Lenin
Father of USSR
Lenin was a Russian revolutionary who took over political power together with the Bolsheviks. Lenin became the leader of the newly installed regime, and influenced the country as he pleased.

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‘Lenin’ was one of his pseudonyms, inspired perhaps by the name of the river Lena. Lenin never divulged details of his name’s origin. Lenin was a Russian revolutionary who took over political power together with the Bolsheviks. Lenin became the leader of the newly installed regime, and influenced the country as he pleased.

Lenin was the founder of the USSR, leader of the Bolshevik Party. He was a disciple of Marx, the first head of government of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the Leninist ideology. He was the creator of the first Bolshevik state in the world. After his death, the communists created a cult around his name.

The Bolshevik regime led by Lenin took Russia out of the First World War and made peace with the Central Powers. This treaty was not in Russia’s favor, as she lost approx. one-third of her agricultural territory.

Lenin was the main actor in the spread of communism in the world, and in the establishment of communism in Russia. He was the one who conceived the New Economic Policy, promoting new principles for the organization of Russian life. A vast literary career is linked to Lenin’s name. His ideas and principles were fundamental to the administration of communist states.

After taking power, the Bolshevik regime executed the entire Tsarist family in Russia, ending the Romanov dynasty. These executions are associated with Lenin’s name.

Lenin came from a modest, regular family, of a liberal mindset. They were religious people, who raised their three children in love and sincerity, inspiring a love for study in them.

He was born in the town of Simbirsk, modern-day Ulyanovsk, in Russia. Lenin’s father, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, was a high-ranking civil servant. He campaigned for greater democracy and for the right to education for all Russians. Lenin’s mother, Maria Alexandrovna Blank, was the daughter of a doctor, called Berg. She, like her husband, had a liberal worldview.

Lenin’s older brother, Aleksandr Ulyanov, a student at the University in Petersburg, was publically executed by hanging, because he participated in a failed assassination plot against Tsar Alexander III. This event marked Lenin’s life and contributed greatly to his radicalization.

Lenin married Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, a Russian Marxist revolutionary. She had a strong impact on him and supported him in his political and literary career. His wife was a close ally and his only secretary.

Lenin was not one of ‘the people’, so he didn’t conform to the official standard of ‘healthy origins’. His father had been a loyal servant of the Tsarist regime and a faithful son of the Orthodox Church. His mother was the daughter of a minor aristocratic doctor.

Lenin spent his childhood and youth in the towns and villages taken back from the Volga region, in central Russia. This period left a strong impression on the personality of the future Bolshevik leader.

For a child, the ‘lack of culture’ in Simbirsk was compensated by rural beauty, the nearby river, the presence of family, friends and classmates. As a child, Lenin enjoyed his home province, and taking boat trips on the Volga. He remained enamoured of country life for as long as he lived. A few years later, he exaggerated somewhat when he said to another party member: “I too am the child of a hereditary nobleman.”

The Ulyanov family life is described as having loving, affectionate relationships. Soviet authors, in their wish to present the Ulyanov family as an example for Russian youth, denied all the conflicts, cares and disappointments common to any normal family. Lenin was happy and playful, showing more inclination towards history and languages than towards science.

Lenin’s parents worked hard to impress upon their children the importance and pleasure of study. This is shown by the way their children behaved as pupils.

Lenin finished his secondary school studies with the grade of ‘Excellent’. His school diploma included categories such as “behavior in class”, “interest for study”. At that time, the future Bolshevik leader had “exemplary” conduct. The final exams took place in the week in which his brother was executed. Lenin passed them with the highest grades, receiving the Simbirsk school’s gold medal. He was the best pupil in his class. This award was also received by Aleksandr and their sister, Anna.

Lenin kept busy with his studies. In his childhood, he wasn’t tempted by the distractions found in a big city. At the age of 23, Lenin left the province. His philosophy and vocation were already decided.

Lenin’s radical viewpoints became more pronounced after his brother Aleksandr’s execution. While Aleksandr was awaiting his first trial and later the execution of his sentence, Lenin was finishing eighth grade in the Simbirsk secondary school. The Kazan University was chosen. For most Russian students, university was a more liberal world, without parental or institutional supervision. They were able to study independently, unlike in the repressive regime of secondary school.

Lenin enrolled in the Law University in Kazan. His teachers were disappointed by his choice. The prize pupil should have studied history and languages. If Lenin had followed the legal pathway, he would certainly have been an excellent lawyer, due to his precise mind with good psychological insight.

Lenin took part in the protests organized against the Moscow authorities and the Tsarist government, demanding a change in university laws. Students demanded that universities be run by the senate of professors, without the ministry’s intervention. They chanted for freedom from all surveillance of their private lives, for the right to assemble and the right to petition. The authorities’ response was to arrest and expel the student leaders, amongst whom was Lenin.

Reforms of higher learning led to increased scholarization fees, causing student dissatisfaction with the government. The students criticized the authorities’ surveillance of and meddling in their private lives. The students organized protests, which Lenin joined. This brought an end to his higher education.

Lenin’s expulsion was his first personal experience with the injustice and brutality of the Russian political experience. This was added to the experience of his brother’s execution. Those expelled were allowed to return to their studies, however Lenin was repeatedly refused readmission to the university. The authorities associated Lenin with his executed brother. Lenin’s name was on the list of those forbidden state employment without special permission. Thus, Lenin came to embrace the career of a revolutionary.

The unrest began in Moscow, where a student slapped the student inspector at a public concert. A wave of protests and student demonstrations followed. The army had to be called in on one of the demonstrations. Although student activities had been suspended, student representatives from Moscow arrived in Kazan. Their goal was to mobilize their colleagues to hold protests in support of the movement.

Lenin was considered the main culprit of the student unrest. The local police kept the Ulyanov family under constant surveillance. This made Lenin hate the regime. Maria Aleksandrovna, Lenin’s mother, sent a petition to the minister, asking him to allow her son to continue his studies. This time, they received a positive response. Lenin was allowed to sit the exam for the title of candidate in legal science.

By continuous individual study, Lenin managed in one year to make up the three and a half years of university lost. The exam took place at the Law University of Saint Petersburg in two stages, and he obtained the highest grade: ‘completely satisfactory’. He managed to come out first place in his group and he received the highest diploma possible. His way towards being a lawyer was wide open. However, before he became a lawyer, Lenin had already become a revolutionary and a staunch Marxist.

Due to his connections with Marxist circles, but also because of his involvement in the unrest of laborers who went on strike from textile and cigarette factories in Saint Petersburg, Lenin was arrested and then deported to Siberia. Lenin is the one who wrote the textile laborers’ proclamation. The strikes were broken, but the Tsarist authorities were forced to pay attention to the Marxists.

Înainte de arestare, Lenin a introdus prin contrabandă în Rusia lucrări interzise. Se pregătea să lanseze un ziar clandestin, care urma să fie numit „Fapta muncitorilor“. Lenin participase şi la activităţi ilegale ale muncitorilor.

During the journey, Lenin became friends with a government employee, Krutovsky, a supporter of the populists. At the beginning of their discussion, Lenin asked him: “Are you by any chance a police spy?” The train’s last stop was Krasnoyarsk, the center of the Yenisei province in eastern Siberia. Krutovsky introduced him to Claudia Gavrilovna Popova, a wealthy supporter of the revolutionary cause, in whose house Lenin received accommodation and free meals. She provided shelter and money to political exiles.

Lenin left Moscow in a third-class railway carriage. A passenger remembered Lenin insulting the conductor because of the crush of people in the train. In Samara, where the train made a long stop, Lenin, in front of all the other passengers, asked the station superintendent to attach an extra carriage.

Lenin was given residence in a relatively pleasant place for exile, in Minusinsk, approx. 450km south of Krasnoyarsk, because he had pleaded ‘health reasons’. In order to reach this place, Lenin travelled by boat and train. His final destination was the village of Shushenskoye. It was a quiet place, with 1300 residents, one church, and three taverns. It was isolated, which meant that police surveillance was not very strict.

Lenin’s daily routine in exile included reading, writing and going for regular walks, even in the frostiest days of the Siberian winter. Lenin also enjoyed leisure activities: skating on a frozen river, and hunting in the fall and spring. However, in the three years of his exile, Lenin didn’t forget his revolutionary vision. He was impatient to regain his freedom, in order to realize his dream of creating a socialist newspaper. His plan was for it to find its way, via contraband from abroad, to all the Russian revolutionaries, uniting them. The end goal was to form a united Marxist party.

Lenin could receive banned books and could carry out political correspondence without the fear of constant police searches. Mail arrived fairly regularly in the village. Lenin rented part of a peasant’s house, a typical Siberian dwelling, a one-story wooden building, where he wrote and read extensively. It was a simple place, with one bed, a writing table and four chairs. Lenin also asked for a few shelves for his books, which were made for him by his host.

After one year of solitary exile, Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya was arrested and condemned to three years of exile in the town of Ufa, in the Urals. She petitioned the authorities to send her where Lenin was serving his exile. The condition was for the two to be married. Lenin and Nadezhda married discretely. They simply drank a few mugs of tea together with a small group of locals. After Lenin’s release, his wife returned to Ufa, where she had to endure another year of exile.

After his expulsion from the Kazan University, Lenin entered a new phase of his life, becoming a revolutionary, a loyal reader of Marx, and a supporter of Marx’s ideas. His brother’s execution, his expulsion due to participation in student protests, his being prevented from continuing university studies, and the permanent police surveillance of his family, all impressed upon Lenin that the political regime was merciless and must be changed.

After his expulsion, Lenin went back to Kazan. There, he studied the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and joined a Marxist circle. During his preparation for the Law University exams, Lenin lived in Samara, where he organized the first Marxist circle in that town. He passed his exams at the University of St. Petersburg, after which he received a license to work in law.

Lenin played a part in uniting the Marxist laborers’ circles in St. Petersburg, and in creating the ‘League of struggle for the emancipation of the working class’. During a trip to Switzerland, he made contact with the exiled Marxists there. He attended the laborers’ meetings in Switzerland and in Berlin.

On his return to Russia, because of his connections with Marxist circles, but especially because of the apparition of the ‘League of struggle for the emancipation of the working class’, Lenin was arrested and imprisoned for 15 months. Later he was deported for three years to eastern Siberia, in the village of Shushenskoye in the Minusinsk district, Enisei region.

Lenin worked in Kazan for two years as a lawyer, then left for Saint Petersburg. Here he practiced law in the office of a well-known lawyer named Volkenstein. Due to his liberal views, Volkenstein was an indulgent boss to the young revolutionary. In this period, Lenin was active in Marxist circles. He became the acknowledged leader of the St. Petersburg Marxists.

Lenin did not attend the founding Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, at Minsk, because he was in exile in Siberia. After his exile, he founded the newspaper called The Spark, in Munich. Through this, he first came into contact with the ideology of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party.

Lenin attended the meetings of the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, held at Brussels and London. Two factions had formed in the party: Bolsheviks - ‘the majority’ and Mensheviks - ‘the minority’. As a proponent of a forefront party characterized by discipline, formed exclusively of militant revolutionaries, Lenin was in the leading line of Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks obtained the majority of the votes at the Congress.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Lenin was arrested by the Austrian police and detained for 11 days. After his release from prison, he was exiled to Switzerland. There, he spoke out against the conflict, calling it an imperialist war. Lenin endeavoured to convince people that it was a thieving colonial war, but also a battle for dividing up the world and redistributing the colonies. This is what he understood imperialism to be.

Lenin was the author of numerous works of politics and economy which stood at the foundation of the growth of communism in the USSR and in the entire world. Some of Lenin’s most important works became study manuals for the communist states. Lenin was considered a theoretician for the promotion of Marxist-Leninism in the whole world.

Lenin wrote the political tract ‘What the "Friends of the People" Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats’. In this, he expressed for the first time the idea of a revolutionary alliance between the working class and peasants as the main way of overthrowing Tsarism, ancestral nobility and the bourgeoisie. He argued that in order to obtain this goal, there must be a proletarian party.

One step forward, two steps back was Lenin’s way of criticizing the Menshevik opportunism in administrative problems, and of demonstrating the avantgarde role of the Proletarian Party. He supported party organization based on democratic centralization and proletarian discipline, necessary for all its members, both for leading activists and for regular members.

Just before the 1905 Revolution, Lenin founded the Bolshevik newspaper Vpered, meaning: to hurry, to accelerate. In this period, his work Two Tactics was published, in which he criticized the tactics of the Mensheviks and the international opportunists. Lenin aimed to demonstrate that it was possible to transform the bourgeois revolution into a socialist revolution, and that proletarian supremacy was necessary in the bourgeois revolution.

During his exile, he finished writing The Development of Capitalism in Russia, which he began in prison. Lenin published The historical destiny of the doctrine of Karl Marx and The three sources and three component parts of Marxism, 30 years after the death of Karl Marx. He described the Marxist program in the national problem in Critical Remarks on the national Question and The right of nations to self-determination. He also wrote an article about Karl Marx: A short biographical sketch and presentation of Marxism.

In his book What is to be done?, he criticized the ‘economist’ trend and opportunism and formulated a series of ideological and administrative principles of the Marxist party. He underlined the importance of the socialist theory and argued a fundamental thesis of Marxism. According to this, the Marxist Party is the blend of the working men’s movement with socialism. What is to be done? is, in essence, a theoretical work, through which the role of the party in the revolutionary process was fixed indefinitely in the history of communist dogma.

While in Geneva, he began writing a book analyzing the philosophy of contemporary idealism. Lenin finished the work, Materialism and empirio-criticism, begun in Geneva, continued in London, but published in Paris. It is his main philosophical work, in which he defends and elaborates upon dialectic materialism and historical materialism, and performs a philosophical synopsis of data from natural science.

Lenin wrote Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism. In this work, he performed a Marxist analysis of imperialism and expanded upon the concept of Marxism, in accordance with new historical conditions. This work blames imperialism for the outbreak of the First World War. He maintained that the socialist revolution would initially break out faster in less-developed capitalist societies than in developed ones.

Lenin never had material lack - not in Russia or abroad. During his exile, Lenin did not have to work. He travelled a lot - to Bern, Paris, Brussels, Zurich, London, Stockholm, Berlin, the island of Capri, etc. He would stay in hotels or in rented houses in resorts.

Lenin never had financial problems, although he only worked for short periods of time as a lawyer. For example, he was employed as an assistant to the defence lawyer A.N. Hardin for 18 months.

The articles published by Lenin in the Russian revolutionary press, such as Iskra, couldn’t bring him great sums of money. His main source of income was provided by a special Party fund, which was never mentioned in official documents. However, Lenin admitted the existence of this fund in his prolific correspondence.

Lenin wouldn’t relinquish control of this special party fund - neither during his exile nor after the victory of the Bolshevik revolution. The fund was one of the apples of contention that put an end to the feeble attempts made to reunite the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

This fund was replenished by party members’ subscriptions or by individual donations. Maxim Gorki was one of those involved in the Schmidt Deal, in which the Bolsheviks received approximately 100,000 rubles. The main source of money was from confiscation of property by the revolutionaries, bandit attacks on banks, post offices and ticket offices in stations. The best known ‘confiscation’ was an attack on two trucks of money, in which 340,000 rubles were stolen by a team led by Stalin.

A large part of Lenin’s life was spent in exile - a time in which he made a name for himself because of his political orientation. He went to many European towns, but he was always dreaming of returning to his native country.

After his deportation to Siberia, Lenin went abroad. Although Lenin, Martov and Potresov left Russia with legal passports, it was decided they would live in Munich under false names, keeping their distance from the Russian community there. The goal was to avoid compromising the activists arriving from Russia, and to enable the transport of illegal literature, letters, etc. to Russia more easily.

Lenin went abroad again. He attended the fourth Congress of the RSDLP in London, then attended the Congress of the Second International in Stuttgart. At the second Congress of the Second International, Lenin, together with Rosa Luxemburg, proposed a resolution to convert any possible imperialist war into a revolutionary fight against capitalism. Later, he went back to Geneva, then moved to Paris and came into contact with the French working-men’s movement.

Lenin moved to Geneva after a stay of almost a year in London. During this period, the second Congress of the RSDLP took place, with the first meetings being held in Brussels. However, due to problems with the police, it was moved to England. In her writings about him, Lenin’s wife mentioned that the goal of the second Congress was to create and develop a party manifesto. This is where the foundations for the party ideology were laid. The first Congress had been limited to the naming of the party. After the Congress, Lenin went back to Geneva.

Lenin moved to Zurich. The second conference of international socialists was held at Kienthal. This contributed to the coalition of the internationalist elements which would later form the Third Communist International.

After a few years, Lenin returned to St. Petersburg, after the government granted amnesty to political prisoners, as a result of the revolution. He led the activity of the Central committee of the RSDLP and the legal Bolshevik newspaper, Novaya Zhizn. He regularly published articles supporting the daily work of the party organizations. He participated in the Party Committee meetings in St. Petersburg. He spoke at party meetings, conferences and discussions in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Lenin attended the Conference of the Second International in Copenhagen, then taught courses at a school near Paris. At the Conference in Prague, foundations were laid for an independent Bolshevik party. In this period, the first number of the Pravda newspaper appeared, published in St. Petersburg. In order to be closer to Russia, Lenin moved from Paris to Krakow.

Lenin returned to Bern in Switzerland. This was the period when the Zimmerwald Conference was held in Switzerland, a meeting of international socialists opposed to the war. At the conference, Lenin formed a group of the political left, and maintained a consistent position against the imperialist war.

This was an eventful year: Russia’s involvement in the First World War, the February Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II’s abdication, and the Bolshevik Revolution through which Lenin took political power.

Lenin was a Russian emigrant, well-known in the European socialist circles, but also in his native country, for his activities and his Marxist writings. Through these, he preached the ideals of a new world, of a world revolution. He lived with his wife in a rented room in Zurich, Switzerland.

On the station platform, several hundred Russians and Polish were waiting for him. They accused him of treason, that he was in league with the Germans, and that he was a spy, because he didn’t ask St. Petersburg’s permission to pass through Germany. However there were also some loyal supporters, who were there to wish him success on his journey.

In February, the so-called Bourgeois Revolution took place in Russia. Lenin understood the enormous potential of this movement. He needed to go there and be involved on the ground. Lenin began consulting with his like-minded acquaintances. He called Zinoviev in from Berlin and, together with other close friends, began planning their return to Russia.

Lenin arrived in the Finland Station, the main train station in St. Petersburg. To mark his return to Russia, he wrote the famous April Theses, supporting the transformation of the bourgeois revolution into a socialist revolution. These were published in the Bolshevik newspaper, Pravda. The theses were actually a reproduction of Lenin’s message to the multitudes waiting for him in the station. The text began with the argument that fraternity with the soldiers of the Central Powers should be encouraged.

Lenin and Zinoviev took the decision to return to Russia because they were unhappy with the way things were going there. The revolution they had preached and dreamed of had been stolen by the bourgeoisie. Lenin left Switzerland with his entire fortune, consisting of a few chests of clothes, books, newspapers, correspondence and party documents. His wife and a few comrades of battle and exile went with him. They were a party of about 30 people.

The first Soviet Congress of workers, soldiers and peasants was organized. The discontentment of the soldiers and workers exploded in July. The 1st Machine-gun Regiment marched towards the Taurida Palace, to request that the Soviet Executive Committee replace the Provisional Government. After these incidents, Lenin was forced to hide in Finland, while leaders like Trotsky were arrested. The provisional government sent out an arrest warrant for Lenin.

The Bolsheviks were viewed as traitors in the service of the Germans. This accusation was previously made by imperial advisors. Still, the Bolsheviks were able to organize the 6th Congress of the RSDLP in Petrograd. Lenin, still wanted by the provisional government, was not able to attend the Congress.

The Bolshevik Revolution was the moment when Lenin seized power. Initially, it was Trotsky - the leader of the Petrograd Soviet and the Military Revolutionary Committee - who was in the forefront of the Revolution. The Military Revolutionary Committee was formed with the view to defend Petrograd against the soldiers of Kornilov, the chief general of the army, but also against the German advance. Lenin took command and the Provisional Government was swept away. Lenin’s party took advantage of the chaos existent in Russia after the February Revolution, and seized power.

In a series of articles and letters addressed to the Central Committee and the Party Committees in Petrograd and Moscow, Lenin called for the organization of an army uprising. Lenin returned illegally to Petrograd from Finland. Based on his report, the Central Committee adopted a resolution concerning an army uprising.

The Bolshevik party seized power during what was essentially a revolution of the peasants, with a strong anarchist bias. Still, in rural zones, the Social Revolutionary Party, the successors to the populists, held strong. The populists had tried, at the end of the 19th century, first through education and then by terror, to awaken the revolutionary conscience of the peasants. The Bolshevik party, on the other hand, became very strong in the large towns, including Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

Lenin arrived in Smolny and took over the direct leadership of the revolution that had just begun. At this time, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets began, calling for state power to fall into the hands of the Soviets. At the second Congress meeting, Lenin presented two reports, proposing and arguing for decrees on peace and land nationalization. Lenin was chosen as chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars.

The revolutionaries gained control of important objectives, such as bridges, railways and telephone exchanges. The Winter Palace had not been defeated, but Kerensky knew his time had come. He fled in a car belonging to the American Embassy. A blank shot was fired from aboard the cruiser Aurora and several rounds of gunshot were released from the Peter and Paul fortress. Thus the Winter Palace was vacated by the Cossacks and army cadets which had been defending it. The remaining members of the Provisional Government were arrested.

The Third Communist International was created by Lenin with the purpose of bringing together the representatives of the many socialist parties and the few communist parties already formed.

On its Second Congress, the Third International or Comintern clarified its platform. It adopted the 21 criteria drawn up by Lenin for identifying the parties eligible to take part in the new organization. The most important point was for there to be a strong distancing from the social democrats, and the formation of autonomous communist parties, however small they may be.

The New International came into being based upon the ideas and options elaborated by the Bolsheviks. This party used the prestige of the victory of the Russian Revolution to obtain absolute power. The solution to the insurrection was considered to be realistic, together with the conviction that the radicalization of the masses can begin only where there is an avangardist party which is organized and disciplined. Hopes for taking over power can be based on such a party.

Almost everywhere, communist parties came into being by the separation of minorities from existent socialist parties. These parties often lost their connection with the masses and split the workers’ movement into increasingly radical opposing factions.

In the period before he took over power, Lenin wrote decrees, appeals and articles, spoke at meetings and gatherings, worked towards uniting the international workers’ movements and argued the possibility of accomplishing socialist revolutions through various different means, according to the specific conditions in each country.

Lenin became chairman of the Council of the People’s Commissars, a position similar to that of prime minister in the new Soviet government. He immediately put into practice his idea of creating a governing elite, initiating the Politburo, the Political Bureau. This allowed him to force the Bolshevik leaders to accept the humiliating peace from Brest-Litovsk.

During the Civil War, Lenin adopted the ‘war communism’ policy. Through this policy, agricultural properties and surplus harvests necessary for supplying the workers and the army were confiscated.

Lenin’s main instrument in leadership was force, exercised by the Red Guard, and then by the Emergency Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage - Cheka. His supreme conviction was that the success of the revolution was dependent on the establishment of proletarian dictatorship. Dictatorship means force taken to the extreme. Lenin was not ashamed to assassinate anyone who did not submit to party orders.

After the end of the Civil War, Lenin was busy organizing the work of rebuilding the national economy, and he supported the plan for electrification of the entire country. The New Economic Policy, NEP, introduced taxation which was payable in goods, instead of by the requisition of farm products. Farmers were able to sell their surplus agricultural products, creating a direct economic benefit for both parties.

After the power takeover by the Bolsheviks, the Russian Civil War broke out. Lenin coordinated this from Petrograd, formerly Saint Petersburg. He created the Red Army and worked with Trotsky, Zinoviev and Stalin.

Lenin was the target of attacks organized by people who didn’t support the regime he led. The first attacker, Fanya Yefimovna Kaplan, tried to kill him by shooting him close-range with a revolver. His wounds were however minor.

Lenin managed to temper the dissatisfaction of the populace by introducing the New Economic Policy. Through this, he was able to bring industrial production back to the level it reached before the war. The New Economic Policy included a system of economic reforms, which led to a compromise with the principles of the market economy. The essence of the New Economic Policy was the economic alliance between the working class and peasants, necessary for attracting the masses of peasants to build socialism.

Requisition detachments patrolled, confiscating whatever they wanted. Lenin announced that the requisition of surplus grain would end. Instead, farmers would pay a tax in kind, which would be taken up by the state. The farmers continued working the land and harvesting, knowing the percentage of harvest which would be taken by the state.

The New Economic Policy was about the administration of agricultural surplus. Instead of arbitrarily requisitioning this surplus in order to feed the urban population, NEP permitted the sale of agricultural products on the free market, after they had been purchased at prices fixed by the government. The food was destined for the state reserves.

The state still owned the main production plants and economic sectors, such as: heavy industry, including the production of coal and steel, the banking system, insurance and transportation.

NEP was the economic policy of the proletarian soviet state during the period of transition from capitalism to socialism. It required the acceptance of capitalism and free commerce, albeit with key positions being held by the state. The main goal was however the elimination of capitalist elements and the establishment of the basis for a socialist economy, using the market, commerce and the circulation of money.

A very sensitive subject concerning Lenin’s private life was his family’s religion. How orthodox were they? Carefully kept secret from the communists was the fact that his maternal grandfather, Alexandr Blank, was born to Jewish parents, but converted to Christianity in his youth.

Later, in a party questionnaire, Lenin declared that he lost his religious faith after the age of 16, shortly after his father’s death.

Lenin was depicted as a model husband by those given the job of protecting his cult. However, it was rumored that Lenin had a relationship with his party comrade, Inessa Armand. She was French, descended through her mother from a Moscow bourgeois family.

Lenin removed opposition from inside the party and he managed to introduce a new economic direction for the country, but he didn’t enjoy a long rule in Russia. In the latter part of his life, Lenin was disgusted by politics because of the endless arguments at the Party Congresses and in the Central Committee. He had become fascinated by administration and economic issues.

In Lenin’s absence, the Council of Commissars lost its political power. All important decisions came to be taken by the Politburo or the Organizational Bureau.

Lenin suffered two strokes, which left him paralyzed and unable to talk. This is why he could not stop Stalin’s rise to power.

The 11th Congress of the Russian Communist Party was the last Lenin attended, presenting the main report. Here he stated: “Our main deficiencies are a lack of culture and the fact that we don’t know how to rule ourselves.” Lenin was seriously ill.

While leading the PCSU, Lenin was isolated, because he suffered from a hereditary disease affecting the blood vessels in his brain. The sickness inhibited his ability to speak. He could only write with his wife’s help. In moments of lucidity, Lenin forced Stalin to promise that he would take him out of his agony by poisoning him with cyanide. The future Kremlin leader agreed, but never did it. Lenin died after suffering several strokes.

Lenin’s active rule of the state ended during his lifetime. Lenin’s heritage was interpreted according to the political needs of his successors.

Three months before his death, when he was in the terminal phase of his sickness and confined to a wheelchair, Lenin ordered his guards and personal driver to take him to the Kremlin for a final visit. This time, not a single member of the Politburo was there to meet him. They were all in a meeting called by Stalin and Zinoviev in Trotsky’s apartment, where they were condemning the ‘Trotskyist” factionalism.

Lenin died in Gorki, near Moscow.

On the day of Lenin’s death, the USSR government received more than 1,000 telegrams from all over Russia, asking that Lenin’s body should not be buried, but preserved for future generations. Professor Alexei Abrikosov, a famous pathologist and anatomist, embalmed Lenin’s body in order to preserve it until the burial service.

The members of the Central Committee went to Gorki to pay homage to their leader. The only exception was Trotsky, who was on medical leave in the Caucasus.

Mourning rites were organized. Lenin’s body was embalmed and placed in the mausoleum in the Red Square in Moscow.

Lenin’s mausoleum was a central point for the USSR, a reference point for its leaders, and for the leaders of the communist movement.

After Lenin’s death, the USSR tried to ensure the immortality of its founder’s legend. His body was mummified in order to be exhibited, probably for ever. The town of Saint Petersburg was called Leningrad.

A ‘personality cult’ is not usually centred around a dead person, even if he was the founder of a nation, like Lenin. However, he was glorified and venerated after his death in the whole of the USSR.

The emotional strength of Lenin’s cult was primarily based on the natural inclination of the peasants. Numerically a majority, and profoundly superstitious, this social class inclined towards the personification of political power. Their veneration of Lenin during his lifetime seems like a drop in the ocean compared to what came about starting from the year of his sickness, but especially after his death.

From the moment of Lenin’s death, claims of his immortality became the central element of his cult. “Lenin died, Leninism is alive!”, “Lenin is dead, Long live Lenin!” were just a couple of the phrases heard everywhere.

Lenin’s cult had a precise role: stabilizing and legitimizing political life. Stalin, reflecting on the death of “Father”, said: “Comrades, we communists are a special people. We are those who make up the army of the great proletarian strategist, the army of comrade Lenin. There is no greater honor than to belong to this army… When he left us, comrade Lenin commanded us to venerate and to defend the purity of the great title of party member. We vow to you, comrade Lenin, that we will obey your command honorably.”

Stalin had a vested interest in creating a personality cult for Lenin. He wanted to pose as a new high priest of the new cult, as the main biographer of Leninism, as a true defender of Leninist teachings. Stalin’s aim in building the Soviet leader’s cult was to obtain the strongest weapons in the fight for power. Stalin presented Lenin as being the great one, congenial, unique. This made him seem like Lenin’s successor.

After Lenin’s death, the legends about a living Lenin, which were making the rounds of the Soviet Union, continued coming faster and faster. They completed the image of an Afterlife, in which the personality cult of Vladimir Ilyich was only just beginning to appear.

Vladimir Mayakovsky composed a poem which became compulsory reading for all Soviet pupils. The poem’s central message was: “Lenin lived. Lenin lives. Lenin will live on.”

Lenin, founder of the USSR, suffered three strokes, with his health getting worse and worse. The official declaration stated cause of death as cerebral atherosclerosis combined with a fourth stroke. After his death, rumors spread that he had suffered from syphilis, but the Soviet authorities upheld the official diagnosis as the only truth. A British author revisited the hypothesis that the USSR leader died of syphilis, saying: “Many doctors and researchers from the Kremlin believed that Lenin died of syphilis, but they were forced by the authorities to keep their opinions to themselves.”

A British author from the University of Columbia discovered documents proving that Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s death was caused by syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease. She is the author of several books on Russian history.

Rappaport surmised that the USSR leader was infected with syphilis after he had sexual relations with a Parisian prostitute. The unstable behavior with violent outbursts of anger was attributed by the Soviets to atherosclerosis. This disease does affect the brain; however, syphilis has the same symptoms.

Helen Rappaport, a British author, discovered the documents which she sees as conclusive proof, at the University of Columbia in New York. These indicate that Lenin’s death was caused by neurosyphilis, a form of the disease which affects the brain.

Rappaport declared: “In spite of this enforced silence, no one was clearer in expressing his opinions than the great professor Ivan Pavlov, the pioneer of the pavlovian theory. After the 1917 revolution, Pavlov became a violent opponent of Bolshevism and witnessed the monstrous ‘Soviet experiment’ in which people were treated worse in the laboratories than the frogs used for experiments.”

Rappaport also mentioned that, during a trip to a congress organized in London, Pavlov stopped off in Paris to visit a friend, doctor Mihail Zernov. “During the discussion with Zernov, Pavlov upheld his claim that Lenin suffered of syphilis and that, up until that moment, he had shown all the characteristic symptoms of the disease, including gradual paralysis, typical of the illness.”

The documents discovered by Helen Rappaport concerning Lenin’s true disease came from information written by the Russian researcher Ivan Pavlov, found at the American university. He received a Nobel prize and is known for his works on behavioral conditioning, in which he experimented on dogs. According to the documents discovered by the British author, it seems that Ivan Pavlov declared that “the revolution was brought about by an insane man whose brain had been affected by syphilis.”

The author declared that “Pavlov knew eminent researchers who were called in to examine Lenin’s brain after his death in 1924, and that they all arrived at the same diagnostic. It was a secret known by everyone, but which nobody dared to say in public, and which cannot be found in any official Soviet document. The doctors from the Kremlin who consulted Lenin were forbidden to talk about this, under threat of execution, and were forced to remove all reference to the disease from their files.”

A secret project was developed, meticulously prepared outside of Russia, concerning the installation of communism in Russia. This plan was generously financed by ‘big international bankers’, especially those on Wall Street: Jacob Schiff, J.P. Morgan, Otto Kahn, Paul Warburg, John D. Rockefeller, Edward Henry Harriman and Frank Vanderlip. The Wall-Street subsidy of the Bolsheviks was made through the intermediary of the Swedish bank ‘NYA Banken’, headed up by the pro-Marxist banker, Olof Aschberg. These men were interested in Russia’s enormous wealth. In the run-up to the Bolshevik Revolutions, Charles B.Hill, who led the three branches of ‘Westinghouse’, used the Russian branch to finance the Bolsheviks.

Andrew Carnegie, owner of the ‘Carnegie Steel Company’ trust, financed a secret plan through which the governments of important states would be ‘communized’, that is turned into ‘state monopolies’. Controlled by ‘international bankers’ on Wall Street, this system would allow them to deal directly with the governments imposed by them through ‘revolutions’. The international bankers’ syndicate, called ‘the money trust’ and Jacob Schiff financed ‘bloody Sunday’ in Saint Petersburg.

The first revolution in Russia was supported by G. Buchanan, the British ambassador in St. Petersburg. From that moment and after the establishment of the provisional government, Lenin, far from Russia, got into contact with Max Warburg and the German secret service. The connection was made through the ‘Polishman’ Ganetki, actually Furstenberg, and the Swiss socialist Karl Platten.

The exchange Lenin proposed to Max Warburg was simple: Germany would help take over power in St. Petersburg, and in exchange Lenin would immediately negotiate a separate peace, according to conditions dictated by the Germans. This is the reason Germany was behind the Bolshevik takeover of power.

Parvus presented his plan to send Lenin and the Swiss Bolsheviks into Russia on a special train. He asked for 5 million deutschmarks for the whole deal. A year earlier, Parvus had received 1 million marks from Max Warburg and the German secret service for organizing a general strike in St. Petersburg, which gathered approximately 55,000 participants. The sum of money solicited by Parvus would be procured by Max Warburg from various European bankers, linked to the Rothschild magnate, such as Olof Aschberg, Alfred Milner, etc. Max Warburg also financed ‘Pravda’.

Jacob Schiff, the president of the Kuhn, Loeb & Co. bank, became the main leader of the operation of installing Bolshevism in Russia. His grandson, John Schiff, estimated in The New York American Journal: “The old man spent around 20 million dollars for the final triumph of Bolshevism in Russia.”

The decision to send Lenin and his Bolsheviks into Russia was submitted by Max Warburg for examination by the Germans. At the meeting were: Erich Ludendorff, quartermaster general, the Minister of Interiors, Diego von Bergen and the secretary of state from the Ministry of external affairs, Arthur Zimmermann. Dr. Helphand, alias Parvus, told the participants he was ‘the spokesman for a well-positioned financial circle’. In fact, Parvus had been Max Warburg’s spy in Russia, for a long time.

The diplomatic and political preparations, and the technical details of sending Lenin and his group into Russia by the Germans only took about 3 weeks. During the journey, Lenin and the Bolsheviks travelling with him were not allowed to talk to anyone outside their group. They were given sufficient food, including milk for the young children.

Two months before the ‘revolution’, a so-called ‘Red Cross mission’ from America appeared in St. Petersburg: 36 people, all dressed in white coats emblazoned with the Red Cross symbol. The mission’s declared purpose was strictly humanitarian aid. In truth, the ‘Red Cross Mission’ had come to St. Petersburg straight from Wall Street: 26 of the ‘missionaries’ were a selection of the biggest bankers, businessmen and industrialists of America, disguised as doctors, supposedly part of the medical service of the American army.

The ‘mission’ was sent to Russia by Colonel Edward Mandell House, counsellor to President Wilson. He was the same colonel who sent Trotsky, together with his group of mercenaries, from New York to St. Petersburg aboard the S.S. Kristianiafjord, in order to organize the moment of the Bolshevik power takeover.

Many of the Wall Street ‘doctors’ would later have massive business deals with the USSR. For example, Armand Hammer, also known as ‘the red millionaire’ or Averell Harriman. He formed a maritime company, together with the Bolshevik state, which worked as a monopoly. He obtained concessions for exploiting the immense manganese deposits in the Caucasus mountains, using very cheap Russian labor, led by Cheka activists and officers. The same Harriman became the USA’s ambassador to Moscow and Stalin’s confidant on USA relations.

At the head of the American Red Cross mission was ‘doctor’ William Boyce Thompson, actually director of the USA Federal Reserve. Together with Thompson were other ‘doctors’ and ‘nurses’ from Wall Street, such as Robert Barr, president of Chase National Bank, Corse from national City Bank, Averell Harriman from the Harriman company, with large investments in mining and petrol, Thomas Thacher, Henry Davison, Alan Wardwell and Harold Swift.

There were also 10 real doctors and a few nurses, who left Russia a month later. The Wall Street ‘doctors’ however, remained in St. Petersburg until the Bolshevik power takeover. The ‘Russian translators’ for the group of Wall Street doctors were: ‘captain Ilovaisky’, actually Boris Reinstein, who would later become Lenin’s secretary; Alexandr Grunberg, whose real name was Mihail Gruzenberg, whose brother, Zorin, would later become Lenin’s commissar-minister with a long Soviet diplomatic career.

The 26 ‘doctors’ from Wall Street and the ‘Russian translators’, led by Ilovaisky, met with Lenin, at Trotsky’s insistence. During the meeting, they planned enormous post-revolutionary business deals, along with the secret support that Wall Street would accord to the Bolsheviks.

The businesses which profited from Lenin’s power takeover were: the American firms, Gillette, Du Pont, Harriman, Hammer, Singer, Harvester, Westing House, Ford, Caterpillar, General Electrics; the English businesses, Royal Dutch, Shell, Metro-Vickers, Birmingham Arms, Stery, Ferguson; the French companies, Duverger, Schlumberger, Duralumin and the Italian firms, Fiat, Nobile, Montefiore.

The secret partnership between Wall Street and the Bolsheviks was materialized in a series of big contracts after the takeover: General Electrics, for example, obtained a huge contract for the electrification of Russia. Standard Oil Company, part of the Rockefeller empire, bought 50% of the Russian oil fields, even though it was officially declared that they were nationalized. Standard Oil, through its partner Vacuum Oil Company, obtained exclusive retail rights of Russian oil to European countries, and built the first refinery in Russia.