The Kronstadt uprising of 1921 - Ida Mett

Ida Mett's history of the Kronstadt uprising highlights one of the most important yet neglected events of the Russian Revolution.

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Submitted by libcom on March 2, 2022

The suppression of the most revolutionary section of the Navy by the Bolsheviks was the final blow to any hope of a genuine revolution based on democratic workers' control. Mett dispels many of the contemporary mistruths put forward by Bolshevik propagandists and includes a number of original sources from the commune.

THE KRONSTADT UPRISING 1921
by Ida Mett
Originally published in French as
La Commune de Cronstadt, Paris 1938.
First published in English by Solidarity, 1967.
Then by Black Rose Books, Montréal, Canada, n.d.

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IkeIke356

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by IkeIke356 on March 2, 2022

Attempted to add a PDF. Srry if it didn't work out.

Battlescarred

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Battlescarred on March 3, 2022

It's been republished as an Active Distribution pamphlet.

darren p

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by darren p on March 3, 2022

Is anyone good at French? I found an untranslated introduction by Ida Mett where she talks about how it was hard to publish the text at the time as it was critical of Trotsky.

nastyned

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by nastyned on March 3, 2022

Battlescarred is.

Battlescarred

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Battlescarred on March 4, 2022

Yes, send it to me.

Fozzie

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on March 4, 2022

darren p

Is anyone good at French? I found an untranslated introduction by Ida Mett where she talks about how it was hard to publish the text at the time as it was critical of Trotsky.

That’s a great find, would love to read it.

darren p

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by darren p on March 4, 2022

Battlescarred

Yes, send it to me.

Check your private messages

Black Badger

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Black Badger on March 4, 2022

please send to me too, thx

darren p

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by darren p on March 4, 2022

Here's a link to it. It was taken from Scribd a few years ago. The 1970 preface and first chapter have never been translated into English as far as I know.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14o5o8iNlnF__lwzc7_x_gKO7TWhCSJT4/view?usp=sharing

Black Badger

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Black Badger on March 5, 2022

quick and dirty first preface; apologies for awkward English:

it appears the time has come to better understand Kronstadt, especially since there haven’t been any new uncovered facts. The archives of the Russian government and the Red Army remain closed to an objective analysis. In several official publications, certain facts are clearly false. But what we know about that time is enough to extract the political feel and this symptomatic and crucial event of the Russian Revolution.
Western militant workers have had an absolute confidence in the Bolshevik government, which came to direct the immense efforts of workers in the struggle against feudal-bourgeois reaction, and which personified, in their eyes, that same revolution.
Their spirits refused to believe that this government would be capable of cruelly repressing a revolutionary insurrection. That’s why the Bolsheviks could with impunity describe this movement as reactionary and denounce it as organized and supported by Russian and European bourgeois.
“An insurrection of White generals that had at its head the ex-general Kozlovsky, cried contemporary Russian journals, even as the sailors of Kronstadt sent radio appeals addressed to the whole world: Comrade workers, Red soldiers, and sailers! We are for the power of the Soviets and not for that of the parties; we are for the free representation [election?] of workers. Comrades, you’re being lied to! In Kronstadt, all power is exclusively held in the hands of revolutionary sailors, red soldiers and workers, and not in the hands of White Guards with some general Kozlovsky at its head, as Mocow radio has assured you.”

Anxious to offer an objective analysis of these historic event, vital interests of the workers’ movement, we propose to examine these opposing theses under the light of facts and documents, especially from the angle of events that followed immediately after the crushing of Kronstadt.
“The workers of the whole world will judge us,” radioed the Kronstadters, “and the blood of innocents will fall again on the heads of those who had become drunk with power.” Was that a prophecy?
We affix to this preface a list of Communist militants who took an active part in the repression of the insurrection.

Zinoviev, all-powerful dictator of Pétrograd, who inspired the implacable struggle against the strikers and sailors. Shot
Trotsky, People’s Commissar of war and navy, assassinated by an agent of Stalin in Mexico.
Lachévitch, member of the Council of Revolutionary War, member of the Defense Committee organized for the struggle against the strikers of Pétrograd. Suicide.
Dybenko, former sailor, was, before October, one of the organizers of the Central Baltic Fleet, and played a particularly active role in the military crushing of Kronstadt. In 1938 he was still commander of the Petrograd Legion garrison.
Kouzmine, commissar of the Baltic Fleet. Fate unknown.
Kalinine remained in nominal power as the figurehead president. Died of natural causes
Toukhatchevsky, commander, who created and directed the plan to capture Kronstadt. Shot.
Poutna, decorated for his participation in the military suppression of Kronstadt, later the Miliary Attache in London. Shot.
Delegates at the 20th Communist Party Congress who ended up fighting against Kronstadt:
Piatakov, shot. Roukhimovitch, shot. Boubnov, dismissed and disappeared.
Zatonsky, dismissed and disappeared.
Vorochilov, later played a pivotal role in the war of 1941-45.

darren p

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by darren p on March 5, 2022

Black Badger

quick and dirty first preface; apologies for awkward English:

This section has previously been translated by Solidarity. It's the 1970 preface and first chapter that haven't been.

Black Badger

1 year 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Black Badger on March 5, 2022

Well shit. Now I'm away from my dictionary for the next week, but I'll see what I can piece together for those two sections