Lenin and World Revolution

By Stanley W. Page | Go to book overview

7
THE TREATY OF BREST-LITOVSK:
THE END GAME

WHILE ON VACATION in Finland, January 6-10, Lenin had begun to outline the approach he would take in persuading the party to choose the separate peace over a revolutionary war.1 Just before this time, at the renewed Brest sessions, the Germans had made their concept of self-determination more explicit. "For strategic reasons," as they explained on January 2 and 5, "their forces would remain" in all of Poland, Lithuania, and in the major parts of Latvia and Belo- Russia.2 On January 10 the Moscow regional bureau of the party adopted a resolution demanding "the breaking off of peace negotiations with the imperialistic Germans, . . . the disruption of every form of . . . relations with all diplomatizing gangsters," and called for a party conference or meeting to discuss the question of peace.3 On the same day the Petersburg Committee formulated a categorical protest against the possibility that an "imperialistic peace pact" be concluded with Germany.4

On January 20, having returned from Brest, Trotsky took up his "no war-no peace" scheme with Lenin. The latter wryly agreed that Trotsky's plan was "all very attractive," but was not likely to stop General Hoffmann from mounting an advance.

"You have said yourself," he told Trotsky, "that the trenches are empty. And suppose he begins the war again in spite of everything?"

"Then," replied Trotsky, "we would be forced to sign the peace treaty, and it would be clear to everyone that we had no other way out. By that alone we would strike a decisive blow at the legend that we are in league with the Hohenzollern behind the scenes."

"Naturally there is much to be said for that," was Lenin's answer, in effect a shrug of the shoulders, "but after all, it is too bold. For

Notes begin onpage 218.

-91-

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Lenin and World Revolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - The Russian Proletariat and World Revolution: Lenin's Views to 1914 1
  • 2 - Lenin's Assumption of International Proletarian Leadership 12
  • 3 - The April Theses and the Three Crises 27
  • 4 - The Seizure of Power 55
  • 5 - Trotsky and Lenin 74
  • 6 - Brest-Litovsk: The Opening Moves 81
  • 7 - Brest-Litovsk: The End Game 91
  • 8 - After Germany--The World! 111
  • 9 - The Third International 119
  • 10 - Violence When Necessary 134
  • 11 - Lenin and the East 141
  • 12 - The Second Congress of the Comintern 154
  • 13 - The Course is Set 185
  • Bibliography 245
  • Index 249
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