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37

It appears that Lenin did indeed own several cats over the years. According to Louis Fischer's The Life of Lenin (the source cited by the Wikipedia article): He had had a brown cat in Geneva. During her visit to Lenin at Gorky shortly following the August 30, 1918, attempt on his life, Angelica Balabanoff saw two cats in the household. Lincoln Eyre, an ...


19

The relationship between Ataturk and Lenin created a minor controversy in Turkey in 2008, when the Atatürk Thought Association used a banner showing them side by side: A public prosecutor's office in İstanbul has reportedly launched a probe into the Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD) over its use of a banner showing Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of ...


18

Lenin, and all the Bolsheviks, believed that the USSR needed to industrialise very rapidly, so that it could defend itself effectively against foreign attacks. The Russian Empire had performed poorly against the Germans. The allies attacked the Bolsheviks, and arguably only failed because their countries were war-weary. There were two camps here. Bukharin ...


17

tl;dr Nobody knows. If you haven't found anything conclusive, you are not alone: there's no agreement among the historians, either. Some say Lenin was not at all responsible, that the execution was sanctioned by the local government and that Lenin and the top party members were informed about that post factum. Some say Lenin was the one who gave the orders. ...


15

The attribution certainly predates Lenin. A Google Book search indicates that it was well-established by at least 1890: "Wenn Napoleon sagte: »on s'engage et puis on voit!« so bezeichnet er damit nur das Verfahren aller selbstständigeren Heerund Trnppenführer." [Monatshefte für Politik und Wehrmacht, p.284, 1889] "Le mot de Napoléon : « On s'...


13

The theory about Chinese bodyguards of Lenin appears to be bogus. As far as I know, it first surfaced in the 1950s during the period of "great friendship" between the Soviet and Chinese people (only to disappear in 1960s, with deterioration of the relations between the two countries). It again resurfaced few years ago in the form of Sino-Russian made-for-TV ...


12

The picture referred to, an etching, was put up for auction in 2009, according to the New York Times, accompanied by a 300 page dossier of evidence painstakingly compiled by Felix Edenhofer the present vendor’s father. (auction house website) The Times article (link here) shows that there are many holes in the story. It quotes authoritative historians ...


11

Victor Sebestyen's book 'Lenin the Dictator' says that after the Bolsheviks had seized power and Lenin and his wife Nadezhda Krupskaya were living in a flat in the Kremlin, Lenin, despite his many other responsibilities as a ruthless Communist Dictator, always remembered to feed their cat, which his wife would often forget. Sebestyen does not say what the ...


11

According to Trotsky (excrept from Коминтерн и ГПУ, published in Бюллетень оппозиции (большевиков-ленинцев) № 85, translation mine): In 1928 […] not only the shooting squad, but even arrest would be inconceivable: the generation, alongside which I went thorugh the October Revolution and the civil war, was still alive. Politburo felt it was under ...


9

It is very probable that your great grandfather was a member of Bund. Bund was a Jewish socialist party. They split from the rest of social democrats in 1903. After the revolution (November 1917) they were disbanded and many of them joined Bolsheviks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Jewish_Labour_Bund_in_Lithuania,_Poland_and_Russia I make this ...


9

It's hard in history to prove that something did not happen, which is along the lines of the "impossible to prove a negative" concept. However, I think most historians do not believe Lenin was poisoned. This article is a nice and quick write-up of the issues Lenin dealt with, which included infections and an assassination attempt. Beyond being a ...


9

It is disputed whether Mussolini met Lenin during his time in Switzerland. According to Joshua Muravchik in Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, Mussolini left Italy for Switzerland, home to many expatriates, where he lived off friends and odd jobs, and, like so many other revolutionaries, received the occasional subvention from his ...


6

They benefited indirectly. First, according to the treaty Germany had to evacuate their troops in Ukraine, (and everywhere else on the territory of the former Russian empire) which made it possible for Russia to conquer Ukraine. I recall that in spring 1918 Russia surrendered to Germany (Brest-Litovsk treaty. This treaty was universally considered shameful ...


5

For me at least, this question may be re-phrased thus: To what extent were the contours of the Communist regime in Russia determined by Russian national peculiarities? Scholars like Richard Pipes hold that the Soviet regime was a development of some sort of immanent Russian matrix. Here is a wiki summary: Pipes is known for arguing that the origins of ...


5

No, it is not needed. I think you better should read the history of Marxism and about the Great French Revolution. If you want to deepen in history, you can start from the Commune of Rome (1144).


5

The timing was much more connected to the Russian February Revolution than to the US Declaration of War. It takes time for such operations to be planned, organized, and carried out; it is unthinkable that it could have been done in few days. Moreover, it made an eminent sense for the Germans to send the Russian Boleshevik exiles back to Russia regardless of ...


5

From Robert Messie "Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty." (If you do not know, Ilyich in this context means Lenin.) The link between the party leaders in Moscow who authorized the murder and the Ural Soviet which determined the time and method of execution was later described by Trotsky. He explained that ...


5

"No!" Even Wikipedia now knows that Lenin didn't say that sentence at all, or at least not in the way it was handed down. Ute Frevert: "Vertrauen und Macht. Deutschland und Russland in der Moderne", Vortrag am 25.05.2007 im Deutschen Historischen Institut Moskau. Moskau: Deutsches Historisches Institut. (PDF) My translation.) The language problem: ...


4

This is a good and easy question. Lenin won because he was a ruthless opportunist without a shred of consciousness. Ruthless Lenin did not hesitate to order mass executions and incarceration (in concentration camps) of anyone "tangential" ("прикосновенный") to a counterrevolutionary plot. Opportunist Lenin did not hesitate to change his policies 180° ...


3

You should first read the Wikipedia account of the Revolution of 1905 for the general background of your ancestor's story, and try to see the movie Battleship Potemkin for a dramatic presentation of the events in Odessa. (This movie is a prime example of victors' history, but is a good watch.) It is not an oversimplification to say that there were many ...


3

The intra-party (party-internal) debate had been endemic until the late 1920-ies, so the leadership had to deal with dissent both from the left (e.g., отзовисты) and the right (e.g., ликвидаторы). Additionally, the external ideological threat from Christian socialism has always been strong in the backwards agrarian country such as Russia. Lenin, the ...


3

No. It is generally considered to be a failure. The chief problem was the recurrent scissor's crises due to the agricultural sector not being incorporated into a commodity economy. As the price of agricultural goods declined, peasants would withdraw from the market economy and the (very few) Kulaks did likewise, reverting from small rural capitalists to ...


3

'On s'engage partout, et puis l'on voit' appears in Literarisches Wochenblatt, Volume 3 - but not attrbuted to Napoleon, though he is twice mentioned in the short article. So we are now back to 1819, in Napoleon's lifetime. Perhaps this is a proverb rather than a quotation?


2

In October 1917 two soviet meetings were held: Soldiers' and Workers'soviets and Farmers'soviets. In the former Bolsheviks had 338/739 seats. These soviets represented only about 20% of population. 80% were represented by the farmers' soviets. But, according to wiki, these soviets took the power. For better outlook, some deputies from the farmers' soviets ...


2

First I will highlight a crucial paragraph from the Wikipedia article you cite: In 1917 Vladimir Lenin in his April theses came up with famous slogan "All power to the Soviets!".[5] Following the February Revolution, Lenin considered that in Russia existed dual power as interweaving of bourgeoisie power (Provisional Government) and power of revolutionary ...


2

According to the German wikipedia page on the topic, the specific phrase doesn't appear in Lenin's work but it also notes that Lenin was a fan of a similar Russian proverb that goes trust, but verify.


2

A recommended reading here is Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution by British economic historian Robert Allen. I don't know the literature in detail, but Allen is generally very well respected for his work. (Google finds a review of the book here). From Amazon's page on the book: Although the Russian economy began to ...


1

It seems very plausible to attach his quip to Lenin, as the Red October and its aftermath was practically exactly that: take action and see what comes out of it. It seems very strange to attribute this 'motto' to Napoleon who is often portrayed as far more into planning and strategy and tactics. Well, for most of his career. The beginnings might be a little ...


1

Actually, Wikipedia contains a reasonably good answer to this (clearly ill-posed) question. The background: Urban workers formed the core of Bolshevik support, so the exodus posed a serious problem. Factory production severely slowed or halted. Factories lacked 30,000 workers in 1919. To survive, city dwellers sold personal valuables, made artisan craft-...


1

There is a strain of historical thought that some of the features of Russian/Soviet state are strongly influenced by Mongol conquest and rule by the Horde. So if you agree with that line of thought, you need to go back to 13th century.


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