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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Leon Trotzky: To The Red Army

Leon Trotzky [1877-1940], associated with Lenin in establishing the Communist government, was a leading figure in Soviet Russia until shortly after Lenin’s death in 1924. He took an active part in organizing the Red Army. The following speech was made by Trotzky to the Red Army in April 1919, when it was engaged in fighting the White Guard led by Kolchak. Trotzky was exiled by Stalin in 1929, and slain by an assassin in Mexico City in 1940.

These spring months become the decisive months in the history of Europe. At the same time this spring will decide definitely the fate of the bourgeois and rich peasant, anti-Soviet Russia.

In the east, Kolchak has mobilized all his forces, has thrown in all his reserves, for he knows definitely that if he does not win immediately then he will never win. Spring has come, the spring that decides. Of course the partial victories of Kolchak are insignificant in comparison with the general conquests of Soviet authority in Russia and in the whole world. What does the temporary loss of Ufa mean in the face of the occupation of Odessa, the movement into the Crimea and especially the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic? What does the evacuation of Belebey, caused by military considerations, mean in the face of the powerful growth of the proletarian revolution in Poland and in Italy? Nevertheless, it would be criminal frivolity on our part to disregard the danger repre­sented by the White Guardist bands of Kolchak on the east. Only stubbornness, steadfastness, watchfulness, and courage in the military struggle have guaranteed till now to the Russian Soviet Republic its international success. The victorious struggle of the Red Army on all fronts aroused the spirit of the European working class, and has made possible the establishment and strengthening first of the Hungarian and then of the Bavarian Republic. Our work has not yet been completed. The bands of Denikin have not been definitely defeated. The bands of Kolchak continue to move toward the Volga.

Spring has come; the spring that decides; our strength is increased ten­fold by the consciousness of the fact that the wireless stations of Moscow, Kiev, Budapest, and Munich not only exchange brotherly greetings but business agreements respecting common defensive struggle. But at home, on our own territory, we must direct the main portion of our increased strength against the most dangerous enemy—against the Kolchak bands. Our comrades of the Volga district are well aware of this. In the province of Samara all Soviet institutions have been put on a war footing, and the best forces have been diverted to support the army, to form reserve regi­

ments to carry on agitation of an educational character in the ranks of the Red Army. Party, Soviet, and trade union organizations in Syzran have unanimously responded to the appeal of the central authority to support the eastern front. A special shock regiment is being organized from the workmen and popular elements, which only recently were groan­ing under the heel of the White Guardist. The Volga district is becoming the center of attention of all Soviet Russia. To carry out our international duty we must first of all break up the bands of Kolchak in order to support the victorious workmen of Hungary and Bavaria. In order to assist the uprising of workmen in Poland, Germany, and all Europe, we must establish definitely and irrefutably the Soviet authority over the whole extent of Russia.

To the Urals: This is the slogan of the Red Army and of the whole Soviet country.

The Urals will be the last stage in this bitter struggle. Victory in the Urals not only will give grain to the famished country and cotton to the textile industries, but will secure finally the well-earned rest of our heroic Red Army.

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