Ernst Meyer

Hands off Russia!

(1 October 1921)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. I No. 1, 1 October 1921, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2018). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Soviet Russia, alleged to be bloodthirsty and terroristic, has like no other state tried time and again to live in peace and friendship with other countries. Immediately after the October Revolution in 1918 the former allies of Tzarist Russia commenced their attacks upon Soviet Russia. Since that time the imperialists in all countries have periodically stirred up wars against Soviet Russia and have supported counter-revolutionary generals with money, munitions and advise. Hence, Soviet Russia who had had no army at the beginning of her existence was compelled to create a Red Army, which however served only the purposes of defense Soviet Russia would have been only too glad if her counter-revolutionary enemies both at home and abroad had permitted her to demobilise this Red Army and employ it in economic reconstruction work, instead of having to devote time to the building up of the army. In the Spring 1920 part of the army had already been dissolved into workers’ troops, when in the following Summer Poland at the command of France frivolously attacked Soviet Russia, thus forcing the latter to rearm herself.

During these weeks it became apparent that the workers throughout the world understood how the overthrow of the Soviets would react upon themselves. The proletariat of various countries spontaneously opposed their masters who were conspiring against Soviet Russia. This sentiment which found expression in the warning “hands off Russia!“ reached its greatest proportion in England. Thus Russia in spite of the peace favouring Poland was enabled to devote her energies to the work of reconstruction and even to go new ways, which made it possible for the capitalist countries to enter into relations with Soviet Russia on the basis of capitalist exchange of commodities.

The catastrophe of nature and its attendant evil, the famine, is now encouraging the lurking enemies to renew their attacks upon Soviet Russia. France cannot forget that she is no longer allowed to draw the interest on the capital lent to the Tzar; time and again she intrigued against Soviet Russia and now cynically and frivolously advises her vassals, Poland and Roumania, to exploit Russia’s difficult situation and deal a deadly blow to the famishing workers and peasants of Soviet Russia. Thus France whose bourgeois government has in the course of the last few mouths suffered many a political defeat in the Allied councils, hopes to raise her prestige. Poland, who by reason of England’s protest will be given but at pari of Upper Silesia and whose economics and finances are completely ruined, welcomes every adventure as a way out of her difficulties; hence she is overjoyed to be allowed to act as mercenary of France and becomes the latter’s willing instrument. If success is not forthcoming in the West, in Upper Silesia, it will perhaps not fail to materialise in the East in a campaign against Soviet Russia. Roumania who under the last of the Hohenzollern has become a bulwark of counter-revolution prepares for war against Soviet Russia. Hungary looks on benevolently and waits for a favourable moment in which to draw her sword against Soviet Russia, the same sword that is already stained with the blood of thousands of workers.

England still thinks her position threatened by the spread of the Bolshevik ideas in Asia and by the attempts of the colonial peoples enslaved by her imperialism to regain their freedom. England, however, cannot prove that Soviet Russia has been encroaching upon her sphere of interests. In an official note sent to the Soviet Government England justifies the steps taken against Russia with the Third Congress of the C.I. The English bourgeoisie’s hatred of Russia though it is clothed in the forms of polite diplomatic notes, is nevertheless very powerful indeed and is apparently this time exchanging the formal neutrality for a decidedly hostile attitude against Soviet Russia.

The bourgeois German republic whose anti-Bolshevik policy has proved a deplorable failure, has decided to take up an attitude of formal neutrality thus repeating the policy adopted in Summer 1920. Independent of this, however, the reactionaries who, an their own account, have repeatedly participated in the attacks on Soviet Russia will be only too glad of a chance to bring their iron divisions into action. Having already last winter by means of trusted go-betweens put a plan for the defeat of Russia before the Allied statesmen, Ludendorff has recently deigned to grant an interview to a journalist of the “arch-enemy“ (Sauerwein of the Matin) during which he once more developed a plan for the overthrow of Soviet Russia.

Thus, the bourgeois counter-revolution is bestirring itself throughout the world. Stagnation on the markets, restriction of production, unemployment, increase of prices and the rest of the social effects of the capitalist system of production and domination shall be veiled from the eyes of the workers by a fresh wave of anti-Bolshevik agitation and by a new war against Soviet Russia. The workers should clearly comprehend this plot; they should not allow themselves to forget that Russia is the bulwark of the World Revolution. The overthrow of Russia would automatically result in a ruthless suppression of all attempts to gain freedom throughout the world; it would result in a lengthening of the working hours and in political oppression. Hence, the workers of the world must get ready and answer to the plots of the international bourgeoisie with the united determination of the world proletariat:

Hands off Soviet Russia!

Last updated on 3 May 2019