90 years ago, 21 January 1924, a Soviet political and statesman of world scale, founder of the Bolshevik Party and Soviet project, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin), passed away. This is one of the most controversial Russian figures. stories. If everything is clear with Messrs. L. Bronstein-Trotsky and J. Sverdlov, they were protégés of the so-called. “The world behind the scenes”, which led Russia and the Russian people to the slaughter, then there is no such clarity with Lenin.
For some, he is the leader of the proletariat, the founder of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (Bolsheviks), who with its iron grip pulled Russia out of the abyss, and the founder of Soviet civilization. For others, the “bloody destroyer” who destroyed Orthodox Russia, the “German agent” and the murderer of the Romanov family.
Apparently, Lenin was not a protege of the "world behind the scenes" ("financial international"), like Trotsky, and an agent of German intelligence, although they and others tried to use him. In turn, Lenin tried to use the resources of the opponents of Russia. It was this definite independence of Lenin that led to the attempted assassination and conspiracy of 1918, when the death of the leader of the proletariat was to bring to power the second figure of the party, Trotsky. However, the plans of the conspirators were not realized due to a number of factors.
How Lenin became a revolutionary
The formation of the personality of Ulyanov was greatly influenced by the mother, Maria Aleksandrovna Ulyanova (Blank). She came from a family of Swedish Jews, perhaps for this reason she developed a persistent hostility towards Russia. Lenin's father, a teacher and director of public schools in the Simbirsk province, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, died early, so the mother was involved in raising children. The family received a decent pension, did not live in misery, so there was no class reason to hate the “Tsarist regime”. But the upbringing of the mother produced almost all the surviving children (two died in infancy) an ardent dislike for the existing order. Mother was so confident in her principles that even the execution of Alexander Ulyanov, who was one of the organizers and leaders of the Narodnaya Volya terrorist department (he was arrested while plotting the assassination of Russian Emperor Alexander III), did not break her will.
Raising the mother and the execution of his beloved brother embittered Lenin, made him a staunch revolutionary. He was offended by the rejection of Simbirsk society, his attitude towards the relatives of the terrorist. It must be said that, in general, the mores in the Russian Empire were very liberal. Families of criminals were not subjected to repression. The Ulyanov family continued to receive a pension, all the children without any problems entered higher educational institutions. At the same time, Ulyanov had excellent abilities. From his youth, Vladimir had an extraordinary working capacity, an insatiable scientific curiosity, a great memory. In 1887, he graduated from the Simbirsk gymnasium with a gold medal, entered the law faculty of Kazan University. Vladimir was expelled from the university, but not because of poor studies or because of his terrorist brother, but because he followed in the footsteps of the latter and participated in the activities of an illegal student circle. However, this did not prevent Vladimir from completing his education as an external student and becoming a lawyer. It should be noted that many revolutionaries, liberals, opposition in those days, and even now, tried to get exactly a legal education. Thus, the head of the Provisional Government, Alexander Kerensky, was also a lawyer, he studied at the Law Faculty of St. Petersburg University.
In 1893, Ulyanov moved to the capital. Already at that time Vladimir had the conviction that the working class would lead the revolution in Russia. It is he who will overthrow absolutism. The main goal of Lenin's life was to achieve a revolution in Russia. The revolutionary structures at that time were few in number, they had no real power. Their "mouse" fuss (like the spread of revolutionary literature) had virtually no effect on society.
The formation of the leader of the proletariat
Ulyanov, realizing that such activity would not bring any special results, went abroad in 1895, visited Switzerland, France and Germany. I met with famous figures - Liebknecht, Plekhanov, Lafargue and others. This increased its weight. Ulyanova took note.
It should be noted that the "financial international" was closely associated with the socialist. Banking clans considered it beneficial to support the socialist parties and movements. Through them, it was possible to exert pressure on governments, to shape public opinion, to direct it in the right direction. In turn, socialist leaders, parties, organizations needed money for their publications, maintenance of premises, and election campaigns. The Second International, receiving support from the banking community, was a very serious organization. French, German, Austrian and British Social Democrats held strong positions in society. Thus, the cooperation was mutually beneficial. Although the majority of ordinary party members, the workers did not have a clue about such connections. The links between the "financial international" and the socialists were the masonic lodges. In the West at that time, the main issue was “Russian”: it was necessary to destroy the Russian Empire. Therefore, the “financial international” did a great job of engaging all promising leaders in the fight against the “tsarist regime”. It was such a young leader that Ulyanov was.
It is therefore not surprising that the Russian revolutionaries, getting to Europe or the United States, almost always could get well settled. They did not have to look for work, a roof over their heads. Most received some subsidies, part-time work, mostly small (why indulge freeloaders), but sufficient for living. All of them could be useful in some way.
The international socialist movement had contacts not only with the banking circles, but with the intelligence services of its own, and also other countries. Suffice it to recall the famous Azef. He was one of the leaders of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and at the same time a secret police officer. We can also recall Stalin, whom some researchers consider to be a secret agent of Russian military intelligence. The work of Western intelligence services was aimed against Russia. Western social democracy also considered Russia to be its “main enemy” of freedom. Suffice it to recall the work of Engels's Russophobic. Therefore, the alliance was asking for itself. As indirect evidence, one can cite the fact that not a single political figure who escaped from Russia was detained and extradited to the Russian authorities, or at least prosecuted for illegally crossing the border. Not one person was arrested for living on fake documents. Foreign customs and border guards turned a blind eye to the transportation of campaign materials to Russia, weapons and other illegal goods. To achieve the issuance of "political" was unrealistic, so in St. Petersburg they gave up on it. Obviously, all this could not be done with the support of Western intelligence agencies, "cooperating" with the financial and political elite.
Upon returning to the Russian capital, Ulyanov, together with Martov and other young revolutionaries, joined the disparate Marxist circles into the Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. However, the Russian Security Department was not sewn. Surrounded by Plekhanov, the "secret police" had their own agents. The appearance of the brother of the executed terrorist did not go unnoticed. Ulyanova was soon arrested. However, there was nothing serious about him. The Russian Empire was punished not for thoughts, but specific crimes. Ulyanov escaped with reference to 3 of the year in the village of Shushenskoye, Yenisei Province. The “torment” of revolutionaries in exile is not necessary to exaggerate. They were only limited in movement. They could live happily, raise the level of education, families moved to them.
At the start of the 1900s, the fragmented and weak socialist movement in Russia is undergoing a serious transformation. New activists are being promoted and sought out, with the emphasis being placed on talented practical organizers. Criminals are involved in the revolutionary movement. The system of escapes abroad is being organized. It was rather easy to organize the sprouts then - the needs were documents, money and normal clothes. A well-established system for obtaining documents was created. While the authorities realized that the man had disappeared, he was already in Europe. There the person was accepted and found a business.
After the end of exile in February 1900, Ulyanov travels around Russian cities, establishing links with local organizations. Work is underway to create the all-Russian working newspaper Iskra. In July, 1900, Vladimir leaves for Switzerland.
During the reorganization of the revolutionary work in Russia, which was transferred to a higher level, they also paid attention to the “think tank”. The former emigre center in Switzerland, headed by Plekhanov, was no longer suitable. Despite his high authority, Plekhanov was far from being the best leader. He has long turned away from Russia, its realities. He became a self-sufficient theorist, lived in the world of his ideas and constructions. Enjoyed well-deserved popularity, but had no effect on events in Russia. Plekhanov was not refused: his authority was needed. However, a new energetic leader was needed for the revolution in Russia. It also required personnel for the new center (it was created in Germany).
One of the first to whom Alexander Parvus paid attention (Israel Gelfand, one of the key figures in the world backroom operations of the time) was just Ulyanov. Abroad, he left legally. But, given his revolutionary life, he was given a second passport - the deceased nobleman of the Vologda province, Nikolai Lenin. The first thing that attracted Lenin-Ulyanov was the publication of the newspaper Iskra. Parvus placed the newspaper in Munich. Thus, he created a revolutionary center in Germany, not in Switzerland (Plekhanov lived in Geneva). Officially, three representatives of the émigré Labor Liberation Group (Plekhanov, Axelrod and Zasulich) and three representatives of the Union of Struggle (Lenin, Martov and Potresov) were included in the editorial office. However, in reality, everything soon turned out to be in the hands of Lenin. Plekhanov stayed in Geneva, Axelrod lived in Zurich, Zasulich did not come either, Martov had not yet arrived from Russia. Potresov, having lived in Munich for a short time, left him for a long time. Quickly created a network of Iskra agents in Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium. On their basis, they began to create a new emigre organization — the Foreign League of the Russian Revolutionary Social Democracy. Channels of delivery of the newspaper to Russia were organized. Inside the Russian Empire, a network of correspondents and headquarters was also created, which became the basis for future party organizations.
Lenin is well settled in Munich. Krupskaya came to him, with whom he got married in 1898. All members of the editorial board received salaries sufficient for living. Lenin and Krupskaya rented a separate apartment. But a year later there was a crack between Lenin and Parvus. In some ways they did not agree. Perhaps the independent thinking of Lenin, who was not going to be an obedient tool in anyone's hands, played a role. Lenin did not consider it any longer possible to remain in Munich. In April 1902, the newspaper moved from Munich to London. This was not reflected in the revolutionary activity. The money for the Iskra continued to stand out. At the end of April 1903, Lenin and his wife moved to Geneva, where the editorial board moved. In Switzerland, they lived to 1905 year.
At this time, with the support of Parvus, a new “revolutionary star” is rising - Trotsky. Trotsky at first literally met "Lenin's soul" with Lenin. Trotsky was even called the “Leninist baton”; he defended the views of his comrade in arguments more harshly than their author. Lenin proposed to introduce Trotsky into the editorial board of Iskra. However, Plekhanov was against it. In July - August, the 1903 of the Year in London was the II Congress of the RSDLP. On it they wanted to unite the various groups of social democrats into one party. Lenin spoke in favor of tough party discipline, "democratic centralism," which caused discontent among some delegates. Opponents of Lenin talked about "dictatorship", command methods. Quarreled. Those who supported Lenin eventually became “Bolsheviks”, while the opponents headed by Martov became “Mensheviks”. Plekhanov first supported the "Bolsheviks". But when Martov withdrew from the editorial board of Iskra as a sign of protest, Plekhanov changed his position and went over to his side. The split finally took shape by the year 1905, when the Mensheviks refused to participate in the Third Congress of the RSDLP.
Trotsky first joined the Mensheviks. But soon he fell out with them. His conceit grew, he did not want to obey anyone. Lenin became his opponent. When the 1905 revolution of the year began, Parvus and Trotsky were the first to arrive in Russia. The organization of the revolution in Russia was a lot of money. Parvus on them organized the release of "Workers newspaper", "Izvestia", "Began". They were released in such massive circulations that they literally flooded Petersburg and Moscow. Trotsky at that time was intensively "promoted", made his name. In this he was helped by his oratorical gift. He still had no merit, but he was pushed into the post of deputy head of the Petrograd Soviet. Parvus, like a real schemer, kept in the shadows. All moves carried out through Trotsky.
Lenin at that time was “wiped out” - as a person who had his own opinion about the future of Russia. He finally quarreled with Plekhanov, left the editorial board of Iskra, and pushed him aside from the leadership of the party. In 1905, Lenin was able to travel to Russia only in October, after the announcement of an amnesty. He was informed that a courier with documents will arrive to him in Stockholm. Lenin waited for him for two weeks. When he came to the Russian Empire, all the leading posts were divided without him. Lenin was completely out of work. Moved from one acquaintance to another. Began to be published in the newspaper Gorky "New Life". Parvus and Trotsky produced three large-circulation publications, and Lenin had to publish in someone else’s. It is immediately obvious in whose hands there were financial flows. Lenin visited Moscow, but he did not find a place there either.
However, the revolution failed. The empire still had enough strength to suppress unrest. In addition, the international situation has changed. Western powers have become unprofitable to support the revolution in Russia. The war with Japan is over. And in Europe a new political crisis broke out (the First Moroccan crisis of 1905 — 1906). Having decided that the time has come to challenge Paris, Berlin announced that it considers Morocco to be a sovereign state and is ready to support this sovereignty by force of arms. Morocco was a semi-colony of France. The French have thrown a glove. In Paris, they were afraid that Berlin was looking for a reason for war, and weakened by the defeat in the war with Japan and the revolution, Russia would not be able to support France. Worried and England. The defeat of France would lead to the domination of Germany on the continent. The powers that during the Russo-Japanese war together brought down Russia, dramatically changed their attitude towards it. France immediately granted Russia a “great loan” that saved the empire from default. Russia, in response, supported France at the Algeciras Conference in Spain. The German Empire was in diplomatic isolation (it was supported only by Austria-Hungary) and was forced to retreat.
"Financial International" at that moment also ceased to "throw" Russia. In this situation, the fall of Russia meant the rise of Germany. Global banking structures did not like this prospect. Germany and Russia had to be set off; two great empires should have collapsed at about the same time. Therefore, the financial flows that fed the revolution in Russia suddenly dried up. We also stopped providing organizational assistance.
The leaders of the Petrograd Soviet were arrested. Parvus also thundered into prison. Those revolutionary figures who were not arrested, moved to Finland. Local police and authorities turned a blind eye to them. Therefore, autonomous Finland was an absolutely safe haven for them. In the spring of 1906, Lenin also moved to Finland. In December 1907, he moved to Stockholm.
To be continued ...