, a state
criminal who is in hiding and whom we are trying to find.... This state
criminal has invited the proletariat and the Petrograd garrison to
repeat the experience of the 16th-18th of July, and insists upon the
immediate necessity for an armed rising.... Moreover, other Bolshevik
leaders have taken the floor in a series of meetings, and also made
an appeal to immediate insurrection. Particularly should be noticed
the activity of the present president of the Petrograd Soviet,

"I ought to bring to your notice... that the expressions and the style
of a whole series of articles in _Rabotchi Put_ and _Soldat_ resemble
absolutely those of _Novaya Rus...._ We have to do not so much with the
movement of such and such political party, as with the exploitation
of the political ignorance and criminal instincts of a part of the
population, a sort of organisation whose object it is to provoke in
Russia, cost what it may, an inconscient movement of destruction and
pillage; for given the state of mind of the masses, any movement at
Petrograd will be followed by the most terrible massacres, which will
cover with eternal shame the name of free Russia....

"... By the admission of Ulianov-Lenin himself, the situation of the
extreme left wing of the Social Democrats in Russia is very
favourable." (Here Kerensky read the following quotation from Lenin's

Think of it!... The German comrades have only one Liebknecht, without
newspapers, without freedom of meeting, without a Soviet.... They are
opposed by the incredible hostility of all classes of society-and yet
the German comrades try to act; while we, having dozens of
newspapers, freedom of meeting, the majority of the Soviets, we, the
best-placed international proletarians of the entire world, can we
refuse to support the German revolutionists and insurrectionary

Kerensky then continued:

"The organisers of rebellion recognise thus implicitly that the most
perfect conditions for the free action of a political party obtain
now in Russia, administered by a Provisional Government at the head
of which is, in the eyes of this party, 'a usurper and a man who has
sold himself to the bourgeoisie, the Minister-President Kerensky....'

"... The organisers of the insurrection do not come to the aid of the
German proletariat, but of the German governing classes, and they
open the Russian front to the iron fists of Wilhelm and his friends....
Little matter to the Provisional Government the motives of these
people, little matter if they act consciously or unconsciously; but
in any case, from this tribune, in full consciousness of my
responsibility, I quality such acts of a Russian political party as
acts of treason to Russia!

"... I place myself at the point of view of the Right, and I propose
immediately to proceed to an investigation and make the necessary
arrests." (Uproar from the Left.) "Listen to me!" he cried in a
powerful voice. "At the moment when the state is in danger, because
of conscious or unconscious treason, the Provisional Government, and
myself among others, prefer to be killed rather than betray the life,
the honour and the independence of Russia...."

At this moment a paper was handed to Kerensky.

"I have just received the proclamation which they are distributing to
the regiments. Here is the contents." Reading: _"'The Petrograd
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies is menaced. We order
immediately the regiments to mobilise on a war footing and to await
new orders. All delay or non-execution of this order will be
considered as an act of treason to the Revolution. The Military
Revolutionary Committee. For the President, Podvoisky. The Secretary,

"In reality, this is an attempt to raise the populace against the
existing order of things, to break the Constituent and to open the
front to the regiments of the iron fist of Wilhelm....

"I say 'populace' intentionally, because the conscious democracy and
its _Tsay-ee-kah,_ all the Army organisations, all that free Russia
glorifies, the good sense, the honour and the conscience of the great
Russian democracy, protests against these things....

"I have not come here with a prayer, but to state my firm conviction
that the Provisional Government, which defends at this moment our new
liberty-that the new Russian state, destined to a brilliant future,
will find unanimous support except among those who have never dared
to face the truth....

"... The Provisional Government has never violated the liberty of all
citizens of the State to use their political rights.... But now the
Provisional Government.... declares: in this moment those elements of
the Russian nation, those groups and parties who have dared to lift
their hands against the free will of the Russian people, at the same
time threatening to open the front to Germany, must be liquidated
with decision!...

"Let the population of Petrograd understand that it will encounter a
firm power, and perhaps at the last moment good sense, conscience and
honour will triumph in the hearts of those who still possess them...."

All through this speech, the hall rang with deafening clamour. When
the Minister-President had stepped down, pale-faced and wet with
perspiration, and strode out with his suite of officers, speaker
after speaker from the Left and Centre attacked the Right, all one
angry roaring. Even the Socialist Revolutionaries, through Gotz:

"The policy of the Bolsheviki is demagogic and criminal, in their
exploitation of the popular discontent. But there is a whole series
of popular demands which have received no satisfaction up to now....
The questions of peace, land and the democratization of the army
ought to be stated in such a fashion that no soldier, peasant or
worker would have the least doubt that our Government is attempting,
firmly and infallibly, to solve them....

"We Mensheviki do not wish to provoke a Cabinet crisis, and we are
ready to defend the Provisional Government with all our energy, to
the last drop of our blood-if only the Provisional Government, on all
these burning questions, will speak the clear and precise words
awaited by the people with such impatience...."

Then Martov, furious:

"The words of the Minister-President, who allowed himself to speak of
'populace' when it is question of the movement of important sections
of the proletariat and the army-although led in the wrong
direction-are nothing but an incitement to civil war."

The order of the day proposed by the Left was voted. It amounted
practically to a vote of lack of confidence.

1. The armed demonstration which has been preparing for some days
past has for its object a _coup d'etat,_ threatens to provoke civil
war, creates conditions favourable to _pogroms_ and
counterrevolution, the mobilization of counter-revolutionary forces,
such as the Black Hundreds, which will inevitably bring about the
impossibility of convoking the Constituent, will cause a military
catastrophe, the death of the Revolution, paralyse the economic life
of the country and destroy Russia;

2. The conditions favourable to this agitation have been created by
delay in passing urgent measures, as well as objective conditions
caused by the war and the general disorder. It is necessary before
everything to promulgate at once a decree transmitting the land to
the peasants' Land Committees, and to adopt an energetic course of
action abroad in proposing to the Allies to proclaim their peace
terms and to begin peace-parleys;

3. To cope with Monarchist manifestations and _pogromist_ movements,
it is indispensable to take immediate measures to suppress these
movements, and for this purpose to create at Petrograd a Committee of
Public Safety, composed of representatives of the Municipality and
the organs of the revolutionary democracy, acting in contact with the
Provisional Government....

It is interesting to note that the Mensheviki and Socialist
Revolutionaries all rallied to this resolution.... When Kerensky saw
it, however, he summoned Avksentiev to the Winter Palace to explain.
If it expressed a lack of confidence in the Provisional Government,
he begged Avksentiev to form a new Cabinet. Dan, Gotz and Avksentiev,
the leaders of the "compromisers," performed their last compromise....
They explained to Kerensky that it was not meant as a criticism of
the Government!

At the corner of the Morskaya and the Nevsky, squads of soldiers with
fixed bayonets were stopping all private automobiles, turning out the
occupants, and ordering them toward the Winter Palace. A large crowd
had gathered to watch them. Nobody knew whether the soldiers belonged
to the Government or the Military Revolutionary Committee. Up in
front of the Kazan Cathedral the same thing was happening, machines
being directed back up the Nevsky. Five or six sailors with rifles
came along, laughing excitedly, and fell into conversation with two
of the soldiers. On the sailors' hat bands were _Avrora_ and _Zaria
Svobody,_-the names of the leading Bolshevik cruisers of the Baltic
Fleet. One of them said, "Cronstadt is coming!"... It was as if, in
1792, on the streets of Paris, some one had said: "The Marseillais
are coming!" For at Cronstadt were twenty-five thousand sailors,
convinced Bolsheviki and not afraid to die....

_Rabotchi i Soldat_ was just out, all its front page one huge

The enemies of the people passed last night to the offensive. The
Kornilovists of the Staff are trying to draw in from the suburbs
_yunkers_ and volunteer battalions. The Oranienbaum _yunkers_ and the
Tsarskoye Selo volunteers refused to come out. A stroke of high
treason is being contemplated against the Petrograd Soviet.... The
campaign of the counter-revolutionists is being directed against the
All-Russian Congress of Soviets on the eve of its opening, against
the Constituent Assembly, against the people. The Petrograd Soviet is
guarding the Revolution. The Military Revolutionary Committee is
directing the repulse of the conspirators' attack. The entire
garrison and proletariat of Petrograd are ready to deal the enemy of
the people a crushing blow.

The Military Revolutionary Committee decrees:

1. All regimental, division and battle-ship Committees, together with
the Soviet Commissars, and all revolutionary organisations, shall
meet in continuous session, concentrating in their hands all
information about the plans of the conspirators.

2. Not one soldier shall leave his division without permission of the

3. To send to Smolny at once two delegates from each military unit
and five from each Ward Soviet.

4. All members of the Petrograd Soviet and all delegates to the
All-Russian Congress are invited immediately to Smolny for an
extraordinary meeting.

Counter-revolution has raised its criminal head.

A great danger threatens all the conquests and hopes of the soldiers
and workers.

But the forces of the Revolution by far exceed those of its enemies.

The cause of the People is in strong hands. The conspirators will be

No hesitation or doubts! Firmness, steadfastness, discipline,

Long live the Revolution!

_The Military Revolutionary Committee._

The Petrograd Soviet was meeting continuously at Smolny, a centre of
storm, delegates falling down asleep on the floor and rising again to
take part in the debate, Trotzky, Kameniev, Volodarsky speaking six,
eight, twelve hours a day....

I went down to room 18 on the first floor where the Bolshevik
delegates were holding caucus, a harsh voice steadily booming, the
speaker hidden by the crowd: "The compromisers say that we are
isolated. Pay no attention to them. Once it begins they must be
dragged along with us, or else lose their following...."

Here he held up a piece of paper. "We are dragging them! A message
has just come from the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries! They
say that they condemn our action, but that if the Government attacks
us they will not oppose the cause of the proletariat!" Exultant

As night fell the great hall filled with soldiers and workmen, a
monstrous dun mass, deep-humming in a blue haze of smoke. The old
_Tsay-ee-kah_ had finally decided to welcome the delegates to that
new Congress which would mean its own ruin-and perhaps the ruin of
the revolutionary order it had built. At this meeting, however, only
members of the _Tsay-ee-kah_ could vote....

It was after midnight when Gotz took the chair and Dan rose to speak,
in a tense silence, which seemed to me almost menacing.

"The hours in which we live appear in the most tragic colours," he
said. "The enemy is at the gates of Petrograd, the forces of the
democracy are trying to organise to resist him, and yet we await
bloodshed in the streets of the capital, and famine threatens to
destroy, not only our homogeneous Government, but the Revolution

"The masses are sick and exhausted. They have no interest in the
Revolution. If the Bolsheviki start anything, that will be the end of
the Revolution..." (Cries, "That's a lie!)" "The counter-revolutionists
are waiting with the Bolsheviki to begin riots and massacres.... If
there is any _vystuplennie,_ there will be no Constituent Assembly...."
(Cries, "Lie! Shame!")

"It is inadmissible that in the zone of military operations the
Petrograd garrison shall not submit to the orders of the Staff.... You
must obey the orders of the Staff and of the _Tsay-ee-kah_ elected by
you. All Power to the Soviets-that means death! Robbers and thieves
are waiting for the moment to loot and burn.... When you have such
slogans put before you, 'Enter the houses, take away the shoes and
clothes from the bourgeoisie-'" (Tumult. Cries, "No such slogan! A
lie! A lie!") "Well, it may start differently, but it will end that

"The _Tsay-ee-kah_ has full power to act, and must be obeyed.... We are
not afraid of bayonets.... The _Tsay-ee-kah_ will defend the Revolution
with its body...." (Cries, "It was a dead body long ago!")

Immense continued uproar, in which his voice could be heard
screaming, as he pounded the desk, "Those who are urging this are
committing a crime!"

Voice: "You committed a crime long ago, when you captured the power
and turned it over to the bourgeoisie!"

Gotz, ringing the chairman's bell: "Silence, or I'll have you put

Voice: "Try it!" (Cheers and whistling.)

"Now concerning our policy about peace." (Laughter.) "Unfortunately
Russia can no longer support the continuation of the war. There is
going to be peace, but not permanent peace-not a democratic peace....
To-day, at the Council of the Republic, in order to avoid bloodshed,
we passed an order of the day demanding the surrender of the land to
the Land Committees and immediate peace negotiations...." (Laughter,
and cries, "Too late!")

Then for the Bolsheviki, Trotzky mounted the tribune, borne on a wave
of roaring applause that burst into cheers and a rising house,
thunderous. His thin, pointed face was positively Mephistophelian in
its expression of malicious irony.

"Dan's tactics prove that the masses-the great, dull, indifferent
masses-are absolutely with him!" (Titantic mirth.) He turned toward
the chairman, dramatically. "When we spoke of giving the land to the
peasants, you were against it. We told the peasants, 'If they don't
give it to you, take it yourselves!' and the peasants followed our
advice. And now you advocate what we did six months ago....

"I don't think Kerensky's order to suspend the death penalty in the
army was dictated by his ideals. I think Kerensky was persuaded by
the Petrograd garrison, which refused to obey him....

"To-day Dan is accused of having made a speech in the Council of the
Republic which proves him to be a secret Bolshevik.... The time may
come when Dan will say that the flower of the Revolution participated
in the rising of July 16th and 18th.... In Dan's resolution to-day at
the Council of the Republic there was no mention of enforcing
discipline in the army, although that is urged in the propaganda of
his party....

"No. The history of the last seven months shows that the masses have
left the Mensheviki. The Mensheviki and the Socialist Revolutionaries
conquered the Cadets, and then when they got the power, they gave it
to the Cadets....

"Dan tells you that you have no right to make an insurrection.
Insurrection is the right of all revolutionists! When the
down-trodden masses revolt, it is their right...."

Then the long-faced, cruel-tongued Lieber, greeted with groans and

"Engels and Marx said that the proletariat had no right to take power
until it was ready for it. In a bourgeois revolution like this.... the
seizure of power by the masses means the tragic end of the
Revolution.... Trotzky, as a Social Democratic theorist, is himself
opposed to what he is now advocating...." (Cries, "Enough! Down with

Martov, constantly interrupted: "The Internationalists are not
opposed to the transmission of power to the democracy, but they
disapprove of the methods of the Bolsheviki. This is not the moment
to seize the power...."

Again Dan took the floor, violently protesting against the action of
the Military Revolutionary Committee, which had sent a Commissar to
seize the office of _Izviestia_ and censor the paper. The wildest
uproar followed. Martov tried to speak, but could not be heard.
Delegates of the Army and the Baltic Fleet stood up all over the
hall, shouting that the Soviet was _their_ Government....

Amid the wildest confusion Ehrlich offered a resolution, appealing to
the workers and soldiers to remain calm and not to respond to
provocations to demonstrate, recognising the necessity of immediately
creating a Committee of Public Safety, and asking the Provisional
Government at once to pass decrees transferring the land to the
peasants and beginning peace negotiations....

Then up leaped Volodarsky, shouting harshly that the _Tsay-ee-kah,_
on the eve of the Congress, had no right to assume the functions of
the Congress. The _Tsay-ee-kah_ was practically dead, he said, and
the resolution was simply a trick to bolster up its waning power....

"As for us, Bolsheviki, we will not vote on this resolution!"
Whereupon all the Bolsheviki left the hall and the resolution was

Toward four in the morning I met Zorin in the outer hall, a rifle
slung from his shoulder.

"We're moving!" (See App. III, Sect. 7) said he, calmly but with
satisfaction. "We pinched the Assistant Minister of Justice and the
Minister of Religions. They're down cellar now. One regiment is on
the march to capture the Telephone Exchange, another the Telegraph
Agency, another the State Bank. The Red Guard is out...."

On the steps of Smolny, in the chill dark, we first saw the Red
Guard-a huddled group of boys in workmen's clothes, carrying guns
with bayonets, talking nervously together.

Far over the still roofs westward came the sound of scattered rifle
fire, where the _yunkers_ were trying to open the bridges over the
Neva, to prevent the factory workers and soldiers of the Viborg
quarter from joining the Soviet forces in the centre of the city; and
the Cronstadt sailors were closing them again....

Behind us great Smolny, bright with lights, hummed like a gigantic

Chapter IV

The Fall of the Provisional Government

WEDNESDAY, November 7th, I rose very late. The noon cannon boomed
from Peter-Paul as I went down the Nevsky. It was a raw, chill day.
In front of the State Bank some soldiers with fixed bayonets were
standing at the closed gates.

"What side do you belong to?" I asked. "The Government?"

"No more Government," one answered with a grin, "_Slava Bogu!_ Glory
to God!" That was all I could get out of him....

The street-cars were running on the Nevsky, men, women and small
boys hanging on every projection. Shops were open, and there seemed
even less uneasiness among the street crowds than there had been the
day before. A whole crop of new appeals against insurrection had
blossomed out on the walls during the night-to the peasants, to the
soldiers at the front, to the workmen of Petrograd. One read:


The Municipal Duma informs the citizens that in the extraordinary
meeting of November 6th the Duma formed a Committee of Public
Safety, composed of members of the Central and Ward Dumas, and
representatives of the following revolutionary democratic
organizations: The _Tsay-ee-kah,_ the All-Russian Executive
Committee of Peasant Deputies, the Army organisations, the
_Tsentroflot,_ the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers'
Deputies (!), the Council of Trade Unions, and others.

Members of the Committee of Public Safety will be on duty in the
building of the Municipal Duma. Telephones No. 15-40, 223-77, 138-36.

November 7th, 1917.

Though I didn't realize it then, this was the Duma's declaration of
war against the Bolsheviki.

I bought a copy of _Rabotchi Put,_ the only newspaper which seemed
on sale, and a little later paid a soldier fifty kopeks for a
second-hand copy of _Dien._ The Bolshevik paper, printed on
large-sized sheets in the conquered office of the _Russkaya Volia,_
AND PEASANTS! PEACE! BREAD! LAND!" The leading article was signed
"Zinoviev,"-Lenin's companion in hiding. It began:

Every soldier, every worker, every real Socialist, every honest
democrat realises that there are only two alternatives to the
present situation.

Either-the power will remain in the hands of the bourgeois-landlord
crew, and this will mean every kind of repression for the workers,
soldiers and peasants, continuation of the war, inevitable hunger
and death....

Or-the power will be transferred to the hands of the revolutionary
workers, soldiers and peasants; and in that case it will mean a
complete abolition of landlord tyranny, immediate check of the
capitalists, immediate proposal of a just peace. Then the land is
assured to the peasants, then control of industry is assured to the
workers, then bread is assured to the hungry, then the end of this
nonsensical war!...

_Dien_ contained fragmentary news of the agitated night. Bolsheviki
capture of the Telephone Exchange, the Baltic station, the Telegraph
Agency; the Peterhof _yunkers_ unable to reach Petrograd; the
Cossacks undecided; arrest of some of the Ministers; shooting of
Chief of the City Militia Meyer;  arrests, counter-arrests,
skirmishes between clashing patrols of soldiers, _yunkers_ and Red
Guards. (See App. IV, Sect. 1)

On the corner of the Morskaya I ran into Captain Gomberg, Menshevik
_oboronetz,_ secretary of the Military Section of his party. When I
asked him if the insurrection had really happened he shrugged his
shoulders in a tired manner and replied, "_Tchort znayet!_ The devil
knows! Well, perhaps the Bolsheviki can seize the power, but they
won't be able to hold it more than three days. They haven't the men
to run a government. Perhaps it's a good thing to let them try-that
will furnish them...."

The Military Hotel at the corner of St. Isaac's Square was picketed
by armed sailors. In the lobby were many of the smart young
officers, walking up and down or muttering together; the sailors
wouldn't let them leave....

Suddenly came the sharp crack of a rifle outside, followed by a
scattered burst of firing. I ran out. Something unusual was going on
around the Marinsky Palace, where the Council of the Russian
Republic met. Diagonally across the wide square was drawn a line of
soldiers, rifles ready, staring at the hotel roof.

"_Provacatzia!_ Shot at us!" snapped one, while another went running
toward the door.

At the western corner of the Palace lay a big armoured car with a
red flag flying from it, newly lettered in red paint: "S.R.S.D."
(_Soviet Rabotchikh Soldatskikh Deputatov_); all the guns trained
toward St. Isaac's. A barricade had been heaped up across the mouth
of Novaya Ulitza-boxes, barrels, an old bed-spring, a wagon. A pile
of lumber barred the end of the Moika quay. Short logs from a
neighbouring wood-pile were being built up along the front of the
building to form breastworks....

"Is there going to be any fighting?" I asked.

"Soon, soon," answered a soldier, nervously. "Go away, comrade,
you'll get hurt. They will come from that direction," pointing
toward the Admiralty.

"Who will?"

"That I couldn't tell you, brother," he answered, and spat.

Before the door of the Palace was a crowd of soldiers and sailors. A
sailor was telling of the end of the Council of the Russian
Republic. "We walked in there," he said, "and filled all the doors
with comrades. I went up to the counter-revolutionist Kornilovitz
who sat in the president's chair. 'No more Council,' I says. 'Run
along home now!"'                                                    |

There was laughter. By waving assorted papers I managed to get
around to the door of the press gallery. There an enormous smiling
sailor stopped me, and when I showed my pass, just said, "If you
were Saint Michael himself, comrade, you couldn't pass here!"
Through the glass of the door I made out the distorted face and
gesticulating arms of a French correspondent, locked in....

Around in front stood a little, grey-moustached man in the uniform
of a general, the centre of a knot of soldiers. He was very red in
the face.

"I am General Alexeyev," he cried. "As your superior officer and as
a member of the Council of the Republic I demand to be allowed to
pass!" The guard scratched his head, looking uneasily out of the
corner of his eye; he beckoned to an approaching officer, who grew
very agitated when he saw who it was and saluted before he realised
what he was doing.

"_Vashe Vuisokoprevoskhoditelstvo_-your High Excellency-" he
stammered, in the manner of the old régime, "Access to the Palace is
strictly forbidden--I have no right-"

An automobile came by, and I saw Gotz sitting inside, laughing
apparently with great amusement. A few minutes later another, with
armed soldiers on the front seat, full of arrested members of the
Provisional Government. Peters, Lettish member of the Military
Revolutionary Committee, came hurrying across the Square.

"I thought you bagged all those gentlemen last night," said I,
pointing to them.

"Oh," he answered, with the expression of a disappointed small boy.
"The damn fools let most of them go again before we made up our

Down the Voskressensky Prospect a great mass of sailors were drawn
up, and behind them came marching soldiers, as far as the eye could

We went toward the Winter Palace by way of the Admiralteisky. All
the entrances to the Palace Square were closed by sentries, and a
cordon of troops stretched clear across the western end, besieged by
an uneasy throng of citizens. Except for far-away soldiers who
seemed to be carrying wood out of the Palace courtyard and piling it
in front of the main gateway, everything was quiet.

We couldn't make out whether the sentries were pro-Government or
pro-Soviet. Our papers from Smolny had no effect, however, so we
approached another part of the line with an important air and showed
our American passports, saying "Official business!" and shouldered
through. At the door of the Palace the same old _shveitzari,_ in
their brass-buttoned blue uniforms with the red-and-gold collars,
politely took our coats and hats, and we went up-stairs. In the
dark, gloomy corridor, stripped of its tapestries, a few old
attendants were lounging about, and in front of Kerensky's door a
young officer paced up and down, gnawing his moustache. We asked if
we could interview the Minister-president. He bowed and clicked his

"No, I am sorry," he replied in French. "Alexander Feodorvitch is
extremely occupied just now...." He looked at us for a moment. "In
fact, he is not here...."

"Where is he?"

"He has gone to the Front. (See App. IV, Sect. 2) And do you know,
there wasn't enough gasoline for his automobile. We had to send to
the English Hospital and borrow some."

"Are the Ministers here?"

"They are meeting in some room-I don't know where.'

"Are the Bolsheviki coming?"

"Of course. Certainly, they are coming. I expect a telephone call
every minute to say that they are coming. But we are ready. We have
_yunkers_ in the front of the Palace. Through that door there."

"Can we go in there?"

"No. Certainly not. It is not permitted." Abruptly he shook hands
all around and walked away. We turned to the forbidden door, set in
a temporary partition dividing the hall and locked on the outside.
On the other side were voices, and somebody laughing. Except for
that the vast spaces of the old Palace were silent as the grave. An
old _shveitzar_ ran up. "No, _barin,_ you must not go in there."

"Why is the door locked?"

"To keep the soldiers in," he answered. After a few minutes he said
something about having a glass of tea and went back up the hall. We
unlocked the door.

Just inside a couple of soldiers stood on guard, but they said
nothing. At the end of the corridor was a large, ornate room with
gilded cornices and enormous crystal lustres, and beyond it several
smaller ones, wainscoted with dark wood. On both sides of the
parquetted floor lay rows of dirty mattresses and blankets, upon
which occasional soldiers were stretched out; everywhere was a
litter of cigarette-butts, bits of bread, cloth, and empty bottles
with expensive French labels. More and more soldiers, with the red
shoulder-straps of the _yunker_-schools, moved about in a stale
atmosphere of tobacco-smoke and unwashed humanity. One had a bottle
of white Burgundy, evidently filched from the cellars of the Palace.
They looked at us with astonishment as we marched past, through room
after room, until at last we came out into a series of great
state-salons, fronting their long and dirty windows on the Square.
The walls were covered with huge canvases in massive gilt
frames-historical battle-scenes.... "12 October 1812" and "6 November
1812" and "16/28 August 1813." ... One had a gash across the upper
right hand corner.

The place was all a huge barrack, and evidently had been for weeks,
from the look of the floor and walls. Machine guns were mounted on
window-sills, rifles stacked between the mattresses.

As we were looking at the pictures an alcoholic breath assailed me
from the region of my left ear, and a voice said in thick but fluent
French, "I see, by the way you admire the paintings, that you are
foreigners." He was a short, puffy man with a baldish head as he
removed his cap.

"Americans? Enchanted. I am Stabs-Capitan Vladimir Artzibashev,
absolutely at your service." It did not seem to occur to him that
there was anything unusual in four strangers, one a woman, wandering
through the defences of an army awaiting attack. He began to
complain of the state of Russia.

"Not only these Bolsheviki," he said, "but the fine traditions of
the Russian army are broken down. Look around you. These are all
students in the officers' training schools. But are they gentlemen?
Kerensky opened the officers' schools to the ranks, to any soldier
who could pass an examination. Naturally there are many, many who
are contaminated by the Revolution...."

Without consequence he changed the subject. "I am very anxious to go
away from Russia. I have made up my mind to join the American army.
Will you please go to your Consul and make arrangements? I will give
you my address." In spite of our protestations he wrote it on a
piece of paper, and seemed to feel better at once. I have it
still-"_Oranien-baumskaya Shkola Praporshtchikov 2nd, Staraya

"We had a review this morning early," he went on, as he guided us
through the rooms and explained everything. "The Women's Battalion
decided to remain loyal to the Government."

"Are the women soldiers in the Palace?"

"Yes, they are in the back rooms, where they won't be hurt if any
trouble comes." He sighed. "It is a great responsibility," said he.

For a while we stood at the window, looking down on the Square
before the Palace, where three companies of long-coated _yunkers_
were drawn up under arms, being harangued by a tall,
energetic-looking officer I recognised as Stankievitch, chief
Military Commissar of the Provisional Government. After a few
minutes two of the companies shouldered arms with a clash, barked
three sharp shouts, and went swinging off across the Square,
disappearing through the Red Arch into the quiet city.

"They are going to capture the Telephone Exchange," said some one.
Three cadets stood by us, and we fell into conversation. They said
they had entered the schools from the ranks, and gave their
names-Robert Olev, Alexei Vasilienko and Erni Sachs, an Esthonian.
But now they didn't want to be officers any more, because officers
were very unpopular. They didn't seem to know what to do, as a
matter of fact, and it was plain that they were not happy.

But soon they began to boast. "If the Bolsheviki come we shall show
them how to fight. They do not dare to fight, they are cowards. But
if we should be overpowered, well, every man keeps one bullet for

At this point there was a burst of rifle-fire not far off. Out on
the Square all the people began to run, falling flat on their faces,
and the _izvoshtchiki,_ standing on the corners, galloped in every
direction. Inside all was uproar, soldiers running here and there,
grabbing up guns, rifle-belts and shouting, "Here they come! Here
they come!" ... But in a few minutes it quieted down again. The
_izvoshtchiki_ came back, the people lying down stood up. Through
the Red Arch appeared the _yunkers,_ marching a little out of step,
one of them supported by two comrades.

It was getting late when we left the Palace. The sentries in the
Square had all disappeared. The great semi-circle of Government
buildings seemed deserted. We went into the Hotel France for dinner,
and right in the middle of soup the waiter, very pale in the face,
came up and insisted that we move to the main dining-room at the
back of the house, because they were going to put out the lights in
the café. "There will be much shooting," he said.

When we came out on the Morskaya again it was quite dark, except for
one flickering street-light on the corner of the Nevsky. Under this
stood a big armored automobile, with racing engine and oil-smoke
pouring out of it. A small boy had climbed up the side of the thing
and was looking down the barrel of a machine gun. Soldiers and
sailors stood around, evidently waiting for something. We walked
back up to the Red Arch, where a knot of soldiers was gathered
staring at the brightly-lighted Winter Palace and talking in loud

"No, comrades," one was saying. "How can we shoot at them? The
Women's Battalion is in there-they will say we have fired on Russian

As we reached the Nevsky again another armoured car came around the
corner, and a man poked his head out of the turret-top.

"Come on!" he yelled. "Let's go on through and attack!"

The driver of the other car came over, and shouted so as to be heard
above the roaring engine. "The Committee says to wait. They have got
artillery behind the wood-piles in there...."

Here the street-cars had stopped running, few people passed, and
there were no lights; but a few blocks away we could see the trams,
the crowds, the lighted shop-windows and the electric signs of the
moving-picture shows-life going on as usual. We had tickets to the
Ballet at the Marinsky Theatre-all theatres were open-but it was too
exciting out of doors....

In the darkness we stumbled over lumber-piles barricading the Police
Bridge, and before the Stroganov Palace made out some soldiers
wheeling into position a three-inch field-gun. Men in various
uniforms were coming and going in an aimless way, and doing a great
deal of talking....

Up the Nevsky the whole city seemed to be out promenading. On every
corner immense crowds were massed around a core of hot discussion.
Pickets of a dozen soldiers with fixed bayonets lounged at the
street-crossings, red-faced old men in rich fur coats shook their
fists at them, smartly-dressed women screamed epithets; the soldiers
argued feebly, with embarrassed grins.... Armoured cars went up and
down the street, named after the first Tsars-Oleg, Rurik,
Svietoslav-and daubed with huge red letters, "R. S. D. R. P."
_(Rossiskaya Partia_) [*]. At the Mikhailovsky a man appeared with an
[* (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party).]
armful of newspapers, and was immediately stormed by frantic people,
offering a rouble, five roubles, ten roubles, tearing at each other
like animals. It was _Rabotchi i Soldat,_ announcing the victory of
the Proletarian Revolution, the liberation of the Bolsheviki still
in prison, calling upon the Army front and rear for support... a
feverish little sheet of four pages, running to enormous type,
containing no news....

On the corner of the Sadovaya about two thousand citizens had
gathered, staring up at the roof of a tall building, where a tiny
red spark glowed and waned.

"See!" said a tall peasant, pointing to it. "It is a provocator.
Presently he will fire on the people...." Apparently no one thought of
going to investigate.

The massive facade of Smolny blazed with lights as we drove up, and
from every street converged upon it streams of hurrying shapes dim
in the gloom. Automobiles and motorcycles came and went; an enormous
elephant-coloured armoured automobile, with two red flags flying
from the turret, lumbered out with screaming siren. It was cold, and
at the outer gate the Red Guards had built themselves a bon-fire. At
the inner gate, too, there was a blaze, by the light of which the
sentries slowly spelled out our passes and looked us up and down.
The canvas covers had been taken off the four rapid-fire guns on
each side of the doorway, and the ammunition-belts hung snakelike
from their breeches. A dun herd of armoured cars stood under the
trees in the court-yard, engines going. The long, bare,
dimly-illuminated halls roared with the thunder of feet, calling,
shouting.... There was an atmosphere of recklessness. A crowd came
pouring down the staircase, workers in black blouses and round black
fur hats, many of them with guns slung over their shoulders,
soldiers in rough dirt-coloured coats and grey fur _shapki_ pinched
flat, a leader or so-Lunatcharsky, Kameniev-hurrying along in the
centre of a group all talking at once, with harassed anxious faces,
and bulging portfolios under their arms. The extraordinary meeting
of the Petrograd Soviet was over. I stopped Kameniev-a quick moving
little man, with a wide, vivacious face set close to his shoulders.
Without preface he read in rapid French a copy of the resolution
just passed:

The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, saluting
the victorious Revolution of the Petrograd proletariat and garrison,
particularly emphasises the unity, organisation, discipline, and
complete cooperation shown by the masses in this rising; rarely has
less blood been spilled, and rarely has an insurrection succeeded so

The Soviet expresses its firm conviction that the Workers' and
Peasants' Government which, as the government of the Soviets, will
be created by the Revolution, and which will assure the industrial
proletariat of the support of the entire mass of poor peasants, will
march firmly toward Socialism, the only means by which the country
can be spared the miseries and unheard-of horrors of war.

The new Workers' and Peasants' Government will propose immediately a
just and democratic peace to all the belligerent countries.

It will suppress immediately the great landed property, and transfer
the land to the peasants. It will establish workmen's control over
production and distribution of manufactured products, and will set
up a general control over the banks, which it will transform into a
state monopoly.

The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies calls upon
the workers and the peasants of Russia to support with all their
energy and all their devotion the Proletarian Revolution. The Soviet
expresses its conviction that the city workers, allies of the poor
peasants, will assure complete revolutionary order, indispensable to
the victory of Socialism. The Soviet is convinced that the
proletariat of the countries of Western Europe will aid us in
conducting the cause of Socialism to a real and lasting victory.

"You consider it won then?"

He lifted his shoulders. "There is much to do. Horribly much. It is
just beginning....

On the landing I met Riazanov, vice-president of the Trade Unions,
looking black and biting his grey beard. "It's insane! Insane!" he
shouted. "The European working-class won't move! All Russia-" He
waved his hand distractedly and ran off. Riazanov and Kameniev had
both opposed the insurrection, and felt the lash of Lenin's terrible

It had been a momentous session. In the name of the Military
Revolutionary Committee Trotzky had declared that the Provisional
Government no longer existed.

"The characteristic of bourgeois governments," he said, "is to
deceive the people. We, the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and
Peasants' Deputies, are going to try an experiment unique in
history; we are going to found a power which will have no other aim
but to satisfy the needs of the soldiers, workers, and peasants."

Lenin had appeared, welcomed with a mighty ovation, prophesying
world-wide Social Revolution.... And Zinoviev, crying, "This day we
have paid our debt to the international proletariat, and struck a
terrible blow at the war, a terrible body-blow at all the
imperialists and particularly at Wilhelm the Executioner....

Then Trotzky, that telegrams had been sent to the front announcing
the victorious insurrection, but no reply had come. Troops were said
to be marching against Petrograd-a delegation must be sent to tell
them the truth.

Cries, "You are anticipating the will of the All-Russian Congress of

Trotzky, coldly, "The will of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets
has been anticipated by the rising of the Petrograd workers and

So we came into the great meeting-hall, pushing through the
clamorous mob at the door. In the rows of seats, under the white
chandeliers, packed immovably in the aisles and on the sides,
perched on every window-sill, and even the edge of the platform, the
representatives of the workers and soldiers of all Russia waited in
anxious silence or wild exultation the ringing of the chairman's
bell. There was no heat in the hall but the stifling heat of
unwashed human bodies. A foul blue cloud of cigarette smoke rose
from the mass and hung in the thick air. Occasionally some one in
authority mounted the tribune and asked the comrades not to smoke;
then everybody, smokers and all, took up the cry "Don't smoke,
comrades!" and went on smoking. Petrovsky, Anarchist delegate from
the Obukhov factory, made a seat for me beside him. Unshaven and
filthy, he was reeling from three nights' sleepless work on the
Military Revolutionary Committee.

On the platform sat the leaders of the old _Tsay-ee-kah_-for the
last time dominating the turbulent Soviets, which they had ruled
from the first days, and which were now risen against them. It was
the end of the first period of the Russian revolution, which these
men had attempted to guide in careful ways.... The three greatest of
them were not there: Kerensky, flying to the front through country
towns all doubtfully heaving up; Tcheidze, the old eagle, who had
contemptuously retired to his own Georgian mountains, there to
sicken with consumption; and the high-souled Tseretelli, also
mortally stricken, who, nevertheless, would return and pour out his
beautiful eloquence for a lost cause. Gotz sat there, Dan, Lieber,
Bogdanov, Broido, Fillipovsky,-white-faced, hollow-eyed and
indignant. Below them the second _siezd_ of the All-Russian Soviets
boiled and swirled, and over their heads the Military Revolutionary
Committee functioned white-hot, holding in its hands the threads of
insurrection and striking with a long arm.... It was 10.40 P. M.

Dan, a mild-faced, baldish figure in a shapeless military surgeon's
uniform, was ringing the bell. Silence fell sharply, intense, broken
by the scuffling and disputing of the people at the door....

"We have the power in our hands," he began sadly, stopped for a
moment, and then went on in a low voice. "Comrades! The Congress of
Soviets in meeting in such unusual circumstances and in such an
extraordinary moment that you will understand why the _Tsay-ee-kah_
considers it unnecessary to address you with a political speech.
This will become much clearer to you if you will recollect that I am
a member of the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ and that at this very moment our
party comrades are in the Winter Palace under bombardment,
sacrificing themselves to execute the duty put on them by the
_Tsay-ee-kah."_ (Confused uproar.)

"I declare the first session of the Second Congress of Soviets of
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies open!"

The election of the presidium took place amid stir and moving about.
Avanessov announced that by agreement of the Bolsheviki, Left
Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviki Internationalists, it was
decided to base the presidium upon proportionality. Several
Mensheviki leaped to their feet protesting. A bearded soldier
shouted at them, "Remember what you did to us Bolsheviki when _we_
were the minority!" Result-14 Bolsheviki, 7 Socialist
Revolutionaries, 3 Mensheviki and 1 Internationalist (Gorky's
group). Hendelmann, for the right and centre Socialist
Revolutionaries, said that they refused to take part in the
presidium; the same from Kintchuk, for the Mensheviki; and from the
Mensheviki Internationalists, that until the verification of certain
circumstances, they too could not enter the presidium. Scattering
applause and hoots. One voice, "Renegades, you call yourselves
Socialists!" A representative of the Ukrainean delegates demanded,
and received, a place. Then the old _Tsay-ee-kah_ stepped down, and
in their places appeared Trotzky, Kameniev, Lunatcharsky, Madame
Kollentai, Nogin.... The hall rose, thundering. How far they had
soared, these Bolsheviki, from a despised and hunted sect less than
four months ago, to this supreme place, the helm of great Russia in
full tide of insurrection!

The order of the day, said Kameniev, was first, Organisation of
Power; second, War and Peace; and third, the Constituent Assembly.
Lozovsky, rising, announced that upon agreement of the bureau of all
factions, it was proposed to hear and discuss the report of the
Petrograd Soviet, then to give the floor to members of the
_Tsay-ee-kah_ and the different parties, and finally to pass to the
order of the day.

But suddenly a new sound made itself heard, deeper than the tumult
of the crowd, persistent, disquieting,-the dull shock of guns.
People looked anxiously toward the clouded windows, and a sort of
fever came over them. Martov, demanding the floor, croaked hoarsely,
"The civil war is beginning, comrades! The first question must be a
peaceful settlement of the crisis. On principle and from a political
standpoint we must urgently discuss a means of averting civil war.
Our brothers are being shot down in the streets! At this moment,
when before the opening of the Congress of Soviets the question of
Power is being settled by means of a military plot organised by one
of the revolutionary parties-" for a moment he could not make
himself heard above the noise, "All of the revolutionary parties
must face the fact! The first _vopros_ (question) before the
Congress is the question of Power, and this question is already
being settled by force of arms in the streets!... We must create a
power which will be recognised by the whole democracy. If the
Congress wishes to be the voice of the revolutionary democracy it
must not sit with folded hands before the developing civil war, the
result of which may be a dangerous outburst of counter-revolution....
The possibility of a peaceful outcome lies in the formation of a
united democratic authority.... We must elect a delegation to
negotiate with the other Socialist parties and organisation....

Always the methodical muffled boom of cannon through the windows,
and the delegates, screaming at each other.... So, with the crash of
artillery, in the dark, with hatred, and fear, and reckless daring,
new Russia was being born.

The Left Socialist Revolutionaries and the United Social Democrats
supported Martov's proposition. It was accepted. A soldier announced
that the All-Russian Peasants' Soviets had refused to send delegates
to the Congress; he proposed that a committee be sent with a formal
invitation. "Some delegates are present," he said. "I move that they
be given votes." Accepted.

Kharash, wearing the epaulets of a captain, passionately demanded
the floor. "The political hypocrites who control this Congress," he
shouted, "told us we were to settle the question of Power-and it is
being settled behind our backs, before the Congress opens! Blows are
being struck against the Winter Palace, and it is by such blows that
the nails are being driven into the coffin of the political party
which has risked such an adventure!" Uproar. Followed him Gharra:
"While we are here discussing propositions of peace, there is a
battle on in the streets.... The Socialist Revolutionaries and the
Mensheviki refuse to be involved in what is happening, and call upon
all public forces to resist the attempt to capture the power...."
Kutchin, delegate of the 12th Army and representative of the
Troudoviki: "I was sent here only for information, and I am
returning at once to the Front, where all the Army Committees
consider that the taking of power by the Soviets, only three weeks
before the Constituent Assembly, is a stab in the back of the Army
and a crime against the people-!" Shouts of "Lie! You lie!"... When he
could be heard again, "Let's make an end of this adventure in
Petrograd! I call upon all delegates to leave this hall in order to
save the country and the Revolution!" As he went down the aisle in
the midst of a deafening noise, people surged in upon him,
threatening.... Then Khintchuk, an officer with a long brown goatee,
speaking suavely and persuasively: "I speak for the delegates from
the Front. The Army is imperfectly represented in this Congress, and
furthermore, the Army does not consider the Congress of Soviets
necessary at this time, only three weeks before the opening of the
Constituent-" shouts and stamping, always growing more violent. "The
Army does not consider that the Congress of Soviets has the
necessary authority-" Soldiers began to stand up all over the hall.

"Who are you speaking for? What do you represent?" they cried.

"The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet of the Fifth Army,
the Second F- regiment, the First N- Regiment, the Third S- Rifles...."

"When were you elected? You represent the officers, not the
soldiers! What do the soldiers say about it?" Jeers and hoots.

"We, the Front group, disclaim all responsibility for what has
happened and is happening, and we consider it necessary to mobilise
all self-conscious revolutionary forces for the salvation of the
Revolution! The Front group will leave the Congress.... The place to
fight is out on the streets!"

Immense bawling outcry. "You speak for the Staff-not for the Army!"

"I appeal to all reasonable soldiers to leave this Congress!"

"Kornilovitz! Counter-revolutionist! Provocator!" were hurled at him.

On behalf of the Mensheviki, Khintchuk then announced that the only
possibility of a peaceful solution was to begin negotiations with
the Provisional Government for the formation of a new Cabinet, which
would find support in all strata of society. He could not proceed
for several minutes. Raising his voice to a shout he read the
Menshevik declaration:

"Because the Bolsheviki have made a military conspiracy with the aid
of the Petrograd Soviet, without consulting the other factions and
parties, we find it impossible to remain in the Congress, and
therefore withdraw, inviting the other groups to follow us and to
meet for discussion of the situation!"

"Deserter!" At intervals in the almost continuous disturbance
Hendelman, for the Socialist Revolutionaries, could be heard
protesting against the bombardment of the Winter Palace.... "We are
opposed to this kind of anarchy...."

Scarcely had he stepped down than a young, lean-faced soldier, with
flashing eyes, leaped to the platform, and dramatically lifted his

"Comrades!" he cried and there was a hush. "My _familia_ (name) is
Peterson-I speak for the Second Lettish Rifles. You have heard the
statements of two representatives of the Army committees; these
statements would have some value _if their authors had been
representatives of the Army_-" Wild applause. _"But they do not
represent the soldiers!"_ Shaking his fist. "The Twelfth Army has
been insisting for a long time upon the re-election of the Great
Soviet and the Army Committee, but just as your own _Tsay-ee-kah,_
our Committee refused to call a meeting of the representatives of
the masses until the end of September, so that the reactionaries
could elect their own false delegates to this Congress. I tell you
now, the Lettish soldiers have many times said, 'No more
resolutions! No more talk! We want deeds-the Power must be in our
hands!' Let these impostor delegates leave the Congress! The Army is
not with them!"

The hall rocked with cheering. In the first moments of the session,
stunned by the rapidity of events, startled by the sound of cannon,
the delegates had hesitated. For an hour hammer-blow after
hammer-blow had fallen from that tribune, welding them together but
beating them down. Did they stand then alone? Was Russia rising
against them? Was it true that the Army was marching on Petrograd?
Then this clear-eyed young soldier had spoken, and in a flash they
knew it for the truth.... _This_ was the voice of the soldiers-the
stirring millions of uniformed workers and peasants were men like
them, and their thoughts and feelings were the same...

More soldiers ... Gzhelshakh; for the Front delegates, announcing that
they had only decided to leave the Congress by a small majority, and
that _the Bolshevik members had not even taken part in the vote,_ as
they stood for division according to political parties, and not
groups. "Hundreds of delegates from the Front," he said, "are being
elected without the participation of the soldiers because the Army
Committees are no longer the real representatives of the rank and
file...." Lukianov, crying that officers like Kharash and Khintchuk
could not represent the Army in this congress,-but only the high
command. "The real inhabitants of the trenches want with all their
hearts the transfer of Power into the hands of the Soviets, and they
expect very much from it!"... The tide was turning.

Then came Abramovitch, for the _Bund,_ the organ of the Jewish
Social Democrats-his eyes snapping behind thick glasses, trembling
with rage.

"What is taking place now in Petrograd is a monstrous calamity! The
_Bund_ group joins with the declaration of the Mensheviki and
Socialist Revolutionaries and will leave the Congress!" He raised
his voice and hand. "Our duty to the Russian proletariat doesn't
permit us to remain here and be responsible for these crimes.
Because the firing on the Winter Palace doesn't cease, the Municipal
Duma together with the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries, and
the Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviet, has decided to
perish with the Provisional Government, and we are going with them!
Unarmed we will expose our breasts to the machine guns of the
Terrorists.... We invite all delegates to this Congress-" The rest was
lost in a storm of hoots, menaces and curses which rose to a hellish
pitch as fifty delegates got up and pushed their way out....

Kameniev jangled the bell, shouting, "Keep your seats and we'll go
on with our business!" And Trotzky, standing up with a pale, cruel
face, letting out his rich voice in cool contempt, "All these
so-called Socialist compromisers, these frightened Mensheviki,
Socialist Revolutionaries, _Bund_-let them go! They are just so much
refuse which will be swept into the garbage-heap of history!"

Riazanov, for the Bolsheviki, stated that at the request of the City
Duma the Military Revolutionary Committee had sent a delegation to
offer negotiations to the Winter Palace. "In this way we have done
everything possible to avoid blood-shed...."

We hurried from the place, stopping for a moment at the room where
the Military Revolutionary Committee worked at furious speed,
engulfing and spitting out panting couriers, despatching Commissars
armed with power of life and death to all the corners of the city,
amid the buzz of the telephonographs. The door opened, a blast of
stale air and cigarette smoke rushed out, we caught a glimpse of
dishevelled men bending over a map under the glare of a shaded
electric-light.... Comrade Josephov-Dukhvinski, a smiling youth with a
mop of pale yellow hair, made out passes for us.

When we came into the chill night, all the front of Smolny was one
huge park of arriving and departing automobiles, above the sound of
which could be heard the far-off slow beat of the cannon. A great
motor-truck stood there, shaking to the roar of its engine. Men were
tossing bundles into it, and others receiving them, with guns beside

"Where are you going?" I shouted.

"Down-town-all over-everywhere!" answered a little workman,
grinning, with a large exultant gesture.

We showed our passes. "Come along!" they invited. "But there'll
probably be shooting-" We climbed in; the clutch slid home with a
raking jar, the great car jerked forward, we all toppled backward on
top of those who were climbing in; past the huge fire by the gate,
and then the fire by the outer gate, glowing red on the faces of the
workmen with rifles who squatted around it, and went bumping at top
speed down the Suvorovsky Prospect, swaying from side to side.... One
man tore the wrapping from a bundle and began to hurl handfuls of     l handfuls of     |          |
papers into the air. We imitated him, plunging down through the dark
street with a tail of white papers floating and eddying out behind.
The late passerby stooped to pick them up; the patrols around
bonfires on the corners ran out with uplifted arms to catch them.
Sometimes armed men loomed up ahead, crying "_Shtoi!_" and raising
their guns, but our chauffeur only yelled something unintelligible
and we hurtled on....

I picked up a copy of the paper, and under a fleeting street-light


The Provisional Government is deposed. The State Power has passed
into the hands of the organ of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and
Soldiers' Deputies, the Military Revolutionary Committee, which
stands at the head of the Petrograd proletariat and garrison.

The cause for which the people were fighting: immediate proposal of
a democratic peace, abolition of landlord property-rights over the
land, labor control over production, creation of a Soviet
Government-that cause is securely achieved.


_Military Revolutionary Committee_

_Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies._

[Graphic page-96 Proclamation in Russian, title follows]                                              | _   111_ |

Proclamation of the Fall of the Provisional Government issued by the
Military Revolutionary Committee on the night of November 7th (our
calendar), which we helped to distribute from a motor-truck just
after the surrender of the Winter Palace.

A slant-eyed, Mongolian-faced man who sat beside me, dressed in a
goat-skin Caucasian cape, snapped, "Look out! Here the provocators
always shoot from the windows!" We turned into Znamensky Square,
dark and almost deserted, careened around Trubetskoy's brutal statue
and swung down the wide Nevsky, three men standing up with rifles
ready, peering at the windows. Behind us the street was alive with
people running and stooping. We could no longer hear the cannon, and
the nearer we drew to the Winter Palace end of the city the quieter
and more deserted were the streets. The City Duma was all brightly
lighted. Beyond that we made out a dark mass of people, and a line
of sailors, who yelled furiously at us to stop. The machine slowed
down, and we climbed out.

It was an astonishing scene. Just at the corner of the Ekaterina
Canal, under an arc-light, a cordon of armed sailors was drawn
across the Nevsky, blocking the way to a crowd of people in column
of fours. There were about three or four hundred of them, men in
frock coats, well-dressed women, officers-all sorts and conditions
of people. Among them we recognised many of the delegates from the
Congress, leaders of the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries;
Avksentiev, the lean, red-bearded president of the Peasants'
Soviets, Sarokin, Kerensky's spokesman, Khintchuk, Abramovitch; and
at the head white-bearded old Schreider, Mayor of Petrograd, and
Prokopovitch, Minister of Supplies in the Provisional Government,
arrested that morning and released. I caught sight of Malkin,
reporter for the _Russian Daily News._ "Going to die in the Winter
Palace," he shouted cheerfully. The procession stood still, but from
the front of it came loud argument. Schreider and Prokopovitch were
bellowing at the big sailor who seemed in command.

"We demand to pass!" they cried. "See, these comrades come from the
Congress of Soviets! Look at their tickets! We are going to the
Winter Palace!"

The sailor was plainly puzzled. He scratched his head with an
enormous hand, frowning. "I have orders from the Committee not to
let anybody go to the Winter Palace," he grumbled. "But I will send
a comrade to telephone to Smolny...."

"We Insist upon passing! We are unarmed! We will march on whether
you permit us or not!" cried old Schreider, very much excited.

"I have orders-" repeated the sailor sullenly.

"Shoot us if you want to! We will pass! Forward!" came from all
sides. "We are ready to die, if you have the heart to fire on
Russians and comrades! We bare our breasts to your guns!"

"No," said the sailor, looking stubborn, "I can't allow you to pass."

"What will you do if we go forward? Will you shoot?"

"No, I'm not going to shoot people who haven't any guns. We won't
shoot unarmed Russian people...."

"We will go forward! What can you do?"

"We will do something,"replied the sailor, evidently at a loss. "We
can't let you pass. We will do something."

"What will you do? What will you do?"

Another sailor came up, very much irritated. "We will spank you!" he
cried, energetically. "And if necessary we will shoot you too. Go
home now, and leave us in peace!"

At this there was a great clamour of anger and resentment,
Prokopovitch had mounted some sort of box, and, waving his umbrella,
he made a speech:

"Comrades and citizens!" he said. "Force is being used against us!
We cannot have our innocent blood upon the hands of these ignorant
men! It is beneath our dignity to be shot down here in the street by
switchmen-" (What he meant by "switchmen" I never discovered.) "Let
us return to the Duma and discuss the best means of saving the
country and the Revolution!"

Whereupon, in dignified silence, the procession marched around and
back up the Nevsky, always in column of fours. And taking advantage
of the diversion we slipped past the guards and set off in the
direction of the Winter Palace.

Here it was absolutely dark, and nothing moved but pickets of
soldiers and Red Guards grimly intent. In front of the Kazan
Cathedral a three-inch field-gun lay in the middle of the street,
slewed sideways from the recoil of its last shot over the roofs.
Soldiers were standing in every doorway talking in low tones and
peering down toward the Police Bridge. I heard one voice saying: "It
is possible that we have done wrong...." At the corners patrols
stopped all passersby-and the composition of these patrols was
interesting, for in command of the regular troops was invariably a
Red Guard.... The shooting had ceased.

Just as we came to the Morskaya somebody was shouting: "The
_yunkers_ have sent word they want us to go and get them out!"
Voices began to give commands, and in the thick gloom we made out a
dark mass moving forward, silent but for the shuffle of feet and the
clinking of arms. We fell in with the first ranks.

Like a black river, filling all the street, without song or cheer we
poured through the Red Arch, where the man just ahead of me said in
a low voice: "Look out, comrades! Don't trust them. They will fire,
surely!" In the open we began to run, stooping low and bunching
together, and jammed up suddenly behind the pedestal of the
Alexander Column.

"How many of you did they kill?" I asked.

"I don't know. About ten...."

After a few minutes huddling there, some hundreds of men, the army
seemed reassured and without any orders suddenly began again to flow
forward. By this time, in the light that streamed out of all the
Winter Palace windows, I could see that the first two or three
hundred men were Red Guards, with only a few scattered soldiers.
Over the barricade of firewood we clambered, and leaping down inside
gave a triumphant shout as we stumbled on a heap of rifles thrown
down by the _yunkers_ who had stood there. On both sides of the main
gateway the doors stood wide open, light streamed out, and from the
huge pile came not the slightest sound.

Carried along by the eager wave of men we were swept into the right
hand entrance, opening into a great bare vaulted room, the cellar of
the East wing, from which issued a maze of corridors and
stair-cases. A number of huge packing cases stood about, and upon
these the Red Guards and soldiers fell furiously, battering them
open with the butts of their rifles, and pulling out carpets,
curtains, linen, porcelain plates, glassware.... One man went
strutting around with a bronze clock perched on his shoulder;
another found a plume of ostrich feathers, which he stuck in his
hat. The looting was just beginning when somebody cried, "Comrades!
Don't touch anything! Don't take anything! This is the property of
the People!" Immediately twenty voices were crying, "Stop! Put
everything back! Don't take anything! Property of the People!" Many
hands dragged the spoilers down. Damask and tapestry were snatched
from the arms of those who had them; two men took away the bronze
clock. Roughly and hastily the things were crammed back in their
cases, and self-appointed sentinels stood guard. It was all utterly
spontaneous. Through corridors and up stair-cases the cry could be
heard growing fainter and fainter in the distance, "Revolutionary
discipline! Property of the People...."

We crossed back over to the left entrance, in the West wing. There
order was also being established. "Clear the Palace!" bawled a Red
Guard, sticking his head through an inner door. "Come, comrades,
let's show that we're not thieves and bandits. Everybody out of the
Palace except the Commissars, until we get sentries posted."

Two Red Guards, a soldier and an officer, stood with revolvers in
their hands. Another soldier sat at a table behind them, with pen
and paper. Shouts of "All out! All out!" were heard far and near
within, and the Army began to pour  through the door, jostling,
expostulating, arguing. As each man appeared he was seized by the
self-appointed committee, who went through his pockets and looked
under his coat. Everything that was plainly not his property was
taken away, the man at the table noted it on his paper, and it was
carried into a little room. The most amazing assortment of objects
were thus confiscated; statuettes, bottles of ink, bed-spreads
worked with the Imperial monogram, candles, a small oil-painting,
desk blotters, gold-handled swords, cakes of soap, clothes of every
description, blankets. One Red Guard carried three rifles, two of
which he had taken away from _yunkers;_ another had four portfolios
bulging with written documents. The culprits either sullenly
surrendered or pleaded like children. All talking at once the
committee explained that stealing was not worthy of the people's
champions; often those who had been caught turned around and began
to help go through the rest of the comrades. (See App. IV, Sect. 3)

_Yunkers_ came out, in bunches of three or four. The committee
seized upon them with an excess of zeal, accompanying the search
with remarks like, "Ah, Provocators! Kornilovists!
Counter-revolutionists! Murderers of the People!" But there was no
violence done, although the _yunkers_ were terrified. They too had
their pockets full of small plunder. It was carefully noted down by
the scribe, and piled in the little room.... The _yunkers_ were
disarmed. "Now, will you take up arms against the People any more?"
demanded clamouring voices.

"No," answered the _yunkers,_ one by one. Whereupon they were
allowed to go free.

We asked if we might go inside. The committee was doubtful, but the
big Red Guard answered firmly that it was forbidden. "Who are you
anyway?" he asked. "How do I know that you are not all Kerenskys?
(There were five of us, two women.)

"_Pazhal'st', touarishtchi!_ Way, Comrades!" A soldier and a Red
Guard appeared in the door, waving the crowd aside, and other guards
with fixed bayonets. After them followed single file half a dozen
men in civilian dress-the members of the Provisional Government.
First came Kishkin, his face drawn and pale, then Rutenberg, looking
sullenly at the floor; Terestchenko was next, glancing sharply
around; he stared at us with cold fixity.... They passed in silence;
the victorious insurrectionists crowded to see, but there were only
a few angry mutterings. It was only later that we learned how the
people in the street wanted to lynch them, and shots were fired-but
the sailors brought them safely to Peter-Paul....

In the meanwhile unrebuked we walked into the Palace. There was
still a great deal of coming and going, of exploring new-found
apartments in the vast edifice, of searching for hidden garrisons of
_yunkers_ which did not exist. We went upstairs and wandered through
room after room. This part of the Palace had been entered also by
other detachments from the side of the Neva. The paintings, statues,
tapestries and rugs of the great state apartments were unharmed; in
the offices, however, every desk and cabinet had been ransacked, the
papers scattered over the floor, and in the living rooms beds had
been stripped of their coverings and ward-robes wrenched open. The
most highly prized loot was clothing, which the working people
needed. In a room where furniture was stored we came upon two
soldiers ripping the elaborate Spanish leather upholstery from
chairs. They explained it was to make boots with....

The old Palace servants in their blue and red and gold uniforms
stood nervously about, from force of habit repeating, "You can't go
in there, _barin!_ It is forbidden-" We penetrated at length to the
gold and malachite chamber with crimson brocade hangings where the
Ministers had been in session all that day and night, and where the
_shveitzari_ had betrayed them to the Red Guards. The long table
covered with green baize was just as they had left it, under arrest.
Before each empty seat was pen and ink and paper; the papers were
scribbled over with beginnings of plans of action, rough drafts of
proclamations and manifestos. Most of these were scratched out, as
their futility became evident, and the rest of the sheet covered
with absent-minded geometrical designs, as the writers sat
despondently listening while Minister after Minister proposed
chimerical schemes. I took one of these scribbled pages, in the hand
writing of Konovalov, which read, "The Provisional Government
appeals to all classes to support the Provisional Government-"

All this time, it must be remembered, although the Winter Palace was
surrounded, the Government was in constant communication with the
Front and with provincial Russia. The Bolsheviki had captured the
Ministry of War early in the morning, but they did not know of the
military telegraph office in the attic, nor of the private telephone
line connecting it with the Winter Palace. In that attic a young
officer sat all day, pouring out over the country a flood of appeals
and proclamations; and when he heard that the Palace had fallen, put
on his hat and walked calmly out of the building....

Interested as we were, for a considerable time we didn't notice a
change in the attitude of the soldiers and Red Guards around us. As
we strolled from room to room a small group followed us, until by
the time we reached the great picture-gallery where we had spent the
afternoon with the _yunkers,_ about a hundred men surged in after
us. One giant of a soldier stood in our path, his face dark with
sullen suspicion.

[Graphic page-104  Doodling by Konavalov, title follows]

Facsimile of the beginning of a proclamation, written in pencil by
A.I. Konovalov, Minister of Commerce and Industry in he Provisional
Government, and then scratched out as the hopelessness of the
situation became more and more evident. The geometrical figure
beneath was probably idly drawn while the Ministers were waiting for
the end.

"Who are you?" he growled. "What are you doing here?" The others
massed slowly around, staring and beginning to mutter.
_"Provocatori!"_ I heard somebody say. "Looters!" I produced our
passes from the Military Revolutionary Committee. The soldier took
them gingerly, turned them upside down and looked at them without
comprehension. Evidently he could not read. He handed them back and
spat on the floor. _"Bumagi!_ Papers!" said he with contempt. The
mass slowly began to close in, like wild cattle around a cowpuncher
on foot. Over their heads I caught sight of an officer, looking
helpless, and shouted to him. He made for us, shouldering his way

"I'm the Commissar," he said to me. "Who are you? What is it?" The
others held back, waiting. I produced the papers.

"You are foreigners?" he rapidly asked in Franch. "It is very
dangerous...." Then he turned to the mob, holding up our documents.
"Comrades!" he cried. "These people are foreign comrades-from
America. They have come here to be able to tell their countrymen
about the bravery and the revolutionary discipline of the
proletarian army!"

"How do you know that?" replied the big soldier. "I tell you they
are provocators! They say they came here to observe the
revolutionary discipline of the proletarian army, but they have been
wandering freely through the Palace, and how do we know they haven't
got their pockets full of loot?"

_"Pravilno!"_ snarled the others, pressing forward.

"Comrades! Comrades!" appealed the officer, sweat standing out on
his forehead. "I am Commissar of the Military Revolutionary
Committee. Do you trust me? Well, I tell you that these passes are
signed with the same names that are signed to my pass!"

He led us down through the Palace and out through a door opening
onto the Neva quay, before which stood the usual committee going
through pockets... "You have narrowly escaped," he kept muttering,
wiping his face.

"What happened to the Women's Battalion?" we asked.

"Oh-the women!" He laughed. "They were all huddled up in a back
room. We had a terrible time deciding what to do with them-many were
in hysterics, and so on. So finally we marched them up to the
Finland Station and put them on a train for Levashovo, where they
have a camp. (See App. IV, Sect. 4)....

We came out into the cold, nervous night, murmurous with obscure
armies on the move, electric with patrols. From across the river,
where loomed the darker mass of Peter-Paul, came a hoarse shout....
Underfoot the sidewalk was littered with broken stucco, from the
cornice of the Palace where two shells from the battleship _Avrora_
had struck; that was the only damage done by the bombardment....

It was now after three in the morning. On the Nevsky all the
street-lights were again shining, the cannon gone, and the only
signs of war were Red Guards and soldiers squatting around fires.
The city was quiet-probably never so quiet in its history; on that
night not a single hold-up occurred, not a single robbery.

But the City Duma Building was all illuminated. We mounted to the
galleried Alexander Hall, hung with its great, gold-framed,
red-shrouded Imperial portraits. About a hundred people were grouped
around the platform, where Skobeliev was speaking. He urged that the
Committee of Public Safety be expanded, so as to unite all the
anti-Bolshevik elements in one huge organisation, to be called the
Committee for Salvation of Country and Revolution. And as we looked
on, the Committee for Salvation was formed-that Committee which was
to develop into the most powerful enemy of the Bolsheviki,
appearing, in the next week, sometimes under its own partisan name,
and sometimes as the strictly non-partisan Committee of Public

Dan, Gotz, Avkesntiev were there, some of the insurgent Soviet
delegates, members of the Executive Committee of the Peasants'
Soviets, old Prokopovitch, and even members of the  Council of the
Republic-among whom Vinaver and other Cadets. Lieber cried that the
convention of Soviets was not a legal convention, that the old
_Tsay-ee-kah_ was still in office.... An appeal to the country was

We hailed a cab. "Where to?" But when we said "Smolny," the
_izvoshtchik_ shook his head. _"Niet!"_ said he, "there are
devils...." It was only after weary wandering that we found a driver
willing to take us-and he wanted thirty rubles, and stopped two
blocks away.

The windows of Smolny were still ablaze, motors came and went, and
around the still-leaping fires the sentries huddled close, eagerly
asking everybody the latest news. The corridors were full of
hurrying men, hollow-eyed and dirty. In some of the committee-rooms
people lay sleeping on the floor, their guns beside them. In spite
of the seceding delegates, the hall of meetings was crowded with
people, roaring like the sea. As we came in, Kameniev was reading
the list of arrested Ministers. The name of Terestchenko was greeted
with thunderous applause, shouts of satisfaction, laughter;
Rutenburg came in for less; and at the mention of Paltchinsky, a
storm of hoots, angry cries, cheers burst forth.... It was announced
that Tchudnovsky had been appointed Commissar of the Winter Palace.

Now occurred a dramatic interruption. A big peasant, his bearded
face convulsed with rage, mounted the platform and pounded with his
fist on the presidium table.

"We, Socialist Revolutionaries, insist upon the immediate release of
the Socialist Ministers arrested in the Winter Palace! Comrades! Do
you know that four comrades who risked their lives and their freedom
fighting against tyranny of the Tsar, have been flung into
Peter-Paul prison-the historical tomb of Liberty?" In the uproar he
pounded and yelled. Another delegate climbed up beside him, and
pointed at the presidium.

"Are the representatives of the revolutionary masses going to sit
quietly here while the _Okhrana_ of the Bolsheviki tortures their

Trotzky was gesturing for silence. "These 'comrades' who are now
caught plotting the crushing of the Soviets with the adventurer
Kerensky-is there any reason to handle them with gloves? After July
16th and 18th they didn't use much ceremony with us!" With a
triumphant ring in his voice he cried, "Now that the _oborontsi_ and
the faint-hearted have gone, and the whole task of defending and
saving the Revolution rests on our shoulders, it is particularly
necessary to work-work-work! We have decided to die rather than give

Followed him a Commissar from Tsarskoye Selo, panting and covered
with the mud of his ride. "The garrison of Tsarskoye Selo is on
guard at the gates of Petrograd, ready to defend the Soviets and the
Military Revolutionary Committee!" Wild cheers. "The Cycle Corps
sent from the front has arrived at Tsarskoye, and the soldiers are
now with us; they recognise the power of the Soviets, the necessity
of immediate transfer of land to the peasants and industrial control
to the workers. The Fifth Battalion of Cyclists, stationed at
Tsarskoye, is ours....

Then the delegate of the Third Cycle Battalion. In the midst of
delirious enthusiasm he told how the cycle corps had been ordered
_three days before_ from the South-west front to the "defence of
Petrograd." They suspected, however, the meaning of the order; and
at the station of Peredolsk were met by representatives of the Fifth
Battalion from Tsarskoye. A joint meeting was held, and it was
discovered that "among the cyclists not a single man was found
willing to shed the blood of his brothers, or to support a
Government of bourgeois and land-owners!"

Kapelinski, for the Mensheviki Internationalists, proposed to elect
a special committee to find a peaceful solution to the civil war.
"There isn't any peaceful solution!" bellowed the crowed. "Victory
is the only solution!" The vote was overwhelmingly against, and the
Mensheviki Internationalists left the Congress in a Whirlwind of
Jocular insults. There was no longer any panic fear.... Kameniev from
the platform shouted after them, "The Mensheviki Internationalists
claimed 'emergency' for the question of a 'peaceful solution,' but
they always voted for suspension of the order of the day in favour
of declarations of factions which wanted to leave the Congress. It
is evident," finished Kameniev, "that the withdrawal of all these
renegades was decided upon beforehand!"

The assembly decided to ignore the withdrawal of the factions, and
proceed to the appeal to the workers, soldiers and peasants of all


The Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers'
Deputies has opened. It represents the great majority of the
Soviets. There are also a number of Peasant deputies. Based upon the
will of the great majority of the workers', soldiers and peasants,
based upon the triumphant uprising of the Petrograd workmen and
soldiers, the Congress assumes the Power.

The Provisional Government is deposed. Most of the members of the
Provisional Government are already arrested.

The Soviet authority will at once propose an immediate democratic
peace to all nations, and an immediate truce on all fronts. It will
assure the free transfer of landlord, crown and monastery lands to
the Land Committees, defend the soldiers rights, enforcing a
complete democratisation of the Army, establish workers' control
over production, ensure the convocation of the Constituent Assembly
at the proper date, take means to supply bread to the cities and
articles of first necessity to the villages, and secure to all
nationalities living in Russia a real right to independent existence.

The Congress resolves: that all local power shall be transferred to
the Soviets of Workers,' Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, which
must enforce revolutionary order.

The Congress calls upon the soldiers in the trenches to be watchful
and steadfast. The Congress of Soviets is sure that the
revolutionary Army will know how to defend the Revolution against
all attacks of Imperialism, until the new Government shall have
brought about the conclusion of the democratic peace which it will
directly propose to all nations. The new Government will take all
necessary steps to secure everything needful to the revolutionary
Army, by means of a determined policy of requisition and taxation of
the propertied classes, and also to improve the situation of
soldiers' families.

The Kornilovitz-Kerensky, Kaledin and others, are endeavouring to
lead troops against Petrograd. Several regiments, deceived by
Kerensky, have sided with the insurgent People.

Soldiers! Make active resistance to the Kornilovitz-Kerensky! Be on

Railway men! Stop all troop-trains being sent by Kerensky against

Soldiers, Workers, Clerical employees! The destiny of the Revolution
and democratic peace is in your hands!

Long live the Revolution!

_The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of_
_Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies._
_Delegates from the Peasants' Soviets._

It was exactly 5:17 A.M. when Krylenko, staggering with fatigue,
climbed to the tribune with a telegram in his hand.

"Comrades! From the Northern Front. The Twelfth Army sends greetings
to the Congress of Soviets, announcing the formation of a Military
Revolutionary Committee which has taken over the command of the
Northern Front!" Pandemonium, men weeping, embracing each other.
"General Tchermissov has recognised the Committee-Commissar of the
Provisional Government Voitinsky has resigned!"

So. Lenin and the Petrograd workers had decided on insurrection, the
Petrograd Soviet had overthrown the Provisional Government, and
thrust the _coup d'etat_ upon the Congress of Soviets. Now there was
all great Russia to win-and then the world! Would Russia follow and
rise? And the world-what of it? Would the peoples answer and rise, a
red world-tide?

Although it was six in the morning, night was yet heavy and chill.
There was only a faint unearthly pallor stealing over the silent
streets, dimming the watch-fires, the shadow of a terrible dawn
grey-rising over Russia....

Chapter V

Plunging Ahead

THURSDAY, November 8th. Day broke on a city in the wildest
excitement and confusion, a whole nation having up in long hissing
swells of storm. Superficially all was quiet; hundreds of thousands
of people retired at a prudent hour, got up early, and went to work.
In Petrograd the street-cars were running, the stores and
restaurants open, theatres going, an exhibition of paintings
advertised.... All the complex routine of common life-humdrum even in
war-time-proceeded as usual. Nothing is so astounding as the
vitality of the social organism-how it persists, feeding itself,
clothing itself, amusing itself, in the face of the worst

The air was full of rumours about Kerensky, who was said to have
raised the Front, and to be leading a great army against the
capital. _Volia Naroda_ published a _prikaz_ launched by him at

The disorders caused by the insane attempt of the Bolsheviki place
the country on the verge of a precipice, and demand the effort of
our entire will, our courage and the devotion of every one of us, to
win through the terrible trial which the fatherland is undergoing....

Until the declaration of the composition of the new Government-if
one is formed-every one ought to remain at his post and fulfil his
duty toward bleeding Russia. It must be remembered that the least
interference with existing Army organisations can bring on
irreparable misfortunes, by opening the Front to the enemy.
Therefore it is indispensable to preserve at any price the morale of
the troops, by assuring complete order and the preservation of the
Army from new shocks, and by maintaining absolute confidence between
officers and their subordinates. I order all the chiefs and
Commissars, in the name of the safety of the country, to stay at
their posts, as I myself retain the post of Supreme Commander, until
the Provisional Government of the Republic shall declare its will....

In answer, this placard on all the walls:


"The ex-Ministers Konovalov, Kishkin, Terestchenko, Maliantovitch,
Nikitin and others have been arrested by the Military Revolutionary
Committee. Kerensky has fled. All Army organisations are ordered to
take every measure for the immediate arrest of Kerensky and his
conveyance to Petrograd.

"All assistance given to Kerensky will be punished as a serious
crime against the state."

With brakes released the Military Revolutionary Committee whirled,
throwing off orders, appeals, decrees, like sparks. (See App. V,
Sect. 1)... Kornilov was ordered brought to Petrograd. Members of the
Peasant Land Committees imprisoned by the Provisional Government
were declared free. Capital punishment in the army was abolished.
Government employees were ordered to continue their work, and
threatened with severe penalties if they refused. All pillage,
disorder and speculation were forbidden under pain of death.
Temporary Commissars were appointed to the various Ministries:
Foreign Affairs, Vuritsky and Trotzky; Interior and Justice, Rykov;
Labor, Shliapnikov; Finance, Menzhinsky; Public Welfare, Madame
Kollontai; Commerce, Ways and Communications, Riazanov; Navy, the
sailor Korbir; Posts and Telegraphs, Spiro; Theatres, Muraviov;
State Printing Office, Gherbychev; for the City of Petrograd,
Lieutenant Nesterov; for the Northern Front, Pozern....

To the Army, appeal to set up Military Revolutionary Committees. To
the railway workers, to maintain order, especially not to delay the
transport of food to the cities and the front.... In return, they were
promised representation in the Ministry of Ways and Communications.

Cossack brothers! (said one proclamation). You are being led against
Petrograd. They want to force you into battle with the revolutionary
workers and soldiers of the capital. Do not believe a word that is
said by our common enemies, the land-owners and the capitalists.

At our Congress are represented all the conscious organisations of
workers, soldiers and peasants of Russia. The Congress wishes also
to welcome into its midst the worker-Cossacks. The Generals of the
Black Band, henchmen of the land-owners, of Nicolai the Cruel, are
our enemies.

They tell you that the Soviets wish to confiscate the lands of the
Cossacks. This is a lie. It is only from the great Cossack landlords
that the Revolution will confiscate the land to give it to the

Organise Soviets of Cossacks' Deputies! Join with the Soviets of
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies!

Show the Black Band that you are not traitors to the People, and
that you do not wish to be cursed by the whole of revolutionary

Cossack brothers, execute no orders of the enemies of the people.
Send your delegates to Petrograd to talk it over with us.... The
Cossacks of the Petrograd garrison, to their honour, have not
justified the hope of the People's enemies....

Cossack brothers! The All-Russian Congress of Soviets extends to you
a fraternal hand. Long live the brotherhood of the Cossacks with the
soldiers, workers and peasants of all Russia!

On the other side, what a storm of proclamations posted up,
hand-bills scattered everywhere, newspapers-screaming and cursing
and prophesying evil. Now raged the battle of the printing press-all
other weapons being in the hands of the Soviets.

First, the appeal of the Committee for Salvation of Country and
Revolution, flung broadcast over Russia and Europe:


Contrary to the will of the revolutionary masses, on November 7th
the Bolsheviki of Petrograd criminally arrested part of the
Provisional Government, dispersed the Council of the Republic, and
proclaimed an illegal power. Such violence committed against the
Government of revolutionary Russia at the moment of its greatest
external danger, is an indescribable crime against the fatherland.

The insurrection of the Bolsheviki deals a mortal blow to the cause
of national defence, and postpones immeasurably the moment of peace
so greatly desired.

Civil war, begun by the Bolsheviki, threatens to deliver the country
to the horrors of anarchy and counter-revolution, and cause the
failure of the Constituent Assembly, which must affirm the
republican régime and transmit to the People forever their right to
the land.

Preserving the continuity of the only legal Governmental power, the
Committee for Salvation of Country and Revolution, established on
the night of November 7th, takes the initiative in forming a new
Provisional Government; which, basing itself on the forces of
democracy, will conduct the country to the Constituent Assembly and
save it from anarchy and counter-revolution. The Committee for
Salvation summons you, citizens, to refuse to recognise the power of
violence. Do not obey its orders!

Rise for the defence of the country and Revolution!

Support the Committee for Salvation!

Signed by the Council of the Russian Republic, the Municipal Duma of
Petrograd, the _Tsay-ee-kah (First Congress),_ the Executive
Committee of the Peasants' Soviets, and from the Congress itself the
Front group, the factions of Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviki,
Populist Socialists, Unified Social Democrats, and the group

Then posters from the Socialist Revolutionary party, the Mensheviki
_oborontsi,_ Peasants' Soviets again; from the Central Army
Committee, the _Tsentroflot_....

... Famine will crush Petrograd! (they cried). The German armies will
trample on our liberty. Black Hundred _pogroms_ will spread over
Russia, if we all-conscious workers, soldiers, citizens-do not

Do not trust the promises of the Bolsheviki! The promise of
immediate peace-is a lie! The promise of bread-a hoax! The promise
of land-a fairy tale!...

They were all in this manner.

Comrades! You have been basely and cruelly deceived! The seizure of
power has been accomplished by the Bolsheviki alone.... They concealed
their plot from the other Socialist parties composing the Soviet....

You have been promised land and freedom, but the counter-revolution
will profit by the anarchy called forth by the Bolsheviki, and will
deprive you of land and freedom....

The newspapers were as violent.

Our duty (said the _Dielo Naroda_) is to unmask these traitors to
the working-class. Our duty is to mobilise all our forces and mount
guard over the cause of the Revolution!...

_Izviestia,_ for the last time speaking in the name of the old
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ threatened awful retribution.

As for the Congress of Soviets, we affirm that there has been no
Congress of Soviets! We affirm that it was merely a private
conference of the Bolshevik faction! And in that case, they have no
right to cancel the powers of the _Tsay-ee-kah_....

_Novaya Zhizn,_ while pleading for a new Government that should
unite all the Socialist parties, criticised severely the action of
the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Mensheviki in quitting the
Congress, and pointed out that the Bolshevik insurrection meant one
thing very clearly: that all illusions about coalition with the
bourgeoisie were henceforth demonstrated vain...

_Rabotchi Put_ blossomed out as _Pravda,_ Lenin's newspaper which
had been suppressed in July. It crowed, bristling:

Workers, soldiers, peasants! In March you struck down the tyranny of
the clique of nobles. Yesterday you struck down the tyranny of the
bourgeois gang....

The first task now is to guard the approaches to Petrograd.

The second is definitely to disarm the counter-revolutionary
elements of Petrograd.

The third is definitely to organise the revolutionary power and
assure the realisation of the popular programme...

What few Cadet organs appeared, and the bourgeoisie generally,
adopted a detached, ironical attitude toward the whole business, a
sort of contemptuous "I-told-you-so" to the other parties.
Influential Cadets were to be seen hovering around the Municipal
Duma, and on the outskirts of the Committee for Salvation. Other
than that, the bourgeoisie lay low, biding its hour-which could not
far off. That the Bolsheviki would remain in power longer than three
days never occurred to anybody-except perhaps to Lenin, Trotzky, the
Petrograd workers and the simpler soldiers....

In the high, amphitheatrical Nicolai Hall that afternoon I saw the
Duma sitting in _permanence,_ tempestuous, grouping around it all
the forces of opposition. The old Mayer, Schreider, majestic with
his white hair and beard, was describing his visit to Smolny the
night before, to protest in the name of the Municipal
Self-Government. "The Duma, being the only existing legal Government
in the city, elected by equal, direct and secret suffrage, would not
recognise the new power," he had told Trotzky. And Trotzky had
answered, "There is a constitutional remedy for that. The Duma can
be dissolved and re-elected...." At this report there was a furious

"If one recognises a Government by bayonet," continued the old man,
addressing the Duma, "well, we have one; but I consider legitimate
only a Government recognised by the majority, and not one created by
the usurpation of a minority!" Wild applause on all benches except
those of the Bolsheviki. Amid renewed tumult the Mayor announced
that the Bolsheviki already were violating Municipal autonomy by
appointing Commissars in many departments.

The Bolshevik speaker shouted, trying to make himself heard, that
the decision of the Congress of Soviets meant that all Russia backed
up the action of the Bolsheviki.

"You!" he cried. "You are not the real representative of the people
of Petrograd!" Shrieks of "Insult! Insult!" The old Mayor, with
dignity, reminded him that the Duma was elected by the freest
possible popular vote. "Yes," he answered, "but that was a long time
ago-like the _Tsay-ee-kah_-like the Army Committee."

"There has been no new Congress of Soviets!" they yelled at him.

"The Bolshevik faction refuses to remain any longer in this nest of
counter-revolution-" Uproar. "-and we demand a re-election of the
Duma...." Whereupon the Bolsheviki left the chamber, followed by cries
of "German agents! Down with the traitors!"

Shingariov, Cadet, then demanded that all Municipal functionaries
who had consented to be Commissars of the Military Revolutionary
Committee be discharged from their position and indicted. Schreider
was on his feet, putting a motion to the effect that the Duma
protested against the menace of the Bolsheviki to dissolve it, and
as the legal representative of the population, it would refuse to
leave its post.

Outside, the Alexander Hall was crowded for the meeting of the
Committee for Salvation, and Skobeliev was again speaking. "Never
yet," he said, "was the fate of the Revolution so acute, never yet
did the question of the existence of the Russian state excite so
much anxiety, never yet did history put so harshly and categorically
the question-is Russia to be or not to be! The great hour for the
salvation of the Revolution has arrived, and in consciousness
thereof we observe the close union of the live forces of the
revolutionary democracy, by whose organised will a centre for the
salvation of the country and the Revolution has already been
created...." And much of the same sort. "We shall die sooner than
surrender our post!"

Amid violent applause it was announced that the Union of Railway
Workers had joined the Committee for Salvation. A few moments later
the Post and Telegraph Employees came in; then some Mensheviki
Internationalists entered the hall, to cheers. The Railway men said
they did not recognise the Bolsheviki and had taken the entire
railroad apparatus into their own hands, refusing to entrust it to
any usurpatory power. The Telegraphers' delegate declared that the
operators had flatly refused to work their instruments as long as
the Bolshevik Commissar was in the office. The Postmen would not
deliver or accept mail at Smolny.... All the Smolny telephones were
cut off. With great glee it was reported how Uritzky had gone to the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs to demand the secret treaties, and how
Neratov had put him out. The Government employees were all stopping

It was war-war deliberately planned, Russian fashion; war by strike
and sabotage. As we sat there the chairman read a list of names and
assignments; so-and-so was to make the round of the Ministries;
another was to visit the banks; some ten or twelve were to work the
barracks and persuade the soldiers to remain neutral-"Russian
soldiers, do not shed the blood of your brothers!"; a committee was
to go and confer with Kerensky; still others were despatched to
provincial cities, to form branches of the Committee for Salvation,
and link together the anti-Bolshevik elements.

The crowd was in high spirits. "These Bolsheviki _will_ try to
dictate to the _intelligentzia?_ We'll show them!"... Nothing could be
more striking than the contrast between this assemblage and the
Congress of Soviets. There, great masses of shabby soldiers, grimy
workmen, peasants-poor men, bent and scarred in the brute struggle
for existence; here the Menshevik and Social Revolutionary
leaders-Avksentievs, Dans, Liebers,-the former Socialist
Ministers-Skobelievs, Tchernovs,-rubbed shoulders with Cadets like
oily Shatsky, sleek Vinaver; with journalists, students,
intellectuals of almost all camps. This Duma crowd was well-fed,
well-dressed; I did not see more than three proletarians among them

News came. Kornilov's faithful _Tekhintsi_  [*] had slaughtered his
[* See Notes and Explanations]
guards at Bykhov, and he had escaped. Kaledin was marching north....
The Soviet of Moscow had set up a Military Revolutionary Committee,
and was negotiating with the commandant of the city for possession
of the arsenal, so that the workers might be armed.

With these facts was mixed an astounding jumble of rumours,
distortions, and plain lies. For instance, an intelligent young
Cadet, formerly private secretary to Miliukov and then to
Terestchenko, drew us aside and told us all about the taking of the
Winter Palace.

"The Bolsheviki were led by German and Austrian officers," he

"Is that so?" we replied, politely. "How do you know?"

"A friend of mine was there and saw them."

"How could he tell they were German officers?"

"Oh, because they wore German uniforms!"

There were hundreds of such absurd tales, and they were not only
solemnly published by the anti-Bolshevik press, but believed by the
most unlikely persons-Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviki who
had always been distinguished by their sober devotion to facts....

But more serious were the stories of Bolshevik violence and
terrorism. For example, it was said printed that the Red Guards had
not only thoroughly looted the Winter Palace, but that they had
massacred the _yunkers_ after disarming them, had killed some of the
Ministers in cold blood; and as for the woman soldiers, most of them
had been violated, and many had committed suicide because of the
tortures they had gone through.... All these stories were swallowed
whole by the crowd in the Duma. And worse still, the mothers and
fathers of the students and of the women read these frightful
details, _often accompanied by lists of names,_ and toward nightfall
the Duma began to be besieged by frantic citizens....

A typical case is that of Prince Tumanov, whose body, it was
announced in many newspapers, had been found floating in the Moika
Canal. A few hours later this was denied by the Prince's family, who
added that the Prince was under arrest so the press identified the
dead man as General Demissov. The General having also come to life,
we investigated, and could find no trace of any body found whatever....

As we left the Duma building two boy scouts were distributing
hand-bills (See App. V, Sect. 2) to the enormous crowd which blocked
the Nevsky in front of the door-a crowd composed almost entirely of
business men, shop-keepers, _tchinouniki,_ clerks. One read!


The Municipal Duma in its meeting of October 26th, in view of the
events of the day decrees: To announce the inviolability of private
dwellings. Through the House Committees it calls upon the population
of the town of Petrograd to meet with decisive repulse all attempts
to enter by force private apartments, not stopping at the use of
arms, in the interests of the self-defence of citizens.

Up on the corner of the Liteiny, five or six Red Guards and a couple
of sailors had surrounded a news-dealer and were demanding that he
hand over his copies of the Menshevik _Rabot-chaya Gazeta_ (Workers'
Gazette). Angrily he shouted at them, shaking his fist, as one of
the sailors tore the papers from his stand. An ugly crowd had
gathered around, abusing the patrol. One little workman kept
explaining doggedly to the people and the news-dealer, over and over
again, "It has Kerensky's proclamation in it. It says we killed
Russian people. It will make bloodshed...."

Smolny was tenser than ever, if that were possible. The same running
men in the dark corridors, squads of workers with rifles, leaders
with bulging portfolios arguing, explaining, giving orders as they
hurried anxiously along, surrounded by friends and lieutenants. Men
literally out of themselves, living prodigies of sleeplessness and
work-men unshaven, filthy, with burning eyes, who drove upon their
fixed purpose full speed on engines of exaltation. So much they had
to do, so much! Take over the Government, organise the City, keep
the garrison loyal, fight the Duma and the Committee for Salvation,
keep out the Germans, prepare to do battle with Kerensky, inform the
provinces what had happened, Propagandise from Archangel to
Vladivostok.... Government and Municipal employees refusing to obey
their Commissars, post and telegraph refusing them communication,
railroads roads stonily ignoring their appeals for trains, Kerensky
coming, the garrison not altogether to be trusted, the Cossacks
waiting to come out.... Against them not only the organised
bourgeoisie, but all the other Socialist parties except the Left
Socialist Revolutionaries, a few Mensheviki Internationalists and
the Social Democrat Internationalists, and even they undecided
whether to stand by or not. With them, it is true, the workers and
the soldier-masses-the peasants an unknown quantity-but after all
the Bolsheviki were a political faction not rich in trained and
educated men....

Riazanov was coming up the front steps, explaining in a sort of
humorous panic that he, Commissar of Commerce, knew nothing whatever
of business. In the upstairs cafe sat a man all by himself in the
corner, in a goat-skin cape and clothes which had been-I was going
to say "slept in," but of course he hadn't slept-and a three days'
growth of beard. He was anxiously figuring on a dirty envelope, and
biting his pencil meanwhile. This was Menzhinsky, Commissar of
Finance, whose qualifications were that he had once been clerk in a
French bank.... And these four half-running down the hall from the
office of the Military Revolutionary Committee, and scribbling on
bits of paper as they run-these were Commissars despatched to the
four corners of Russia to carry the news, argue, or fight-with
whatever arguments or weapons came to hand....

The Congress was to meet at one o'clock, and long since the great
meeting-hall had filled, but by seven there was yet no sign of the
presidium.... The Bolshevik and Left Social Revolutionary factions
were in session in their own rooms. All the livelong afternoon Lenin
and Trotzky had fought against compromise. A considerable part of
the Bolsheviki were in favour of giving way so far as to create a
joint all-Socialist government. "We can't hold on!" they cried.

"Too much is against us. We haven't got the men. We will be
isolated, and the whole thing will fall." So Kameniev, Riazanov and

But Lenin, with Trotzky beside him, stood firm as a rock. "Let the
compromisers accept our programme and they can come in! We won't
give way an inch. If there are comrades here who haven't the courage
and the will to dare what we dare, let them leave with the rest of
the cowards and conciliators! Backed by the workers and soldiers we
shall go on."

At five minutes past seven came word from the left Socialist
Revolutionaries to say that they would remain in the Military
Revolutionary Committee.

"See!" said Lenin. "They are following!"

A little later, as we sat at the press table in the big hall, an
Anarchist who was writing for the bourgeois papers proposed to me
that we go and find out what had become of the presidium. There was
nobody in the _Tsay-ee-kah_ office, nor in the bureau of the
Petrograd Soviet. From room to room we wandered, through vast
Smolny. Nobody seemed to have the slightest idea where to find the
governing body of the Congress. As we went my companion described
his ancient revolutionary activities, his long and pleasant exile in
France.... As for the Bolsheviki, he confided to me that they were
common, rude, ignorant persons, without aesthetic sensibilities. He
was a real specimen of the Russian _intelligentzia_.... So he came at
last to Room 17, office of the Military Revolutionary Committee, and
stood there in the midst of all the furious coming and going. The
door opened, and out shot a squat, flat-faced man in a uniform
without insignia, who seemed to be smiling-which smile, after a
minute, one saw to be the fixed grin of extreme fatigue. It was

My friend, who was a dapper, civilized-looking young man, gave a cry
of pleasure and stepped forward.

"Nicolai Vasilievitch!" he said, holding out his hand. "Don't you
remember me, comrade? We were in prison together."

Krylenko made an effort and concentrated his mind and sight. "Why
yes," he answered finally, looking the other up and down with an
expression of great friendliness. "You are S-. _Zdra'stvuitye!_"
They kissed. "What are you doing in all this?" He waved his arm

"Oh, I'am just looking on.... You seem very successful."

"Yes," replied Krylenko, with a sort of doggedness, "The proletarian
Revolution is a great success." He laughed. "Perhaps-perhaps,
however, we'll meet in prison again!"

When we got out into the corridor again my friend went on with his
explanations. "You see, I'am a follower of Kropotkin. To us the
Revolution is a great failure; it has not aroused the patriotism of
the masses. Of course that only proves that the people are not ready
for Revolution...."

It was just 8.40 when a thundering wave of cheers announced the
entrance of the presidium, with Lenin-great Lenin-among them. A
short, stocky figure, with a big head set down in his shoulders,
bald and bulging. Little eyes, a snubbish nose, wide, generous
mouth, and heavy chin; clean-shaven now, but already beginning to
bristle with the well-known beard of his past and future. Dressed in
shabby clothes, his trousers much too long for him. Unimpressive, to
be the idol of a mob, loved and revered as perhaps few leaders in
history have been. A strange popular leader-a leader purely by
virtue of intellect; colourless, humourless, uncompromising and
detached, without picturesque idiosyncrasies-but with the power of
explaining profound ideas in simple terms, of analysing a concrete
situation. And combined with shrewdness, the greatest intellectual

Kameniev was reading the report of the actions of the Military
Revolutionary Committee; abolition of capital punishment in the
Army, restoration of the free right of propaganda, release of
officers and soldiers arrested for political crimes, orders to
arrest Kerensky and confiscation of food supplies in private
store-houses.... Tremendous applause.

Again the representative of the _Bund._ The uncompromising attitude
of the Bolsheviki would mean the crushing of the Revolution;
therefore, the _Bund_ delegates must refuse any longer to sit in the
Congress. Cries from the audience, "We thought you walked out last
night! How many times are you going to walk out?"

Then the representative of the Mensheviki Internationalists. Shouts,
"What! You here still?" The speaker explained that only part of the
Mensheviki Internationalists left the Congress; the rest were going
to stay-

"We consider it dangerous and perhaps even mortal for the Revolution
to transfer the power to the Soviets"-Interruptions-"but we feel it
our duty to remain in the Congress and vote against the transfer

Other speakers followed, apparently without any order. A delegate of
the coal-miners of the Don Basin called upon the Congress to take
measures against Kaledin, who might cut off coal and food from the
capital. Several soldiers just arrived from the Front brought the
enthusiastic greetings of their regiments.... Now Lenin, gripping the
edge of the reading stand, letting his little winking eyes travel
over the crowd as he stood there waiting, apparently oblivious to
the long-rolling ovation, which lasted several minutes. When it
finished, he said simply, "We shall now proceed to construct the
Socialist order!" Again that overwhelming human roar.

"The first thing is the adoption of practical measures to realise
peace.... We shall offer peace to the peoples of all the belligerent
countries upon the basis of the Soviet terms-no annexations, no
indemnities, and the right of self-determination of peoples. At the
same time, according to our promise, we shall publish and repudiate
the secret treaties.... The question of War and Peace is so clear that
I think that I may, without preamble, read the project of a
Proclamation to the Peoples of All the Belligerent Countries...."

His great mouth, seeming to smile, opened wide as he spoke; his
voice was hoarse-not unpleasantly so, but as if it had hardened that
way after years and years of speaking-and went on monotonously, with
the effect of being able to go on forever.... For emphasis he bent
forward slightly. No gestures. And before him, a thousand simple
faces looking up in intent adoration.


The Workers' and Peasants' Government, created by the revolution of
November 6th and 7th and based on the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers'
and Peasants' Deputies, proposes to all the belligerent peoples and
to their Governments to begin immediately negotiations for a just
and democratic peace.

The Government means by a just and democratic peace, which is
desired by the immense majority of the workers and the labouring
classes, exhausted and depleted by the war-that peace which the
Russian workers and peasants, after having struck down the Tsarist
monarchy, have not ceased to demand categorically-immediate peace
without annexations (that is to say, without conquest of foreign
territory, without forcible annexation of other nationalities), and
without indemnities.

The Government of Russia Proposes to all the belligerent peoples
immediately to conclude such a peace, by showing themselves willing
to enter upon the decisive steps of negotiations aiming at such a
peace, at once, without the slightest delay, before the definitive
ratification of all the conditions of such a peace by the authorised
assemblies of the people of all countries and of all nationalities.

By annexation or conquest of foreign territory, the Government
means-conformably to the conception of democratic rights in general,
and the rights of the working-class in particular-all union to a
great and strong State of a small or weak nationality, without the
voluntary, clear and precise expression of its consent and desire;
whatever be the moment when such an annexation by force was
accomplished, whatever be the degree civilisation of the nation
annexed by force or maintained outside the frontiers of another
State, no matter if that nation be in Europe or in the far countries
across the sea.

If any nation is retained by force within the limits of another
State; if, in spite of the desire expressed by it, (it matters
little if that desire be expressed by the press, by popular
meetings, decisions of political parties, or by disorders and riots
against national oppression), that nation is not given the right of
deciding by free vote-without the slightest constraint, after the
complete departure of the armed forces of the nation which has
annexed it or wishes to annex it or is stronger in general-the form
of its national and political organisation, such a union constitutes
an annexation-that is to say, conquest and an act of violence.

To continue this war in order to permit the strong and rich nations
to divide among themselves the weak and conquered nationalities is
considered by the Government the greatest possible crime against
humanity; and the Government solemnly proclaims its decision to sign
a treaty of peace which will put an end to this war upon the above
conditions, equally fair for all nationalities without exception.

The Government abolishes secret diplomacy, expressing before the
whole country its firm decision to conduct all the negotiations in
the light of day before the people, and will proceed immediately to
the full publication of all secret treaties confirmed or concluded
by the Government of land-owners and capitalists, from March until
November 7th, 1917. All the clauses of the secret treaties which, as
occur in a majority of cases, have for their object to procure
advantages and privileges for Russian capitalists, to maintain or
augment the annexations of the Russian imperialists, are denounced
by the Government immediately and without discussion.

In proposing to all Governments and all peoples to engage in public
negotiations for peace, the Government declares itself ready to
carry on these negotiations by telegraph, by post, or by pourparlers
between the representatives of the different countries, or at a
conference of these representatives. To facilitate these
pourparlers, the Government appoints its authorised representatives
in the neutral countries.

The Government proposes to all the governments and to the peoples of
all the belligerent countries to conclude an immediate armistice, at
the same time suggesting that the armistice ought to last three
months, during which time it is perfectly possible, not only to hold
the necessary pourparlers between the representatives of all the
nations and nationalities without exception drawn into the war or
forced to take part in it, but also to convoke authorised assemblies
of representatives of the people of all countries, for the purpose
of the definite acceptance of the conditions of peace.

In addressing this offer of peace to the Governments and to the
peoples of all the belligerent countries, the Provisional Workers'
and Peasants' Government of Russia addresses equally and in
particular the conscious workers of the three nations most devoted
to humanity and the three most important nations among those taking
part in the present war-England, France, and Germany. The workers of
these countries have rendered the greatest services to the cause of
progress and of Socialism. The splendid examples of the Chartist
movement in England, the series of revolutions, of world-wide
historical significance, accomplished by the French proletariat-and
finally, in Germany, the historic struggle against the Laws of
Exception, an example for the workers of the whole world of
prolonged and stubborn action, and the creation of the formidable
organisations of German proletarians-all these models of proletarian
heroism, these monuments of history, are for us a sure guarantee
that the workers of these countries will understand the duty imposed
upon them to liberate humanity from the horrors and consequences of
war; and that these workers, by decisive, energetic and continued
action, will help us to bring to a successful conclusion the cause
of peace-and at the same time, the cause of the liberation of the
exploited working masses from all slavery and all exploitation.

When the grave thunder of applause had died away, Lenin spoke again:

"We propose to the Congress to ratify this declaration. We address
ourselves to the Governments as well as to the peoples, for a
declaration which would be addressed only to the peoples of the
belligerent countries might delay the conclusion of peace. The
conditions of peace, drawn up during the armistice, will be ratified
by the Constituent Assembly. In fixing the duration of the armistice
at three months, we desire to give to the peoples as long a rest as
possible after this bloody extermination, and ample time for them to
elect their representatives. This proposal of peace will meet with
resistance on the part of the imperialist governments-we don't fool
ourselves on that score. But we hope that revolution will soon break
out in all the belligerent countries; that is why we address
ourselves especially to the workers of France, England and Germany....

"The revolution of November 6th and 7th," he ended, "has opened the
era of the Social Revolution.... The labour movement, in the name of
peace and Socialism, shall win, and fulfil its destiny....

There was something quiet and powerful in all this, which stirred
the souls of men. It was understandable why people believed when
Lenin spoke...."

By crowd vote it was quickly decided that only representatives of
political factions should be allowed to speak on the motion and that
speakers should be limited to fifteen minutes.

First Karelin for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. "Our faction
had no opportunity to propose amendments to the text of the
proclamation; it is a private document of the Bolsheviki. But we
will vote for it because we agree with its spirit...."

For the Social Democrats Internationalists Kramarov, long,
stoop-shouldered and near-sighted-destined to achieve some notoriety
as the Clown of the Opposition. Only a Government composed of all
the Socialist parties, he said, could possess the authority to take
such important action. If a Socialist coalition were formed, his
faction would support the entire programme; if not, only part of it.
As for the proclamation, the Internationalists were in thorough
accord with its main points....

Then one after another, amid rising enthusiasm; Ukrainean Social
Democracy, support; Lithuanian Social Democracy, support; Populist
Socialists, support; Polish Social Democracy, support; Polish
Socialists support-but would prefer a Socialist coalition; Lettish
Social Democracy, support.... Something was kindled in these men. One
spoke of the "coming World-Revolution, of which we are the
advance-guard"; another of "the new age of brotherhood, when all the
peoples will become one great family...." An individual member claimed
the floor. "There is contradiction here," he said. "First you offer
peace without annexations and indemnities, and then you say you will
consider all peace offers. To consider means to accept...."

Lenin was on his feet. "We want a just peace, but we are not afraid
of a revolutionary war.... Probably the imperialist Governments will
not answer our appeal-but we shall not issue an ultimatum to which
it will be easy to say no.... If the German proletariat realises that
we are ready to consider all offers of peace, that will perhaps be
the last drop which overflows the bowl-revolution will break out in

"We consent to examine all conditions of peace, but that doesn't
mean that we shall accept them.... For some of our terms we shall
fight to the end-but possibly for others will find it impossible to
continue the war.... Above all, we want to finish the war...."

It was exactly 10:35 when Kameniev asked all in favour of the
proclamation to hold up their cards. One delegate dared to raise his
hand against, but the sudden sharp outburst around him brought it
swiftly down.... Unanimous.

Suddenly, by common impulse, we found ourselves on our feet,
mumbling together into the smooth lifting unison of the
_Internationale._ A grizzled old soldier was sobbing like a child.
Alexandra Kollontai rapidly winked the tears back. The immense sound
rolled through the hall, burst windows and doors and seared into the
quiet sky. "The war is ended! The war is ended!" said a young
workman near me, his face shining. And when it was over, as we stood
there in a kind of awkward hush, some one in the back of the room     ck of the room     |          |
shouted, "Comrades! Let us remember those who have died for
liberty!" So we began to sing the Funeral March, that slow,
melancholy and yet triumphant chant, so Russian and so moving. The
_Internationale_ is an alien air, after all. The Funeral March
seemed the very soul of those dark masses whose delegates sat in
this hall, building from their obscure visions a new Russia-and
perhaps more.

You fell in the fatal fight

For the liberty of the people, for the honour of the people....

You gave up your lives and everything dear to you,

You suffered in horrible prisons,

You went to exile in chains....

Without a word you carried your chains because you could not ignore
your suffering brothers,

Because you believed that justice is stronger than the sword....

The time will come when your surrendered life will count

That time is near; when tyranny falls the people will rise, great
and free!

Farewell, brothers, you chose a noble path,

You are followed by the new and fresh army ready to die and to

Farewell, brothers, you chose a noble path,

At your grave we swear to fight, to work for freedom and the
people's happiness....

For this did they lie there, the martyrs of March, in their cold
Brotherhood Grave on Mars Field; for this thousands and tens of
thousands had died in the prisons, in exile, in Siberian mines. It
had not come as they expected it would come, nor as the
_intelligentzia_ desired it; but it had come-rough, strong,
impatient of formulas, contemptuous of sentimentalism; real....

Lenin was reading the Decree on Land:

(1.) All private ownership of land is abolished immediately without

(2.) All land_owners' estates, and all lands belonging to the Crown,
to monasteries, church lands with all their live stock and
inventoried property, buildings and all appurtenances, are
transferred to the disposition of the township Land Committees and
the district Soviets of Peasants' Deputies until the Constituent
Assembly meets.

(3.) Any damage whatever done to the confiscated property which from
now on belongs to the whole People, is regarded as a serious crime,
punishable by the revolutionary tribunals. The district Soviets of
Peasants' Deputies shall take all necessary measures for the
observance of the strictest order during the taking over of the
land-owners' estates, for the determination of the dimensions of the
plots of land and which of them are subject to confiscation, for the
drawing up of an inventory of the entire confiscated property, and
for the strictest revolutionary protection of all the farming
property on the land, with all buildings, implements, cattle,
supplies of products, etc., passing into the hands of the People.

(4.) For guidance during the realisation of the great land reforms
until their final resolution by the Constituent Assembly, shall
serve the following peasant _nakaz_ (See App. V, Sect. 3)
(instructions), drawn up on the basis of 242 local peasant _nakazi_
by the editorial board of the "_Izviestia_ of the All-Russian Soviet
of Peasants' Deputies," and published in No.88 of said _"Izviestia"_
(Petrograd, No.88, August 19th, 1917).

The lands of peasants and of Cossacks serving in the Army shall not
be confiscated.

"This is not," explained Lenin, "the project of former Minister
Tchernov, who spoke of 'erecting a frame-work' and tried to realise
reforms from above. From below, on the spot, will be decided the
questions of division of the land. The amount of land received by
each peasant will vary according to the locality....

"Under the Provisional Government, the _pomieshtchiki_ flatly
refused to obey the orders of the Land Committees-those Land
Committees projected by Lvov, brought into existence by Shingariov,
and administered by Kerensky!"

Before the debates could begin a man forced his way violently
through the crowd in the aisle and climbed upon the platform. It was
Pianikh, member of the Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets,
and he was mad clean through.

"The Executive Committee of the All-Russian Soviets of Peasants'
Deputies protests against the arrest of our comrades, the Ministers
Salazkin and Mazlov!" he flung harshly in the faces of the crowd,
"We demand their instant release! They are now in Peter-Paul
fortress. We must have immediate action! There is not a moment to

Another followed him, a soldier with disordered beard and flaming
eyes. "You sit here and talk about giving the land to the peasants,
and you commit an act of tyrants and usurpers against the peasants'
chosen representatives! I tell you-" he raised his fist, "If one
hair of their heads is harmed, you'll have a revolt on your hands!"
The crowd stirred confusedly.

Then up rose Trotzky, calm and venomous, conscious of power, greeted
with a roar. "Yesterday the Military Revolutionary Committee decided
to release the Socialist Revolutionary and Menshevik Ministers,
Mazlov, Salazkin, Gvozdov and Maliantovitch-on principle. That they
are still in Peter-Paul is only because we have had so much to do....
They will, however, be detained at their homes under arrest until we
have investigated their complicity in the treacherous acts of
Kerensky during the Kornilov affair!"

"Never," shouted Pianikh, "in any revolution have such things been
seen as go on here!"

"You are mistaken," responded Trotzky. "Such things have been seen
even in this revolution. Hundreds of our comrades were arrested in
the July days.... When Comrade Kollontai was released from prison by
the doctor's orders, Avksentiev placed at her door two former agents
of the Tsar's secret police!" The peasants withdrew, muttering,
followed by ironical hoots.

The representative of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries spoke on
the Land Decree. While agreeing in principle, his faction could not
vote on the question until after discussion. The Peasants' Soviets
should be consulted....

The Mensheviki Internationalists, too, insisted on a party caucus.

Then the leader of the Maximalists, the Anarchist wing of the
peasants: "We must do honour to a political party which puts such an
act into effect the first day, without jawing about it!"

A typical peasant was in the tribune, long hair, boots and
sheep-skin coat, bowing to all corners of the hall. "I wish you
well, comrades and citizens," he said. "There are some Cadets
walking around outside. You arrested our Socialist peasants-why not
arrest them?"

This was the signal for a debate of excited peasants. It was
precisely like the debate of soldiers of the night before. Here were
the real proletarians of the land....

"Those members of our Executive Committee, Avksentiev and the rest,
whom we thought were the peasants' protectors-they are only Cadets
too! Arrest them! Arrest them!"

Another, "Who are these Pianikhs, these Avksentievs? They are not
peasants at all! They only wag their tails!"

How the crowd rose to them, recognising brothers!

The Left Socialist Revolutionaries proposed a half-hour
intermission. As the delegates streamed out, Lenin stood up in his

"We must not lose time, comrades! News all-important to Russia must
be on the press to-morrow morning. No delay!"

And above the hot discussion, argument, shuffling of feet could be
heard the voice of an emissary of the Military Revolutionary
Committee, crying, "Fifteen agitators wanted in room 17 at once! To
go to the Front!"hellip;

It was almost two hours and a half later that the delegates came
straggling back, the presidium mounted the platform, and the session
recommenced by the reading of telegrams from regiment after
regiment, announcing their adhesion to the Military Revolutionary

In leisurely manner the meeting gathered momentum. A delegate from
the Russian troops on the Macedonian front spoke bitterly of their
situation. "We suffer there more from the friendship of our 'Allies'
than from the enemy," he said. Representatives of the Tenth and
Twelfth Armies, just arrived in hot haste, reported, "We support you
with all our strength!" A peasant-soldier protested against the
release of "the traitor Socialists, Mazlov and Salazkin"; as for the
Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets, it should be arrested
_en masse!_Here was real revolutionary talk.... A deputy from the
Russian Army in Persia declared he was instructed to demand all
power to the Soviets.... A Ukrainean officer, speaking in his native
tongue: "There is no nationalism in this crisis.... _Da zdravstvuyet_
the proletarian dictatorship of all lands!" Such a deluge of high
and hot thoughts that surely Russia would never again be dumb!

Kameniev remarked that the anti-Bolshevik forces were trying to stir
up disorders everywhere, and read an appeal of the Congress to all
the Soviets of Russia:

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers'
Deputies, including some Peasants' Deputies, calls upon the local
Soviets to take immediate energetic measures to oppose all
counter-revolutionary anti-Jewish action and all _pogroms,_ whatever
they may be. The honour of the Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers'
Revolution demands that no _pogrom_ be tolerated.

The Red Guard of Petrograd, the revolutionary garrison and the
sailors have maintained complete order in the capital.

Workers, soldiers and peasants, you should follow everywhere the
example of the workers and soldiers of Petrograd.

Comrade soldiers and Cossacks, on us falls the duty of assuring real
revolutionary order.

All revolutionary Russia and the entire world have their eyes on us....

At two o'clock the Land Decree was put to vote, with only one
against and the peasant delegates wild with joy.... So plunged the
Bolsheviki ahead, irresistible, over-riding hesitation and
opposition-the only people in Russia who had a definite programme of
action while the others talked for eight long months.

Now arose a soldier, gaunt, ragged and eloquent, to protest against
the clause of the _nakaz_ tending to deprive military deserters from
a share in village land allotments. Bawled at and hissed at first,
his simple, moving speech finally made silence. "Forced against his
will into the butchery of the trenches," he cried, "which you
yourselves, in the Peace decree, have voted senseless as well as
horrible, he greeted the Revolution with hope of peace and freedom.
Peace? The Government of Kerensky forced him again to go forward
into Galicia to slaughter and be slaughtered; to his pleas for
peace, Terestchenko simply laughed.... Freedom? Under Kerensky he
found his Committees suppressed, his newspapers cut off, his party
speakers put in prison.... At home in his village, the landlords were
defying his Land Committees, jailing his comrades.... In Petrograd the
bourgeoisie, in alliance with the Germans, were sabotaging the food
and ammunition for the Army.... He was without boots, or clothes.... Who
forced him to desert? The Government of Kerensky, which you have
overthrown!" At the end there was applause.

But another soldier hotly denounced it: "The Government of Kerensky
is not a screen behind which can be hidden dirty work like
desertion! Deserters are scoundrels, who run away home and leave
their comrades to die in the trenches alone! Every deserter is a
traitor, and should be punished...." Uproar, shouts of _"Do volno!
Teesche!"_ Kameniev hastily proposed to leave the matter to the
Government for decision. (See App. V, Sect. 4)

At 2.30 A. M. fell a tense hush. Kameniev was reading the decree of
the Constitution of Power:

Until the meeting of the Constituent Assembly, a provisional
Workers' and Peasants' Government is formed, which shall be named
the Council of People's Commissars. (See App. V, Sect. 5)

The administration of the different branches of state activity shall
be intrusted to commissions, whose composition shall be regulated to
ensure the carrying out of the programme of the Congress, in close
union with the mass-organisations of working-men, working-women,
sailors, soldiers, peasants and clerical employees. The governmental
power is vested in a _collegium_ made up of the chairmen of these
commissions, that is to say, the Council of People's Commissars.

Control over the activities of the People's Commissars, and the
right to replace them, shall belong to the All-Russian Congress of
Soviets of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Deputies, and its
Central Executive Committee.

Still silence; as he read the list of Commissars, bursts of applause
after each name, Lenin's and Trotzky's especially.

_President of the Council:_ Vladimir Ulianov _(Lenin)_

_Interior:_ A. E. Rykov

_Agriculture:_ V. P. Miliutin

_Labour:_ A. G. Shliapnikov

_Military and Naval Affairs_-a committee composed of V. A.

_Avseenko (Antonov),_ N. V. Krylenko, and F. M. Dybenko.

_Commerce and Industry:_ V. P. Nogin

_Popular Education:_ A. V. Lunatcharsky

_Finance:_ E. E. Skvortsov _(Stepanov)_

_Foreign Affairs:_ L. D. Bronstein _(Trotzky)_

_Justice:_ G. E. Oppokov _(Lomov)_

_Supplies:_ E. A. Teodorovitch

_Post and Telegraph:_ N. P. Avilov _(Gliebov)_

_Chairman for Nationalities:_ I. V. Djougashvili _(Stalin)_

_Railroads:_ To be filled later.

There were bayonets at the edges of the room, bayonets pricking up
among the delegates; the Military Revolutionary Committee was arming
everybody, Bolshevism was arming for the decisive battle with
Kerensky, the sound of whose trumpets came up the south-west wind....
In the meanwhile nobody went home; on the contrary hundreds of
newcomers filtered in, filling the great room solid with stern-faced
soldiers and workmen who stood for hours and hours, indefatigably
intent. The air was thick with cigarette smoke, and human breathing,
and the smell of coarse clothes and sweat.

Avilov of the staff of _Novaya Zhizn_ was speaking in the name of
the Social Democrat Internationalists and the remnant of the
Mensheviki Internationalists; Avilov, with his young, intelligent
face, looking out of place in his smart frock-coat.

"We must ask ourselves where we are going.... The ease with which the
Coalition Government was upset cannot be explained by the strength
of the left wing of the democracy, but only by the incapacity of the
Government to give the people peace and bread. And the left wing
cannot maintain itself in power unless it can solve these questions....

"Can it give bread to the people? Grain is scarce. The majority of
the peasants will not be with you, for you cannot give them the
machinery they need. Fuel and other primary necessities are almost
impossible to procure....

"As for peace, that will be even more difficult. The allies refused
to talk with Skobeliev. They will never accept the proposition of a
peace conference from _you._ You will not be recognised either in
London and Paris, or in Berlin....

"You cannot count on the effective help of the proletariat of the
Allied countries, because in most countries it is very far from the
revolutionary struggle; remember, the Allied democracy was unable
even to convoke the Stockholm Conference. Concerning the German
Social Democrats, I have just talked with Comrade Goldenberg, one of
our delegates to Stockholm; he was told by the representatives of
the Extreme Left that revolution in Germany was impossible during
the war...." Here interruptions began to come thick and fast, but
Avilov kept on.

"The isolation of Russia will fatally result either in the defeat of
the Russian Army by the Germans, and the patching up of a peace
between the Austro-German coalition and the Franco-British coalition
_at the expense of Russia_-or in a separate peace with Germany.

"I have just learned that the Allied ambassadors are preparing to
leave, and that Committees for Salvation of Country and Revolution
are forming in all the cities of Russia....

"No one party can conquer these enormous difficulties. The majority
of the people, supporting a government of Socialist coalition, can
alone accomplish the Revolution....

"He then read the resolution of the two factions:

Recognising that for the salvation of the conquests of the
Revolution it is indispensable immediately to constitute a
government based on the revolutionary democracy organised in the
Soviets of Workers,' Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, recognising
moreover that the task of this government is the quickest possible
attainment of peace, the transfer of the land into the hands of the
agrarian committees, the organisation of control over industrial
production, and the convocation of the Constituent Assembly on the
date decided, the Congress appoints an executive committee to
constitute such a government after an agreement with the groups of
the democracy which are taking part in the Congress.

In spite of the revolutionary exaltation of the triumphant crowd,
Avilov's cool tolerant reasoning had shaken them. Toward the end,
the cries and hisses died away, and when he finished there was even
some clapping.

Karelin followed him-also young, fearless, whose sincerity no one
doubted-for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, the party of Maria
Spiridonova, the party which almost alone followed the Bolsheviki,
and which represented the revolutionary peasants.

"Our party has refused to enter the Council of People's Commissars
because we do not wish forever to separate ourselves from the part
of the revolutionary army which left the Congress, a separation
which would make it impossible for us to serve as intermediaries
between the Bolsheviki and the other groups of the democracy.... And
that is our principal duty at this moment. We cannot sustain any
government except a government of Socialist coalition....

"We protest, moreover, against the tyrannical conduct of the
Bolsheviki. Our Commissars have been driven from their posts. Our
only organ, _Znamia Truda_ (Banner of Labour), was forbidden to
appear yesterday....

"The Central Duma is forming a powerful Committee for Salvation of
Country and Revolution, to fight you. Already you are isolated, and
your Government is without the support of a single other democratic

And now Trotzky stood upon the raised tribune, confident and
dominating, with that sarcastic expression about his mouth which was
almost a sneer. He spoke, in a ringing voice, and the great crowd
rose to him.

"These considerations on the dangers of isolation of our party are
not new. On the eve of insurrection our fatal defeat was also
predicted. Everybody was against us; only a faction of the Socialist
Revolutionaries of the left was with us in the Military
Revolutionary Committee. How is it that we were able to overturn the
Government almost without bloodshed?.... That fact is the most
striking proof that we _were not isolated._ In reality the
Provisional Government was isolated; the democratic parties which
march against us were isolated, are isolated, and forever cut off
from the proletariat!

"They speak of the necessity for a coalition. There is only one
coalition possible-the coalition of the workers, soldiers and
poorest peasants; and it is our party's honour to have realised that
coalition.... What sort of coalition did Avilov mean? A coalition with
those who supported the Government of Treason to the People?
Coalition doesn't always add to strength. For example, could we have
organised the insurrection with Dan and Avksentiev in our ranks?"
Roars of laughter.

"Avksentiev gave little bread. Will a coalition with the _oborontsi_
furnish more? Between the peasants and Avksentiev, who ordered the
arrest of the Land Committees, we choose the peasants! Our
Revolution will remain the classic revolution of history....

"They accuse us of repelling an agreement with the other democratic
parties. But is it we who are to blame? Or must we, as Karelin put
it, blame it on a 'misunderstanding'? No, comrades. When a party in
full tide of revolution, still wreathed in powder-smoke, comes to
say, 'Here is the Power-take it!'-and when those to whom it is
offered go over to the enemy, that is not a misunderstanding.... that
is a declaration of pitiless war. And it isn't we who have declared

"Avilov menaces us with failure of our peace efforts-if we remain
'isolated.' I repeat, I don't see how a coalition with Skobeliev, or
even Terestchenko, can help us to get peace! Avilov tries to
frighten us by the threat of a peace at our expense. And I answer
that in any case, if Europe continues to be ruled by the imperialist
bourgeoisie, revolutionary Russia will inevitably be lost....

"There are only two alternatives; either the Russian Revolution will
create a revolutionary movement in Europe, or the European powers
will destroy the Russian Revolution!"

They greeted him with an immense crusading acclaim, kindling to the
daring of it, with the thought of championing mankind. And from that
moment there was something conscious and decided about the
insurrectionary masses, in all their actions, which never left them.

But on the other side, too, battle was taking form. Kameniev
recognised a delegate from the Union of Railway Workers, a
hardfaced, stocky man with an attitude of implacable hostility. He
threw a bombshell.

"In the name of the strongest organisation in Russia I demand the
right to speak, and I say to you: the _Vikzhel_charges me to make
known the decision of the Union concerning the constitution of
Power. The Central Committee refuses absolutely to support the
Bolsheviki if they persist in isolating themselves from the whole
democracy of Russia!" Immense tumult all over the hall.

"In 1905, and in the Kornilov days, the Railway Workers were the
best defenders of the Revolution. But you did not invite us to your
Congress-" Cries, "It was the old _Tsay-ee-kah_ which did not invite
you!" The orator paid no attention. "We do not recognise the
legality of this Congress; since the departure of the Mensheviki and
Socialist Revolutionaries there is not a legal quorum.... The Union
supports the old _Tsay-ee-Kah,_ and declares that the Congress has
no right to elect a new Committee....

"The Power should be a Socialist and revolutionary Power,
responsible before the authorised organs of the entire revolutionary
democracy. Until the constitution of such a power, the Union of
Railway Workers, which refuses to transport counter-revolutionary
troops to Petrograd, at the same time forbids the execution of any
order whatever without the consent of the _Vikzhel._ The _Vikzhel_
also takes into its hands the entire administration of the railroads
of Russia."

At the end he could hardly be heard for the furious storm of abuse
which beat upon him. But it was a heavy blow-that could be seen in
the concern on the faces of the presidium. Kameniev, however, merely
answered that there could be no doubt of the legality of the
Congress, as even the quorum established by the old _Tsay-ee-Kah_
was exceeded-in spite of the secession of the Mensheviki and
Socialist Revolution arises....

Then came the vote on the Constitution of Power, which carried the
Council of People's Commissars into office by an enormous majority....

The election of the new _Tsay-ee-kah,_ the new parliament of the
Russian Republic, took barely fifteen minutes. Trotzky announced its
composition: 100 members, of which 70 Bolsheviki.... As for the
peasants, and the seceding factions, places were to be reserved for
them. "We welcome into the Government all parties and groups which
will adopt our programme," ended Trotzky.

And thereupon the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets was
dissolved, so that the members might hurry to their homes in the
four corners of Russia and tell of the great happenings....

It was almost seven when we woke the sleeping conductors and
motor-men of the street-cars which the Street-Railway Workers' Union
always kept waiting at Smolny to take the Soviet delegates to their
homes. In the crowded car there was less happy hilarity than the
night before, I thought. Many looked anxious; perhaps they were
saying to themselves, "Now we are masters, how can we do our will?"

At our apartment-house we were held up in the dark by an armed
patrol of citizens and carefully examined. The Duma's proclamation
was doing its work....

The landlady heard us come in, and stumbled out in a pink silk

The House Committee has again asked that you take your turn on
guard-duty with the rest of the men," she said.

"What's the reason for this guard-duty?"

"To protect the house and the women and children."

"Who from?"

"Robbers and murderers."

"But suppose there came a Commissar from the Military Revolutionary
Committee to search for arms?"

"Oh, that's what they'll _say_ they are.... And besides, what's the

I solemnly affirmed that the Consul had forbidden all American
citizens to carry arms-especially in the neighbourhood of the
Russian _intelligentzia_....

Chapter VI

The Committee for Salvation

FRIDAY, November 9th....

Novotcherkask, November 8th.

In view of the revolt of the Bolsheviki, and their attempt to depose
the Provisional Government and to seize the power in Petrograd... the
Cossack Government declares that it considers these acts criminal
and absolutely inadmissible. In consequence, the Cossacks will lend
all their support to the Provisional Government, which is a
government of coalition. Because of these circumstances, and until
the return of the Provisional Government to power, and the
restoration of order in Russia, I take upon myself, beginning
November 7th, all the power in that which concerns the region of the


_President of the Government of the Cossack Troops._

_Prikaz_ of the Minister-President Kerensky, dated at Gatchina:

I, Minister-President of the Provisional Government, and Supreme
Commander of all the armed forces of the Russian Republic, declare
that I am at the head of regiments from the Front who have remained
faithful to the fatherland.

I order all the troops of the Military District of Petrograd, who
through mistake or folly have answered the appeal of the traitors to
the country and the Revolution, to return to their duty without

This order shall be read in all regiments, battalions and squadrons.

Signed: _Minister-President of the Provisional_

_Government and Supreme Commander_


Telegram from Kerensky to the General in Command of the Northern

The town of Gatchina has been taken by the loyal regiments without
bloodshed. Detachments of Cronstadt sailors, and of the Semionovsky
and Ismailovsky regiments, gave up their arms without resistance and
joined the Government troops.

I order all the designated units to advance as quickly as possible.
The Military Revolutionary Committee has ordered its troops to

Gatchina, about thirty kilometers south-west, had fallen during the
night. Detachments of the two regiments mentioned-not the
sailors-while wandering captainless in the neighbourhood, had indeed
been surrounded by Cossacks and given up their arms; but it was not
true that they had joined the Government troops. At this very moment
crowds of them, bewildered and ashamed, were up at Smolny trying to
explain. They did not think the Cossacks were so near.... They had
tried to argue with the Cossacks....

Apparently the greatest confusion prevailed along the revolutionary
front. The garrisons of all the little towns southward had split
hopelessly, bitterly into two factions-or three: the high command
being on the side of Kerensky, in default of anything stronger, the
majority of the rank and file with the Soviets, and the rest
unhappily wavering.

Hastily the Military Revolutionary Committee appointed to command
the defence of Petrograd an ambitious regular Army Captain,
Muraviov, the same Muraviov who had organised the Death Battalions
during the summer, and had once been heard to advise the Government
that "it was too lenient with the Bolsheviki; they must be wiped
out." A man of military mind, who admired power and audacity,
perhaps sincerely....

Beside my door when I came down in the morning were posted two new
orders of the Military Revolutionary Committee, directing that all
shops and stores should open as usual, and that all empty rooms and
apartments should be put at the disposal of the Committee....

For thirty-six hours now the Bolsheviki had been cut off from
provincial Russia and the outside world. The railway men and
telegraphers refused to transmit their despatches, the postmen would
not handle their mail. Only the Government wireless at Tsarskoye
Selo launched half-hourly bulletins and manifestoes to the four
corners of heaven; the Commissars of Smolny raced the Commissars of
the City Duma on speeding trains half across the earth; and two
aeroplanes, laden with propaganda, fled high up toward the Front....

But the eddies of insurrection were spreading through Russia with a
swiftness surpassing any human agency. Helsingfors Soviet passed
resolutions of support; Kiev Bolsheviki captured the arsenal and the
telegraph station, only to be driven out by delegates to the
Congress of Cossacks, which happened to be meeting there; in Kazan,
a Military Revolutionary Committee arrested the local garrison staff
and the Commissar of the Provisional Government; from far
Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia, came news that the Soviets were in control
of the Municipal institutions; at Moscow, where the situation was
aggravated by a great strike of leather-workers on one side, and a
threat of general lock-out on the other, the Soviets had voted
overwhelmingly to support the action of the Bolsheviki in
Petrograd.... Already a Military Revolutionary Committee was

Everywhere the same thing happened. The common soldiers and the
industrial workers supported the Soviets by a vast majority; the
officers, _yunkers_ and middle class generally were on the side of
the Government-as were the bourgeois Cadets and the "moderate"
Socialist parties. In all these towns sprang up Committees for
Salvation of Country and Revolution, arming for civil war....

Vast Russia was in a state of solution. As long ago as 1905 the
process had begun; the March Revolution had merely hastened it, and
giving birth to a sort of forecast of the new order, had ended by
merely perpetuating the hollow structure of the old regime. Now,
however, the Bolsheviki, in one night, had dissipated it, as one
blows away smoke. Old Russia was no more; human society flowed
molten in primal heat, and from the tossing sea of flame was
emerging the class struggle, stark and pitiless-and the fragile,
slowly-cooling crust of new planets....

In Petrograd sixteen Ministries were on strike, led by the
Ministries of Labour and of Supplies-the only two created by the
all-Socialist Government of August.

If ever men stood alone the "handful of Bolsheviki" apparently stood
alone that grey chill morning, with all storms towering over them.
(See App. VI, Sect. 1) Back against the wall, the Military
Revolutionary Committee struck-for its life. _"De l'audace, encore
de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace_.... At five in the morning the
Red Guards entered the printing office of the City Government,
confiscated thousands of copies of the Appeal-Protest of the Duma,
and suppressed the official Municipal organ-the _Viestnik Gorodskovo
Samoupravleniya_ (Bulletin of the Municipal Self-Government). All
the bourgeois newspapers were torn from the presses, even the _Golos
Soldata,_ journal of the old _Tsay-ee-kah_-which, however, changing
its name to _Soldatski Golos,_ appeared in an edition of a hundred
thousand copies, bellowing rage and defiance:

The men who began their stroke of treachery in the night, who have
suppressed the newspapers, will not keep the country in ignorance
long. The country will know the truth! It will appreciate you,
Messrs. the Bolsheviki! We shall see!...

As we came down the Nevsky a little after midday the whole street
before the Duma building was crowded with people. Here and there
stood Red Guards and sailors, with bayonetted rifles, each one
surrounded by about a hundred men and women-clerks, students,
shopkeepers, _tchinovniki_-shaking their fists and bawling insults
and menaces. On the steps stood boy-scouts and officers,
distributing copies of the _Soldatski Golos._ A workman with a red
band around his arm and a revolver in his hand stood trembling with
rage and nervousness in the middle of a hostile throng at the foot
of the stairs, demanding the surrender of the papers.... Nothing like
this, I imagine, ever occurred in history. On one side a handful of
workmen and common soldiers, with arms in their hands, representing
a victorious insurrection-and perfectly miserable; on the other a
frantic mob made up of the kind of people that crowd the sidewalks
of Fifth Avenue at noon-time, sneering, abusing, shouting,
"Traitors! Provocators! _Opritchniki!_ [*]"
[* Savage body-guards if Ian the Terrible, 17th century]

The doors were guarded by students and officers with white arm-bands
lettered in red, "Militia of the Committee of Public Safety," and
half a dozen boy-scouts came and went. Upstairs the place was all
commotion. Captain Gomberg was coming down the stairs. "They're
going to dissolve the Duma," he said. "The Bolshevik Commissar is
with the Mayor now." As we reached the top Riazanov came hurrying
out. He had been to demand that the Duma recognise the Council of
peoples' Commissars, and the Mayor had given him a flat refusal.

In the offices a great babbling crowd, hurrying, shouting,
gesticulating-Government officials, intellectuals, journalists,
foreign correspondents, French and British officers.... "The City
Engineer pointed to them triumphantly. "The Embassies recognise the
Duma as the only power now," he explained. "For these Bolshevik
murderers and robbers it is only a question of hours. All Russia is
rallying to us....

In the Alexander Hall a monster meeting of the Committee for
Salvation. Fillipovsky in the chair and Skobeliev again in the
tribune, reporting, to immense applause, new adhesions to the
Committee; Executive Committee of Peasants' Soviets, old
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ Central Army Committee, _Tsentroflot,_ Menshevik,
Socialist Revolutionary and Front group delegates from the Congress
of Soviets, Central Committees of the Menshevik, Socialist
Revolutionary, Populist Socialist parties. "Yedinstvo" group,
Peasants' Union, Cooperatives, Zemstvos, Municipalities, Post and
Telegraph Unions, _Vikzhel,_ Council of the Russian Republic, Union
of Unions,  [*] Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association....
[* See Notes and Explanations.]

".... The power of the Soviets is not democratic power, but a
dictatorship-and not the dictatorship of the proletariat, but
_against_ the proletariat. All those who have felt or know how to
feel revolutionary enthusiasm must join now for the defence of the

"The problem of the day is not only to render harmless irresponsible
demagogues, but to fight against the counter-revolution.... If rumours
are true that certain generals in the provinces are attempting to
profit by events in order to march on Petrograd with other designs,
it is only one more proof that we must establish a solid base of
democratic government. Otherwise, troubles with the Right will
follow troubles from the Left....

"The garrison of Petrograd cannot remain indifferent when citizens
buying the _Golos Soldata_ and newsboys selling the _Rabotchaya
Gazeta_ are arrested in the streets....

"The hour of resolutions has passed.... Let those who have no longer
faith in the Revolution retire.... To establish a united power, we
must again restore the prestige of the Revolution....

"Let us swear that either the Revolution shall be saved-or we shall

The hall rose, cheering, with kindling eyes. There was not a single
proletarian anywhere in sight....

Then Weinstein:

"We must remain calm, and not act until public opinion is firmly
grouped in support of the Committee for Salvation-then we can pass
from the defensive to action!"

The _Vikzhel_ representative announced that his organisation was
taking the initiative in forming the new Government, and its
delegates were now discussing the matter with Smolny.... Followed a
hot discussion: were the Bolsheviki to be admitted to the new
Government? Martov pleaded for their admission; after all, he said,
they represented an important political party. Opinions were very
much divided upon this, the right wing Mensheviki and Socialist
Revolutionaries, as well as the Populist Socialists, the
Cooperatives and the bourgeois elements being bitterly against....

"They have betrayed Russia," one speaker said. "They have started
civil war and opened the front to the Germans. The Bolsheviki must
be mercilessly crushed...."

Skobeliev was in favor of excluding both the Bolsheviki and the

We got into conversation with a young Socialist Revolutionary, who
had walked out of the Democratic Conference to gether with the
Bolsheviki, that night when Tseretelli and the "compromisers" forced
Coalition upon the democracy of Russia.

"You here?" I asked him.

His eyes flashed fire. "Yes!" he cried. "I left the Congress with my
party Wednesday night. I have not risked my life for twenty years
and more to submit now to the tyranny of the Dark People. Their
methods are intolerable. But they have not counted on the peasants....
When the peasants begin to act, then it is a question of minutes
before they are done for."

"But the peasants-will they act? Doesn't the Land decree settle the
peasants? What more do they want?"

"Ah, the Land decree!" he said furiously. "Yes, do you know what
that Land decree is? It is _our_ decree-it is the Socialist
Revolutionary programme, intact! My party framed that policy, after
the most careful compilation of the wishes of the peasants
themselves. It is an outrage...."

"But if it is your own policy, why do you object? If it is the
peasants' wishes, why will they oppose it?"

"You don't understand! Don't you see that the peasants will
immediately realise that it is all a trick-that these usurpers have
stolen the Socialist Revolutionary programme?"

I asked if it were true that Kaledin was marching north.

He nodded, and rubbed his hands with a sort of bitter satisfaction.
"Yes. Now you see what these Bolsheviki have done. They have raised
the counter-revolution against us. The Revolution is lost. The
Revolution is lost."

"But won't you defend the Revolution?"

"Of course we will defend it-to the last drop of our blood. But we
won't cooperate with the Bolsheviki in any way...."

"But if Kaledin comes to Petrograd, and the Bolsheviki defend the
city. Won't you join with them?"

"Of course not. We will defend the city also, but we won't support
the Bolsheviki. Kaledin is the enemy of the Revolution, but the
Bolsheviki are equally enemies of the Revolution."

"Which do you prefer-Kaledin or the Bolsheviki?"

"It is not a question to be discussed!" he burst out impatiently. "I
tell you, the Revolution is lost. And it is the Bolsheviki who are
to blame. But listen-why should we talk of such things? Kerensky is
comming.... Day after tomorrow we shall pass to the offensive....
Already Smolny has sent delegates inviting us to form a new
Government. But we have them now-they are absolutely impotent.... We
shall not cooperate...."

Outside there was a shot. We ran to the windows. A Red Guard,
finally exasperated by the taunts of the crowd, had shot into it,
wounding a young girl in the arm. We could see her being lifted into
a cab, surrounded by an excited throng, the clamour of whose voices
floated up to us. As we looked, suddenly an armoured automobile
appeared around the corner of the Mikhailovsky, its guns sluing this
way and that. Immediately the crowd began to run, as Petrograd
crowds do, falling down and lying still in the street, piled in the
gutters, heaped up behind telephone-poles. The car lumbered up to
the steps of the Duma and a man stuck his head out of the turret,
demanding the surrender of the _Soldatski Golos._ The boy-scouts
jeered and scuttled into the building. After a moment the automobile
wheeled undecidedly around and went off up the Nevsky, while some
hundreds of men and women picked themselves up and began to dust
their clothes....

Inside was a prodigious running-about of people with armfuls of
_Soldatski Golos,_ looking for places to hide them....

A journalist came running into the room, waving a paper.

"Here's a proclamation from Krasnov!" he cried. Everybody crowded
around. "Get it printed-get it printed quick, and around to the

By the order of the Supreme Commander I am appointed commandant of
the troops concentrated under Petrograd.

Citizens, soldiers, valorous Cossacks of the Don, of the Kuban, of
the Transbaikal, of the Amur, of the Yenissei, to all you who have
remained faithful to your oath I appeal; to you who have sworn to
guard inviolable your oath of Cossack-I call upon you to save
Petrograd from anarchy, from famine, from tyranny, and to save
Russia from the indelible shame to which a handful of ignorant men,
bought by the gold of Wilhelm, are trying to submit her.

The Provisional Government, to which you swore fidelity in the great
days of March, is not overthrown, but by violence expelled from the
edifice in which it held its meetings. However the Government, with
the help of the Front armies, faithful to their duty, with the help
of the Council of Cossacks, which has united under its command all
the Cossacks and which, strong with the morale which reigns in its
ranks, and acting in accordance with the will of the Russian people,
has sworn to serve the country as its ancestors served it in the
Troublous Times of 1612, when the Cossacks of the Don delivered
Moscow, menaced by the Swedes, the Poles, and the Lithuanians. Your
Government still exists....

The active army considers these criminals with horror and contempt.
Their acts of vandalism and pillage, their crimes, the German
mentality with which they regard Russia-stricken down but not yet
surrendered-have alienated from them the entire people.

Citizens, soldiers, valorous Cossacks of the garrison of Petrograd;
send me your delegates so that I may know who are traitors to their
country and who are not, that there may be avoided an effusion of
innocent blood.

Almost the same moment word ran from group to group that the
building was surrounded by Red Guards. An officer strode in, a red
band around his arm, demanding the Mayor. A few minutes later he
left and old Schreider came out of his office, red and pale by turns.

"A special meeting of the Duma!" he cried. "Immediately!"

In the big hall proceedings were halted. "All members of the Duma
for a special meeting!"

"What's the matter?"

"I don't know-going to arrest us-going to dissolve the
Duma-arresting members at the door-" so ran the excited comments.

In the Nicolai Hall there was barely room to stand. The Mayor
announced that troops were stationed at all the doors, prohibiting
all exit and entrance, and that a Commissar had threatened arrest
and the dispersal of the Municipal Duma. A flood of impassioned
speeches from members, and even from the galleries, responded. The
freely-elected City Government could not be dissolved by _any_
power; the Mayor's person and that of all the members were
inviolable; the tyrants, the provocators, the German agents should
never be recognised; as for these threats to dissolve us, let them
try-only over our dead bodies shall they seize this chamber, where
like the Roman senators of old we await with dignity the coming of
the Goths....

Resolution, to inform the Dumas and Zemstvos of all Russia by
telegraph. Resolution, that it was impossible for the Mayor or the
Chairman of the Duma to enter into any relations whatever with
representatives of the Military Revolutionary Committee or with the
so-called Council of People's Commissars. Resolution, to address
another appeal to the population of Petrograd to stand up for the
defence of their elected town government. Resolution, to remain in
permanent session....

In the meanwhile one member arrived with the information that he had
telephoned to Smolny, and that the Military Revolutionary Committee
said that no orders had been given to surround the Duma, that the
troops would be withdrawn....

As we went downstairs Riazanov burst in through the front door, very

"Are you going to dissolve the Duma?" I asked.

"My God, no!" he answered. "It is all a mistake. I told the Mayor
this morning that the Duma would be left alone....

Out on the Nevsky, in the deepening dusk, a long double file of
cyclists came riding, guns slung on their shoulders. They halted,
and the crowd pressed in and deluged them with questions.

"Who are you? Where do you come from?" asked a fat old man with a
cigar in his mouth.

"Twelfth Army. From the front. We came to support the Soviets
against the damn' bourgeoisie!"

"Ah!" were furious cries. "Bolshevik gendarmes! Bolshevik Cossacks!"

A little officer in a leather coat came running down the steps. "The
garrison is turning!" he muttered in my ear. "It's the beginning of
the end of the Bolsheviki. Do you want to see the turn of the tide?
Come on!" He started at a half-trot up the Mikhailovsky, and we

"What regiment is it?"

"The _brunnoviki_...." Here was indeed serious trouble. The
_brunnoviki_ were the Armoured Car troops, the key to the situation;
whoever controlled the _brunnoviki_ controlled the city. "The
Commissars of the Committee for Salvation and the Duma have been
talking to them. There's a meeting on to decide....

"Decide what? Which side they'll fight on?"

"Oh, no. That's not the way to do it. They'll never fight against
the Bolsheviki. They will vote to remain neutral-and then the
_yunkers_ and Cossacks-"

The door of the great Mikhailovsky Riding-School yawned blackly. Two
sentinels tried to stop us, but we brushed by hurriedly, deaf to
their indignant expostulations. Inside only a single arc-light
burned dimly, high up near the roof of the enormous hall, whose
lofty pilasters and rows of windows vanished in the gloom. Around
dimly squatted the monstrous shapes of the armoured cars. One stood
alone in the centre of the place, under the light, and round it were
gathered some two thousand dun-colored soldiers, almost lost in the
immensity of that imperial building. A dozen men, officers, chairmen
of the Soldiers' Committees and speakers, were perched on top of the
car, and from the central turret a soldier was speaking. This was
Khanjunov, who had been president of last summer's all-Russian
Congress of _Brunnoviki._ A lithe, handsome figure in his leather
coat with lieutenant's shoulder-straps, he stood pleading eloquently
for neutrality.

"It is an awful thing," he said, "for Russians to kill their Russian
brothers. There must not be civil war between soldiers who stood
shoulder to shoulder against the Tsar, and conquered the foreign
enemy in battles which will go down in history! What have we,
soldiers, got to do with these squabbles of political parties? I
will not say to you that the Provisional Government was a democratic
Government; we want no coalition with the bourgeoisie-no. But we
must have a Government of the united democracy, or Russia is lost!
With such a Government there will be no need for civil war, and the
killing of brother by brother!"

This sounded reasonable-the great hall echoed to the crash of hands
and voices.

A soldier climbed up, his face white and strained, "Comrades!" he
cried, "I came from the Rumanian front, to urgently tell you all:
there must be peace! Peace at once! Whoever can give us peace,
whether it be the Bolsheviki or this new Government, we will follow.
Peace! We at the front cannot fight any longer. We cannot fight
either Germans or Russians-" With that he leaped down, and a sort of
confused agonised sound rose up from all that surging mass, which
burst into something like anger when the next speaker, a Menshevik
_oboronetz,_ tried to say that the war must go on until the Allies
were victorious.

"You talk like Kerensky!" shouted a rough voice.

A Duma delegate, pleading for neutrality. Him they listened to,
muttering uneasily, feeling him not one of them. Never have I seen
men trying so hard to understand, to decide. They never moved, stood
staring with a sort of terrible intentness at the speaker, their
brows wrinkled with the effort of thought, sweat standing out on
their foreheads; great giants of men with the innocent clear eyes of
children and the faces of epic warriors....

Now a Bolshevik was speaking, one of their own men, violently, full
of hate. They liked him no more than the other. It was not their
mood. For the moment they were lifted out of the ordinary run of
common thoughts, thinking in terms of Russia, of Socialism, the
world, as if it depended on them whether the Revolution were to live
or die....

Speaker succeeded speaker, debating amid tense silence, roars of
approval, or anger: should we come out or not? Khanjunov returned,
persuasive and sympathetic. But wasn't he an officer, and an
_oboronotz,_ however much he talked of peace? Then a workman from
Vasili Ostrov, but him they greeted with, "And are _you_ going to
give us peace, working-man?" Near us some men, many of them
officers, formed a sort of _claque_ to cheer the advocates of
Neutrality. They kept shouting, "Khanjunov! Khanjunov!" and whistled
insultingly when the Bolsheviki tried to speak.

Suddenly the committeemen and officers on top of the automobile
began to discuss something with great heat and much gesticulation.
The audience shouted to know what was the matter, and all the great
mass tossed and stirred. A soldier, held back by one of the
officers, wrenched himself loose and held up his hand.

"Comrades!" he cried, "Comrade Krylenko is here and wants to speak
to us." An outburst of cheers, whistlings, yells of _"Prosim!
Prosim! Dolby!_ Go ahead! Go ahead! Down with him!" in the midst of
which the People's Commissar for Military Affairs clambered up the
side of the car, helped by hands before and behind, pushed and
pulled from below and above. Rising he stood for a moment, and then
walked out on the radiator, put his hands on his hips and looked
around smiling, a squat, short-legged figure, bare-headed, with-out
insignia on his uniform.

The _claque_ near me kept up a fearful shouting, "Khanjunov! We want
Khanjunov! Down with him! Shut up! Down with the traitor!" The whole
place seethed and roared. Then it began to move, like an avalanche
bearing down upon us, great black-browed men forcing their way

"Who is breaking up our meeting?" they shouted. "Who is whistling
here?" The _claque,_ rudely burst asunder, went flying-nor did it
gather again....

"Comrade soliders!" began Krylenko, in a voice husky with fatigue.
"I cannot speak well to you; I am sorry; but I have not had any
sleep for four nights....

"I don't need to tell you that I am a soldier. I don't need to tell
you that I want peace. What I must say is that the Bolshevik party,
successful in the Workers' and Soldiers' Revolution, by the help of
you and of all the rest of the brave comrades who have of you and of
all the rest of the brave comrades who have hurled down forever the
power of the blood-thirsty bourgeoisie, promised to offer peace to
all the peoples, and that has already been done-to-day!" Tumultuous

"You are asked to remain neutral--to remain neutral while the
_yunkers_ and the Death Battalions, who are _never_ neutral, shoot
us down in the streets and bring back to Petrograd Kerensky-or
perhaps some other of the gang. Kaledin is marching from the Don.
Kerensky is coming from the front. Kornilov is raising the
_Tekhintsi_ to repeat his attempt of August. All these Mensheviki
and Socialist Revolutionaries who call upon you now to prevent civil
war-how have they retained the power except by civil war, that civil
war which has endured ever since last July, and in which they
constantly stood on the side of the bourgeoisie, as they do now?

"How can I persuade you, if you have made up your minds? The
question is very plain. On one side are Kerensky, Kaledin, Kornilov,
the Mensheviki, Socialist Revolutionaries, Cadets, Dumas, officers....
They tell us that their objects are good. On the other side are the
workers, the soldiers and sailors, the poorest peasants. The
Government is in your hands. You are the masters. Great Russia
belongs to you. Will you give it back?"

While he spoke, he kept himself up by sheer evident effort of will,
and as he went on the deep sincere feeling back of his words broke
through the tired voice. At the end he totered, almost falling; a
hundred hands reached up to help him down, and the great dim spaces
of the hall gave back the surf of sound that beat upon him.

Khanjunov tried to speak again, but "Vote! Vote! Vote!" they cried.
At length, giving in, he read the resolution: that the _brunnoviki_
withdraw their representative from the Military Revolutionary
Committee, and declare their neutrality in the present civil war.
All those in favour should go to the right; those opposed, to the
left. There was a moment of hesitation, a still expectancy, and then
the crowd began to surge faster and faster, stumbling over one
another, to the left, hundreds of big soldiers in a solid mass
rushing across the dirt floor in the faint light.... Near us about
fifty men were left stranded, stubbornly in favour, and even as the
high roof shook under the shock of victorious roaring, they turned
and rapidly walked out of the building-and, some of them, out of the

Imagine this struggle being repeated in every barracks of the city,
the district, the whole front, all Russia. Imagine the sleepless
Krylenkos, watching the regiments, hurrying from place to place,
arguing, threatening, entreating. And then imaging the same in all
the locals of every labour union, in the factories, the villages, on
the battle-ships of the far-flung Russian fleets; think of the
hundreds of thousands of Russian men staring up at speakers all over
the vast country, workmen, peasants, soldiers, sailors, trying so
hard to understand and to choose, thinking so intensely-and deciding
so unanimously at the end. So was the Russian Revolution....

Up at Smolny the new Council of People's Commissars was not idle.
Already the first decree was on the presses, to be circulated in
thousands through the city streets that night, and shipped in bales
by every train southward and east:

In the name of the Government of the Russian Republic, chosen by the
All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies
with participation of peasant deputies, the Council of People's
Commissars decrees:

1. The elections for the Constituent Assembly shall take place at
the date determined upon-November 12.

2. All electoral commissions, organs of local self-government,
Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, and soldiers'
organisations on the front should make every effort to assure free
and regular elections at the date determined upon.

In the name of the Government of the Russian Republic, _The
President of the Council of People's Commissars_,


In the Municipal building the Duma was in full blast. A member of
the Council of the Republic was talking as we came in. The Council,
he said, did not consider itself dissolved at all, but merely unable
to continue its labours until it secured a new meeting-place. In the
meanwhile, its Committee of Elders had determined to enter _en
masse_ the Committee for Salvation.... This, I may remark
parenthetically, is the last time history mentions the Council of
the Russian Republic....

Then followed the customary string of delegates from the Ministries,
the _Vikzhel,_ the Union of Posts and Telegraphs, for the hundredth
time reiterating their determination not to work for the Bolshevik
usurpers. A _yunker_ who had been in the Winter Palace told a
highly-coloured tale of the heroism of himself and his comrades, and
disgraceful conduct of the Red Guards-all of which was devoutly
believed. Somebody read aloud an account in the Socialist
Revolutionary paper _Narod,_ which stated that five hundred million
rubles' worth of damage had been done in the Winter Palace, and
describing in great detail the loot and breakage.

From time to time couriers came from the telephone with news. The
four Socialist Ministers had been released from prison. Krylenko had
gone to Peter-Paul to tell Admiral Verderevsky that the Ministry of
Marine was deserted, and to beg him, for the sake of Russia, to take
charge under the authority of the Council of People's Commissars;
and the old seaman had consented.... Kerensky was advancing north from
Gatchina, the Bolshevik garrisons falling back before him. Smolny
had issued another decree, enlarging the powers of the City Dumas to
deal with food supplies.

This last piece of insolence caused an outburst of fury. He, Lenin,
the usurper, the tyrant, whose Commissars had seized the Municipal
garage, entered the Municipal ware houses, were interfering with the
Supply Committees and the distribution of food-he presumed to define
the limits of power of the free, independent, autonomous City
Government! One member, shaking his fist, moved to cut off the food
of the city if the Bolsheviki dared to interfere with the Supply
Committees.... Another, representative of the Special Supply
Committee, reported that the food situation was very grave, and
asked that emissaries be sent out to hasten food trains.

Diedonenko announced dramatically that the garrison was wavering.
The Semionovsky regiment had already decided to submit to the orders
of the Socialist Revolutionary party; the crews of the torpedo-boats
on the Neva were shaky. Seven members were at once appointed to
continue the propaganda....

Then the old Mayor stepped into the tribune: "Comrades and citizens!
I have just learned that the prisoners in Peter Paul are in danger.
Fourteen _yunkers_ of the Pavlovsk school have been stripped and
tortured by the Bolshevik guards. One has gone mad. They are
threatening to lynch the Ministers!" There was a whirlwind of
indignation and horror, which only grew more violent when a stocky
little woman dressed in grey demanded the floor, and lifted up her
hard, metallic voice. This was Vera Slutskaya, veteran revolutionist
and Bolshevik member of the Duma.

"That is a lie and a provocation!" she said, unmoved at the torrent
of abuse. "The Workers' and Peasants' Government, which has
abolished the death penalty, cannot permit such deeds. We demand
that this story be investigated, at once; if there is any truth in
it, the Government will take energetic measures!"

A commission composed of members of all parties was immediately
appointed, and with the Mayor, sent to Peter Paul to investigate. As
we followed them out, the Duma was appointing another commission to
meet Kerensky--to try and avoid bloodshed when he entered the

It was midnight when we bluffed our past the guards at the gate of
the fortress, and went forward under the faint glimmer of rare
electric lights along the side of the church where lie the tombs of
the Tsars, beneath the slender golden spire and the chimes, which,
for months, continued to play _Bozhe Tsaria Khrani [*]_ every day at
[* "God Save the Tsar."
noon.... The place was deserted; in most of the windows there were not
even lights. Occasionally we bumped into a burly figure stumbling
along in the dark, who answered questions with the usual, _"Ya

[Graphic page-166 Pass to Reed fromDepartment of Prisons
   translation follows]

Pass from the Department of Prisons of the Soviet Government to
visit freely all prisons of Petrograd and Cronstadt. (Translation)

Chief Bureau of Prisons
6th of November, 1917.
        No. 213
Petrograd, Smolny
Institute, room No. 56-

To the representative of the American Socialist press, JOHN REED, to
visit all places of confinement in the cities of Petrograd and
Cronstadt, for the purpose of generally investigating the condition
of the prisoners, and for thorough social information for the
purpose of stopping the flood of newspaper lies against demorcracy.
       Chief Commissar

On the left loomed the low dark outline of Trubetskoi Bastion, that
living grave in which so many martyrs of liberty had lost their
lives or their reason in the days of the Tsar, where the Provisional
Government had in turn shut up the Ministers of the Tsar, and now
the Bolsheviki had shut up the Ministers of the Provisional

A friendly sailor led us to the office of the commandant, in a
little house near the Mint. Half a dozen Red Guards, sailors and
soldiers were sitting around a hot room full of smoke, in which a
samovar steamed cheerfully. They welcomed us with great cordiality,
offering tea. The commandant was not in; he was escorting a
commission of _"sabotazhniki"_ (sabotageurs) from the City Duma, who
insisted that the _yunkers_ were all being murdered. This seemed to
amuse them very much. At one side of the room sat a bald-headed,
dissipated-looking little man in a frock-coat and a rich fur coat,
biting his moustache and staring around him like a cornered rat. He
had just been arrested. Somebody said, glancing carelessly at him,
that he was a Minister or something.... The little man didn't seem to
hear it; he was evidently terrified, although the occupants of the
room showed no animosity whatever toward him.

I went across and spoke to him in French. "Count Tolstoy," he
answered, bowing stiffly. "I do not understand why I was arrested. I
was crossing the Troitsky Bridge on my way home when two of these-of
these-persons held me up. I was a Commissar of the Provisional
Government attached to the General Staff, but in no sense a member
of the Government..."

"Let him go,"said a sailor. "He's harmless...."

"No," responded the soldier who had brought the prisoner. "We must
ask the commandant."

"Oh, the commandant!" sneered the sailor. "What did you make a
revolution for? To go on obeying officers?"

A _praporshtchik_ of the Pavlovsky regiment was telling us how the
insurrection started. "The _polk_ (regiment) was on duty at the
General Staff the night of the 6th. Some of my comrades and I were
standing guard; Ivan Pavlovitch and another man-I don't remember his
name-well, they hid behind the window-curtains in the room where the
Staff was having a meeting, and they heard a great many things. For   any things. For   |          |
example, they heard orders to bring the Gatchina _yunkers_ to
Petrograd by night, and an order for the Cossacks to be ready to
march in the morning.... The principal points in the city were to be
occupied before dawn. Then there was the business of opening the
bridges. But when they began to talk about surrounding Smolny, then
Ivan Pavlovitch couldn't stand it any longer. That minute there was
a good deal of coming and going, so he slipped out and came down to
the guard-room,leaving the other comrade to pick up what he could.

"I was already suspicious that something was going on. Automobiles
full of officers kept coming, and all the Ministers were there. Ivan
Pavlovitch told me what he had heard. It was half-past two in the
morning. The secretary of the regimental Committee was there, so we
told him and asked what to do.

"'Arrest everybody coming and going!#' he says. So we began to do
it. In an hour we had some officers and a couple of Ministers, whom
we sent up to Smolny right away. But the Military Revolutionary
Committee wasn't ready; they didn't know what to do; and pretty soon
back came the order to let everybody go and not arrest anybody else.
Well, we ran all the way to Smolny, and I guess we talked for an
hour before they finally saw that it was war. It was five o'clock
when we got back to the Staff, and by that time most of them were
gone. But we got a few, and the garrison was all on the march...."

A Red Guard from Vasili Ostrov described in great detail what had
happened in his district on the great day of the rising. "We didn't
have any machine-guns over there," he said, laughing, "and we
couldn't get any from Smolny. Comrade Zalking, who was a member of
the _Uprava_ (Central Bureau) of the Ward Duma, remembered all at
once that there was lying in the meeting-room of the _Uprava_ a
machinegun which had been captured from the Germans. So he and I and
another comrade went there. The Mensheviki and Socialist
Revolutionaries were having a meeting. Well, we opened the door and
walked right in on them, as they sat around the table-twelve or
fifteen of them, three of us. When they saw us they stopped talking
and just stared. We walked right across the room, uncoupled the
machine-gun; Comrade Zalkind picked up one part, I the other, we put
them on our shoulders and walked out-and not a single man said a

"Do you know how the Winter Palace was captured?" asked a third man,
a sailor. "Along about eleven o'clock we found out there weren't any
more _yunkers_ on the Neva side. So we broke in the doors and
filtered up the different stairways one by one, or in little
bunches. When we got to the top of the stairs the _yunkers_ held us
up and took away our guns. Still our fellows kept coming up, little
by little, until we had a majority. Then we turned around and took
away the _yunkers'_ guns...."

Just then the commandant entered-a merry-looking young
non-commissioned officer with his arm in a sling, and deep circles
of sleeplessness under his eyes. His eye fell first on the prisoner,
who at once began to explain.

"Oh, yes," interrupted the other. "You were one of the committee who
refused to surrender the Staff Wednesday afternoon. However, we
don't want you, citizen. Apologies-" He opened the door and waved
his arm for Count Tolstoy to leave. Several of the others,
especially the Red Guards, grumbled protests, and the sailor
remarked triumphantly, _"Vot!_ There! Didn't I say so?"

Two soldiers now engaged his attention. They had been elected a
committee of the fortress garrison to protest. The prisoners, they
said, were getting the same food as the guards, when there wasn't
even enough to keep a man from being hungry. "Why should the
counter-revolutionists be treated so well?"

"We are revolutionists, comrades, not bandits," answered the
commandant. He turned to us. We explained that rumours were going
about that the _yunkers_ were being tortured, and the lives of the
Ministers threatened. Could we perhaps see the prisoners, so as to
be able to prove to the world-?"

"No," said the young soldier, irritably. "I am not going to disturb
the prisoners again. I have just been compelled to wake them up-they
were sure we were going to massacre them.... Most of the _yunkers_
have been released anyway, and the rest will go out to-morrow." He
turned abruptly away.

"Could we talk to the Duma commission, then?"

The Commandant, who was pouring himself a glass of tea, nodded.
"They are still out in the hall," he said carelessly.

Indeed they stood there just outside the door, in the feeble light
of an oil lamp, grouped around the Mayor and talking excitedly.

"Mr. Mayor," I said, "we are American correspondents. Will you
please tell us officially the result of your investigations?"

He turned to us his face of venerable dignity.

"There is no truth in the reports," he said slowly. "Except for the
incidents which occurred as the Ministers were being brought here,
they have been treated with every consideration. As for the
_yunkers,_ not one has received the slightest injury...."

Up the Nevsky, in the empty after-midnight gloom, an interminable
column of soldiers shuffled in silence-to battle with Kerensky. In
dim back streets automobiles without lights flitted to and fro, and
there was furtive activity in Fontanka 6, headquarters of the
Peasants' Soviet, in a certain apartment of a huge building on the
Nevsky, and in the _Injinierny Zamok_ (School of Engineers); the
Duma was illuminated....

In Smolny Institute the Military Revolutionary Committee flashed
baleful fire, pounding like an over-loaded dynamo....

Chapter VII

The Revolutionary Front

SATURDAY, November 10th....


The Military Revolutionary Committee declares that it will not
tolerate any violation of revolutionary order....

Theft, brigandage, assaults and attempts at massacre will be
severely punished....

Following the example of the Paris Commune, the Committee will
destroy without mercy any looter or instigator of disorder....

Quiet lay the city. Not a hold-up, not a robbery, not even a drunken
fight. By night armed patrols went through the silent streets, and
on the corners soldiers and Red Guards squatted around little fires,
laughing and singing. In the daytime great crowds gathered on the
sidewalks listening to interminable hot debates between students and
soldiers, business men and workmen.

Citizens stopped each other on the street.

"The Cossacks are coming?"


"What's the latest?"

"I don't know anything. Where's Kerensky?"

"They say only eight versts from Petrograd.... Is it true that the
Bolsheviki have fled to the battleship _Avrora?"_

"They say so...."

Only the walls screamed, and the few newspapers; denunciation,
appeal, decree....

An enormous poster carried the hysterical manifesto of the Executive
Committee of the Peasant' Soviets:

....They (the Bolsheviki) dare to say that they are supported by the
Soviets of Peasants' Deputies, and that they are speaking on behalf
of the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies....

Let all working-class Russia know that this is a LIE, AND THAT ALL
all participation of the organised peasantry in this criminal
violation of the will of the working-classes....

From the Soldier Section of the Socialist Revolutionary party:

The insane attempt of the Bolsheviki is on the eve of collapse. The
garrison is divided.... The Ministries are on strike and bread is
getting scarcer. All factions except the few Bolsheviki have left
the Congress. The Bolsheviki are alone....

We call upon all sane elements to group themselves around the
Committee for Salvation of Country and Revolution, and to prepare
themselves seriously to be ready at the first call of the Central

In a hand-bill the Council of the Republic recited its wrongs:

Ceding to the force of bayonets, the Council of the Republic has
been obliged to separate, and temporarily to interrupt its meetings.

The usurpers, with the words "Liberty and Socialism" on their lips,
have set up a rule of arbitrary violence. They have arrested the
members of the Provisional Government, closed the newspapers, seized
the printing-shops....This power must be considered the enemy of the
people and the Revolution; it is necessary to do battle with it, and
to pull it down....

The Council of the Republic, until the resumption of its labours,
invites the citizens of the Russian Republic to group themselves
around the....local Committees for Salvation of Country and
Revolution, which are organising the overthrow of the Bolsheviki and
the creation of a Government capable of leading the country to the
Constituent Assembly.

_Dielo Naroda_said:

A revolution is a rising of all the people.... But here what have we?
Nothing but a handful of poor fools deceived by Lenin and Trotzky....
Their decrees and their appeals will simply add to the museum of
historical curiosities....

And _Narodnoye Slovo_(People'sWord-PopulistSocialist):

"Workers' and Peasants' Government?" That is only a pipedream;
nobody, either in Russia or in the countries of our Allies, will
recognise this "Government"-or even in the enemy countries....

The bourgeois press had temporarily disappeared...._Pravada_ had an
account of the first meeting of the new _Tsay-ee-kah,_ now the
parliament of the Russian Soviet Republic. Miliutin, Commissar of
Agriculture, remarked that the Peasants' Executive Committee had
called an All-Russian Peasant Congress for December 13th.

"But we cannot wait," he said. "We must have the backing of the
peasants. I propose that _we_ call the Congress of Peasants, and do
it immediately...." The Left Socialist Revolutionaries agreed. An
Appeal to the Peasants of Russia was hastily drafted, and a
committee of five elected to carry out the project.

The question of detailed plans for distributing the land, and the
question of Workers' Control of Industry, were postponed until the
experts working on them should submit a report.

Three decrees (See App. VII, Sect. 1) were read and approved: first,
Lenin's "General Rules For the Press," ordering the suppression of
all newspapers inciting to resistance and disobedience to the new
Government, inciting to criminal acts, or deliberately perverting
the news; the Decree of Moratorium for House-rents; and the Decree
Establishing a Workers' Militia. Also orders, one giving the
Municipal Duma power to requisition empty apartments and houses, the
other directing the unloading of freight cars in the railroad
terminals, to hasten the distribution of necessities and to free the
badly-needed rolling-stock....

Two hours later the Executive Committee of the Peasants' Soviets was
sending broadcast over Russia the following telegram:

The arbitrary organisation of the Bolsheviki, which is called
"Bureau of Organisation for the National Congress of Peasants,"is
inviting all the Peasants' Soviets to send delegates to the Congress
at Petrograd....

The Executive Committee of the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies
declares that it considers, now as well as before, that it would be
dangerous to take away from the provinces at this moment the forces
necessary to prepare for elections to the Constituent Assembly,
which is the only salvation of the working-class and the country. We
confirm the date of the Congress of Peasants, _December 13th._

At the Duma all was excitement, officers coming and going, the Mayor
in conference with the leaders of the Committee for Salvation. A
Councillor ran in with a copy of Kerensky's proclamation, dropped by
hundreds from an aeroplane low flying down the Nevsky, which
threatened terrible vengeance on all who did not submit, and ordered
soldiers to lay down their arms and assemble immediately in Mars

The Minister-President had taken Tsarskoye Selo, we were told, and
was already in the Petrograd campagna, five miles away. He would
enter the city to-morrow-in a few hours. The Soviet troops in
contact with his Cossacks were said to be going over to the
Provisional Government. Tchernov was somewhere in between, trying to
organise the "neutral" troops into a force to halt the civil war.

In the city the garrison regiments were leaving the Bolsheviki, they
said. Smolny was already abandoned.... All the Governmental machinery
had stopped functioning. The employees of the State Bank had refused
to work under Commissars from Smolny, refused to pay out money to
them. All the private banks were closed. The Ministries were on
strike. Even now a committee from the Duma was making the rounds of
business houses, collecting a fund to pay the salaries of the

Trotzky had gone to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ordered the
clerks to translate the Decree on Peace into foreign languages; six
hundred functionaries had hurled their resignations in his face....
Shliapnikov, Commissar of Labour, had commanded all the employees of
his Ministry to return to their places within twenty-four hours, or
lose their places and their pension-rights; only the door-servants
had responded.... Some of the branches of the Special Food Supply
Committee had suspended work rather than submit to the Bolsheviki....
In spite of lavish promises of high wages and better conditions, the
operators at the Telephone Exchange would not connect Soviet

The Socialist Revolutionary Party had voted to expel all members who
had remained in the Congress of Soviets, and all who were taking
part in the insurrection....

News from the provinces. Moghilev had declared against the
Bolsheviki. At Kiev the Cossacks had overthrown the Soviets and
arrested all the insurrectionary leaders. The Soviet and garrison of
Luga, thirty thousand strong, affirmed its loyalty to the
Provisional Government, and appealed to all Russia to rally around
it. Kaledin had dispersed all Soviets and Unions in the Don Basin,
and his forces were moving north....

Said a representative of the Railway Workers: "Yesterday we sent a
telegram all over Russia demanding that war between the political
parties cease at once, and insisting on the formation of a coalition
Socialist Government. Otherwise we shall call a strike to-morrow
night.... In the morning there will be a meeting of all factions to
consider the question. The Bolsheviki seem anxious for an

"If they last that long!" laughed the City Engineer, a stout, ruddy

As we came up to Smolny-not abandoned, but busier than ever, throngs
of workers and soldiers running in and out, and doubled guards
everywhere-we met the reporters for the bourgeois and "moderate"
Socialist papers.

"Threw us out!" cried one, from _Volia Naroda._ "Bonch-Bruevitch
came down to the Press Bureau and told us to leave! Said we were
spies!" They all began to talk at once: "Insult! Outrage! Freedom of
the press!"

In the lobby were great tables heaped with stacks of appeals,
proclamations and orders of the Military Revolutionary Committee.
Workmen and soldiers staggered past, carrying them to waiting

One began:


In this tragic moment through which the Russian masses are living,
the Mensheviki and their followers and the Right Socialist
Revolutionaries have betrayed the working-class. They have enlisted
on the side of Kornilov, Kerensky and Savinkov....

They are printing orders of the traitor Kerensky and creating a
panic in the city, spreading the most ridiculous rumours of mythical
victories by that renegade....

Citizens! Don't believe these false rumours. No power can defeat the
People's Revolution.... Premier Kerensky and his followers await
speedy and well-deserved punishment....

We are putting them in the Pillory. We are abandoning them to the
enmity of all workers, soldiers, sailors and peasants, on whom they
are trying to rivet the ancient chains. They will never be able to
wash from their bodies the stain of the people's hatred and contempt.

Shame and curses to the traitors of the People!...

The Military Revolutionary Committee had moved into larger quarters,
room 17 on the top floor. Red Guards were at the door. Inside, the
narrow space in front of the railing was crowded with well-dressed
persons, outwardly respectful but inwardly full of murder-bourgeois
who wanted permits for their automobiles, or passports to leave the
city, among them many foreigners.... Bill Shatov and Peters were on
duty. They suspended all other business to read us the latest

The One Hundred Seventy-ninth Reserve Regiment offers its unanimous
support. Five thousand stevedores at the Putilov wharves greet the
new Government. Central Committee of the Trade Unions-enthusiastic
support. The garrison and squadron at Reval elect Military
Revolutionary Committees to cooperate, and despatch troops. Military
Revolutionary Committees control in Pskov and Minsk. Greetings from
the Soviets of Tsaritzin, Rovensky-on-Don, Tchernogorsk,
Sevastopol.... The Finland Division, the new Committees of the Fifth
and Twelfth Armies, offer allegiance....

From Moscow the news is uncertain. Troops of the Military
Revolutionary Committee occupy the strategic points of the city; two
companies on duty in the Kremlin have gone over to the Soviets, but
the Arsenal is in the hands of Colonel Diabtsev and his _yunkers._
The Revolutionary Committee demanded arms for the workers, and
Riabtsev parleyed with them until this morning, when suddenly he
sent an ultimatum to the Committee, ordering Soviet troops to
surrender and the Committee to disband. Fighting has begun....

In Petrograd the Staff submitted to Smolny's Commissars at once. The
_Tsentroflot,_ refusing, was stormed by Dybenko and a company of
Cronstadt sailors, and a new _Tsentroflot_ set up, supported by the
Baltic and the Black Sea battleships....

But beneath all the breezy assurance there was a chill premonition,
a feeling of uneasiness in the air. Kerensky's Cossacks were coming
fast; they had artillery. Skripnik, Secretary of the Factory-Shop
Committees, his face drawn and yellow, assured me that there was a
whole army corps of them, but he added, fiercely, "They'll never
take us alive!" Petrovsky laughed weariedly, "To-morrow maybe we'll
get a sleep-a long one...." Lozovsky, with his emaciated, red-bearded
face, said, "What chance have we? All alone.... A mob against trained

South and south-west the Soviets had fled before Kerensky, and the
garrisons of Gatchina, Pavlovsk, Tsarskoye Selo were divided-half
voting to remain neutral, the rest, without officers, falling back
on the capital in the wildest disorder.

In the halls they were pasting up bulletins:


_To be communicated to all Commanders of Staffs, Commanders in
Chief, Commanders, everywhere and to all, all, all._

The ex-Minister Kerensky has sent a deliberately false telegram to
every one everywhere to the effect that the troops of revolutionary
Petrograd have voluntarily surrendered their arms and joined the
armies of the former Government, the Government of Treason, and that
the soldiers have been ordered by the Military Revolutionary
Committee to retreat. The troops of a free people do not retreat nor
do they surrender.

Our troops have left Gatchina in order to avoid bloodshed between
themselves and their mistaken brother-Cossacks, and in order to take
a more convenient position, which is at present so strong that if
Kerensky and his companions in arms should even increase their
forces ten times, still there would be no cause for anxiety. The
spirit of our troops is excellent.

In Petrograd all is quiet.

_Chief of the Defence of Petrograd and the Petrograd District,_

Lieutenant-Colonel Muraviov.

As we left the Military Revolutionary Committee Antonov entered, a
paper in his hand, looking like a corpse.

"Send this," said he.


The Kornilovist bands of Kerensky are threatening the approaches to
the capital. All the necessary orders have been given to crush
mercilessly the counter-revolutionary attempt against the people and
its conquests.

The Army and the Red Guard of the Revolution are in need of the
immediate support of the workers.


1. To move out the greatest possible number of workers for the
digging of trenches, the erection of barricades and reinforcing of
wire entanglements.

2. Wherever it shall be necessary for this purpose to stop work at
the factories this shall be done immediately.

3. All common and barbed wire available must be assembled, and also
all implements for the digging of trenches and the erection of

4. All available arms must be taken.


_Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet of Worker's and Soldiers'

People's Commissar LEON TROTZKY.

_Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee,_

Commander in Chief PODVOISKY.

As we came out into the dark and gloomy day all around the grey
horizon factory whistles were blowing, a hoarse and nervous sound,
full of foreboding. By tens of thousands the working-people poured
out, men and women; by tens of thousands the humming slums belched
out their dun and miserable hordes. Red Petrograd was in danger!
Cossacks! South and southwest they poured through the shabby streets
toward the Moskovsky Gate, men, women and children, with rifles,
picks, spades, rolls of wire, cartridge-belts over their working
clothes.... Such an immense, spontaneous outpouring of a city never
was seen! They rolled along torrent-like, companies of soldiers
borne with them, guns, motor-trucks, wagons-the revolutionary
proletariat defending with its breast the capital of the Workers'
and Peasants' Republic!

Before the door of Smolny was an automobile. A slight man with thick
glasses magnifying his red-rimmed eyes, his speech a painful effort,
stood leaning against a mud-guard with his hands in the pockets of a
shabby raglan. A great bearded sailor, with the clear eyes of youth,
prowled restlessly about, absently toying with an enormous
blue-steel revolver, which never left his hand. These were Antonov
and Dybenko.

Some soldiers were trying to fasten two military bicycles on the
running-board. The chauffeur violently protested; the enamel would
get scratched, he said. True, he was a Bolshevik, and the automobile
was commandeered from a bourgeois; true, the bicycles were for the
use of orderlies. But the chauffeur's professional pride was
revolted.... So the bicycles were abandoned....

The People's Commissars for War and Marine were going to inspect the
revolutionary front-wherever that was. Could we go with them?
Certainly not. The automobile only held five-the two Commissars, two
orderlies and the chauffeur. However, a Russian acquaintance of
mine, whom I will call Trusishka, calmly got in and sat down, nor
could any argument dislodge him....

I see no reason to doubt Trusishka's story of the journey. As they
went down the Suvorovsky Prospect some one mentioned food. They
might be out three or four days, in a country indifferently well
provisioned. They stopped the car. Money? The Commissar of War
looked through his pockets-he hadn't a kopek. The Commissar of
Marine was broke. So was the chauffeur. Trusishka bought the

Just as they turned into the Nevsky a tire blew out.

"What shall we do?" asked Antonov.

"Commandeer another machine!" suggested Dybenko, waving his
revolver. Antonov stood in the middle of the street and signalled a
passing machine, driven by a soldier.

"I want that machine," said Antonov.

"You won't get it," responded the soldier.

"Do you know who I am?" Antonov produced a paper upon which was
written that he had been appointed Commander-in-Chief of all the
armies of the Russian Republic, and that every one should obey him
without question.

"I don't care if you're the devil himself," said the soldier, hotly.
"This machine belongs to the First Machine-Gun Regiment, and we're
carrying ammunition in it, and you can't have it...."

The difficulty, however, was solved by the appearance of an old
battered taxi-cab, flying the Italian flag. (In time of trouble
private cars were registered in the name of foreign consulates, so
as to be safe from requisition.) From the interior of this was
dislodged a fat citizen in an expensive fur coat, and the party
continued on its way.

Arrived at Narvskaya Zastava, about ten miles out, Antonov called
for the commandant of the Red Guard. He was led to the edge of the
town, where some few hundred workmen had dug trenches and were
waiting for the Cossacks.

"Everything all right here, comrade?" asked Antonov.

"Everything perfect, comrade," answered the commandant.

"The troops are in excellent spirits.... Only one thing-we have no

"In Smolny there are two billion rounds," Antonov told him. "I will
give you an order." He felt in his pockets. "Has any one a piece of

Dybenko had none-nor the couriers. Trusishka had to offer his

"Devil! I have no pencil!" cried Antonov. "Who's got a pencil?"
Needless to say, Trusishka had the only pencil in the crowd....

We who were left behind made for the Tsarskoye Selo station. Up the
Nevsky, as we passed, Red Guards were marching, all armed, some with
bayonets and some without. The early twilight of winter was falling.
Heads up they tramped in the chill mud, irregular lines of four,
without music, without drums. A red flag crudely lettered in gold,
"Peace! Land!" floated over them. They were very young. The
expression on their faces was that of who know they are going to
die.... Half-fearful, half-contemptuous, the crowds on the sidewalk
watched them pass, in hateful silence....

[Graphic page-184  Pass to the Northern Front]

This pass was issued upon the recommendation of Trotzky three days
after the Bolshevik Revolution. It gives me the right of free travel
to the Northern front-and an added note on the back extends the
permission to all fronts. It will be noticed that the speaks of the
_Petersburg_, instead of the _Petrograd_ Soviet; it was the fashion
among thorough-going internationalists to abolish all names which
smacked of "patriotism"; but at the same time, it would not do to
restore the "Saint."...
Executive Committee
Petrograd Soviet of
Workers' and Soldiers'
  Military Section
28th October, 1917
    No. 1435
The present certificate is given to the representative of the
American Social Democracy, the internationalist comrade JOHN REED.
The Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petersburg Soviet of
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies gives him the right of free travel
through the entire Northern front, for the purpose of reporting to
our American comrades-internationalists concerning events in Russia.
                              For the President
                              For the Secretary

At the railroad station nobody knew just where Kerensky was, or
where the front lay. Trains went no further, however, than

Our car was full of commuters and country people going home, laden
with bundles and evening papers. The talk was all of the Bolshevik
rising. Outside of that, however, one would never have realised that
civil war was rending mighty Russia in two, and that the train was
headed into the zone of battle. Through the window we could see, in
the swiftly-deepening darkness, masses of soldiers going along the
muddy road toward the city, flinging out their arms in argument. A
freight-train, swarming with troops and lit up by huge bonfires, was
halted on a siding. That was all. Back along the flat horizon the
glow of the city's lights faded down the night. A street-car crawled
distantly along a far-flung suburb....

Tsarskoye Selo-station was quiet, but knots of soldiers stood here
and there talking in low tones and looking uneasily down the empty
track in the direction of Gatchina. I asked some of them which side
they were on. "Well," said one, "we don't exactly know the rights of
the matter.... There is no doubt that Kerensky is a provocator, but we
do not consider it right for Russian men to be shooting Russian men."

In the station commandant's office was a big, jovial, bearded common
soldier, wearing the red arm-band of a regimental committee. Our
credentials from Smolny commanded immediate respect. He was plainly
for the Soviets, but bewildered.

"The Red Guards were here two hours ago, but they went away again. A
Commissar came this morning, but he returned to Petrograd when the
Cossacks arrived."

"The Cossacks are here then?"

He nodded, gloomily. "There has been a battle. The Cossacks came
early in the morning. They captured two or three hundred of our men,
and killed about twenty-five."

"Where are the Cossacks?"

"Well, they didn't get this far. I don't know just where they are.
Off that way...." He waved his arm vaguely westward.

We had dinner-an excellent dinner, better and cheaper than could be
got in Petrograd-in the station restaurant. Nearby sat a French
officer who had just come on foot from Gatchina. All was quiet
there, he said. Kerensky held the town. "Ah, these Russians," he
went on, "they are original! What a civil war! Everything except the

We sallied out into the town. Just at the door of the station stood
two soldiers with rifles and bayonets fixed. They were surrounded by
about a hundred business men, Government officials and students, who
attacked them with passionate argument and epithet. The soldiers
were uncomfortable and hurt, like children unjustly scolded.

A tall young man with a supercilious expression, dressed in the
uniform of a student, was leading the attack.

"You realise, I presume," he said insolently, "that by taking up
arms against your brothers you are making your-selves the tools of
murderers and traitors?"

"Now brother,"answered the soldier earnestly, "you don't understand.
There are two classes, don't you see, the proletariat and the
bourgeoisie. We--"

"Oh, I know that silly talk!" broke in the student rudely. "A bunch
of ignorant peasants like you hear somebody bawling a few
catch-words. You don't understand what they mean. You just echo them
like a lot of parrots." The crowd laughed. "I'm a Marxian student.
And I tell you that this isn't Socialism you are fighting for. It's
just plain pro-German anarchy!"

"Oh, yes, I know," answered the soldier, with sweat dripping from
his brow. "You are an educated man, that is easy to see, and I am
only a simple man. But it seems to me--"

"I suppose," interrupted the other contemptuously, "that you believe
Lenin is a real friend of the proletariat?"

"Yes, I do," answered the soldier, suffering.

"Well, my friend, do you know that Lenin was sent through Germany in
a closed car? Do you know that Lenin took money from the Germans?"

"Well, I don't know much about that," answered the soldier
stubbornly, "but it seems to me that what he says is what I want to
hear, and all the simple men like me. Now there are two classes, the
bourgeoisie and the proletariat--"

"You are a fool! Why, my friend, I spent two years in Schlüsselburg
for revolutionary activity, when you were still shooting down
revolutionists and singing 'God Save the Tsar!' My name is Vasili
Georgevitch Panyin. Didn't you ever hear of me?"

"I'm sorry to say I never did," answered the soldier with humility.
"But then, I am not an educated man. You are probably a great hero."

"I am," said the student with conviction. "And I am opposed to the
Bolsheviki, who are destroying our Russia, our free Revolution. Now
how do you account for that?"

The soldier scratched his head. "I can't account for it at all," he
said, grimacing with the pain of his intellectual processes. "To me
it seems perfectly simple-but then, I'm not well educated. It seems
like there are only two classes, the proletariat and the

"There you go again with your silly formula!" cried the student.

"--only two classes," went on the soldier, doggedly.

ldquo;And whoever isn't on one side is on the other..."

We wandered on up the street, where the lights were few and far
between, and where people rarely passed. A threatening silence hung
over the place-as of a sort of purgatory between heaven and hell, a
political No Man's Land. Only the barber shops were all brilliantly
lighted and crowded, and a line formed at the doors of the public
bath; for it was Saturday night, when all Russia bathes and perfumes
itself. I haven't the slightest doubt that Soviet troops and
Cossacks mingled in the places where these ceremonies were performed.

The nearer we came to the Imperial Park, the more deserted were the
streets. A frightened priest pointed out the headquarters of the
Soviet, and hurried on. It was in the wing of one of the Grand Ducal
palaces, fronting the Park. The windows were dark, the door locked.
A soldier, lounging about with his hands in the top of his trousers,
looked us up and down with gloomy suspicion. "The Soviet went away
two days ago," said he. "Where?" A shrug. _"Nie znayu._ I don't

A little further along was a large building, brightly illuminated.
From within came a sound of hammering. While we were hesitating, a
soldier and a sailor came down the street, hand in hand. I showed
them my pass from Smolny. "Are you for the Soviets?" I asked. They
did not answer, but looked at each other in a frightened way.

"What is going on in there?" asked the sailor, pointing to the

"I don't know."

Timidly the soldier put out his hand and opened the door a crack.
Inside a great hall hung with bunting and evergreens, rows of
chairs, a stage being built.

A stout woman with a hammer in her hand and her mouth full of tacks
came out. "What do you want?" she asked.

"Is there a performance to-night?" said the sailor, nervously.

"There will be private theatricals Sunday night," she answered
severely. "Go away."

We tried to engage the soldier and sailor in conversation, but they
seemed frightened and unhappy, and drew off into the darkness.

We strolled toward the Imperial Palaces, along the edge of the vast,
dark gardens, their fantastic pavilions and ornamental bridges
looming uncertainly in the night, and soft water splashing from the
fountains. At one place, where a ridiculous iron swan spat
unceasingly from an artificial grotto, we were suddenly aware of
observation, and looked up to encounter the sullen, suspicious gaze
of half a dozen gigantic armed soldiers, who stared moodily down
from a grassy terrace. I climbed up to them. "Who are you?" I asked.

"We are the guard," answered one. They all looked very depressed, as
undoubtedly they were, from weeks and weeks of all-day all-night
argument and debate.

"Are you Kerensky's troops, or the Soviets'?"

There was silence for a moment, as they looked uneasily at each
other. Then, "We are neutral," said he.

We went on through the arch of the huge Ekaterina Palace, into the
Palace enclosure itself, asking for headquarters. A sentry outside a
door in a curving white wing of the Palace said that the commandant
was inside.

In a graceful, white, Georgian room, divided into unequal parts by a
two-sided fire-place, a group of officers stood anxiously talking.
They were pale and distracted, and evidently hadn't slept. To one,
an oldish man with a white beard, his uniform studded with
decorations, who was pointed out as the Colonel, we showed our
Bolshevik papers.

He seemed surprised. "How did you get here without being killed?" he
asked politely. "It is very dangerous in the streets just now.
Political passion is running very high in Tsarskoye Selo. There was
a battle this morning, and there will be another to-morrow morning.
Kerensky is to enter the town at eight o'clock."

"Where are the Cossacks?"

"About a mile over that way." He waved his arm.

"And you will defend the city against them?"

"Oh dear no." He smiled. "We are holding the city for Kerensky." Our
hearts sank, for our passes stated that we were revolutionary to the
core. The Colonel cleared his throat. "About those passes of yours,"
he went on. "Your lives will be in danger if you are captured.
Therefore, if you want to see the battle, I will give you an order
for rooms in the officers' hotel, and if you will come back here at
seven o'clock in the morning, I will give you new passes."

"So you are for Kerensky?" we said.

"Well, not exactly _for_ Kerensky." The Colonel hesitated. "You see,
most of the soldiers in the garrison are Bolsheviki, and to-day,
after the battle, they all went away in the direction of Petrograd,
taking the artillery with them. You might say that none of the
_soldiers_ are for Kerensky; but some of them just don't want to
fight at all. The _officers_ have almost all gone over to Kerensky's
forces, or simply gone away. We are-ahem-in a most difficult
position, as you see...."

We did not believe that there would be any battle.... The Colonel
courteously sent his orderly to escort us to the railroad station.
He was from the South, born of French immigrant parents in
Bessarabia. "Ah," he kept saying, "it is not the danger or the
hardships I mind, but being so long, three years, away from my

Looking out of the window of the train as we sped through the cold
dark toward Petrograd, I caught glimpses of clumps of soldiers
gesticulating in the light of fires, and of clusters of armoured
cars halted together at cross-roads, the chauffeurs hanging out of
the turrets and shouting to each other....

All the troubled night over the bleakflats leaderless bands of
soldiers and Red Guards wandered, clashing and confused, and the
Commissars of the Military Revolutionary Committee hurried from one
group to another, trying to organise a defence....

Back in town excited throngs were moving in tides up and down the
Nevsky. Something was in the air. From the Warsaw Railway station
could be heard far-off cannonade. In the _yunker_ schools there was
feverish activity. Duma members went from barracks to barracks,
arguing and pleading, narrating fearful stories of Bolshevik
violence-massacre of the _yunkers_ in the Winter Palace, rape of the
women soldiers, the shooting of the girl before the Duma, the murder
of Prince Tumanov.... In the Alexander Hall of the Duma building the
Committee for Salvation was in special session; Commissars came and
went, running.... All the journalists expelled from Smolny were there,
in high spirits. They did not believe our report of conditions in
Tsarskoye. Why, everybody knew that Tsarskoye was in Kerensky's
hands, and that the Cossacks were now at Pulkovo. A committee was
being elected to meet Kerensky at the railway station in the

One confided to me, in strictest secrecy, that the
counter-revolution would begin at midnight. He showed me two
proclamations, one signed by Gotz and Polkovnikov, ordering the
_yunker_ schools, soldier convalescents in the hospitals, and the
Knights of St. George to mobilise on a war footing and wait for
orders from the Committee for Salvation; the other from the
Committee for Salvation itself, which read as follows:

To the Population of Petrograd!

Comrades, workers, soldiers and citizens of revolutionary Petrograd!  nary Petrograd!  |          |

The Bolsheviki, while appealing for peace at the front, are inciting
to civil war in the rear.

Do not dig their provocatory appeals!

Do not dig trenches!

Down with the traitorous barricades!

Lay down your arms!

Soldiers, return to your barracks!

The war begun in Petrograd-is the death of the Revolution!

In the name of liberty, land, and peace, unite around the Committee
for Salvation of Country and Revolution!

As we left the Duma a company of Red Guards, stern-faced and
desperate, came marching down the dark, deserted street with a dozen
prisoners-members of the local branch of the Council of Cossacks,
caught red-handed plotting counter-revolution in their headquarters....

A soldier, accompanied by a small boy with a pail of paste, was
sticking up great flaring notices:

By virtue of the present, the city of Petrograd and its suburbs are
declared in a state of siege. All assemblies or meetings in the
streets, and generally in the open air, are forbidden until further

N. PODVOISKY, President of the Military

Revolutionary Committee.

As we went home the air was full of confused sound-automobile horns,
shouts, distant shots. The city stirred uneasily, wakeful.

In the small hours of the morning a company of _yunkers,_ disguised
as soldiers of the Semionovsky Regiment, presented themselves at the
Telephone Exchange just before the hour of changing guard. They had
the Bolshevik password, and took charge without arousing suspicion.
A few minutes later Antonov appeared, making a round of inspection.
Him they captured and locked in a small room. When the relief came
it was met by a blast of rifle-fire, several being killed.

Counter-revolution had begun...

Chapter VIII


NEXT morning, Sunday the 11th, the Cossacks entered Tsarskoye Selo,
Kerensky (See App. VIII, Sect. 1) himself riding a white horse and
all the church-bells clamouring. From the top of a little hill
outside the town could be seen the golden spires and many-coloured
cupolas, the sprawling grey immensity of the capital spread along
the dreary plain, and beyond, the steely Gulf of Finland.

There was no battle. But Kerensky made a fatal blunder. At seven in
the morning he sent word to the Second Tsarskoye Selo Rifles to lay
down their arms. The soldiers replied that they would remain
neutral, but would not disarm. Kerensky gave them ten minutes in
which to obey. This angered the soldiers; for eight months they had
been governing themselves by committee, and this smacked of the old
régime.... A few minutes later Cossack artillery opened fire on the
barracks, killing eight men. From that moment there were no more
"neutral" soldiers in Tsarskoye....

Petrograd woke to bursts of rifle-fire, and the tramping thunder of
men marching. Under the high dark sky a cold wind smelt of snow. At
dawn the Military Hotel and the Telegraph Agency had been taken by
large forces of _yunkers,_ and bloodily recaptured. The Telephone
Station was besieged by sailors, who lay behind barricades of
barrels, boxes and tin sheets in the middle of the Morskaya, or
sheltered themselves at the corner of the Gorokhovaya and of St.
Isaac's Square, shooting at anything that moved. Occasionally an
automobile passed in and out, flying the Red Cross flag. The sailors
let it pass....

Albert Rhys Williams was in the Telephone Exchange. He went out with
the Red Cross automobile, which was ostensibly full of wounded.
After circulating about the city, the car went by devious ways to
the Mikhailovsky _yunker_ school, headquarters of the
counter-revolution. A French officer, in the court-yard, seemed to
be in command.... By this means ammunition and supplies were conveyed
to the Telephone Exchange. Scores of these pretended ambulances
acted as couriers and ammunition trains for the _yunkers._

Five or six armoured cars, belonging to the disbanded British
Armoured Car Division, were in their hands. As Louise Bryant was
going along St. Isaac's Square one came rolling up from the
Admiralty, on its way to the Telephone Exchange. At the corner of
the Gogolia, right in front of her, the engine stalled. Some sailors
ambushed behind wood-piles began shooting. The machine-gun in the
turret of the thing slewed around and spat a hail of bullets
indiscriminately into the wood-piles and the crowd. In the archway
where Miss Bryant stood seven people were shot dead, among them two
little boys. Suddenly, with a shout, the sailors leaped up and
rushed into the flaming open; closing around the monster, they
thrust their bayonets into the loop-holes, again and again, yelling...
The chauffeur pretended to be wounded, and they let him go free-to
run to the Duma and swell the tale of Bolshevik atrocities....Among
the dead was a British Officer....

Later the newspapers told of another French officer, captured in a
_yunker_ armoured car and sent to Peter-Paul. The French Embassy
promptly denied this, but one of the City Councillors told me that
he himself had procured the officer's release from prison....

Whatever the official attitude of the Allied Embassies, individual
French and British officers were active these days, even to the
extent of giving advice at executive sessions of the Committee for

All day long in every quarter of the city there were skirmishes
between _yunkers_ and Red Guards, battles between armoured cars....
Volleys, single shots and the shrill chatter of machine-guns could
be heard, far and near. The iron shutters of the shops were drawn,
but business still went on. Even the moving-picture shows, all
outside lights dark, played to crowded houses. The street-cars ran.
The telephones were all working; when you called Central, shooting
could be plainly heard over the wire.... Smolny was cut off, but the
Duma and the Committee for Salvation were in constant communication
with all the _yunker_ schools and with Kerensky at Tsarskoye.

At seven in the morning the Vladimir _yunker_ school was visited by
a patrol of soldiers, sailors and Red Guards, who gave the _yunkers_
twenty minutes to lay down their arms. The ultimatum was rejected.
An hour later the _yunkers_ got ready to march, but were driven back
by a violent fusillade from the corner of the Grebetskaya and the
Bolshoy Prospekt. Soviet troops surrounded the building and opened
fire, two armoured cars cruising back and forth with machine guns
raking it. The _yunkers_ telephoned for help. The Cossacks replied
that they dare not come, because a large body of sailors with two
cannon commanded their barracks. The Pavlovsk school was surrounded.
Most of the Mikhailov _yunkers_ were fighting in the streets....

At half-past eleven three field-pieces arrived. Another demand to
surrender was met by the _yunkers_ shooting down two of the Soviet
delegates under the white flag. Now began a real bombardment. Great
holes were torn in the walls of the school. The _yunkers_ defended
themselves desperately; shouting waves of Red Guards, assaulting,
crumpled under the withering blast.... Kerensky telephoned from
Tsarskoye to refuse all parley with the Military Revolutionary

Frenzied by defeat and their heaps of dead, the Soviet troops opened
a tornado of steel and flame against the battered building. Their
own officers could not stop the terrible bombardment. A Commissar
from Smolny named Kirilov tried to halt it; he was threatened with
lynching. The Red Guards' blood was up.

At half-past two the _yunkers_ hoisted a white flag; they would
surrender if they were guaranteed protection. This was promised.
With a rush and a shout thousands of soldiers and Red Guards poured
through windows, doors and holes in the wall. Before it could be
stopped five _yunkers_ were beaten and stabbed to death. The rest,
about two hundred, were taken to Peter-Paul under escort, in small
groups so as to avoid notice. On the way a mob set upon one party,
killing eight more _yunkers_.... More than a hundred Red Guards and
soldiers had fallen....

Two hours later the Duma got a telephone message that the victors
were marching toward the _Injinierny Zamok_-the Engineers' school. A
dozen members immediately set out to distribute among them armfuls
of the latest proclamation of the Committee for Salvation. Several
did not come back.... All the other schools surrendered without
resistance, and the _yunkers_ were sent unharmed to Peter-Paul and

The Telephone Exchange held out until afternoon, when a Bolshevik
armoured car appeared, and the sailors stormed the place. Shrieking,
the frightened telephone girls ran to and fro; the _yunkers_ tore
from their uniforms all distinguishing marks, and one offered
Williams _anything_ for the loan of his overcoat, as a disguise....
"They will massacre us! They will massacre us!" they cried, for many
of them had given their word at the Winter Palace not to take up
arms against the People. Williams offered to mediate if Antonov were
released. This was immediately done; Antonov and Williams made
speeches to the victorious sailors, inflamed by their many dead-and
once more the _yunkers_ went free.... All but a few, who in their
panic tried to flee over the roofs, or to hide in the attic, and
were found and hurled into the street.

Tired, bloody, triumphant, the sailors and workers swarmed into the
switchboard room, and finding so many pretty girls, fell back in an
embarrassed way and fumbled with awkward feet. Not a girl was
injured, not one insulted. Frightened, they huddled in the corners,
and then, finding themselves safe, gave vent to their spite. "Ugh!
The dirty, ignorant people! The fools!"... The sailors and Red Guards
were embarrassed. "Brutes! Pigs!" shrilled the girls, indignantly
putting on their coats and hats. Romantic had been their experience
passing up cartridges and dressing the wounds of their dashing young
defenders, the _yunkers,_ many of them members of noble families,
fighting to restore their beloved Tsar! These were just common
workmen, peasants, "Dark People."...

The Commissar of the Military Revolutionary Committee, little
Vishniak, tried to persuade the girls to remain. He was effusively
polite. "You have been badly treated," he said. "The telephone
system is controlled by the Municipal Duma. You are paid sixty
rubles a month, and have to work ten hours and more.... From now on
all that will be changed. The Government intends to put the
telephones under control of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs.
Your wages will be immediately raised to one hundred and fifty
rubles, and your working-hours reduced. As members of the
working-class you should be happy--"

Members of the _working-class_ indeed! Did he mean to infer that
there was anything in common between these-these animals-and _us?_
Remain? Not if they offered a thousand rubles!... Haughty and spiteful
the girls left the place....

The employees of the building, the line-men and labourers-they
stayed. But the switch-boards must be operated-the telephone was
vital.... Only half a dozen trained operators were available.
Volunteers were called for; a hundred responded, sailors, soldiers,
workers. The six girls scurried backward and forward, instructing,
helping, scolding.... So, crippled, halting, but _going,_ the wires
slowly began to hum. The first thing was to connect Smolny with the
barracks and the factories; the second, to cut off the Duma and the
_yunker_ schools.... Late in the afternoon word of it spread through
the city, and hundreds of bourgeois called up to scream, "Fools!
Devils! How long do you think you will last? Wait till the Cossacks

Dusk was already falling. On the almost deserted Nevsky, swept by a
bitter wind, a crowd had gathered before the Kazan Cathedral,
continuing the endless debate; a few workmen, some soldiers and the
rest shop-keepers, clerks and the like.

"But Lenin won't get Germany to make peace!" cried one.

A violent young soldier replied. "And whose fault is it? Your damn
Kerensky, dirty bourgeois! To hell with Kerensky! We don't want him!
We want Lenin...."

Outside the Duma an officer with a white arm-band was tearing down
posters from the wall, swearing loudly. One read:

To the Population of Petrograd!

At this dangerous hour, when the Municipal Duma ought to use every
means to calm the population, to assure it bread and other
necessities, the Right Socialist Revolutionaries and the Cadets,
forgetting their duty, have turned the Duma into a
counter-revolutionary meeting, trying to raise part of the
population against the rest, so as to facilitate the victory of
Kornilov-Kerensky. Instead of doing their duty, the Right Socialist
Revolutionaries and the Cadets have transformed the Duma into an
arena of political attack upon the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers'
and Peasants' Deputies, against the revolutionary Government of
peace, bread and liberty.

Citizens of Petrograd, we, the Bolshevik Municipal Councillors
elected by you-we want you to know that the Right Socialist
Revolutionaries and the Cadets are engaged in counter-revolutionary
action, have forgotten their duty, and are leading the population to
famine, to civil war. We, elected by 183,000 votes, consider it our
duty to bring to the attention of our constituents what is going on
in the Duma, and declare that we disclaim all responsibility for the
terrible but inevitable consequences....

Far away still sounded occasional shots, but the city lay quiet,
cold, as if exhausted by the violent spasms which had torn it.

In the Nicolai Hall the Duma session was coming to an end. Even the
truculent Duma seemed a little stunned. One after another the
Commissars reported-capture of the Telephone Exchange,
street-fighting, the taking of the Vladimir school.... "The Duma,"
said Trupp, "is on the side of the democracy in its struggle against
arbitrary violence; but in any case, whichever side wins, the Duma
will always be against lynchings and torture...."

Konovski, Cadet, a tall old man with a cruel face: "When the troops
of the legal Government arrive in Petrograd, they will shoot down
these insurgents, and that will not be lynching!" Protests all over
the hall, even from his own party.

Here there was doubt and depression. The counter-revolution was
being put down. The Central Committee of the Socialist Revolutionary
party had voted lack of confidence in its officers; the left wing
was in control; Avksentiev had resigned. signed. A courier reported
that the Committee of Welcome sent to meet Kerensky at the railway
station had been arrested. In the streets could be heard the dull
rumble of distant cannonading, south and southwest. Still Kerensky
did not come...

Only three newspapers were out-_Pravda, Dielo Naroda_ and _Novaya
Zhizn._ All of them devoted much space to the new "coalition"
Government. The Socialist Revolutionary paper demanded a Cabinet
without either Cadets or Bolsheviki. Gorky was hopeful; Smolny had
made concessions. A purely Socialist Government was taking shape-all
elements except the bourgeoisie. As for _Pravda,_ it sneered:

We ridicule these coalitions with political parties whose most
prominent members are petty journalists of doubtful reputation; our
"coalition" is that of the proletariat and the revolutionary Army
with the poor peasants...

On the walls a vainglorious announcement of the _Vikzhel,_
threatening to strike if both sides did not compromise:

The conquerors of these riots, the saviours of the wreck of our
country, these will be neither the Bolsheviki, nor the Committee for
Salvation, nor the troops of Kerensky-but we, the Union of

Red Guards are incapable of handling a complicated business like the
railways; as for the Provisional Government, it has shown itself
incapable of holding the power...

We refuse to lend our services to any party which does not act by
authority of ... a Government based on the confidence of all the

Smolny thrilled with the boundless vitality of inexhaustible
humanity in action.

In Trade Union headquarters Lozovsky introduced me to a delegate of
the Railway Workers of the Nicolai line, who said that the men were
holding huge mass-meetings, condemning the action of their leaders.

"All power to the Soviets!" he cried, pounding on the table.
"The_oborontsi_ in the Central Committee are playing
Ko&rgrave;nilov's game. They tried to send a mission to the Stavka,
but we arrested them at Minsk.... Our branch has demanded an
All-Russian Convention, and they refuse to call it...."

The same situation as in the Soviets, the Army Committees. One after
another the various democratic organisations, all over Russia, were
cracking and changing. The Cooperatives were torn by internal
struggles; the meetings of the Peasants' Executive broke up in
stormy wrangling; even among the Cossacks there was trouble....

On the top floor the Military Revolutionary Committee was in full
blast, striking and slacking not. Men went in, fresh and vigorous;
night and day and night and day they threw themselves into the
terrible machine; and came out limp, blind with fatigue, hoarse and
filthy, to fall on the floor and sleep.... The Committee for Salvation
had been outlawed. Great piles of new proclamations (See App. VIII,
Sect. 2) littered the floor:

... The conspirators, who have no support among the garrison or the
working-class, above all counted on the suddenness of their attack.
Their plan was discovered in time by Sub-Lieutenant Blagonravov,
thanks to the revolutionary vigilance of a soldier of the Red Guard,
whose name shall be made public. At the centre of the plot was the
Committee for Salvation. Colonel Polkovnikov was in command of their
forces, and the orders were signed by Gotz, former member of the
Provisional Government, allowed at liberty on his word of honour....

Bringing these facts to the attention of the Petrograd population,
the Military Revolutionary Committee orders the arrest of all
concerned in the conspiracy, who shall be tried before the
Revolutionary Tribunal....

From Moscow, word that the _yunkers_ and Cossacks had surrounded the
Kremlin and ordered the Soviet troops to lay down their arms. The
Soviet forces complied, and as they were leaving the Kremlin, were
set upon and shot down. Small forces of Bolsheviki had been driven
from the Telephone and Telegraph offices; the _yunkers_ now held the
centre of the city. ... But all around them the Soviet troops were
mustering. Street-fighting was slowly gathering way; all attempts at
compromise had failed.... On the side of the Soviet, ten thousand
garrison soldiers and a few Red Guards; on the side of the
Government, six thousand _yunkers,_ twenty-five hundred Cossacks and
two thousand White Guards.

The Petrograd Soviet was meeting, and next door the new
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ acting on the decrees and orders (See App. VIII,
Sect. 3) which came down in a steady stream from the Council of
People's Commissars in session upstairs; on the Order in Which Laws
Are to be Ratified and Published, Establishing an Eight hour Days
for Workers, and Lunatcharsky's "Basis for a System of Popular
Education." Only a few hundred people were present at the two
meetings, most of them armed. Smolny was almost deserted, except for
the guards, who were busy at the hall windows, setting up
machine-guns to command the flanks of the building.

In the _Tsay-ee-kah_ a delegate of the _Vikzhel_ was speaking: "We
refuse to transport the troops of either party.... We have sent a
committee to Kerensky to say that if he continues to march on
Petrograd we will break his lines of communication...."

He made the usual plea for a conference of all the Socialist parties
to form a new Government....

Kameniev answered discreetly. The Bolsheviki would be very glad to
attend the conference. The centre of gravity, however, lay not in
composition of such a Government, but in its acceptance of the
programme of the Congress of Soviets.

... The _Tsay-ee-kah_ had deliberated on the declaration made by the
Left Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats
Internationalists, and had accepted the proposition of proportional
representation at the conference, even including delegates from the
Army Committees and the Peasants' Soviets....

In the great hall, Trotzky recounted the events of the day.

"We offered the Vladimir _yunkers_ a chance to surrender," he said.
"We wanted to settle matters without bloodshed. But now that blood
has been spilled there is only one way-pitiless struggle. It would
be childish to think we can win by any other means.... The moment is
decisive. Everybody must cooperate with the Military Revolutionary
Committee, report where there are stores of barbed wire, benzine,

... We've won the power; now we must keep it!"

The Menshevik Yoffe tried to read his party's declaration, but
Trotzky refused to allow "a debate about principle."

"Our debates are now in the streets," he cried. "The decisive step
has been taken. We all, and I in particular, take the responsibility
for what is happening...."

Soldiers from the front, from Gatchina, told their stories. One from
the Death Battalion, Four Hundred Eighty-first Artillery: "When the
trenches hear of this, they will cry, 'This is _our_ Government!'" A
_yunker_ from Peterhof said that he and two others had refused to
march against the Soviets; and when his comrades had returned from
the defence of the Winter Palace they appointed him their Commissar,
to go to Smolny and offer their services to the _real_ Revolution....

Then Trotzky again, fiery, indefatigable, giving orders, answering

"The petty bourgeoisie, in order to defeat the workers, soldiers and
peasants, would combine with the devil himself!" he said once. Many
cases of drunkenness had been remarked the last two days. "No
drinking, comrades! No one must be on the streets after eight in the
evening, except the regular guards. All places suspected of having
stores of liquor should be searched, and the liquor destroyed. (See
App. VIII, Sect. 4) No mercy to the sellers of liquor...."

The Military Revolutionary Committee sent for the delegation from
the Viborg section; then for the members from Putilov. They clumped
out hurriedly.

"For each revolutionist killed," said Trotzky, "we shall kill five

Down-town again. The Duma brilliantly illuminated and great crowds
pouring in. In the lower hall wailing and cries of grief; the throng
surged back and forth before the bulletin board, where was posted a
list of _yunkers_ killed in the day's fighting-or supposed to be
killed, for most of the dead afterward turned up safe and sound.... Up
in the Alexander Hall the Committee for Salvation held forth. The
gold and red epaulettes of officers were conspicuous, the familiar
faces of the Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary intellectuals,
the hard eyes and bulky magnificence of bankers and diplomats,
officials of the old régime, and well-dressed women....

The telephone girls were testifying. Girl after girl came to the
tribune-over-dressed, fashion-aping little girls, with pinched faces
and leaky shoes. Girl after girl, flushing with pleasure at the
applause of the "nice" people of Petrograd, of the officers, the
rich, the great names of politics-girl after girl, to narrate her
sufferings at the hands of the proletariat, and proclaim her loyalty
to all that was old, established and powerful....

The Duma was again in session in the Nicolai Hall. The Mayor said
hopefully that the Petrograd regiments were ashamed of their
actions; propaganda was making headway.

[Graphic page-205 Proclamation for "wine pogroms" ]

Revolutionary law and order. A proclamation of the Finland Regiment,
in December, 1917, announcing desperate remedies for "wine pogroms."
For translation see Appendix 5.

... Emissaries came and went, reporting horrible deeds by the
Bolsheviki, interceding to save the _yunkers,_ busily investigating....

"The Bolsheviki," said Trupp, "will be conquered by moral force, and
not by bayonets....."

Meanwhile all was not well on the revolutionary front. The enemy had
brought up armoured trains, mounted with cannon. The Soviet forces,
mostly raw Red Guards, were without officers and without a definite
plan. Only five thousand regular soldiers had joined them; the rest
of the garrison was either busy suppressing the _yunker_ revolt,
guarding the city, or undecided what to do. At ten in the evening
Lenin addressed a meeting of delegates from the city regiments, who
voted overwhelmingly to fight. A Committee of five soldiers was
elected to serve as General Staff, and in the small hours of the
morning the regiments left their barracks in full battle array....
Going home I saw them pass, swinging along with the regular tread of
veterans, bayonets in perfect alignment, through the deserted
streets of the conquered city....

At the same time, in the headquarters of the _Vikzhel_ down on the
Sadovaya, the conference of all the Socialist parties to form a new
Government was under way. Abramovitch, for the centre Mensheviki,
said that there should be neither conquerors nor conquered-that
bygones should be bygones. ...In this were agreed all the left wing
parties. Dan, speaking in the name of the right Mensheviki, proposed
to the Bolsheviki the following conditions for a truce: The Red
Guard to be disarmed, and the Petrograd garrison to be placed at the
orders of the Duma; the troops of Kerensky not to fire a single shot
or arrest a single man; a Ministry of all the Socialist parties
_except the Bolsheviki._ For Smolny Riazanov and Kameniev declared
that a coalition ministry of all parties was acceptable, but
protested at Dan's proposals. The Socialist Revolutionaries were
divided; but the Executive Committee of the Peasants's Soviets and
the Populist Socialists flatly refused to admit the Bolsheviki....
After bitter quarrelling a commission was elected to draw up a
workable plan....

All that night the commission wrangled, and all the next day, and
the next night. Once before, on the 9th of November, there had been
a similar effort at conciliation, led by Martov and Gorky; but at
the approach of Kerensky and the activity of the Committee for
Salvation, the right wing of the Mensheviki, Socialist
Revolutionaries and Populist Socialists suddenly withdrew. Now they
were awed by the crushing of the _yunker_ rebellion...

Monday the 12th was a day of suspense. The eyes of all Russia were
fixed on the grey plain beyond the gates of Petrograd, where all the
available strength of the old order faced the unorganised power of
the new, the unknown. In Moscow a truce had been declared; both
sides parleyed, awaiting the result in the capital. Now the
delegates to the Congress of Soviets, hurrying on speeding trains to
the farthest reaches of Asia, were coming to their homes, carrying
the fiery cross. In wide-spreading ripples news of the miracle
spread over the face of the land, and in its wake towns, cities and
far villages stirred and broke, Soviets and Military Revolutionary
Committees against Dumas, Zemstvos and Government Commissars-Red
Guards against White-street fighting and passionate speech.... The
result waited on the word from Petrograd....

Smolny was almost empty, but the Duma was thronged and noisy. The
old Mayor, in his dignified way, was protesting against the Appeal
of the Bolshevik Councillors.

"The Duma is not a centre of counter-revolution," he said, warmly.
"The Duma takes no part in the present struggle between the parties.
But at a time when there is no legal power in the land, the only
centre of order is the Municipal Self-Government. The peaceful
population recognises this fact; the foreign Embassies recognise
only such documents as are signed by the Mayor of the town. The mind
of a European does not admit of any other situation, as the
Municipal self-government is the only organ which is capable of
protecting the interests of the citizens. The City is bound to show
hospitality, to all organisations which desire to profit by such
hospitality, and therefore the Duma cannot prevent the distribution
of any newspapers whatever within the Duma building. The sphere of
our work is increasing, and we must be given full liberty of action,
and our rights must be respected by both parties....

"We are perfectly neutral. When the Telephone Exchange was occupied
by the _yunkers_ Colonel Polkovnikov ordered the telephones to
Smolny disconnected, but I protested, and the telephones were kept

At this there was ironic laughter from the Bolshevik benches, and
imprecations from the right.

"And yet," went on Schreider, "they look upon us as
counter-revolutionaries and report us to the population. They
deprive us of our means of transport by taking away our last
motor-cars. It will not be our fault if there is famine in the town.
Protests are of no use...."

Kobozev, Bolshevik member of the Town Board, was doubtful whether
the Military Revolutionary Committee had requisitioned the Municipal
automobiles. Even granting the fact, it was probably done by some
unauthorised individual, in the emergency.

"The Mayor," he continued, "tells us that we must not make political
meetings out of the Duma. But every Menshevik and Socialist
Revolutionary here talks nothing but party propaganda, and at the
door they distribute their illegal newspapers, _Iskri_ (Sparks),
_Soldatski Golos_ and _Rabotchaya Gazeta,_ inciting to insurrection.
What if we Bolsheviki should also begin to distribute our papers
here? But this shall not be, for we respect the Duma. We have not
attacked the Municipal Self-Government, and we shall not do so. But
you have addressed an Appeal to the population, and we are entitled
also to do so....

Followed him Shingariov, Cadet, who said that there could be no
common language with those who were liable to be brought before the
Attorney General for indictment, and who must be tried on the charge
of treason.... He proposed again that all Bolshevik members should be
expelled from the Duma. This was tabled, however, for there were no
personal charges against the members, and they were active in the
Municipal administration.

Then two Mensheviki Internationalists, declaring that the Appeal of
the Bolshevik Councillors was a direct incitement to massacre. "If
everything that is against the Bolsheviki is counter-revolutionary,"
said Pinkevitch, "then I do not know the difference between
revolution and anarchy.... The Bolsheviki are depending upon the
passions of the unbridled masses; we have nothing but moral force.
We will protest against massacres and violence from both sides, as
our task is to find a peaceful issue."

"The notice posted in the streets under the heading 'To the
Pillory,' which calls upon the people to destroy the Mensheviki and
Socialist Revolutionaries," said Nazariev, "is a crime which you,
Bolsheviki, will not be able to wash away. Yesterday's horrors are
but a preface to what you are preparing by such a proclamation.... I
have always tried to reconcile you with the other parties, but at
present I feel for you nothing but contempt!"

The Bolshevik Councillors were on their feet, shouting angrily,
assailed by hoarse, hateful voices and waving arms....

Outside the hall I ran into the City Engineer, the Menshevik Gomberg
and three or four reporters. They were all in high spirits.

"See!" they said. "The cowards are afraid of us. They don't dare
arrest the Duma! Their Military Revolutionary Committee doesn't dare
to send a Commissar into this building. Why, on the corner of the
Sadovaya to-day, I saw a Red Guard try to stop a boy selling
_Soldatski Golos_.... The boy just laughed at him, and a crowd of
people wanted to lynch the bandit. It's only a few hours more, now.
Even if Kerensky wouldn't come they haven't the men to run a
Government. Absurd! I understand they're even fighting among
themselves at Smolny!"

A Socialist Revolutionary friend of mine drew me aside. "I know
where the Committee for Salvation is hiding," he said. "Do you want
to go and talk with them?"

By this time it was dusk. The city had again settled down to
normal-shop-shutters up, lights shining, and on the streets great
crowds of people slowly moving up and down and arguing....

At Number 86 Nevsky we went through a passage into a courtyard,
surrounded by tall apartment buildings. At the door of apartment 229
my friend knocked in a peculiar way. There was a sound of scuffling;
an inside door slammed; then the front door opened a crack and a
woman's face appeared. After a minute's observation she led us in-a
placid-looking, middle-aged lady who at once cried, "Kyril, it's all
right!" In the dining-room, where a samovar steamed on the table and
there were plates full of bread and raw fish, a man in uniform
emerged from behind the window-curtains, and another, dressed like a
workman, from a closet. They were delighted to meet an American
reporter. With a certain amount of gusto both said that they would
certainly be shot if the Bolsheviki caught them. They would not give
me their names, but both were Socialist Revolutionaries....

"Why," I asked, "do you publish such lies in your newspapers?"

Without taking offence the officer replied, "Yes, I know; but what
can we do?" He shrugged. "You must admit that it is necessary for us
to create a certain frame of mind in the people...."

The other man interrupted. "This is merely an adventure on the part
of the Bolsheviki. They have no intellectuals. ... The Ministries
won't work.... Russia is not a city, but a whole country.... Realising
that they can only last a few days, we have decided to come to the
aid of the strongest force opposed to them-Kerensky-and help to
restore order."

"That is all very well," I said. "But why do you combine with the

The pseudo-workman smiled frankly. "To tell you the truth, at this
moment the masses of the people are following the Bolsheviki. We
have no following-now. We can't mobilise a handful of soldiers.
There are no arms available.... The Bolsheviki are right to a certain
extent; there are at this moment in Russia only two parties with any
force-the Bolsheviki and the reactionaries, who are all hiding under
the coat-tails of the Cadets. The Cadets think they are using us;
but it is really we who are using the Cadets. When we smash the
Bolsheviki we shall turn against the Cadets...."

"Will the Bolsheviki be admitted into the new Government?"

He scratched his head. "That's a problem," he admitted. "Of course
if they are not admitted, they'sll probably do this all over again.
At any rate, they will have a chance to hold the balance of power in
the Constituent-that is, if there _is_ a Constituent."

"And then, too," said the officer, "that brings up the question of
admitting the Cadets into the new Government-and for the same
reasons. You know the Cadets do not really want the Constituent
Assembly-not if the Bolsheviki can be destroyed now." He shook his
head. "It is not easy for us Russians, politics. You Americans are
born politicians; you have had politics all your lives. But for
us-well, it has only been a year, you know!"

"What do you think of Kerensky?" I asked.

"Oh, Kerensky is guilty of the sins of the Provisional Government,"
answered the other man. "Kerensky himself forced us to accept
coalition with the bourgeoisie. If he had resigned, as he
threatened, it would have meant a new Cabinet crisis only sixteen
weeks before the Constituent Assembly, and that we wanted to avoid."

"But didn't it amount to that anyway?"

"Yes, but how were we to know? They tricked us-the Kerenskys and
Avksentievs. Gotz is a little more radical. I stand with Tchernov,
who is a real revolutionist.... Why, only to-day Lenin sent word that
he would not object to Tchernov entering the Government.

"We wanted to get rid of the Kerensky Government too, but we thought
it better to wait for the Constituent.... At the beginning of this
affair I was with the Bolsheviki, but the Central Committee of my
party voted unanimously against it-and what could I do? It was a
matter of party discipline....

"In a week the Bolshevik Government will go to pieces; if the
Socialist Revolutionaries could only stand aside and wait, the
Government would fall into their hands. But if we wait a week the
country will be so disorganised that the German imperialists will be
victorious. That is why we began our revolt with only two regiments
of soldiers promising to support us-and they turned against us....
That left only the _yunkers_...."

"How about the Cossacks?"

The officer sighed. "They did not move. At first they said they
would come out if they had infantry support. They said moreover that
they had their men with Kerensky, and that they were doing their
part.... Then, too, they said that the Cossacks were always accused of
being the hereditary enemies of democracy.... And finally, 'The
Bolsheviki promise that they will not take away our land. There is
no danger to us. We remain neutral.'"

During this talk people were constantly entering and leaving-most of
them officers, their shoulder-straps torn off. We could see them in
the hall, and hear their low, vehement voices. Occasionally, through
the half-drawn portières, we caught a glimpse of a door opening into
a bath-room, where a heavily-built officer in a colonel's uniform
sat on the toilet, writing something on a pad held in his lap. I
recognised Colonel Polkovnikov, former commandant of Petrograd, for
whose arrest the Military Revolutionary Committee would have paid a

"Our programme?" said the officer. "This is it. Land to be turned
over to the Land Committees. Workmen to have full representation in
the control of industry. An energetic peace programme, but not an
ultimatum to the world such as the Bolsheviki issued. The Bolsheviki
cannot keep their promises to the masses, even in the country
itself. We won't let them.... They stole our land programme in order
to get the support of the peasants. That is dishonest. If they had
waited for the Constituent Assembly-"

"It doesn't matter about the Constituent Assembly!" broke in the
officer. "If the Bolsheviki want to establish a Socialist state
here, we cannot work with them in any event! Kerensky made the great
mistake. He let the Bolsheviki know what he was going to do by
announcing in the Council of the Republic that he had ordered their

"But what," I said, "do you intend to do now?"

The two men looked at one another. "You will see in a few days. If
there are enough troops from the front on our side, we shall not
compromise with the Bolsheviki. If not, perhaps we shall be forced

Out again on the Nevsky we swung on the step of a streetcar bulging
with people, its platforms bent down from the weight and scraping
along the ground, which crawled with agonising slowness the long
miles to Smolny.

Meshkovsky, a neat, frail little man, was coming down the hall,
looking worried. The strikes in the Ministries, he told us, were
having their effect. For instance, the Council of People's
Commissars had promised to publish the Secret Treaties; but Neratov,
the functionary in charge, had disappeared, taking the documents
with him. They were supposed to be hidden in the British Embassy....

Worst of all, however, was the strike in the banks. "Without money,"
said Menzhinsky, "we are helpless. The wages of the railroad men, of
the postal and telegraph employees, must be paid.... The banks are
closed; and the key to the situation, the State Bank, is also shut.
All the bank-clerks in Russia have been bribed to stop work....

"But Lenin has issued an order to dynamite the State Bank vaults,
and there is a Decree just out, ordering the private banks to open
to-morrow, or we will open them ourselves!"

The Petrograd Soviet was in full swing, thronged with armed men,
Trotzky reporting:

"The Cossacks are falling back from Krasnoye Selo." (Sharp, exultant
cheering.) "But the battle is only beginning. At Pulkovo heavy
fighting is going on. All available forces must be hurried there....

"From Moscow, bad news. The Kremlin is in the hands of the
_yunkers,_ and the workers have only a few arms. The result depends
upon Petrograd.

"At the front, the decrees on Peace and Land are provoking great
enthusiasm. Kerensky is flooding the trenches with tales of
Petrograd burning and bloody, of women and children massacred by the
Bolsheviki. But no one believes him....

"The cruisers _Oleg, Avrora_ and _Respublica_ are anchored in the
Neva, their guns trained on the approaches to the city...."

"Why aren't you out there with the Red Guards?" shouted a rough

"I'm going now!" answered Trotzky, and left the platform. His face a
little paler than usual, he passed down the side of the room,         e room,         |          |
surrounded by eager friends, and hurried out to the waiting

Kameniev now spoke, describing the proceedings of the reconciliation
conference. The armistice conditions proposed by the Mensheviki, he
said, had been contemptuously rejected. Even the branches of the
Railwaymen's Union had voted against such a proposition....

"Now that we've won the power and are sweeping all Russia," he
declared, "all they ask of us are three little things: 1. To
surrender the power. 2. To make the soldiers continue the war. 3. To
make the peasants forget about the land...."

Lenin appeared for a moment, to answer the accusations of the
Socialist Revolutionaries:

"They charge us with stealing their land programme.... If that is so,
we bow to them. It is good enough for us...."

So the meeting roared on, leader after leader explaining, exhorting,
arguing, soldier after soldier, workman after workman, standing up
to speak his mind and his heart.... The audience flowed, changing and
renewed continually. From time to time men came in, yelling for the
members of such and such a detachment, to go to the front; others,
relieved, wounded, or coming to Smolny for arms and equipment,
poured in....

It was almost three o'clock in the morning when, as we left the
hall, Holtzman, of the Military Revolutionary Committee, came
running down the hall with a transfigured face.

"It's all right!" he shouted, grabbing my hands. "Telegram from the
front. Kerensky is smashed! Look at this!"

He held out a sheet of paper, scribbled hurriedly in pencil, and
then, seeing we couldn't read it, he declaimed aloud:

Pulkovo. Staff. 2.10 A.M.

The night of October 30th to 31st will go down in history. The
attempt of Kerensky to move counter-revolutionary troops against the
capital of the Revolution has been decisively repulsed. Kerensky is
retreating, we are advancing. The soldiers, sailors and workers of
Petrograd have shown that they can and will with arms in their hands
enforce the will and authority of the democracy. The bourgeoisie
tried to isolate the revolutionary army. Kerensky attempted to break
it by the force of the Cossacks. Both plans met a pitiful defeat.

The grand idea of the domination of the worker and peasant democracy
closed the ranks of the army and hardened its will. All the country
from now on will be convinced that the Power of the Soviets is no
ephemeral thing, but an invincible fact.... The repulse of Kerensky is
the repulse of the land-owners, the bourgeoisie and the Kornilovists
in general. The repulse of Kerensky is the confirmation of the right
of the people to a peaceful free life, to land, bread and power. The
Pulkovo detachment by its valorous blow has strengthened the cause
of the Workers' and Peasants's Revolution. There is no return to the
past. Before us are struggles, obstacles and sacrifices. But the
road is clear and victory is certain.

Revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Power can be proud of their
Pulkovo detachment, acting under the command of Colonel Walden.
Eternal memory to those who fell! Glory to the warriors of the
Revolution, the soldiers and the officers who were faithful to the

Long live revolutionary, popular, Socialist Russia!

In the name of the Council,

L. TROTZKY, People's Commissar....

Driving home across Znamensky Square, we made out an unusual crowd
in front of the Nicolai Railway Station. Several thousand sailors
were massed there, bristling with rifles.

Standing on the steps, a member of the _Vikzhel_ was pleading with

"Comrades, we cannot carry you to Moscow. We are neutral. We do not
carry troops for either side. We cannot take you to Moscow, where
already there is terrible civil war...."

All the seething Square roared at him; the sailors began to surge
forward. Suddenly another door was flung wide; in it stood two or
three brakeman, a fireman or so.

"This way, comrades!" cried one. "We will take you to Moscow-or
Vladivostok, if you like! Long live the Revolution!"

Chapter IX


_Order Number I_

To the Troops of the Pulkovo Detachment.

November 13, 1917. 38 minutes past 9 a. m.

After a cruel fight the troops of the Pulkovo detachment completely
routed the counter-revolutionary forces, who retreated from their
positions in disorder, and under cover of Tsarskoye Selo fell back
toward Pavlovsk II and Gatchina.

Our advanced units occupied the northeastern extremity of Tsarskoye
Selo and the station Alexandrovskaya. The Colpinno detachment was on
our left, the Krasnoye Selo detachment to our right.

I ordered the Pulkovo forces to occupy Tsarskoye Selo, to fortify
its approaches, especially on the side of Gatchina.

Also to pass and occupy Pavlovskoye, fortifying its southern side,
and to take up the railroad as far as Dno.

The troops must take all measures to strengthen the positions
occupied by them, arranging trenches and other defensive works.

They must enter into close liaison with the detachments of Colpinno
and Krasnoye Selo, and also with the Staff of the Commander in Chief
for the Defence of Petrograd.


_Commander in Chief aver all Forces acting against the
Counter-revolutionary Troops of Kerensky,_

Lieutenant-Colonel MURAVIOV.

Tuesday morning. But how is this? Only two days ago the Petrograd
campagna was full of leaderless bands, wandering aimlessly; without
food, without artillery, without a plan. What had fused that
disorganised mass of undisciplined Red Guards, and soldiers without
officers, into an army obedient to its own elected high command,
tempered to meet and break the assault of cannon and Cossack
cavalry? (See App. IX, Sect. 1)

People in revolt have a way of defying military precedent. The
ragged armies of the French Revolution are not forgotten-Valmy and
the Lines of Weissembourg. Massed against the Soviet forces were
_yunkers,_ Cossacks, land-owners, nobility, Black Hundreds-the Tsar
come again, _Okhrana_ and Siberian chains; and the vast and terrible
menace of the Germans.... Victory, in the words of Carlyle, meant
"Apotheosis and Millennium without end!"

Sunday night, the Commissars of the Military Revolutionary Committee
returning desperately from the field, the garrison of Petrograd
elected its Committee of Five, its Battle Staff, three soldiers and
two officers, all certified free from counter-revolutionary taint.
Colonel Muraviov, ex-patriot, was in command-an efficient man, but
to be carefully watched. At Colpinno, at Obukhovo, at Pulkovo and
Krasnoye Selo were formed provisional detachments, increased in size
as the stragglers came in from the surrounding country-mixed
soldiers, sailors and Red Guards, parts of regiments, infantry,
cavalry and artillery all together, and a few armoured cars.

Day broke, and the pickets of Kerensky's Cossacks came in touch.
Scattered rifle-fire, summons to surrender. Over the bleak plain on
the cold quiet air spread the sound of battle, falling upon the ears
of roving bands as they gathered about their little fires, waiting....
So it was beginning! They made toward the battle; and the worker
hordes pouring out along the straight roads quickened their pace....
Thus upon all the points of attack automatically converged angry
human swarms, to be met by Commissars and assigned positions, or
work to do. This was _their_ battle, for _their_ world; the officers
in command were elected by _them._ For the moment that incoherent
multiple will was one will....

Those who participated in the fighting described to me how the
sailors fought until they ran out of cartridges, and then stormed;
how the untrained workmen rushed the charging Cossacks and tore them
from their horses; how the anonymous hordes of the people, gathering
in the darkness around the battle, rose like a tide and poured over
the enemy.... Before midnight of Monday the Cossacks broke and were
fleeing, leaving their artillery behind them, and the army of the
proletariat, on a long ragged front, moved forward and rolled into
Tsarskoye, before the enemy had a chance to destroy the great
Government wireless station, from which now the Commissars of Smolny
were hurling out to the world paeans of triumph....


The 12th of November, in a bloody combat near Tsarskoye Selo, the
revolutionary army defeated the counter-revolutionary troops of
Kerensky and Kornilov. In the name of the Revolutionary Government I
order all regiments to take the offensive against the enemies of the
revolutionary democracy, and to take all measures to arrest
Kerensky, and also to oppose any adventure which might menace the
conquests of the Revolution and the victory of the proletariat.

Long live the Revolutionary Army!

News from the provinces....

At Sevastopol the local Soviet had assumed the power; a huge meeting
of the sailors on the battleships in the harbour had forced their
officers to line up and swear allegiance to the new Government. At
Nizhni Novgorod the Soviet was in control. From Kazan came reports
of a battle in the streets, _yunkers_ and a brigade of artillery
against the Bolshevik garrison....

Desperate fighting had broken out again in Moscow. The _yunkers_ and
White Guards held the Kremlin and the centre of the town, beaten
upon from all sides by the troops of the Military Revolutionary
Committee. The Soviet artillery was stationed in Skobeliev Square,
bombarding the City Duma building, the Prefecture and the Hotel
Metropole. The cobblestones of the Tverskaya and Nikitskaya had been
torn up for trenches and barricades. A hail of machine-gun fire
swept the quarters of the great banks and commercial houses. There
were no lights, no telephones; the bourgeois population lived in the
cellars.... The last bulletin said that the Military Revolutionary
Committee had delivered an ultimatum to the Committee of Public
Safety, demanding the immediate surrender of the Kremlin, or
bombardment would follow.

"Bombard the Kremlin?" cried the ordinary citizen. "They dare not!"

From Vologda to Chita in far Siberia, from Pskov to Sevastopol on
the Black Sea, in great cities and little villages, civil war burst
into flame. From thousands of factories, peasant communes, regiments
and armies, ships on the wide sea, greetings poured into
Petrograd-greetings to the Government of the People.

The Cossack Government at Novotcherkask telegraphed to Kerensky,
_"The Government of the Cossack troops invites the Provisional
Government and the members of the Council of the Republic to come,
if possible, to Novotcherkask, where we can organise in common the
struggle against the Bolsheviki."_

In Finland, also, things were stirring. The Soviet of Helsingfors
and the _Tsentrobalt_ (Central Committee of the Baltic Fleet),
jointly proclaimed a state of siege, and declared that all attempts
to interfere with the Bolshevik forces, and all armed resistance to
its orders, would be severely repressed. At the same time the
Finnish Railway Union called a countrywide general strike, to put
into operation the laws passed by the Socialist Diet of June, 1917,
dissolved by Kerensky....

Early in the morning I went out to Smolny. Going up the long wooden
sidewalk from the outer gate I saw the first thin, hesitating
snow-flakes fluttering down from the grey, windless sky. "Snow!"
cried the soldier at the door, grinning with delight. "Good for the
health!" Inside, the long, gloomy halls and bleak rooms seemed
deserted. No one moved in all the enormous pile. A deep, uneasy
sound came to my ears, and looking around, I noticed that everywhere
on the floor, along the walls, men were sleeping. Rough, dirty men,
workers and soldiers, spattered and caked with mud, sprawled alone
or in heaps, in the careless attitudes of death. Some wore ragged
bandages marked with blood. Guns and cartridge-belts were scattered
about.... The victorious proletarian army!

In the upstairs buffet so thick they lay that one could hardly walk.
The air was foul. Through the clouded windows a pale light streamed.
A battered samovar, cold, stood on the counter, and many glasses
holding dregs of tea. Beside them lay a copy of the Military
Revolutionary Committee's last bulletin, upside down, scrawled with
painful hand-writing. It was a memorial written by some soldier to
his comrades fallen in the fight against Kerensky, just as he had
set it down before falling on the floor to sleep. The writing was
blurred with what looked like tears....

Alexei Vinogradov

D. Maskvin

S. Stolbikov

A. Voskressensky

D. Leonsky

D. Preobrazhensky

V. Laidansky

M. Berchikov

These men were drafted into the Army on November 15th, 1916. Only
three are left of the above.

Mikhail Berchikov

Alexei Voskressensky

Dmitri Leonsky

_Sleep, Warrior eagles, sleep with peaceful soul._

_You have deserved, our own ones, happiness and_

_Eternal peace. Under the earth of the grave_

_You have straitly closed your ranks. Sleep, Citizens!_

Only the Military Revolutionary Committee still functioned,
unsleeping. Skripnik, emerging from the inner room, said that Gotz
had been arrested, but had flatly denied signing the proclamation of
the Committee for Salvation, as had Avksentiev; and the Committee
for Salvation itself had repudiated the Appeal to the garrison.
There was still disafiection among the city regiments, Skripnik
reported; the Volhynsky Regiment had refused to fight against

Several detachments of "neutral" troops, with Tchernov at their
head, were at Gatchina, trying to persuade Kerensky to halt his
attack on Petrograd.

Skripnik laughed. "There can be no 'neutrals' now," he said. "We've
won!" His sharp, bearded face glowed with an almost religious
exaltation. "More than sixty delegates have arrived from the Front,
with assurances of support by all the armies except the troops on
the Rumanian front, who have not been heard from. The Army
Committees have suppressed all news from Petrograd, but we now have
a regular system of couriers...."

[Graphic page-224 Certificate approving telegram transmission]
Order given me at Staff headquarters by command of the Council of
People's Commissars, to transmit the first despatch out of Perograd
after the November Revolution, over the Government wires to America.
Military Revolutionary
Sov. W. & S. D.
2 November, 1917
     No. 1860
Is given by the present to the journalist of
the New York Socialist press JOHN REED, that the text of the
telegram (herewith) has been examined by the Government of People's
Commissars, and there is no objection to its transmission, and also
it is recommended that all cooperate in every way to transmit same
to its destination.
                      For the Commander in Chief, ANTONOV
                      Chief of Staff, VLAD. BONCH-BRUEVITCH

Down in the front hall Kameniev was just entering, worn out by the
all-night session of the Conference to Form a New Government, but
happy. "Already the Socialist Revolutionaries are inclined to admit
us into the new Government," he told me. "The right wing groups are
frightened by the Revolutionary Tribunals; they demand, in a sort of
panic, that we dissolve them before going any further. ... We have
accepted the proposition of the _Vikzhel_ to form a homogeneous
Socialist Ministry, and they're working on that now. You see, it all
springs from our victory. When we were down, they would't have us at
any price; not everybody's in favour of some agreement with the
Soivets.... What we need is a really decisive victory. Kerensky wants
an armistice, but he'll have to surrender (See App. IX, Sect. 2) ...."

That was the temper of the Bolshevik leaders. To a foreign
journalist who asked Trotzky what statement he had to make to the
world, Trotzky replied: "At this moment the only statement possible
is the one we are making through the mouths of our cannon!"

But there was an undercurrent of real anxiety in the tide of
victory; the question of finances. Instead of opening the banks, as
had been ordered by the Military Revolutionary Committee, the Union
of Bank Employees had held a meeting and declared a formal strike.
Smolny had demanded some thirty-five millions of rubles from the
State Bank, and the cashier had locked the vaults, only paying out
money to the representatives of the Provisional Government. The
reactionaries were using the State Bank as a political weapon; for
instance, when the _Vikzhel_ demanded money to pay the salaries of
the employees of the Government railroads, it was told to apply to

I went to the State Bank to see the new Commissar, a redhaired
Ukrainean Bolshevik named Petrovitch. He was trying to bring order
out of the chaos in which affairs had been left by the striking
clerks. In all the offices of the huge place perspiring volunteer
workers, soldiers and sailors, their tongues sticking out of their
mouths in the intensity of their effort, were poring over the great
ledgers with a bewildered air....

The Duma building was crowded. There were still isolated cases of
defiance toward the new Government, but they were rare. The Central
Land Committee had appealed to the Peasants, ordering them not to
recognise the Land Decree passed by the Congress of the Soviets,
because it would cause confusion and civil war. Mayor Schreider
announced that because of the Bolshevik insurrection, the elections
to the Constituent Assembly would have to be indefinitely postponed.

Two questions seemed to be uppermost in all minds, shocked by the
ferocity of the civil war; first, a truce to the bloodshed (See App.
IX, Sect. 3)-second, the creation of a new Government. There was no
longer any talk of "destroying the Bolsheviki"-and very little about
excluding them from the Government, except from the Populist
Socialists and the Peasants' Soviets. Even the Central Army
Committee at the _Stavka,_ the most determined enemy of Smolny,
telephoned from Moghilev: "If, to constitute the new Ministry, it is
necessary to come to an understanding with the Bolsheviki, we agree
to admit them _in a minority_ to the Cabinet."

_Pravda,_ ironically calling attention to Kerensky's "humanitarian
sentiments," published his despatch to the Committee for Salvation:

In accord with the proposals of the Committee for Salvation and all
the democratic organisations united around it, I have halted all
military action against the rebels. A delegate of the Committee has
been sent to enter into negotiations. Take all measures to stop the
useless shedding of blood.

The _Vikzhel_ sent a telegram to all Russia:

The Conference of the Union of Railway Workers with the
representatives of both the belligerent parties, who admit the
necessity of an agreement, protest energetically against the use of
political terrorism in the civil war, especially when it is carried
on between different factions of the revolutionary democracy, and
declare that political terrorism, in whatever form, is in
contradiction to the very idea of the negotiations for a new

[Graphic page-227 Leaflet ]

Popular leaflet sold in the streets just after the Bolshevik
insurrection, containing rhymes and jokes about the defeated
bourgeoisie and the "moderate" Socialist leaders, Called, "How THE

Delegations from the Conference were sent to the Front, to Gatchina.
In the Conference itself everything seemed on the point of final
settlement. It had even been decided to elect a Provisional People's
Council, composed of about four hundred members-seventy-five
representing Smolny, seventy-five the old _Tsay-ee-kah,_ and the
rest split up among the Town Dumas, the Trade Unions, Land
Committees and political parties. Tchernov was mentioned as the new
Premier. Lenin and Trotzky, rumour said, were to be excluded....

About noon I was again in front of Smolny, talking with the driver
of an ambulance bound for the revolutionary front. Could I go with
him? Certainly! He was a volunteer, a University student, and as we
rolled down the street shouted over his shoulder to me phrases of
execrable German: _"Also, gut! Wir nach die Kasernen zu essen
gehen!"_ I made out that there would be lunch at some barracks.

On the Kirotchnaya we turned into an immense courtyard surrounded by
military buildings, and mounted a dark stairway to a low room lit by
one window. At a long wooden table were seated some twenty soldiers,
eating _shtchi_ (cabbage soup) from a great tin wash-tub with wooden
spoons, and talking loudly with much laughter.

"Welcome to the Battalion Committee of the Sixth Reserve Engineers'
Battalion!" cried my friend, and introduced me as an American
Socialist. Whereat every one rose to shake my hand, and one old
soldier put his arms around me and gave me a hearty kiss. A wooden
spoon was produced and I took my place at the table. Another tub,
full of _kasha,_ was brought in, a huge loaf of black bread, and of
course the inevitable tea-pots. At once every one began asking me
questions about America: Was it true that people in a free country
sold their votes for _money?_ If so, how did they get what they
wanted? How about this "Tammany"? Was it true that in a free country
a little group of people could control a whole city, and exploited
it for their personal benefit? Why did the people stand it? Even
under the Tsar such things could not happen in Russia; true, here
there was always graft, but to buy and sell a whole city full of
people! And in a free country! Had the people no revolutionary
feeling? I tried to explain that in my country people tried to
change things by law.

"Of course," nodded a young sergeant, named Baklanov, who spoke
French. "But you have a highly developed capitalist class? Then the
capitalist class must control the legislatures and the courts. How
then can the people change things? I am open to conviction, for I do
not know your country; but to me it is incredible...."

I said that I was going to Tsarskoye Selo. "I, too," said Baklanov,
suddenly. "And I-and I-" The whole roomful decided on the spot to go
to Tsarskoye Selo.

Just then came a knock on the door. It opened, and in it stood the
figure of the Colonel. No one rose, but all shouted a greeting. "May
I come in?" asked the Colonel. "_Prosim! Prosim!_" they answered
heartily. He entered, smiling, a tall, distinguished figure in a
goat-skin cape embroidered with gold. "I think I heard you say that
you were going to Tsarskoye Selo, comrades," he said. "Could I go
with you?"

Baklanov considered. "I do not think there is anything to be done
here to-day," he answered. "Yes, comrade, we shall be very glad to
have you." The Colonel thanked him and sat down, filling a glass of

In a low voice, for fear of wounding the Colonel's pride, Baklanov
explained to me. "You see, I am the chairman of the Committee. We
control the Battalion absolutely, except in action, when the Colonel
is delegated by us to command. In action his orders must be obeyed,
but he is strictly responsible to us. In barracks he must ask our
permission before taking any action.... You might call him our
Executive Officer...."

Arms were distributed to us, revolvers and rifles-"we might meet
some Cossacks, you know"-and we all piled into the ambulance,
together with three great bundles of newspapers for the front.
Straight down the Liteiny we rattled, and along the Zagorodny
Prospekt. Next to me sat a youth with the shoulder-straps of a
Lieutenant, who seemed to speak all European languages with equal
fluency. He was a member of the Battalion Committee.

"I am not a Bolshevik," he assured me, emphatically. "My family is a
very ancient and noble one. I, myself, am, you might say, a Cadet...."

"But how--?" I began, bewildered.

"Oh, yes, I am a member of the Committee. I make no secret of my
political opinions, but the others do not mind, because they know I
do not believe in opposing the will of the majority.... I have refused
to take any action in the present civil war, however, for I do not
believe in taking up arms against my brother Russians...."

"Provocator! Kornilovitz!" the others cried at him gaily, slapping
him on the shoulder....

Passing under the huge grey stone archway of the Moskovsky Gate,
covered with golden hieroglyphics, ponderous Imperial eagles and the
names of Tsars, we sped out on the wide straight highway, grey with
the first light fall of snow. It was thronged with Red Guards,
stumbling along on foot toward the revolutionary front, shouting and
singing; and others, greyfaced and muddy, coming back. Most of them
seemed to be mere boys. Women with spades, some with rifles and
bandoleers, others wearing the Red Cross on their arm-bands-the
bowed, toil-worm women of the slums. Squads of soldiers marching out
of step, with an affectionate jeer for the Red Guards; sailors,
grim-looking; children with bundles of food for their fathers and
mothers; all these, coming and going, trudged through the whitened
mud that covered the cobbles of the highway inches deep. We passed
cannon, jingling southward with their caissons; trucks bound both
ways, bristling with armed men; ambulances full of wounded from the
direction of the battle, and once a peasant cart, creaking slowly
along, in which sat a white-faced boy bent over his shattered
stomach and screaming monotonously. In the fields on either side
women and old men were digging trenches and stringing barbed wire

Back northward the clouds rolled away dramatically, and the pale sun
came out. Across the flat, marshy plain Petrograd glittered. To the
right, white and gilded and coloured bulbs and pinnacles; to the
left, tall chimneys, some pouring out black smoke; and beyond, a
lowering sky over Finland. On each side of us were churches,
monasteries.... Occasionally a monk was visible, silently watching the
pulse of the proletarian army throbbing on the road.

At Pulkovo the road divided, and there we halted in the midst of a
great crowd, where the human streams poured from three directions,
friends meeting, excited and congratulatory, describing the battle
to one another. A row of houses facing the cross-roads was marked
with bullets, and the earth was trampled into mud half a mile
around. The fighting had been furious here.... In the near distance
riderless Cossack horses circled hungrily, for the grass of the
plain had died long ago. Right in front of us an awkward Red Guard
was trying to ride one, falling off again and again, to the
childlike delight of a thousand rough men.

The left road, along which the remnants of the Cossacks had
retreated, led up a little hill to a hamlet, where there was a
glorious view of the immense plain, grey as a windless sea,
tumultuous clouds towering over, and the imperial city disgorging
its thousands along all the roads. Far over to the left lay the
little hill of Kranoye Selo, the parade-ground of the Imperial
Guards' summer camp, and the Imperial Dairy. In the middle distance
nothing broke the flat monotony but a few walled monasteries and
convents, some isolated factories, and several large buildings with
unkempt grounds that were asylums and orphanages....

"Here," said the driver, as we went on over a barren hill, "here was
where Vera Slutskaya died. Yes, the Bolshevik member of the Duma. It
happened early this morning. She was in an automobile, with Zalkind
and another man. There was a truce, and they started for the front
trenches. They were talking and laughing, when all of a sudden, from
the armoured train in which Kerensky himself was riding, somebody
saw the automobile and fired a cannon. The shell struck Vera
Slutskaya and killed her...."

And so we came into Tsarskoye, all bustling with the swaggering
heroes of the proletarian horde. Now the palace where the Soviet had
met was a busy place. Red Guards and sailors filled the court-yard,
sentries stood at the doors, and a stream of couriers and Commissars
pushed in and out. In the Soviet room a samovar had been set up, and
fifty or more workers, soldiers, sailors and officers stood around,
drinking tea and talking at the top of their voices. In one corner
two clumsy-handed workingmen were trying to make a multigraphing
machine go. At the centre table, the huge Dybenko bent over a map,
marking out positions for the troops with red and blue pencils. In
his free hand he carried, as always, the enormous bluesteel
revolver. Anon he sat himself down at a typewriter and pounded away
with one finger; every little while he would pause, pick up the
revolver, and lovingly spin the chamber.

A couch lay along the wall, and on this was stretched a young
workman. Two Red Guards were bending over him, but the rest of the
company did not pay any attention. In his breast was a hole; through
his clothes fresh blood came welling up with every heart-beat. His
eyes were closed and his young, bearded face was greenish-white.
Faintly and slowly he still breathed, with every breath sighing,
_"Mir boudit! Mir boudit!_ (Peace is coming! Peace is coming!)"

Dybenko looked up as we came in. "Ah," he said to Baklanov.
"Comrade, will you go up to the Commandant's headquarters and take
charge? Wait; I will write you credentials." He went to the
typewriter and slowly picked out the letters.

The new Commandant of Tsarskoye Selo and I went toward the Ekaterina
Palace, Baklanov very excited and important. In the same ornate,
white room some Red Guards were rummaging curiously around, while my
old friend, the Colonel, stood by the window biting his moustache.
He greeted me like a long-lost brother. At a table near the door sat
the French Bessarabian. The Bolsheviki had ordered him to remain,
and continue his work.

"What could I do?" he muttered. "People like myself cannot fight on
either side in such a war as this, no matter how much we may
instinctively dislike the dictatorship of the mob.... I only regret
that I am so far from my mother in Bessarabia!"

Baklanov was formally taking over the office from the Commandant.
"Here," said the Colonel nervously, "are the keys to the desk."

A Red Guard interrupted. "Where's the money?" he asked rudely. The
Colonel seemed surprised. "Money? Money? Ah, you mean the chest.
There it is," said the Colonel, "just as I found it when I took
possession three days ago. Keys?" The Colonel shrugged. "I have no

The Red Guard sneered knowingly. "Very convenient," he said.

"Let us open the chest," said Baklanov. "Bring an axe. Here is an
American comrade. Let him smash the chest open, and write down what
he finds there."

I swung the axe. The wooden chest was empty.

"Let's arrest him," said the Red Guard, venomously. "He is
Kerensky's man. He has stolen the money and given it to Kerensky."

Baklanov did not want to. "Oh, no," he said. "It was the Kornilovitz
before him. He is not to blame.

"The devil!" cried the Red Guard. "He is Kerensky's man, I tell you.
If _you_ won't arrest him, then _we_ will, and we'll take him to
Petrograd and put him in Peter-Paul, where he belongs!" At this the
other Red Guards growled assent. With a piteous glance at us the
Colonel was led away....

Down in front of the Soviet palace an auto-truck was going to the
front. Half a dozen Red Guards, some sailors, and a soldier or two,
under command of a huge workman, clambered in, and shouted to me to
come along. Red Guards issued from headquarters, each of them
staggering under an arm-load of small, corrugated-iron bombs, filled
with _grubit_-which, they say, is ten times as strong, and five
times as sensitive as dynamite; these they threw into the truck. A
three-inch cannon was loaded and then tied onto the tail of the
truck with bits of rope and wire.

We started with a shout, at top speed of course; the heavy truck
swaying from side to side. The cannon leaped from one wheel to the
other, and the _grubit_ bombs went rolling back and forth over our
feet, fetching up against the sides of the car with a crash.

The big Red Guard, whose name was Vladimir Nicolaievitch, plied me
with questions about America. "Why did America come into the war?
Are the American workers ready to throw over the capitalists? What
is the situation in the Mooney case now? Will they extradite Berkman
to San Francisco?" and other, very difficult to answer, all
delivered in a shout above the roaring of the truck, while we held
on to each other and danced amid the caroming bombs.

Occasionally a patrol tried to stop us. Soldiers ran out into the
road before us, shouted _"Shtoi!"_ and threw up their guns.

We paid no attention. "The devil take you!" cried the Red Guards.
"We don't stop for anybody! We're Red Guards!" And we thundered
imperiously on, while Vladimir Nicolaievitch bellowed to me about
the internationalisation of the Panama Canal, and such matters....

About five miles out we saw a squad of sailors marching back, and
slowed down.

"Where's the front, brothers?"

The foremost sailor halted and scratched his head. "This morning,"
he said, "it was about half a kilometer down the road. But the damn
thing isn't anywhere now. We walked and walked and walked, but we
couldn't find it."

They climbed into the truck, and we proceeded. It must have been
about a mile further that Vladimir Nicolaievitch cocked his ear and
shouted to the chauffeur to stop.

"Firing!" he said. "Do you hear it?" For a moment dead silence, and
then, a little ahead and to the left, three shots in rapid
succession. Along here the side of the road was heavily wooded. Very
much excited now, we crept along, speaking in whispers, until the
truck was nearly opposite the place where the firing had come from.
Descending, we spread out, and every man carrying his rifle, went
stealthily into the forest.

Two comrades, meanwhile, detached the cannon and slewed it around
until it aimed as nearly as possible at our backs.

It was silent in the woods. The leaves were gone, and the
tree-trunks were a pale wan colour in the low, sickly autumn sun.
Not a thing moved, except the ice of little woodland pools shivering
under our feet. Was it an ambush?

We went uneventfully forward until the trees began to thin, and
paused. Beyond, in a little clearing, three soldiers sat around a
small fire, perfectly oblivious.

Vladimir Nicolaievitch stepped forward. _"Zra'zvuitye,_ comrades!"
he greeted, while behind him one cannon, twenty rifles and a
truck-load of _grubit_ bombs hung by a hair. The soldiers scrambled
to their feet.

"What was the shooting going on around here?"

One of the soldiers answered, looking relieved, "Why we were just
shooting a rabbit or two, comrade...."

The truck hurtled on toward Romanov, through the bright, empty day.
At the first cross-roads two soldiers ran out in front of us, waving
their rifles. We slowed down, and stopped.

"Passes, comrades!"

The Red Guards raised a great clamour. "We are Red Guards. We don't
need any passes.... Go on, never mind them!"

But a sailor objected. "This is wrong, comrades. We must have
revolutionary discipline. Suppose some counterrevolutionaries came
along in a truck and said: 'We don't need any passes?' The comrades
don't know you."

At this there was a debate. One by one, however, the sailors and
soldiers joined with the first. Grumbling, each Red Guard produced
his dirty _bumaga_ (paper). All were alike except mine, which had
been issued by the Revolutionary Staff at Smolny. The sentries
declared that I must go with them. The Red Guards objected
strenuously, but the sailor who had spoken first insisted. "This
comrade we know to be a true comrade," he said. "But there are
orders of the Committee, and these orders must be obeyed. That is
revolutionary discipline...."

In order not to make any trouble, I got down from the truck, and
watched it disappear careening down the road, all the company waving
farewell. The soldiers consulted in low tones for a moment, and then
led me to a wall, against which they placed me. It flashed upon me
suddenly; they were going to shoot me!

In all three directions not a human being was in sight. The only
sign of life was smoke from the chimney of a _datchya,_ a rambling
wooden house a quarter of a mile up the side road. The two soldiers
were walking out into the road. Desperately I ran after them.

"But comrades! See! Here is the seal of the Military Revolutionary

They stared stupidly at my pass, then at each other.

"It is different from the others," said one, sullenly. "We cannot
read, brother."

I took him by the arm. "Come!" I said. "Let's go to that house. Some
one there can surely read." They hesitated. "No," said one. The
other looked me over. "Why not?" he muttered. "After all, it is a
serious crime to kill an innocent man."

We walked up to the front door of the house and knocked. A short,
stout woman opened it, and shrank back in alarm, babbling, "I don't
know anything about them! I don't know anything about them!" One of
my guards held out the pass. She screamed. "Just to read it,
comrade." Hesitatingly she took the paper and read aloud, swiftly:

The bearer of this pass, John Reed, is a representative of the
American Social-Democracy, an internationalist....

Out on the road again the two soldiers held another consultation.
"We must take you to the Regimental Committee," they said. In the
fast-deepening twilight we trudged along the muddy road.
Occasionally we met squads of soldiers, who stopped and surrounded
me with looks of menace, handling my pass around and arguing
violently as to whether or not I should be killed....

It was dark when we came to the barracks of the Second Tsarskoye
Selo Rifles, low sprawling buildings huddled along the post-road. A
number of soldiers slouching at the entrance asked eager questions.
A spy? A provocator? We mounted a winding stair and emerged into a
great, bare room with a huge stove in the centre, and rows of cots
on the floor, where about a thousand soldiers were playing cards,
talking, singing, and asleep. In the roof was a jagged hole made by
Kerensky's cannon....

I stood in the doorway, and a sudden silence ran among the groups,
who turned and stared at me. Of a sudden they began to move, slowly
and then with a rush, thundering, with faces full of hate.
"Comrades! Comrades!" yelled one of my guards. "Committee!
Committee!" The throng halted, banked around me, muttering. Out of
them shouldered a lean youth, wearing a red arm-band.

"Who is this?" he asked roughly. The guards explained. "Give me the
paper!" He read it carefully, glancing at me with keen eyes. Then he
smiled and handed me the pass. "Comrades, this is an American
comrade. I am Chairman of the Committee, and I welcome you to the
Regiment...." A sudden general buzz grew into a roar of greeting, and
they pressed forward to shake my hand.

"You have not dined? Here we have had our dinner. You shall go to
the Officers' Club, where there are some who speak your language...."

He led me across the court-yard to the door of another building. An
aristocratic-looking youth, with the shoulder straps of a
Lieutenant, was entering. The Chairman presented me, and shaking
hands, went back.

"I am Stepan Georgevitch Morovsky, at your service," said the
Lieutenant, in perfect French. From the ornate entrance hall a
ceremonial staircase led upward, lighted by glittering lustres. On
the second floor billiard-rooms, card-rooms, a library opened from
the hall. We entered the dining-room, at a long table in the centre
of which sat about twenty officers in full uniform, wearing their
gold- and silver-handled swords, the ribbons and crosses of Imperial
decorations. All rose politely as I entered, and made a place for me
beside the Colonel, a large, impressive man with a grizzled beard.
Orderlies were deftly serving dinner. The atmosphere was that of any
officers' mess in Europe. Where was the Revolution?

"You are not Bolsheviki?" I asked Morovsky.

A smile went around the table, but I caught one or two glancing
furtively at the orderly.

"No," answered my friend. "There is only one Bolshevik officer in
this regiment. He is in Petrograd to-night. The Colonel is a
Menshevik. Captain Kherlov there is a Cadet. I myself am a Socialist
Revolutionary of the right wing.... I should say that most of the
officers in the Army are not Bolsheviki, but like me they believe in
democracy; they believe that they must follow the soldier-masses...."

Dinner over, maps were brought, and the Colonel spread them out on
the table. The rest crowded around to see.

"Here," said the Colonel, pointing to pencil marks, "were our
positions this morning. Vladimir Kyrilovitch, where is your company?"

Captain Kherlov pointed. "According to orders, we occupied the
position along this road. Karsavin relieved me at five o'clock."

Just then the door of the room opened, and there entered the
Chairman of the Regimental Committee, with another soldier. They
joined the group behind the Colonel, peering at the map.              map.              |          |

"Good," said the Colonel. "Now the Cossacks have fallen back ten
kilometres in our sector. I do not think it is necessary to take up
advanced positions. Gentlemen, for to-night you will hold the
present line, strengthening the positions by--"

"If you please," interrupted the Chairman of the Regimental
Committee. "The orders are to advance with all speed, and prepare to
engage the Cossacks north of Gatchina in the morning. A crushing
defeat is necessary. Kindly make the proper dispositions."

There was a short silence. The Colonel again turned to the map.
"Very well," he said, in a different voice. "Stepan Georgevitch, you
will please--" Rapidly tracing lines with a blue pencil, he gave his
orders, while a sergeant made shorthand notes. The sergeant then
withdrew, and ten minutes later returned with the orders
typewritten, and one carbon copy. The Chairman of the Committee
studied the map with a copy of the orders before him.

"All right," he said, rising. Folding the carbon copy, he put it in
his pocket. Then he signed the other, stamped it with a round seal
taken from his pocket, and presented it to the Colonel....

Here was the Revolution!

I returned to the Soviet palace in Tsarskoye in the Regimental Staff
automobile. Still the crowds of workers, soldiers and sailors
pouring in and out, still the choking press of trucks, armoured
cars, cannon before the door, and the shouting, the laughter of
unwonted victory. Half a dozen Red Guards forced their way through,
a priest in the middle. This was Father Ivan, they said, who had
blessed the Cossacks when they entered the town. I heard afterward
that he was shot.... (See App. IX, Sect. 4)

Dybenko was just coming out, giving rapid orders right and left. In
his hand he carried the big revolver. An automobile stood with
racing engine at the kerb. Alone, he climbed in the rear seat, and
was off-off to Gatchina, to conquer Kerensky.

Toward nightfall he arrived at the outskirts of the town, and went
on afoot. What Dybenko told the Cossacks nobody knows, but the fact
is that General Krasnov and his staff and several thousand Cossacks
surrendered, and advised Kerensky to do the same. (See App. IX,
Sect. 5)

As for Kerensky-I reprint here the deposition made by General
Krasnov on the morning of November 14th:

"Gatchina, November 14, 1917. To-day, about three o'clock (A. M.), I
was summoned by the Supreme Commander (Kerensky). He was very
agitated, and very nervous.

"'General,' he said to me, 'you have betrayed me. Your Cossacks
declare categorically that they will arrest me and deliver me to the

"'Yes,' I answered, 'there is talk of it, and I know that you have
no sympathy anywhere.'

"'But the officers say the same thing.'

"'Yes, most of all it is the officers who are discontented with you.'

"'What shall I do? I ought to commit suicide!'

"'If you are an honorable man, you will go immediately to Petrograd
with a white flag, you will present yourself to the Military
Revolutionary Committee, and enter into negotiations as Chief of the
Provisional Government.'

"'All right. I will do that, General.'

"'I will give you a guard and ask that a sailor go with you.'

"'No, no, not a sailor. Do you know whether it is true that Dybenko
is here?'

"'I don't know who Dybenko is.'

"'He is my enemy.

"'There is nothing to do. If you play for high stakes you must know
how to take a chance.'

"'Yes. I'll leave to-night!'

"'Why? That would be a flight. Leave calmly and openly, so that
every one can see that you are not running away.'

"'Very well. But you must give me a guard on which I can count.'


"I went out and called the Cossack Russkov, of the Tenth Regiment of
the Don, and ordered him to pick out ten Cossacks to accompany the
Supreme Commander. Half an hour later the Cossacks came to tell me
that Kerensky was not in his quarters, that he had run away.

"I gave the alarm and ordered that he be searched for, supposing
that he could not have left Gatchina, but he could not be found...."

And so Kerensky fled, alone, "disguised in the uniform of a sailor,"
and by that act lost whatever popularity he had retained among the
Russian masses....

I went back to Petrograd riding on the front seat of an auto truck,
driven by a workman and filled with Red Guards. We had no kerosene,
so our lights were not burning. The road was crowded with the
proletarian army going home, and new reserves pouring out to take
their places. Immense trucks like ours, columns of artillery,
wagons, loomed up in the night, without lights, as we were. We
hurtled furiously on, wrenched right and left to avoid collisions
that seemed inevitable, scraping wheels, followed by the epithets of

Across the horizon spread the glittering lights of the capital,
immeasurably more splendid by night than by day, like a dike of
jewels heaped on the barren plain.

The old workman who drove held the wheel in one hand, while with the
other he swept the far-gleaming capital in an exultant gesture.

"Mine!" he cried, his face all alight. "All mine now! My Petrograd!"

Chapter X


The Military Revolutionary Committee, with a fierce intensity,
followed up its victory:

November 14th.

To all Army, corps, divisional and regimental Committees, to all
Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, to all, all,

Conforming to the agreement between the Cossacks, _yunkers,_
soldiers, sailors and workers, it has been decided to arraign
Alexander Feodorvitch Kerensky before a tribunal of the people. We
demand that Kerensky be arrested, and that he be ordered, in the name
of the organisations hereinafter mentioned, to come immediately to
Petrograd and present himself to the tribunal.


_The Cossacks of the First Division of Ussuri Cavalry; the Committee
of Yunkers of the Petrograd detachment of Franc-Tireurs; the delegate
of the Fifth Army._

People's Commissar DYBENKO.

The Committee for Salvation, the Duma, the Central Committee of the
Socialist Revolutionary party-proudly claiming Kerensky as a
member-all passionately protested that he could only be held
responsible to the Constituent Assembly.

On the evening of November 16th I watched two thousand Red Guards
swing down the Zagorodny Prospekt behind a military band playing the
_Marseillaise_-and how appropriate it sounded-with blood-red flags
over the dark ranks of workmen, to welcome home again their brothers
who had defended "Red Petrograd." In the bitter dusk they tramped,
men and women, their tall bayonets swaying; through streets faintly
lighted and slippery with mud, between silent crowds of bourgeois,
contemptuous but fearful....

All were against them-business men, speculators, investors,
land-owners, army officers, politicians, teachers, students,
professional men, shop-keepers, clerks, agents. The other Socialist
parties hated the Bolsheviki with an implacable hatred. On the side
of the Soviets were the rank and file of the workers, the sailors,
all the undemoralised soldiers, the landless peasants, and a few-a
very few-intellectuals....

From the farthest corners of great Russia, whereupon desperate
street-fighting burst like a wave, news of Kerensky's defeat came
echoing back the immense roar of proletarian victory. Kazan, Saratov,
Novgorod, Vinnitza-where the streets had run with blood; Moscow,
where the Bolsheviki had turned their artillery against the last
strong-hold of the bourgeoisie-the Kremlin.

"They are bombarding the Kremlin!" The news passed from mouth to
mouth in the streets of Petrograd, almost with a sense of terror.
Travellers from "white and shining little mother Moscow" told fearful
tales. Thousands killed; the Tverskaya and the Kuznetsky Most in
flames; the church of Vasili Blazheiny a smoking ruin; Usspensky
Cathedral crumbling down; the Spasskaya Gate of the Kremlin
tottering; the Duma burned to the ground. (See App. X, Sect. 1)

Nothing that the Bolsheviki had done could compare with this fearful
blasphemy in the heart of Holy Russia. To the ears of the devout
sounded the shock of guns crashing in the face of the Holy Orthodox
Church, and pounding to dust the sanctuary of the Russian nation....

On November 15th, Lunatcharsky, Commissar of Education, broke into
tears at the session of the Council of People's Commissars, and
rushed from the room, crying, "I cannot stand it! I cannot bear the
monstrous destruction of beauty and tradition...."

That afternoon his letter of resignation was published in the

I have just been informed, by people arriving from Moscow, what has
happened there.

The Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, the Cathedral of the
Assumption, are being bombarded. The Kremlin, where are now gathered
the most important art treasures of Petrograd and of Moscow, is under
artillery fire. There are thousands of victims.

The fearful struggle there has reached a pitch of bestial ferocity.

What is left? What more can happen?

I cannot bear this. My cup is full. I am unable to endure these
horrors. It is impossible to work under the pressure of thoughts
which drive me mad!

That is why I am leaving the Council of People's Commissars.

I fully realise the gravity of this decision. But I can bear no
more.... (See App. X, Sect. 2)

That same day the White Guards and _yunkers_ in the Kremlin
surrendered, and were allowed to march out unharmed. The treaty of
peace follows:

1. The Committee of Public Safety ceases to exist.

2. The White Guard gives up its arms and dissolves. The officers
retain their swords and regulations side-arms. In the Military
Schools are retained only the arms necessary for instruction; all
others are surrendered by the _yunkers._ The Military Revolutionary
Committee guarantees the liberty and inviolability of the person.

3. To settle the question of disarmament, as set forth in section 2,
a special commission is appointed, consisting of representatives from
all organisations which took part in the peace negotiations.

4. From the moment of the signature of this peace treaty, both
parties shall immediately give order to cease firing and halt all
military operations, taking measures to ensure punctual obedience to
this order.

5. At the signature of the treaty, all prisoners made by the two
parties shall be released....

For two days now the Bolsheviki had been in control of the city. The
frightened citizens were creeping out of their cellars to seek their
dead; the barricades in the streets were being removed. Instead of
diminishing, however, the stories of destruction in Moscow continued
to grow.... And it was under the influence of these fearful reports
that we decided to go there.

Petrograd, after all, in spite of being for a century the seat of
Government, is still an artificial city. Moscow is real Russia,
Russia as it was and will be; in Moscow we would get the true feeling
of the Russian people about the Revolution. Life was more intense

For the past week the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee,
aided by the rank and file of the Railway Workers, had seized control
of the Nicolai Railroad, and hurled trainload after trainload of
sailors and Red Guards southwest.... We were provided with passes from
Smolny, without which no one could leave the capital.... When the train
backed into the station, a mob of shabby soldiers, all carrying huge
sacks of eatables, stormed the doors, smashed the windows, and poured
into all the compartments, filling up the aisles and even climbing
onto the roof. Three of us managed to wedge our way into a
compartment, but almost immediately about twenty soldiers entered....
There was room for only four people; we argued, expostulated, and the
conductor joined us-but the soldiers merely laughed. Were they to
bother about the comfort of a lot of _boorzhui_ (bourgeois)? We
produced the passes from Smolny; instantly the soldiers changed their

"Come, comrades," cried one, "these are American _tovarishtchi._ They
have come thirty thousand versts to see our Revolution, and they are
naturally tired...."

With polite and friendly apologies the soldiers began to leave.
Shortly afterward we heard them breaking into a compartment occupied
by two stout, well-dressed Russians, who had bribed the conductor and
locked their door....

About seven o'clock in the evening we drew out of the station, an
immense long train drawn by a weak little locomotive burning wood,
and stumbled along slowly, with many stops. The soldiers on the roof
kicked with their heels and sang whining peasant songs; and in the
corridor, so jammed that it was impossible to pass, violent political
debates raged all night long. Occasionally the conductor came
through, as a matter of habit, looking for tickets. He found very few
except ours, and after a half-hour of futile wrangling, lifted his
arms despairingly and withdrew. The atmosphere was stifling, full of
smoke and foul odours; if it hadn't been for the broken windows we
would doubtless have smothered during the night.

In the morning, hours late, we looked out upon a snowy world. It was
bitter cold. About noon a peasant woman got on with a basket-full of
bread-chunks and a great can of luke warm coffee-substitute. From
then on until dark there was nothing but the packed train, jolting
and stopping, and occasional stations where a ravenous mob swooped
down on the scantily-furnished buffet and swept it clean.... At one of
these halts I ran into Nogin and Rykov, the seceding Commissars, who
were returning to Moscow to put their grievances before their own
Soviet,  1and further along was Bukharin, a short, red-bearded man
with the eyes of a fanatic-"more Left than Lenin," they said of him....

Then the three strokes of the bell and we made a rush for the train,
worming our way through the packed and noisy aisle.... A good-natured
crowd, bearing the discomfort with humorous patience, interminably
arguing about everything from the situation in Petrograd to the
British Trade-Union system, and disputing loudly with the few
_boorzhui_ who were on board. Before we reached Moscow almost every
car had organised a Committee to secure and distribute food, and
these Committees became divided into political factions, who wrangled
over fundamental principles....

The station at Moscow was deserted. We went to the office of the
Commissar, in order to arrange for our return tickets. He was a
sullen youth with the shoulder-straps of a Lieutenant; when we showed
him our papers from Smolny, he lost his temper and declared that he
was no Bolshevik, that he represented the Committee of Public
Safety.... It was characteristic-in the general turmoil attending the
conquest of the city, the chief railway station had been forgotten by
the victors....

Not a cab in sight. A few blocks down the street, however, we woke up
a grotesquely-padded _izvostchik_ asleep upright on the box of his
little sleigh. "How much to the centre of the town?"

He scratched his head. "The _barini_ won't be able to find a room in
any hotel," he said. "But I'll take you around for a hundred
rubles...." Before the Revolution it cost _two!_ We objected, but he
simply shrugged his shoulders. "It takes a good deal of courage to
drive a sleigh nowadays," he went on. We could not beat him down
below fifty.... As we sped along the silent, snowy half-lighted
streets, he recounted his adventures during the six days' fighting.
"Driving along, or waiting for a fare on the corner," he said, "all
of a sudden _pooff!_ a cannon ball exploding here, _pooff!_ a cannon
ball there, _ratt-ratt!_ a machine-gun.... I gallop, the devils
shooting all around. I get to a nice quiet street and stop, doze a
little, _pooff!_ another cannon ball, _ratt-ratt_.... Devils! Devils!
Devils! Brrr!"

In the centre of the town the snow-piled streets were quiet with the
stillness of convalescence. Only a few arc-lights were burning, only
a few pedestrians hurried along the side-walks. An icy wind blew from
the great plain, cutting to the bone. At the first hotel we entered
an office illuminated by two candles.

"Yes, we have some very comfortable rooms, but all the windows are
shot out. If the _gospodin_ does not mind a little fresh air...."

Down the Tverskaya the shop-windows were broken, and there were
shell-holes and torn-up paving stones in the street. Hotel after
hotel, all full, or the proprietors still so frightened that all they
could say was, "No, no, there is no room! There is no room!" On the
main streets, where the great banking-houses and mercantile houses
lay, the Bolshevik artillery had been indiscriminately effective. As
one Soviet official told me, "Whenever we didn't know just where the
_yunkers_ and White Guards were, we bombarded their pocketbooks...."

At the big Hotel National they finally took us in; for we were
foreigners, and the Military Revolutionary Committee had promised to
protect the dwellings of foreigners.... On the top floor the manager
showed us where shrapnel had shattered several windows. "The
animals!" said he, shaking his first at imaginary Bolsheviki. "But
wait! Their time will come; in just a few days now their ridiculous
Government will fall, and then we shall make them suffer!"

We dined at a vegetarian restaurant with the enticing name, "I Eat
Nobody," and Tolstoy's picture prominent on the walls, and then
sallied out into the streets.

The headquarters of the Moscow Soviet was in the palace of the former
Governor-General, an imposing white building fronting Skobeliev
Square. Red Guards stood sentry at the door. At the head of the wide,
formal stairway, whose walls were plastered with announcements of
committee-meetings and addresses of political parties, we passed
through a series of lofty ante-rooms, hung with red-shrouded pictures
in gold frames, to the splendid state salon, with its magnificent
crystal lustres and gilded cornices. A low-voiced hum of talk,
underlaid with the whirring bass of a score of sewing machines,
filled the place. Huge bolts of red and black cotton cloth were
unrolled, serpentining across the parqueted floor and over tables, at
which sat half a hundred women, cutting and sewing streamers and
banners for the Funeral of the Revolutionary Dead. The faces of these
women were roughened and scarred with life at its most difficult;
they worked now sternly, many of them with eyes red from weeping....
The losses of the Red Army had been heavy.

At a desk in one corner was Rogov, an intelligent, bearded man with
glasses, wearing the black blouse of a worker. He invited us to march
with the Central Executive Committee in the funeral procession next

"It is impossible to teach the Socialist Revolutionaries and the
Mensheviki anything!" he exclaimed. "They compromise from sheer
habit. Imagine! They proposed that we hold a joint funeral with the

[Graphic page-251 Questionairre for the Bourgeoioisie]

Distributed to all bourgeois households in Moscow by the Moscow
Military Revolutionary Commitee, so as to provide a basis for the
requisition of clothing for the Army and the poor workers. For
translation see Appendix 3. (See App. X, Sect. 3)

Across the hall came a man in a ragged soldier-coat and _shapka,_
whose face was familiar; I recognised Melnichansky, whom I had known
as the watch-maker George Melcher in Bayonne, New Jersey, during the
great Standard Oil strike. Now, he told me, he was secretary of the
Moscow Metal-Workers' Union, and a Commissar of the Military
Revolutionary Committee during the fighting....

"You see me!" he cried, showing his decrepit clothing. "I was with
the boys in the Kremlin when the _yunkers_ came the first time. They
shut me up in the cellar and swiped my overcoat, my money, watch and
even the ring on my finger. This is all I've got to wear!"

From him I learned many details of the bloody six-day battle which
had rent Moscow in two. Unlike in Petrograd, in Moscow the City Duma
had taken command of the _yunkers_ and White Guards. Rudnev, the
Mayor, and Minor, president of the Duma, had directed the activities
of the Committee of Public Safety and the troops. Riabtsev,
Commandant of the city, a man of democratic instincts, had hesitated
about opposing the Military Revolutionary Committee; but the Duma had
forced him.... It was the Mayor who had urged the occupation of the
Kremlin; "They will never dare fire on you there," he said....

One garrison regiment, badly demoralised by long inactivity, had been
approached by both sides. The regiment held a meeting to decide what
action to take. Resolved, that the regiment remain neutral, and
continue its present activities-which consisted in peddling rubbers
and sunflower seeds!

"But worst of all," said Melnichansky, "we had to organise while we
were fighting. The other side knew just what it wanted; but here the
soldiers had their Soviet and the workers theirs.... There was a
fearful wrangle over who should be Commander-in-chief; some regiments
talked for days before they decided what to do; and when the officers
suddenly deserted us, we had no battle-staff to give orders...."

Vivid little pictures he gave me. On a cold grey day he had stood at
a corner of the Nikitskaya, which was swept by blasts of machine-gun
fire. A throng of little boys were gathered there-street waifs who
used to be newsboys. Shrill, excited as if with a new game, they
waited until the firing slackened, and then tried to run across the
street.... Many were killed, but the rest dashed backward and forward,
laughing, daring each other....

Late in the evening I went to the _Dvorianskoye Sobranie_-the Nobles'
Club-where the Moscow Bolsheviki were to meet and consider the report
of Nogin, Rykov and the others who had left the Council of People's

The meeting-place was a theatre, in which, under the old régime, to
audiences of officers and glittering ladies, amateur presentations of
the latest French comedy had once taken place.

At first the place filled with the intellectuals-those who lived near
the centre of the town. Nogin spoke, and most of his listeners were
plainly with him. It was very late before the workers arrived; the
working-class quarters were on the outskirts of the town, and no
street-cars were running. But about midnight they began to clump up
the stairs, in groups of ten or twenty-big, rough men, in coarse
clothes, fresh from the battle-line, where they had fought like
devils for a week, seeing their comrades fall all about them.

Scarcely had the meeting formally opened before Nogin was assailed
with a tempest of jeers and angry shouts. In vain he tried to argue,
to explain; they would not listen. He had left the Council of
People's Commissars; he had deserted his post while the battle was
raging. As for the bourgeois press, here in Moscow there was no more
bourgeois press; even the City Duma had been dissolved. (See App. X,
Sect. 4) Bukharin stood up, savage, logical, with a voice which
plunged and struck, plunged and struck.... Him they listened to with
shining eyes. Resolution, to support the action of the Council of
People's Commissars, passed by overwhelming majority. So spoke

[Graphic page-254 Pass to the Kremlin]
By this the Military Revolutionary Commitee requests to give a pass
for the purpose of investigating the Kremlin, the representatives of
the American Socialist party attached to the Socialist press,
comrades Reed and Bryant.
              Chief of the Military Revolutionary Committee
                              For the Secretary

Late in the night we went through the empty streets and under the
Iberian Gate to the great Red Square in front of the Kremlin. The
church of Vasili Blazheiny loomed fantastic, its bright-coloured,
convoluted and blazoned cupolas vague in the darkness. There was no
sign of any damage.... Along one side of the square the dark towers and
walls of the Kremlin stood up. On the high walls flickered redly the
light of hidden flames; voices reached us across the immense place,
and the sound of picks and shovels. We crossed over.

Mountains of dirt and rock were piled high near the base of the wall.
Climbing these we looked down into two massive pits, ten or fifteen
feet deep and fifty yards long, where hundreds of soldiers and
workers were digging in the light of huge fires.

A young student spoke to us in German. "The Brotherhood Grave," he
explained. "To-morrow we shall bury here five hundred proletarians
who died for the Revolution."

He took us down into the pit. In frantic haste swung the picks and
shovels, and the earth-mountains grew. No one spoke. Overhead the
night was thick with stars, and the ancient Imperial Kremlin wall
towered up immeasurably.

"Here in this holy place," said the student, "holiest of all Russia,
we shall bury our most holy. Here where are the tombs of the Tsars,
our Tsar-the People-shall sleep...." His arm was in a sling, from a
bullet-wound gained in the fighting. He looked at it. "You foreigners
look down on us Russians because so long we tolerated a mediæval
monarchy," said he. "But we saw that the Tsar was not the only tyrant
in the world; capitalism was worse, and in all the countries of the
world capitalism was Emperor.... Russian revolutionary tactics are

As we left, the workers in the pit, exhausted and running with sweat
in spite of the cold, began to climb wearily out. Across the Red
Square a dark knot of men came hurrying. They swarmed into the pits,
picked up the tools and began digging, digging, without a word....

So, all the long night volunteers of the People relieved each other,
never halting in their driving speed, and the cold light of the dawn
laid bare the great Square, white with snow, and the yawning brown
pits of the Brotherhood Grave, quite finished.

We rose before sunrise, and hurried through the dark streets to
Skobeliev Square. In all the great city not a human being could be
seen; but there was a faint sound of stirring, far and near, like a
deep wind coming. In the pale half-light a little group of men and
women were gathered before the Soviet headquarters, with a sheaf of
gold-lettered red banners-the Central Executive Committee of the
Moscow Soviets. It grew light. From afar the vague stirring sound
deepened and became louder, a steady and tremendous bass. The city
was rising. We set out down the Tverskaya, the banners flapping
overhead. The little street chapels along our way were locked and
dark, as was the Chapel of the Iberian Virgin, which each new Tsar
used to visit before he went to the Kremlin to crown himself, and
which, day or night, was always open and crowded, and brilliant with
the candles of the devout gleaming on the gold and silver and jewels
of the ikons. Now, for the first time since Napoleon was in Moscow,
they say, the candles were out.

The Holy Orthodox Church had withdrawn the light of its countenance
from Moscow, the nest of irreverent vipers who had bombarded the
Kremlin. Dark and silent and cold were the churches; the priests had
disappeared. There were no popes to officiate at the Red Burial,
there had been no sacrament for the dead, nor were any prayers to be
said over the grave of the blasphemers. Tikhon, Metropolitan of
Moscow, was soon to excommunicate the Soviets....

Also the shops were closed, and the propertied classes stayed at
home-but for other reasons. This was the Day of the People, the
rumour of whose coming was thunderous as surf....

Already through the Iberian Gate a human river was flowing, and the
vast Red Square was spotted with people, thousands of them. I
remarked that as the throng passed the Iberian Chapel, where always
before the passerby had crossed himself, they did not seem to notice

We forced our way through the dense mass packed near the Kremlin
wall, and stood upon one of the dirt-mountains. Already several men
were there, among them Muranov, the soldier who had been elected
Commandant of Moscow-a tall, simple-looking, bearded man with a
gentle face.

Through all the streets to the Red Square the torrents of people
poured, thousands upon thousands of them, all with the look of the
poor and the toiling. A military band came marching up, playing the
_Internationale,_ and spontaneously the song caught and spread like
wind-ripples on a sea, slow and solemn. From the top of the Kremlin
wall gigantic banners unrolled to the ground; red, with great letters
in gold and in white, saying, "Martyrs of the Beginning of World
Social Revolution," and "Long Live the Brotherhood of Workers of the

A bitter wind swept the Square, lifting the banners. Now from the far
quarters of the city the workers of the different factories were
arriving, with their dead. They could be seen coming through the
Gate, the blare of their banners, and the dull red-like blood-of the
coffins they carried. These were rude boxes, made of unplaned wood
and daubed with crimson, borne high on the shoulders of rough men who
marched with tears streaming down their faces, and followed by women
who sobbed and screamed, or walked stiffly, with white, dead faces.
Some of the coffins were open, the lid carried behind them; others
were covered with gilded or silvered cloth, or had a soldier's hat
nailed on the top. There were many wreaths of hideous artificial

Through an irregular lane that opened and closed again the procession
slowly moved toward us. Now through the Gate was flowing an endless
stream of banners, all shades of red, with silver and gold lettering,
knots of crepe hanging from the top-and some Anarchist flags, black
with white letters. The band was playing the Revolutionary Funeral
March, and against the immense singing of the mass of people,
standing uncovered, the paraders sang hoarsely, choked with sobs....

Between the factory-workers came companies of soldiers with their
coffins, too, and squadrons of cavalry, riding at salute, and
artillery batteries, the cannon wound with red and black-forever, it
seemed. Their banners said, "Long live the Third International!" or
"We Want an Honest, General, Democratic Peace!"

Slowly the marchers came with their coffins to the entrance of the
grave, and the bearers clambered up with their burdens and went down
into the pit. Many of them were women-squat, strong proletarian
women. Behind the dead came other women-women young and broken, or
old, wrinkled women making noises like hurt animals, who tried to
follow their sons and husbands into the Brotherhood Grave, and
shrieked when compassionate hands restrained them. The poor love each
other so!

All the long day the funeral procession passed, coming in by the
Iberian Gate and leaving the Square by way of the Nikolskaya, a river
of red banners, bearing words of hope and brotherhood and stupendous
prophecies, against a back-ground of fifty thousand people,-under the
eyes of the world's workers and their descendants forever....

One by one the five hundred coffins were laid in the pits. Dusk fell,
and still the banners came drooping and fluttering, the band played
the Funeral March, and the huge assemblage chanted. In the leafless
branches of the trees above the grave the wreaths were hung, like
strange, multi-coloured blossoms. Two hundred men began to shovel in
the dirt. It rained dully down upon the coffins with a thudding
sound, audible beneath the singing....

The lights came out. The last banners passed, and the last moaning
women, looking back with awful intensity as they went. Slowly from
the great Square ebbed the proletarian tide....

I suddenly realised that the devout Russian people no longer needed
priests to pray them into heaven. On earth they were building a
kingdom more bright than any heaven had to offer, and for which it
was a glory to die....

Chapter XI

The Conquest of Power (See App. XI, Sect. 1)

Sect. 2)

... The first Congress of Soviets, in June of this year, proclaimed
the right of the peoples of Russia to self-determination.

The second Congress of Soviets, in November last, confirmed this
inalienable right of the peoples of Russia more decisively and

Executing the will of these Congresses, the Council of People's
Commissars has resolved to establish as a basis for its activity in
the question of Nationalities, the following principles:

(1) The equality and sovereignty of the peoples of Russia.

(2) The right of the peoples of Russia to free self-determination,
even to the point of separation and the formation of an independent

(3) The abolition of any and all national and national religious
privileges and disabilities.

(4) The free development of national minorities and ethnographic
groups inhabiting the territory of Russia.

Decrees will be prepared immediately upon the formation of a
Commission on Nationalities.

In the name of the Russian Republic,

People's Commissar for Nationalities


President of the Council of People's Commissars


The Central Rada at Kiev immediately declared Ukraine an independent
Republic, as did the Government of Finland, through the Senate at
Helsingfors. Independent "Governments" spring up in Siberia and the
Caucasus. The Polish Chief Military Committee swiftly gathered
together the Polish troops in the Russian army, abolished their
Committees and established an iron discipline....

All these "Governments" and "movements" had two characteristics in
common; they were controlled by the propertied classes, and they
feared and detested Bolshevism....

Steadily, amid the chaos of shocking change, the Council of People's
Commissars hammered at the scaffolding of the Socialist order.
Decree on Social Insurance, on Workers' Control, Regulations for
Volost Land Committees, Abolition of Ranks and Titles, Abolition of
Courts and the Creation of People's Tribunals.... (See App. XI, Sect.

Army after army, fleet after fleet, sent deputations, "joyfully to
greet the new Government of the People."

In front of Smolny, one day, I saw a ragged regiment just come from
the trenches. The soldiers were drawn up before the great gates,
thin and grey-faced, looking up at the building as if God were in
it. Some pointed out the Imperial eagles over the door, laughing....
Red Guards came to mount guard. All the soldiers turned to look,
curiously, as if they had heard of them but never seen them. They
laughed good-naturedly and pressed out of line to slap the Red
Guards on the back, with half-joking, half-admiring remarks....

The Provisional Government was no more. On November 15th, in all the
churches of the capital, the priests stopped praying for it. But as
Lenin himself told the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ that was "only the beginning
of the conquest of power." Deprived of arms, the opposition, which
still controlled the economic life of the country, settled down to
organise disorganisation, with all the Russian genius for
cooperative action-to obstruct, cripple and discredit the Soviets.

The strike of Government employees was well organised, financed by
the banks and commercial establishments. Every move of the
Bolsheviki to take over the Government apparatus was resisted.

Trotzky went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the functionaries
refused to recognise him, locked themselves in, and when the doors
were forced, resigned. He demanded the keys of the archives; only
when he brought workmen to force the locks were they given up. Then
it was discovered that Neratov, former assistant Foreign Minister,
had disappeared with the Secret Treaties....

Shliapnikov tried to take possession of the Ministry of Labour. It
was bitterly cold, and there was no one to light the fires. Of all
the hundreds of employees, not one would show him where the office
of the Minister was....

Alexandra Kollontai, appointed the 13th of November Commissar of
Public Welfare-the department of charities and public
institutions-was welcomed with a strike of all but forty of the
functionaries in the Ministry. Immediately the poor of the great
cities, the inmates of institutions, were plunged in miserable want:
delegations of starving cripples, of orphans with blue, pinched
faces, besieged the building. With tears streaming down her face,
Kollontai arrested the strikers until they should deliver the keys
of the office and the safe; when she got the keys, however, it was
discovered that the former Minister, Countess Panina, had gone off
with all the funds, which she refused to surrender except on the
order of the Constituent Assembly. (See App. XI, Sect. 4)

In the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Supplies, the
Ministry of Finance, similar incidents occurred. And the employees,
summoned to return or forfeit their positions and their pensions,
either stayed away or returned to sabotage.... Almost all the
_intelligentzia_ being anti-Bolshevik, there was nowhere for the
Soviet Government to recruit new staffs....

The private banks remained stubbornly closed, with a back door open
for speculators. When Bolshevik Commissars entered, the clerks left,
secreting the books and removing the funds. All the employees of the
State Bank struck except the clerks in charge of the vaults and the
manufacture of money, who refused all demands from Smolny and
privately paid out huge sums to the Committee for Salvation and the
City Duma.

Twice a Commissar, with a company of Red Guards, came formally to
insist upon the delivery of large sums for Government expenses. The
first time, the City Duma members and the Menshevik and Socialist
Revolutionary leaders were present in imposing numbers, and spoke so
gravely of the consequences that the Commissar was frightened. The
second time he arrived with a warrant, which he proceeded to read
aloud in due form; but some one called his attention to the fact
that it had no date and no seal, and the traditional Russian respect
for "documents" forced him again to withdraw....

The officials of the Credit Chancery destroyed their books, so that
all record of the financial relations of Russia with foreign
countries was lost.

The Supply Committees, the administrations of the Municipal-owned
public utilities, either did not work at all, or sabotaged. And when
the Bolsheviki, compelled by the desperate needs of the city
population, attempted to help or to control the public service, all
the employees went on strike immediately, and the Duma flooded
Russia with telegrams about Bolshevik "violation of Municipal

At Military headquarters, and in the offices of the Ministries of
War and Marine, where the old officials had consented to work, the
Army Committees and the high command blocked the Soviets in every
way possible, even to the extent of neglecting the troops at the
front. The _Vikzhel_ was hostile, refusing to transport Soviet
troops; every troop-train that left Petrograd was taken out by
force, and railway officials had to be arrested each time-whereupon
the _Vikzhel_ threatened an immediate general strike unless they
were released....

Smolny was plainly powerless. The newspapers said that all the
factories of Petrograd must shut down for lack of fuel in three
weeks; the _Vikzhel_ announced that trains must cease running by
December first; there was food for three days only in Petrograd, and
no more coming in; and the Army on the Front was starving.... The
Committee for Salvation, the various Central Committees, sent word
all over the country, exhorting the population to ignore the
Government decrees. And the Allied Embassies were either coldly
indifferent, or openly hostile....

The opposition newspapers, suppressed one day and reappearing next
morning under new names, heaped bitter sarcasm on the new regime.
(See App. XI, Sect. 5) Even _Novaya Zhizn_ characterised it as "a
combination of demagoguery and impotence."

From day to day (it said) the Government of the People's Commissars
sinks deeper and deeper into the mire of superficial haste. Having
easily conquered the power... the Bolsheviki can not make use of it.

Powerless to direct the existing mechanism of Government, they are
unable at the same time to create a new one which might work easily
and freely according to the theories of social experimenters.

Just a little while ago the Bolsheviki hadn't enough men to run
their growing party-a work above all of speakers and writers; where
then are they going to find trained men to execute the diverse and
complicated functions of government?

The new Government acts and threatens, it sprays the country with
decrees, each one more radical and more "socialist" than the last.
But in this exhibition of Socialism on Paper-more likely designed
for the stupefaction of our descendants-there appears neither the
desire nor the capacity to solve the immediate problems of the day!

Meanwhile the _Vikzhel's_ Conference to Form a New Government
continued to meet night and day. Both sides had already agreed in
principle to the basis of the Government; the composition of the
People's Council was being discussed; the Cabinet was tentatively
chosen, with Tchernov as Premier; the Bolsheviki were admitted in a
large minority, but Lenin and Trotzky were barred. The Central
Committees of the Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary parties, the
Executive Committee of the Peasant's Soviets, resolved that,
although unalterably opposed to the "criminal politics" of the
Bolsheviki, they would, "in order to halt the fratricidal
bloodshed," not oppose their entrance into the People's Council.

The flight of Kerensky, however, and the astounding success of the
Soviets everywhere, altered the situation. On the 16th, in a meeting
of the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ the Left Socialist Revolutionaries insisted
that the Bolsheviki should form a coalition Government with the
other Socialist parties; otherwise they would withdraw from the
Military Revolutionary Committee and the _Tsay-ee-kah._ Malkin said,
"The news from Moscow, where our comrades are dying on both sides of
the barricades, determines us to bring up once more the question of
organisation of power, and it is not only our right to do so, but
our duty.... We have won the right to sit with the Bolsheviki here
within the walls of Smolny Institute, and to speak from this
tribune. After the bitter internal party struggle, we shall be
obliged, if you refuse to compromise, to pass to open battle
outside.... We must propose to the democracy terms of an acceptable

After a recess to consider this ultimatum, the Bolsheviki returned
with a resolution, read by Kameniev:

The _Tsay-ee-kah_ considers it necessary that there enter into the
Government representatives of _all the Socialist parties composing
the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies who
recognise the conquests of the Revolution of November 7th-that is to
say, the establishment of a Government of Soviets, the decrees on
peace, land, workers' control over industry, and the arming of the
working-class._ The _Tsay-ee-kah_ therefore resolves to propose
negotiations concerning the constitution of the Government to all
parties _of the Soviet,_ and insists upon the following conditions
as a basis:

The Government is responsible to the _Tsay-ee-kah._ The
_Tsay-ee-kah_ shall be enlarged to 150 members. To these 150
delegates of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies shall be
added 75 delegates of the _Provincial_ Soviets of Peasants'
Deputies, 80 from the Front organisations of the Army and Navy, 40
from the Trade Unions (25 from the various All-Russian Unions, in
proportion to their importance, 10 from the _Vikzhel,_ and 5 from
the Post and Telegraph Workers), and 50 delegates from the Socialist
groups in the Petrograd City Duma. In the Ministry itself, at least
one-half the portfolios must be reserved to the Bolsheviki. The
Ministries of Labour, Interior and Foreign Affairs must be given to
the Bolsheviki. The command of the garrisons of Petrograd and Moscow
must remain in the hands of delegates of the Moscow and Petrograd

The Government undertakes the systematic arming of the workers of
all Russia.

It is resolved to insist upon the candidature of comrades Lenin and

Kameniev explained. "The so-called 'People's Council,'" he said,
"proposed by the Conference, would consist of about 420 members, of
which about 150 would be Bolsheviki. Besides, there would be
delegates from the counter-revolutionary old _Tsay-ee-kah,_ 100
members chosen by the Municipal Dumas-Kornilovtsi all; 100 delegates
from the Peasants' Soviets-appointed by Avksentiev, and 80 from the
old Army Committees, who no longer represent the soldier masses.

"We refuse to admit the old _Tsay-ee-kah,_ and also the
representatives of the Municipal Dumas. The delegates from the
Peasants' Soviets shall be elected by the Congress of Peasants,
which we have called, and which will at the same time elect a new
Executive Committee. The proposal to exclude Lenin and Trotzky is a
proposal to decapitate our party, and we do not accept it. And
finally, we see no necessity for a 'People's Council' anyway; the
Soviets are open to all Socialist parties, and the _Tsay-ee-kah_
represents them in their real proportions among the masses...."

Karelin, for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, declared that his
party would vote for the Bolshevik resolution, reserving the right
to modify certain details, such as the representation of the
peasants, and demanding that the Ministry of Agriculture be reserved
for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. This was agreed to....

Later, at a meeting of the Petrograd Soviet, Trotzky answered a
question about the formation of the new Government:

"I don't know anything about that. I am not taking part in the
negotiations.... However, I don't think that they are of great

That night there was great uneasiness in the Conference. The
delegates of the City Duma withdrew....

But at Smolny itself, in the ranks of the Bolshevik party, a
formidable opposition to Lenin's policy was growing. On the night of
November 17th the great hall was packed and ominous for the meeting
of the _Tsay-ee-kah._

Larin, Bolshevik, declared that the moment of elections to the
Constituent Assembly approached, and it was time to do away with
"political terrorism."

"The measures taken against the freedom of the press should be
modified. They had their reason during the struggle, but now they
have no further excuse. The press should be free, except for appeals
to riot and insurrection."

In a storm of hisses and hoots from his own party, Larin offered the
following resolution:

The decree of the Council of People's Commissars concerning the
Press is herewith repealed.

Measures of political repression can only be employed subject to
decision of a special tribunal, elected by the _Tsay-ee-kah_
proportionally to the strength of the different parties represented;
and this tribunal shall have the right also to reconsider measures
of repression already taken.

This was met by a thunder of applause, not only from the Left
Socialist Revolutionaries, but also from a part of the Bolsheviki.

Avanessov, for the Leninites, hastily proposed that the question of
the Press be postponed until after some compromise between the
Socialist parties had been reached. Overwhelmingly voted down.

"The revolution which is now being accomplished," went on Avanessov,
"has not hesitated to attack private property; and it is as private
property that we must examine the question of the Press...."

Thereupon he read the official Bolshevik resolution:

The suppression of the bourgeois press was dictated not only by
purely military needs in the course of the insurrection, and for the
checking of counter-revolutionary action, but it is also necessary
as a measure of transition toward the establishment of a new régime
with regard to the Press-a régime under which the capitalist owners
of printing-presses and of paper cannot be the all-powerful and
exclusive manufacturers of public opinion.

We must further proceed to the confiscation of private printing
plants and supplies of paper, which should become the property of
the Soviets, both in the capital and in the provinces, so that the
political parties and groups can make use of the facilities of
printing in proportion to the actual strength of the ideas they
represent-in other words, proportionally to the number of their

The reëstablishment of the so-called "freedom of the press," the
simple return of printing presses and paper to the
capitalists,-poisoners of the mind of the people-this would be an
inadmissible surrender to the will of capital, a giving up of one of
the most important conquests of the Revolution; in other words, it
would be a measure of unquestionably counter-revolutionary character.

Proceeding from the above, the _Tsay-ee-kah_ categorically rejects
all propositions aiming at the reëstablishment of the old régime in
the domain of the Press, and unequivocally supports the point of
view of the Council of People's Commissars on this question, against
pretentions and ultimatums dictated by petty bourgeois prejudices,
or by evident surrender to the interests of the
counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.

The reading of this resolution was interrupted by ironical shouts
from the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, and bursts of indignation
from the insurgent Bolsheviki. Karelin was on his feet, protesting.
"Three weeks ago the Bolsheviki were the most ardent defenders of
the freedom of the Press... The arguments in this resolution suggest
singularly the point of view of the old Black Hundreds and the
censors of the Tsarist régime-for they also talked of 'poisoners of
the mind of the people.'"

Trotzky spoke at length in favour of the resolution. He
distinguished between the Press during the civil war, and the Press
after the victory. "During civil war the right to use violence
belongs only to the oppressed...." (Cries of "Who's the oppressed now?

"The victory over our adversaries is not yet achieved, and the
newspapers are arms in their hands. In these conditions, the closing
of the newspapers is a legitimate measure of defence...." Then passing
to the question of the Press after the victory, Trotzky continued:

"The attitude of Socialists on the question of freedom of the Press
should be the same as their attitude toward the freedom of
business.... The rule of the democracy which is being established in
Russia demands that the domination of the Press by private property
must be abolished, just as the domination of industry by private
property.... The power of the Soviets should confiscate all
printing-plants." (Cries, "Confiscate the printing-shop of

"The monopoly of the Press by the bourgeoisie must be abolished.
Otherwise it isn't worth while for us to take the power! Each group
of citizens should have access to print shops and paper.... The
ownership of print-type and of paper belongs first to the workers
and peasants, and only afterwards to the bourgeois parties, which
are in a minority.... The passing of the power into the hands of the
Soviets will bring about a radical transformation of the essential
conditions of existence, and this transformation will necessarily be
evident in the Press.... If we are going to nationalise the banks, can
we then tolerate the financial journals? The old régime must die;
that must be understood once and for all...." Applause and angry cries.

Karelin declared that the _Tsay-ee-kah_ had no right to pass upon
this important question, which should be left to a special
committee. Again, passionately, he demanded that the Press be free.

Then Lenin, calm, unemotional, his forehead wrinkled, as he spoke
slowly, choosing his words; each sentence falling like a
hammer-blow. "The civil war is not yet finished; the enemy is still
with us; consequently it is impossible to abolish the measures of
repression against the Press.

"We Bolsheviki have always said that when we reached a position of
power we would close the bourgeois press. To tolerate the bourgeois
newspapers would mean to cease being a Socialist. When one makes a
Revolution, one cannot mark time; one must always go forward-or go
back. He who now talks about the 'freedom of the Press' goes
backward, and halts our headlong course toward Socialism.

"We have thrown off the yoke of capitalism, just as the first
revolution threw off the yoke of Tsarism. _If the first revolution
had the right to suppress the Monarchist papers,_ then we have the
right to suppress the bourgeois press. It is impossible to separate
the question of the freedom of the Press from the other questions of
the class struggle. We have promised to close these newspapers, and
we shall do it. The immense majority of the people is with us!

"Now that the insurrection is over, we have absolutely no desire to
suppress the papers of the other Socialist parties, except inasmuch
as they appeal to armed insurrection, or to disobedience to the
Soviet Government. However, we shall not permit them, under the
pretence of freedom of the Socialist press, to obtain, through the
secret support of the bourgeoisie, a monopoly of printing-presses,
ink and paper.... These essentials must become the property of the
Soviet Government, and be apportioned, first of all, to the
Socialist parties in strict proportion to their voting strength...."

Then the vote. The resolution of Larin and the Left Socialist
Revolutionaries was defeated by 31 to 22; the Lenin motion was
carried by 34 to 24. Among the minority were the Bolsheviki Riazanov
and Lozovsky, who declared that it was impossible for them to vote
against any restriction on the freedom of the Press.

Upon this the Left Socialist Revolutionaries declared they could no
longer be responsible for what was being done, and withdrew from the
Military Revolutionary Committee and all other positions of
executive responsibility.

Five members-Nogin, Rykov, Miliutin, Teodorovitch and
Shiapnikov-resigned from the Council of People's Commissars,

We are in favour of a Socialist Government composed of all the
parties in the Soviets. We consider that only the creation of such a
Government can possibly guarantee the results of the heroic struggle
of the working-class and the revolutionary army. Outside of that,
there remains only one way: the constitution of a purely Bolshevik
Government by means of political terrorism. This last is the road
taken by the Council of People's Commissars. We cannot and will not
follow it. We see that this leads directly to the elimination from
political life of many proletarian organisations, to the
establishment of an irresponsible régime, and to the destruction of
the Revolution and the country. We cannot take the responsibility
for such a policy, and we renounce before the _Tsay-ee-kah_ our
function as People's Commissars.

Other Commissars, without resigning their positions, signed the
declaration-Riazanov, Derbychev of the Press Department, Arbuzov, of
the Government Printing-plant, Yureniev, of the Red Guard, Feodorov,
of the Commissariat of Labour, and Larin, secretary of the Section
of Elaboration of Decrees.

At the same time Kameniev, Rykov, Miliutin, Zinoviev and Nogin
resigned from the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party, making
public their reasons:

... The constitution of such a Government (composed of all the parties
of the Soviet) is indispensable to prevent a new flow of blood, the
coming famine, the destruction of the Revolution by the Kaledinists,
to assure the convocation of the Constituent Assembly at the proper
time, and to apply effectively the programme adopted by the Congress
of Soviets....

We cannot accept the responsibility for the disastrous policy of the
Central Committee, carried on against the will of an enormous
majority of the proletariat and the soldiers, who are eager to see
the rapid end of the bloodshed between the different political
parties of the democracy.... We renounce our title as members of the
Central Committee, in order to be able to say openly our opinion to
the masses of workers and soldiers....

We leave the Central Committee at the moment of victory; we cannot
calmly look on while the policy of the chiefs of the Central
Committee leads toward the loss of the fruits of victory and the
crushing of the proletariat....

The masses of the workers, the soldiers of the garrison, stirred
restlessly, sending their delegations to Smolny, to the Conference
for Formation of the New Government, where the break in the ranks of
the Bolsheviki caused the liveliest joy.

But the answer of the Leninites was swift and ruthless. Shliapnikov
and Teodorovitch submitted to party discipline and returned to their
posts. Kameniev was stripped of his powers as president of the
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ and Sverdlov elected in his place. Zinoviev was
deposed as president of the Petrograd Soviet. On the morning of the
5th, _Pravda_ contained a ferocious proclamation to the people of
Russia, written by Lenin, which was printed in hundreds of thousands
of copies, posted on the walls everywhere, and distributed over the
face of Russia.

The second All-Russian Congress of Soviets gave the majority to the
Bolshevik party. Only a Government formed by this party can
therefore be a Soviet Government. And it is known to all that the
Central Committee of the Bolshevik party, a few hours before the
formation of the new Government and before proposing the list of its
members to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, invited to its
meeting three of the most eminent members of the Left Socialist
Revolutionary group, comrades Kamkov, Spiro and Karelin, and ASKED
THEM to participate in the new Government. We regret infinitely that
the invited comrades refused; we consider their refusal inadmissible
for revolutionists and champions of the working-class; we are
willing at any time to include the Left Socialist Revolutionaries in
the Government; but we declare that, as the party of the majority at
the second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, we are entitled and
BOUND before the people to form a Government....

... Comrades! Several members of the Central Committee of our party
and the Council of People's Commissars, Kameniev, Zinoviev, Nogin,
Rykov, Miliutin and a few others left yesterday, November 17th, the
Central Committee of our party, and the last three, the Council of
People's Commissars....

The comrades who left us acted like deserters, because they not only
abandoned the posts entrusted to them, but also disobeyed the direct
instructions of the Central Committee of our party, to the effect
that they should await the decisions of the Petrograd and Moscow
party organisations before retiring. We blame decisively such
desertion. We are firmly convinced that all conscious workers,
soldiers and peasants, belonging to our party or sympathising with
it, will also disapprove of the behaviour of the deserters....

Remember, comrades, that two of these deserters, Kameniev and
Zinoviev, even before the uprising in Petrograd, appeared as
deserters and strike-breakers, by voting at the decisive meeting of
the Central Committee, October 23d, 1917, against the insurrection;
and even AFTER the resolution passed by the Central Committee, they
continued their campaign at a meeting of the party workers.... But the
great impulse of the masses, the great heroism of millions of
workers, soldiers and peasants, in Moscow, Petrograd, at the front,
in the trenches, in the villages, pushed aside the deserters as a
railway train scatters saw-dust....

Shame upon those who are of little faith, hesitate, who doubt, who
allow themselves to be frightened by the bourgeoisie, or who succumb
before the cries of the latter's direct or indirect accomplices!
There is NOT A SHADOW of hesitation in the MASSES of Petrograd,
Moscow, and the rest of Russia....

... We shall not submit to any ultimatums from small groups of
intellectuals which are not followed by the masses, which are
PRACTICALLY only supported by Kornilovists, Savinkovists, _yunkers,_
and so forth....

The response from the whole country was like a blast of hot storm.
The insurgents never got a chance to "say openly their opinion to
the masses of workers and soldiers." Upon the _Tsay-ee-kah_ rolled
in like breakers the fierce popular condemnation of the "deserters."
For days Smolny was thronged with angry delegations and committees,
from the front, from the Volga, from the Petrograd factories. "Why
did they dare leave the Government? Were they paid by the
bourgeoisie to destroy the Revolution? They must return and submit
to the decisions of the Central Committee!"

Only in the Petrograd garrison was there still uncertainty. A great
soldier meeting was held on November 24th, addressed by
representatives of all the political parties. By a vast majority
Lenin's policy was sustained, and the Left Socialist Revolutionaries
were told that they must enter the government.... _See next page._

The Mensheviki delivered a final ultimatum, demanding that all
Ministers and _yunkers_ be released, that all newspapers be allowed
full freedom, that the Red Guard be disarmed and the garrison put
under command of the Duma. To this Smolny answered that all the
Socialist Ministers and also all but a very few _yunkers_ had been
already set free, that all newspapers were free except the bourgeois
press, and that the Soviet would remain in command of the armed
forces.... On the 19th the Conference to Form a New Government
disbanded, and the opposition one by one slipped away to Moghilev,
where, under the wing of the General Staff, they continued to form
Government after Government, until the end....

[Graphic  Page-276 Meeting announcement]

Announcement, posted on the walls of Petrograd, of the result of a
meeting of representatives of the garrison regiments, called to
consider the question of forming a new Government. For translation
see App. XI, Sect. 6.

Meanwhile the Bolsheviki had been undermining the power of the
_Vikzhel._ An appeal of the Petrograd Soviet to all railway workers
called upon them to force the _Vikzhel_ to surrender its powers. On
the 15th, the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ following its procedure toward the
peasants, called an All-Russian Congress of Railway Workers for
December 1st; the _Vikzhel_ immediately called its own Congress for
two weeks later. On November 16th, the _Vikzhel_ members took their
seats in the _Tsay-ee-kah._ On the night of December 2d, at the
opening session of the All-Russian Congress of Railway Workers, the
_Tsay-ee-kah_ formally offered the post of Commissar of Ways and
Communications to the _Vikzhel_-which accepted....

Having settled the question of power, the Bolsheviki turned their
attention to problems of practical administration. First of all the
city, the country, the Army must be fed. Bands of sailors and Red
Guards scoured the warehouses, the railway terminals, even the
barges in the canals, unearthing and confiscating thousands of
_poods_  1 of food held by private speculators. Emissaries were sent
to the provinces, where with the assistance of the Land Committees
they seized the store-houses of the great grain-dealers. Expeditions
of sailors, heavily armed, were sent out in groups of five thousand,
to the South, to Siberia, with roving commissions to capture cities
still held by the White Guards, establish order, and _get food._
Passenger traffic on the Trans-Siberian Railroad was suspended for
two weeks, while thirteen trains, loaded with bolts of cloth and
bars of iron assembled by the Factory-Shop Committees, were sent out
eastward, each in charge of a Commissar, to barter with the Siberian
peasants for grain and potatoes....

Kaledin being in possession of the coal-mines of the Don, the fuel
question became urgent. Smolny shut off all electric lights in
theatres, shops and restaurants, cut down the number of street cars,
and confiscated the private stores of fire-wood held by the
fuel-dealers.... And when the factories of Petrograd were about to
close down for lack of coal, the sailors of the Baltic Fleet turned
over to the workers two hundred thousand _poods_ from the bunkers of

Toward the end of November occurred the "wine-pogroms" (See App. XI,
Sect. 7)-looting of the wine-cellars-beginning with the plundering
of the Winter Palace vaults. For days there were drunken soldiers on
the streets.... In all this was evident the hand of the
counter-revolutionists, who distributed among the regiments plans
showing the location of the stores of liquor. The Commissars of
Smolny began by pleading and arguing, which did not stop the growing
disorder, followed by pitched battles between soldiers and Red
Guards.... Finally the Military Revolutionary Committee sent out
companies of sailors with machine-guns, who fired mercilessly upon
the rioters, killing many; and by executive order the wine-cellars
were invaded by Committees with hatchets, who smashed the bottles-or
blew them up with dynamite....

Companies of Red Guards, disciplined and well-paid, were on duty at
the headquarters of the Ward Soviets day and night, replacing the
old Militia. In all quarters of the city small elective
Revolutionary Tribunals were set up by the workers and soldiers to
deal with petty crime....

The great hotels, where the speculators still did a thriving
business, were surrounded by Red Guards, and the speculators thrown
into jail. (See App. XI, Sect. 8)...

Alert and suspicious, the working-class of the city constituted
itself a vast spy system, through the servants prying into bourgeois
households, and reporting all information to the Military
Revolutionary Committee, which struck with an iron hand, unceasing.
In this way was discovered the Monarchist plot led by former
Duma-member Purishkevitch and a group of nobles and officers, who
had planned an officers' uprising, and had written a letter inviting
Kaledin to Petrograd. (See App. XI, Sect. 9).... In this way was
unearthed the conspiracy of the Petrograd Cadets, who were sending
money and recruits to Kaledin....

Neratov, frightened at the outburst of popular fury provoked by his
flight, returned and surrendered the Secret Treaties to Trotzky, who
began their publication in _Pravda,_ scandalising the world....

[Graphic Page-279 Proclamation ]

Bolshevik order. A proclamation of the Committee to Fight against
Pogroms, attached to the Petrograd Soviet. For translation see
App. XI, Sect. 11.

The restrictions on the Press were increased by a decree (See App.
XI, Sect. 10) making advertisements a monopoly of the official
Government newspaper. At this all the other papers suspended
publication as a protest, or disobeyed the law and were closed....
Only three weeks later did they finally submit.

Still the strike of the Ministries went on, still the sabotage of
the old officials, the stoppage of normal economic life. Behind
Smolny was only the will of the vast, unorganised popular masses;
and with them the Council of People's Commissars dealt, directing
revolutionary mass-action against its enemies. In eloquent
proclamations, (See App. XI, Sect. 12) couched in simple words and
spread over Russia, Lenin explained the Revolution, urged the people
to take the power into their own hands, by force to break down the
resistance of the propertied classes, by force to take over the
institutions of Government. Revolutionary order. Revolutionary
discipline! Strict accounting and control! No strikes! No loafing!

[Graphic Page-281 Appeal to work hard ]

Appeal of the Petrograd Soviet, the Petrograd Council of
Professional Unions, and the Petrograd Council of Factory Shop
Committees, to the Workers of Petro. grad, urging them to work hard
and not to strike. For translation see App. XI, Sect. 13.

On the 20th of November the Military Revolutionary Committee issued
a warning:

The rich classes oppose the power of the Soviets-the Government of
workers, soldiers and peasants. Their sympathisers halt the work of
the employees of the Government and the Duma, incite strikes in the
banks, try to interrupt communication by the railways, the post and
the telegraph....

We warn them that they are playing with fire. The country and the
Army are threatened with famine. To fight against it, the regular
functioning of all services is indispensable. The Workers' and
Peasants' Government is taking every measure to assure the country
and the Army all that is necessary. Opposition to these measures is
a crime against the People. We warn the rich classes and their
sympathisers that, if they do not cease their sabotage and their
provocation in halting the transportation of food, they will be the
first to suffer. They will be deprived of the right of receiving
food. All the reserves which they possess will be requisitioned. The
property of the principal criminals will be confiscated.

We have done our duty in warning those who play with fire.

We are convinced that in case decisive measures become necessary, we
shall be solidly supported by all workers, soldiers, and peasants.

On the 22d of November the walls of the city were placarded with a

The Council of People's Commissars has received an urgent telegram
from the Staff of the Northern Front....

"There must be no further delay; do not let the Army die of hunger;
the armies of the Northern Front have not received a crust of bread
now for several days, and in two or three days they will not have
any more biscuits-which are being doled out to them from reserve
supplies until now never touched.... Already delegates from all parts
of the Front are talking of a necessary removal of part of the Army
to the rear, foreseeing that in a few days there will be headlong
flight of the soldiers, dying from hunger, ravaged by the three
years' war in the trenches, sick, insufficiently clothed,
bare-footed, driven mad by superhuman misery."

The Military Revolutionary Committee brings this to the notice of
the Petrograd garrison and the workers of Petrograd. The situation
at the Front demands the most urgent and decisive measures. ...
Meanwhile the higher functionaries of the Government institutions,
banks, railroads, post and telegraph, are on strike and impeding the
work of the Government in supplying the Front with provisions.... Each
hour of delay may cost the life of thousands of soldiers. The
counter-revolutionary functionaries are the most dishonest criminals
toward their hungry and dying brethren on the Front....

WARNING. In event of the least resistance or opposition on their
part, the harshness of the measures which will be adopted against
them will correspond to the seriousness of their crime....


The masses of workers and soldiers responded by a savage tremor of
rage, which swept all Russia. In the capital the Government and bank
employees got out hundreds of proclamations and appeals (See App.
XI, Sect. 14), protesting, defending themselves, such as this one:




Because the violence exercised by the Bolsheviki against the State
Bank has made it impossible for us to work. The first act of the
People's Commissars was to DEMAND TEN MILLION RUBLES, and on
indication as to where this money was to go.

... We functionaries cannot take part in plundering the people's
property. We stopped work.

CITIZENS! The money in the State Bank is yours, the people's money,
acquired by your labour, your sweat and blood. CITIZENS! Save the
people's property from robbery, and us from violence, and we shall
immediately resume work.


From the Ministry of Supplies, the Ministry of Finance, from the
Special Supply Committee, declarations that the Military
Revolutionary Committee made it impossible for the employees to
work, appeals to the population to support them against Smolny.... But
the dominant worker and soldier did not believe them; it was firmly
fixed in the popular mind that the employees were sabotaging,
starving the Army, starving the people.... In the long bread lines,
which as formerly stood in the iron winter streets, it was not _the
Government_ which was blamed, as it had been under Kerensky, but the
_tchinovniki,_ the sabotageurs; for the Government was _their_
Government, _their_ Soviets-and the functionaries of the Ministries
were against it....

At the centre of all this opposition was the Duma, and its militant
organ, the Committee for Salvation, protesting against all the
decrees of the Council of People's Commissars, voting again and
again not to recognise the Soviet Government, openly cooperating
with the new counter-revolutionary "Governments" set up at
Moghilev.... On the 17th of November, for example, the Committee for
Salvation addressed "all Municipal Governments, Zemstvos, and all
democratic and revolutionary organisations of peasants, workers,
soldiers and other citizens," in these words:

Do not recognise the Government of the Bolsheviki, and struggle
against it.

Form local Committees for Salvation of Country and Revolution, who
will unite all democratic forces, so as to aid the All-Russian
Committee for Salvation in the tasks which it has set itself....

Meanwhile the elections for the Constituent Assembly in Petrograd
(See App. XI, Sect. 15) gave an enormous plurality to the
Bolsheviki; so that even the Mensheviki Internationalists pointed
out that the Duma ought to be re-elected, as it no longer
represented the political composition of the Petrograd population....
At the same time floods of resolutions from workers' organisations,
from military units, even from the peasants in the surrounding
country, poured in upon the Duma, calling it "counter-revolutionary,
Kornilovitz," and demanding that it resign. The last days of the
Duma were stormy with the bitter demands of the Municipal workers
for decent living wages, and the threat of strikes....

On the 23d a formal decree of the Military Revolutionary Committee
dissolved the Committee for Salvation. On the 29th, the Council of
People's Commissars ordered the dissolution and re-election of the
Petrograd City Duma:

In view of the fact that the Central Duma of Petrograd, elected
September 2d, ... has definitely lost the right to represent the
population of Petrograd, being in complete disaccord with its state
of mind and its aspirations ... and in view of the fact that the
personnel of the Duma majority, although having lost all political
following, continues to make use of its prerogatives to resist in a
counter-revolutionary manner the will of the workers, soldiers and
peasants, to sabotage and obstruct the normal work of the
Government-the Council of People's Commissars considers it its duty
to invite the population of the capital to pronounce judgment on the
policy of the organ of Municipal autonomy.

To this end the Council of People's Commissars resolves:

(1) To dissolve the Municipal Duma; the dissolution to take effect
November 30th, 1917.

(2) All functionaries elected or appointed by the present Duma shall
remain at their posts and fulfil the duties confided to them, until
their places shall be filled by representatives of the new Duma.

(3) All Municipal employees shall continue to fulfil their duties;
those who leave the service of their own accord shall be considered

(4) The new elections for the Municipal Duma of Petrograd are fixed
for December 9th, 1917....

(5) The Municipal Duma of Petrograd shall meet December 11th, 1917,
at two o'clock.

(6) Those who disobey this decree, as well as those who
intentionally harm or destroy the property of the Municipality,
shall be immediately arrested and brought before the Revolutionary

The Duma met defiantly, passing resolutions to the effect that it
would "defend its position to the last drop of its blood," and
appealing desperately to the population to save their "own elected
City Government." But the population remained indifferent or
hostile. On the 31st Mayor Schreider and several members were
arrested, interrogated, and released. That day and the next the Duma
continued to meet, interrupted frequently by Red Guards and sailors,
who politely requested the assembly to disperse. At the meeting of
December 2d, an officer and some sailors entered the Nicolai Hall
while a member was speaking, and ordered the members to leave, or
force would be used. They did so, protesting to the last, but
finally "ceding to violence."

The new Duma, which was elected ten days later, and for which the
"Moderate" Socialists refused to vote, was almost entirely

There remained several centres of dangerous opposition, such as the
"republics" of Ukraine and Finland, which were showing definitely
anti-Soviet tendencies. Both at Helsingfors and at Kiev the
Governments were gathering troops which could be depended upon, and
entering upon campaigns of crushing Bolshevism, and of disarming and
expelling Russian troops. The Ukrainean Rada had taken command of
all southern Russia, and was furnishing Kaledin reinforcements and
supplies. Both Finland and Ukraine were beginning secret
negotiations with the Germans, and were promptly recognised by the
Allied Governments, which loaned them huge sums of money, joining
with the propertied classes to create counter-revolutionary centres
of attack upon Soviet Russia. In the end, when Bolshevism had
conquered in both these countries, the defeated bourgeoisie called
in the Germans to restore them to power....

But the most formidable menace to the Soviet Government was internal
and two-headed-the Kaledin movement, and the Staff at Moghilev,
where General Dukhonin had assumed command.

Graphic Page-287 Education Proclamation]

Proclamation of the Commission of Public Education attached to the
City Duma, concerning the strike of school-teachers, just before the
Christmas holidays. The Duma had been re-elected, and was composed
almost entirely of Bolsheviki. For translation see App. XI, Sect. 17.

The ubiquitous Muraviov was appointed commander of the war against
the Cossacks, and a Red Army was recruited from among the factory
workers. Hundreds of propagandists were sent to the Don. The Council
of People's Commissars issued a proclamation to the Cossacks, (See
App. XI, Sect. 16) explaining what the Soviet Government was, how
the propertied classes, the _tchin ovniki,_ landlords, bankers and
their allies, the Cossack princes, land-owners and Generals, were
trying to destroy the Revolution, and prevent the confiscation of
their wealth by the people.

On November 27th a committee of Cossacks came to Smolny to see
Trotzky and Lenin. They demanded if it were true that the Soviet
Government did not intend to divide the Cossack lands among the
peasants of Great Russia? "No," answered Trotzky. The Cossacks
deliberated for a while. "Well," they asked, "does the Soviet
Government intend to confiscate the estates of our great Cossack
land-owners and divide them among the working Cossacks?" To this
Lenin replied. "That," he said, "is for _you_ to do. We shall
support the working Cossacks in all their actions.... The best way to
begin is to form Cossacks Soviets; you will be given representation
in the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ and then it will be _your_ Government, too....

The Cossacks departed, thinking hard. Two weeks later General
Kaledin received a deputation from his troops. "Will you," they
asked, "promise to divide the great estates of the Cossack landlords
among the working Cossacks?"

"Only over my dead body," responded Kaledin. A month later, seeing
his army melt away before his eyes, Kaledin blew out his brains. And
the Cossack movement was no more....

Meanwhile at Moghilev were gathered the old _Tsay-ee-kah_ the
"moderate" Socialist leaders-from Avksentiev to Tchernov-the active
chiefs of the old Army Committees, and the reactionary officers. The
Staff steadily refused to recognise the Council of People's
Commissars. It had united about it the Death Battalions, the Knights
of St. George, and the Cossacks of the Front, and was in close and
secret touch with the Allied military attachès, and with the Kaledin
movement and the Ukrainean Rada....

The Allied Governments had made no reply to the Peace decree of
November 8th, in which the Congress of Soviets had asked for a
general armistice.

On November 20th Trotzky addressed a note to the Allied Ambassadors:
(See App. XI, Sect. 18)

I have the honour to inform you, Mr. Ambassador, that the
All-Russian Congress of Soviets... on November 8th constituted a new
Government of the Russian Republic, in the form of the Council of
People's Commissars. The President of this Government is Vladimir
Ilyitch Lenin. The direction of Foreign Affairs has been entrusted
to me, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs....

In drawing your attention to the text, approved by the All-Russian
Congress, of the proposition for an armistice and a democratic peace
without annexations or indemnities, based on the right of
self-determination of peoples, I have the honour to request you to
consider that document as a formal proposal of an immediate
armistice on all fronts, and the opening of immediate peace
negotiations; a proposal which the authorised Government of the
Russian Republic addresses at the same time to all the belligerent
peoples and their Governments.

Please accept, Mr. Ambassador, the profound assurance of the esteem
of the Soviet Government toward your people, who cannot but wish for
peace, like all the other peoples exhausted and drained by this
unexampled butchery....

The same night the Council of People's Commissars telegraphed to
General Dukhonin:

... The Council of People's Commissars considers it indispensable
without delay to make a formal proposal of armistice to all the
powers, both enemy and Allied. A declaration conforming to this
decision has been sent by the Commissar for Foreign Affairs to the
representatives of the Allied powers at Petrograd.

The Council of People's Commissars orders you, Citizen Commander,...
to propose to the enemy military authorities immediately to cease
hostilities, and enter into negotiations for peace.

In charging you with the conduct of these preliminary pourparlers,
the Council of People's Commissars orders you:

1. To inform the Council by direct wire immediately of any and all
steps in the pourparlers with the representatives of the enemy

2. Not to sign the act of armistice until it has been passed upon by
the Council of People's Commissars.

The Allied Ambassadors received Trotzky's note with contemptuous
silence, accompanied by anonymous interviews in the newspapers, full
of spite and ridicule. The order to Dukhonin was characterised
openly as an act of treason....

As for Dukhonin, he gave no sign. On the night of November 22nd he
was communicated with by telephone, and asked if he intended to obey
the order. Dukhonin answered that he could not, unless it emanated
from "a Government sustained by the Army and the country."

By telegraph he was immediately dismissed from the post of Supreme
Commander, and Krylenko appointed in his place. Following his
tactics of appealing to the masses, Lenin sent a radio to all
regimental, divisional and corps Committees, to all soldiers and
sailors of the Army and the Fleet, acquainting them with Dukhonin's
refusal, and ordering that "the regiments on the front shall elect
delegates to begin negotiations with the enemy detachments opposite
their positions...."

On the 23d, the military attaches of the Allied nations, acting on
instructions from their Governments, presented a note to Dukhonin,
in which he was solemnly warned not to "violate the conditions of
the treaties concluded between the Powers of the Entente." The note
went on to say that if a separate armistice with Germany were
concluded, that act "would result in the most serious consequences"
to Russia. This communication Dukhonin at once sent out to all the
soldiers' Committees....

Next morning Trotzky made another appeal to the troops,
characterising the note of the Allied representatives as a flagrant
interference in the internal affairs of Russia, and a bald attempt
"to force by threats the Russian Army and the Russian people to
continue the war in execution of the treaties concluded by the

From Smolny poured out proclamation after proclamation, (See App.
XI, Sect. 19) denouncing Dukhonin and the counter-revolutionary
officers about him, denouncing the reactionary politicians gathered
at Moghilev, rousing, from one end of the thousand-mile Front to the
other, millions of angry, suspicious soldiers. And at the same time
Krylenko, accompanied by three detachments of fanatical sailors, set
out for the _Stavka,_ breathing threats of vengeance, (See App. XI,
Sect. 20) and received by the soldiers everywhere with tremendous
ovations-a triumphal progress. The Central Army Committee issued a
declaration in favour of Dukhonin; and at once ten thousand troops
moved upon Moghilev....

On December 2d the garrison of Moghilev rose and seized the city,
arresting Dukhonin and the Army Committee, and going out with
victorious red banners to meet the new Supreme Commander. Krylenko
entered Moghilev next morning, to find a howling mob gathered about
the railway-car in which Dukhonin had been imprisoned. Krylenko made
a speech in which he implored the soldiers not to harm Dukhonin, as
he was to be taken to Petrograd and judged by the Revolutionary
Tribunal. When he had finished, suddenly Dukhonin himself appeared
at the window, as if to address the throng. But with a savage roar
the people rushed the car, and falling upon the old General, dragged
him out and beat him to death on the platform....

So ended the revolt of the _Stavka_....

Immensely strengthened by the collapse of the last important
stronghold of hostile military power in Russia, the Soviet
Government began with confidence the organisation of the state. Many
of the old functionaries flocked to its banner, and many members of
other parties entered the Government service. The financially
ambitious, however, were checked by the decree on Salaries of
Government Employees, fixing the salaries of the People's
Commissars-the highest-at five hundred rubles (about fifty dollars)
a month.... The strike of Government Employees, led by the Union of
Unions, collapsed, deserted by the financial and commercial
interests which had been backing it. The bank clerks returned to
their jobs....

With the decree on the Nationalisation of Banks, the formation of
the Supreme Council of People's Economy, the putting into practical
operation of the Land decree in the villages, the democratic
reorganisation of the Army, and the sweeping changes in all branches
of the Government and of life,-with all these, effective only by the
will of the masses of workers, soldiers and peasants, slowly began,
with many mistakes and hitches, the moulding of proletarian Russia.

Not by compromise with the propertied classes, or with the other
political leaders; not by conciliating the old Government mechanism,
did the Bolsheviki conquer the power. Nor by the organized violence
of a small clique. If the masses all over Russia had not been ready
for insurrection it must have failed. The only reason for Bolshevik
success lay in their accomplishing the vast and simple desires of
the most profound strata of the people, calling them to the work of
tearing down and destroying the old, and afterward, in the smoke of
falling ruins, cooperating with them to erect the frame-work of the

Chapter XII

The Peasants’ Congress

IT was on November 18th that the snow came. In the morning we woke
to window-ledges heaped white, and snowflakes falling so whirling
thick that it was impossible to see ten feet ahead. The mud was
gone; in a twinkling the gloomy city became white, dazzling. The
_droshki_ with their padded coachmen turned into sleights, bounding
along the uneven street at headlong speed, their drivers' beards
stiff and frozen.... In spite of Revolution, all Russia plunging
dizzily into the unknown and terrible future, joy swept the city
with the coming of the snow. Everybody was smiling; people ran into
the streets, holding out their arms to the soft, falling flakes,
laughing. Hidden was all the greyness; only the gold and coloured
spires and cupolas, with heightened barbaric splendour, gleamed
through the white snow.

Even the sun came out, pale and watery, at noon. The colds and
rheumatism of the rainy months vanished. The life of the city grew
gay, and the very Revolution ran swifter....

I sat one evening in a _traktir_-a kind of lower-class inn-across
the street from the gates of Smolny; a low-ceilinged, loud place
called "Uncle Tom's Cabin," much frequented by Red Guards. They
crowded it now, packed close around the little tables with their
dirty table-cloths and enormous china tea-pots, filling the place
with foul cigarette-smoke, while the harassed waiters ran about
crying _"Seichass! Seichass!_ In a minute! Right away!"

In one corner sat a man in the uniform of a captain, addressing the
assembly, which interrupted him at every few words.

"You are no better than murderers!" he cried. "Shooting down your
Russian brothers on the streets!"

"When did we do that?" asked a worker.

"Last Sunday you did it, when the _yunkers_--"

"Well, didn't they shoot us?" One man exhibited his arm in a sling.
"Haven't I got something to remember them by, the devils?"

The captain shouted at the top of his voice. "You should remain
neutral! You should remain neutral! Who are you to destroy the legal
Government? Who is Lenin? A German--"

"Who are you? A counter-revolutionist! A provocator!" they bellowed
at him.

When he could make himself heard the captain stood up. "All right!"
said he. "You call yourselves the people of Russia. But you're _not_
the people of Russia. The _peasants_ are the people of Russia. Wait
until the peasants--"

"Yes," they cried, "wait until the peasants speak. We know what the
peasants will say.... Aren't they workingmen like ourselves?"

In the long run, everything depended upon the peasants. While the
peasants had been politically backward, still they had their own
peculiar ideas, and they constituted more than eighty per cent of
the people of Russia. The Bolsheviki had a comparatively small
following among the peasants; and a permanent dictatorship of Russia
by the industrial workers was impossible.... The traditional peasant
party was the Socialist Revolutionary party; of all the parties now
supporting the Soviet Government, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries
were the logical inheritors of peasant leadership-and the Left
Socialist Revolutionaries, who were at the mercy of the organised
city proletariat, desperately needed the backing of the peasants....

Meanwhile Smolny had not neglected the peasants. After the Land
decree, one of the first actions of the new _Tsay-ee-kah_ had been
to call a Congress of Peasants, over the head of the Executive
Committee of the Peasants' Soviets. A few days later was issued
detailed Regulations for the _Volost_ (Township) Land Committees,
followed by Lenin's "Instruction to Peasants," (See App. XII, Sect.
1) which explained the Bolshevik revolution and the new Government
in simple terms; and on November 16th, Lenin and Miliutin published
the "Instructions to Provincial Emissaries," of whom thousands were
sent by the Soviet Government into the villages.

1. Upon his arrival in the province to which he is accredited, the
emissary should call a joint meeting of the Central Executive
Committees of the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants'
Deputies, to whom he should make a report on the agrarian laws, and
then demand that a joint plenary session of the Soviets be summoned....

2. He must study the aspects of the agrarian problem in the province.

a. Has the land-owners' property been taken over, and if so, in what

b. Who administers the confiscated land-the former proprietor, or
the Land Committees?

c. What has been done with the agricultural machinery and with the

3. Has the ground cultivated by the peasants been augmented?

4. How much and in what respect does the amount of land now under
cultivation differ from the amount fixed by the Government as an
average minimum?

5. The emissary must insist that, after the peasants have received
the land, it is imperative that they increase the amount of
cultivated land as quickly as possible, and that they hasten the
sending of grain to the cities, as the only means of avoiding famine.

6. What are the measures projected or put into effect for the
transfer of land from the land-owners to the Land Committees and
similar bodies appointed by the Soviets?

7. It is desirable that agricultural properties well appointed and
well organised should be administered by Soviets composed of the
regular employees of those properties, under the direction of
competent agricultural scientists.

All through the villages a ferment of change was going on, caused
not only by the electrifying action of the Land decree, but also by
thousands of revolutionary-minded peasant-soldiers returning from
the front.... These men, especially, welcomed the call to a Congress
of Peasants.

Like the old _Tsay-ee-kah_ in the matter of the second Congress of
Workers' and Soldiers' Soviets, the Executive Committee tried to
prevent the Peasant Congress summoned by Smolny. And like the old
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ finding its resistance futile, the Executive
Committee sent frantic telegrams ordering the election of
Conservative delegates. Word was even spread among the peasants that
the Congress would meet at Moghilev, and some delegates went there;
but by November 23d about four hundred had gathered in Petrograd,
and the party caucuses had begun....

The first session took place in the Alexander Hall of the Duma
building, and the first vote showed that more than half of all the
delegates were Left Socialist Revolutionaries, while the Bolsheviki
controlled a bare fifth, the conservative Socialist Revolutionaries
a quarter, and all the rest were united only in their opposition to
the old Executive Committee, dominated by Avksentiev, Tchaikovsky
and Peshekhonov....

The great hall was jammed with people and shaken with continual
clamour; deep, stubborn bitterness divided the delegates into angry
groups. To the right was a sprinkling of officers' epaulettes, and
the patriarchal, bearded faces of the older, more substantial
peasants; in the centre were a few peasants, non-commissioned
officers, and some soldiers; and on the left almost all the
delegates wore the uniforms of common soldiers. These last were the
young generation, who had been serving in the army.... The galleries
were thronged with workers-who, in Russia, still remember their
peasant origin....

Unlike the old _Tsay-ee-kah,_ the Executive Committee, in opening
the session, did not recognise the Congress as official; the
official Congress was called for December 13th; amid a hurricane of
applause and angry cries, the speaker declared that this gathering
was merely "Extraordinary Conference"... But the "Extraordinary
Conference" soon showed its attitude toward the Executive Committee
by electing as presiding officer Maria Spiridonova, leader of the
Left Socialist Revolution aries.

Most of the first day was taken up by a violent debate as to whether
the representatives of _Volost_ Soviets should be seated, or only
delegates from the Provincial bodies; and just as in the Workers'
and Soldiers' Congress, an overwhelming majority declared in favour
of the widest possible representation. Whereupon the old Executive
Committee left the hall....

Almost immediately it was evident that most of the delegates were
hostile to the Government of the People's Commissars. Zinoviev,
attempting to speak for the Bolsheviki, was hooted down, and as he
left the platform, amid laughter, there were cries, "There's how a
People's Commissar sits in a mudpuddle!"

"We Left Socialist Revolutionaries refuse," cried Nazariev, a
delegate from the Provinces, "to recognise this so-called Workers'
and Peasants' Government until the peasants are represented in it.
At present it is nothing but a dictatorship of the workers.... We
insist upon the formation of a new Government which will represent
the entire democracy!"

The reactionary delegates shrewdly fostered this feeling, declaring,
in the face of protests from the Bolshevik benches, that the Council
of People's Commissars intended either to control the Congress or
dissolve it by force of arms-an announcement which was received by
the peasants with bursts of fury....

On the third day Lenin suddenly mounted the tribune; for ten minutes
the room went mad. "Down with him!" they shrieked. "We will not
listen to any of your People's Commissars! We don't recognise your

Lenin stood there quite calmly, gripping the desk with both hands,
his little eyes thoughtfully surveying the tumult beneath. Finally,
except for the right side of the hall, the demonstration wore itself
out somewhat.

"I do not come here as a member of the Council of People's
Commissars," said Lenin, and waited again for the noise to subside,
"but as a member of the Bolshevik faction, duly elected to this
Congress." And he held his credentials up to that all might see them.

"However," he went on, in an unmoved voice, "nobody will deny that
the present Government of Russia has been formed by the Bolshevik
party-" he had to wait a moment, "so that for all purposes it is the
same thing...." Here the right benches broke into deafening clamour,
but the centre and left were curious, and compelled silence.

Lenin's argument was simple. "Tell me frankly, you peasants, to whom
we have given the lands of the _pomieshtchiki;_ do you want now to
prevent the workers from getting control of industry? This is class
war. The _pomieshtchiki_ of course oppose the peasants, and the
manufactures oppose the workers. Are you going to allow the ranks of
the proletariat to be divided? Which side will you be on?

"We, the Bolsheviki, are the party of the proletariat-of the peasant
proletariat as well as the industrial proletariat. We, the
Bolsheviki, are the protectors of the Soviets-of the Peasants'
Soviets as well as those of the Workers and Soldiers. The present
Government is a Government of Soviets; we have not only invited the
Peasants' Soviets to join that Government, but we have also invited
representatives of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries to enter the
Council of People's Commissars....

"The Soviets are the most perfect representatives of the people-of
the workers in the factories and mines, of the workers in the
fields. Anybody who attempts to destroy the Soviets is guilty of an
anti-democratic and counter-revolutionary act. And I serve notice
here on you, comrades _Right_ Socialist Revolutionaries-and on you,
Messrs. Cadets-that if the Constituent Assembly attempts to destroy
the Soviets, we shall not permit the Constituent Assembly to do this

On the afternoon of November 25th Tchernov arrived in hot haste from
Moghilev, summoned by the Executive Committee. Only two months
before considered an extreme revolutionist, and very popular with
the peasants, he was now called to check the dangerous drift of the
Congress toward the Left. Upon his arrival Tchernov was arrested and
taken to Smolny, where, after a short conversation, he was released.

His first act was to bitterly rebuke the Executive Committee for
leaving the Congress. They agreed to return, and Tchernov entered
the hall, welcomed with great applause by the majority, and the
hoots and jeers of the Bolsheviki.

"Comrades! I have been away. I participated in the Conference of the
Twelfth Army on the question of calling a Congress of all the
Peasant delegates of the armies of the Western Front, and I know
very little about the insurrection which occurred here--"

Zinoviev rose in his seat, and shouted, "Yes, you were away-for a
few minutes!" Fearful tumult. Cries, "Down with the Bolsheviki!"

Tchernov continued. "The accusation that I helped lead an army on
Petrograd has no foundation, and is entirely false. Where does such
an accusation come from? Show me the source!"

Zinoviev: "_Izviestia_ and _Dielo Naroda_-your own paper -that's
where it comes from!"

Tchernov's wide face, with the small eyes, waving hair and greyish
beard, became red with wrath, but he controlled himself and went on.
"I repeat, I know practically nothing about what has happened here,
and I did not lead any army except this army, (he pointed to the
peasant delegates), which I am largely responsible for bringing
here!" Laughter, and shouts of "Bravo!"

"Upon my return I visited Smolny. No such accusation was made
against me there.... After a brief conversation I left-and that's all!
Let any one present make such an accusation!"

An uproar followed, in which the Bolsheviki and some of the Left
Socialist Revolutionaries were on their feet all at once, shaking
their fists and yelling, and the rest of the assembly tried to yell
them down.

"This is an outrage, not a session!" cried Tchernov, and he left the
hall; the meeting was adjourned because of the noise and disorder....

Meanwhile, the question of the status of the Executive Committee was
agitating all minds. By declaring the assembly "Extraordinary
Conference," it had been planned to block the reelection of the
Executive Committee. But this worked both ways; the Left Socialist
Revolutionists decided that if the Congress had no power over the
Executive Committee, then the Executive Committee had no power over
the Congress. On November 25th the assembly resolved that the powers
of the Executive Committee be assumed by the Extraordinary
Conference, in which only members of the Executive who had been
elected as delegates might vote....

The next day, in spite of the bitter opposition of the Bolsheviki,
the resolution was amended to give all the members of the Executive
Committee, whether elected as delegates or not, voice and vote in
the assembly.

On the 27th occurred the debate on the Land question, which revealed
the differences between the agrarian programme of the Bolsheviki and
the Left Socialist Revolutionaries.

Kolchinsky, for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, outlined the
history of the Land question during the Revolution. The first
Congress of Peasants' Soviets, he said, had voted a precise and
formal resolution in favour of putting the landed estates
immediately into the hands of the Land Committees. But the directors
of the Revolution, and the bourgeois in the Government, had insisted
that the question could not be solved until the Constituent Assembly
met.... The second period of the Revolution, the period of
"compromise,"was signalled by the entrance of Tchernov into the
Cabinet. The peasants were convinced that now the practical solution
of the Land question would begin; but in spite of the imperative
decision of the first Peasant Congress, the reactionaries and
conciliators in the Executive Committee had prevented any action.
This policy provoked a series of agrarian disorders, which appeared
as the natural expression of impatience and thwarted energy on the
part of the peasants. The peasants understood the exact meaning of
the Revolution-they tried to turn words into action....

"The recent events," said the orator, "do not indicate a simple
riot, or a 'Bolshevik adventure,' but on the contrary, a real
popular rising, which has been greeted with sympathy by the whole

"The Bolsheviki in general took the correct attitude toward the Land
question; but in recommending that the peasants seize the land by
force, they committed a profound error.... From the first days, the
Bolsheviki declared that the peasants should take over the land 'by
revolutionary massaction.' This is nothing but anarchy; the land can
be taken over in an organised manner.... For the Bolsheviki it was
important that the problems of the Revolution should be solved in
the quickest possible manner-but the Bolsheviki were not interested
in _how_ these problems were to be solved....

"The Land decree of the Congress of Soviets is identical in its
fundamentals with the decisions of the first Peasants' Congress. Why
then did not the new Government follow the tactics outlined by that
Congress? Because the Council of People's Commissars wanted to
hasten the settlement of the Land question, so that the Constituent
Assembly would have nothing to do....

"But also the Government saw that it was necessary to adopt
practical measures, so without further reflection, it adopted the
Regulations for Land Committees, thus creating a strange situation;
for the Council of People's Commissars abolished private property in
land, but the Regulations drawn up by the Land Committees are based
on private property.... However, no harm has been done by that; for
the Land Committees are paying no attention to the Soviet decrees,
but are putting into operation their own practical
decisions-decisions based on the will of the vast majority of the

"These Land Committees are not attempting the legislative solution
of the Land question, which belongs to the Constituent Assembly
alone.... But will the Constituent Assembly desire to do the will of
the Russian peasants? Of that we cannot be sure.... All we can be sure
of is that the revolutionary determination of the peasants is now
aroused, and that the Constituent will be _forced_ to settle the
Land question the way the peasants want it settled.... The Constituent
Assembly will not dare to break with the will of the people...."

Followed him Lenin, listened to now with absorbing intensity. "At
this moment we are not only trying to solve the Land question, but
the question of Social Revolution-not only here in Russia, but all
over the world. The Land question cannot be solved independently of
the other problems of the Social Revolution.... For example, the
confiscation of the landed estates will provoke the resistance not
only of Russian land-owners, but also of foreign capital-with whom
the great landed properties are connected through the intermediary
of the banks....

"The ownership of the land in Russia is the basis for immense
oppression, and the confiscation of the land by the peasants is the
most important step of our Revolution. But it cannot be separated
from the other steps, as is clearly manifested by the stages through
which the Revolution has had to pass. The first stage was the
crushing of autocracy and the crushing of the power of the
industrial capitalists and land-owners, whose interests are closely
related. The second stage was the strengthening of the Soviets and
the political compromise with the bourgeoisie. The mistake of the
Left Socialist Revolutionaries lies in the fact that at that time
they did not oppose the policy of compromise, because they held the
theory that the consciousness of the masses was not yet fully

_"If Socialism can only be realised when the intellectual
development of all the people permits it, then we shall not see
Socialism for at least five hundred years_.... The Socialist political
party-this is the vanguard of the working-class; it must not allow
itself to be halted by the lack of education of the mass average,
but it must lead the masses, using the Soviets as organs of
revolutionary initiative.... But in order to lead the wavering, the
comrades Left Socialist Revolutionaries themselves must stop

"In July last a series of open breaks began between the popular
masses and the 'compromisers'; but now, in November, the Left
Socialist Revolutionaries are still holding out their hand to
Avksentiev, who is pulling the people with his little finger.... If
Compromise continues, the Revolution disappears. No compromise with
the bourgeoisie is possible; its power must be absolutely crushed....

"We Bolsheviki have not changed our Land programme; we have not
given up the abolition of private property in the land, and we do
not intend to do so. We adopted the Regulations for Land
Committees,-which are _not_ based on private property at all-because
we want to accomplish the popular will in the way the people have
themselves decided to do it, so as to draw closer the coalition of
all the elements who are fighting for the Social Revolution.

"We invite the Left Socialist Revolutionaries to enter that
coalition, insisting, however, that they cease looking backward, and
that they break with the 'conciliators' of their party....

"As far as the Constituent Assembly is concerned, it is true, as the
preceding speaker has said, that the work of the Constituent will
depend on the revolutionary determination of the masses. I say,
'Count on that revolutionary determination, but don't forget your

Lenin then read the Bolshevik resolution:

The Peasants' Congress, fully supporting the Land decree of November
8th... approves of the Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government
of the Russian Republic, established by the second All-Russian
Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies.

The Peasants' Congress... invites all peasants unanimously to sustain
that law, and to apply it immediately themselves; and at the same
time invites the peasants to appoint to posts and positions of
responsibility only persons who have proved, not by words but by
acts, their entire devotion to the interests of the exploited
peasant-workers, their desire and their ability to defend these
interests against all resistance on the part of the great
land-owners, the capitalists, their partisans and accomplices....

The Peasants' Congress, at the same time, expresses its conviction
that the complete realisation of all the measures which make up the
Land decree can only be successful through the triumph of the
Workers' Social Revolution, which began November 7th, 1917; for only
the Social Revolution can accomplish the definite transfer, without
possibility of return, of the land to the peasant-workers, the
confiscation of model farms and their surrender to the peasant
communes, the confiscation of agricultural machinery belonging to
the great land-owners, the safe-guarding of the interests of the
agricultural workers by the complete abolition of wage-slavery, the
regular and methodical distribution among all regions of Russia of
the products of agriculture and industry, and the seizure of the
banks (without which the possession of land by the whole people
would be impossible, after the abolition of private property), and
all sorts of assistance by the State to the workers....

For these reasons the Peasants' Congress sustains entirely the
Revolution of November 7th... as a social revolution, and expresses
its unalterable will to put into operation, with whatever
modifications are necessary, but without any hesitation, the social
transformation of the Russian Republic.

The indispensable conditions of the victory of the Social
Revolution, which alone will secure the lasting success and the
complete realisation of the Land decree, is the close union of the
peasant-workers with the industrial working-class, with the
proletariat of all advanced countries. From now on, in the Russian
Republic, all the organisation and administration of the State, from
top to bottom, must rest on that union. That union, crushing all
attempts, direct or indirect, open or dissimulated, to return to the
policy of conciliation with the bourgeoisie-conciliation, damned by
experience, with the chiefs of bourgeois politics-can alone insure
the victory of Socialism throughout the world....

The reactionaries of the Executive Committee no longer dared openly
to appear. Tchernov, however, spoke several times, with a modest and
winning impartiality. He was invited to sit on the platform.... On the
second night of the Congress an anonymous note was handed up to the
chairman, requesting that Tchernov be made honorary President.
Ustinov read the note aloud, and immediately Zinoviev was on his
feet, screaming that this was a trick of the old Executive Committee
to capture the convention; in a moment the hall was one bellowing
mass of waving arms and angry faces, on both sides.... Nevertheless,
Tchernov remained very popular.

In the stormy debates on the Land question and the Lenin resolution,
the Bolsheviki were twice on the point of quitting the assembly,
both times restrained by their leaders.... It seemed to me as if the
Congress were hopelessly deadlocked.

But none of us knew that a series of secret conferences were already
going on between the Left Socialist Revolutionaries and the
Bolsheviki at Smolny. At first the Left Socialist Revolutionaries
had demanded that there be a Government composed of all the
Socialist parties in and out of the Soviets, to be responsible to a
People's Council, composed of an equal number of delegates from the
Workers' and Soldiers' organisation, and that of the Peasants, and
completed by representatives of the City Dumas and the Zemstvos;
Lenin and Trotzky were to be eliminated, and the Military
Revolutionary Committee and other repressive organs dissolved.

Wednesday morning, November 28th, after a terrible all-night
struggle, an agreement was reached. The _Tsay-ee-kah,_composed of
108 members, was to be augumented by 108 members elected
proportionally from the Peasants' Congress; by 100 delegates elected
directly from the Army and the Fleet; and by 50 representatives of
the Trade Unions (35 from the general Unions, 10 Railway Workers,
and 5 from the Post and Telegraph Workers). The Dumas and Zemstvos
were dropped. Lenin and Trotzky remained in the Government, and the
Military Revolutionary Committee continued to function.

The sessions of the Congress had now been removed to the Imperial
Law School building, Fontanka 6, headquarters of the Peasants'
Soviets. There in the great meeting-hall the delegates gathered on
Wednesday afternoon. The old Executive Committee had withdrawn, and
was holding a rump convention of its own in another room of the same
building, made up of bolting delegates and representatives of the
Army Committees.

Tchernov went from one meeting to the other, keeping a watchful eye
on the proceedings. He knew that an agreement with the Bolsheviki
was being discussed, but he did not know that it had been concluded.

He spoke to the rump convention. "At present, when everybody is in
favour of forming an all-Socialist Government, many people forget
the first Ministry, which was _not_ a coalition Government, and in
which there was only one Socialist-Kerensky; a Government which, in
its time, was very popular. Now people accuse Kerensky; they forget
that he was raised to power, not only by the Soviets, but also by
the popular masses....

"Why did public opinion change toward Kerensky? The savages set up
gods to which they pray, and which they punish if one of their
prayers is not answered.... That is what is happening at this moment....
Yesterday Kerensky; today Lenin and Trotzky; another to-morrow....

"We have proposed to both Kerensky and the Bolsheviki to retire from
the power. Kerensky has accepted-to-day he announced from his
hiding-place that he has resigned as Premier; but the Bolsheviki
wish to retain the power, and they do not know how to use it....

"If the Bolsheviki succeed, or if they fail, the fate of Russia will
not be changed. The Russian villages understand perfectly what they
want, and they are now carrying out their own measures.... The
villages will save us in the end...."

In the meanwhile, in the great hall Ustinov had announced the
agreement between the Peasants' Congress and Smolny, received by the
delegates with the wildest joy. Suddenly Tchernov appeared, and
demanded the floor.

"I understand," he began, "that an agreement is being concluded
between the Peasants' Congress and Smolny. Such an agreement would
be illegal, seeing that the true Congress of Peasants' Soviets does
not meet until next week....

"Moreover, I want to warn you now that the Bolsheviki will never
accept your demands...."

He was interrupted by a great burst of laughter; and realising the
situation, he left the platform and the room, taking his popularity
with him....

Late in the afternoon of Thursday, November 16th, the Congress met
in extraordinary session. There was a holiday feeling in the air; on
every face was a smile.... The remainder of the business before the
assembly was hurried through, and then old Nathanson, the
white-bearded dean of the left wing of the Socialist
Revolutionaries, his voice trembling and tears in his eyes, read the
report of the "wedding" of the Peasants' Soviets with the Workers'
and Soldiers' Soviets. At every mention of the word "union" there
was ecstatic applause.... At the end Ustinov announced the arrival
rival of a delegation from Smolny, accompanied by representatives of
the Red Army, greeted with a rising ovation. One after another a
workman, a soldier and a sailor took the floor, hailing them.

Then Boris Reinstein, delegate of the American Socialist Labor
Party: "The day of the union of the Congress of Peasants and the
Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies is one of the great days
of the Revolution. The sound of it will ring with resounding echoes
throughout the whole world-in Paris, in London, and across the
ocean-in New York. This union will fill with happiness the hearts of
all toilers.

"A great idea has triumphed. The West, and America, expected from
Russia, from the Russian proletariat, something tremendous.... The
proletariat of the world is waiting for the Russian Revolution,
waiting for the great things that it is accomplishing...."

Sverdlov, president of the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ greeted them. And with the
shout, "Long live the end of civil war! Long live the United
Democracy!" the peasants poured out of the building.

It was already dark, and on the ice-covered snow glittered the pale
light of moon and star. Along the bank of the canal were drawn up in
full marching order the soldiers of the Pavlovsky Regiment, with
their band, which broke into the _Marseillaise._ Amid the crashing
full-throated shouts of the soldiers, the peasants formed in line,
unfurling the great red banner of the Executive Committee of the
All-Russian Peasants' Soviets, embroidered newly in gold, "Long live
the union of the revolutionary and toiling masses!" Following were
other banners; of the District Soviets-of Putilov Factory, which
read, "We bow to this flag in order to create the brotherhood of all

From somewhere torches appeared, blazing orange in the night, a
thousand times reflected in the facets of the ice, streaming out
smokily over the throng as it moved down the bank of the Fontanka
singing, between crowds that stood in astonished silence.

"Long live the Revolutionary Army! Long live the Red Guard! Long
live the Peasants!"

So the great procession wound through the city, growing and
unfurling ever new red banners lettered in gold. Two old peasants,
bowed with toil, were walking hand in hand, their faces illumined
with child-like bliss.

"Well," said one, "I'd like to see them take away our land again,

Near Smolny the Red Guard was lined up on both sides of the street,
wild with delight. The other old peasant spoke to his comrade, "I am
not tired," he said. "I walked on air all the way!"

On the steps of Smolny about a hundred Workers' and Soldiers'
Deputies were massed, with their banner, dark against the blaze of
light streaming out between the arches. Like a wave they rushed
down, clasping the peasants in their arms and kissing them; and the
procession poured in through the great door and up the stairs, with
a noise like thunder....

In the immense white meeting-room the _Tsay-ee-kah_ was waiting,
with the whole Petrograd Soviet and a thousand spectators beside,
with that solemnity which attends great conscious moments in history.

Zinoviev announced the agreement with the Peasants' Congress, to a
shaking roar which rose and burst into storm as the sound of music
blared down the corridor, and the head of the procession came in. On
the platform the presidium rose and made place for the Peasants'
presidium, the two embracing; behind them the two banners were
intertwined against the white wall, over the empty frame from which
the Tsar's picture had been torn....

Then opened the "triumphal session." After a few words of welcome
from Sverdlov, Maria Spiridonova, slight, pale, with spectacles and
hair drawn flatly down, and the air of a New England school-teacher,
took the tribune-the most loved and the most powerful woman in all

"... Before the workers of Russia open now horizons which history has
never known.... All workers' movements in the past have been defeated.
But the present movement is international, and that is why it is
invincible. There is no force in the world which can put out the
fire of the Revolution! The old world crumbles down, the new world

Then Trotzky, full of fire: "I wish you welcome, comrades peasants!
You come here not as guests, but as masters of this house, which
holds the heart of the Russian Revolution. The will of millions of
workers is now concentrated in this hall.... There is now only one
master of the Russian land: the union of the workers, soldiers and

With biting sarcasm he went on to speak of the Allied diplomats,
till then contemptuous of Russia's invitation to an armistice, which
had been accepted by the Central Powers.

"A new humanity will be born of this war.... In this hall we swear to
workers of all lands to remain at our revolutionary post. If we are
broken, then it will be in defending our flag...."

Krylenko followed him, explaining the situation at the front, where
Dukhonin was preparing to resist the Council of People's Commissars.
"Let Dukhonin and those with him understand well that we shall not
deal gently with those who bar the road to peace!"

Dybenko saluted the assembly in the name of the Fleet, and
Krushinsky, member of the _Vikzhel,_ said, "From this moment, when
the union of all true Socialists is realised, the whole army of
railway workers places itself absolutely at the disposition of the
revolutionary democracy!" And Lunatcharsky, almost weeping, and
Proshian, for the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, and finally
Saharashvili, for the United Social Democrats Internationalists,
composed of members of the Martov's and of Gorky's groups, who

"We left the _Tsay-ee-kah_ because of the uncompromising policy of
the Bolsheviki, and to force them to make concessions in order to
realise the union of all the revolutionary democracy. Now that that
union is brought about, we consider it a sacred duty to take our
places once more in the _Tsay-ee-kah_.... We declare that all those
who have withdrawn from the _Tsay-ee-kah_ should now return."

Stachkov, a dignified old peasant of the presidium of the Peasants'
Congress, bowed to the four corners of the room. "I greet you with
the christening of a new Russian life and freedom!"

Gronsky, in the name of the Polish Social Democracy; Skripnik, for
the Factory-Shop Committees; Tifonov, for the Russian soldiers at
Salonika; and others, interminably, speaking out of full hearts,
with the happy eloquence of hopes fulfilled....
It was late in the night when the following resolution was put and
passed unanimously:

"The _Tsay-ee-kah,_ united in extraordinary session with the
Petrograd Soviet and the Peasants' Congress, confirms the Land and
Peace decrees adopted by the second Congress of Soviets of Workers'
and Soldiers' Deputies, and also the decree on Workers' Control
adopted by the _Tsay-ee-kah._

"The joint session of the _Tsay-ee-kah_ and the Peasants' Congress
expresses its firm conviction that the union of workers, soldiers
and peasants, this fraternal union of all the workers and all
exploited, will consolidate the power conquered by them, that it
will take all revolutionary measures to hasten the passing of the
power into the hands of the working-class in other countries, and
that it will assure in this manner the lasting accomplishment of a
just peace and the victory of Socialism."(See App. XI, Sect. 2)



_Oborontsi_—“Defenders.” All the “moderate” Socialist groups adopted
or were given this name, because they consented to the continuation
of the war under Allied leadership, on the ground that it was a war
of National Defence. The Bolsheviki, the Left Socialist
Revolutionaries, the Mensheviki Internationalists (Martov’s faction),
and the Social Democrats Internationalists (Gorky’s group) were in
favour of forcing the Allies to declare democratic war-aims, and to
offer peace to Germany on those terms….



The following tables of wages and costs were compiled, in October,
1917, by a joint Committee from the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and
the Moscow section of the Ministry of Labour, and published in
_Novaya Zhizn,_ October 26th, 1917:

                _Wages Per Day_—(_Rubles and kopeks_)

| _Trade_                | _July_ 1914 | _July_ 1916 | _August_ 1917 |
| Carpenter,             | 1.60—2.     | 4.—6.       | 8.50          |
| Cabinet-maker          |             |             |               |
| Terrassier             | 1.30—1.50   | 3.—3.50     |               |
| Mason, plasterer       | 1.70—2.35   | 4.—6.       | 8.            |
| Painter, upholsterer   | 1.80—2.20   | 3.—5.50     | 8.            |
| Blacksmith             | 1.—2.25     | 4.—5.       | 8.50          |
| Chimney-sweep          | 1.50—2.     | 4.—5.50     | 7.50          |
| Locksmith              | .90—2.      | 3.50—6.     | 9.            |
| Helper                 | 1.—1.50     | 2.50—4.50   | 8.            |

In spite of numerous stories of gigantic advances in wages
immediately following the Revolution of March, 1917, these figures,
which were published by the Ministry of Labour as characteristic of
conditions all over Russia, show that wages did not rise immediately
after the Revolution, but little by little. On an average, wages
increased slightly more than 500 per cent….

But at the same time the value of the ruble fell to less than
one-third its former purchasing power, and the cost of the
necessities of life increased enormously.

The following table was compiled by the Municipal Duma of Moscow,
where food was cheaper and more plentiful than in Petrograd:

_Cost of Food—(Rubles and Kopeks)_

 |             | _August_ 1914 | _August_ 1917 | _% Increase_ |     |
 | Black bread | _(Fund)_      | .02 1/2       | .12          | 330 |
 | White bread | _(Fund)_      | .05           | .20          | 300 |
 | Beef        | _(Fund)_      | .22           | 1.10         | 400 |
 | Veal        | _(Fund)_      | .26           | 2.15         | 727 |
 | Pork        | _(Fund)_      | .23           | 2.           | 770 |
 | Herring     | _(Fund)_      | .06           | .52          | 767 |
 | Cheese      | _(Fund)_      | .40           | 3.50         | 754 |
 | Butter      | _(Fund)_      | .48           | 3.20         | 557 |
 | Eggs        | (Doz.)        | .30           | 1.60         | 443 |
 | Milk        | _(Krushka)_   | .07           | .40          | 471 |

On an average, food increased in price 556 per cent, or 51 per cent
more than wages.

As for the other necessities, the price of these increased

The following table was compiled by the Economic section of the
Moscow Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, and accepted as correct by the
Ministry of Supplies of the Provisional Government.

        _Cost of Other Necessities_—(_Rubles and Kopeks_)

|             | _August_ 1914 | _August_    | _%          |          |
|             |               | 1917        | Increase_   |          |
| Calico      | _(Arshin)_    | .11         | 1.40        | 1173     |
| Cotton      | _(Arshin)_    | .15         | 2.          | 1233     |
| cloth       |               |             |             |          |
| Dress Goods | _(Arshin)_    | 2.          | 40.         | 1900     |
| Castor      | _(Arshin)_    | 6.          | 80.         | 1233     |
| Cloth       |               |             |             |          |
| Men’s Shoes | (Pair)        | 12.         | 144.        | 1097     |
| Sole        |               | 20.         | 400.        | 1900     |
| Leather     |               |             |             |          |
| Rubbers     | (Pair)        | 2.50        | 15.         | 500      |
| Men’s       | (Suit)        | 40.         | 400. –455.  | 900–1109 |
| Clothing    |               |             |             |          |
| Tea         | _(Fund)_      | 4.50        | 18.         | 300      |
| Matches     | (Carton)      | .10         | .50         | 400      |
| Soap        | _(Pood)_      | 4.50        | 40.         | 780      |
| Gasoline    | _(Vedro)_     | 1.70        | 11.         | 547      |
| Candles     | _(Pood)_      | 8.50        | 100.        | 1076     |
| Caramel     | _(Fund)_      | .30         | 4.50        | 1400     |
| Fire Wood   | (Load)        | 10.         | 120.        | 1100     |
| Charcoal    |               | .80         | 13.         | 1525     |
| Sundry      |               | 1.          | 20.         | 1900     |
| Metal Ware  |               |             |             |          |

On an average, the above categories of necessities increased about
1,109 per cent in price, more than twice the increase of salaries.
The difference, of course, went into the pockets of speculators and

In September, 1917, when I arrived in Petrograd, the average daily
wage of a skilled industrial worker—for example, a steel-worker in
the Putilov Factory—was about 8 rubles. At the same time, profits
were enormous…. I was told by one of the owners of the Thornton
Woollen Mills, an English concern on the outskirts of Petrograd, that
while wages had increased about 300 per cent in his factory, his
profits had gone up _900 per cent._


                        THE SOCIALIST MINISTERS

The history of the efforts of the Socialists in the Provisional
Government of July to realise their programme in coalition with the
bourgeois Ministers, is an illuminating example of class struggle in
politics. Says Lenin, in explanation of this phenomenon:

“The capitalists, … seeing that the position of the Government was
untenable, resorted to a method which since 1848 has been for decades
practised by the capitalists in order to befog, divide, and finally
overpower the working-class. This method is the so-called ‘Coalition
Ministry,’ composed of bourgeois and of renegades from the Socialist

“In those countries where political freedom and democracy have
existed side by side with the revolutionary movement of the
workers—for example in England and France—the capitalists make use of
this subterfuge, and very successfully too. The ‘Socialist’ leaders,
upon entering the Ministries, invariably prove mere figure-heads,
puppets, simply a shield for the capitalists, a tool with which to
defraud the workers. The ‘democratic’ and ‘republican’ capitalists in
Russia set in motion this very same scheme. The Socialist
Revolutionaries and Mensheviki fell victim to it, and on June 1st a
‘Coalition’ Ministry, with the participation of Tchernov, Tseretelli,
Skobeliev, Avksentiev, Savinkov, Zarudny and Nikitin became an
accomplished fact….”—_Problems of the Revolution._



In the first week of October, 1917, _Novaya Zhizn_ published the
following comparative table of election results, pointing out that
this meant the bankruptcy of the policy of Coalition with the
propertied classes. “If civil war can yet be avoided, it can only be
done by a united front of all the revolutionary democracy….”

_Elections for the Moscow Central and Ward Dumas_. Reed, John. 1922.
Ten Days That Shook the World
      | _June_ 1917_September_ 1917 |            |            |
      | Socialist Revolutionaries   | 58 Members | 14 Members |
      | Cadets                      | 17 Members | 30 Members |
      | Mensheviki                  | 12 Members | 4 Members  |
      | Bolsheviki                  | 11 Members | 47 Members |



September 18th. The Cadet Shulgin, writing in a Kiev newspaper, said
that the Provisional Government’s declaration that Russia was a
Republic constituted a gross abuse of its powers. “We cannot admit
either a Republic, or the present Republican Government…. And we are
not sure that we want a Republic in Russia….”

October 23d. At a meeting of the Cadet party held at Riazan, M.
Dukhonin declared, “On March 1st we must establish a Constitutional
Monarchy. We must not reject the legitimate heir to the throne,
Mikhail Alexandrovitch….”

October 27th. Resolution passed by the Conference of Business Men at

“The Conference… insists that the Provisional Government take the
following immediate measures in the Army:

“1. Forbidding of all political propaganda; the Army must be out of

“2. Propaganda of antinational and international ideas and theories
deny the necessity for armies, and hurt discipline; it should be
forbidden, and all propagandists punished….

“3. The function of the Army Committees must be limited to economic
questions exclusively. All their decisions should be confirmed by
their superior officers, who have the right to dissolve the
Committees at any time….

“4. The salute to be reestablished, and made obligatory. Full
reestablishment of disciplinary power in the hands of officers, with
right of review of sentence….

“5. Expulsion from the Corps of Officers of those who dishonour it by
participating in the movement of the soldier-masses, which teaches
them disobedience…. Reestablishment for this purpose of the Courts of

“6. The Provisional Government should take the necessary measures to
make possible the return to the army of Generals and other officers
unjustly discharged under the influence of Committees, and other
irresponsible organisations….”



The Kornilov revolt is treated in detail in my forthcoming volume,
“Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk.” The responsibility of Kerensky for the
situation which gave rise to Kornilov’s attempt is now pretty clearly
established. Many apologists for Kerensky say that he knew of
Kornilov’s plans, and by a trick drew him out prematurely, and then
crushed him. Even Mr. A. J. Sack, in his book, “The Birth of the
Russian Democracy,” says:

“Several things… are almost certain. The first is that Kerensky knew
about the movement of several detachments from the Front toward
Petrograd, and it is possible that as Prime Minister and Minister of
War, realising the growing Bolshevist danger, he called for them….”

The only flaw in that argument is that there was no “Bolshevist
danger” at that time, the Bolsheviki still being a powerless minority
in the Soviets, and their leaders in jail or hiding.


                        DEMOCRATIC CONFERENCE

When the Democratic Conference was first proposed to Kerensky, he
suggested an assembly of all the elements in the nation—“the live
forces,” as he called them—including bankers, manufacturers,
land-owners, and representatives of the Cadet party. The Soviet
refused, and drew up the following table of representation, which
Kerensky agreed to:

| 100 delegates | All-Russian Soviets Workers’ and Soldiers’         |
|               | Deputies                                           |
| 100 delegates | All-Russian Soviets Peasants’ Deputies             |
| 50 delegates  | Provincial Soviets Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies |
| 50 delegates  | Peasants’ District Land Committees                 |
| 100 delegates | Trade Unions                                       |
| 84 delegates  | Army Committees at the Front                       |
| 150 delegates | Workers’ and Peasants’ Cooperative Societies       |
| 20 delegates  | Railway Workers’ Union                             |
| 10 delegates  | Post and Telegraph Workers’ Union                  |
| 20 delegates  | Commercial Clerks                                  |
| 15 delegates  | Liberal Professions—Doctors, Lawyers,              |
|               | Journalists, etc.                                  |
| 50 delegates  | Provincial Zemstvos                                |
| 59 delegates  | Nationalist Organisations—Poles, Ukraineans, etc.  |
This proportion was altered twice or three times. The final
disposition of delegates was:

| 300 delegates | All-Russian Soviets Workers’, Soldiers’ &          |
|               | Peasants’ Deputies                                 |
| 300 delegates | Cooperative Societies                              |
| 300 delegates | Municipalities                                     |
| 150 delegates | Army Committees at the Front                       |
| 150 delegates | Provincial Zemstvos                                |
| 200 delegates | Trade Unions                                       |
| 100 delegates | Nationalist Organisations                          |
| 200 delegates | Several small groups                               |


On September 28th, 1917, _Izviestia,_ organ of the _Tsay-ee-kah,_
published an article which said, speaking of the last Provisional

“At last a truly democratic government, born of the will of all
classes of the Russian people, the first rough form of the future
liberal parliamentary régime, has been formed. Ahead of us is the
Constituent Assembly, which will solve all questions of fundamental
law, and whose composition will be essentially democratic. The
function of the Soviets is at an end, and the time is approaching
when they must retire, with the rest of the revolutionary machinery,
from the stage of a free and victorious people, whose weapons shall
hereafter be the peaceful ones of political action.”

The leading article of _Izviestia_ for October 23d was called, “The
Crisis in the Soviet Organisations.” It began by saying that
travellers reported a lessening activity of local Soviets everywhere.
“This is natural,” said the writer. “For the people are becoming
interested in the more permanent legislative organs—the Municipal
Dumas and the Zemstvs….

“In the important centres of Petrograd and Moscow, where the Soviets
were best organised, they did not take in all the democratic
elements…. The majority of the intellectuals did not participate, and
many workers also; some of the workers because they were politically
backward, others because the centre of gravity for them was in their
Unns…. We cannot deny that these organisations are firmly united with
the masses, whose everyday needs are better served by them….

“That the local democratic administrations are being energetically
organised is highly important. The City Dumas are elected by
universal suffrage, and in purely local matters have more authority
than the Soviets. Not a single democrat will see anything wrong in

“… Elections to the Municipalities are being conduct in a better and
more democratic way than the elections to the Soviets… All classes
are represented in the Municipalities…. And as soon as the local
Self-Governments begin to organise life in the Municipalities, the
rôle of the local Soviets naturally ends….

“… There are two factors in the falling off of interest in the
Soviets. The first we may attribute to the lowering of political
interest in the masses; the second, to the growing effort of
provincial and local governing bodies to organise the building of new
Russia…. The more the tendency lies in this latter direction, the
sooner disappears the significance of the Soviets….

“We ourselves are being called the ‘undertakers’ of our own
organisation. In reality, we ourselves are the hardest workers in
constructing the new Russia….

“When autocracy and the whole bureaucratic règimeell, we set up the
Soviets as a barracks in which all the democracy cod find temporary
shelter. Now, instead of barracks, we are building the permanent
edifice of a new system, and naturally the people will gradually
leave the barracks for more comfortable quarters.”



“The purpose of the Democratic Conference, which was called by the
_Tsay-ee-kah,_ was to do away with the irresponsible personal
government which produced Kornilov, and to establish a responsible
government which would be capable of finishing the war, and ensure
the calling of the Constituent Assembly at the given time. In the
meanwhile behind the back of the Democratic Conference, by trickery,
by deals between Citizen Kerensky, the Cadets, and the leaders of the
Menshevik and Socialist Revolutionary parties, we received the
opposite result from the officially announced purpose. A power was
created around which and in which we have open and secret Kornilovs
playing leading parts. The irresponsibility of the Government is
offically proclaimed, when it is announced that the Council of the
Russian Republic is to be a _consultative_ and not _legislative_
body. In the eighth month of the Revolution, the irresponsible
Government creates a cover for itself in this new edition of
Bieligen’s Duma.

“The propertied classes have entered this Provision Council in a
proportion which clearly shows, from elections all over the country,
that many of them have no right here whatever. In spite of that the
Cadet party, which until yesterday wanted the Provisional Government
to be responsible to the State Duma—this same Cadet party secured the
independence Assembly the propertied classes will no doubt have as
favourable position than they have in this Council, and they will not
be able to be irresponsible to the Constituent Assembly.

“If the propertied classes were really getting ready for the
Constituent Assembly six weeks from now, there could be no reason for
establishing the irresponsibility of the Government at this time. The
whole truth is that the bourgeoisie, which directs the policies of
the Provisional Government, has for its aim to break the Constituent
Assembly. At present this is the main purpose of the propertied
classes, which control our entire national policy—external and
internal. In the industrial, agrarian and supply departments the
politics of the propertied classes, acting with the Government,
increases the natural disorganisation caused by the war. The
propertied classes, which are provoking a peasants’ revolt! The
propertied classes, which are provoking civil war, and openly hold
their course on the bony hand of hunger, with which they intend to
overthrow the Revolution and finish with the Constituent Assembly!

“No less criminal also is the international policy of the bourgeoisie
and its Government. After forty months of war, the capital is
threatened with mortal danger. In reply to this arises a plan to move
the Government to Moscow. The idea of abandoning the capital does not
stir the indignation of the bourgeoisie. Just the opposite. It is
accepted as a natural part of the general policy designed to promote
counter-revolutionary conspiracy. … Instead of recognising that the
salvation of the country lies in concluding peace, instead of
throwing openly the idea of immediate peace to all the worn-out
peoples, over the heads of diplomats and imperialists, and making the
continuation of the war impossible,—the Provisional Government, by
order of the Cadets, the Counter-Revolutionists and the Allied
Imperialists, without sense, without purpose and without a plan,
continues to drag on the murderous war, sentencing to useless death
new hundreds of thousands of soldiers and sailors, and preparing to
give up Petrograd, and to wreck the Revolution. At a time when
Bolshevik soldiers and sailors are dying with other soldiers and
sailors as a result of the mistakes and crimes of others, the
so-called Supreme Commander (Kerensky) continues to suppress the
Bolshevik press. The leading parties of the Council are acting as a
voluntary cover for these policies.

“We, the faction of Social Democrats Bolsheviki, announce that with
this Government of Treason to the People we have nothing in common.
We have nothing in common with the work of these Murderers of the
People which goes on behind official curtains. We refuse either
directly or indirectly to cover up one day of this work. While
Wilhelm’s troops are threatening Petrograd, the Government of
Kerensky and Kornilov is preparing to run away from Petrograd and
turn Moscow into a base of counter-revolution!

“We warn the Moscow workers and soldiers to be on their guard.
Leaving this Council, we appeal to the manhood and wisdom of the
workers, peasants and soldiers of all Russia. Petrograd is in danger!
The Revolution is in danger! The Government has increased the
danger—the ruling classes intensify it. Only the people themselves
can save themselves and the country.

“We appeal to the people. Long live immediate, honest, democratic
peace! All power to the Soviets! All land to the people! Long live
the Constituent Assembly!”


                        THE “NAKAZ” TO SKOBELIEV

(Passed by the _Tsay-ee-kah_ and given to Skobeliev as an instruction
for the representative of the Russian Revolutionary democracy at the
Paris Conference.)

The peace treaty must be based on the principle, “No annexations, no
indemnities, the right of self-determination of peoples.”

                _Territorial Problems_

(1) Evacuation of German troops from invaded Russia. Full right of
self-determination to Poland, Lithuania and Livonia.

(2) For Turkish Armenia autonomy, and later complete
self-determination, as soon as local Governments are established.

(3) The question of Alsace-Lorraine to be solved by a plebiscite,
after the withdrawal of all foreign troops.

(4) Belgium to be restored. Compensation for damages from an
international fund.

(5) Serbia and Montenegro to be restored, and aided by an
international relief fund. Serbia to have an outlet on the Adriatic.
Bosnia and Herzegovina to be autonomous.

(6) The disputed provinces in the Balkans to have provisional
autonomy, followed by a plebiscite.

(7) Rumania to be restored, but forced to give complete
self-determination to the Dobrudja…. Rumania must be forced to
execute the clauses of the Berlin Treaty concerning the Jews, and
recognise them as Rumanian citizens.

(8) In Italia Irridenta a provisional autonomy, followed by a
plebiscite to determine state dependence.

(9) The German colonies to be returned.

(10) Greece and Persia to be restored.

                _Freedom of the Seas_

All straits opening into inland seas, as well as the Suez and Panama
Canals, are to be neutralised. Commercial shipping to be free. The
right of privateering to be abolished. The torpedoing of commercial
ships to be forbidden.


All combatants to renounce demands for any indemnities, either direct
or indirect—as, for instance, charges for the maintenance of
prisoners. Indemnities and contributions collected during the war
must be refunded.

                _Economic Terms_

Commercial treaties are not to be a part of the peace terms. Every
country must be independent in its commercial relations, and must not
be obliged to, or prevented from, concluding an economic treaty, by
the Treaty of Peace. Nevertheless, all nations should bind
themselves, by the Peace Treaty, not to practise an economic blockade
after the war, nor to form separate tariff agreements. The right of
most favoured nation must be given to all countries without

                _Guarantees of Peace_

Peace is to be concluded at the Peace Conference by delegates elected
by the national representative institutions of each country. The
peace terms are to be confirmed by these parliaments.

Secret diplomacy is to be abolished; all parties are to bind
themselves not to conclude any secret treaties. Such treaties are
declared in contradiction to international law, and void. All
treaties, until confirmed by the parliaments of the different
nations, are to be considered void.

Gradual disarmament both on land and sea, and the establishment of a
militia system. The “League of Nations” advanced by President Wilson
may become a valuable aid to international law, provided that (a),
all nations are to be obliged to participate in it with equal rights,
and (b), international politics are to be democratised.

                _Ways to Peace_

The Allies are to announce immediately that they are willing to open
peace negotiations as soon as the enemy powers declare their consent
to the renunciation of all forcible annexations.

The Allies must bind themselves not to begin any peace negotiations,
nor to conclude peace, except in a general Peace Conference with the
participation of delegates from all the neutral countries.

All obstacles to the Stockholm Socialist Conference are to be
removed, and passports are to be given immediately to all delegates
of parties and organisations who wish to participate.

(The Executive Committee of the Peasants’ Soviets also issued a
_nakaz,_ which differs little from the above.)


                        PEACE AT RUSSIA’S EXPENSE

The Ribot revelations of Austria’s peace-offer to France; the
so-called “Peace Conference” at Berne, Switzerland, during the summer
of 1917, in which delegates participated from all belligerent
countries, representing large financial interests in all these
countries; and the attempted negotiations of an English agent with a
Bulgarian church dignitary; all pointed to the fact that there were
strong currents, on both sides, favourable to patching up a peace at
the expense of Russia. In my next book, “Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk,”
I intend to treat this matter at some length, publishing several
secret documents discovered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at


                     RUSSIAN SOLDIERS IN FRANCE

_Official Report of the Provisional Government._

“From the time the news of the Russian Revolution reached Paris,
Russian newspapers of extreme tendencies immediately began to appear;
and these newspapers, as well as individuals, freely circulated among
the soldier masses and began a Bolshevik propaganda, often spreading
false news which appeared in the French journals. In the absence of
all official news, and of precise details, this campaign provoked
discontent among the soldiers. The result was a desire to return to
Russia, and a hatred toward the officers.

“Finally it all turned into rebellion. In one of their meetings, the
soldiers issued an appeal to refuse to drill, since they had decided
to fight no more. It was decided to isolate the rebels, and General
Zankievitch ordered all soldiers loyal to the Provisional Government
to leave the camp of Courtine, and to carry with them all ammunition.
On June 25th the order was executed; there remained at the camp only
the soldiers who said they would submit ‘conditionally’ to the
Provisional Government. The soldiers at the camp of Courtine received
several times the visit of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian
Armies abroad, of Rapp, the Commissar of the Ministry of War, and of
several distinguished former exiles who wished to influence them, but
these attempts were unsuccessful, and finally Commissar Rapp insisted
that the rebels lay down their arms, and, in sign of submission,
march in good order to a place called Clairvaux. The order was only
partially obeyed; first 500 men went out, of whom 22 were arrested;
24 hours later about 6,000 followed…. About 2,000 remained….

“It was decided to increase the pressure; their rations were
diminished, their pay was cut off, and the roads toward the village
of Courtine were guarded by French soldiers. General Zankievitch,
having discovered that a Russian artillery brigade was passing
through France, decided to form a mixed detachment of infantry and
artillery to reduce the rebels. A deputation  was sent to the rebels;
the deputation returned several hours later, convinced of the
futility of the negotiations. On September 1st General Zankievitch
sent an ultimatum to the rebels demanding that they lay down their
arms, and menacing in case of refusal to open fire with artillery if
the order was not obeyed by September 3d at 10 o’clock.

“The order not being executed, a light fire of artillery was opened
on the place at the hour agreed upon. Eighteen shells were fired, and
the rebels were warned that the bombardment would become more
intense. In the night of September 3d 160 men surrendered. September
4th the artillery bombardment recommenced, and at 11 o’clock, after
36 shells had been fired, the rebels raised two white flags and began
to leave the camp without arms. By evening 8,300 men had surrendered.
150 soldiers who remained in the camp opened fire with machine-guns
that night. The 5th of September, to make an end of the affair, a
heavy barrage was laid on the camp, and our soldiers occupied it
little by little. The rebels kept up a heavy fire with their
machine-guns. September 6th, at 9 o’clock, the camp was entirely
occupied…. After the disarmament of the rebels, 81 arrests were

Thus the report. From secret documents discovered in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, however, we know that the account is not strictly
accurate. The first trouble arose when the soldiers tried to form
Committees, as their comrades in Russia were doing. They demanded to
be sent back to Russia, which was refused; and then, being considered
a dangerous influence in France, they were ordered to Salonika. They
refused to go, and the battle followed…. It was discovered that they
had been left in camp without officers for about two months, and
badly treated, before they became rebellious. All attempts to find
out the name of the “Russian artillery brigade” which had fired on
them were futile; the telegrams discovered in the Ministry left it to
be inferred that French artillery was used….

After their surrender, more than two hundred of the mutineers were
shot in cold blood.


                      TERESTCHENKO’S SPEECH_ (Resumé_)

“… The questions of foreign policy are closely related to those of
national defence…. And so, if in questions of national defence you
think it is necessary to hold session in secret, also in our foreign
policy we are sometimes forced to observe the same secrecy….

“German diplomacy attempts to influence public opinion…. Therefore
the declarations of directors of great democratic organisations who
talk loudly of a revolutionary Congress, and the impossibility of
another winter campaign, are dangerous…. All these declarations cost
human lives….

“I wish to speak merely of governmental logic, without touching the
questions of the honour and dignity of the State. From the point of
view of logic, the foreign policy of Russia ought to be based on a
real comprehension of the _interests_ of Russia…. These interests
mean that it is impossible that our country remain alone, and that
the present alignment of forces with us, (the Allies), is
satisfactory…. All humanity longs for peace, but in Russia no one
will permit a humiliating peace which would violate the State
interests of our fatherland!”

The orator pointed out that such a peace would for long years, if not
for centuries, retard the triumph of democratic principles in the
world, and would inevitably cause new wars.

“All remember the days of May, when the fraternisation on our Front
threatened to end the war by a simple cessation of military
operations, and lead the country to a shameful separate peace… and
what efforts it was necessary to use to make the soldier masses at
the front understand that it was not by this method that the Russian
State must end the war and guarantee its interest….”

He spoke of the miraculous effect of the July offensive, what
strength it gave to the words of Russian ambassadors abroad, and the
despair in Germany caused by the Russian victories. And also, the
disillusionment in Allied countries which followed the Russian

“As to the Russian Government, it adhered strictly to the formula of
May, ‘No annexations and no punitive indemnities.’ We consider it
essential not only to proclaim the self-determination of peoples, but
also to renounce imperialist aims….”

Germany is continually trying to make peace. The only talk in Germany
is of peace; she knows she cannot win.

“I reject the reproaches aimed at the Government which allege that
Russian foreign policy does not speak clearly enough about the aims
of the war….

“If the question arises as to what ends the Allies are pursuing, it
is indispensable first to demand what aims the Central Powers have
agreed upon….

“The desire is often heard that we publish the details of the
treaties which bind the Allies; but people forget that, up to now, we
do not know the treaties which bind the Central Powers….”

Germany, he said, evidently wants to separate Russia from the West by
a series of weak buffer-states.

“This tendency to strike at the vital interests of Russia must be

“And will the Russian democracy, which has inscribed on its banner
the rights of nations to dispose of themselves, allow calmly the
continuation of oppression upon the most civilised peoples (in

“Those who fear that the Allies will try to profit by our difficult
situation, to make us support more than our share of the burden of
war, and to solve the questions of peace at our expense, are entirely
mistaken…. Our enemy looks upon Russia as a market for its products.
The end of the war will leave us in a feeble condition, and with our
frontier open the flood of German products can easily hold back for
years our industrial development. Measures must be taken to guard
against this….

“I say openly and frankly: the combination of forces which unites us
to the Allies is _favourable to the interests of Russia…._ It is
therefore important that our views on the questions of war and peace
shall be in accord with the views of the Allies as clearly and
precisely as possible…. To avoid all misunderstanding, I must say
frankly that Russia must present at the Paris Conference _one point
of view…._”

He did not want to comment on the _nakaz_ to Skobeliev, but he
referred to the Manifesto of the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee, just
published in Stockholm. This Manifesto declared for the autonomy of
Lithuania and Livonia; “but that is clearly impossible,” said
Terestchenko, “for Russia must have free ports on the Baltic all the
year round….

“In this question the problems of foreign policy are also closely
related to interior politics, for if there existed a strong sentiment
of unity of all great Russia, one would not witness the repeated
manifestations, everywhere, of a desire of peoples to separate from
the Central Government…. Such separations are contrary to the
interests of Russia, and the Russian delegates cannot raise the


                       THE BRITISH FLEET (_etc._)

At the time of the naval battle of the Gulf of Riga, not only the
Bolsheviki, but also the Ministers of the Provisional Government,
considered  that the British Fleet had deliberately abandoned the
Baltic, as one indication of the attitude so often expressed publicly
by the British press, and semi-publicly by British representatives in
Russia, “Russia’s finished! No use bothering about Russia!”

See interview with Kerensky (Appendix 13).

GENERAL GURKO was a former Chief of Staff of the Russian armies under
the Tsar. He was a prominent figure in the corrupt Imperial Court.
After the Revolution, he was one of the very few persons exiled for
his political and personal record. The Russian naval defeat in the
Gulf of Riga coincided with the public reception, by King George in
London, of General Gurko, a man whom the Russian Provisional
Government considered dangerously pro-German as well as reactionary!



                        _To Workers and Soldiers_

“Comrades! The Dark Forces are increasingly trying to call forth in
Petrograd and other towns DISORDERS AND _Pogroms._ Disorder is
necessary to the Dark Forces, for disorder will give them an
opportunity for crushing the revolutionary movement in blood. Under
the pretext of establishing order, and of protecting the inhabitants,
they hope to establish the domination of Kornilov, which the
revolutionary people succeeded in suppressing not long ago. Woe to
the people if these hopes are realised! The triumphant
counter-revolution will destroy the Soviets and the Army Committees,
will disperse the Constituent Assembly, will stop the transfer of the
land to the Land Committees, will put an end to all the hopes of the
people for a speedy peace, and will fill all the prisons with
revolutionary soldiers and workers.

“In their calculations, the counter-revolutionists and Black Hundred
leaders are counting on the serious discontent of the unenlightened
part of the people with the disorganisation of the food-supply, the
continuation of the war, and the general difficulties of life. They
hope to transform every demonstration of soldiers and workers into a
_pogrom,_ which will frighten the peaceful population and throw it
into the arms of the Restorers of Law and Order.

“Under such conditions every attempt to organise a demonstration in
these days, although for the most laudable object, would be a crime.
All conscious workers and soldiers who are displeased with the policy
of the Government will only bring injury to themselves and to the
Revolution if they indulge in demonstrations.



_The Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers’ and
Soldiers’ Deputies (Tsay-ee-kah)_

_Russian Social Democratic Labour Party_
To All Workers and Soldiers
(_Read and Hand to Others_)

_Comrades Workers and Soldiers!_

“Our country is in danger. On account of this danger our freedom and
our Revolution are passing through difficult days. The enemy is at
the gates of Petrograd. The disorganisation is growing with every
hours. It becomes more and more difficult to obtain bread for
Petrograd. All, of from the smallest to the greatest, must redouble
their efforts, must endeavour to arrange things properly…. We must
save our country, say freedom…. More arms and provisions for the
Army! Bread—for the great cities. Order and organisation in the

“And in these terrible critical days rumours creep about that
SOMEWHERE a demonstration is being prepared, that SOME ONE is calling
on the soldiers and workers to destroy revolutionary peace and
order…. _Rabotchi Put,_ the newspaper of the Bolsheviki, is pouring
oil on the flames: it flattering, trying to please the unenlightened
people, tempting the worker and soldiers, urging them on against the
Government, promising them mountains of good things…. The confiding,
ignorant men believe, they do not reason…. And from the other side
come also rumours—rumours that the Dark Forces, the friends of the
Tsar, the German spies, are rubbing their hands with glee. They are
ready to join the Bolsheviki, and with them fan the disorders into
civil war.

“The Bolsheviki and the ignorant soldiers and workers seduced by them
cry senselessly: ‘Down with the Government! All power to the
Soviets!’ And the Dark servants of the Tsar and the spies of Wilhelm
will egg the on; ‘Beat the Jews, beat the shopkeepers, rob the
markets, devastate the shops, pillage the wine stores! Slay, burn,

“And then will begin a terrible confusion, a war between one part of
the people and the other. All will become still more disorganised,
and perhaps once more blood will be shed on the streets of the
capital. And then what then?

“Then, the road to Petrograd will be open to Wilhelm. Then, no bread
will come to Petrograd, the children will die of hunger. Then, the
Army as the front will remain without support, our brothers in the
trenches will be delivered to the fire of the enemy. Then, Russia
will lose all prestige in other countries, our money will lose its
value; everything will be so dear as to make life impossible. Then,
the long awaited Constituent Assembly will be postponed—it will be
impossible to convene it in time. And then—Death to the Revolution,
Death to our Liberty….

“Is it this that you want, workers and soldiers? No! If you do not
then go, go to the ignorant people seduced by the betrayers, and tell
them the whole truth, which we have told you!


“Every conscious worker revolutionist, every conscious peasant, every
revolutionary soldier, all who understand what harm a demonstration
or a revolt against the Government might cause to the people, must
join together and not allow the enemies of the people to destroy our

_The Petrograd Electoral Committee of the Mensheviki-oborontzi._


                    LENIN’s “LETTER TO THE COMRADES”

This series of articles appeared in _Rabotchi Put_ several days
running, at the end of October and beginning of November, 1917. I
give here only extracts from two instalments:

1. Kameniev and Riazanov say that we have not a majority among the
people, and that without a majority insurrection is hopeless.

“Answer: People capable of speaking such things are falsifiers,
pedants, or simply don’t want to look the real situation in the face.
In the last elections we received in all the country more than fifty
per cent of all thevotes….

“The most important thing in Russia to-day is the peasants’
revolution. In Tambov Government there has been a real agrarian
uprising with wonderful political results…. Even _Dielo Naroda_ has
been scared into yelling that the land must be turned over to the
peasants, and not only the Socialist Revolutionaries in the Council
of the Republic, but also the Government itself, has been similarly
affected. Another valuable result was the bringing of bread which had
been hoarded by the _pomieshtchiki_ to the railroad stations in that
province. The _Russkaya Volia_ had to admit that the stations were
filled with bread after the peasants’ rising….

“2. We are not sufficiently strong to take over the Government, and
the bourgeoisie is not sufficiently strong to prevent the Constituent

“Answer: This is nothing but timidity, expressed by pessimism as
regards workers and soldiers, and optimism as regards the failure of
the bourgeoisie. If _yunkers_ and Cossacks say they will fight, you
believe them; if workmen and soldiers say so, you doubt it. What is
the distinction between such doubts and siding politically with the

“Kornilov proved that the Soviets were really a power. To believe
Kerensky and the Council of the Republic, if the bourgeoisie is not
strong enough to break the Soviets, it is not strong enough to break
the Constituent. But that is wrong. The bourgeoisie will break the
Constituent by sabotage, by lock-outs, by giving up Petrograd, by
opening the front to the Germans. This has already been done in the
case of Riga….

“3. The Soviets must remain a revolver at the head of the Government
to force the calling of the Constituent Assembly, and to suppress any
further Kornilov attempts.

“Answer: Refusal of insurrection is refusal of ‘All Power to the
Soviets.’ Since September the Bolshevik party has been discussing the
question of insurrection. Refusing to rise means to trust our hopes
in the faith of the good bourgeoisie, who have ‘promised’ to call the
Constituent Assembly. When the Soviets have all the power, the
calling of the Constituent is guaranteed, and its success assured.

“Refusal of insurrection means surrender to the ‘Lieber-Dans.’ Either
we must drop ‘All Power to the Soviets’ or make an insurrection;
there is no middle course.”

“4. The bourgeoisie cannot give up Petrograd, although the Rodziankos
want it, because it is not the bourgeoisie who are fighting, but our
heroic soldiers and sailors.

“Answer: This did not prevent two admirals from running away at the
Moonsund battle. The Staff has not changed; it is composed of
Kornilovtsi. If the Staff, with Kerensky at its head, wants to give
up Petrograd, it can do it doubly or trebly. It can make arrangements
with the Germans or the British; open the fronts. It can sabotage the
Army’s food supply. At all these doors has it knocked.

“We have no right to wait until the bourgeoisie chokes the
Revolution. Rodzianko is a man of action, who has faithfully and
truthfully served the bourgeoisie for years…. Half the Lieber-Dans
are cowardly compromisers; half of them simple fatalists….”

“5. We’re getting stronger every day. We shall be able to enter the
Constituent Assembly as a strong opposition. Then why should we play
everything on one card?”

“Answer: This is the argument of a sophomore with no practical
experience, who reads that the Constituent Assembly is being called
and trustfully accepts the legal and constitutional way. Even the
voting of the Constituent Assembly will not do away with hunger, or
beat Wilhelm…. The issue of hunger and of surrendering Petrograd
cannot be decided by waiting for the Constituent Assembly. Hunger is
not waiting. The peasants’ Revolution is not waiting. The Admirals
who ran away did not wait.

“Blind people are surprised that hungry people, betrayed by admirals
and generals, do not take an interest in voting.

“6. If the Kornilovtsi make an attempt, we would show them our
strength. But why should we risk everything by making an attempt

“Answer: History doesn’t repeat. ‘Perhaps Kornilov will some day make
an attempt!’ What a serious base for proletarian action! But suppose
Kornilov waits for starvation, for the opening of the fronts, what
then? This attitude means to build the tactics of a revolutionary
party on one of the bourgeoisie’s former mistakes.

“Let us forget everything except that there is no way out but by the
dictatorship of the proletariat—either that or the dictatorship of

“Let us wait, comrades, for—a miracle!”


                      MILIUKOV’s SPEECH (_Resumé_)

“Every one admits, it seems, that the defence of the country is our
principal task, and that, to assure it, we must have discipline in
the Army and order in the rear. To achieve this, there must be a
power capable of daring, not only by persuasion, but also by force….
The germ of all our evils comes from the point of view, original,
truly Russian, concerning foreign policy, which passes for the
Internationalist point of view.

“The noble Lenin only imitates the noble Keroyevsky when he holds
that from Russia will come the New World which shall resuscitate the
aged West, and which will replace the old banner of doctrinary
Socialism by the new direct action of starving masses—and that will
push humanity forward and force it to break in the doors of the
social paradise….”

These men sincerely believed that the decomposition of Russia would
bring about the decomposition of the whole capitalist régime.
Starting from that point of view, they were able to commit the
unconscious treason, in wartime, of calmly telling the soldiers to
abandon the trenches, and instead of fighting the external enemy,
creating internal civil war and attacking the proprietors and

Here Miliukov was interrupted by furious cries from the Left,
demanding what Socialist had ever advised such action….

“Martov says that only the revolutionary pressure of the proletariat
can condemn and conquer the evil will of imperialist cliques and
break down the dictatorship of these cliques…. Not by an accord
between Governments for a limitation of armaments, but by the
disarming of these Governments and the radical democratisation of the
military system….”

He attacked Martov viciously, and then turned on the Mensheviki and
Socialist Revolutionaries, whom he accused of entering the Government
as Ministers with the avowed purpose of carrying on the class

“The Socialists of Germany and of the Allied countries contemplated
these gentlemen with ill-concealed contempt, but they decided that it
was for Russia, and sent us some apostles of the Universal

“The formula of our democracy is very simple; no foreign policy, no
art of diplomacy, an immediate democratic peace, a declaration to the
Allies, ‘We want nothing, we haven’t anything to fight with!’ And
then our adversaries will make the same declaration, and the
brotherhood of peoples will be accomplished!”

Miliukov took a fling at the Zimmerwald Manifesto, and declared that
even Kerensky has not been able to escape the influence of “that
unhappy document which will forever be your indictment.” He then
attacked Skobeliev, whose position in foreign assemblies, where he
would appear as a Russian delegate, yet opposed to the foreign policy
of his Government, would be so strange that people would say, “What’s
that gentleman carrying, and what shall we talk to him about?” As for
the _nakaz,_ Miliukov said that he himself was a pacifist; that he
believed in the creation of an International Arbitration Board, and
the necessity for a limitation of armaments, and parliamentary
control over secret diplomacy, which did not mean the abolition of
secret diplomacy.

As for the Socialist ideas in the _nakaz,_ which he called “Stockholm
ideas”—peace without victory, the right of self-determination of
peoples, and renunciation of the economic war—

“The German successes are directly proportionate to the successes of
those who call themselves the revolutionary democracy. I do not wish
to say, ‘to the successes of the Revolution,’ because I believe that
the defeats of the revolutionary democracy are victories for the

“The influence of the Soviet leaders abroad is not unimportant. One
had only to listen to the speech of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
to be convinced that, in this hall, the influence of the
revolutionary democracy on foreign policy is so strong, that the
Minister does not dare to speak face to face with it about the honour
and dignity of Russia!

“We can see, in the _nakaz_ of the Soviets, that the ideas of the
Stockholm Manifesto have been elaborated in two direction—that of
Utopianism, and that of German interests….

Interrupted by the angry cries of the Left, and rebuked by the
President, Miliukov insisted that the proposition of peace concluded
by popular assemblies, not by diplomats, and the proposal to
undertake peace negotiations as soon as the enemy had renounced
annexations, were pro-German. Recently Kuhlman said that a personal
declaration bound only him who made it…. “Anyway, we will imitate the
Germans before we will imitate the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’

The sections treating of the independence of Lithuania and Livonia
were symptoms of nationalist agitation in different parts of Russia,
supported, said Miliukov, by German money…. Amid bedlam from the
Left, he contrasted the clauses of the _nakaz_ concerning
Alsace-Lorraine, Rumania, and Serbia, with those treating of the
nationalities in Germany and Austria. The _nakaz_ embraced the German
and Austrian point of view, said Miliukov.

Passing to Terestchenko’s speech, he contemptuously accused him of
being afraid to speak the thought in his mind, and even afraid to
think in terms of the greatness of Russia. The Dardanelles must
belong to Russia….

“You are continually saying that the soldier does not know why he is
fighting, and that when he does know, he’ll fight…. It is true that
the soldier doesn’t know why he is fighting, but now you have told
him that there is no reason for him to fight, that we have no
national interests, and that we are fighting for alien ends….”

Paying tribute to the Allies, who, he said, with the assistance of
America, “will yet save the cause of humanity,” he ended:

“Long live the light of humanity, the advanced democracies of the
West, who for a long time have been travelling the way we now only
begin to enter, with ill-assured and hesitating steps! Long live our
brave Allies!”


                        INTERVIEW WITH KERENSKY

The Associated Press man tried his hand. “Mr. Kerensky,” he began,
“in England and France people are disappointed with the Revolution——”

“Yes, I know,” interrupted Kerensky, quizzically. “Abroad the
Revolution is no longer fashionable!”

“What is your explanation of why the Russians have stopped fighting?”

“That is a foolish question to ask.” Kerensky was annoyed. “Russia
entered the war first of all the Allies, and for a long time she bore
the whole brunt of it. Her losses have been inconceivably greater
than those of all the other nations put together. Russia has now the
right to demand of the Allies that they bring greater force of arms
to bear.” He stopped for a moment and stared at his interlocutor.
“You are asking why the Russians have stopped fighting, and the
Russians are asking where is the British fleet—with German
battle-ships in the Gulf of Riga?” Again he ceased suddenly, and as
suddenly burst out. “The Russian Revolution hasn’t failed and the
revolutionary Army hasn’t failed. It is not the Revolution which
caused disorganisation in the army—that disorganisation was
accomplished years ago, by the old regime. Why aren’t the Russians
fighting? I will tell you. Because the masses of the people are
economically exhausted,—and because they are disillusioned with the

The interview of which this is an excerpt was cabled to the United
States, and in a few days sent back by the American State Department,
with a demand that it be “altered.” This Kerensky refused to do; but
it was done by his secretary, Dr. David Soskice—and, thus purged of
all offensive references to the Allies, was given to the press of the




                        _Workers’ Control_

1. (See Ppage 43)
2. The organisation of Workers’ Control is a manifestation of the
same healthy activity in the sphere of industrial production, as are
party organisations in the sphere of politics, trade unions in
employment, Cooperatives in the domain of consumption, and literary
clubs in the sphere of culture.

3. The working-class has much more interest in the proper and
uninterrupted operation of factories… than the capitalist class.
Workers’ Control is a better security in this respect for the
interests of modern society, of the whole people, than the arbitrary
will of the owners, who are guided only by their selfish desire for
material profits or political privileges. Therefore Workers’ Control
is demanded by the proletariat not only in their own interest, but in
the interest of the whole country, and should be supported by the
revolutionary peasantry as well as the revolutionary Army.

4. Considering the hostile attitude of the majority of the capitalist
class toward the Revolution, experience shows that proper
distribution of raw materials and fuel, as well as the most efficient
management of factories, is impossible without Workers’ Control.

5. Only Workers’ Control over capitalist enterprises, cultivating the
workers’ conscious attitude toward work, and making clear its social
meaning, can create conditions favourable to the development of a
firm self-discipline in labour, and the development of all labour’s
possible productivity.

6. The impending transformation of industry from a war to a peace
basis, and the redistribution of labour all over the country, as well
as among the different factories, can be accomplished without great
disturbances only by means of the democratic self-government of the
workers themselves…. Therefore the realisation of Workers’ Control is
an indispensable preliminary to the demobilisation of industry.

7. In accordance with the slogan proclaimed by the Russian Social
Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviki), Workers’ Control on a national
scale, in order to bring results, must extend to all capitalist
concerns, and not be organised accidentally, without system; it must
be well-planned, and not separated from the industrial life of the
country as a whole.

8. The economic life of the country—agriculture, industry, commerce
and transport—must be subjected to one unified plan, constructed so
as to satisfy the individual and social requirements of the wide
masses of the people; it must be approved by their elected
representatives, and carried out under the direction of these
representatives by means of national and local organisations.

9. That part of the plan which deals with land-labour must be carried
out under supervision of the peasants’ and land-workers’
organisations; that relating to industry, trade and transport
operated by wage-earners, by means of Workers’ Control; the natural
organs of Workers’ Control inside the industrial plant will be the
Factory-Shop and similar Committees; and in the labour market, the
Trade Unions.

10. The collective wage agreements arranged by the Trade Unions for
the majority of workers in any branch of labour, must be binding on
all the owners of plants employing this kind of labour in the given

11. Employment bureaus must be placed under the control and
management of the Trade Unions, as class organisations acting within
the limits of the whole industrial plan, and in accordance with it.

12. Trade Unions must have the right, upon their own initiative, to
begin legal action against all employers who violate labour contracts
or labour legislation, and also in behalf of any individual worker in
any branch of labour.

13. On all questions relating to Workers’ Control over production,
distribution and employment, the Trade Unions must confer with the
workers of individual establishments through their Factory-Shop

14. Matters of employment and discharge, vacations, wage scales,
refusal of work, degree of productivity and skill, reasons for
abrogating agreements, disputes with the administration, and similar
problems of the internal life of the factory, must be settled
exclusively according to the findings of the Factory-Shop Committee,
which has the right to exclude from participation in the discussion
any members of the factory administration.

15. The Factory-Shop Committee forms a commission to control the
supplying of the factory with raw materials, fuel, orders, labour
power and technical staff (including equipment), and all other
supplies and arrangements, and also to assure the factory’s adherence
to the general industrial plan. The factory administration is obliged
to surrender to the organs of Workers’ Control, for their aid and
information, all data concerning the business; to make it possible to
verify this data, and to produce the books of the company upon demand
of the Factory-Shop Committee.

16. Any illegal acts on the part of the administration discovered by
the Factory-Shop Committees, or any suspicion of such illegal acts,
which cannot be investigated or remedied by the workers alone, shall
be referred to the district central organisation of Factory-Shop
Committees charged with the particular branch of labour involved,
which shall discuss the matter with the institutions charged with the
execution of the general industrial plan, and find means to deal with
the matter, even to the extent of confiscating the factory.

17. The union of the Factory-Shop Committees of different concerns
must be accomplished on the basis of the different trades, in order
to facilitate control over the whole branch of industry, so as to
come within the general industrial plan; and so as to create an
effective plan of distribution among the different factories of
orders, raw materials, fuel, technical and labour power; and also to
facilitate cooperation with the Trade Unions, which are organised by

18. The central city councils of Trade Unions and Factory-Shop
Committees represent the proletariat in the corresponding provincial
and  local institutions formed to elaborate and carry out the general
industrial plan, and to organise economic relations between the towns
and the villages (workers and peasants). They also possess final
authority for the management of Factory-Shop Committees and Trade
Unions, so far as Workers’ Control in their district is concerned,
and they shall issue obligatory regulations concerning workers’
discipline in the routine of production—which regulations, however,
must be approved by vote of the workers themselves.



_Russkaya Volia,_ October 28. “The decisive moment approaches…. It is
decisive for the Bolsheviki. Either they will give us… a second
edition of the events of July 16-18, or they will have to admit that
with their plans and intentions, with their impertinent policy of
wishing to separate themselves from everything consciously national,
they have been definitely defeated….

“What are the chances of Bolshevik success?

“It is difficult to answer that question, for their principal support
is the… ignorance of the popular masses. They speculate on it, they
work upon it by a demagogy which nothing can stop….

“The Government must play its part in this affair. Supporting itself
morally by the Council of the Republic, the Government must take a
clearly-defined attitude toward the Bolsheviki….

“And if the Bolsheviki provoke an insurrection against the legal
power, and thus facilitate the German invasion, they must be treated
as mutineers and traitors….”

_Birzhevya Viedomosti,_ October 28. “Now that the Bolsheviki have
separated themselves from the rest of the democracy, the struggle
against them is very much simpler—and it is not reasonable, in order
to fight against Bolshevism, to wait until they make a manifestation.
The Government should not even allow the manifestation….

“The appeals of the Bolsheviki to insurrection and anarchy are acts
punishable by the criminal courts, and in the freest countries, their
authors would receive severe sentences. For what the Bolsheviki are
carrying on is not a political struggle against the Government, or
even for the power; it is propaganda for anarchy, massacres, and
civil war. This propaganda must be extirpated at its roots; it would
be strange to wait, in order to begin action against an agitation for
_pogroms,_ until the _pogroms_ actually occurred….”

_Novoye Vremya,_ November 1. “hellip; Why is the Government excited
only about November 2d (date of calling of the Congress of Soviets),
and not about September 12th, or October 3d?

“This is not the first time that Russia burns and falls in ruins, and
that the smoke of the terrible conflagration makes the eyes of our
Allies smart….

“Since it came to power, has there been a single order issued by the
Government for the purpose of halting anarchy, or has any one
attempted to put out the Russian conflagration?

“There were other things to do….

“The Government turned its attention to a more immediate problem. It
crushed an insurrection (the Kornilov attempt) concerning which every
one is now asking, ‘Did it ever exist?”



_Dielo Naroda,_ October 28 (Socialist Revolutionary). “The most
frightful crime of the Bolsheviki against the Revolution is that they
impute  exclusively to the bad intentions of the revolutionary
Government all the calamities which the masses are so cruelly
suffering; when as a matter of fact these calamities spring from
objective causes.

“They make golden promises to the masses, knowing in advance that
they can fulfil none of them; they lead the masses on a false trail,
deceiving them as to the source of all their troubles….

“The Bolsheviki are the most dangerous enemies of the Revolution….”

_Dien,_ October 30 (Menshevik). “Is this really ‘the freedom of the
press’? Every day _Novaya Rus_ and _Rabotchi Put_ openly incite to
insurrection. Every day these two papers commit in their columns
actual crimes. Every day they urge _pogroms_…. Is that ‘the freedom
of the press’?…

“The Government ought to defend itself and defend us. We have the
right to insist that the Government machinery does not remain passive
while the threat of bloody riots endangers the lives of its



Plekhanov’s paper, _Yedinstvo,_ suspended publication a few weeks
after the Bolsheviki seized the power. Contrary to popular report,
_Yedinstvo_ was not suppressed by the Soviet Government; an
announcement in the last number admitted that it was unable to
continue _because there were too few subscribers_….



The French newspaper _Entente_ of Petrograd, on November 15th,
published an article of which the following is a part:

“The Government of Kerensky discusses and hesitates. The Government
of Lenin and Trotzky attacks and acts.

“This last is called a Government of Conspirators, but that is wrong.
Government of usurpers, yes, like all revolutionary Governments which
triumph over their adversaries. Conspirators—no!

“No! They did not conspire. On the contrary, openly, audaciously,
without mincing words, without dissimulating their intentions, they
multiplied their agitation, intensified their propaganda in the
factories, the barracks, at the Front, in the country, everywhere,
even fixing in advance the date of their taking up arms, the date of
their seizure of the power….

“_They_—conspirators? Never….”


                _From the Central Army Committee_

“… Above everything we insist upon the inflexible execution of the
organised will of the majority of the people, expressed by the
Provisional Government in accord with the Council of the Republic and
the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ as organ of the popular power….

“Any demonstration to depose this power by violence, at a moment when
a Government crisis will infallibly create disorganisation, the ruin
of the country, and civil war, will be considered by the Army as a
counter-revolutionary act, and repressed by force of arms….

“The interests of private groups and classes should be submitted to a
single interest—that of augmenting industrial production, and
distributing the necessities of life with fairness….

“All who are capable of sabotage, disorganisation, or disorder, all
deserters, all slackers, all looters, should be forced to do
auxiliary service in the rear of the Army….

“We invite the Provisional Government to form, out of these violators
of the people’s will, these enemies of the Revolution, labour
detachments to work in the rear, on the Front, in the trenches under
enemy fire….”



Toward evening bands of Red Guards began to occupy the printing shops
of the bourgeois press, where they printed _Rabotchi Put, Soldat,_
and various proclamations by the hundred thousand. The City Militia
was ordered to clear these places, but found the offices barricaded,
and armed men defending them. Soldiers who were ordered to attack the
print-shops refused.

About midnight a Colonel with a company of _yunkers_ arrived at the
club “Free Mind,” with a warrant to arrest the editor of _Rabotchi
Put._ Immediately an enormous mob gathered in the street outside and
threatened to lynch the _yunkers._ The Colonel thereupon begged that
he and the _yunkers_ be arrested and taken to Peter-Paul prison for
safety. This request was granted.

At 1 A. M. a detachment of soldiers and sailors from Smolny occupied
the Telegraph Agency. At 1.35 the Post Office was occupied. Toward
morning the Military Hotel was taken, and at 5 o’clock the Telephone
Exchange. At dawn the State Bank was surrounded. And at 10 A. M. a
cordon of troops was drawn about the Winter Palace.



                        EVENTS OF NOVEMBER 7TH

From 4 A. M. until dawn Kerensky remained at the Petrograd Staff
Headquarters, sending orders to the Cossacks and to the _yunkers_ in
the Officers’ Schools in and around Petrograd—all of whom answered
that they were unable to move.

Colonel Polkovnikov, Commandant of the City, hurried between the
Staff and the Winter Palace, evidently without any plan. Kerensky
gave an order to open the bridges; three hours passed without any
action, and then an officer and five men went out on their own
initiative, and putting to flight a picket of Red Guards, opened the
Nicolai Bridge. Immediately after they left, however, some sailors
closed it again.

Kerensky ordered the print-shop of _Rabotchi Put_ to be occupied. The
officer detailed to the work was promised a squad of soldiers; two
hours later he was promised some _yunkers;_ then the order was

An attempt was made to recapture the Post Office and the Telegraph
Agency; a few shots were fired, and the Government troops announced
that they would no longer oppose the Soviets.

To a delegation of _yunkers_ Kerensky said, “As chief of the
Provisional Government and as Supreme Commander I know nothing, I
cannot advise you; but as a veteran revolutionist, I appeal to you,
young revolutionists, to remain at your posts and defend the
conquests of the Revolution.”

Orders of Kishkin, November 7th:

“By decree of the Provisional Government…. I am invested with
extraordinary powers for the reestablishment of order in Petrograd,
in complete command of all civil and military authorities….”

“In accordance with the powers conferred upon me by the Provisional
Government, I herewith relieve from his functions as Commandant of
the Petrograd Military District Colonel George Polkovnikov….”

                        *     *     *     *     *

_Appeal to the Population_ signed by Vice-Premier Konovalov, November

“Citizens! Save the fatherland, the republic and your freedom.
Maniacs have raised a revolt against the only governmental power
chosen by the people, the Provisional Government….

“The members of the Provisional Government fulfil their duty, remain
at their post, and continue to work for the good of the fatherland,
the reestablishment of order, and the convocation of the Constituent
Assembly, future sovereign of Russia and of all the Russian peoples….

“Citizens, you must support the Provisional Government. You must
strengthen its authority. You must oppose these maniacs, with whom
are joined all enemies of liberty and order, and the followers of the
Tsarist régime, in order to wreck the Constituent Assembly, destroy
the conquests of the Revolution, and the future of our dear

“Citizens! Organise around the Provisional Government for the defence
of its temporary authority, in the name of order and the happiness of
all peoples….”

                        *     *     *     *     *

_Proclamation of the Provisional Government._

“The Petrograd Soviet…. has declared the Provisional Government
overthrown, and has demanded that the Governmental power be turned
over to it, under threat of bombarding the Winter Palace with the
cannon of Peter-Paul Fortress, and of the cruiser _Avrora,_ anchored
in the Neva.

“The Government can surrender its authority only to the Consituent
Assembly; for that reason it has decided not to submit, and to demand
aid from the population and the Army. A telegram has been sent to the
_Stavka;_ and an answer received says that a strong detachment of
troops is being sent….

“Let the Army and the People reject the irresponsible attempts of the
Bolsheviki to create a revolt in the rear….”

About 9 A. M. Kerensky left for the Front….

Toward evening two soldiers on bicycles presented themselves at the
Staff Headquarters, as delegates of the garrison of Peter-Paul
Fortress. Entering the meeting-room of the Staff, where Kishkin,
Rutenburg, Paltchinski, General Bagratouni, Colonel Paradielov and
Count Tolstoy were gathered, they demanded the immediate surrender of
the Staff; threatening, in case of refusal, to bombard headquarters….
After two panicky conferences the Staff retreated to the Winter
Palace, and the headquarters were occupied by Red Guards….

Late in the afternoon several Bolshevik armoured cars cruised around
the Palace Square, and Soviet soldiers tried unsuccessfully to parley
with the _yunkers_….

Firing on the Palace began about 7 o’clock in the evening….

At 10 P. M. began an artillery bombardment from three sides, in which
most of the shells were blanks, only three small shrapnels striking
the facade of the Palace….


                        KERENSKY IN FLIG{HT  -ed.}

Leaving Petrograd in the morning of November 7th, Kerensky arrived by
automobile at Gatchina, where he demanded a special train. Toward
evening he was in Ostrov, Province of Pskov. The next morning,
extraordinary  session of the local Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’
Depulies, with participation of Cossack delegates—there being 6,000
Cossacks at Ostrov.

Kerensky spoke to the assembly, appealing for aid against the
Bolsheviki, and addressed himself almost exclusively to the Cossacks.
The soldier delegates protested.

“Why did you come here?” shouted voices. Kerensky answered, “To ask
the Cossacks’ assistance in crushing the Bolshevik insurrection!” At
this there were violent protestations, which increased when he
continued, “I broke the Kornilov attempt, and I will break the
Bolsheviki!” The noise became so great that he had to leave the

The soldier deputies and the Ussuri Cossacks decided to arrest
Kerensky, but the Don Cossacks prevented them, and got him away by
train…. A Military Revolutionary Committee, set up during the day,
tried to inform the garrison of Pskov; but the telephone and
telegraph lines were cut….

Kerensky did not arrive at Pskov. Revolutionary soldiers had cut the
railway line, to prevent troops being sent against the capital. On
the night of November 8th he arrived by automobile at Luga, where he
was well received by the Death Battalions stationed there.

Next day he took train for the South-West Front, and visited the Army
Committee at headquarters. The Fifth Army, however, was wild with
enthusiasm over the news of the Bolshevik success, and the Army
Committee was unable to promise Kerensky any support.

From there he went to the _Stavka,_ at Moghilev, where he ordered ten
regiments from different parts of the Front to move against
Petrograd. The soldiers almost unanimously refused; and those
regiments which did start halted on the way. About five thousand
Cossacks finally followed him….


                    LOOTING OF THE WINTER PALACE

I do not mean to maintain that there was no looting, in the Winter
Palace. Both after and _before_ the Winter Palace fell, there was
considerable pilfering. The statement of the Socialist Revolutionary
paper _Narod,_ and of members of the City Duma, to the effect that
precious objects to the value of 500,000,000 rubles had been stolen,
was, however, a gross exaggeration.

The most important art treasures of the Palace—paintings, statues,
tapestries, rare porcelains and armorie,—had been transferred to
Moscow during the month of September; and they were still in good
order in the basement of the Imperial Palace there ten days after the
capture of the Kremlin by Bolshevik troops. I can personally testify
to this….

Individuals, however, especially the general public, which was
allowed to circulate freely through the Winter Palace for several
days after its capture, made away with table silver, clocks, bedding,
mirrors and some odd vases of valuable porcelain and semi-precious
stone, to the value of about $50,000.

The Soviet Government immediately created a special commission,
composed of artists and archæologists, to recover the stolen objects.
On November 1st two proclamations were issued:

                        “CITIZENS OF PETROGRAD!

“We urgently ask all citizens to exert every effort to find whatever
possible of the objects stolen from the Winter Palace in the night of
November 7-8, and to forward them to the Commandant of the Winter

“Receivers of stolen goods, antiquarians, and all who are proved to
be hiding such objects will be held legally responsible and punished
with all severity.

“_Commissars for the Protection of Museums and Artistic Collections,_
                                “G. YATMANOV, B. MANDELBAUM.”

                        *     *     *     *     *


“In the night of November 7-8, in the Winter Palace, which is the
inalienable property of the Russian people, valuable objects of art
were stolen.

“We urgently appeal to all to exert every effort, so that the stolen
objects are returned to the Winter Palace.

                                “G. YATMANOV, B. MANDELBAUM.”

About half the loot was recovered, some of it in the baggage of
foreigners leaving Russia.

A conference of artists and archæologists, held at the suggestion of
Smolny, appointed a commission of make an inventory of the Winter
Palace treasures, which was given complete charge of the Palace and
of all artistic collections and State museums in Petrograd. On
November 16th the Winter Palace was closed to the public while the
inventory was being made….

During the last week in November a decree was issued by the Council
of People’s Commissars, changing the name of the Winter Palace to
“People’s Museum,” entrusting it to the complete charge of the
artistic-archæological commission, and declaring that henceforth all
Governmental activities within its wall were prohibited….


                    RAPE OF THE WOMEN’S BATTALION

Immediately following the taking of the Winter Palace all sorts of
sensational stories were published in the anti-Bolshevik press, and
told in the City Duma, about the fate of the Women’s Battalion
defending the Palace. It was said that some of the girl-soldiers had
been thrown from the windows into the street, most of the rest had
been violated, and many had committed suicide as a result of the
horrors they had gone through.

The City Duma appointed a commission to investigate the matter. On
November 16th the commission returned from Levashovo, headquarters of
the Women’s Battalion. Madame Tyrkova reported that the girls had
been at first taken to the barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment, and
that there some of them had been badly treated; but that at present
most of them were at Levashovo, and the rest scattered about the city
in private houses. Dr. Mandelbaum, another of the commission,
testified drily that _none_ of the women had been thrown out of the
windows of the Winter Palace, that _none_ were wounded, that three
had been violated, and that one had committed suicide, leaving a note
which said that she had been “disappointed in her ideals.”

On November 21st the Military Revolutionary Committee officially
dissolved the Women’s Battalion, at the request of the girls
themselves, who returned to civilian clothes.

In Louise Bryant’s book, “Six Red Months in Russia,” there is an
interesting description of the girl-soldiers during this time.



                        APPEALS AND PROCLAMATIONS

_From the Military Revolutionary Committee,_ November 8:

“To All Army Committees and All Soviets of Soldiers’ Deputies.

“The Petrograd garrison has overturned the Government of Kerensky,
which had risen against the Revolution and the People…. In sending
this news to the Front and the country, the Military Revolutionary
Committee requests all soldiers to keep vigilant watch on the conduct
of officers. Officers who do not frankly and openly declare for the
Revolution should be immediately arrested as enemies.

“The Petrograd Soviet interprets the programme of the new Government
as: immediate proposals of a general democratic peace, the immediate
transfer of great landed estates to the peasants, and the honest
convocation of the Constituent Assembly. The people’s revolutionary
Army must not permit troops of doubtful morale to be sent to
Petrograd. Act by means of arguments, by means of moral suasion—but
if that fails, halt the movement of troops by implacable force.

“The present order must be immediately read to all military units of
every branch of the service. Whoever keeps the knowledge of this
order from the soldier-masses…. commits a serious crime against the
Revolution, and will be punished with all the rigour of revolutionary

“Soldiers! For peace, bread, land, and popular government!”

                        *     *     *     *     *

“To All Front and Rear Army, Corps, Divisional, Regimental and
Company Committees, and All Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and
Peasants’ Deputies.

“Soldiers and Revolutionary Officers!

“The Military Revolutionary Committee, by agreement with the majority
of the workers, soldiers, and peasants, has decreed that General
Kornilov and all the accomplices of his conspiracy shall be brought
immediately to Petrograd, for incarceration in Peter-Paul Fortress
and arraignment before a military revolutionary court-martial….

“All who resist the execution of this decree are declared by the
Committee to be traitors to the Revolution, and their orders are
herewith declared null and void.”

          _The Military Revolutionary Committee Attached to the Petrograd
                        Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies._

                        *     *     *     *     *

“To all Provincial and District Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and
Peasants’ Deputies.

“By resolution of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, all arrested
members of Land Committees are immediately set free. The Commissars
who arrested them are to be arrested.

“From this moment all power belongs to the Soviets. The Commissars of
the Provisional Government are removed. The presidents of the various
local Soviets are invited to enter into direct relations with the
revolutionary Government.”

                                _Military Revolutionary Committee._



“The Central City Duma, elected on the most democratic principles,
has undertaken the burden of managing Municipal affairs and food
supplies at the time of the greatest disorganisation. At the present
moment the Bolshevik party, three weeks before the elections to the
Constituent Assembly, and in spite of the menace of the external
enemy, having removed by armed force the only legal revolutionary
authority, is making an attempt against the rights and independence
of the Municipal Self-Government, demanding submission to its
Commissars and its illegal authority.

“In this terrible and tragic moment the Petrograd City Duma, in the
face of its constituents, and of all Russia, declares loudly that it
will not submit to any encroachments on its rights and its
independence, and will remain at the post of responsibility to which
it has been called by the will of the population of the capital.

“The Central City Duma of Petrograd appeals to all Dumas and Zemstvos
of the Russian Republic to rally to the defence of one of the
greatest conquests of the Russian Revolution—the independence and
inviolability of popular self-government.”



The Land question can only be permanently settled by the general
Constituent Assembly.

The most equitable solution of the Land question should be as follows:

1. The right of private ownership of land is abolished forever; land
cannot be sold, nor leased, nor mortgaged, nor alienated in any way.
All dominical lands, lands attached to titles, lands belonging to the
Emperor’s cabinet, to monasteries, churches, possession lands,
entailed lands, private estates, communal lands, peasant free-holds,
and others, are confiscated without compensation, and become national
property, and are placed at the disposition of the workers who
cultivate them.

Those who are damaged because of this social transformation of the
rights of property are entitled to public aid during the time
necessary for them to adapt themselves to the new conditions of

2. All the riches beneath the earth—ores, oil, coal, salt, etc.—as
well as forests and waters having a national importance, become the
exclusive property of the State. All minor streams, lakes and forests
are placed in the hands of the communities, on condition of being
managed by the local organs of government.

3. All plots of land scientifically cultivated—gardens, plantations,
nurseries, seed-plots, green-houses, and others—shall not be divided,
but transformed into model farms, and pass into the hands of the
State or of the community, according to their size and importance.

Buildings, communal lands and villages with their private gardens and
their orchards remain in the hands of their present owners; the
dimensions of these plots and the rate of taxes for their use shall
be fixed by law.

4. All studs, governmental and private cattle-breeding and
bird-breeding establishments, and others, are confiscated and become
national property, and are transferred either to the State or to the
community, according to their size and importance.

All questions of compensation for the above are within the competence
of the Constituent Assembly.

5. All inventoried agricultural property of the confiscated lands,
machinery  and live-stock, are transferred without compensation to
the State or the community, according to their quantity and

The confiscation of such machinery or live-stock shall not apply to
the small properties of peasants.

6. The right to use the land is granted to all citizens, without
distinction of sex, who wish to work the land themselves, with the
help of their families, or in partnership, and only so long as they
are able to work. No hired labour is permitted.

In the event of the incapacity for work of a member of the commune
for a period of two years, the commune shall be bound to render him
assistance during this time by working his land in common.

Farmers who through old age or sickness have permanently lost the
capacity to work the land themselves, shall surrender their land and
receive instead a Government pension.

7. The use of the land should be equalised—that is to say, the land
shall be divided among the workers according to local conditions, the
unit of labour and the needs of the individual.

The way in which land is to be used may be individually determined
upon: as homesteads, as farms, by communes, by partnerships, as will
be decided by the villages and settlements.

8. All land upon its confiscation is pooled in the general People’s
Land Fund. Its distribution among the workers is carried out by the
local and central organs of administration, beginning with the
village democratic organisations and ending with the central
provincial institutions—with the exception of urban and rural
cooperative societies.

The Land Fund is subject to periodical redistribution according to
the increase of population and the development of productivity and
rural economy.

In case of modification of the boundaries of allotments, the original
centre of the allotment remains intact.

The lands of persons retiring from the community return to the Land
Fund; providing that near relatives of the persons retiring, or
friends designated by them, shall have preference in the
redistribution of these lands.

When lands are returned to the Land Fund, the money expended for
manuring or improving the land, which has not been exhausted, shall
be reimbursed.

If in some localities the Land Fund is insufficient to satisfy the
local population, the surplus population should emigrate.

The organisation of the emigration, also the costs thereof, and the
providing of emigrants with the necessary machinery and live-stock,
shall be the business of the State.

The emigration shall be carried out in the following order: first,
the peasants without land who express their wish to emigrate; then
the undesirable members of the community, deserters, etc., and
finally, by drawing lots on agreement.

All which is contained in this _nakaz,_ being the expression of the
indisputable will of the great majority of conscious peasants of
Russia, is declared to be a temporary law, and until the convocation
of the Constituent Assembly, becomes effective immediately so far as
is possible, and in some parts of it gradually, as will be determined
by the District Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies.


                        THE LAND AND DESERTERS

The Government was not forced to make any decision concerning the
rights of deserters to the land. The end of the war and the
demobilisation of the army automatically removed the deserter



The Council of People’s Commissars was at first composed entirely of
Bolsheviki. This was not entirely the fault of the Bolsheviki,
however. On November 8th they offered portfolios to members of the
Left Socialist Revolutionaries, who declined. See page 273. {of original



                        APPEALS AND DENUNCIATIONS

Appeal to all Citizens and to the Military Organisations of the
Socialist Revolutionary Party.

“The senseless attempt of the Bolsheviki is on the eve of complete
failure. The garrison is disaffected…. The Ministries are idle, bread
is lacking. All factions except a handful of Bolsheviki have left the
Congress of Soviets. The Bolsheviki are alone! Abuses of all sorts,
acts of vandalism and pillage, the bombardment of the Winter Palace,
arbitrary arrests—all these crimes committed by the Bolsheviki have
aroused against them the resentment of the majority of the sailors
and soldiers. The _Tsentroflot_ refuses to submit to the orders of
the Bolsheviki….

“We call upon all sane elements to gather around the Committee for
Salvation of Country and Revolution; to take serious measures to be
ready, at the first call of the Central Committee of the Party, to
act against the counter-revolutionists, who will doubtless attempt to
profit by these troubles provoked by the Bolshevik adventure, and to
watch closely the external enemy, who also would like to take
advantage of this opportune moment when the Front is weakened….”

                _The Military Section of the Central Committee of
                        the Socialist Revolutionary Party._

                        *     *     *     *     *

From _Pravda:_

“What is Kerensky?

“A usurper, whose place is in Peter-Paul prison, with Kornilov and

“A criminal and a traitor to the workers, soldiers and peasants, who
believed in him.

“Kerensky? A murderer of soldiers!

“Kerensky? A public executioner of peasants!

“Kerensky? A strangler of workers!

“Such is the second Kornilov who now wants to butcher Liberty!”



                            TWO DECREES

                            _On the Press_

In the serious decisive hour of the Revolution and the days
immediately following it, the Provisional Revolutionary Committee is
compelled to adopt a series of measures against the
counter-revolutionary press of all shades.

Immediately on all sides there are cries that the new Socialist
authority is in this violating the essential principles of its own
programme by an attempt against the freedom of the press.

The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government calls the attention of the
population to the fact that in our country, behind this liberal
shield, is hidden the opportunity for the wealthier classes to seize
the lion’s share of the whole press, and by this means to poison the
popular mind and bring confusion into the consciousness of the masses.

Every one knows that the bourgeois press is one of the most powerful
weapons of the bourgeoisie. Especially in this critical moment, when
the new authority of the workers and peasants is in process of
consolidation, it is impossible to leave it in the hands of the
enemy, at a time when it is not less dangerous than bombs and
machine-guns. This is why temporary and extraordinary measures have
been adopted for the purpose of stopping the flow of filth and
calumny in which the yellow and green press would be glad to drown
the young victory of the people.

As soon as the new order is consolidated, all administrative measures
against the press will be suspended; full liberty will be given it
within the limits of responsibility before the law, in accordance
with the broadest and most progressive regulations….

Bearing in mind, however, the fact that any restrictions of the
freedom of the press, even in critical moments, are admissible only
within the bounds of necessity, the Council of People’s Commissars
decrees as follows:

1. The following classes of newspapers shall be subject to closure:
(a) Those inciting to open resistance or disobedience to the Workers’
and Peasants’ Government; (b) Those creating confusion by obviously
and deliberately perverting the news; (c) Those inciting to acts of a
criminal character punishable by the laws.

2. The temporary or permanent closing of any organ of the press shall
be carried out only by virtue of a resolution of the Council of
People’s Commissars.

3. The present decree is of a temporary nature, and will be revoked
by a special _ukaz_ when normal conditions of public life are

                       _President of the Council of People’s Commissars,_

                                                VLADIMIR ULIANOV (LENIN).

                        *     *     *     *     *

                        _On Workers’ Militia_

1. All Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies shall form a
Workers’ Militia.

2. This Workers’ Militia shall be entirely at the orders of the
Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

3. Military and civil authorities must render every assistance in
arming the workers and in supplying them with technical equipment,
even to the extent of requisitioning arms belonging to the War
Department of the Government.

4. This decree shall be promulgated by telegraph. Petrograd, November
10, 1917.

                                _People’s Commissar of the Interior_

                                                A. I. RYKOV.

This decree encouraged the formation of companies of Red Guards all
over Russia, which became the most valuable arm of the Soviet
Government in the ensuing civil war.


                        THE STRIKE FUND

The fund for the striking Government employees and bank clerks was
subscribed by banks and business houses of Petrograd and other
cities, and also by foreign corporations doing business in Russia.
All who consented to strike against the Bolsheviki were paid full
wages, and in some cases their pay was increased. It was the
realisation of the strike fund contributors that the Bolsheviki were
firmly in power, followed by their refusal to pay strike benefits,
which finally broke the strike.



                        KERENSKY’S ADVANCE

On November 9th Kerensky and his Cossacks arrived at Gatchina, where
the garrison, hopelessly split into two factions, immediately
surrendered. The members of the Gatchina Soviet were arrested, and at
first threatened with death; later they were released on good

The Cossack advance-guards, practically unopposed, occupied Pavlovsk,
Alexandrovsk and other stations, and reached the outskirts of
Tsarskoye Selo next morning—November 10th. At once the garrison
divided into three groups—the officers, loyal to Kerenskly; part of
the soldiers and non-commissioned officers, who declared themselves
“neutral”; and most of the rank and file, who were for the
Bolsheviki. The Bolshevik soldiers, who were without leaders or
organisation, fell back toward the capital. The local Soviet also
withdrew to the village of Pulkovo.

From Pulkovo six members of the Tsarskoye Selo Soviet went with an
automobile-load of proclamations to Gatchina, to propagandise the
Cossacks. They spent most of the day going around Gatchina from one
Cossack barracks to another, pleading, arguing and explaining. Toward
evening some officers discovered their presence and they were
arrested and brought before General Krasnov, who said, “You fought
against Kornilov; now you are opposing Kerensky. I’ll have you all

After reading aloud to them the order appointing him
commander-in-chief of the Petrograd District, Krasnov asked if they
were Bolsheviki. They replied in the affirmative—upon which Krasnov
went away; a short time later an officer came and set them free,
saying that it was by order of General Krasnov….

In the meanwhile delegations continued to arrive from Petrograd; from
the Duma, the Committee for Salvation, and, last of all, from the
_Vikzhel._ The Union of Railway Workers insisted that some agreement
be reached to halt the civil war, and demanded that Kerensky treat
with the Bolsheviki, and that he stop the advance on Petrograd. In
case of refusal, the _Vikzhel_ threatened a general strike at
midnight of November 11th.

Kerensky asked to be allowed to discuss the matter with the Socialist
Ministers and with the Committee for Salvation. He was plainly

On the 11th Cossack outposts reached Krasnoye Selo, from which the
local Soviet and the heterogeneous forces of the Military
Revolutionary Committee precipitately retired, some of them
surrendering…. That night they also touched Pulkovo, where the first
real resistance was encountered….

Cossacks deserters began to dribble into Petrograd, declaring that
Kerensky had lied to them, that he had spread broadcast over the
front proclamations which said that Petrograd was burning, that the
Bolsheviki  had invited the Germans to come in, and that they were
murdering women and children and looting indiscriminately….

The Military Revolutionary Committee immediately sent out some dozens
of “agitators,” with thousands of printed appeals, to inform the
Cossacks of the real situation….



“To All Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies.

“The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and
Peasants’ Deputies charges the local Soviets immediately to take the
most energetic measures to oppose all counter-revolutionary
anti-Semitic disturbances, and all _pogroms_ of whatever nature. The
honour of the workers’, peasants’ and soldiers’ Revolution cannot
tolerate any disorders….

“The Red Guard of Petrograd, the revolutionary garrison and the
sailors have maintained complete order in the capital.

“Workers, soldiers, and peasants, everywhere you should follow the
example of the workers and soldiers of Petrograd.

“Comrades soldiers and Cossacks, on us falls the duty of keeping real
revolutionary order.

“All revolutionary Russia and the whole world have their eyes on

“The All-Russian Congress of Soviets decrees:

“To abolish capital punishment at the Front, which was reintroduced
by Kerensky.

“Complete freedom of propaganda is to be re-established in the
country. All soldiers and revolutionary officers now under arrest for
so-called political ‘crimes’ are at once to be set free.”

“The ex-Premier Kerensky, overthrown by the people, refuses to submit
to the Congress of Soviets and attempts to struggle against the legal
Government elected by the All-Russian Congress—the Council of
People’s Commissars. The Front has refused to aid Kerensky. Moscow
has rallied to the new Government. In many cities (Minsk, Moghilev,
Kharkov) the power is in the hands of the Soviets. No infantry
detachment consents to march against the Workers’ and Peasants’
Government, which, in accord with the firm will of the Army and the
people, has begun peace negotiations and has given the land to the

“We give public warning that if the Cossacks do not halt Kerensky,
who has deceived them and is leading them against Petrograd, the
revolutionary forces will rise with all their might for the defence
of the precious conquests of the Revolution—Peace and Land.

“Citizens of Petrograd! Kerensky fled from the city, abandoning the
authority to Kishkin, who wanted to surrender the capital to the
Germans; Rutenburg, of the Black Band, who sabotaged the Municipal
Food Supply; and Paltchinsky, hated by the whole democracy. Kerensky
has fled, abandoning you to the Germans, to famine, to bloody
massacres. The revolting people have arrested Kerensky’s Ministers,
and you have seen how the order and supplying of Petrograd at once
improved. Kerensky, at the demand of the aristocrat proprietors, the
capitalists, speculators, marches against you for the purpose of
giving back the land to the land-owners, and continuing the hated and
ruinous war.

“Citizens of Petrograd! We know that the great majority of you are in
favour of the people’s revolutionary authority, against the
Kornilovtsi led by Kerensky. Do not be deceived by the lying
declarations of the impotent bourgeois conspirators, who will be
pitilessly crushed.

“Workers, soldiers, peasants! We call upon you for revolutionary
devotion and discipline.

“Millions of peasants and soldiers are with us.

“The victory of the people’s Revolution is assured!”



In this book I am giving only such decrees as are in my opinion
pertinent to the Bolshevik conquest of power. The rest belong to a
detailed account of the Structure of the Soviet State, for which I
have no place in this work. This will be dealt with very fully in the
second volume, now in preparation, “Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk.”

                _Concerning Dwelling-Places_

1. The independent Municipal Self-Governments have the right to
sequestrate all unoccupied or uninhabited dwelling-places.

2. The Municipalities may, according to laws and arrangements
established by them, install in all available lodgings citizens who
have no place to live, or who live in congested or unhealthy lodgings.

3. The Municipalities may establish a service of inspection of
dwelling-places, organise it and define its powers.

4. The Municipalities may issue orders on the institution of House
Committees, define their organisation, their powers and give them
juridical authority.

5. The Municipalities may create Housing Tribunals, define their
powers and their authority.

6. This decree is promulgated by telegraph.

                                _People’s Commissar of the Interior,_

                                                A. I. RYKOV.

                        *     *     *     *     *

                        _On Social Insurance_

The Russian proletariat has inscribed on its banners the promise of
complete Social Insurance of wage-workers, as well as of the town and
village poor. The Government of the Tsar, the proprietors and the
capitalists, as well as the Government of coalition and conciliation,
failed to realise the desires of the workers with regard to Social

The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, relying upon the support of
the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, announces
to the working-class of Russia and to the town and village poor, that
it will immediately prepare laws on Social Insurance based on the
formulas proposed by the Labour organisations:

1. Insurance for all wage-workers without exception, as well as for
all urban and rural poor.

2. Insurance to cover all categories of loss of working capacity,
such as illness, infirmities, old age, childbirth, widowhood,
orphanage, and unemployment.

3. All the costs of insurance to be charged to employers.

4. Compensation of at least full wages in all loss of working
capacity and unemployment.

5. Complete workers’ self-government of all Insurance institutions.

In the name of the Government of the Russian Republic,
                                _The People’s Commissar of Labour,_
                                                ALEXANDER SHLIAPNIKOV.

                        *     *     *     *     *

                        _On Popular Education_

Citizens of Russia!

With the insurrection of November 7th the working masses have won for
the first time the real power.

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets has temporarily transferred this
power both to its Executive Committee and to the Council of People’s

By the will of the revolutionary people, I have been appointed
People’s Commissar of Education.

The work of guiding in general the people’s education, inasmuch as it
remains with the central government, is, until the Constituent
Assembly meets, entrusted to a Commission on the People’s Education,
whose chairman and executive is the People’s Commissar.

Upon what fundamental propositions will rest this State Commission?
How is its sphere of competence determined?

_The General Line of Educational Activity:_ Every genuinely
democratic power must, in the domain of education, in a country where
illiteracy and ignorance reign supreme, make its first aim the
struggle against this darkness. It must acquire in the shortest time
_universal literacy,_ by organising a network of schools answering to
the demands of modern pedagogics; it must introduce universal,
obligatory and free tuition for all, and establish at the same time a
series of such teachers’ institutes and seminaries as will in the
shortest time furnish a powerful army of people’s teachers so
necessary for the universal instruction of the population of our
boundless Russia.

_Decentralisation:_ The State Commission on People’s Education is by
no means a central power governing the institutions of instruction
and education. On the contrary, the entire school work ought to be
transferred to the organs of local self-government. The independent
work of the workers, soldiers and peasants, establishing on their own
initiative cultural educational organisations, must be given full
autonomy, both by the State centre and the Municipal centres.

The work of the State Commission serves as a link and helpmate to
organise resources of material and moral support to the Municipal and
private institutions, particularly to those with a class-character
established by the workers.

_The State Committee on People’s Education:_ A whole series of
invaluable law projects was elaborated from the beginning of the
Revolution by the State Committee for People’s Education, a tolerably
democratic body as to its composition, and rich in experts. The State
Commission sincerely desires the collaboration of this Committee.

It has addressed itself to the bureau of the Committee, with the
request at once to convoke an extraordinary session of the Committee
for the fulfilment of the following programme:

1. The revision of rules of representation in the Committee, in the
sense of greater democratisation.

2. The revision of the Committee’s rights in the sense of widening
them, and of converting the Committee into a fundamental State
institute for the elaboration of law projects calculated to
reorganise public instruction and education in Russia upon democratic

3. The revision, jointly with the new State Commission, of the laws
already created by the Committee, a revision required by the fact
that in editing them the Committee had to take into account the
bourgeois spirit of previous Ministries, which obstructed it even in
this its narrowed form.

After this revision these laws will be put into effect without any
bureau-cratic red tape, in the revolutionary order.

_The Pedagogues and the Societists:_ The State Commission welcomes
the pedagogues to the bright and honourable work of educating the
people—the masters of the country.

No one measure in the domain of the people’s education ought to be
adopted by any power without the attentive deliberation of those who
represent the pedagogues.

On the other hand, a decision cannot by any means be reached
exclusively through the cooperation of specialists. This refers as
well to reforms of the institutes of general education.

The cooperation of the pedagogues with the social forces—this is how
the Commission will work both in its own constitution, in the State
Committee, and in all its activities.

As its first task the Commission considers the improvement of the
teachers’ status, and first of all of those very poor though almost
most important contributors to the work of culture—the elementary
school teachers. Their just demands ought to be satisfied at once and
at any cost. The proletariat of the schools has in vain demanded an
increase of salary to one hundred rubles per month. It would be a
disgrace any longer to keep in poverty the teachers of the
overwhelming majority of the Russian people.

But a real democracy cannot stop at mere literacy, at universal
elementary instruction. It must endeavour to organise a uniform
secular school of several grades. The ideal is, equal and if possible
higher education for all the citizens. So long as this idea has not
been realised for all, the natural transition through all the
schooling grades up to the university—a transition to a higher
stage—must depend entirely upon the pupil’s aptitude, and not upon
the resources of his family.

The problem of a genuinely democratic organisation of instruction is
particularly difficult in a country impoverished by a long, criminal,
imperialistic war; but the workers who have taken the power must
remember that education will serve them as the greatest instrument in
their struggle for a better lot and for a spiritual growth. However
needful it may be to curtail other articles of the people’s budget,
the expenses on education must stand high. A large educational budget
is the pride and glory of a nation. The free and enfranchised peoples
of Russia will not forget this.

The fight against illiteracy and ignorance cannot be confined to a
thorough establishment of school education for children and youths.
Adults, too, will be anxious to save themselves from the debasing
position of a man who cannot read and write. The school for adults
must occupy a conspicuous place in the general plan of popular

_Instruction and Education:_ One must emphasise the difference
between instruction and education.

Instruction is the transmission of ready knowledge by the teacher to
his pupil. Education is a creative process. The personality of the
individual is being “educated” throughout life, is being formed,
grows richer in content, stronger and more perfect.

The toiling masses of the people—the workmen, the peasants, the
soldiers—are thirsting for elementary and advanced instruction. But
they are also thirsting for education. Neither the government nor the
intellectuals nor any other power outside of themselves can give it
to them. The school, the book, the theatre, the museum, etc., may
here by only aids. They have their own ideas, formed by their social
position, so different from the position of those ruling classes and
intellectuals who have hitherto created culture. They have their own
ideas, their own emotions, their own ways of approaching the problems
of personality and society. The city labourer, according to his own
fashion, the rural toiler according to his, will each build his clear
world-conception permeated with the class-idea  of the workers. There
is no more superb or beautiful phenomenon than the one of which our
nearest descendants will be both witnesses and participants: The
building by collective Labour of its own general, rich and free soul.

Instruction will surely be an important but not a decisive element.
What is more important here is the criticism, the creativeness of the
masses themselves; for science and art have only in some of their
parts a general human importance. They suffer radical changes with
every far-reaching class upheaval.

Throughout Russia, particularly among the city labourers, but also
among the peasants, a powerful wave of cultural educational movement
has arisen; workers’ and soldiers’ organisations of this kind are
multiplying rapidly. To meet them, to lend them support, to clear the
road before them is the first task of a revolutionary and popular
government in the domain of democratic education.

_The Constituent Assembly_ will doubtless soon begin its work. It
alone can permanently establish the order of national and social life
in our country, and at the same time the general character of the
organisation of popular education.

Now, however, with the passage of power to the Soviets, the really
democratic character of the Constituent Assembly is assured. The line
which the State Commission, relying upon the State Committee, will
follow, will hardly suffer any modification under the influence of
the Constituent Assembly. Without pre-determining it, the new
People’s Government considers itself within its rights in enacting in
this domain a series of measures which aim at enriching and
enlightening as soon as possible the spiritual life of the country.

_The Ministry:_ The present work must in the interim proceed through
the Ministry of the People’s Education. Of all the necessary
alterations in its composition and construction the State Commission
will have charge, elected by the Executive Committee of the Soviets
and the State Committee. Of course the order of State authority in
the domain of the people’s education will be established by the
Constituent Assembly. Until then, the Ministry must play the part of
the executive apparatus for both the State Committee and the State
Commission for People’s Education.

The pledge of the country’s safety lies in the cooperation of all its
vital and genuinely democratic forces.

We believe that the energetic effort of the working people and of the
honest enlightened intellectuals will lead the country out of its
painful crisis, and through complete democracy to the reign of
Socialism and the brotherhood of nations.

                                _People’s Commissar on Education,_

                                        A. V. LUNACHARSKY.

                        *     *     *     *     *

    _On the Order in Which the Laws Are to be Ratified and Published._

1. Until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the enacting
and publishing of laws shall be carried out in the order decreed by
the present Provisional Workmen’s and Peasants’ Government, elected
by the All-Russian Congress of Workers’, Peasants’ and Soldiers’

2. Every bill is presented for consideration of the Government by the
respective Ministry, signed by the duly authorised People’s
Commissar; or it is presented by the legislative section attached to
the Government, signed by the chief of the section.

3. After its ratification by the Government, the decree in its final
edition, in the name of the Russian Republic, is signed by the
president of the Council of People’s Commissars, or for him by the
People’s Commissar who presented it for the consideration of the
Government, and is then published.

4. The date of publishing it in the official “Gazette of the
Provisional Workmen’s and Peasants’ Government,” is the date of its
becoming law.

5. In the decree there may be appointed a date, other than the date
of publication, on which it shall become law, or it may be
promulgated by telegraph; in which case it is to be regarded in every
locality as becoming law upon the publication of the telegram.

6. The promulgation of legislative acts of the government by the
State Senate is abolished. The Legislative Section attached to the
Council of People’s Commissars issues periodically a collection of
regulations and orders of the government which possess the force of

7. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers’,
Peasants’, and Soldiers’ Deputies _(Tsay-ee-kah)_ has at all times
the right to cancel, alter or annul any of the Government decrees.

_In the name of the Russian Republic, the President of the Council of
People’s Commissars,_

                                        V. ULIANOV-LENIN.


                        THE LIQUOR PROBLEM

        _Order Issued by the Military Revolutonary Committee_

1. Until further order the production of alcohol and alcoholic drinks
is prohibited.

2. It is ordered to all producers of alcohol and alcoholic drinks to
inform not later than on the 27th inst. of the exact site of their

3. All culprits against this order will be tried by a Military
Revolutionary Court.

                                THE MILITARY REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE.


                           ORDER NO. 2

_From the Committee of the Finland Guard Reserve Regiment to all
House Committees and to the citizens of Vasili Ostrov._

The bourgeoisie has chosen a very sinister method of fighting against
the proletariat; it has established in various parts of the city huge
wine depots, and distributes liquor among the soldiers, in this
manner attempting to sow dissatisfaction in the ranks of the
Revolutionary army.

It is herewith ordered to all house committees, that at 3 o’clock,
the time set for posting this order, they shall in person and
secretly notify the President of the Committee of the Finland Guard
Regiment, concerning the amount of wine in their premises.

Those who violate this order will be arrested and given trial before
a merciless court, and their property will be confiscated, and the
stock of wine discovered will be

                        BLOWN UP WITH DYNAMITE

                        2 hours after this warning,

because more lenient measures, as experience has shown, do not bring
the desired results.


                _Regimental Committee of the Finland Guard Regiment._




November 12th, in the evening, Kerensky sent a proposition to the
revolutionary troops—“to lay down their arms.” Kerensky’s men opened
artillery fire. Our artillery answered and compelled the enemy to be
silent. The Cossacks assumed the offensive. The deadly fire of the
sailors, the Red Guards and the soldiers forced the Cossacks to
retreat. Our armoured cars rushed in among the ranks of the enemy.
The enemy is fleeing. Our troops are in pursuit. The order has been
given to arrest Kerensky. Tsarskoye Selo has been taken by the
revolutionary troops.

_The Lettish Riflemen:_ The Military Revolutionary Committee has
received precise information that the valiant Lettish Riflemen have
arrived from the Front and taken up a position in the rear of
Kerensky’s bands.

_From the Staff of the Military Revolutionary Committee_

The seizure of Gatchina and Tsarskoye Selo by Kerensky’s detachments
is to be explained by the complete absence of artillery and
machine-guns in these places, whereas Kerensky’s cavalry was provided
with artillery from the beginning. The last two days were days of
enforced work for our Staff, to provide the necessary quantity of
guns, machine-guns, field telephones, etc., for the revolutionary
troops. When this work—with the energetic assistance of the District
Soviets and the factories (the Putilov Works, Obukhov and others)—was
accomplished, the issue of the expected encounter left no place for
doubt: on the side of the revolutionary troops there was not only a
surplus in quantity and such a powerful material base as Petrograd,
but also an enormous moral advantage. All the Petrograd regiments
moved out to the positions with tremendous enthusiasm. The Garrison
Conference elected a Control Commission of five soldiers, thus
securing a complete unity between the commander in chief and the
garrison. At the Garrison Conference it was unanimously decided to
begin decisive action.

The artillery fire on the 12th of November developed with
extraordinary force by 3 P.M. The Cossacks were completely
demoralised. A parliamentarian came from them to the staff of the
detachment at Krasnoye Selo, and proposed to stop the firing,
threatening otherwise to take “decisive” measures. He was answered
that the firing would cease when Kerensky laid down his arms.

In the developing encounter all sections of the troops—the sailors,
soldiers and the Red Guards—showed unlimited courage. The sailors
continued to advance until they had fired all their cartridges. The
number of casualties has not been established yet, but it is larger
on the part of the counter-revolutionary troops, who experienced
great losses through one of our armoured cars.

Kerensky’s staff, fearing that they would be surrounded, gave the
order to retreat, which retreat speedily assumed a disorderly
character. By 11-12 P.M., Tsarkoye Selo, including the wireless
station, was entirely occupied by the troops of the Soviets. The
Cossacks retreated towards Gatchina and Colpinno.

The morale of the troops is beyond all praise. The order has been
given to pursue the retreating Cossacks. From the Tsarskoye Selo
station a radio-telegram was sent immediately to the Front and to all
local Soviets throughout Russia. Further details will be


                    EVENTS OF THE 13TH IN PETROGRAD

Three regiments of the Petrograd garrison to take any part in the
battle against Kerensky. On the morning of the 13th they summoned to
a joint conference sixty delegates from the Front, in order to find
some way to stop the civil war. This conference appointed a committee
to go and persuade Kerensky’s troops to lay down their arms. They
proposed to ask the Government soldiers the following questions: (1)
Will the soldiers and Cossacks of Kerensky recognise the
_Tsay-ee-kah_ as the repository of Governmental power, responsible to
the Congress of Soviets? (2) Will the soldiers and Cossacks accept
the decrees of the second Congress of Soviets? (3) Will they accept
the Land and Peace decrees? (4) Will they agree to cease hostilities
and return to their units? (5) Will they consent to the arrest of
Kerensky, Krasnov and Savinkov?

At the meeting of the Petrograd Soviet, Zinoviev said, “It would be
foolish to think that this committee could finish affair. The enemy
can only be broken by force. However, it would be a crime for us not
to try every peaceful means to bring the Cossacks over to us…. What
we need is a military victory…. The news of an armistice is
premature. Our Staff will be ready to conclude an armistice when the
enemy can no longer do any harm….

“At present, the influence of our victory is creating new political
conditions…. To-day the Socialist Revolutionaries are inclined are
inclined to admit the Bolsheviki into the new Government…. A decisive
victory is indispensable, so that those who hesitate will have no
further hesitation….”

At the City Duma all attention was concentrated on the formation of
the new Government. In many factories and barracks already
Revolutionary Tribunals were operating, and the Bolsheviki were
threatening to set up more of these, and try Gotz and Avksentiev
before them. Dan proposed that an ultimatum be sent demanding the
abolition of these Revolutionary Tribunals, or the other members of
the Conference would immediately break off all negotiations with the

Shingariov, Cadet, declared that the Municipality ought not to take
part in any agreement with the Bolsheviki…. “Any agreement with the
maniacs is impossible until they lay down their arms and recognise
the authority of independent courts of law….”

Yartsev, for the _Yedinstvo_ group, declared that any agreement with
the Bolsheviki would be equivalent to a Bolshevik victory….

Mayor Schreider, for the Socialist Revolutionaries, stated that he
was opposed to all agreement with the Bolsheviki…. “As for a
Government, that ought to spring from the popular will; and since the
popular will has been expressed in the municipal elections, the
popular will which can create a Government is actually concentrated
in the Duma….”

After other speakers, of which only the representative of the
Mensheviki Internationalists was in favour of considering the
admission of the Bolsheviki into the new Government, the Duma voted
to continue its representatives in the _Vikzhel’s_ conference, but to
insist upon the restoration of the Provisional Government before
everything, and to exclude the Bolsheviki from the new power….



“In answer to your telegram proposing an immediate armistice, the
Supreme Commander, not wishing further futile bloodshed, consents to
enter into negotiations and to establish relations between the armies
of the Government and the insurrectionists. He proposes to the
General Staff of the insurrectionists to recall its regiments to
Petrograd, to declare the line Ligovo-Pulkovo-Colpinno neutral, and
to allow the advance-guards of the Government cavalry to enter
Tsarskoye Selo, for the purpose of establishing order. The answer to
this proposal must be placed in the hands of our envoys before eight
o’clock to-morrow morning.



                        EVENTS AT TSARSKOYE SELO

On the evening that Kerensky’s troops retreated from Tsarskoye Selo,
some priests organised a religious procession through the streets of
the town, making speeches to the citizens in which they asked the
people to support the rightful authority, the Provisional Government.
When the Cossacks had retreated, and the first Red Guards entered the
town, witnesses reported that the priests had incited the people
against the Soviets, and had said prayers at the grave of Rasputin,
which lies behind the Imperial Palace. One of the priests, Father
Ivan Kutchurov, was arrested and shot by the infuriated Red Guards….

Just as the Red Guards entered the town the electric lights were shut
off, plunging the streets in complete darkness. The director of the
electric light plant, Lubovitch, was arrested by the Soviet troops
and asked why he had shut off the lights. He was found some time
later in the room where he had been imprisoned with a revolver in his
hand and a bullet hole in his temple.

The Petrograd anti-Bolshevik papers came out next day with headlines,
“Plekhanov’s temperature 39 degrees!” Plekhanov lived at Tsarskoye
Selo, where he was lying ill in bed. Red Guards arrived at the house
and searched it for arms, questioning the old man.

“What class of society do you belong to?” they asked him.

“I am a revolutionist,” answered Plekhanov, “who for forty years has
devoted his life to the struggle for liberty!”

“Anyway,” said a workman, “you have now sold yourself to the

The workers no longer knew Plekhanov, pioneer of the Russian Social



“The detachments at Gatchina, deceived by Kerensky, have laid down
their arms and decided to arrest Kerensky. That chief of the
counter-revolutionary campaign has fled. The Army, by an enormous
majority, has pronounced in favour of the second All-Russian Congress
of Soviets, and of the Government which it has created. Scores of
delegates from the Front have hastened to Petrograd to assure the
Soviet Government of the Army’s fidelity. No twisting of the facts,
no calumny against the revolutionary workers, soldiers, and peasants,
has been able to defeat the People. The Workers’ and Soldiers’
Revolution is victorious….

“The _Tsay-ee-kah_ appeals to the troops which march under the flag
of the counter-revolution, and invites them immediately to lay down
their arms—to shed no longer the blood of their brothers in the
interests of a handful of land-owners and capitalists. The Workers’,
Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Revolution curses those who remain even for a
moment under the flag of the People’s enemies….

“Cossacks! Come over to the rank of the victorious People!
Railwaymen, postmen, telegraphers—all, all support the new Government
of the People!”



                        DAMAGE TO THE KREMLIN

I myself verified the damage to the Kremlin, which I visited
immediately after the bombardment. The Little Nicolai Palace, a
building of no particular importance, which was occupied occasionally
by receptions of one of the Grand Duchesses, had served as barracks
for the _yunkers._ It was not only bombarded, but pretty well sacked;
fortunately there was nothing in it of particular historical value.

Usspensky Cathedral had a shell-hole in one of the cupolas, but
except for a few feet of mosaic in the ceiling, was undamaged. The
frescoes on the porch of Blagovestchensky Cathedral were badly
damaged by a shell. Another shell hit the corner of Ivan Veliki.
Tchudovsky Monastery was hit about thirty times, but only one shell
went through a window into the interior, the others breaking the
brick window-moulding and the roof cornices.

The clock over the Spasskaya Gate was smashed. Troitsky Gate was
battered, but easily reparable. One of the lower towers had lost its
brick spire.

The church of St. Basil was untouched, as was the great Imperial
Palace, with all the treasures of Moscow and Petrograd in its cellar,
and the crown jewels in the Treasury. These places were not even


                        LUNATCHARSKY’s DECLARATION

“Comrades! You are the young masters of the country, and although now
you have much to do and think about, you must know how to defend your
artistic and scientific treasures.

“Comrades! That which is happening at Moscow is a horrible,
irreparable misfortune…. The People in its struggle for the power has
mutilated our glorious capital.

“It is particularly terrible in these days of violent struggle, of
destructive warfare, to be Commissar of Public Education. Only the
hope of the victory of Socialism, the source of a new and superior
culture, brings me comfort. On me weighs the responsibility of
protecting the artistic wealth of the people…. Not being able to
remain at my post, where I had no influence, I resigned. My comrades,
the other Commissars, considered this resignation inadmissible. I
shall therefore remain at my post…. And moreover, I understand that
the damage done to the Kremlin is not as serious as has been

“But I beg you, comrades, to give me your support…. Preserve for
yourselves and your descendants the beauty of our land; be the
guardians of the property of the People.

“Soon, very soon, even the most ignorant, who have been held in
ignorance so long, will awake and understand what a source of joy,
strength and wisdom is art….”



[Graphic page-354]



In virtue of the powers vested in me by the Military Revolutionary
Committee attached to the Moscow Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’
Deputies, I decree:

1. All banks with branches, the Central State Savings Bank with
branches, and the savings banks at the Post and Telegraph offices are
to be opened beginning November 22nd, from 11 A. M. to 1 P. M. until
further order.

2. On current accounts and on the books of the savings banks,
payments will be made by the above mentioned institutions, of not
more than 150 rubles for each depositor during the course of the next

3. Payments of amounts exceeding 150 rubles a week on current
accounts and savings banks books, also payments on other accounts of
all kinds will be allowed during the next three days—November 22nd,
23d, and 24th, only in the following cases:

(a) On the accounts of military organisations for the satisfaction of
their needs;

(b) For the payment of salaries of employees and the earnings of
workers according to the tables and lists certified by the Factory
Committees or Soviets of Employees, and attested by the signatures of
the Commissars, or the representatives of the Military Revolutionary
Committee, and the district Military Revolutionary Committees.

4. Not more than 150 rubles are to be paid against drafts; the
remaining sums are to be entered on current account, payments on
which are to be made in the order established by the present decree.

5. All other banking operations are prohibited during these three

6. The receipt of money on all accounts is allowed for any amount.

7. The representatives of the Finance Council for the certification
of the authorisations indicated in clause 3 will hold their office in
the building of the Stock Exchange, Ilyinka Street, from 10 A. M. to
2 P. M.

8. The Banks and Savings Banks shall send the totals of daily cash
operations by 5 P. M. to the headquarters of the Soviet, Skobeliev
Square, to the Military Revolutionary Committee, for the Finance

9. All employees and managers of credit institutions of all kinds who
refuse to comply with this decree shall be responsible as enemies of
the Revolution and of the mass of the population, before the
Revolutionary Tribunals. Their names shall be published for general

10. For the control of the operations of Branches of the Savings
Banks and Banks within the limits of this decree, the district
Military Revolutionary Committees shall elect three representatives
and appoint their place of business.

     _Fully-authorised Commissar of the Military Revolutionary Committee,_

                                        S. SHEVERDIN-MAKSIMENKO.




This chapter extends over a period of two months, more or less. It
covers the time of negotiations with the Allies, the negotiations and
armistice with the Germans, and the beginning of the Peace
negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, as well as the period in which were
laid the foundations of the Soviet State.

However, it is no part of my purpose in this book to describe and
interpret these very important historical events, which require more
space. They are therefore reserved for another volume, "Kornilov to

In this chapter, then, I have confined myself to the Soviet
Government's attempts to consolidate its political power at home, and
sketched its successive conquests of hostile domestic elements—which
process was temporarily interrupted by the disastrous Peace of



The October Revolution of the workers and peasants began under the
common banner of Emancipation.

The peasants are being emancipated from the power of the landowners,
for there is no longer the landowner's property right in the land—it
has been abolished. The soldiers and sailors are being emancipated
from the power of autocratic generals, for generals will henceforth
be elective and subject to recall. The workingmen are being
emancipated from the whims and arbitrary will of the capitalists, for
henceforth there will be established the control of the workers over
mills and factories. Everything living and capable of life is being
emancipated from the hateful shackles.

There remain only the peoples of Russia, who have suffered and are
suffering oppression and arbitrariness, and whose emancipation must
immediately be begun, whose liberation must be effected resolutely
and definitely.

During the period of Tsarism the peoples of Russia were
systematically incited against one another. The result of such a
policy are known: massacres and _pogroms_ on the one hand, slavery of
peoples on the other.

There can be and there must be no return to this disgraceful policy.
Henceforth the policy of a voluntary and honest union of the peoples
of Russia must be substituted.

In the period of imperialism, after the March revolution, when the
power was transferred into the hands of the Cadet bourgeoisie, the
naked policy of provocation gave way to one of cowardly distrust of
the peoples of Russia, to a policy of fault-finding, of meaningless
"freedom" and "equality" of peoples. The results of such a policy are
known: the growth of national enmity, the impairment of mutual

An end must be put to this unworthy policy of falsehood and distrust,
of fault-finding and provocation. Henceforth it must be replaced by
an open and honest policy leading to the complete mutual confidence
of the peoples of Russia. Only as the result of such a trust can
there be formed an honest and lasting union of the peoples of Russia.
Only as the result of such a union can the workers and peasants of
the peoples of Russia be cemented into one revolutionary force able
to resist all attempts on the part of the imperialist-annexationist


                _On the Nationalisation of the Banks_

In the interest of the regular organisation of the national economy,
of the thorough eradication of bank speculation and the complete
emancipation of the workers, peasants, and the whole labouring
population from the exploitation of banking capital, and with a view
to the establishment of a single national bank of the Russian
Republic which shall serve the real interests of the people and the
poorer classes, the Central Executive Committee _(Tsay-ee-kah)_

1. The banking business is declared a state monopoly.

2. All existing private joint-stock banks and banking offices are
merged in the State Bank.

3. The assets and liabilities of the liquidated establishments are
taken over by the State Bank.

4. The order of the merger of private banks in the State Bank is to
be determined by a special decree.

5. The temporary administration of the affairs of the private banks
is entrusted to the board of the State Bank.

6. The interests of the small depositors will be safeguarded.

                        *   *   *   *   *

                _On the Equality of Rank of All Military Men_

In realisation of the will of the revolutionary people regarding the
prompt and decisive abolition of all remnants of former inequality in
the Army, the Council of People's Commissars decrees:

1. All ranks and grades in the Army, beginning with the rank of
Corporal and ending with the rank of General, are abolished. The Army
of the Russian Republic consists now of free and equal citizens,
bearing the honourable title of Soldiers of the Revolutionary Army.

2. All privileges connected with the former ranks and grades, also
all outward marks of distinction, are abolished.

3. All addressing by titles is abolished.

4. All decorations, orders, and other marks of distinction are

5. With the abolition of the rank of officer, all separate officers'
organisations are abolished.

Note.—Orderlies are left only for headquarters, chanceries,
Committees and other Army organisations.

                _President of the Council of People's Commissars,_
                                        VL. ULIANOV (LENIN).

                _People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs,_
                                        N. KRYLENKO.

                _People's Commissar for Military Affairs,_
                                        N. PODVOISKY.

                _Secretary of the Council,_
                                        N. GORBUNOV.
                        *    *    *    *    *

_On the Elective Principle and the Organisation of Authority in the

1. The army serving the will of the toiling people is subject to its
supreme representative—the Council of People's Commissars.

2. Full authority within the limits of military units and
combinations is vested in the respective Soldiers' Committees and

3. Those phases of the life and activity of the troops which are
already under the jurisdiction of the Committees are now formally
placed in their direct control. Over such branches of activity which
the Committees cannot assume, the control of the Soldiers' Soviets is

4. The election of commanding Staff and officers is introduced. All
commanders up to the commanders of regiments, inclusive, are elected
by general suffrage of squads, platoons, companies, squadrons,
batteries, divisions (artillery, 2-3 batteries), and regiments. All
commanders higher than the commander of a regiment, and up to the
Supreme Commander, inclusive, are elected by congresses or
conferences of Committees.

Note.—By the term "conference" must be understood a meeting of the
respective Committees together with delegates of committees one
degree lower in rank. (Such as a "conference" of Regimental
Committees with delegates from Company Committees.—Author.)

5. The elected commanders above the rank of commander of regiment
must be confirmed by the nearest Supreme Committee.

Note. In the event of a refusal by a Supreme Committee to confirm an
elected commander, with a statement of reasons for such refusal, a
commander elected by the lower Committee a second time must be

6. The commanders of Armies are elected by Army congresses.
Commanders of Fronts are elected by congresses of the respective

7. To posts of a technical character, demanding special knowledge or
other practical preparation, namely: doctors, engineers, technicians,
telegraph  and wireless operators, aviators, automobilists, etc.,
only such persons as possess the required special knowledge may be
elected, by the Committees of the units of the respective services.

8. Chiefs of Staff must be chosen from among persons with special
military training for that post.

9. All other members of the Staff are appointed by the Chief of
Staff, and confirmed by the respective congresses.

Note.—All persons with special training must be listed in a special

10. The right is reserved to retire from the service all commanders
on active service who are not elected by the soldiers to any post,
and who consequently are ranked as privates.

11. All other functions beside those pertaining to the command, with
the exception of posts in the economic departments, are filled by
appointment of the respective elected commanders.

12. Detailed instructions regarding the elections of the commanding
Staff will be published separately.

                        _President of the Council of People's Commissars._

                                        VL. ULIANOV (LENIN).

                        _People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs,_

                                        N. KRYLENKO.

                        _People's Commissar for Military Affairs,_

                                        N. PODVOISKY.

                        _Secretary of the Council,_

                                        N. GORBUNOV.

                        *     *     *     *     *

                _On the Abolition of Classes and Titles_

1. All classes and class divisions, all class privileges and
delimitations, all class organisations and institutions and all civil
ranks are abolished.

2. All classes of society (nobles, merchants, petty bourgeois,
etc.),and all titles (Prince, Count and others), and all
denominations of civil rank (Privy State Councillor, and others), are
abolished, and there is established the general denomination of
Citizen of the Russian Republic.

3. The property and institutions of the classes of nobility are
transferred to the corresponding autonomous Zemstvos.

4. The property of merchant and bourgeois organisations is
transferred immediately to the Municipal Self-Governments.

5. All class institutions of any sort, with their property, their
rules of procedure, and their archives, are transferred to the
administration of the Municipalities and Zemstvos.

6. All articles of existing laws applying to these matters are
herewith repealed.

7. The present decree becomes effective on the day it is published
and applied by the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants'

The present decree has been confirmed by the _Tsay-ee-kah_ at the
meeting of November 23d, 1917, and signed by:

                        _President of the Tsay-ee-kah,_


                        _President of the Council of People's Commissars,_

                                        VL. ULIANOV (LENIN).

                        _Executive of the Council of People's Commissars,_

                                        V. BONCH-BRUEVITCH.

                        _Secretary of the Council,_

                                        N. GORBUNOV.

                        *     *     *     *     *

On December 3d the Council of People's Commissars resolved "to reduce
the salaries of functionaries and employees in all Government
institutions and establishments, general or special, without

To begin with, the Council fixed the salary of a People's Commissar
at 500 rubles per month, with 100 rubles additional for each grown
member of the family incapable of work….

This was the highest salary paid to any Government official….


Countess Panina was arrested and brought to trial before the first
Supreme Revolutionary Tribunal. The trial is described in the chapter
on "Revolutionary Justice" in my forthcoming volume, "Kornilov to
Brist- Litovsk." The prisoner was sentenced to "return the money, and
then be liberated to the public contempt." In other words, she was
set free!


                        RIDICULE OF THE NEW RÉGIME

        From _Drug Naroda_ (Menshevik), November 18th:

"The story of the 'immediate peace' of the Bolsheviki reminds us of a
joyous moving-picture film…. Neratov runs—Trotzky pursues; Neratov
climbs a wall, Trotzky too; Neratov dives into the water—Trotzky
follows; Neratov climbs onto the roof—Trotzky right behind him;
Neratov hides under the bed—and Trotzky has him! He has him!
Naturally, peace is immediately signed….

"All is empty and silent at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The
couriers are respectful, but their faces wear a caustic expression….

"How about arresting an ambassador and signing an armistice or a
Peace Treaty with him? But they are strange folk, these ambassadors.
They keep silent just as if they had heard nothing. Hola, hola,
England, France, Germany! We have signed an armistice with you! Is it
possible that you know nothing about it? Nevertheless, it has been
published in all the papers and posted on all the walls. On a
Bolshevik's word of honour, Peace has been signed. We're not asking
much of you; you just have to write two words….

"The ambassadors remain silent. The Powers remain silent. All is
empty and silent in the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"'Listen,' says Robespierre-Trotzky to his assistant Marat-Uritzky,
'run over to the British Ambassador's, tell him we're proposing

"'Go yourself,' says Marat-Uritzky. 'He's not receiving.'

"'Telephone him, then.'

"'I've tried. The receiver's off the hook.'

"'Send him a telegram.'

"'I did.'

"'Well, with what result?'

"Marat-Uritzky sighs and does not answer. Robespierre-Trotzky spits
furiously into the corner….

"'Listen, Marat,' recommences Trotzky, after a moment. 'We must
absolutely show that we're conducting an active foreign policy. How
can we do that?'

"'Launch another decree about arresting Neratov,' answers Uritzky,
with a profound air.

"'Marat, you're a blockhead!' cries Trotzky. All of a sudden he
arises, terrible and majestic, looking at this moment like

"'Write, Uritzky!' he says with severity. 'Write a letter to the
British ambassador, a registered letter with receipt demanded. Write!
I also will write! The peoples of the world await an immediate peace!'

"In the enormous and empty Ministry of Foreign Affairs are to be
heard only the sound of two typewriters. With his own hands Trotzky
is conducting an active foreign policy…."



To the Attention of All Workers and All Soldiers.

November 11th, in the club of the Preobrazhensky Regiment, was held
an extraordinary meeting of representatives of all the units of the
Petrograd garrison.

The meeting was called upon the initiative of the Preobrazhensky and
Semionovsky Regiments, for the discussion of the question as to which
Socialist parties are for the power of the Soviets, which are
against, which are for the people, which against, and if an agreement
between them is possible.

The representatives of the _Tsay-ee-kah,_ of the Municipal Duma, of
the Avksentiev Peasants' Soviets, and of all the political parties
from the Bolsheviki to the Populist Socialists, were invited to the

After long deliberation, having heard the declarations of all parties
and organisations, the meeting by a tremendous majority of votes
agreed that only the Bolsheviki and the Left Socialist
Revolutionaries are for the people, and that all the other parties
are only attempting, under cover of seeking an agreement, to deprive
the people of the conquests won in the days of the great Workers' and
Peasants' Revolution of November.

Here is the text of the resolution carried at this meeting of the
Petrograd garrison, by 61 votes against 11, and 12 not voting:

"The garrison conference, summoned at the initiative of the
Semionovsky and Preobrazhensky Regiments, on hearing the
representatives of all the Socialist parties and popular
organisations on the question of an agreement between the different
political parties finds that:

"1. The representatives of the _Tasy-ee-kah,_ the representatives of
the Bolshevik party and the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, declared
definitely that they stand for a Government of the Soviets, for the
decrees on Land, Peace and Workers' Control of Industry, and that
upon this platform they are willing to agree with all the Socialist

"2. At the same time the representatives of the other parties
(Mensheviki, Socialist Revolutionaries) either gave no answer at all,
or declared simply that they were opposed to the power of the Soviets
and against the decrees on Land, Peace and Workers' Control.

"In view of this the meeting resolves:

"'1. To express severe censure of all parties which, under cover of
an agreement, wish practically to annul the popular conquests of the
Revolution of November.

"2. To express full confidence in the _Tsay-ee-kah_ and the Council
of People's Commissars, and to promise them complete support.'

"At the same time the meeting deems it necessary that the comrades
Left Socialist Revolutionaries should enter the People's Government."


                           WINE "POGROMS"

It was afterward discovered that there was a regular organisation,
maintained by the Cadets, for provoking rioting among the soldiers.
There would be telephone messages to the different barracks,
announcing that wine was being given away at such and such an
address, and when the soldiers arrived at the spot an individual
would point out the location of the cellar….

The Council of People's Commissars appointed a Commissar for the
Fight Against Drunkenness, who, besides mercilessly putting down the
wine riots, destroyed hundreds of thousands of bottles of liquor. The
Winter Palace cellars, containing rare vintages valued at more than
five million dollars, were at first flooded, and then the liquor was
removed to Cronstadt and destroyed.

In this work the Cronstadt sailors, "flower and pride of the
revolutionary forces," as Trotzky called them, acquitted themselves
with iron selfdicipline….



Two orders concerning them:

                _Council of People's Commissars_

                _To the Military Revolutionary Committee_

The disorganisation of the food supply created by the war, and the
lack of system, is becoming to the last degree acute, thanks to the
speculators, marauders and their followers on the railways, in the
steamship offices, forwarding offices, etc.

Taking advantage of the nation's greatest misfortunes, these criminal
spoliators are playing with the health and life of millions of
soldiers and workers, for their own benefit.

Such a situation cannot be borne a single day longer.

The Council of People's Commissars proposes to the Military
Revolutionary Committee to take the most decisive measures towards
the uprooting of speculation, sabotage, hiding of supplies,
fraudulent detention of cargoes, etc.

All persons guilty of such actions shall be subject, by special
orders of the Military Revolutionary Committee, to immediate arrest
and confinement in the prisons of Cronstadt, pending their
arraignment before the Revolutionary Tribunal.

All the popular organisations are invited to cooperate in the
struggle against the spoliators of food supplies.

                _President of the Council of People's Commissaries._
                                        V. ULIANOV (LENIN).

Accepted for execution,
                _Military Revolutionary Committee attached to
                the C. E. C. of the Soviets of W. & S. Deputies._

Petrograd, Nov. 23d, 1917.

                        *     *     *     *     *

                    _To All Honest Citizens_

_The Military Revolutionary Committee Decrees:_

Spoliators, marauders, speculators, are declared to be enemies of the

The Military Revolutionary Committee proposes to all public
organisations, to all honest citizens: to inform the Military
Revolutionary Committee immediately of all cases of spoliation,
marauding, speculation, which become known to them.

The struggle against this evil is the business of all honest people.
The Military Revolutionary Committee expects the support of all to
whom the interests of the People are dear.

The Military Revolutionary Committee will be merciless in pursuit of
speculators and marauders.

                                THE MILITARY REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE

Petrograd, Dec. 2d, 1917.



"The situation at Petrograd is desperate. The city is cut off from
the outside world and is entirely in the power of the Bolsheviki….
People are arrested in the streets, thrown into the Neva, drowned and
imprisoned without any charge. Even Burtzev is shut up in Peter-Paul
fortress, under strict guard.

"The organisation at whose head I am is working without rest to unite
all the officers and what is left of the _yunker_ schools, and to arm
them. The situation cannot be saved except by creating regiments of
officers and _yunkers._ Attacking with these regiments, and having
gained a first success, we could later gain the aid of the garrison
troops; but without that first success it is impossible to count on a
single soldier, because thousands of them are divided and terrorised
by the scum which exists in every regiment. Most of the Cossacks are
tainted by Bolshevik propaganda, thanks to the strange policy of
General Dutov, who allowed to pass the moment when by decisive action
something could have been obtained. The policy of negotiations and
concessions has borne its fruits; all that is respectable is
persecuted, and it is the _plebe_ and the criminals who dominate—and
nothing can be done except by shooting and hanging them.

"We are awaiting you here, General, and at the moment of your
arrival, we shall advance with all the forces at our disposal. But
for that we must establish some communication with you, and before
all, clear up the following points:

"(1) Do you know that in your name all officers who could take part
in the fight are being invited to leave Petrograd on the pretext of
joining you?

"(2) About when can we count on your arrival at Petrograd? We should
like to know in order to coordinate our actions.

"In spite of the criminal inaction of the conscious people here,
which allowed the yoke of Bolshevism to be laid upon us—in spite of
the extraordinary pig—headedness of the majority of officers, so
difficult to organise— we believe in spite of all that Truth is on
our side, and that we shall conquer the vicious and criminal forces
who say that they are acting for motives of love of country and in
order to save it. Whatever comes, we shall not permit ourselves to be
struck down, and shall remain firm until the end."

Purishkevitch, being brought to trial before the Revolutionary
Tribunal, was given a short prison term….



1. The printing of advertisements, in newspapers, books, bill-boards,
kiosks, in offices and other establishments is declared to be a State

2. Advertisements may only be published in the organs of the
Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government at Petrograd, and in
the organs of local Soviets.

3. The proprietors of newspapers and advertising offices, as well as
all employees of such establishments, should remain at their posts
until the transfer of the advertisement business to the Government….
superintending the uninterrupted continuation of their houses, and
turning over to  the Soviets all private advertising and the sums
received therefor, as well as all accounts and copy.

4. All managers of publications and businesses dealing with paid
advertising, as well as their employees and workers, shall agree to
hold a City Congress, and to join, first the City Trade Unions, and
then the All-Russian Unions, to organise more thoroughly and justly
the advertising business in the Soviet publications, as well as to
prepare better rules for the public utility of advertising.

5. All persons found guilty of having concealed documents or money,
or having sabotaged the regulations indicated in paragraphs 3 and 4,
will be punished by a sentence of not more than three years'
imprisonment, and all their property will be confiscated.

6. The paid insertion of advertisements…. in private publications, or
under a masqued form, will also be severely penalised.

7. Advertising offices are confiscated by the Government, the owners
being entitled to compensation in cases of necessity. Small
proprietors, depositors and stock-holders of the confiscated
establishments will be reimbursed for all moneys held by them in the

8. All buildings, officers, counters, and in general every
establishment doing a business in advertising, should immediately
inform the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies of its address,
and proceed to the transfer of its business, under penalty of the
punishment indicated in paragraph 5.

                        _President of the Council of People's Commissars,_
                                        VL. ULIANOV (LENIN).

                        _People's Commissar for Public Instruction,_
                                        A. V. LUNATCHARSKY.

                        _Secretary of the Council,_

                                        N. GORBUNOV.


                        OBLIGATORY ORDINANCE

1. The city of Petrograd is declared to be in a state of siege.

2. All assemblies, meetings and congregations on the streets and
squares are prohibited.

3. Attempts to loot wine-cellars, warehouses, factories, stores,
business premises, private dwellings, etc., etc., _will be stopped by
machine-gun fire without warning._

4. House Committees, doormen, janitors and Militiamen are charged
with the duty of keeping strict order in all houses, courtyards and
in the streets, and house-doors and carriage-entrances must be locked
at 9 o'clock in the evening, and opened at 7 o'clock in the morning.
After 9 o'clock in the evening only tenants may leave the house,
under strict control of the House Committees.

5. Those guilty of the distribution, sale or purchase of any kind of
alcoholic liquor, and also those guilty of the violation of sections
2 and 4, will be immediately arrested and subjected to the most
severe punishment.

Petrograd, 6th of December, 3 o'clock in the night.

        _Committee to Fight Against Pogroms, attached to the Executive
        Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies._


                        TWO PROCLAMATIONS

Lenin, To _the People of Russia:_

"Comrades workers, soldiers, peasants—all toilers!

"The Workers' and Peasants' Revolution has won at Petrograd, at
Moscow…. From the Front and the villages arrive every day, every
hour, greetings to the new Government…. The victory of the
Revolution…. is assured, seeing that it is sustained by the majority
of the people.

"It is entirely understandable that the proprietors and the
capitalists, the employees and functionaries closely allied with the
bourgeoisic—in a word, all the rich and all those who join hands with
them—regard the new Revolution with hostility, oppose its success,
threaten to halt the activity of the banks, and sabotage or obstruct
the work of other establishments…. Every conscious worker understands
perfectly that we cannot avoid this hostility, because the high
officials have set themselves against the People and do not wish to
abandon their posts without resistance. But the working classes are
not for one moment afraid of that resistance. The majority of the
people are for us. For us are the majority of the workers and the
oppressed of the whole world. We have justice on our side. Our
ultimate victory is certain.

"The resistance of the capitalists and high officials will be broken.
No one will be deprived of his property without a special law on the
nationalisation of banks and financial syndicates. This law is in
preparation. Not a worker will lose a single kopek; on the contrary,
he will be assisted. Without at this moment establishing the new
taxes, the new Government considers one of its primary duties to make
a severe accounting and control on the reception of taxes decreed by
the former régime….

"Comrades workers! Remember that you yourselves direct the
Government. No one will help you unless you organise yourselves and
take into your own hands the affairs of the State. Your Soviets are
now the organs of governmental power…. Strengthen them, establish a
severe revolutionary control, pitilessly crush the attempts at
anarchy on the part of drunkards, brigands, counter-revolutionary
_yunkers_ and Kornilovists.

"Establish a strict control over production and the accounting for
products. Arrest and turn over to the Revolutionary Tribunal of the
People every one who injures the property of the People, by sabotage
in production, by concealment of grain-reserves, reserves of other
products, by retarding the shipments of grain, by bringing confusion
into the railroads, the posts and the telegraphs, or in general
opposing the great work of bringing Peace and transferring the Land
to the peasants….

"Comrades workers, soldiers, peasants—all toilers!

"Take immediately all local power into your hands…. Little by little,
with the consent of the majority of peasants, we shall march firmly
and unhesitatingly toward the victory of Socialism, which will
fortify the advance-guards of the working-class of the most civilised
Countries, and give to the peoples an enduring peace, and free them
from every slavery and every exploitation."


_"To All Workers of Petrograd!_

"Comrades! The Revolution is winning—the revolution has won. All the
power has passed over to our Soviets. The first weeks are the most
difficult ones. The broken reaction must be finally crushed, a full
triumph must be secured to our endeavours. The working-class ought
to—must—show in these days THE GREATEST FIRMNESS AND ENDURANCE, in
order to facilitate the execution of all the aims of the new People's
Government of Soviets. In the next few days decrees on the Labour
question will be issued, and among the very first will be the decree
on Workers' Control over the production and regulation of Industry.


"We ask you to cease immediately all economic and political strikes,
to  take up your work, and do it in perfect order. The work in the
factories and all the industries is necessary for the new Government
of Soviets, because any interruption of this work will only create
new difficulties for us, and we have enough as it is. All to your

"The best way to support the new Government of Soviets in these
days—is by doing your job.


                        _Petrograd Soviet of W. & S. D._

                        _Petrograd Council of Trade Unions._

                        _Petrograd Council of Factory-Shop Committees._



_From the Employees of the State and private Banks To the Population
of Petrograd:_

“Comrades workers, soldiers and citizens!

“The Military Revolutionary Committee in an ‘extraordinary notice’ is
accusing the workers of the State and private banking and other
institutions of ‘impeding the work of the Government, directed
towards the ensuring of the Front with provisions.’

“Comrades and citizens, do not believe this calumny, brought against
us, who are part of the general army of labour.

“However difficult it be for us to work under the constant threat of
interference by acts of violence in our hard-working life, however
depressing it be to know that our Country and the Revolution are on
the verge of ruin, we, nevertheless, all of us, from the highest to
the lowest, employees, _artelshtchiki,_ counters, labourers,
couriers, etc., are continuing to fulfil our duties which are
connected with the ensuring of provisions and munitions to the Front
and country.

“Counting upon your lack of information, comrades workers and
soldiers, in questions of finance and banking, you are being incited
against workers like yourselves, because it is desirable to divert
the responsibility for the starving and dying brother-soldiers at the
Front from the guilty persons to the innocent workers who are
accomplishing their duty under the burden of general poverty and


“From November 6th to November 23d, i.e., during 17 days, 500 million
rubles were dispatched to the Front, and 120 millions to Moscow,
besides the sums sent to other towns.

“Keeping guard over the wealth of the people, the master of which can
be only the Constituent Assembly, representing the whole nation, the
employees refuse to give out money for purposes which are unknown to


_Central Board of the All-Russian Union of Employees of the State

_Central Board of the All-Russian Trade Union of Employees of Credit

                        *     *     *     *     *

                    _To the Population of Petrograd._

“CITIZENS: Do not believe the falsehood which irresponsible people
are trying to suggest to you by spreading terrible calumnies against
the employees of the Ministry of Supplies and the workers in other
Supply organisations who are labouring in these dark days for the
salvation of Russia. Citizens! In posted placards you are called upon
to lynch us, we are accused falsely of sabotage and strikes, we are
blamed for all the woes and misfortunes that the people are
suffering, although we have been striving indefatigably and
uninterruptedly, and are still striving, to save the Russian people
from the horrors of starvation. Notwithstanding all that we are
bearing as citizens of unhappy Russia, we have not for one hour
abandoned our heavy and responsible work of supplying the Army and
population with provisions.

“The image of the Army, cold and hungry, saving our very existence by
its blood and its tortures, does not leave us for a single moment.

“Citizens! If we have survived the blackest days in the life and
history of our people, if we have succeeded in preventing famine in
Petrograd, if we have managed to procure to the suffering army bread
and forage by means of enormous, almost superhuman, efforts, it is
because we have honestly continued and are still continuing to do our

“To the ‘last warning’ of the usurpers of the power we reply: It is
not for you who are leading the country to ruin to threaten us who
are doing all we can not to allow the country to perish. We are not
afraid of threats; before us stands the sacred image of tortured
Russia. We will continue our work of supplying the Army and the
people with bread to our last efforts, so long as you will not
prevent us from accomplishing our duty to our country. In the
contrary case the Army and the people will stand before the horrors
of famine, but the responsibility therefor belongs to the
perpetrators of violence.

                _Executive Committee of the Employees of the
                                Ministry of Supplies._

                        *     *     *     *     *

                _To the_ Tchinovniki (_Government Officials_).

It is notified hereby, that all officials and persons who have
quitted the service in Government and public institutions or have
been dismissed for sabotage or for having failed to report for work
on the day fixed, and who have nevertheless received their salary
paid in advance for the time they have not served, are bound to
return such salary not later than on November 27th, 1917, to those
institutions where they were in service.

In the event of this not being done, these persons will be rendered
answerable for stealing the Treasury’s property and tried by the
Military Revolutionary Court.

                                _The Military-Revolutionary Committee._

December 7th, 1917.

                        *     *     *     *     *

_From the Special Board for the Supplies_

“The conditions of our work for the supplying of Petrograd are
getting more and more difficult every day.

“The interference with our work—which is so ruinous to our
business—of the Commissars of the Military Revolutionary Committee is
still continuing.

“THEIR ARBITRARY ACTS, their annulling of our orders, MAY LEAD TO A

“Seals have been affixed to one of the cold storages where the meat
and butter destined for the population are kept, and we cannot
regulate the temperature SO THAT THE PRODUCTS WOULD NOT BE SPOILT.

“One carload of potatoes and one carload of cabbages have been seized
and carried away no one knows where to.

“Cargoes which are not liable to requisition (_khalva_) are
requisitioned by the Commissars and, as was the case one day, five
boxes of _khalva_ were seized by the Commissar for his own use.

selfappointed Commissars do not allow the cargoes to be taken out,
and terrorise our employees, threatening them with arrest.



“The work is simply falling out of our hands.

“OUR DUTY is to let the population know of this.

“To the last possibility we will remain on guard of the interests of
the population.




There were nineteen tickets in Petrograd. The results are as follows,
published November 30th:

    | _Party_                                           | _Vote_  |
    | Populist Socialists                               | 19,109  |
    | Cadets                                            | 245,006 |
    | Christian Democrats                               | 3,707   |
    | Bolsheviki                                        | 424,027 |
    | Socialist Universalists                           | 158     |
    | S. D. and S. R. Ukrainean and Jewish Workers      | 4,219   |
    | League of Women’s Rights                          | 5,310   |
    | Socialist Revolutionaries (_oborontsi_)           | 4,696   |
    | Left Socialist Revolutionaries                    | 152,230 |
    | League of the People’s Development                | 385     |
    | Radical Democrats                                 | 413     |
    | Orthodox Parishes                                 | 24,139  |
    | Feminine League for Salvation of Country          | 318     |
    | Independent League of Workers, Soldiers, Peasants | 4,942   |
    | Christian Democrats (Catholic)                    | 14,382  |
    | Unified Social Democrats                          | 11,740  |
    | Mensheviki                                        | 17,427  |
    | _Yedinstvo_ group                                 | 1,823   |
    | League of Cossack Troops                          | 6,712   |




“You are being deceived. You are being incited against the People.
You are told that the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’
Deputies are your enemies, that they want to take away your Cossack
land, your Cossack ‘liberty’. Don’t believe it, Cossacks…. Your own
Generals and landowners are deceiving you, in order to keep you in
darkness and slavery.  We, the Council of People’s Commissars,
address ourselves to you, Cossacks, with these words. Read them
attentively and judge yourselves which is the truth and which is
cruel deceit. The life and service of a Cossack were always bondage
and penal servitude. At the first call of the authorities a Cossack
always had to saddle his horse and ride out on campaign. All his
military equipment a Cossack had to provide with his own hardly
earned means. A Cossack is on service, his farm is going to rack and
ruin. Is such a condition fair? No, it must be altered for ever. THE
COSSACKS MUST BE FREED FROM BONDAGE. The new People’s Soviet power is
willing to come to the assistance of the toiling Cossacks. It is only
necessary that the Cossacks themselves should resolve to abolish the
old order, that they should refuse submission to their slave-driver
officers, land-owners, rich men, that they should throw off the
cursed yoke from their necks. Arise, Cossacks! Unite! The Council of
People’s Commissars calls upon you to enter a new, fresh, more happy

“In November and December in Petrograd there were All-Russian
Congresses of Soviets of Soldiers’, Workers’, and Peasants’ Deputies.
These Congresses transferred all the authority in the different
localities into the hands of the Soviets, i.e., into the hands of men
elected by the People. From now on there must be in Russia no rulers
or functionaries who command the People from above and drive them.
The People create the authority themselves. A General has no more
rights than a soldier. All are equal. Consider, Cossacks, is this
wrong or right? We are calling upon you, Cossacks, to join this new
order and to create your own Soviets of Cossacks’ Deputies. To such
Soviets all the power must belong in the different localities. Not to
_hetmans_ with the rank of General, but to the elected
representatives of the toiling Cossacks, to your own trustworthy
reliable men.

“The All-Russian Congresses of Soldiers’, Workers’, and Peasants’
Deputies have passed a resolution to transfer all landowners’ land
into the possession of the toiling people. Is not that fair,
Cossacks? The Kornilovs, Kaledins, Dutovs, Karaulovs, Bardizhes, all
defend with their whole souls the interests of the rich men, and they
are ready to drown Russia in blood if only the lands remain in the
hands of the landowners. But you, the toiling Cossacks, do not you
suffer yourselves from poverty, oppression and lack of land? How many
Cossacks are there who have more than 4-5 _dessiatins_ per head? But
the landowners, who have thousands of _dessiatins_ of their own land,
wish besides to get into their hands the lands of the Cossack Army.
According to the new Soviet laws, the lands of Cossack landowners
must pass without compensation into the hands of the Cossack workers,
the poorer Cossacks. You are being told that the Soviets wish to take
away your lands from you. Who is frightening you? The rich Cossacks,
who know that the Soviet AUTHORITY WISHES TO transfer the landowners’
lands to you. Choose then, Cossacks, for whom will you stand: for the
Kornilovs and Kaledins, for the Generals and rich men, or for the
Soviets of Peasants’, Soldiers’, Workers’ and Cossacks’ Deputies.

“THE COUNCIL OF PEOPLE’s COMMISSARS elected by the All-Russian
All the capitalists, landowners, Generals-Kornilovists have risen
against the peaceful policy of the Soviets. The war was bringing them
profits, power, distinctions. And to you, Cossack privates? You were
perishing without reason, without purpose, like your
brothers-soldiers and sailors. It will soon be three years and a half
that this accursed war has gone on, a war devised by the capitalists
and landowners of all countries for their own profit, their world
robberies. To the toiling Cossacks the war has only brought ruin and
death. The war has drained all the resources from Cossack farm life.
The only salvation for the whole of our country and for the Cossacks
in  particular is a prompt and honest peace. The Council of People’s
Commissars has declared to all Governments and peoples: We do not
want other people’s property, and we do not wish to give away our
own. Peace without annexations and without indemnities. Every nation
must decide its own fate. There must be no oppressing of one nation
by another. Such is the honest, democratic, People’s peace which the
Council of People’s Commissars is proposing to all Governments, to
all peoples, allies and enemies. And the results are visible: ON THE

“The soldier’s and the Cossack’s blood is not flowing there any more.
Now, Cossacks, decide: do you wish to continue this ruinous,
senseless, criminal slaughter? Then support the Cadets, the enemies
of the people, support Tchernov, Tseretelli, Skobeliev, who drove you
into the offensive of July 1st; support Kornilov, who introduced
capital punishment for soldiers and Cossacks at the front. BUT IF YOU

“Your fate, Cossacks, lies in your own hands. Our common foes, the
landowners, capitalists, officers-Kornilovists, bourgeois newspapers,
are deceiving you and driving you along the road to ruin. In
Orenburg, Dutov has arrested the Soviet and disarmed the garrison.
Kaledin is threatening the Soviets in the province of the Don. He has
declared the province to be in a state of war and is assembling his
troops. Karaulov is shooting the local tribes in the Caucasus. The
Cadet bourgeoisie is supplying them with its millions. Their common
aim is to suppress the People’s Soviets, to crush the workers and
peasants, to introduce again the discipline of the whip in the army,
and to eternalise the bondage of the toiling Cossacks.

“Our revolutionary troops are moving to the Don and the Ural in order
to put an end to this criminal revolt against the people. The
commanders of the revolutionary troops have received orders not to
enter into any negotiations with the mutinous Generals, to act
decisively and mercilessly.

“Cossacks! On you depends now whether your brothers’ blood is to flow
still. We are holding out our hand to you. Join the whole people
against its enemies. Declare Kaledin, Kornilov, Dutov, Karaulov and
all their aiders and abettors to be the enemies of the people,
traitors and betrayers. Arrest them with your own forces and turn
them over into the hands of the Soviet authority, which will judge
them in open and public Revolutionary Tribunal. Cossacks! Form
Soviets of Cossacks’ Deputies. Take into your toil-worn hands the
management of all the affairs of the Cossacks. Take away the lands of
your own wealthy landowners. Take over their grain, their inventoried
property and live-stock for the cultivation of the lands of the
toiling Cossacks, who are ruined by the war.

“Forward, Cossacks, to the fight for the common cause of the people!

“Long live the toiling Cossacks!

“Long live the union of the Cossacks, the soldiers, peasants and

“Long live the power of the Soviets of Cossacks’, Soldiers’, Workers’
and Peasants’ Deputies.

“Down with the war! Down with the landowners and the

“Long live Peace and the Brotherhood of peoples!”

                                _Council of People’s Commissars._


                            CITY DUMA

“Comrades Workingmen and Workingwomen!

“A few days before the holidays, a strike has been declared by the
teachers of the public schools. The teachers side with the
bourgeoisie against the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government.

“Comrades, organise parents’ committees and pass resolutions against
the strike of the teachers. Propose to the Ward Soviets of Workers’
and Soldiers’ Deputies, the Trade Unions, the Factory-Shop and Party
Committees, to organise protest meetings. Arrange with your own
resources Christmas trees and entertainments for the children, and
demand the opening of the schools, after the holidays, at the date
which will be set by the Duma.

“Comrades, strengthen your position in matters of public education,
insist on the control of the proletarian organisations over the

      _Commission on Public Education attached to the Central City Duma._



The notes issued by Trotzky to the Allies and to the neutral powers,
as well as the note of the Allied military Attachés to General
Dukhonin, are too voluminous to give here. Moreover they belong to
another phase of the history of the Soviet Republic, with which this
book has nothing to do—the foreign relations of the Soviet
Government. This I treat at length in the next volume, “Kornilov to



“… The struggle for peace has met with the resistance of the
bourgeoisie and the counter-revolutionary Generals…. From the
accounts in the newspapers, at the _Stavka_ of former Supreme
Commander Dukhonin are gathering the agents and allies of the
bourgeoisie, Verkhovski, Avksentiev, Tchernov, Gotz, Tseretelli, etc.
It seems even that they want to form a new power against the Soviets.

“Comrades soldiers! All the persons we have mentioned have been
Ministers already. They have acted in accord with Kerensky and the
bourgeoisie. They are responsible for the offensive of July 1st and
for the prolongation of the war. They promised the land to the
peasants and then arrested the Land Committees. They reestablished
capital punishment for soldiers. They obey the orders of French,
English and American financiers….

“General Dukhonin, for having refused to obey orders of the Council
of People’s Commissars, has been dismissed from his position as
Supreme Commander…. For answer he is circulating among the troops the
note from the Military Attachés of the Allied imperialist Powers, and
attempting to provoke a counter-revolution….

“Do not obey Dukhonin! Pay no attention to his provocation! Watch him
and his group of counter-revolutionary Generals carefully….”


                            FROM KRYLENKO
                           _Order Number Two_

“… The ex-Supreme Commander, General Dukhonin, for having opposed
resistance to the execution of orders, for criminal action
susceptible of provoking a new civil war, is declared enemy of the
People. All persons who support Dukhonin will be arrested, without
respect to their social or political position or their past. Persons
equipped with special authority will operate these arrests. I charge
General Manikhovsky with the execution of the above-mentioned



                     INSTRUCTION TO PEASANTS

In answer to the numerous enquiries coming from peasants, it is
hereby explained that the whole power in the country is from now on
held by the Soviets of the Workers’, Soldiers’, and Peasants’
Deputies. The Workers’ Revolution, after having conquered in
Petrograd and in Moscow, is now conquering in all other centres of
Russia. The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government safeguards the
interests of the masses of peasantry, the poorest of them; it is with
the majority of peasants and workers against the landowners, and
against the capitalists.

Hence the Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies, and before all the District
Soviets, and subsequently those of the Provinces, are from now on and
until the Constituent Assembly meets, full-powered bodies of State
authority in their localities. All landlords’ titles to the land are
cancelled by the second All-Russian Congress of Soviets. A decree
regarding the land has already been issued by the present Provisional
Workers’ and Peasants’ Government. On the basis of the above decree
all lands hitherto belonging to landlords now pass entirely and
wholly into the hands of the Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies. The
_Volost_ (a group of several villages forms a _Volost_) Land
Committees are immediately to take over all land from the landlords,
and to keep a strict account over it, watching that order be
maintained, and that the whole estate be well guarded, seeing that
from now on all private estates become public property and must
therefore be protected by the people themselves.

All orders given by the _Volost_ Land Committees, adopted with the
assent of the District Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies, in fulfilment
of the decrees issued by the revolutionary power, are absolutely
legal and are to be forthwith and irrefutably brought into execution.

The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government appointed by the second
All-Russian Congress of Soviets has received the name of the Council
of People’s Commissars.

The Council of People’s Commissars summons the Peasants to take the
whole power into their hands in every locality.

The workers will in every way absolutely and entirely support the
peasants, arrange for them all that is required in connection with
machines and tools, and in return they request the peasants to help
with the transport of grain.

                  _President of the Council of People’s Commissars,_
                                       V. ULIANOV (LENIN).

Petrograd, November 18th, 1917.


The full-powered Congress of Peasants’ Soviets met about a week
later, and continued for several weeks. Its history is merely an
expanded version of the history of the “Extraordinary Conference.” At
first the great majority of the delegates were hostile to the Soviet
Government, and supported the reactionary wing. Several days later
the assembly was supporting the moderates with Tchernov. And several
days after that the vast majority of the Congress were voting for the
faction of Maria Spiridonova, and sending their representatives into
the _Tsay-ee-kah_ at Smolny…. The Right Wing then walked out of the
Congress and called a Congress of its own, which went on, dwindling
from day to day, until it finally dissolved….

End of Project Gutenberg's Ten Days That Shook the World, by John Reed

Written by revolutionarystrategy

27 June 2009 at 10:09 pm

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