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Non-fiction

Project 1917 is a series of events that took place a hundred years ago as described by those involved. It is composed only of diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers and other documents

Trotsky has communicated to the Allied military attaches a note asserting that his Government never desired a separate but a general peace, but that it was determined to have peace. It will, the note concluded, be the fault of the Allied Governments if Russia has after all to make a separate peace.


I have come to the conclusion that the only thing for us to do is to faire bonne mine a mauvais jeu. Acting on an idea originally suggested by Knox, I have telegraphed to the Foreign Office as follows:

"I share the view, already expressed by General Knox, that the situation here has become so desperate that we must reconsider our attitude.

In my opinion, the only safe course left to us is to give Russia back her word and to tell her people that, realizing how worn out they are by the war and the disorganization inseparable from a great revolution, we leave it to them to decide whether they will purchase peace on Germany's terms or fight on with the Allies, who are determined not to lay down their arms till binding guarantees for the world's peace have been secured. It has always been my one aim and object to keep Russia in the war, but one cannot force an exhausted nation to fight against its will. If anything could tempt Russia to make one more effort, it would be the knowledge that she was perfectly free to act as she pleased, without any pressure from the Allies. There is evidence to show that Germany is trying to make an irreparable breach between us and Russia, so as to pave the way for the German protectorate which she hopes eventually to establish over the latter. For us to hold to our pound of flesh and to insist on Russia fulfilling her obligations, under the 1914 Agreement, is to play Germany's game. Every day that we keep Russia in the war against her will does but embitter her people against us. If we release her from those obligations, the national resentment will turn against Germany if peace is delayed or purchased on too onerous terms. For us it is a matter of life and death to checkmate this latest German move, for a Russo-German Alliance after the war would constitute a perpetual menace to Europe, and more especially to Great Britain.

I am not advocating any transaction with the Bolshevik Government. On the contrary, I believe that the adoption of the course which I have suggested will take the wind out of their sails, as they will no longer be able to reproach the Allies with driving Russian soldiers to the slaughter for their Imperialistic aims."

✍    Also today

I barely escaped another arrest today.

I state that I’m in at the moment, it’s not bios, it’s… an antibiosis, a half-life. I’m tired, as the poets say, with every fiber of my being and every atom of my body. Two months in the city and not a minute of rest; it was only in the countryside that I finally realized just how tired I was, how tense. I’m of no use for anything. See more

It’s my birthday, which brings me no comfort and nobody else any happiness. At 12 o’ clock they gathered in my room for prayer, which all my siblings came for, including Irina and Felix – he finally arrived during the night. See more

I had discovered, moreover, upon returning from Moscow that I was expecting a child; this, in the circumstances, disturbed me greatly.

Life became every day more unstable, more alarming. The Bolsheviks issued decrees demolishing everything and hastened to carry out their programme. We stood, all of us, at the edge of a precipice, and I especially feared for my father. See more

Today:

0
in Petrograd
-2
in Moscow