Tenth issue of "Izvestiia of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Sailors, Soldiers and Workers of the town of Kronstadt". Includes commemoration of four years since the beginning of the revolution and proof that the Provisional Revolutionary Committee was not a White Army front. Translated by Scott Zenkatsu Parker and edited by Mary Huey. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mhuey/
Saturday, March 12th, 1921
TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE OVERTHROW OF AUTOCRACY AND THE EVE OF THE FALL OF COMMISSAROCRACY
The Provisional Revolutionary Committee directs all military units of the Kronstadt Fortress and Naval Base and Soviet departments and institutions to present exact information to the Transport Department of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee by March 13th for wagon and automobile transport, having divided it into light or dray, and suited or unsuited for carrying burdens.
V. BAIKOV, Director of the Transport Department of the Prov. Rev. Com.
SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
for March 11th, 1921
The day passed calmly.
Thick fog interfered with firing. About six P.M. Krasnaya Gorka opened occasional and resultless fire on the town.
Our northern forts were subjected to increased shelling by Sestroretsk and Lisy Nos.
The batteries of the adversary were silenced by the fire of our guns. Observations were made by intelligence.
In Oranienbaum, a train carrying bread was destroyed by our fire. The adversary's garrison was without bread the entire day.
Yesterday, Kronstadt was subjected to repeated raids by airplanes throwing bombs over the town.
At 4 P.M., the adversary's artillery opened fire from batteries located on the Oranienbaum Shore and from Krasnoflotskii. Our artillery answered energetically. Artillery fire subsided around 8 P.M.
PETRICHENKO, President of the Prov. Rev. Com.
SOLOVIANOV, Head of the Defense of the Kronstadt Fortress
TO ALL COMRADE SEAMEN, SOLDIERS AND WORKERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE REPULSE OF COMMUNIST ATTACKS
FROM MARCH 8th THROUGH 12th
Dear comrades! Fate itself has layed on you the great mission of liberating dear Soviet Russia from the Communist yoke. To you dear comrades, defenders of Kronstadt, the citadel of the Soviets, has fallen the most important and responsible lot of selfless struggle. Behind your valiant chests, as behind a rock wall, your mothers, wives and children calmly await victory.
They have entrusted their lives to you, and look on you with pride and faith as the saviors of laboring Russia, and the defenders of a great truth. Prove to the entire [sic] world of laborers, dear warriors, that however difficult may the great struggle for freely elected Soviets become, Kronstadt has always stood, and stands now, a vigilant watch on guard of the laborers' interests.
THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE
STAGES OF REVOLUTION
It is already four years since the three-hundred year yoke of autocracy fell. The repressed people who had been guarded by the gendarmes and police of Nikolai threw down the rotting throne of the tsar. All rich and poor Russia rejoiced in freedom. Capitalists and landowners were satisfied because they could finally put more in their own pockets, stealing labor as before from the worker and peasant, without sharing with the tsar and his champions. They hoped to seat themselves firmly on the toilers' neck, having duped the latter in the Constituent Assembly to which Kerensky was slowly but surely leading.
The bourgeoisie was certain that it would be be able to continue fleecing the peasant and worker. The unexperienced peasants and workers were also pulled toward the Uchredilka, not knowing what it would promise the toiler. The slogan of the Constituent Assembly ruled over all Russia.
Temporarily. But the peasant continued to be in the same fix that he had always been, waiting for when the Uchredilka would decide the question of land. The worker was universally exploited. As before he didn't have the right to the produce of his own labor.
The toilers of Russia finally understood that they were not escaping the cabal of the landowner and capitalist, and that this cabal was preparing them a new serfdom, bourgeois power.
Patience broke, and in October of 1917 the bourgeoisie was thrown aside by a comradely blow by the seamen, army, workers and peasants. It seemed that the laboring people had entered into their rights.
But the Communist party, filled with self-seekers and having become seperated from the peasants and workers in whose name it acted, seized power into its own hands. It decided to govern the country with the aid of its commissars, by the example of landowner Russia.
For 3 years the toilers of Soviet Russia groaned in the torture chambers of the Cheka. Everywhere, the Communist ruled over the worker and peasant. A new Communist serfdom arose. The peasant became a hired hand on Soviet farms, and the worker a hireling at a bureaucratic factory. The laboring intelligentsia came to nothing. Those who tried to protest were dragged off to the Cheka. They wasted no time with those who continued to agitate... they put them against the wall.
It became stifling. Soviet Russia had turned into all-Russian katorga. Worker unrest and peasant uprising testified that patience had come to an end. A toilers' uprising approached. The time to throw down the commissarocracy arrived.
Kronstadt, vigilant guard of the Social Revolution, has not overslept. It was in the first ranks of February and October. It first raised the flag of rebellion for the Third Revolution of Laborers.
Autocracy fell. The Uchredilka has passed into the land of legend.
Commissarocracy too will collapse. The time has come for true power of laborers, for Soviet power.
You fell as sacrifices to the great struggle.
Your unforgettable names shall not die in the noble memory of the laboring people, for whose fortune you laid down your wild heads.
In the battle's roar you did not think of yourselves.
Warriors for an idea, you did not tremble before the pack of tyrants.
You, the first sacrifices of the Third Revolution, of the Revolution of Labor, gave an example of steadfast firmness in battle for your rights.
You went forward under the slogan Victory or Death.
We who are alive shall carry the battle to its end.
We vow on your fresh graves to be victorious or to lie next to you.
Already, the light of the Great Liberation of Laborers has begun to shine.
KRONSTADT AND SMOLNY
We hide nothing, and hide from no one.
Everything we do, we do openly because our cause is rightful. It is to realize the common desire of the laboring people, to realize true Soviet power. No one can stop us from doing this.
And truly, in any case, bands of chekists and other murderers won't stop us. Heroism, the garrison's morale and the populace's calm certainty can serve to guarantee this.
And what is being done at the same time in the camp of the adversary? Interesting newspapers from March 9th which we recently received serve as the best answer. We have hung these newspapers in the windows of Sovtsentropechat* so that citizens can personally convince themselves of the unbounded, blatant lies with which the newspapers, by orders from Smolny, try to hide the truth the truth from the workers and soldiers.
Krasnaia Gazeta has come to the point that they are claiming that, "cadets broke into the town. Vershinin, a member of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, was captured in the streets..."
Pathetic lackeys of the Communists, whom do you want to deceive?
Comrade Vershinin has been captured, this is true. But do you want to know, citizens, under what circumstances Comrade Vershinin was taken?
Allow me. On March 8th a group of the opponent's troops, with a white flag in front, set out toward our patrols. Trusting in the flag, presuming that a delegation was coming to us for negotiations, Comrade Vershinin threw a revolver from himself and went out unarmed to meet the truce envoys.
But what does one more Judas kiss mean to traitors? They captured the unarmed truce envoy and carried him away with them...
That, citizens, is the entire truth for you! The lackeys from Krasnaia Gazeta did not even succeed in agreeing with the lackeys from Pravda. At the same time when the first was reporting that two thousand 'gold epaulets' [tsarist officers] had snuck into Kronstadt, Pravda says they were only "hundreds of White Guard Russian officers."
The newspapers are before you citizens. Read and learn how the Communists deceive the people.
We hide nothing. Their lies are our best agitator.
CONFERENCE OF DELEGATES OF MARCH 11TH
Delegates gathered at five o'clock in the Hall of Assemblies. Before the beginning of the session, Comrade Petrichenko distributed the Bolshevist Pravda and Krasnaia to the delegates. It was easily felt that Revolutionary Kronstadt does not fear the lying Communist press. The session opened at 4:55 under the roar of the bombardment of our glorious floating fortresses. The Conference stands to honor the memory of the fallen red eagles of Kronstadt.
The produce question was discussed first. The report of the Prov. Rev. Com. was heard with deep attention. As was clarified after a short debate, Kronstadt's produce situation is completely fine. The Conference decided to consider the actions of the Rev. Com. to be correct, and proper for the current situation.
Current affairs were discussed next.
A report on the requisitioning of boots from the arrested Communists for soldiers' use was met with thunderous applause and calls of, "Right! Take their winter coats!!!"
It was decided to celebrate the fall of autocracy at the same time as the overthrow of commissarocracy, since there is no time now to take away from military action. A representative of the workers of the sewing workshop of the Soviet of the People's Economy reported on the preparation of 3000 sets of underwear, which it was decided to use for those at the front line.
Comrade Kilgast requested that the delegates spread the request for comrades to donate shoes for the soldiers.
The question was raised of liberating Communists on bail. After a debate, in which Comrade Petrichenko noted the worth of a Bolshevik's word and that in general those arrested are only the most unrestful, it was decided to leave the Communists under arrest so long as events have not been wrapped up and military actions not come to an end. (Ilyin, Galapov, Guriev and others who were left at liberty continued to carry on agitation and to gather secretly. Ilyin had the gall to phone Krasnaya Gorka and give it information on how things stood in Kronstadt.)
It was decreed that further arrests could be carried out by the Rev. Com. only upon an inquiry into the question by the revtroikas.
One of the comrades related a fact which showed that there are also honest Communists, who are fulfilling military assignments selflessly and in an exemplary way.
At the end of the session, Comrade Petrichenko proposed that the Conference thank the defenders of the approaches to Kronstadt. This was met with long, unceasing, stormy applause.
The Communists are spreading rumors that there are White Guard generals, officers and priests included in the composition of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee. In order to stop this once and for all, we bring to their attention that the Committee consists of the following fifteen members:
1) PETRICHENKO--a senior clerk on the battleship Petropavlovsk;
2) YAKOVENKO--a telephone operator of the Kronstadt Regional Communications Service;
3) OSOSOV--a machinist on the battleship Sevastopol;
4) ARKHIPOV--a machinist foreman;
5) PEREPELKIN--an electrician on the battleship Sevastopol;
6) PATRUSHEV--an electrician foreman on the Petropavlovsk;
7) KUPOLOV--a senior doctor's assistant;
8) VERSHININ--a seaman/combatant on the battleship Sevastopol;
9) TUKIN--an artisan in the Electro-Mechanical Factory;
10) ROMANENKO--a watchman in the Repair Docks;
11) ORESHIN--Director of the 3rd Labor School;
12) VALK--a master in the Sawmill;
13) PAVLOV--a worker in the Mine Workshops;
14) BAIKOV--Director of Transport String of the Administration of Contruction of the Fortress;
15) KILGAST--an ocean navigator.
These are our generals: the Brusilovs, Kamenevs and the rest **
NEWS FROM PETROGRAD
--Pravda reports that, "in connection with the situation which has been created, the Celebration of the Women's Proletariat in Petrograd is temporarily postponed."
What kind of honest working woman would go to this celebration when stranglers of freedom and chekists are in power?
How could anyone think of holidays?
GENERAL MEETING OF DESERTERS IN THE 4TH NORTHERN BARRACKS
The General Meeting of soldiers who have crossed over to us, having first elected a revtroika consisting of Comrades Azarenko, Kuznetsov and Davydenko, passed the following resolution: "We, deserters, of a newly formed battalion, express our complete faith in the battalion commander, Comrade Gribov. We are ready, at the first call of the Rev. Com. of the Town of Kronstadt, to go to the next life defending the repressed.
seaman TROFIMOV, President of the Meeting
SOVIETS, AND NOT A CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, ARE THE LABORER'S STRONGHOLD
The 14 year old lad Podriadchikov has thrust himself into one of the reconnaissance detachments. However they tried to convince him to give it up, he persisted.
"You have to give me a rifle, and that's it!"
They were forced to give in.
At night the detachment set out on reconnaissance. Podriadchikov did not lag behind the other comrades.
In the dark, they stumbled on an outpost of the adversary, and a crossfire began. A stray bullet hit Podriadchikov in the leg at the very moment when the outpost gave up and retreated.
"Cut the leg off or bind it up, but I won't lag behind," cried the young hero. They quickly made a dressing, and Podriadchikov walked on. He is now lying in the hospital, and cannot wait to heal from his wound so that he can once more dash forward.
Last year, the Communists executed his father in a village.
LEAVING THE PARTY
All those leaving the ranks of the R.C.P. are directed to turn in their party booklets and identifications to their electoral troikas. Those leaving the party in the future and giving declarations are directed to do so right now.
Declarations of departure from the R.C.P. arrive unceasingly at the editorial offices, but in view of their great quantity and the insufficiency of space, the editors are unable to publish them immediately, and will include them as possible in following editions of the newspaper.
Working in Kronstadt for three years as a teacher at the Labor School, and also being active in the army and naval units, I have moved ahead honestly, leg to leg with the laborers of free Kronstadt. I have given them all my strengths in the field of people's education. The broad sweep of the wave of enlightenment which the Communists began, Soviet construction and the laborer's class struggle with the exploiters all drew me into the Communist party, of which I have been a member since February 1st, 1921. During the time that I have been in the party, a great number of fundamental failings in the party "heights" have been opened before me, spattering the beautiful idea of Communism with muck. Among these, bureaucratism, separation from the masses, dictatorship and the large number of so called "hangers on", careerist and the like have acted to repel the masses. All these things have given birth to a deep chasm between the masses and the party. They have turned it into an organization which is powerless in the struggle against the country's internal ruin.
The present moment has opened people's eyes to the most terrible facts. When the many thousand person populace of Kronstadt proposed a number of fair demands to the "defenders of the laborer's interests," the bureaucratized heights of the R.C.P. rejected them. Instead of dealing freely with the laborers of the town of Kronstadt, they opened fratricidal fire on the workers, sailors and soldiers of the revolutionary town. As if that wasn't enough, they throw bombs from airplanes on the defenseless women and children of Kronstadt. This has pleated even more thorns in the Communist Party's crown.
I do not want to be a supporter of the comrade Communists' barbarous excesses, and I also don't believe in the tactics of the party "heights," which have called for the spilling of blood and for great distress among the people's masses. Therefore, I openly declare before the Provisional Revolutionary Committee that since the moment of the first shot at Kronstadt I no longer consider myself a candidate member of the R.C.P., and give my entire support to the slogan taken by the laborers of Kronstadt, "All Power to Soviets, and not Parties!"
T. DENISOV, teacher in the 2nd Labor School
I ask that you no longer consider me a member of the R.C.P.. Seeing the tactics of the butcher Trotsky, I consider it a disgrace to be in its ranks. I have been and will be with the people, and will die the death of the honorable with them.
N. ALEKSANDROV, artisan of the Steamship Factory
We have watched the course of unfolding events in order to find out the truth behind all the loud words which authority, in the person of Trotsky and the rest from the camp of the evil kestrels, spoke and suggested to us, preaching the ideas of the R.C.P. With their first shot at the workers and peasants, in the person of the Kronstadt proletariat which has arisen to fight for a rightful cause, we understood that it was time for us to throw the shroud from our eyes, put there by those who call themselves warriors for the people's liberation. We decided that it was time to say for all to hear, "betrayers of the people, spillers of innocent blood, hands off power, and eternal damnation to you."
We ask that from the present moment you no longer consider us to be members of the R.C.P. We ask that you accept us into your midst as honest toilers who are prepared to stand at any time in defense of the Provisonal Revolutionary Committee of the Town of Kronstadt, and even, if it should be necessary, to lay down our lives for the workers and peasants, and for the power of free Soviets.
I. GUROV, A. YAKUSHIN, seamen of the Predbaza [sic]
The Communist party has lost the faith of the laboring masses, and its power has passed without any violence or blood into the hands of the revolutionary laboring masses of Kronstadt. None the less, the Central Authorities are blockading Kronstadt and sending out provocative broadcasts and proclamations, trying to anchor its power with hunger, cold, treachery and force. Considering such a policy a betrayal of the fundamental slogan of the Socialist Revolution, "All Power to the Laborers," I think that the Communists have put themselves in the ranks of the enemies of all labor. There is only one exit, to stay at your post to the end, and battle mercilessly with all who try to tie the laboring masses to their authority with force, treachery and provocation. We break all connection with the party.
MILORADOVICH, BEZSONOV AND MARKOV, former members of the R.C.P.
fort TOTLEBEN (MORSKOI)
At the General Meeting of the R.C.P. of the crew of the Transport String of the Naval Fortress of Kronstadt, in the presence of the secretary of the Revtroika, a resolution of departure from the party was passed by the following members: P. Goriachev, I. Iakovlev, Vasilii Likhrov, Nikolai Shubin, N. Scharov, P. Veselov, B. Belov, I. Makarov, Vasilii Kolosov, I. Khapov, Smorodinov, A. Arkhipov, Smirnov, Novikov, N. M. Kovkin, G. Mikhailov, K. Krylov, A. Smirnov, N. Chertkov, Ukhlin, V. Serikov, A. Khrul, A. Okunev, I. Andreev, N. Ivanov, A. Egorov. 26 persons in all.
Because of the slogan held by the R.C.P., "All power to the Soviets," and because of the one-sided party agitation, and also not wishing to just remain a witness to the building of Soviet power, I entered the R.C.P. in June of 1920. However, I have been convinced that the party does not express the will of the broad layers of the populace, the workers and peasants. This is in part supported by letters received from the provinces about the difficulties and oppression which the party directs at the village peasantry in the localities. Because of this, I ask that you no longer consider me a member of the R.C.P., and I give my support to the resolution passed at the meeting on March 1st. I place myself entirely under the authority of the actions and decisions of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of the Town of Kronstadt.
P. BARANOV, Head of the Watch of the Kronstadt Port
Having discussed the current situation, we, Communists of the collective of the Communications Service of the Naval Fortress of Kronstadt, have arrived at the unanimous conclusion that the Communist Party, having torn away from the broad masses, has set out on the path of bureaucratism and repression against the laborers' freedom. In three years in power, the party has brought the country to the wild raging of the Cheka, which has widely carried out executions and used all means to strangle and mock the laborers, and covered itself with their name. The Republic writhes in agony, brought to beggary by the policies of the bloodthirsty and power-blinded leaders. We greet the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, which is courageously raising rebellion against the party dictatorship and oligarchy. We give our support to the slogan, "Power to Soviets of Laborers, and not to Parties."
Down with the party dictatorship!
Long live the true power of laborers!
We the undersigned to this resolution declare our departure from the Communist Party, and ask that you accept us into the midst of the non-party comrades, to carry out joint work for the good of the Republic.
V. Remizov, V. Gromov, A. Elesin, P. Arsentiev, F. Kozyrev, V. Zinoviev, N. Vasiliev, V. Nikolaev, P. Blintsov, L. Semukov, P. Trubochistov, I. Starostin, V. Andreev, N. King, E. Grigoriev, P. Kiprushkin, A. Sedelkin, I. Sheremet.
I, a telephonist of the central station of fort Shants, being by nature a person of weak character, was not strong enough to stand against the force of the bloody Communists who recruited me into their party during party week.***
Having made myself, or, more truthfully, when the Communists had made me a blind weapon in their hands, my beliefs about their actions had not changed. In my soul I realized that the bureaucrat Communists would never achieve the prosperity of the laboring masses by way of violence, base deceipt, spilling blood, and the other acts of our authority.
But fear! Only fear for my own life did not let me denounce my party colleagues, bloody Communists.
And I was silent, staying on the edges.
But then arose the hour of repayment. Communist power, until then seemingly undefeatable, was overturned. The rabble of criminals, in the person of the Communists, was arrested. The laboring people breathed free, having thrown down the heavy burden...
And I? I am a Communist. The bloody document, the party booklet which remained with me, and which has now been turned in to the Revtroika of fort Shants, says so.
Comrades, forgive me for my unwilling stay in the R.C.P., and I will try to justify your faith. I recognize the Prov. Rev. Com., and cry together with you, "Hoorah!"
N. ROMANOV, telephonist of fort Shants
Finding the methods to which Lord Trotsky has resorted extremely horrifying, staining the party with the blood of its own brother workers, I consider it a moral obligation to leave the party. I ask that this be announced in the press.
V. GRABEZHEV, President of the Union of Construction Workers,
candidate member of the party
Declarations have also arrived at the editorial offices from the following:
131) I. Petrushkovsky, seaman of the Academic Mining Detachment, 132) also Maksimovsky, 133) also Chernyshev, 134) also Burmashev, 135) also Kulikov, 136) also D. Vorobiev, 137) also V. Pushkin, 138) V. Galonin, seaman of the battleship Petropavlovsk, 139) also F. Zaitsev, 140) also Shpinev, 141) also P. Samokhin, 142) also Iudin, 143) also N. Butuzov, 144) also F. Zhbirov, 145) also P. Orekhov, 146) also Olshevsky, 147) also Kudriashev, 148) also Misiuk, 149) also O. Rykov, 150) also D. Pavlov, 151) also Lobanov, 152) also A. Zuev, 153) also N. Kolosov, 154) also I. Pavlik-Linker, 155) also A. Svitin, 156) also F. Tkachuk, 157) also Sholopaev, 158) also S. Makarov, 159) also Klimin, 160) P. Chernin, 161) also M. Gusev, 162) also M. Lazarenko, 163) also A. Shilov, 164) also I. Eremeev, 165) also F. Izhek, 166) also Makrezhetsky, 167) also Smetanin, 168) also A. Gordykov, 169) also M. Grigoriev, 170) also A. Dronin, 171) also S. Shavanov, 172) also I. Ershov, 173) also M. Flerov, 174) also S. Soloviev, 175) also S. Kozlov, 176) also I. Diakonov, 177) also K. Zhukin, 178) also Shpinov, 179) also I. Matiukhin, 180) also A. Kocherin, 181) also T. Bychkov, 182) also N. Ermakov, 183) also Zhevenin, 184) also Zhukovsky, 185) O. Stepur, artisan of the Mine Laboratory, 186) F. Strelkov, employee of the Prodbaza, 187) also A. Petukhov, 188) also I. Reshetnikov, People's Investigator of the II District, 189) F. Matulik, employee of the Naval Bakery, 190) M. Malafeev, seaman of the crew of the Guard Headquarters, 191) V. Gogolev, serviceman of the Communications Service of the Administration of the Artillery, 192) S. Afanasiev, sldr. of the 4th Division of the Artillery, 193) S. Kurenev, employee of the Water Transport, 194) Lauve, employee of the Internal Guard Ship, 195) also G. Grinshtein, 196) also S. Shcherbo, 197) A. Sushilnikov, soldier, 198) V. Trepetsky, member of the R.C.P., 199) also Danchenko, 200) also A. Esenovsky, 201) A. Egorov, doctors' assistant of the Internal Guard Ship, 202) also E. Belozerov, 203) A. Serkov, worker of the Steamship Plant, 204) also K. Nikolaev, 205) also A. Belikov, 206) also A. Lysov, 207) also Bezzubikov, 208) also Vladkmerov, 209) also Voronin.
Today canned foods are issued to all, counted against the bread norm for March 15th:
Letter A - for bread coupon - No 20
Letter B - for bread coupon - No 24
Series B - for bread coupon - No 8
Series C - for bread coupon - No 2
Series A - for prod. coupon - No 9
3/4 lb. of salted beef is issued from the meat stores, counted against the bread norm for March 14th.
Letter A - for bread coupon - No 8
Letter B - for bread coupon - No 8
Series B - for bread coupon - No 9
Series C - for bread coupon - No 8
1 lb. of bread is issued by letter A for March 12th and 13th, for bread coupon No 21. 3 lbs. of oats are issued by letter B for bread coupon No 23. 1 lb. of dried bread by series B for bread coupon No 10. 1 1/2 pound of barley by series A for produce coupon No 10. 1 1/2 pound of barley by series C for bread coupon No 23, counted against the bread norm for March 12th, 13th and 14th.
Adult cafeterias are provisionally open from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M.
LEVAKOV, for the President of the Administration of Gorprodkom
On the basis of a telephonogram from the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of March 11th, in view of the military standing of the town, the March 12th holiday is moved to an unspecified date, and it is therefore instructed to consider SATURDAY a normal (working) day.
MATVEEV, Provisional and Acting Director of the Department of Labor
A. FEDOROV, member of the Central Troika
The Union of Printers brings to the attention of members of the union that issue of buttons, cigarette papers and "Baker" brand powder ends March 15th.
* This spelling is suggestive of 'Soviet Central Press,' in comparison to the 'North Central Press' elsewhere. Both are possible correct names. (trans.)
** The differences between the three versions of this document given in the text are reflected in the original. (trans.)
*** Party weeks were periods of reduced or eliminated requirements for party membership. There were two in Petrograd in 1919 (see Zagoskina, pp. 41-42).