The situation is dire. The Military Revolutionary Committee and the General Headquarters are waiting to see who goes first.
Do the Soviets have enough strength to seize power? It is very likely that they do. Do the Soviets have enough strength to save Russian and the revolution? It is likely that they do not.
It's a difficult time. No glimpses of light. The mood is close to a heroic despair. See more
The flesh is weak. Not mine. I'm very healthy, even though I've lost weight, but Russia's flesh. It's very thin. There are hunger and poverty everywhere. I doubt that anything can stop their fatal spread. Maybe left-wing democracy can make a heroic effort, both deeply patriotic and socialist, but it will, most likely, die after that.
The situation is still the same. Terrible misfortunes at the front and other circumstances provoke a sharp reaction in us, but also in Germany. Times are dismal. Perhaps, I will also be arrested on charges of "incitement" or something like that. But it’s not important. See more
I'm ready to give a report on everything I've done. I was, am and will be an enemy of armed adventures, but I was, am, and will be a Social-Democrat-Internationalist. I can always fully answer for what I’ve actually done, but I will deny responsibility for what I couldn’t do because it would be against my political conscience.
There’s only one very strong, purely personal desire, and I would give anything for it to be fulfilled: to see you and Toto. But only leave when things get better. Someway. It's very hard to send money. I'm trying and trying. But I’m sure that I’ll be able to send some somehow, so when you receive this letter, you will already have it. I want to send 300 rubles now, but I hope to send more later. I’ll try to send 300 to 400 rubles every month. The main problem is not getting money--you can earn it, but to send it--that's what’s hard.
I love you terribly. I often reread your cheerful, courageous, wise, and gentle letters. I picture myself as you, try to remember every line, and my heart pours out with some kind of burning wave.
How happy we’ve been in recent years. But the terrible and the great in history is redeemed only by suffering. Our suffering is not in vain in the course of humanity. Besides, you believe like I do, that love and spirit are immortal. You just need them a bit more.
You are my only priceless ones. I’m very worried how you’ll go on without money. I'll do my best.
I’ve just sent you a telegram so that you’d know at the very least that I’m alive. You’ll know all the details already from the newspapers of course, by the time you receive this letter. I’ve had to show solidarity with the Bolsheviks. But… they ignore my advice. True, the movement sprang up spontaneously, but it was nevertheless right in fighting against the partially armed uprisings prompted by the anarchists and the awful state of Petrograd’s underbelly, in keeping with our prior agreement. See more
You know what happened, how all this overflew the banks. The Black Hundreds, hooligans, provocateurs, anarchists, desperate people; they turned the demonstration increasingly absurd and chaotic. I foresaw it. I warned of this in number of meetings, and recently in the article “Forward” which I sent to you, that the Petrograd proletariat and the revolutionaries in the garrison are dying, having detached from the outdated Russian democracy, and the revolution will surely perish. Now, courage lies in enlightening the masses and keeping them from the excessive pressure, which is relatively light in Petrograd, but fatal overall. What am I to do?
Trotsky and the Bolsheviks agree with each other in words, but in reality, they give way to the chaos. And behind them, I give way too. Maybe a bad experience will make the people look back, or no one will be able stop us ploughing into the abyss. The root of everything, of course, is war.
I really need you. You’d advise me. I have formidable trust in your instincts. You would be my sacred refuge too. Will this letter reach you? When? Will we see each other? Yesterday, death ran rampant through Petersburg.
It’s Trinity Day. Every decent restaurant is closed. I had a horrible dinner and went to see Filippov for hot chocolate. Suddenly someone calls me. -– It’s Kamenev! Purely by chance. A little of this, a little of that. "Let's go to the Soviet." Today, Minister Kerensky is giving speech and trying to defend himself from the leftwing "attacks." So I went. See more
To describe the halls of the Mariinsky Theater to you, filled with soldiers and workers, a scene covered with curtains in huge colors, the Presidium and the Socialist ministers at the red table, I will not. He is Kerensky, young and slender, with khaki and high boots. Ovation. He speaks in short, hoarse phrases, sincerely, often - dexterously, mostly with a noble emptiness.
It was decided to open the debate at 5 minutes each speaker. Chkheidze states: "Comrade Lunacharsky is in the hall, according to my information, he is one of the very definite critics of the government." He asks for the words. " My 10 minutes I used well, without losing a single word, I destroyed all the arguments of Kerensky. He looked at me while I spoke, squinting, and as if measuring the enemy.
Poor fellow! Theatrical and hysterical, not a sincere democrat, he will probably break his neck in half position. For the bourgeoisie, he and his still huge popularity - the screen and the last position of her defense. It is the last weapon of the imperialists.
My dear, beloved daughter, yesterday I was horribly tired (conference in “New Life,” a meeting in the city elections commission, a big female demonstration), and now they are phoning me that a special ship has arrived for me from Kronstadt, where they have invited me to deliver a speech at a large demonstration of soldiers and sailors. Life here is grandiose in everything, and is tragic and tremendous. See more
So today I have to content myself with a postcard and to send with it my warm kiss to both of you. When I think about you—my heart suddenly stops from love, anxiety, and yearning for you. My dear, dear.
Your dad, Tolya