Mr. Ambassadors, it is my honor to inform you that the All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies has formed a new Government of the Russian Republic in the form of the Council of People's Commissars. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is the Government’s Chairman. I was entrusted with foreign policy as the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs. See more
Turn your attention to the text of the armistice and democratic peace proposal approved by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies on the basis of self-determination of peoples. I have the honor to ask you to view this document as a formal proposal for an immediate armistice on all fronts and the immediate opening of peace negotiations. It’s a proposal the plenipotentiary of the Government of the Russian Republic addresses simultaneously all the belligerent peoples and their governments.
Rest reassured Mr. Ambassadors with the deepest respect of the Soviet Government to the people of your country, who cannot but strive for peace like all peoples are exhausted and bled by this unprecedented slaughter.
People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs, L. Trotsky
In the name of the Government of the Russian Republic, on behalf of the Council of People’s Commissars, we dismiss Dukhonin from your post for refusing to obey government orders and for conduct that entails untold hardships for the working people of all countries and especially the armies. See more
We order him, on pain of responsibility under war-time laws, to continue your duties pending the arrival at Field Headquarters of a new Commander-in-Chief or a person empowered by him to take over from him. Ensign Krylenko is appointed Commander-in-Chief.
Mountains of dirt and rock were piled high near the base of the wall. Climbing these we looked down into two massive pits, ten or fifteen feet deep and fifty yards long, where hundreds of soldiers and workers were digging in the light of huge fires. See more
A young student spoke to us in German. “The Brotherhood Grave,” he explained. “To-morrow we shall bury here five hundred proletarians who died for the Revolution.”
He took us down into the pit. In frantic haste swung the picks and shovels, and the earth-mountains grew. No one spoke. Overhead the night was thick with stars, and the ancient Imperial Kremlin wall towered up immeasurably.
“Here in this holy place,” said the student, “holiest of all Russia, we shall bury our most holy. Here where are the tombs of the Tsars, our Tsar—the People—shall sleep….” His arm was in a sling, from a bullet-wound gained in the fighting. He looked at it. “You foreigners look down on us Russians because so long we tolerated a mediæval monarchy,” said he. “But we saw that the Tsar was not the only tyrant in the world; capitalism was worse, and in all the countries of the world capitalism was Emperor…. Russian revolutionary tactics are best….”
As we left, the workers in the pit, exhausted and running with sweat in spite of the cold, began to climb wearily out. Across the Red Square a dark knot of men came hurrying. They swarmed into the pits, picked up the tools and began digging, digging, without a word….
Prokopovich spoke very forcibly: the Russian intelligentsia had always remained beyond the ideas of statehood, and it is only by virtue of its painful experiences that it has now begun to think along those lines. See more
He also pointed out the predicament experienced by socialist ministers in handing power to an entirely socialist ministry at a time when non-socialist ministers have been arrested. His idea – with which I concur – is that the struggle against the Bolsheviks must, at the present moment, be waged not with arms but through public opinion, the press and so forth.
What happiness it is to create in the most picturesque ruins on earth, surrounded by young, genius artists.
Red wine intoxicates us, and Palini invites us to a thousand banquets. Diaghilev relates to Rome like Kandavl to his wife – with love and pride. His house is open to guests, he feeds all with tomato purée and pirozhki. See more
Yesterday evening we walked around the circus. There is a red hall, but it is a sad sight. Misia walked on the tightrope. Diaghilev fell asleep, but gave a start and woke up when the elephant went down on its knees.
We’re waiting for Bakst!
I’m not writing because of work. We still have to erect the tuned mechanism. Massine is falling pray to the typical error of youth: he is confusing originality and unnecessary complication. Got to be on one’s guard without a break.