Revelations from the Russian Archives
A note from the Library of Congress speaking to the idea that if Lenin had lived the Soviet Union might have achieved its utopian objectives. Telegram from Lenin, August 11, 1918:
Translation of Exposing Imperialist Policies
Send to Penza
To Comrades Kuraev, Bosh, Minkin and other Penza communists
Comrades! The revolt by the five kulak volost’s must be suppressed without mercy. The interest of the entire revolution demands this, because we have now before us our final decisive battle “with the kulaks.” We need to set an example.
1. You need to hang (hang without fail, so that the public sees) at
least 100 notorious kulaks, the rich, and the bloodsuckers.
2. Publish their names.
3. Take away all of their grain.
4. Execute the hostages – in accordance with yesterday’s telegram.
This needs to be accomplished in such a way, that people for hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know and scream out: let’s choke and strangle those blood-sucking kulaks.
P.S. Use your toughest people for this.
TRANSLATOR’S COMMENTS: Lenin uses the derogative term kulach’e in reference to the class of prosperous peasants. A volost’ was a territorial/administrative unit consisting of a few villages and surrounding land.
Here is a discussion of how this document came to be in the Library of Congress.