The War

Chapter XXII

The Outbreak of War

The Declaration of War – Workers' Demonstrations during the Mobilisation – The Duma Declaration – Refusal to Vote War Credits – Conditions of Party Work at the Commencement of the War – First Anti-War Proclamations of the St. Petersburg Committee – A Raid by the Secret Police – A Journey across Russia

The Baku strike and the July demonstrations of the St. Petersburg workers were the last big revolutionary events before the outbreak of war. These struggles had produced many victims among the workers. When the mass movement had developed into barricade fighting and armed collisions, the tsarist government did not let anything stand in the way of their endeavours to crush the incipient revolution. The series of lock-outs had struck at the economic conditions of the workers and mass arrests and deportations weakened the political organisation of the working class. The proletariat required a certain time to recover, to collect its forces for fresh onslaughts on tsarism. The workers were, however, denied this respite; on the contrary, subsequent events struck a heavy blow at the revolutionary movement.

The declaration of war was a signal for the blackest reactionary forces to redouble their attacks on the working-class movement. In the atmosphere of rabid chauvinism and artificial jingoism, the tsarist government savagely repressed all legal and illegal working-class organisations.

The war, although nominally caused by a quarrel between Austria and Serbia, was really a gigantic struggle between imperialist brigands, who were ready to cut each other's throats in the fight for new markets. The war promised the bourgeoisie the possibility of fresh plunder abroad and enormous profits from war orders at home. The bourgeoisie of all countries greeted the outbreak of war with delight, cloaking their desire for booty under a thin veneer of nationalist ideals. The Russian bourgeoisie was no exception in this respect. It had formerly allowed itself the liberty of playing at liberalism and opposition, but now for the sake of imperialist aspirations it hastened to bend the knee and swear whole-hearted allegiance to the flag of tsarism. It suddenly discovered that the Romanov autocracy with its bloody police regime and its cruel oppression of the masses was a champion of democracy and the defender of small nations against the Prussian Junkers and German militarists.

Patriotic demonstrations were staged in the streets of St. Petersburg. House-porters, policemen, secret police, together with the riff-raff of all descriptions paraded the streets, carrying portraits of the tsar and national flags, singing "God save the tsar," and shouting "hurrah" at the top of their voices. Under the protection of the forces of "law and order," the demonstrators became brazen, knocking off the hats of passers-by and beating up any citizen who was not sufficiently enthusiastic in his patriotism. Any such demonstration was liable to be transformed at any moment into a crowd of characteristic Russian pogrom-makers. In St. Petersburg, the "patriots" smashed the windows of the German Embassy, and in Moscow they attacked several German commercial and industrial enterprises.

Patriotic pogroms alternated with ceremonies of kneeling in front of the tsar's palace. Even the students, who were formerly so proud of their "Left" traditions, stood on their knees before the Winter Palace, shouting hurrahs and paying homage to their “beloved” sovereign.

Under cover of the wave of chauvinism which swept over the country the tsarist police hastened to settle accounts with its old "internal enemy," the most advanced section of the Russian proletariat. By a stroke of the pen, such working class organisations as still survived were suppressed. Siberia was once again crowded with exiles, and party organisations lost many of their best members. The war, for which the bourgeoisie had been preparing for some time, found the working-class not only unprepared, but recently defeated in a serious encounter with the forces of tsarism. At the same time, certain groups of backward workers, who did not grasp the real significance of events, were infected by the widely diffused poison of patriotism. In these circumstances it was difficult to envisage any widespread organised resistance to the war-madness and war-reaction by the Russian proletariat.

And yet, despite these handicaps, a number of anti-war actions took place in St. Petersburg in the first days of the war. As soon as general mobilisation was announced, the St. Petersburg Committee issued its first anti-war proclamation: "A sanguinary spectre haunts Europe," "Down with war! War against war! These words must re-echo through all the cities and villages of Russia." This was the Party's appeal to the workers, peasants and soldiers. "The workers must remember that workers across the frontier are not their enemies. The workers of all countries are oppressed by the rich and governing classes, they are exploited everywhere.... Soldiers and workers, you are being called upon to die for the glory of the cossack whips, for the glory of your country – your country, which shoots down workers and peasants and which imprisons your best sons. We must declare that we do not want this war. Our battle-cry is 'Liberty for Russia.' "

This proclamation was hastily drafted as soon as the news of the outbreak of war had become known, and only contained a brief survey of the situation, but it will be seen that the St. Petersburg Party organisation had already given the cue which was subsequently strengthened, developed and completed by all other Party organisations.

Although communications with the provinces were interrupted immediately, we had little doubt that a similar spirit animated the advanced provincial workers. We obtained only fragmentary news of which a letter I received from Kostroma a few days after the mobilisation is typical. This letter contained the following resolution adopted by a group of Kostroma workers:

We protest most emphatically against the action of the tsarist government in involving the Russian proletariat in a fratricidal war with the proletariat of Germany and Austria. We ask the Duma Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction what steps it has taken against the war and what it has done to express fraternal solidarity with the proletariat of the belligerent states.

On the day that the army was mobilised the workers of about twenty factories struck in St. Petersburg in protest against the war. In some places the workers met the reservists with shouts of "Down with the war" and with revolutionary songs. But the demonstrations now took place under conditions different from those of a few weeks before. The onlookers, particularly in the centre of the city, were incited by patriotic sentiment and no longer maintained a "friendly neutrality," but look an active part in hunting down the demonstrators and helping the police to make arrests.

One such "patriotic" outburst occurred in the Nevsky Prospect on the first day of mobilisation, while a workers' demonstration was marching past the town Duma. The people in the street, mostly bourgeois loafers, who usually hid themselves or made off through side streets when workers' demonstrations appeared, now became very active and, with shouts of “traitors,” assisted the police to beat up the demonstrators. The police were able to arrest the workers and take them off to the police station.

In such conditions it was impossible to organise a widespread movement against the war and the heroic acts of individual workers were drowned in a sea of militant patriotism.

In order to demonstrate more clearly the complete "unity" of the tsar with the people and, above all, to get war credits voted, the State Duma was hastily convened. Most of the deputies from the extreme Right to the Cadets were thoroughly war-minded and talked of nothing but "war until victory is won," "defence of the fatherland," etc. The newspapers competed with each other in reproducing the patriotic utterances of the party leaders in the Duma on the necessity of combining to fight the foreign enemy.

The bourgeois press was very anxious about the attitude the workers' deputies would adopt with regard to the war. While I was receiving visits from workers one evening at home, a crowd of bourgeois journalists from all the St. Petersburg papers, from the Black Hundred Zemschina to the Left Den, arrived and asked me a number of questions.

"What is the attitude of the workers towards the war? What is the position taken up by your fraction? What do the workers' deputies propose to do in the Duma?"

Producing their note-books and pencils, they made ready to take down my answers. But what I said was altogether unsuitable for publication in their newspapers. I declared:

The working class will oppose the war with all its force. The war is against the interests of the workers. On the contrary, its edge is turned against the working class all over the world. The Basle Congress of the Socialist International, in the name of the world proletariat, passed a resolution declaring that, in case of the declaration of war, our duty was to wage a determined struggle against it. We, the real representatives of the working class, will fight for the slogan "War against War." Every member of our fraction will fight against the war with all the means at his disposal.

Needless to say, my answer was not published in any newspaper, but immediately became known to the secret police, who saw in my words a confirmation of the anti-war position of our Party, and I began to receive abusive letters written not to convince but to terrorise.

"You will share the fate of Herzenstein and Yollos," was the theme of several letters from members of the Black Hundreds. Herzenstein and Yollos were two deputies of the previous Dumas assassinated by members of the Union of the Russian People with the connivance of the secret police. One of the letters also contained a drawing of a skeleton, representing the fate that would overtake me.

When the workers learned of these threats, they insisted on providing me with a special guard at my home. Despite my protests as to the impossibility of protecting oneself against the assassin's bullet, the workers insisted on this proposal.

This occurred in the first few days of the war, before the public declaration of the fraction which was to be made in the Duma during the discussion on the war credits vote. At first we attempted to work out a joint declaration for the two Social-Democratic fractions and the Trudoviks. After consulting with Party comrades who were in St. Petersburg, we decided to insist that the declaration should emphatically condemn the war and definitely refuse any support from the working class. Negotiations were opened between the three fractions, but the Trudoviks left at the first consultation. Kerensky, Chkheidze and myself were present, and Kerensky declared bluntly that the Trudoviks considered it necessary to declare in favour of war. Chkheidze wavered at first, inclining toward the need of "defending the country."

However, after prolonged negotiations the two fractions proceeded to draft a joint declaration. The main lines of the declaration were decided at a conference attended by some members of our St. Petersburg Committee and some prominent Mensheviks. The first draft was drawn up, if I remember right, by Sokolov. Later in the day Shagov and Petrovsky returned to St. Petersburg and joined us. Later more deputies of both fractions arrived, and after several more meetings and much discussion, the final text of the declaration was agreed to by both Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.

The next sitting of the Duma was to be held on July 26. A few days previously, most of the deputies, this time the Trudoviks included, went to a reception at the palace where they were able to give full vent to their sentiments of loyalty to the tsar. Rodzyanko opened the Duma with a highly patriotic speech about the "complete unity between the tsar and his loyal people": for the "defence of the State" and how "all the nationalities inhabiting Russia had merged into one fraternal family when their fatherland was in danger," etc. These clap-trap formulas of militant patriotism were subsequently repeated with slight alterations by the leaders of the parties which composed the Duma majority. Kerensky, speaking for the Trudoviks, read a declaration which, after a few pseudo-revolutionary phrases, asserted that the Trudoviks were firmly convinced that "the great elemental force of Russian democracy would offer a determined and successful resistance to the enemy and would protect its home country and its culture which had been created by the sweat and blood of past generations."

The declaration of the Social-Democratic fraction was then read, but Rodzyanko censored it before it was printed in the stenographic report.

Although our declaration did not contain a clear and precise characterisation of the war or of the position of the working class and did not give a well-defined revolutionary lead, yet, when set off against the jingo background, it sounded a clear call of protest against the war madness. In contrast to the statements made by the other parties, the Social-Democratic declaration resolutely condemned the war and opposed to it the solidarity of the working class, denying the existence of any "unity" between the tsar and the people which had been so hypocritically welcomed by the Black Hundred Duma.

After its patriotic orgy, the State Duma proceeded to vote the war budget. In accordance with decisions taken at all congresses of the International, our fraction refused to take any part in the voting and left the hall. Our declaration and our refusal to vote war credits raised a storm of protest from the Duma majority. Deputies from all other parties, including the left Cadets and Progressives, lost their temper and attacked us in the lobbies.

"What are you doing? You are the representatives of the workers and should lead them, but instead you are dragging the Russian people to the edge of an abyss. You will destroy the nation."

The Right were very abusive and threatened to deal with us later, although quite ready to fall upon us then and there. We left the Duma followed by the threatening shouts of the Duma "diehards."

Our anti-war stand in the Duma soon became widely known among the workers and it was taken as the guiding line for the anti-war work of the Party. We began gradually to rebuild our underground work, directed mainly towards organising the masses for a struggle against the war. The difficulties of Party work in the atmosphere which was created in the early days of the war and the difficulties of maintaining connections with the Central Committee abroad became intensified more than ever before. The Austrian authorities had arrested Lenin and it was two months before we could satisfactorily re-establish communications with the foreign centre. Our chief work was anti-war propaganda which, under war conditions, rendered every member who was caught liable to trial by court-martial and almost certain death.

After the destruction of Pravda and the labour press the Duma fraction remained the only rallying centre for the Party forces. The St. Petersburg Committee had been destroyed, and scarcely any of its members were left in St. Petersburg. Many had been arrested and others were forced into hiding in the adjoining districts. Their chief base was Finland, where Olminsky, Yeremeyev, Kamenev, Demyan Bedny, Gorky and other comrades were living. It was extremely difficult to keep in close touch with them, but it was very important that the Committee should be reconstructed. On the other hand, it was imperative to keep the activity of the St. Petersburg Committee as secret as possible. Hence the new St. Petersburg Committee had fewer members, although it was confronted with a larger amount of work.

The first task of the Committee was to establish contacts with the districts and to reorganise the printing facilities for the issue of proclamations. We had to make arrangements to dismantle the printing plant and transfer it and all other accessories to another place as soon as a proclamation had been printed. By this means, although the secret police continually arrested fresh batches of our members, we were able to continue our work.

I took the draft of the first proclamation to Finland to be edited from there. As the frontier was very carefully watched, I put one copy of the draft in my top-boot and another in a matchbox which I could burn at any moment if I was searched by the police. At the appointed place I met Comrade Yeremeyev and spent the whole night correcting the draft. The next morning, taking the same precautions, I returned to St. Petersburg and handed the draft to the group of comrades who were to print and distribute it. These comrades used to go to the most crowded points of the town – to the railway stations and the mobilisation depots – and give the proclamations to the reservists or sometimes push them into their pockets.

The St. Petersburg Committee issued its second proclamation on the war in the beginning of August. This proclamation dealt with the necessity of conducting propaganda among the troops, with preparing for an armed struggle, and with the approaching social revolution. Thus, the slogan of "War against war" was evolving into a practical programme of utilising the war for the revolutionary struggle.

The appearance of this proclamation alarmed the secret police, who had hoped they had succeeded in completely smashing the Party organisations and that their repressive measures and the prevailing patriotism had cut away the ground from under the feet of the revolutionary parties. The proclamation demonstrated that the Bolsheviks, far from being destroyed, were making use of the situation to further the revolutionary movement. The government decided to stamp out this "treason" and the secret police began to hunt down those comrades who were associated with the printing of the proclamation and to search for the illegal printing-press. Several arrests were made but the press was not discovered.*

* It can be seen from the documents preserved in the Archives of the Police Department that the secret police considered that I was the chief agent in the issuing of these manifestos. The chief of the secret police reported that though "the St. Petersburg Committee has ceased its activity" yet "the restless youthful members of the illegal organisations are not content with their enforced inactivity and, under the influence of the Social-Democratic deputy, Badayev, have begun to issue a series of leaflets dealing with current events with the set purpose of discrediting the government's conduct of the war." The secret police were obviously acting under instructions to prepare the material necessary for my arrest and prosecution. But they failed to obtain the proofs they expected from their searches and reported: "All measures will be taken to obtain from persons arrested confessions which will prove that the deputy Badayev is engaged in revolutionary propaganda."

Two weeks later we were able to issue another manifesto in the name of the St. Petersburg Committee. Despite the strict war-time measures, the manifestos were distributed at the factories and works and reached the reservists and to some extent the regular troops. They fulfilled their purpose of gradually reinforcing the revolutionary sentiments of the masses and dispersing the chauvinist fog spread by the government press. We exposed the true face of the imperialist war and appealed to the masses to prepare for an armed struggle under the banner of the international solidarity of the proletariat.

Gradually Party cells were reconstructed and Party members who had escaped arrest gathered around themselves all active workers and observing strict rules of secrecy recommenced their work. In the absence of any other legal working-class organisations, Party members turned their attention to the insurance societies which gave them contacts with the workers. District organisations were again formed and in some districts the work became very lively and delegates were sent to the St. Petersburg Committee. With great difficulty, and not so quickly as we would have desired, the Bolshevik organisation in St. Petersburg began to revive, to gather in new links and cells, and was able to continue its revolutionary work, directed now mainly towards fighting the war and preparing for revolutionary action by the working class.

The provinces slowly followed suit. In the second half of August I went round Russia on a tour originally planned in connection with the preparation for the Party congress and which I now used for the purpose of strengthening and re-establishing the local Party organisations. I proposed to visit some Volga cities and then proceed to Baku and Tiflis, for the Baku organisation had been destroyed after the long strike in the summer. I was also to initiate preparations for a Party conference proposed for the autumn.

In order to avoid spies I had to leave St. Petersburg secretly. After having walked about the city for some time I went to a forest near the Obukhovo station and waited until I saw a goods train approaching, then I ran to the line and jumped on the train which took me to Lyuban. Concordia Samoylova and Yuriev, who were living there since the destruction of the Party organisation, met me at an agreed spot and handed me a railway ticket. I went to the station just before the train left, climbed into a carriage and at once clambered into an upper bunk. The secret police soon missed me from St. Petersburg and hunted for me unsuccessfully all over the city.

I visited a number of cities, got in touch with Party members and with their help held a series of meetings. I gave them addresses to which they could safely send correspondence and literature and took part in settling various questions of local Party activity.

In Baku it was necessary to build up the organisation anew. After several conferences with Baku Bolsheviks, including Comrade Shaumyan, I decided to organise large meetings of workers throughout the oil-fields. These meetings, however, were never held; some agent-provocateur had managed to sneak into the conferences and I was immediately surrounded by spies who prevented me going anywhere without endangering the persons I met. In these circumstances we had to give up the idea of holding large workers' meetings and, as I could not continue with a string of spies at my heels, I was forced to return directly to St. Petersburg.

On my arrival at St. Petersburg, I learned that a large force of secret police had been mobilised to discover my whereabouts. And, in the Duma, I was told how happy Junkovsky was when at last he was informed that I had turned up in Baku. In a conversation with a member of the Duma, Junkovsky had said, without attempting to hide his satisfaction: "Badayev had completely disappeared, but now we have found him in Baku."

It was now September, and the other members of our fraction returned to St. Petersburg soon afterwards. Although they had had to discontinue their work of preparing for the congresses, they had strengthened Party work in the provinces. News from the localities brought evidence that our anti-war propaganda met with the support of the revolutionary workers.

Chapter XXIII

The November Conference

The Treachery of the Second International – Vandervelde's Letter – The Mensheviks Support the War – Lenin's Theses on the War – The Conference – Proclamation to the Students – Discussion of the Theses

By developing our Party work, conducting anti-war propaganda, and organising a campaign against war, we were acting in accordance with the decisions of the International Socialist Congresses. These congresses had repeatedly condemned war between bourgeois governments, stressed the duty of Social-Democrats to vote against war credits in parliaments and appealed to the workers to end by means of an armed insurrection any war which might occur.

The Basle Congress, the last congress before the war, held in 1912 during the war crisis in the Balkans, addressed a manifesto to the world proletariat in which it declared: "Let the governments remember that the Franco-Prussian war called forth the revolutionary explosion of the Commune, that the Russo-Japanese war brought in its wake the revolutionary movement of all the nations within the Russian Empire.... The workers of the world regard it as a crime to shoot each other in the name of capitalist profits, dynastic rivalries or secret diplomacy." Our Duma fraction based its work on these statements.

Our fraction, then just organised, had sent the following letter to the Basle Congress: "War and bloodshed are necessary to the ruling classes, but the workers of all countries demand peace at all costs. And we, Russian workers, extend fraternal hands to the workers of all other countries and join with them in their protest against war – the disgrace of our time." Later, in April 1913, when there was a danger of a Russo-Austrian clash, the Duma Social-Democratic fraction exchanged letters with the Social-Democratic fraction in the Austrian parliament and with the executive committee of the Hungarian Social-Democratic party. At that time we wrote:

The nations within the Russian Empire know of no justification for this criminal war... we scornfully repulse the anti-German and anti- Austrian agitation of Russian liberals who try to varnish with a progressive colour the barbaric attempt to incite the Russian peoples against the Germans and everything German....

In their reply, the Austrian Social-Democrats expressed joy and satisfaction with our attitude:

We regard your fearless action again Pan-Slav chauvinism as one of the best guarantees of European democracy and European peace.... We are bitterly hostile to your oppressors but we are bound to the Russian people by indissoluble ties in a common struggle for peace and freedom.

As is well known, on the day after war was declared, the leaders of the International committed one of the greatest betrayals in history and deserted the standard of the international working class. Carried away by the wave of nationalism, the Socialist Parties followed the lead of their respective governments and became tools in the hands of their national bourgeoisie. The notorious doctrine of "defencism" made its appearance. The leaders betrayed the revolution and adopted the theory that once war had been declared it was necessary to defend the fatherland, joining the bourgeois press in inciting the worst jingoist passions and calling for a ruthless struggle against the "enemy." The German Social-Democrats declared that they were fighting Russian tsarism, while the Allied Socialists asserted that they supported the war against German militarism and Prussian Junkerdom. Both sides thus supported the imperialist brigands in their attempts to destroy their competitors at the expense of the lives of millions of workers and peasants.

I shall not deal with the details of this betrayal, the voting of war credits and the acceptance of posts in bourgeois cabinets, but shall refer to an attempt to lead the Russian Social-Democrats along the same path. This task was undertaken by Emil Vandervelde, Belgian Socialist and Chairman of the International, who became a minister in the Belgian government in the early days of the war.

A few months previously, in the spring of 1914, Vandervelde came to Russia in order to become acquainted with the Russian working-class movement. At conferences with representatives of the various Social-Democratic tendencies, including our Bolshevik fraction, he had ample opportunity to acquaint himself with the irreconcilable struggle which the Russian proletariat was waging against tsarism. During his stay in Russia he was able to observe the ruthless oppression of the workers by tsarist autocracy. After all this it was particularly strange to hear from Vandervelde a proposal to cease the struggle against tsarism and to support the war which it had engineered. Vandervelde's action is a clear example of the opportunism which overtook the leaders of the International and which finally led them into the position of aiders and abettors of the international bourgeoisie.

Vandervelde's proposal was addressed to both Social-Democratic Duma fractions, and naturally the tsarist government willingly allowed this foreign telegram to reach us. The wording of the telegram reveals the depths of chauvinism to which the European Social-Democrats had fallen:

For Socialists of Western Europe, the defeat of Prussian Militarism – I do not say of Germany, which we love and esteem – is a matter of life or death.... But in this terrible war which is inflicted on Europe owing to the contradictions of bourgeois society, the free democratic nations are forced to rely on the military support of the Russian government.

It depends largely on the Russian revolutionary proletariat whether this support will be effective or not. Of course, I cannot dictate to you what you should do, or what your interests demand; that is for you to decide. But I ask you – and if our poor Jaures were alive he would endorse my request – to share the common standpoint of socialist democracy in Europe.... We believe that we should all unite to ward off this danger and we shall be happy to learn your opinion on this matter – happier still if it coincides with ours.

This telegram was proudly signed "Emil Vandervelde, delegate of the Belgian workers to the International Socialist Bureau and Belgian minister since the declaration of war."

Vandervelde stated that he allowed us to make any use we liked of his telegram; in other words he proposed that we should use it as an argument for stopping our struggle against the war.

It was quite obvious that we could only return one answer. There could be no talk of making peace with tsarism, which remained the principal and implacable enemy of the working class. On the other hand the workers had no enemies in the armies which were facing each other. The enemy in each case was on the near side of the trenches, represented by the national bourgeoisie, against whom the weapon had to be directed. This was the only way in which the Party of the revolutionary proletariat could reply to the appeal of Vandervelde, the king's minister.

At first it seemed that the Mensheviks also were bound to share this point of view. In the joint declaration read in the Duma on July 26, the Mensheviks refused to support the war and did not suggest concluding a truce with the government. But the example of the West European opportunists made them waver in, and then change, their position and they too sank to social patriotism and defencism.

Among the Mensheviks there were several supporters of the final victory of Russia, who considered that it was wrong to vote against war credits and to oppose the war. Vandervelde's message gave rise to violent discussions within the Menshevik fraction as to the reply which should be sent. In the final draft they withdrew their opposition to the war and, after enumerating the hardships suffered under tsarism, wrote:

But in spite of these circumstances, bearing in mind the international significance of the European conflict and the fact that Socialists of the advanced countries are participating in it, which enables us to hope that it may be solved in the interests of international Socialism, we declare that by our work in Russia we are not opposing the war.

The Romanov autocracy was so savage and repulsive that the Mensheviks were, of course, unable to declare openly their support of the government; nevertheless their reply was equivalent to such support. This decision not to oppose the war implied a renunciation of the last traces of a revolutionary struggle against the government, surrendering the working class to the tender mercies of tsarism.

The Bolshevik fraction also drafted its reply to Vandervelde, explaining our attitude to the tasks of the working class in the war. The draft was submitted to a conference of the fraction and Party members which was held in Finland at the end of September, in Kamenev's apartment.

After thorough discussion the text drafted by the fraction was approved. In our reply we rejected outright any suggestion of supporting the war and ceasing the struggle against the government. In opposition to this, we advocated as the task of the Party the utilisation of the war crisis to further the revolution. Military victory for Russian tsarism would merely strengthen the autocratic regime and make the Russian government the greatest obstacle and menace to international democracy. We wrote:

In no circumstances can the Russian proletariat co-operate with the government, nor can it even call for a temporary truce or render it any support. This is not a question of passivity. On the contrary we consider it our most urgent task to wage an implacable struggle against tsarism, on the basis of the demands advanced and supported by the Russian working class during the revolutionary days of 1905, demands which in the past two years have won widespread support in the mass political movement of the Russian workers. During this war, which involves millions of workers and peasants, our task is to counteract the hardships caused by the war by means of developing and strengthening the class organisations of the proletariat and wide masses of democracy and utilising the war crisis in order to prepare the masses for the successful realisation of the tasks of 1905. At the present moment we demand the convocation of a Constituent Assembly and we demand it in the interests of that democracy which your telegram invites us to support.... This is the only way in which we can serve the Russian working class and world democracy, as well as the cause of the International, which, we believe, will have to play an important role in the near future. When the results of this terrible war are summed up, the eyes of backward sections of the masses will be opened and they will be forced to seek salvation from the horrors of militarism and capitalism in the only possible way, namely by the realisation of our common Socialist ideal.

The full text of this reply, signed by the Central Committee, was published in the November issue (No. 33) of the Sotsial-Demokrat.

In addition to deciding on the answer to Vandervelde, the conference dealt with certain current questions of Party life. It was decided to issue another anti-war proclamation (this was published in the beginning of October), and the provisional date for the next All-Russian Party conference was agreed upon. It was proposed that the discussion of the Party attitude to the war should be one of the main items on the agenda.

Lenin's Theses on the War, which had now reached Russia, were to serve as the basis for this discussion. These theses, written in September 1914, defined for the first time the attitude of the Bolshevik Central Committee to the war. Lenin wrote:

From the point of view of the working class and the labouring masses of all the peoples of Russia, by far the lesser evil would be the defeat of the tsarist armies and tsarist autocracy....*

* Lenin, Works, Vol. XVIII, p. 63.

The seventh and last point of the theses advanced the following slogans for Party work:

First, an all-embracing propaganda of the Socialist revolution, to be extended also to the army and the area of military activities ; emphasis to be placed on the necessity of turning weapons, not against the brother wage-slaves of other countries, but against the reaction of the bourgeois governments and parties of all countries; recognition of the urgent necessity of organising illegal nuclei and groups in the armies of all nations to conduct such propaganda in all languages; a merciless struggle against the chauvinism and patriotism of the philistines and bourgeoisie of all countries without exception. Against the leaders of the present International who have betrayed Socialism, it is imperative to appeal to the revolutionary consciousness of the working masses who bear the brunt of the war and are in most cases hostile to chauvinism and opportunism....

These theses formed the foundation for the manifesto of the Central Committee published in No. 33 of the Sotsial-Demokrat, the Party organ, the first number issued after the outbreak of war. The manifesto, which revealed the real meaning of the imperialist war and exposed the treason of the leaders of the International, explained as follows the anti-war position of Russian Social- Democracy:

Our party, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, has suffered, and will yet suffer, great losses in connection with the war. All our legal workers' press has been annihilated. Most of the trade unions have been dissolved and large numbers of our comrades have been imprisoned and exiled. But our parliamentary representatives forming the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction in the .State Duma considered it their unquestionable Socialist duty not to vote for the war credits and even to leave the meeting-hall of the Duma in order more energetically to express their protest; they considered it their duty to brand the politics of the European governments as imperialist. Notwithstanding the tenfold increase of the tsarist government's oppression, our comrade workers in Russia are already publishing their first illegal appeals against the war, doing their duty by democracy and by the International....

And then, later on:

To turn the present imperialist war into civil war is the only correct proletarian slogan. It is indicated by the experience of the Commune, it was outlined by the Basle resolution (1912) and it follows from all the conditions of imperialist war between highly developed bourgeois countries....

Lenin's theses and the Central Committee's manifesto confirmed the correctness of the policy which we had followed in Russia since the commencement of the war and at the same time strengthened that policy by a clear and precise formulation of "defeatism," as the Bolshevik anti-war programme was subsequently called.

When these documents, after great difficulty and in a roundabout way, finally reached us from abroad, we had first of all to inform representatives of local organisations and then together with these representatives work out how the slogans should be applied in practice, i.e. to plan a definite programme of action. This was the main object of the Party conference called by the fraction in November 1914.

The conference had to find a way of freeing the revolutionary movement from the depression which had set in on the outbreak of war. Working-class organisations had been destroyed and a reactionary war terror was raging with increasing force. The reconstruction of the Party organisation in these conditions required strenuous and persistent effort. Technical means were required too. All these main questions of Party work were to form the objects of the conference: the strengthening of contacts between the centre and the local organisations, the organisation of Party work in the army, the setting up of illegal printing presses, the publication of a newspaper, the maintenance of communication with organisations abroad, finance, etc.

We prepared for the conference with the greatest caution and in strict secrecy. Members of the fraction journeyed through the provinces arranging for the election of delegates from all the important industrial centres. The delegates were given addresses of secret meeting-places in St. Petersburg to obtain there all necessary information. In order not to arouse the suspicions of the police, the delegates did not meet the deputies until the conference itself.

Originally it was intended that the conference should be held in Finland, but subsequently we found a suitable place in the outskirts of St, Petersburg in the suburb of Ozyorky. Most of the houses were uninhabited in the winter and No. 28 Viborg Road, where lived Gavrilov, a factory clerk, whose wife allowed us to use their apartment, was almost isolated., Ozyorky was a particularly convenient district because it could be reached by tramcar as well as by railway and the terminus was not far from the Gavrilovs’ house.

After a part of the delegates had arrived in St. Petersburg, the date of the conference was fixed. We all made our way to Ozyorky by different routes. I left home early in the morning and started out in the opposite direction. Having dodged the spies I approached the Neva, jumped into a boat and crossed to the other side ; this was a favourite way of avoiding all pursuit because it was difficult for anybody to get a second boat immediately. On the other side, after altering my direction a number of times, I finally reached the conference.

The other members of the conference had to adopt a similar strategy. The small room contained our Duma fraction, Petrovsky, Muranov, Samoylov, Shagov and myself, and the delegates from the districts: M. Voronin from Ivanovo-Voznesensk, N. N. Yakovlev* from Kharkov, Linde from Riga and two representatives from St. Petersburg, N. Antipov, member of the Executive of the St. Petersburg Committee, and I. Kozlov, a Putilov worker, member of the Insurance Board. It was agreed that Kamenev should come from Finland on the next day. Many of the delegates were unable to attend; one, Alexey Japaridze, from the Caucasus, fell into the hands of the police when he left the railway station in St. Petersburg; others were prevented from leaving their respective cities.

* Comrade Yakovlev was President of the Yenisseisk Province Executive Committee at the beginning of the revolution. He was shot by Kolchak during the Civil War.

The conference started work on the evening of November 2, when all the delegates read reports on conditions in their districts. They described the state of Party organisation, the progress of Party work and the feelings of the workers, particularly with regard to the war. Party cells had suffered heavily as well as the legal organisations; our Party, the leader and guide of the proletariat, had been half destroyed. Yet the skeleton still existed, some Party work was still being done and the question of its extension was bound up with the question of preserving the Duma fraction which acted as the centre and core of the whole organisation.

On the strength of the reports a number of decisions were adopted, taken down by Yakovlev, who acted as secretary to the conference.

The conference then proceeded to the question of a proclamation addressed to students. A joint committee of Bolshevik groups in the Mining, Technological, Medical and Agricultural Institutes had been formed and was displaying considerable activity. We decided to issue a proclamation to assist them in their work.

Proclamations issued in St. Petersburg were usually sanctioned either by the Bureau of the Central Committee or by the St. Petersburg Committee, but if this was impossible for technical reasons, I had the text approved by some group of Party members and then handed it directly to the printers.

In view of the importance of anti-war pronouncements, I decided to submit this proclamation for the consideration of the conference, where it was discussed and sanctioned. The proclamation to the students shows how consistent our attitude to the war was. From the first leaflets which gave simple anti-war slogans we passed on to a relatively detailed analysis and drew definite conclusions from it.

On the second day the conference passed on to the main question of the Party's war platform. Comrade Kamenev opened the discussion. Lenin's theses, which served as the basis for the attitude taken up by the Central Committee towards the war, corresponded to the position which we, in Russia, had taken since the outbreak of war, and definitely confirmed the correctness of that policy. The more precise and clear formulation given by Lenin had completed the task of framing the anti-war platform and our job now consisted in working out how that platform should be realised in practice and made widely known throughout the country.

The discussion of the theses proceeded methodically, point by point, and all delegates participated in the debate, but no objections were raised to the principles outlined, although certain formal amendments were suggested. It was accompanied by the discussion of practical suggestions as to how to carry on our anti-war propaganda. But before the conference could complete its work, the police broke into the room and arrested everyone present.

Chapter XXIV

The Arrest of the Fraction

How the Secret Police Made Ready for the Raid – The Raid – The Arrest – Maklakov Reports to Nicholas the Second – The Government Engineers the Trial – The Duma on the Arrest of the Fraction – Proclamation of the St. Petersburg Committee – Action of the Workers – Lenin on the Arrest of the Bolshevik Fraction

The archives of the police department, which are now thrown open to the public, show how the secret police made ready to deal with our conference. The tsarist government, which had been seeking this opportunity for a long time, decided that this was a chance to catch the Bolshevik deputies red-handed. Information concerning the conference was supplied by the agent "Pelageya," the pseudonym of the agent-provocateur Romanov, a member of the Moscow Party organisation. Romanov was to take part in the conference as the delegate from Moscow, but when they decided to raid the conference, the secret police ordered him to stay away. The police department sent instructions to Moscow to the effect that "the presence of agents at the conference itself is not desirable, but they should remain in close touch with the delegates in order to be able to inform us of the time and place of the conference." At the same time the Moscow secret police urged their agents to exert themselves to discover these particulars and "wire immediately to the department and to the chief of the Finnish gendarmerie so that the latter can arrange for the suppression of the conference."

Assuming that the conference would be held in Mustamyaki, Finland, the task of raiding it and arresting the participants was entrusted to the Finnish gendarmerie. The director of the police department advised Colonel Yeryomin, chief of the Finnish forces, that "it is most desirable to discover at this conference members of the Social-Democratic fraction of the State Duma and that the correspondence on the liquidation of the conference be conducted in pursuance of the regulations relating to districts under martial law."

The police department sent a circular telegram in code to the secret police departments of thirty-three cities instructing them to watch closely delegates from local organisations: "Take all necessary steps to find out the delegates, watch them and wire news of their departure to Colonel Yeryomin at Helsingfors and also to the department."

Railway stations at St. Petersburg were flooded with spies and a special detachment of the secret police was sent to Finland to reinforce Colonel Yeryomin's men. In Byeloostrov on the Finnish frontier, spies were posted who knew all the members of the fraction by sight. And, needless to say, the crowd of spies who dogged our footsteps in St. Petersburg increased and became more brazen than ever.

The Moscow agent-provocateur Romanov, informed the police about the conference itself and the date of its convocation, but it was undoubtedly the St. Petersburg agent-provocateur Shurkanov who revealed the place where it was to be held. Shurkanov, who was at that time working for the St. Petersburg Committee, was present at the preliminary meeting when the place was decided on and he hastened to inform his masters. Consequently the police obtained all the information they desired.

The documents of the secret police show that the arrest of our fraction was not a casual affair such as might happen at any time under a widespread system of spying. The government had decided that the Bolshevik fraction should be destroyed and all that remained was to choose the opportune moment and work out a strategical plan of attack. This was made possible through the work of the agents-provocateurs.

At about 5 p.m. on November 4, the third day of the conference, a deafening knock was heard on the door of the Gavrilovs' house. In a few seconds the door had been forced and our room was invaded by a crowd of police and gendarmes. The police officer in charge drew his revolver and shouted: "Hands up."

In reply to our protests, the officer declared that he had orders to effect a search and presented a document which, on the basis of Clause 23 of the State of Martial Law, authorised him to search the apartment and arrest all persons found in it.

First all the persons present who were not deputies, including Mrs. Gavrilov, were searched. But when the police attempted to search members of the Duma fraction, we protested vigorously and declared to the officer in charge:

"We shall not allow you to search or arrest us. As members of the Duma we enjoy parliamentary immunity according to Articles 15 and 16 of the State Duma Regulations. No one has the right to search or detain us without an authorisation from the Duma. The police are acting illegally and will be liable for committing this act."

Our protest was so determined that it had its effect; the officer hesitated and went to telephone for further instructions. While some of us argued with the police, others managed to destroy many of the documents in our possession. First we destroyed all material concerning the conference, including the minutes, so that the police did not obtain a single document which established the nature of the gathering at Gavrilov's house. We also managed to get rid of a number of papers containing Party addresses and instructions, but we did not have time to destroy all our papers.

The police officer returned with instructions to pay no attention to our protests and accompanied by another high official on whose order the police pounced on us. Each of us was seized by a few policemen and despite our desperate resistance we were all searched in turn. The search was conducted very thoroughly and everything was taken away, all literature, note-books and even our watches.

On Petrovsky they found a copy of the reply to Vandervelde, a copy of the theses on war, the number of the Sotsial-Demokrat containing the manifesto of the Central Committee and several pamphlets published abroad, including the constitution and programme of the Party.

From me the police took a similar collection of literature and a copy of the draft proclamation to the students and a passport in another name, one of the passports used in our illegal work. From Samoylov they obtained a copy of the paper, pamphlets and a note-book containing notes on which his report was based. No documents were found on Shagov.

The most compromising find of the police was Muranov's note-book, which they discovered the following day in the lavatory, where Muranov had attempted to destroy it. In it, Muranov described with painstaking accuracy all his activity in the Urals, information concerning local organisations, pseudonyms of Party members, results of meetings, certain addresses, etc. Muranov's book left no doubts as to the nature of the illegal work on which he was occupied.

After the search, all the members of the conference except the deputies were taken off to prison. The officer again telephoned to his superiors as to what he should do with the Duma members, and then he told us that we were free. On our release he returned our deputy-cards and all our possessions except the documents.

Twelve hours had passed since the appearance of the police and it was dawn when we left the house. The entire surrounding district, which was usually deserted, was flooded with police of all descriptions. Spies accompanied us to the nearest tramcar stop and several boarded the same tram.

The way in which the search was conducted and the subsequent behaviour of the police convinced us that the government would no longer respect the parliamentary immunity of the workers' deputies and that we could expect another police raid at any moment. Therefore we took steps to make the news of the night's events widely known in working-class districts and then proceeded to "clean up" and "put in order" our apartments.

Secret Party documents were kept in our apartments, which hitherto had been regarded as comparatively the safest place. There we had copies of Party instructions and addresses to which literature was to be sent, also correspondence, reports and lists of names, etc. We had established contacts in almost every city and if the documents fell into the hands of the police, thousands of Party members might be imprisoned or exiled and the entire Party organisation destroyed.

All these papers were hastily collected and burnt, so that there was only a handful of ashes waiting for the police to discover. We also had some account books and registers; I tore a number of pages out and destroyed the most compromising entries.

On November 5, the fraction met in my apartment to discuss the new situation. We decided in the first place to spread the news as widely as possible among the masses and, secondly, to apply to the Duma president for protection against the police infringement of our immunity as deputies. Although we realised that we could not count on any protection from the Black Hundred Duma, we decided to make as much fuss as possible in Duma circles in order to draw public attention to our case. After all Rodzyanko was bound to do something in the matter. The search and detention of deputies by the police was a violation of our Duma privileges and, for the sake of dignity, the president had to make some sort of protest.

It must be observed that although the Duma majority savagely attacked the "Left" deputies within the Duma, they were, in general, very touchy about any violation of their privileges. But, of course, their protests never went so far as a quarrel with the government and at the least threat on the part of the latter they ceased at once.

The fraction charged Petrovsky and myself with the task of conducting negotiations with Rodzyanko. We told him all the facts of our illegal detention and search and demanded that he should take steps to have the guilty persons prosecuted.

We left with him a written protest signed by all five of us. He promised to do everything within his competence, but what he actually did and what were the results of his actions will be seen from what follows.

When we left the Duma, the spies were more numerous and more brazen than in the morning; they appeared at each turning and round each corner and surrounded us in a close ring. Never before, notwithstanding the very close watch kept on us, was the behaviour of the police-agents so impudent. Like wild beasts which have tasted blood, they kept circling round us in expectation of the moment when they would be allowed to fall on their prey. For two years the secret police had been waiting for that moment and they were now rejoicing in their victory. This feeling of victory showed on the face of each spy, each police agent.

The police ring round us was becoming tighter and tighter. It was soon to engulf us.

Closely watched by the police in this way, as if afraid that we might escape at the last moment, we were of course unable to get into touch with workers' organisations or organise a protest movement. All we could do was to examine and re-examine our documents and papers, so as to prevent anything incriminating falling into the hands of the police.

I was in bed and had just fallen asleep after several days of worry and anxiety when, about midnight, the bell rang and the police appeared at my door. "Mr. Badayev," said a police officer at my bedside, "I have a warrant for your arrest."

The long-expected moment had arrived. I dressed, packed a few necessities and said good-bye to my family. The whole house was full of police. I went down and out along the dark streets with the police, who took me to the detention prison in Shpalernaya Street. I was carefully searched and placed in solitary confinement. There I learned that all the other members of the fraction had also been arrested during the same night, November 5-6.

At last the tsarist government had laid our Bolshevik fraction by the heels. The question of parliamentary immunity of Bolshevik deputies, like every other attack on the working class, had been decided by the relation of forces, which at that moment seemed to be in favour of the government.

Maklakov, the Minister of the Interior, one of the most reactionary defenders of tsarist autocracy, hastened to report to Nicholas the Second the results of the police exploits at Ozyorky. The "most humble" report, dated November 5, was written before our arrest and apparently for the purpose of obtaining the necessary authority. In this report, Maklakov wrote:

The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party exists in the Russian Empire for the purpose of overthrowing the existing regime and of establishing a republic. Since the commencement of the war, it has conducted propaganda for its speedy termination, setting forth as reasons for this course, the danger of the consolidation of the autocratic regime in case of victory and the consequent postponement of the realisation of the tasks of the Party.

Members of the Fourth State Duma who belong to the Social-Democratic Fraction take an active part in the propagation of these ideas and the fraction directs and guides the criminal activity of the party. The most glaring example of the subversive influence of these Social-Democratic deputies was the huge strike movement and street disorders for which they were responsible last year. Unfortunately it has been impossible to produce proof of their work so as to bring them to trial.

At last, however, the detective service which incessantly watches revolutionary groups, obtained information that the Social-Democratic deputies proposed to call a conference with the participation of prominent Social-Democrats in order to work out a programme of anti-war activity and the overthrow of the monarchic regime in Russia.

On November 4, in a private apartment twelve versts from the capital, in the St. Petersburg District, detectives surprised a meeting attended by the following members of the Social-Democratic Fraction in the Fourth State Duma, Petrovsky, Badayev, Muranov, Shagov, Samoylov, and by six representatives of the Party from various parts of the empire. When the police questioned them as to the object of the meeting, they replied that it was in celebration of the eighth anniversary of their hosts' marriage. But this explanation was proved to be false by the husband of the hostess who arrived some time later.

The search effected among the participants revealed the following material: several copies of a foreign revolutionary paper, Sotsial-Demokrat, the agenda of the meeting dealing with war questions, thirty-two revolutionary pamphlets, party notes and correspondence; and moreover, Badayev, a member of the State Duma, had in his possession the manuscript of a criminal appeal to the students calling on them to take part in the revolutionary movement, and a passport in another name.

All particulars were at once communicated to the judicial authorities, who have instituted a preliminary investigation for the prosecution of all the participants in this criminal meeting, including also the members of the State Duma.

I consider it my humble duty to submit this report to your imperial majesty.

Minister of the Interior, Maklakov.

It must be admitted that with the aid of his very efficient secret police, Maklakov described fairly accurately the activity of the Bolshevik fraction. He reports with annoyance that for a long time the fraction preserved strict secrecy and furnished no facts on which the police could act, and then he tells with glee how at last the deputies were caught.

With the blessing of tsar Nicholas, the government proceeded to stage the trial which was to pass at least "hard labour" sentences. The chauvinist delirium which had swept the country and continued to grow during the first months of the war made the preparation of public opinion more easy. The first public announcement in the Pravitelstvenny Viestnik (Government Messenger) was worded so as to create the impression that a tremendous plot against "the military strength of Russia" had been discovered. The announcement read as follows:

From the commencement of the war the Russian people, conscious of the necessity of maintaining the integrity of the fatherland, has enthusiastically supported the government in its wartime activities. Members of the Social-Democratic associations, however, took up a totally different attitude and devoted their efforts to shaking the military strength of Russia by underground activity and propaganda. In October, the government learned that a secret conference was to be held of representatives of Social-Democratic organisations in order to discuss measures directed against the present regime and for the realisation of their seditious socialist tasks.

This was followed by particulars of the search at Ozyorky: “Since there was no doubt about the seditious purpose of the meeting, the persons caught there were detained, but the members of the State Duma released.”

In spite of the fact that our "five" were already imprisoned in solitary confinement, the Government Messenger cautiously informed its readers that the investigating magistrates had decided that all participants in the conference were to be "detained."

This guarded announcement was a sort of feeler to test what the public reaction would be. The tune was given.

The reactionary press received its instructions and immediately launched a furious attack on our fraction. The language of the Russkoye Znamya was typical: "We should not stand on ceremony with our enemies; the gallows is the only instrument for restoring peace within the country." This appeal was backed up by the rest of the bloodthirsty reactionary press; the liberal papers were at best discreetly silent, and as to the workers' press, it was non-existent at that time.

After the ground had been well prepared, the government announced the arrest of the fraction on November 15. The second government announcement read as follows:

During the preliminary investigation concerning the conference held near Petrograd attended by some members of the Duma and persons from various parts of Russia, it was found that the conference was engaged in discussing a resolution which stated that "the least evil is the defeat of the tsarist autocracy and its army" and in which the slogan was advanced "to carry on as widely as possible among the troops propaganda for a socialist revolution" and "the organisation of illegal cells in the army." All the persons concerned have been arrested.

What effect did this produce on the Duma itself? As I have mentioned, Rodzyanko, after receiving our declaration, promised to "do all he could." A number of deputies belonging to other fractions admitted the necessity of making some protest, but their protests were wholly insincere. As a matter of fact, the Duma majority was entirely in agreement with the government. In so far as they decided to make a protest, they were guided by the fear that the workers would retaliate to this new governmental provocation by another revolutionary outburst.

Since the Duma was not sitting at the moment, the protest could not take the usual form of an interpellation to the government. Therefore, on the initiative of Chkheidze, who was joined by Kerensky of the Trudoviks, Efremov of the Progressives and Milyukov of the Cadets, the question was raised at a regular sitting of the Duma Committee for the assistance of the sick and wounded, which met daily in the president's room.

It was on the morning of November 6, when the Duma was not yet aware of the arrest of the fraction, and therefore the Committee only discussed the question of our search and detention in Ozyorky. The deputies who attended the Committee revealed an undisguised fear of a revolutionary outburst in the country. The attitude of the Octobrists was characteristic. Godnyev, Opochinin and Lutz advocated the necessity of protesting against the action of the police and declared that the attack on the workers' fraction would cause disturbances among the masses and produce disorganisation in the rear of the army. They condemned the provocative action of the government for these purely patriotic reasons.

The result of the discussion was that Rodzyanko sent a letter of protest to Goremykin, the president of the Council of Ministers. The wording of the letter was typical of the falsity of the position of the Duma majority. Although he sent the letter on November 30, almost a month after we had been arrested, Rodzyanko did not say a word about our arrest but confined himself to forwarding our declaration concerning the incidents at Ozyorky.

In the covering letter addressed to Goremykin, Rodzyanko referred to the violation of Article 15 of the Duma constitution and then added: "such action by the authorities cannot be tolerated, the more so since this disregard for the law and the reckless, irresponsible behaviour on the part of the administrative authorities is sowing discontent among the peaceful population and exciting it during the difficult period which we are now passing through, when it is already agitated by the hard conditions of the world war." But what were Rodzyanko's conclusions? Did he demand that the persecution of our fraction should cease? Not in the least. He wound up his letter with the following words: "I allow myself to hope that your excellency will take the necessary steps in the future to protect members of the State Duma from illegal police activities." Thus the whole protest was just a formal declaration and a request that the offence would not be repeated, without a word about any protection for our Bolshevik fraction.*

* This letter was sent to Maklakov, Minister of the Interior, for his consideration. On the letter, which was preserved among the papers at the Police Department, are Maklakov’s remarks which reveal the character of this tsar's first policeman. Rodzyanko's letter made Maklakov furious; after a note "File," he wrote: "I cannot accept the suggestion that the action of the police in establishing that five members of the State Duma are criminals is 'reckless' or 'irresponsible.' This may prove disagreeable to the President of the Duma, but such are the facts. It is not such action that should be described as 'intolerable,' but the fact that grave crimes against the state could be perpetrated with impunity under the cover of 'parliamentary immunity.' The integrity of the Russian state is more important than any parliamentary immunity and the police will always check Duma members who attempt to break the law. It is not the administrative authorities fighting revolution who are sowing discontent among the people, but those who, in connection with such dastardly behaviour, find nothing better to do than to shout about the recklessness of the authorities. It is time that these habits were discarded. The false pathos of indignation is too cynical and out of place in this connection. I thank again those members of the police force who found out and arrested the Duma members."

This meaningless and unavailing letter addressed to Goremykin was the only action of the Duma majority in connection with the arrest of the workers' deputies. The attempt made by the Mensheviks and the Trudoviks to call a special conference of Duma members was resisted by Rodzyanko, who declared that no meetings of deputies during a recess were allowed by law and that, in his opinion, there was no necessity for one.

When the Duma met again in January 1915, after a lengthy interval, the majority would not allow an interpellation to be made concerning our arrest. As the Cadets refused it was impossible to collect the required number of signatures. When Chkheidze and Kerensky devoted large parts of their speeches in the budget debate to the fate of the Bolshevik fraction, the Duma president would not allow the press to reprint them.

Quite naturally, the Black Hundred Duma fully endorsed the action of the Romanov government. The arrest of our fraction completed the rout of all revolutionary organisations and entirely corresponded to the desires of the interests represented in the State Duma. While the government distributed rewards to the police and secret service men, the heroes of the home front, the flower of Russian liberalism, cringed at the feet of the tsarist government.

But what took place in the opposing ranks? In the factories, works and mines? The news of the arrest of the Bolshevik deputies could not fail to arouse the masses. We have seen that even the Octobrists, those miserable props of the government, grasped the fact that the destruction of the Bolshevik fraction was bound to produce a powerful impression on the Russian proletariat. They were not mistaken; the demand for the release of the Bolshevik deputies was advanced along with the basic demands of the revolutionary movement right up to the February Revolution. But at the time of the arrest the working class had not enough strength to undertake any far-reaching movement; the war terror was clutching the country by the throat and all revolutionary activity entailed either death by court-martial or long periods of penal servitude. The arrest of the fraction meant that the chief Party centre in Russia was destroyed. All the threads of Party work had been centred in the Duma "five" and became now disconnected.

The secret police, while it prepared for the arrest of the deputies, took various precautionary measures against any action among the workers in defence of the fraction. The spy service was redoubled in working-class districts and many party members were arrested. Yet in spite of everything, the St. Petersburg Committee managed to issue a proclamation concerning the arrest. The proclamation, hectographed and distributed on November 11, called on the workers to strike and arrange meetings of protest:

Comrades! On the night of November 5, the mean tsarist government, already red with the blood of fighters for democracy, the government of hangmen, which has tortured the exiled workers' representatives of the Second Duma and imprisoned thousands of the best sons of the proletariat, threw into jail the members of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction.

The autocratic government has treated the Duma representatives of 30 million workers with shameless cynicism. The falsity and hypocrisy of the talk about the unity of the tsar and his people is now exposed. An end has been put to the deceit and corruption of the masses.... The tsarist government has gone to the extreme.... The working class and all the forces of democracy are now confronted with the need for taking up the struggle for genuine representation of the people, for the convocation of a constituent assembly.

The war and the state of martial law has enabled the government to carry out their attack on the workers' deputies, who were so valiantly defending the interests of the proletariat.

To the sound of guns and rifles, the government is attempting to drown the revolutionary movement in rivers of blood, and in driving the workers and peasants to slaughter it hopes to kill their hopes of liberty.

Proclaiming phrases about the liberation of all Slavs, the tsarist government is smashing all working-class organisations, destroying the workers' press and imprisoning the best proletarian fighters.

But this is not enough for the enemy of the working class. It was decided to launch an attack against the workers' deputies because they were heroically fighting against the government policy of oppression, violence and iron fetters. The tsarist bandits told the chosen representatives of the working class: "Your place is in prison."

The whole of the working class has been put in prison. A gang of robbers and exploiters, a gang of pogrom-makers has dared to condemn the entire working class of Russia. A challenge of life and death has been flung at the working class. But even the iron repression of martial law will not prevent the workers from uttering their protests. The cry "Down with the hangmen and murderers" will be shouted by millions of Russian workers, prepared to defend their deputies.

Comrades! The St. Petersburg Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party calls on the St. Petersburg workers to arrange meetings and one-day strikes in protest against the acts of this tsarist-landlord gang.

Down with tsarism!

Long live the democratic republic!

Long live the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party!

Long live Socialism!

November 11, The St. Petersburg Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party.

At the same time, the St. Petersburg Social-Democratic students' organisation issued the following proclamation:

Russian absolutism remains true to itself and continues its work against the nation. Its last deed, the arrest of the Social-Democratic Duma Fraction, is equivalent to a coup d’état. The comedy of the people's representation is at an end. The autocrats have acted and the actual naked facts now loom before democracy in all their ugly cynicism.

In issuing its proclamation, the St. Petersburg Committee did not count on the possibility of any extensive action by the workers. Its leaflet was intended to inform the workers of this new governmental crime and to explain the events in a way which countered the patriotic agitation of the government and bourgeois press. Pointing out that the arrest of the fraction was equivalent to the imprisonment of the entire Russian working class, our Party prepared the masses to take up the challenge of the tsarist government.

But the appeal had its immediate effect. At a number of factories the workers called one-day protest strikes and at others they were only prevented from striking by the intervention of fully mobilised police forces.

Thus at the "New Lessner" works, when the workers gathered in the morning to discuss the question of strike action, a strong police detachment which had previously been brought into the works fell upon the workers and made a number of "demonstrative" arrests. By the same means strikes were frustrated at other factories.

At places where strikes did occur, drastic punishment was meted out. Those workers considered most dangerous were pounced on and sent out of St. Petersburg, whilst for others a new punishment was found. Workers who were in the reserve, or whose mobilisation had been delayed by agreement with the military authorities, were immediately sent to advanced positions at the front. Of the 1,500 workers on strike at the Parviainen works, ten were exiled and over twenty reservists were sent to the trenches.

In these conditions the strike movement could not grow to any size, but even these strikes showed that the working-class movement had not been altogether stifled and that sooner or later it would rise again in all its strength.

There was a vast field of work for our Party but it was extremely difficult for the Party to function. The arrest of the fraction had completed the destruction of our organisation. The Central Committee, isolated and cut off from Russia, was confronted with the task of creating anew the whole Party organisation. Lenin, greatly alarmed, wrote to Shlyapnikov in Stockholm: "If this is true, it is a great misfortune," and requested him to find out if the first reports of the arrest of the fraction were correct.

Three days later, when the news was confirmed, Lenin wrote to Shlyapnikov: "It is terrible. Apparently the government decided to wreak its vengeance on the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction and stuck at nothing. We must expect the worst; forged documents, manufactured proofs, false evidence, secret trials, etc." Further on Lenin pointed out the enormous difficulties in connection with Party work, which had increased a hundredfold: "Yet we shall continue. Pravda has educated thousands of class-conscious workers, from whom, in spite of all difficulties, a new group of leaders, a new Russian Central Committee, will arise...."

As always the words of Lenin were inspired by an enormous faith in the strength of the working class and in the victory of the revolution. He clearly envisaged the difficulties hampering the Party's work, but this did not for an instant shake that exceptional force and energy which never abandoned him in the hardest and most difficult periods of the revolutionary struggle.

Chapter XXV

The Trial

In Prison – Question of a Court Martial – Preparations for a Workers' Demonstration – The Trial – The Declaration of the Members of the Fraction – Speech of the Public Prosecutor – Speeches for the Defence – The Sentence

We were placed in solitary confinement under a strict prison regime and isolated from the outside world. Occasionally we heard scraps of news, official reports about the victories of the Russian armies and about the patriotism throughout the country.

A new agitator appeared in the St. Petersburg factories. Trying to realise his "union with the people," Nicholas himself was touring the works, surrounded by a brilliant suite and carefully guarded by crowds of uniformed and plain-clothes police. He visited the Putilov and other establishments and the whole procedure was stage-managed with due observance of all the rules of patriotic demonstrations. Shouts of hurrah, the singing of national anthems, the presentation of ikons, all went off like a play.

But we were not, and could not be, informed what was really happening among the workers, how revolutionary propaganda was being conducted among them and what their genuine feelings were.

We were questioned for the first time two or three days after our arrest, and when we came together we had the opportunity of exchanging a few words. However, we were quickly separated and examined individually.

During the search at Ozyorky we agreed to do all we could to prevent the police being able to prove that we were holding a Party conference. We managed to destroy all important documents, minutes, agenda, etc., and we decided to say that we were on a friendly visit as guests of Mrs. Gavrilov. When questioned by the examining magistrate we followed this course and all pleaded not guilty. We pointed out that we had come to Mrs. Gavrilov as guests and took the occasion to discuss a number of questions about working-class organisations, insurance matters, the publication of a newspaper, etc., and that it was natural that we should take advantage of the opportunity to meet a few representatives of the workers since a visit to our fraction at once rendered a person suspect in the eyes of the police. The fact that some Party literature was found in our possession we explained by pointing out that as deputies we had to keep ourselves informed of the various political tendencies. When questioned about our attitude to the war we referred the magistrate to the declaration read by both Social-Democratic fractions at the Duma session of July 26.

Shagov stated that he had made Mrs. Gavrilov's acquaintance when she came to the fraction on business and that later when she met him in the street she had invited him and the other deputies to call and see her. There was no conference at her apartment and no resolutions had been drafted there and the whole conversation had turned round insurance clubs and the publication of a newspaper.

I declared that I was there at the personal invitation of Mrs. Gavrilov. The nature of that invitation was immaterial to the case. We had had a simple conversation, as among friends, on the events of the day. No conference was held and no resolutions were discussed.

Attempting to pick up some revelation, the magistrate persistently questioned me about my connections with Antipov and Kozlov, the St. Petersburg delegates at the conference. They were both members of the St. Petersburg Committee and Antipov belonged to the Executive of the St. Petersburg Committee. I explained my acquaintance with Antipov by saying that when he was unemployed he called on me and asked me to help him find work. He came with the same object to see me at Gavrilov's. I said that Kozlov was invited in order to talk about the publication of a journal dealing with social insurance, and that I had met Kamenev at the office of Pravda, to which he contributed. The most difficult thing for me to explain away was how I came to be in possession of a passport in another name. I said that workmen often brought me their passports with a request that I should try to get them passes for the public gallery in the State Duma. And then sometimes these documents remained for a long time in my possession until their owners called for them. That was what had happened with the passport found on me. This explanation did not satisfy the magistrate, but he was unable to obtain anything further from me.

Petrovsky answered in a similar way. He had called as a guest for no particular reason and he refused to say who had given him the invitation. He did not know anybody in the Gavrilovs' house except the deputies and Kamenev. All the documents which were taken away from him had been received through the post or through messengers from unknown persons. The corrections in the theses on war were made in his handwriting, but had been proposed by another person whom he did not wish to name and he had intended to make use of these alterations in his Duma work. Petrovsky added that it was impossible to judge his attitude to the war solely from documents which were found on him.

Samoylov stated that the people at Gavrilov's house had met there accidentally and some had come to talk with their deputies. The list of questions found on him had served to aid his memory, as he wished to ask for information of what had happened while he had been abroad undergoing medical treatment.

Kamenev's explanation was that he had come to the house in order to carry on negotiations with regard to the resumption of publication of a workers' newspaper to which he had formerly contributed. He had chosen to meet in the house of a third person because he was afraid to visit Petrovsky's apartment. The conversation had been confined to events of the day and there had been no conference or resolutions. In conclusion, Kamenev said that the contents of the documents found did not coincide with his views on the war.

The other comrades arrested with us, Antipov, Kozlov, Voronin, Yakovlev, Linde and Mrs. Gavrilov made approximately the same depositions. Each explained in his own way his reason for being in St. Petersburg and said that they had just chanced to meet in the house because they had come to see their deputies.

Muranov was in a more difficult position. In his note-book there were many remarks in his own handwriting on the illegal work of the Party. Muranov was unable to disown this book and therefore he resorted to complete silence and refused to give any evidence whatsoever.

We were all questioned separately and after the first occasion we were sent for individually by the magistrate. We had no opportunity of communicating with each other in the prison or of learning what the others had said. Only after the preliminary investigation had been completed, when we were allowed to inspect the material on which the charge was based, did we learn what answers had been made.

The preliminary examination proceeded rapidly, as the government was in a hurry to conclude the trial while the situation was favourable. Our arrest and trial had been planned beforehand so that there was no necessity for any thorough-going investigation. The magistrates and the prosecutor had merely to frame an accusation on the basis of the documents seized to enable the sentence decided on in advance to be pronounced.

By the end of December, after six weeks' imprisonment, the preliminary investigation was completed and we were again called before the investigating magistrate to acquaint ourselves with the results of the investigation. After a long interval we again met each other and were able to come to an agreement as to our behaviour at the trial. The results of the preliminary investigation were set out at length and comprised the documents taken from us, our depositions, information lodged by the police, various proclamations issued in St. Petersburg during the war and various other documents intended to prove that the fraction was guilty of revolutionary work. The reading of all this took several days.

Everything pointed to the possibility of our being tried by court martial and a similar conviction prevailed among our friends outside. They were anxious and were endeavouring with the aid of lawyers to divert our case to the ordinary court,

Ozyorky, where the raid had taken place, was situated in a district where martial law had been declared. It was under a martial law regulation that the raid on the Gavrilovs' house was carried out. Therefore, on formal grounds, we were liable to be tried by court martial. And this admirably suited the government, which wished to deal once and for all with the fraction on the charge of high treason.

Therefore the decision to turn the case over to an ordinary court came to us as a complete surprise. According to the law the accused had the right to inspect all the material on which the charge was based. We made use of this right in order to meet each other and work out a common line of defence. When we started to read the material for the second time, we found at the commencement a ukase in which Nicholas the Second "ordered" that the case be taken out of the hands of the court martial and handed over to an ordinary court. The case was now taken by a special session of the Petrograd High Court.

How can this sudden change in the government plans be explained? Undoubtedly it reflected the change which was occurring in the country. A long list of military defeats and the increasing rumours of the catastrophic state of the army had began to dispel the chauvinist fog, while there was every sign that the working-class movement, although still weak, was recovering. Economic strikes became frequent and in January 1915, political strikes occurred in some districts. The government could no longer count on the news of the punishment of the workers' deputies being received with patriotic shouts of joy.

These considerations led Nicholas the Second to sign his "gracious" ukase and the government to refrain from its original intention of having the workers' deputies shot.

In a proclamation published just before the trial, the St. Petersburg Committee explained to the workers the meaning of the government's retreat:

The workers' deputies are about to be tried. Originally the government proposed to accuse them of high treason and published this calumny in its newspapers. But they failed. They wanted to try them by court martial, but the supreme rulers and directors of the present wholesale murder, after calling the ministers fools, told them that to court-martial the representatives of the workers would mean sowing disaffection everywhere with their own hands.

By the time of the trial the atmosphere of "high treason," "plot," etc., carefully spread by the government, had to a large extent evaporated. The newspaper reports dealing with the trial could not hide the fact that it would be a trial of the workers:' deputies in the Duma for their political activities. In order to revive the original impression, the government unleashed its faithful watchdog, the Black Hundred press, which with loud barks tried to simulate public indignation. All the Black Hundred papers demanded the extreme penalty for the "criminals"; of the whole pack, none were more fierce and merciless than Svyet (Light).

Svyet accused the fraction of not following in the footsteps of West European socialists and, of course, it did not fail to refer to "German gold," which subsequently became one of the most common accusations against the Bolsheviks. After pouring out as much abuse as it could, Svyet wrote:

These unworthy bearers of a high title – probably under the influence of German agents who are not sparing of their gold – played into the hands of Germany so obviously that there can be no question of any innocent error on their part while acting in conformity with the pernicious teaching of Socialism. Socialists exist in other countries too, but everywhere, in England, France and Belgium, the moment war was declared, they renounced their internal struggles and joined the national ranks against the formidable enemy, German militarism.

Even German Socialists renounced their Utopias for the duration of the war and are behaving like their bourgeois friends. It is only to Russian workers that the honourable Duma Socialists give their advice to act on theories of non-resistance to evil, peace at any price, etc., and it is only Russian Socialists who attempt to stir up internal disorders in war time.

The newspaper demanded the "severest possible sentence on the chiefs of the discovered plot, who had the effrontery to hide behind parliamentary immunity in order to perform their treachery."

For two years the government and the Black Hundreds had been forced to tolerate the activity of the Bolshevik fraction. Although they perfectly understood its purpose, they had been afraid to act out of fear of a revolutionary outbreak. Now, having taken the plunge, they were determined to finish us off. The task of the Party was to rouse the working class and to demonstrate that no sentence, however drastic, could check the working-class movement, and that sooner or later the workers would face their enemies at the barricades.

Our Party organisations were feverishly preparing for the trial. Despite strict police surveillance and the many gaps in the Party ranks, the St. Petersburg Committee issued a number of leaflets dealing with the trial, of which the following is a specimen.

Remember the events of the last two years. Who defended the workers' interests in the Duma? Who disturbed the ministers most with interpellations concerning the lawless actions of the authorities? Who demanded investigations into factory explosions, etc.? Who organised collections for victimised comrades? Who published Pravda and Proletarskaya Pravda? Who protested against the slaughter and mutilation of millions of people in the war? To these questions there is only one answer – the workers' deputies. And for their activity, they are to be sent to hard labour. The defence of the workers' deputies is the cause of the workers. The liberals share the pleasure of the government; the Trudoviks and Chkheidze's fraction seem to have suddenly become deaf and dumb....

Who then can defend the workers' deputies? Only those who elected and supported them; only the proletariat can demonstrate that for them the trial is a serious matter and that they do not intend to allow it to pass off as quietly and as smoothly as the ministers, the liberals and the secret police would wish.

Prior to the publication of this proclamation, some leaflets were issued on the anniversary of January 9 (22), in which the slogan of a protest against the trial of the fraction was advanced: "The working class must protest against this outrageous insult to its representatives. It must strain all efforts so as to act with its ranks closed on that day...."

The secret police prepared for the trial by further arrests of militant workers, but the Party committee conducted an intense agitation at factories and works. The day before the trial, the St. Petersburg Committee issued another proclamation calling for strikes and demonstrations:

Comrades! It is the working class which is in the dock, represented by deputies who were elected by the workers and who have acted in complete agreement with the workers.... Under the cover of the rumble of guns and the rattling of sabres, the government proposes to bury alive one more fraction of the working class.

Comrade workers! Let us prove that the enemy is mistaken in his calculations, let us prove at this critical moment, when our deputies are threatened with hard labour, that we are with them. Let us proclaim our solidarity with the accused and demonstrate that we are ready to fight to defend our chosen representatives.

Comrade workers! Strike on February 10, arrange meetings and demonstrations, protest against the tsarist mockery of the working class....

The leaflet of the United Students' Committee, issued on the same day, called on the revolutionary students "to support the proletariat in its protest by means of meetings, strikes and demonstrations."

The proclamations of the St. Petersburg Committee were circulated among the workers, arousing their revolutionary spirit, and caused the secret police a great deal of anxiety. Invested with extensive powers under martial law, the police took preventive measures to stop any increase of revolutionary feeling among the workers. On the day of the trial strong police forces appeared at all the main factories and works and police detachments patrolled the streets surrounding the court.

Strangled by these precautionary measures, the strike movement could not assume large proportions, but several strikes occurred and the workers made many attempts to march to the court. Students held a number of meetings and passed resolutions of protest. In this atmosphere of fierce police repression, while the workers were seething with suppressed resentment, the trial of the Bolshevik Duma fraction opened.

The silence of the Liberal bourgeoisie betrayed their satisfaction at the trial of the workers' deputies. Just before the trial the Cadets prohibited any member of their party from acting as counsel for the defence and based their decision on their disagreement with our views on the war. The Cadets endorsed in advance the drastic sentence which the tsarist government had prepared.

The trial started in the morning of February 10. By an inner passage we were brought into the High Court and placed in the dock opposite the lawyers. The public sections of the court were crowded and we could see here and there the faces of relatives and friends. Several deputies were present, including Rodichev, Milyukov, Efremov and members of the Trudovik and Menshevik fractions. Several tsarist dignitaries occupied specially reserved seats and behind the judges we could see Witte, the creator of the State Duma and the author of the law on parliamentary immunity. Representatives of all shades of the press were present, but the government took steps to suppress any speeches and evidence which might be used for agitational purposes. The military censorship ruthlessly cut out whole passages from the reports of the trial.

The most prominent judges were appointed to try our case. The president of the court was Senator Krasheninnikov, the public prosecutor was Nenarokomov; both had had extensive experience in conducting political trials. In short, the court was packed in such a way that there was no doubt that it would do the will of the tsarist ministers.

The trial opened with the roll-call of the defendants and witnesses. One of the counsel petitioned for the calling of an additional witness, N. I. Jordansky,* in order to elucidate Kamenev's views on the war. The court rejected this petition and proceeded with the reading of the indictment.

* N. I. Jordansky was at that time a "defencist." Subsequently he joined the Communist Party.

The indictment started by enumerating the proclamations issued in St. Petersburg and attributing their publication to the fraction. It continued:

In order to intensify their revolutionary work, the State Duma members, who belong to the Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction, decided to call a party congress in St. Petersburg. This congress, known in Social-Democratic circles as the "conference," was to discuss further measures of revolutionary struggle against the war. Representatives of Party organisations in various parts of Russia were invited to attend.

After mentioning the discovery of the delegates in Gavrilov's house, the indictment gave detailed extracts from all the documents found on the accused or in the house; on the basis of the data obtained during the preliminary investigation, we were charged with:

Taking part in a criminal association which, subordinated to the control of the Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, aimed at the overthrow, by means of an armed insurrection, of the regime established in Russia under fundamental laws and its replacement by another on the basis of a democratic republic.

To this end, the indictment pointed out, the members of the fraction entered into communication with and assisted in the foundation of "secret organisations," attended meetings and took part in the drafting of resolutions of these organisations, guided their work, kept in touch with the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. and organised money collections for party objects. Also, the fraction members "communicated with each other and with the members of secret organisations by means of secret codes," arranged "secret mass meetings of workers, calling on them to form secret organisations for the purpose of armed insurrection," drafted and distributed revolutionary anti-war leaflets, etc. The concluding part of the indictment dealt with the convocation of the conference at which there was a discussion concerning "the resolution deciding the programme for immediate action of the members of the association during the military operations against Germany and Austria."

The indictment covered all aspects of Party life and all, except Mrs. Gavrilov, were charged under Article 102, part 1, of the Criminal Code, which provided a penalty up to eight years' hard labour. Mrs. Gavrilov was charged under Article 163 for aiding and abetting and failing to report to the authorities.

After reading the indictment, the president of the court asked us whether we pleaded guilty. In accordance with our original decision we all replied in the negative, as at the preliminary investigation.

When we were allowed to inspect the documents in the room of the investigating magistrate, we had worked out our general line of action in the court. We agreed on the substance of a declaration which was to be read by Petrovsky as president of the fraction. Following him, each of us was to endorse his statement and expound it more fully.

When the examination began, Petrovsky volunteered to give his explanations first. He spoke as follows:

Gentlemen judges, since it is the fraction that is being tried here I must refer to it in a few words. We were elected by the workers under the banner of Social Democracy. We entered the Duma and formed the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Fraction supporting the Bolshevik tendency in the Party.

Stressing the fact that the entire activity of the fraction was in harmony with the sentiments of the workers, Petrovsky pointed to the support given by the fraction to the workers' press, to trade union and educational organisations, the insurance campaign, etc.

Petrovsky acknowledged that a conference was held in the Gavrilovs' house and stated that the conference was called to ascertain the sentiments of the workers, because now that the workers' press had been suppressed, the fraction had to be informed of the opinions of the workers on political questions in order to pursue its work in the Duma. The delegates to the conference were not previously informed of the agenda. Kamenev had been invited to discuss the question of restarting the paper and this question stood first. Then it was proposed to discuss our attitude to Polish autonomy, our lending assistance to the families of workers called to the colours, etc. Finally we proposed to discuss a resolution consisting of seven points dealing with the war, but this was prevented by the intrusion of the police. Petrovsky stated that he had received this resolution, which represented the opinion of the Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, from a certain Social-Democrat who proposed that the fraction be guided by it in its activity in the Duma. The fraction considered that it was necessary first to discuss the resolution with representatives of the workers. He concluded his speech as follows:

We are being tried for our staunch defence of the rights of the people. We are to be condemned because we earned the confidence of the working class and because we defended the workers' interests to the best of our abilities. Therefore, we regard our trial as the greatest injustice.

Muranov spoke after Petrovsky. He confined himself to a few words in which he endorsed everything said by Petrovsky. He added that he belonged to the Party only in so far as he was a member of the fraction and under the existing laws deputies were not liable to prosecution for belonging to a fraction; surely the members of the Social-Democratic fraction could not be tried for it?

In my turn, I said:

"I endorse the words spoken by Petrovsky. On all questions concerning our activity, we addressed ourselves to the workers, heard their opinions and told them ours. We had to introduce interpellations and bills into the Duma and for this purpose it was necessary to know the opinions of our constituents. The authorities refused to allow us to arrange talks with our constituents, therefore we had to find other means of communication. These means were meetings and conferences with delegates from the workers and the careful examination of material or documents sent to us, such as those which were taken from me at the time of the search. The fraction did all it could for the workers' paper and the Ozyorky conference was mainly devoted to the question of founding a new paper. Tor this purpose we considered it essential that we should hear the opinions of delegates from various cities."

The next to speak was Shagov. He stated that he shared the standpoint embodied in the joint declaration of the two Social-Democratic fractions read in the Duma.

Samoylov, who was the last of the fraction to address the court, referred to his illness which had forced him to spend several months abroad. When he returned to St. Petersburg at the beginning of November he wished to become acquainted with events that had taken place in his absence. He invited Voronin to come to see him because Voronin was a well-known figure in working-class circles.

At the trial we followed the same tactics that we had adopted during the preliminary investigation. We tried not to give the court any clues, any direct indications concerning the Party's revolutionary work. The court had a number of suspicions, but these had to be proved, and it was not our intention to assist the court officials in this task. On the contrary, we did all we could to- prevent it.

The other defendants followed the same line in giving their evidence, Kamenev emphasised, as he had done during the preliminary investigation, that he was a professional journalist who had worked for the workers' press and was therefore interested in its existence. This had brought him to Ozyorky where the question of restarting the paper was to be discussed. Accused under his real name, Rosenfeld, he admitted that he used the pseudonym Kamenev for literary purposes.

The questioning of the other defendants was mingled with the examination of the witnesses. The main witnesses were policemen and secret service men who confirmed the circumstances of the arrest, the finding of the proclamations and any other facts necessary to the court to enable it to pronounce sentence. Special attention was paid to Muranov's note-book and Petrovsky's personal diary.

As I mentioned before, Muranov's notes relating to his journey in the Urals clearly disclosed his participation in underground revolutionary activity. Therefore, in answer to questions put by the president of the court, he was forced to admit that he had been engaged in illegal work. He stated that he took part in meetings of local committees, arranged mass meetings of workers, etc., and:

“I called on them to organise. There were trade unions, co-operatives and educational societies, and I insisted that Social-Democrats must do all they could to gain influence in these organisations. I regarded it as my duty to set up such organisations.”

The hurried examination was concluded on the second day of the trial and the court passed on to the next formality, the counsel's speeches, as if these speeches could affect in the slightest the pre-arranged sentence.

The public prosecutor started by praising the leaders of West European Socialist parties, who at the commencement of the war had betrayed the International and become patriotic defenders of their respective fatherlands. Only the Russian Social-Democratic Party had not followed the "call to sanity." He said that the Social-Democratic fraction in the Duma, in refusing to vote the war credits, had announced "an open break with the government at the moment when the latter was most in need of the union of all sections of the population."

The public prosecutor argued that the fraction in its activity was directly under the control of the Central Committee of the Social-Democratic Party, and that following the instructions of the Central Committee, the fraction began to develop its anti-war revolutionary propaganda. He insisted that an important Party conference was held in Ozyorky to determine the subsequent tactics of the Party in its struggle against the war.

The public prosecutor concluded:

"The present case is extremely important both as regards the persons and the questions involved. We have to deal with a firmly welded organisation – the Russian Social-Democratic Fraction.... At a moment when the state is straining every nerve to fight the external foe, when at the frontiers the blood of the Fatherland's sons is being shed unceasingly, the defendants, for the sake of a few paragraphs in their Party programme, stretch out their hands in friendship to the enemy behind the backs of our brave defenders. These people want to deal our gallant army a stab in the back, to bring disorganisation into its ranks. But now they find themselves in the dock, and when our heroes return from the battlefield we want to be able to face them and tell them how we treated those who wished to betray them."

After the public prosecutor, the defending counsel began their speeches. They belonged to a definite group of political lawyers who had had considerable experience in trials of revolutionaries.

The counsel first of all made it their aim to reveal the political nature of the trial, to show that the trial of the workers' deputies was an arbitrary act of the tsarist government and that such trials were only possible in a country where political liberty was trampled underfoot by the boots of the police. Demyanov said:

"This case is of immense historic importance. Do not forget that the five members of the State Duma are the chosen representatives of the peasants and workers who not only trust but love them, for they are flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone. How many other members of the Duma can assert that they are the genuine representatives of the people?... The defendants need not fear condemnation. They will not remain long in exile but will soon return in triumph. The army – the people – when they return from the war, will ask sternly and insistently, 'where are our chosen representatives? Where are our elected deputies? Where are our cherished friends...?’ "

"The sentence will not remain a secret buried in this hall," said another counsel, Pereverzev, "and it will not only be known in St. Petersburg; the news will spread like wildfire throughout the Russian land. It is possible to violate parliamentary immunity, but it is impossible to stamp out of the people's memory the injustice and deep significance of this action. The deputies are condemned for being faithful to their duties, everyone knows that. When the prison gates shut behind them, let them remember – and these are not our feelings alone – that sorrow and respect accompany them there...."'

Sokolov emphasised that the members of our fraction were the only real representatives of the working class:

"Five deputies are in the dock. They were all sent to the State Duma by the votes of the working class and have the right to be regarded as the representatives of the workers. All of them are Social-Democrats; the working class has sent Social-Democrats to represent it in all four State Dumas. The Russian workers invariably choose Social-Democrats to represent them and Social-Democracy in Russia does not even enjoy freedom of the press to the extent that other political tendencies do...."

Kuchin, Antipov's counsel, described the social environment in Russia "where the people's representatives are unable to meet their constituents openly, but in order to do so must steal about like thieves to a deserted house and sit there in hiding with the windows covered up by blankets," where “agents of the secret police have the effrontery to shout insults at the people's representatives whom they have arrested; it is this social environment,” declared the counsel, "that is responsible for the defendants being in the dock."

The other defending counsel described the tremendous social importance of the trial in similar terms. Often they only hinted at this, but their hints made such an impression that the president of the court interrupted them and requested them to speak on topics "more relevant to the issue."

The second aim of the counsel was to do all they could to mitigate the punishment. For this purpose they analysed the incriminating material in a sense more favourable to the defendants. They devoted their main efforts to refuting the charge of "high treason" which had been alleged by the public prosecutor. Referring to the Ozyorky conference, they asserted that, in view of the few members who attended it, it could in no way be regarded as a Party congress, but that it was simply a consultation of the deputies with a few workers. Finally the counsel also advanced a number of legal points on the basis of which they objected to the formulation of the indictment.

The speeches for the defence closed the proceedings. Now there only remained the pronouncement of the sentence. This was the fourth day of the trial; the court-room was more crowded than at the commencement and everyone was waiting with tense interest for the final act of the drama.

Nearly a whole day was spent on formalities, the framing of questions for the court, amendments by counsel, objections by the public prosecutor, etc. The judges finally withdrew to consider the judgment at 8 p.m. The crowd in the court-room was expectant. Relatives and friends were anxious for those dear to them, and the others were conscious of the enormous historical significance of the trial and the sentence.

A strong police detachment entered the court, filled all the passages and watched the entire audience – the government was still afraid of demonstrations despite all their precautions.

Three hours passed. Our counsel, seated in front of us, advised us to be prepared for the worst. "The sentence," they said, "may be extremely severe. What matters here is not the legal proof, but the orders which the court has received from the government. We must be prepared for anything."

Finally the judges filed into the court, and in a tense silence Krasheninnikov read out the sentence.

Petrovsky, Muranov, Shagov, Samoylov and myself together with Kamenev, Yakovlev, Linde and Voronin were found guilty and sentenced under Article 102, part 2, to the loss of civil rights, exile to distant regions and confiscation of property. Mrs. Gavrilov and Antipov were found guilty under Article 136, part 2, for not informing the authorities and were condemned to imprisonment in a fortress, the former for one year and six months, the latter for eight months, the period of preliminary detention to be included. Kozlov was acquitted owing to lack of proof.

The trial ended about midnight. We were led through dark corridors which connected the court-room with the prison and parted from each other, realising that it might be a long time before we met again. Knowing the ways of tsarist officials, we expected to be sent to different places at different times. On the iron prison staircase, we embraced and kissed each other and cheerfully wished each other good luck and a store of patience during the term of exile.

On the next day we were introduced to the hard labour regime. We became convicts deprived of all property and civil rights. Needless to say none of us had any "property" and the only things that could be confiscated were those which we had with us in prison, and this was promptly done. But the essence of "loss of rights" did not consist in this. Under tsarist laws, a convict was treated as an outlaw, a man who had no right to any protection. A convict was a man whom the most brutal of gaolers could treat as he liked.

We were taken to the depot and given the regulation convict's outfit. These were the only clothes we had for every occasion during our prison life. The convicts' garb was in a filthy condition; in addition to dirt there were traces of pus, mucus and dried blood. These clothes had done service for many a generation of prison inhabitants and every garment spoke more loudly than words of past suffering and at the same time acted as a warning for the future.

As we put on these clothes we felt acutely our new position as convicts; how the thoughts chased through our minds during those few moments! We had long felt that this moment would come sooner or later. The working class had sent us to the front of an unequal struggle and the government was bound to vanquish us as individuals. Our every step had brought us closer to this fate. Now it had come as a reward for our work during the preceding years.

But along with these thoughts there were others, of the future of the working-class movement and the new trials which it would have to face. How would the work of our Party be conducted now? It would be necessary to establish new links in the chain of organisation. How would this be achieved, how could the difficulties be overcome?

Along with the prison garb there came the regime of hard labour; rough treatment, harsh tones and shouts from the warders, etc. For all this there was no redress; we were outlaws and could not expect protection from any quarter.

As soon as I became a convict, I began to be prosecuted on a number of charges which had accumulated during my activities in the Duma. After almost every episode in the revolutionary struggle of the St. Petersburg workers, the authorities had laid charges against me, hoping sooner or later to land me in jail.

I was prosecuted several times for articles in Pravda, in connection with the case of the Putilov workers, for my speech at the funeral of one of the Parviainen workers, for addressing the workers at the railway shops, etc.

I was accused under various articles of the legal code and all these counts were now prepared for trial. Under the existing laws, however, the lesser punishment was merged into the bigger one. The investigating magistrates had the satisfaction of seeing me in convict's garb and feeling that, at any rate, their "work" had not been wasted!

After several months in the St. Petersburg prison, we were transferred to a prison in distant Siberia. In the convict train, in boats, on foot, we were taken to the Turukhansk district, the worst district of Siberia both as regards climate and general living conditions. From the standpoint of exiles, Turukhansk was a blind alley, a trap from which there was no escape. It was no chance that practically the whole of the Russian Bureau of our Bolshevik Central Committee turned out to be there.*

* The following comrades were exiled in Turukhansk at that time: Comrades Sverdlov, Stalin, Spondaryan, Goloschokin and a number of other leading Party members.

At last the tsarist government had smashed the Bolshevik Duma fraction and completed its task of destroying all working-class organisations. Having put fetters on the workers' deputies, tsarism proceeded to enchain the whole Russian proletariat.

But something went wrong in the calculations of the government. The government of Nicholas the Bloody, far from stifling the revolutionary movement, could not even force the prisoners to desist from their revolutionary work. Even as convicts in Siberia we continued to play our part in the revolutionary struggle.

The tsarist government prepared still further punishments for the workers' deputies. Comrade Petrovsky, while in exile at Yenisseisk, was ordered to be taken to distant Yakutia. A fresh prosecution was commenced against me for "organising defeatist groups among-the exiles and the local population," a prosecution which threatened dire punishment. The government, however, did not have time to complete this plan. The February Revolution intervened.

It was with joy that, in our distant Siberian exile, we listened to the revolutionary waves thundering ever louder and louder. The working class had again entered the arena of struggle. Each day its demands sounded louder and more insistent. When the workers again reformed their ranks, they did not forget our Bolshevik fraction. On the anniversary of our trial protest strikes occurred throughout Russia. Every meeting coupled the demand for the release of the deputies with the fundamental demands of the working class. And this demand was one of the slogans of the St. Petersburg workers when they took control of the streets in the historic days of February 1917.

The February Revolution opened wide the prison doors and broke the fetters of the prisoners of tsarism. Hundreds and thousands of liberated revolutionaries returned along the Siberian route. In villages, hamlets and at railway stations, crowds of people welcomed the workers' deputies with revolutionary songs. Revolutionary meetings were held all along the route.

In the last days of March, 1917, we were back again in St. Petersburg among the revolutionary workers. After storming the strongholds of tsarist autocracy, these workers, under the well-tried leadership of the Bolsheviks, had already started their struggle for the complete abolition of capitalism.

The pre-war years, years of an exceptional growth and spread of the working-class movement, played a tremendous part in preparing for the great fights of October.

The 1905 Revolution, the pre-war years of revival and growth, the February Revolution and finally the October Revolution, are the four stages in the Russian workers' revolutionary struggle, the four great steps which the working class took to reach the final victory of the proletarian revolution.

The End


What Has the Trial of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction Proved?

By V. I. Lenin

The tsarist trial of five members of the R.S.-D.W. Fraction and six other Social-Democrats seized at a conference near Petrograd on November 17, 1914, is over. All of them have been sentenced to exile in Siberia. From the accounts of the trial published in the legal press the censorship has cut out items unpleasant to tsarism and patriots. The "internal enemies" were dealt with decisively and quickly, and again nothing is seen or heard on the surface of public life apart from the mad howl of a host of bourgeois chauvinists seconded by handfuls of social-chauvinists.

What, then, has the trial of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction proved?

It has proved, first, that this advance detachment of revolutionary Social Democracy in Russia did not show sufficient firmness at the trial. It was the aim of the defendants to make it difficult for the State Attorney to identify the members of the Central Committee in Russia and the Party representative who had had certain dealings with workers' organisations. This aim has been accomplished. In order that we may accomplish similar aims in the future, we must resort to a method long recommended officially by the Party, namely, refusal to testify. However, to attempt to show solidarity with the social-patriot, Mr. Jordansky, as did Comrade Rosenfeld (Kamenev. – Ed.), or to point out one's disagreement with the Central Committee, is an incorrect method; this is impermissible from the standpoint of revolutionary Social- Democracy.

We call attention to the fact that according to the report of the Dyen (Day) (No. 40) – there is no official and complete record of the trial – Comrade Petrovsky declared: "At the same period (in November) I received the resolution of the Central Committee, and besides this... there were presented to me resolutions of workers from seven localities concerning the attitude of the workers towards the war, resolutions coinciding with the attitude of the Central Committee."

This declaration does Petrovsky honour. Chauvinism was running high everywhere. In Petrovsky's diary there is a phrase to the effect that even radically minded Chkheidze spoke with enthusiasm of a war for "liberty". This chauvinism was resisted by the Deputies, members of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction, when they were free; it was also their duty to draw the line between themselves and chauvinism at the trial.

The Cadet Ryech (Speech) servilely "thanks" the tsarist court for "dispelling the legend" that the Russian Social-Democratic Deputies had wished the defeat of the tsarist armies. The Ryech takes advantage of the fact that the Social-Democrats in Russia are bound, hand and foot. The Cadets make believe that they take seriously the so-called "conflict" between the Party and the fraction, declaring that the defendants testified freely, not under the judicial sword of Damocles. What innocent babes! As if they do not know that in the first stages of the trial the Deputies were threatened with court-martial and capital punishment.

It was the duty of the comrades to refuse to give evidence concerning the illegal organisation; bearing in mind the world-historic importance of the moment, they had to take advantage of the open trial in order directly to expound the Social-Democratic views which are hostile not only to tsarism in general, but also to social-chauvinism of all and every shade.

Let the governmental and bourgeois press wrathfully attack the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction; let Socialist-Revolutionaries, Liquidators and social-chauvinists (who must fight somehow, if they cannot fight us on the issue of principles!) maliciously "pick out" manifestations of weakness or of a so-called "disagreement with the Central Committee." The Party of the revolutionary proletariat is strong enough openly to criticise itself, unequivocally to call a mistake and a weakness by their proper names. The class-conscious workers of Russia have created a Party and have placed at the front a vanguard which, when the World War is raging and international opportunism is bankrupt the world over, has proved most capable of fulfilling the duty of international revolutionary Social-Democrats. Our road has been tested by the greatest of all crises, and has proved over and over again the only correct road. We shall follow it still more determinedly and more firmly, we shall push to the front new advance-guards, we shall make them not only do the same work but complete it more correctly.

Secondly, the trial has unfolded a picture of revolutionary Social-Democracy taking advantage of parliamentarism, the like of which has not been witnessed in international Socialism. This example will, more than all speeches, appeal to the minds and hearts of the proletarian masses; it will, more than any arguments, repudiate the legalist-opportunists and anarchist phrase-mongers. The report of Muranov's illegal work and Petrovsky's notes will for a long while remain an example of our Deputies' work which we were compelled diligently to conceal, and the meaning of which will give all the class-conscious workers of Russia more and more food for thought. At a time when nearly all "Socialist" (excuse me for debasing this word!) deputies of Europe proved to be chauvinists and servants of chauvinists, when the famous "Europeanism" that had charmed our Liberals and Liquidators proved a routine habit of slavish legality, there was a Workers' Party in Russia whose deputies neither shone with fine rhetoric, nor had "access" to the bourgeois intellectual drawing rooms, nor possessed the business-like efficiency of a "European" lawyer and parliamentarian, but excelled in maintaining connections with the working masses, in ardent work among those masses, in carrying out the small, unpretentious, difficult, thankless and unusually dangerous functions of illegal propagandists and organisers. To rise higher, to the rank of a deputy influential in “society” or to the rank of a Minister, such was in reality the meaning of the "European" (read: lackey-like) "Socialist" parliamentarism. To go deeper, to help enlighten and unite the exploited and the oppressed, this is the slogan advanced by the examples of Muranov and Petrovsky.

And this slogan will have a world-wide historic significance. There is not one thinking worker in any country of the world who would agree to confine himself to the old legality of bourgeois parliamentarism once it has been abolished in all the advanced countries by a stroke of the pen (a legality which brought about only a more intimate practical alliance between the opportunists and the bourgeoisie). Whoever dreams of "unity" between revolutionary Social-Democratic workers, and the "European" Social-Democratic legalists of yesterday and of to-day has learned nothing and forgotten nothing and is in reality an ally of the bourgeoisie and an enemy of the proletariat. Whoever has failed to grasp at the present day for what reason and for what purpose the Social-Democratic Workers Fraction had split away from the Social-Democratic Fraction that was making peace with legalism and opportunism, let him learn now, from the report of the trial, of the activities of Muranov and Petrovsky. This work was conducted not only by those two deputies, and only hopelessly naive people can dream of a compatibility between such work and a "friendly tolerant relation" with the Nasha Zarya or the Severnaya Rabochaya Gazeta, the Sovremennik, the Organisation Committee, or the Bund.

Does the government hope to frighten the workers by sending into Siberia the members of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction? It is mistaken. The workers will not be frightened; on the contrary, they will better understand their aims, the aims of a Labour Party as distinct from the Liquidators and the social-chauvinists. The workers will learn to elect to the Duma men like the members of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction for similar and broader work, and at the same time they will learn to conduct still more secret activities among the masses. Does the government intend to kill "illegal parliamentarism" in Russia? It will only strengthen the connections of the proletariat exclusively with that kind of parliamentarism.

Thirdly, and this is most important, the trial of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction has, for the first time, yielded open objective material, spread over Russia in millions of copies, concerning the most fundamental, the most significant question as to the relation to the war of various classes of Russian society. Have we not had enough of that nauseating intellectual prattle about the compatibility of "defence of the fatherland" with internationalism "in principle" (that is to say, purely verbal and hypocritical internationalism)? Has not the time come to face the facts that relate to classes, i.e., to millions of living people, and not to dozens of phrase-heroes?

More than half a year has passed since the beginning of the war. The press, both legal and illegal, has expressed itself. All the party groupings of the Duma have defined their positions, these being a very insufficient but the only objective indicator of our class groupings. The trial of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction, and the press comments, have summed up all this material. The trial has shown that the advanced representatives of the proletariat in Russia are not only hostile to chauvinism in general but that, in particular, they share the position of our Central Organ. The Deputies were arrested on November 17, 1914. Consequently, they conducted their work for more than two months. With whom and how did they conduct it? What currents in the working class did they reflect and express? The answer to this is given in the fact that the conference used the “theses” of the Sotsial-Demokrat as material, that the Petrograd committee of our Party more than once issued leaflets of the same nature. There was no other material at the conference. The Deputies did not intend to report to the conference about other currents in the working class, because there were no other currents.

But did not the members of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction express only the opinion of a minority of the workers? We have no right to make such a supposition, since, for two and a half years, from spring, 1912, to autumn, 1914, four-fifths of the class-conscious workers of Russia rallied around the Pravda with which these Deputies worked in full ideological solidarity. This is a fact. Had there been a more or less appreciable protest among the workers against the position of the Central Committee, this protest would not have failed to find expression in the proposed resolutions. Nothing of the kind was revealed at the trial, although the trial, we are frank to say, did "reveal" much of the work of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction. The corrections in Petrovsky's hand do not reveal even the slightest shade of any difference of opinion.

The facts tell us that, in the very first months after the beginning of the war, the class-conscious vanguard of the workers of Russia rallied, in practice, around the Central Committee and the Central Organ. This fact may be unpleasant to one or the other of our "fractions," still it cannot be denied. The words quoted in the indictment: "It is necessary to direct the armies not against our brothers, the wage-slaves of other countries, but against the reaction of the bourgeois governments and parties of all countries" – these words will spread, thanks to the trial, and they have already spread over Russia as an appeal to proletarian internationalism, to proletarian revolution. The class slogan of the vanguard of the workers of Russia has reached, thanks to the trial, the widest masses of the workers.

An epidemic of chauvinism among the bourgeoisie and one section of the petty bourgeoisie, vacillations in another section, and a working class appeal of this nature – this is the actual objective picture of our political activities. It is to this actual picture, and not to the benevolent wishes of intellectuals and founders of little groups, that one has to adapt one's "prospects," hopes, slogans.

The "Pravdist" papers and the "Muranov type" of work have brought about the unity of four-fifths of the class-conscious workers of Russia. About forty thousand workers bought the Pravda; many more read it. Let war, prison, Siberia, hard labour break five times more or ten times more – this section of the workers cannot be annihilated. It is alive. It is permeated with revolutionary spirit, it is anti-chauvinist. It alone stands among the masses of the people, and deeply rooted in their midst, as a protagonist of the internationalism of the toiling, the exploited, the oppressed. It alone has kept its ground in the general debacle. It alone leads the semi-proletarian elements away from the social-chauvinism of the Cadets, Trudoviks, Plekhanovs, the Nasha Zarya, and on to Socialism. Its existence, its ideas, its work, its appeal to the "brotherhood of wage slaves of other countries" have been revealed to the whole of Russia by the trial of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Fraction.

It is with this section that we must work. It is its unity that must be defended against social-chauvinism. It is only along this road that the labour movement of Russia can develop towards social revolution and not towards national liberalism of the "European" type.

Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 40, March 29, 1915.

Complete Works, Vol. xviii, page 151.

Notes and Errata

This highly interesting and instructive volume represents a translation of the first Russian edition of Badayev's reminiscences. In preparing the third edition of his book the author provided it with additional material and corrected certain inaccuracies. As we are reprinting the book from matrices prepared for us by Martin Lawrence, Ltd., London, we are unable to make the required changes in the English edition. We therefore append these notes based on the author's changes. We take this opportunity also to correct a few misprints that crept into the book.

1) Instead of "no electoral weapon" read "no such electoral weapon."

2) The electoral campaign was conducted under the general direction of Lenin from Cracow. He supplied the Pravda with articles and letters giving advice and direction on the conduct of the fight. The St. Petersburg organization under the leadership of Comrade Stalin carried out these directions and developed a fierce fight for the Bolshevik election platform.

3) In the third edition of his book the author admits the mistake committed by the Bolshevik members of the Duma fraction in joining the Mensheviks in their opposition to the strike. The Party, while directing the movement into organised channels, should have led all the revolutionary actions of the workers and utilised them for the purpose of extending the revolutionary struggle.

The meeting at the printing office of the Pravda to which the author refers declared the attitude of the Duma fraction in this question to have been mistaken.

4) The Trudoviki, whose programme was akin to that of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, pretended to represent the whole of the Russian peasantry, but actually they represented only the interests of the well-to-do strata of the peasants. It was therefore quite natural for them to act in contact with the parties of the liberal bourgeoisie – the Cadets and Progressives. On the other hand, the group expressed the protest of the peasantry as a whole against the feudal landlord regime, and this made common action with the social-democrats possible from time to time.

5) In the third edition of his book the author adds a few lines stressing the persistence and firmness displayed by Comrade Stalin in the struggle against the Mensheviks over the Duma declaration.

6) Lenin repeatedly pointed out that the question of unity can and must be put only from "below" and that unity in any form is possible only with revolutionary workers, but not with those who opposed and distorted revolutionary Marxism.

7) The consent of the workers' deputies to have their names included in the list of collaborators of the Luch "for tactical reasons" was given without the knowledge and sanction of the Central Committee and Lenin. As soon as the latter learned about this he at once pointed out to the Bolshevik members of the fraction that they had committed a mistake. There could be no unity whatsoever, he explained, even in the press, with the Liquidators who were carrying on disruptive treacherous work against the Party and its illegal organisations. The decision of the Menshevik majority of the fraction to create a united press organ was a manoeuvre to deceive the masses of the workers by false demonstrations of unity. It was necessary to expose and reject this manoeuvre, in the first instance by refusing to participate in the Menshevik paper.

8) Instead of "and its paper" read "and their paper."

9) In the third edition of his book the author adds a number of interesting details throwing light on the struggle which went on behind the scenes concerning the course to be adopted in connection with the trial of the Duma Bolsheviks.

"Of course nobody from Nicholas II right down to the last secret service agent, had any doubt as to the necessity of completing the suppression of the fraction by getting them sentenced to death... It was only a question of doing this in a way that would be least dangerous for the autocracy. The tsarist government knew perfectly well that even in prison the Bolshevik deputies would not be entirely isolated from the masses. The whole activity of the deputies bore witness to the strong ties which connected them with the labour movement and to the strong support which their utterances inside and outside of the Duma received among the working class. But on the other hand there could be no doubt that the masses would not quietly tolerate the deputies being sentenced to death. In other words, it was a question of preventing the arrest and trial of the deputies from becoming a stepping-stone to an increased outbreak of the revolutionary movement instead of serving to forcibly crush it..." The actual rulers of the country at that time were the General Headquarters Staff of the Army. Practically the whole country, including Petrograd, was under martial law, so the case should have been tried by court-martial. The Commander-in-Chief, the Grand Duke Nicholas, fearing that the trial of the deputies by court-martial would have a bad effect upon the population and the army, decided to intervene, and insisted on the case being tried by a civil court. This decision met with violent opposition on the part of certain ministers, and for two months the question was discussed in correspondence between General Headquarters and Petrograd. Finally, being unable to agree, the government submitted the question to Nicholas II. Evidently he too was impressed with the danger that would arise if the deputies were court-martialled and sentenced to death, and so he sided with the Grand Duke and ultimately the case was tried in a civil court.

10) Instead of "Nenarokomov" read "Nenarokov."

11) The whole description of the behaviour of the deputies after their arrest and of the trial shows no sign of self-criticism. It gives a vivid picture, but remains a simple statement of fact and leaves the reader in the dark as to whether the behaviour of the accused was all that was desired from the point of view of a revolutionary party or not. This has been remedied by including in the volume the article by Lenin on the trial of the deputies, a course also taken by the author in the third Russian edition of his book.

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