The Position of Russia



Delivered over the radio from Moscow, November 6, 1941

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. VIII, pp. 100-104.

TWENTY-FOUR years have passed since the victory of the October Social Revolution and the establishment in our country of the Soviet system. We are now on the threshold of another, the twenty-fifth, year of the existence of the Soviet system.

Usually at the celebration meetings devoted to the anniversary of the October Revolution the results of our successes in the sphere of peaceful construction of the past year are summed up, and, indeed, we are in a position to sum up these results, since our successes in the sphere of peaceful construction are increasing not only from year to year but from month to month.

What these successes are and how big they are are known to all: to our friends as well as to our enemies. But the past year was not only a year of peaceful construction, it was also a year of war against the German invaders who treacherously attacked our peace-loving country. Only during the first six months of the past year did we have the chance of pushing our peaceful constructive labor. During the second half of the year more than four months has passed in conditions of a fierce war against the German imperialists. The war has thus become a turning point in the development of our country for the past year.

Country Serves the Front

The war has considerably curtailed and in some branches completely stopped our peaceful constructive efforts. It has compelled us to reconstruct our works program, placing it on a war footing. It has transformed our country into a single all-embracing rear serving the front, serving our Red Army and our Navy.

The period of peaceful construction has come to an end. The period of war for liberation against the German invader has begun. It is quite relevant, therefore, to ask the question what are the results of the war for the second half of the past year, or, strictly speaking, over more than four months of the second half of the past year, and what are the tasks that confront us in this war for liberation.

I already stated in one of my speeches at the beginning of the war that the war created a dangerous threat to our country, that a grave danger threatened our country, that it was necessary to understand and realize this danger and reconstruct our entire industry, placing it on a war footing.

Now, in summing up the results of four months of the war, I must again state that this danger not only has not weakened but on the contrary has increased. The enemy has seized the greater part of the Ukraine, White Russia, Moldavia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and a number of other regions. He has penetrated to the Don, hangs like a black cloud over Leningrad and threatens our glorious capital, Moscow.

The German Fascist invaders are plunging into our country, destroying towns and villages built by the labor of the workers, peasants and intellectuals of town and countryside. The Hitlerite hordes are killing and violating the peaceful inhabitants of our country, sparing neither women, children nor the aged.

Our brothers in the regions of our country seized by the Germans are groaning under the yoke of the German oppressors. Streams of enemy blood have been shed by the men of our army and navy in defending the honor and freedom of our native land, and in bravely repulsing the attacks of the infuriated enemy, they are showing examples of courage and heroism.

Calls Foe Reckless

But the enemy does not halt before sacrifices. He cares nothing whatever for the blood of his soldiers. He keeps throwing onto the front fresh units to replace those put out of commission and is straining every effort to capture Leningrad and Moscow before the advent of Winter, for he knows that for him the Winter has nothing good in store.

For the four months of the war so far our losses in killed are 350,000, missing 378,000, and our wounded number 1,020,000 men. For the same period the enemy has lost in killed, wounded and prisoners more than 4,500,000 men. There can be no doubt that as a result of the four months

of the war, Germany, whose reserves of man power are already given out, has been weakened to a considerably greater degree than the Soviet Union. The full volume of our huge reserves is only now expanding.

Undertaking the attack on our country, the German Fascist invaders calculated that they would certainly be able to finish with the Soviet Union in a month and a half to two months and succeed in this short period of time in reaching the Urals. It is not necessary to add that the Germans did not conceal this plan for a Blitz victory. Quite the contrary. They advertised it in every way. The facts, however, now show how this plan was wrong. Now this crazy plan must be considered a complete failure.

How is one to explain that the Blitzkrieg, which had been so successful in Western Europe, was not successful and collapsed in the East? What did the German Fascist strategists count on when they asserted that within two months they would finish with the Soviet Union and in a short period of time would reach the Urals?

Their calculations were based in the first place on the earnest hopes of creating a general coalition against the U. S. S. R., of drawing Great Britain and the United States into this coalition by intimidating beforehand the ruling circles in these circles with the specter of revolution and in this way completely isolating our country from the other powers.

Says French Were Intimidated

The Germans knew that their policy of playing upon the contradictions between the classes in certain States and the contradictions between these States and the Soviet country had already produced results in France, the rulers of which allowed themselves to be intimidated by the specter of revolution, refused to resist and, terror stricken, placed their native land under the heel of Hitler. The German Fascist strategists thought that the same thing would occur with Britain and the United States of America.

The notorious Hess, properly speaking, was sent to Britain by the German Fascists for this very purpose—in order to persuade the British politicians to join in the general campaign against the U. S. S. R.

But the Germans sadly miscalculated. Despite the efforts of Hess, Great Britain and the United States, far from joining the camp of the Fascist aggressors against the U. S. S. R., sided with the U. S. S. R. in its fight against Germany. Far from being isolated, the U. S. S. R. on the contrary found new allies in Great Britain, the United States and in the countries occupied by the Germans.

Sees Full Turn of Tables

It turned out that the German policy of playing on contradictions and intimidating with the specter of revolution had exhausted its possibilities and was no longer suited to the new situation. And not only is it no longer suitable, it is now fraught with great dangers for the German invaders. Hence, under new conditions of war it leads to diametrically opposite results.

Second, the Germans counted on the instability of the Soviet system and on the instability of the Soviet rear, believing that after the first serious blow and after the first reverses inflicted on the Red Army a conflict would break out between worker and peasant, that uprisings would take place, that the country would fall apart and that this would facilitate the advance of the German aggressors right through to the Urals.

But here also the Germans sadly miscalculated. The reverses of the Red Army not only did not weaken but contrarily strengthened still more the alliance between worker and peasant and re-established the existence of a firm friendship between the peoples of the U. S. S. R.

More than that, they converted the family of peoples of the U. S. S. R. into a single indestructible unit, selflessly supporting its Red Army and its Red Navy. Never before has the Soviet Union been as stable as it is now. It is quite likely that any other State, having sustained such territorial losses as we have now, could not have stood the task and would have fallen into a decline.

Since the Soviet system has so easily withstood this test and has consolidated its rear, this means that the Soviet system is now the most stable of all.

Finally, the German aggressors counted on the weakness of the Red Army and Red Navy, believing that the German Army and the German Navy would be able by its very first blows to overwhelm and disperse our fighting forces, clearing their way for an unhindered advance into the interior of our country. But here again the Germans sadly miscalculated, over-estimating their own forces and underestimating ours.

Of course, our Army and Navy are still young. They have been fighting for only four months. They have not yet had time to form regular cadres in the Army and Navy when they are confronted by an enemy with a cadres Army and Navy, which have already been waging war for almost two years.

But in the first place the morale of our younger army is higher than that of the Germans, for it is defending its own native land from foreign invaders and believes in the justice of its cause, while the German Army is waging a war of annexation and plundering a foreign country without any chance of believing even for a moment in the justice of its base cause.

There can be no doubt that the idea of defense of one's native land, the very idea for which our people are fighting, must breed and actually does breed heroes, who constitute the Red Army, while the idea of seizure and plundering of foreign countries, for which, properly speaking, the Germans are waging this war, must and actually does breed in the German Army professional plunderers corrupt and devoid of any moral backbone.

Second, while advancing into the interior of our country the German Army increases the distance separating it from its rear. It is compelled to operate in hostile surroundings. It is compelled to create a new rear in a foreign country, a rear that in addition is disrupted by guerrillas, which fundamentally disorganize supplies to the German Army, makes it afraid of its rear and kills its faith in the stability of its position.

Russian Rear Firm

Our army, on the other hand, operates among its own people, enjoying the steady support of its rear, has an assured supply of man-power, munitions, food and a firm faith in its rear. That is why our army proved stronger than the Germans had believed and the German Army weaker than might have been expected, judging from the boastful proclamations of the German invaders.

The defense of Leningrad and Moscow, where our divisions recently destroyed some thirty regular German divisions, shows that in time of war for our native land there are forged, and already have been forged, new Soviet fighters—bomber pilots, artillerymen and trench mortar gun crews, infantrymen and seamen who tomorrow will be the terror of the German Army.

All this is true, of course, but it is also true that along with these favorable conditions there are also a number of unfavorable conditions prevailing for the Red Army, as aconsequence of which we have suffered temporary reverses, have been compelled to withdraw and compelled to give up to the enemy a number of regions.

What are these unfavorable conditions? What are the causes of the temporary military reverses of the Red Army?

One of them is the absence of a second front in Europe against the German Fascist armies. On the continent of Europe there are no armies of Great Britain or of the United States that wage war against the German Fascist troops, and, therefore, the Germans do not have to split their forces and fight on two fronts in the West as well as in the East.

This circumstance means that the Germans, considering their rear in the West secure, have the possibility of moving all their troops and the troops of their European allies against our country. The situation is now such that our country is waging a war of liberation alone, with nobody's military assistance against the united front of Germans, Finns, Rumanians, Italians and Hungarians.

The Germans boast of their temporary successes and laud their armies to the heavens. Their leader asserts that "Army for army the Germans can always defeat the Red Army in battle." But these assertions are but empty boasts. Because, if such is the case, why is it that the Germans have resorted to using the help of the Finns, the Rumanians, the Italians and Hungarians against the Red Army, which is now fighting exclusively with its own forces, with no military assistance from the outside?

Predicts a Second Front

There is no doubt that the absence of a second front in Europe against the Germans considerably relieves the position of the German Army, nor can there be any doubt that the appearance of a second front on the Continent of Europe—and undoubtedly this will appear in the near future—will essentially relieve the position of our armies to the detriment of the German Army.

Another reason for the temporary reverses our armies have suffered is our shortage of tanks and more particularly, aircraft. In modern war it is very difficult for infantry to fight without tanks and without sufficient aircraft. In quality our aviation is superior to that of the Germans and our glorious airmen have now won fame as fearless fighters. But the fact remains that we have fewer planes than the Germans.

The quality of our tanks is superior to that of the Germans and our glorious tank crews and artillery men have more than once put to flight much-lauded German troops with their large numbers of tanks. But here, too, we have several times fewer tanks than the Germans.

And herein lies the secret of the temporary successes of the German Army. One cannot say that our tank industry is working badly or producing few tanks. No! Our tank industry is working very well and is producing no small number of excellent tanks. But the Germans are producing more tanks, for they have now at their disposal not only their own industry but the tank industries of Czecho-Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

Were it not for this circumstance the Red Army would long ago have routed the Germans, who never go into battle without tanks and who cannot withstand the blow of our units without a superiority in numbers of tanks. There is only one means to reduce to zero the present German superiority in tanks and thus radically improve the position of our armies. This method consists not only in increasing several times the output of tanks in our country but also in sharply increasing the output of anti-tank guns, anti-tank aircraft, anti-tank rifles, anti-tank grenades and trench mortars, and building more anti-tank ditches and tank traps. This isour job now. We can carry it to a successful conclusion and we will carry it to a successful conclusion—whatever the cost.

On National Socialists

In our country the German invaders—that is, the Hitlerites—are usually called Fascists. The Hitlerites, it transpires, consider this to be incorrect and stubbornly continue to call themselves National Socialists. Consequently, the Germans want to make us believe that the Hitlerite party, the party of German aggressors, who are plundering Europe and who have organized the outrageous attack on our Soviet State, is a Socialist party. Is this possible? What can there be in common between socialism and the brutal Hitlerite invaders who are plundering and suppressing the nations of Europe?

Is is possible to regard the Hitlerites as nationalists? This is impossible. In actual fact the Hitlerites now are not nationalists, but imperialists.

While Hitlerites engaged in gathering German lands and in reuniting to themselves the Rhineland, Austria and others, there existed certain grounds to consider them nationalists. But after they seized foreign territories and enslaved the European nations—the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Poles, Norwegians, the Danes, the Dutch, the Belgians, the French, the Serbs, the Greeks, the Ukrainians, the Russians, the Baltic peoples—and began to strive for world domination, the Hitlerite party ceased to be a nationalist party, since from this moment it became an imperialist party, a party of plunderers and oppressors. The Hitlerite party is a party of imperialists, and, at that, one of the most rapacious imperialists among all the imperialists of the world.

Are Hitlerites Socialists?

Can Hitlerites be regarded as Socialists? No! This is impossible. In actual fact the Hitlerites are the sworn enemies of socialism, out-and-out reactionaries and plunderers. They have deprived the working class and peoples of Europe of elementary liberties. To cover their reactionary nature, the Hitlerites denounce the Anglo-American internal regimes as plutocratic regimes.

But England and the United States of America possess elementarily democratic liberties. There exist there trade unions for workers and employes. There are workers' parties, and there is Parliament, whereas in Germany under the Hitler regime all these institutions have been destroyed.

One has only to compare these two sets of facts in order to understand the reactionary nature of the Hitlerite regime and all the other falseness of the haranguing of the German fascists against the Anglo-American plutocratic regimes. As a matter of fact, the Hitlerite regime is a replica of the reactionary regime that existed in Russia under the Czars.

It is known that the Hitlerites trample upon the Reich workers [about twenty words missing because of static]. And if these self-branded imperialists and out-and-out reactionaries still continue to don the mask of nationalists and Socialists, they do so in order to deceive the people and to cover with the flag of nationalism and socialism their rapacious imperialistic nature, as ravens don peacock feathers. But no matter how the ravens don themselves in these borrowed feathers, they remain nevertheless ravens.

Every means must be used, says Hitler, in order to insure the German conquest of the world. "If we want to create our great German Empire we must first of all drive out and destroy the Slavic peoples—the Russians, the Poles, the Czechs, the Slovaks, the Bulgarians, the Ukrainians. There is no reason why we should not do so." Man, says Hitler, is simple from birth. He can be ruled only with the help of

boots. In treating him any means are permissible. When policy demands it, one should lie, betray and even kill.

"Kill!" says Goering, "everybody who is against us. Kill! Kill! You are not responsible for this but I. Therefore, kill!"

"I deliver men," says Hitler, "from the humiliating chimera that is called culture. Culture as well as education cripples man. I have this advantage, that I am not deterred by any theoretical or moral considerations."

In one of the orders of the German command, dated Sept. 29, to the 489th Infantry Regiment, found on a dead German non-commissioned officer, it was written, "I order opening fire on every Russian the moment he appears at a distance of 600 meters. The Russian must understand that he has against him a resolute enemy from whom he can expect no quarter."

One of the addresses of the German High Command to the soldiers, found on the body of Lieutenant Gustav Tiegl, a native of Frankfort on the Main, said:

"You have neither heart nor nerves. In war these are unnecessary. Suppress your feelings of mercy and pity. Kill every Russian, every Soviet. Do not halt even if before you there is an aged man or woman, boy or girl. Kill in this way and you will save yourself from destruction. You will secure the future of your family and you will become famous forever."

Here you have the program and instructions of the leaders of the Hitlerite party and the Hitlerite command, program and instructions of a people who have lost all semblance of human beings and who have sunk to the level of wild beasts, and these people, devoid of conscience and honor, people with a morale of beasts, have the impudence to call for the destruction of the great Russian nation, the nation of Plekhanoff, of Lenin, of Vilinsky and Cherechevsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Glinka and Tchaikovsky, Gorki and Chekhov, Chechinoff and Pavloff, Redin and Plurikoff Ivanoff and Katusoff. The German invaders wish to have a war of extermination against the peoples of the Soviet Union. Well, if the Germans wish this to be a war of extermination, they will get it!

Task Is "Extermination"

Henceforth our task, the task of the peoples of the U. S. S. R., the task of the fighters, commanders and political instructors of our army and our navy will consist in the extermination to the last man of all Germans who have penetrated the territory of our native land in the capacity of invaders. No mercy to the German invaders! Death to the German invaders!

The fact is that in their moral degradation the German invaders, having lost all human semblance, long ago sank to the level of wild beasts. This alone goes to prove that they doomed themselves to inevitable perdition.

But the inevitable doom of the Hitlerite invaders and their armies is determined not only by moral factors. There exist three more fundamental factors, the weight of which grows from day to day and which must lead in the near future to the inevitable collapse of the Hitlerite predatory imperialism.

First, there is the instability of the European rear of imperialist Germany, the instability of the "New Order" in Europe. The German invaders have enslaved the peoples of the European Continent from France to the Soviet Baltic, from Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Holland and Soviet Belo-Russia to the Balkans and the Soviet Ukraine, depriving them of elementary democratic liberties, depriving them of the right to decide their own fate, taking away their grain,

their meat and raw materials, transforming them into their slaves, crucifying the Poles, the Czechs, the Serbs, and deciding that, on achieving domination in Europe, they could build on this foundation the world domination of Germany. This is called by them the "New Order" in Europe!

New Order a "Volcano"

But what kind of foundation is this? What kind of New Order? Only the Hitlerite self-enamored fools are unable to see that the New Order in Europe and the notorious foundation of this order represent a volcano ready to erupt at any moment and bury the German imperialistic house of cards.

They refer to Napoleon, asserting that Hitler acts like Napoleon and that he resembles Napoleon in every respect! But in saying so one should not forget Napoleon's fate—and Hitler does not resemble Napoleon any more than a kitten resembles a lion. For Napoleon fought against the forces of reaction, relying upon the support of the progressive forces, while Hitler, on the contrary, relies on the support of the reactionary forces and is waging a struggle against the progressive forces. Only Hitlerite fools in Berlin are unable to understand that the enslaved peoples of Europe will struggle and will rise against Hitler's tyranny.

The instability of the German rear, of the Hitlerite invaders, causes them concern. While the Hitlerites were engaged in gathering together again the Germany, which had been carved up by the Versailles Treaty, they could enjoy the support of the German people, who were inspired by the ideal of the restoration of Germany.

But after this problem has been solved and the Hitlerites set out on their paths of imperialism, on the paths which led to the seizure of foreign lands and the conquests of other peoples and transformed those peoples and the peoples of Europe and the peoples of the U. S. S. R. into the sworn enemies of present-day Germany a profound change of attitude occurred among the German people.

They are against a continuation of the war. They wish to end this war, two years of a sanguinary war the end of which is not yet in sight. Millions of human victims, starvation, impoverishment, epidemics, everywhere an atmosphere of hostility toward Germans. All of this brought about through Hitler's stupid policy which transformed the peoples of the U. S. S. R. into mortal enemies of the present-day Germany—all this could not but turn the German people against this unnecessary and ruinous war.

Only the Hitlerite fools are unable to realize that not the European rear alone but the German rear of the German troops as well represents a volcano ready to erupt and bury the Hitlerite adventurers.

And, finally, came the coalition of the U. S. S. R., Great Britain and the United States of America against the German-Fascist imperialists. It is a fact that Great Britain, the United States of America and the Soviet Union have united into a single camp, having set themselves the aim of routing the Hitlerite imperialists and their invading armies.

Modern war is a war of motors. The war will be won by him who will have an overwhelming superiority in the output of motors. If the production of motors in the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union is combined, then we will acquire at least a threefold superiority over that output of the Germans. This is one of the fundamental reasons for the inevitable doom of the predatory Hitlerite imperialism.

There can be no doubt that the U. S. S. R., Great Britain and the United States will render full support to the peoplesof Europe in their struggle for liberation against Hitler's tyranny.

The recent Tripartite conference in Moscow, with the participation of the representative of Great Britain, Lord Beaverbrook, and the representative of the United States, Mr. Harriman, decided to help our country systematically, with tanks and aircraft. It is now known we have already begun to receive those tanks and those airplanes on the basis of this decision.

Even earlier Great Britain engaged to supply to our country materials such as aluminum, lead, tin, nickel and rubber. If we add to this the fact that the other day the United States of America decided to grant the Soviet Union a loan to the amount of $1,000,000,000, one can say with a certainty that the coalition of the United States of America, Great Britain and the U. S. S. R. is very real. It is growing and it will continue to grow for the benefit of our common cause of liberation. Such are the factors determining the inevitable gloom of German-Fascist imperialism.

Lenin differentiated between two kinds of war—war of annexation that means unjust war, and war for liberation that means just war. The Germans are now waging a war of annexation—an unjust war calculated for the seizure of foreign territory and the conquest of other peoples. Therefore all honest people must rise up against these German invaders as against enemies.

"A War of Liberation"

As distinct from Hitlerite Germany, the Soviet Union and its allies are waging a war of liberation—a just war calculated for the liberation of the enslaved peoples of Europe and the U. S. S. R. from Hitler tyranny. Therefore all honest people support the armies of the U. S. S. R., Great Britain and the other allies as armies of liberation.

But in order to realize these aims it is necessary to crush the military might of the German invaders. It is necessary to exterminate to the last man all the German invaders who have penetrated and violated our native land in order to enslave it.

But for this it is necessary that our army and navy enjoy the active and vigorous support of our entire country; that our workers and employes, men and women, work in factories without relaxing their efforts; that they give to the front more and more and still more tanks, anti-tank rifles and guns, airplanes, artillery, trench mortars, machine guns, rifles and ammunition.

It is necessary that our collective farmers, men and women, work their fields without relaxing their efforts, that they give to the front and the country more and still more grain, meat and raw materials for the industries.

It is necessary that our entire country and all the peoples of the U. S. S. R. organize themselves as one single fighting camp, waging, together with our army and navy, the great war of liberation for the honor and liberty of our native land, for the destruction of the German Army.

This is the task that confronts us now. We can and we must fulfill this task. Only by fulfilling it and routing the German invaders can we achieve a lasting and just peace.

We pledge ourselves to the complete destruction of the German invader, to the liberation of all oppressed peoples bowing under the yoke of Hitlerite tyranny.

Long live the indestructible friendship of the peoples of the Soviet Union! Long live our Red Army and our Red Navy! Long live our glorious motherland! Our cause is just; victory will be ours!