THE LEADERS OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION:
LENIN'S GENERAL STAFF - THE BOLSHEVIK CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF 1917.
These pictures are of the General Staff of the Bolshevik Party which, under the leadership of Lenin, led the victorious October Revolution of 1917. Lenin attached tremendous significance to the Old Guard of Bolshevism. He regarded these men — the living embodiment of the experience of three revolutions (1905, February 1917, October 1917), of the struggle against World War I, the Civil War, the post-war period of reconstruction, as the only guarantee of correct policies for the future. "If we do not close our eyes to reality, then it must be recognised" Lenin wrote in March 1922, "that at the present time the proletarian policy of our Party is determined not so much by its social composition but by the enormous and unlimited authority of that thin layer which may be called the Old Guard. Even a minor internal struggle within this layer would suffice, if not to undermine, then, in any case, to weaken its authority to such an extent that the decisions would thereafter no longer depend upon it." Almost the entire generation of the Old Guard was destroyed on the basis of the allegations made at the Moscow Trials that they were agents of foreign powers hostile to the Soviet Union — Germany, Britain and Japan. Also decapitated were almost the entire leadership of the Red Army, the Trade Unions, the Youth organisations.
At the time of the Moscow Trials the Executive Committee of the Second International requested representation and observers, as well as the right of lawyers to interview the accused. This was refused. Trotsky's request for independent investigations was similarly refused. If there existed any evidence, every thinking worker will ask: why has such evidence not been produced at the Nuremberg Trial ?
In view of the repercussions which the Moscow Trials and the allegations made in them against the Bolshevik Old Guard have had on the working class movement in every country, it is in the interest of historical truth that all sections of the Labour movement, support the statement printed on the other side of this leaflet, signed by well-known literary and Labour figures.