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Nikolai Ernestovich Bauman

V. I. Lenin

Today, November 3 (New Style), the news arrived by telegraph that N. E. Bauman, veterinary surgeon and member of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, has been murdered in Moscow by the tsar’s soldiers. A demonstration was held at his graveside, at which the widow of the deceased, also a member of our Party, delivered a speech calling on the people to rise in arms. We are unable as yet to give a detailed biography of our fallen comrade. For the time being, we shall merely enumerate the main events in his life. He started work in the Social-Democratic organisation in St. Petersburg in the nineties. He was arrested, spent twenty-two months in the Peter and Paul Fortress, and was then exiled to Vyatka Gubernia. He escaped from his place of exile, went abroad, and in 1900 participated in the organisation of Iskra. From its very inception he was one of the principal practical leaders of this enterprise, making frequent secret visits to Russia. He was arrested in February 1902 in Voronezh (betrayed by a doctor) in connection with the organisation of Iskra, and was imprisoned in Kiev. In August 1902, he escaped together with ten other Social-Democratic comrades. He was a delegate of the Moscow Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. to the Second Congress of the Party (under the assumed name of Sorokin). He took part in the Second Congress of the League[1] (under the assumed name of Sarafsky). Following this he became a member of the Moscow Committee of the Party. He was arrested on June 19, 1904, and was held at Taganka Prison. He must have been released. from prison only a few days ago.

May the memory of this fighter in the ranks of the Russian Social-Democratic proletariat never die! May the memory of this revolutionary, who has fallen in the first days of the victorious revolution, live for ever! May the honours paid to his remains by the people who have risen in revolt be a pledge of the complete victory of the uprising and the complete destruction of accursed tsarism!

The murder of N. E. Bauman clearly shows how correct the Social-Democratic speakers in St. Petersburg were when they described the Manifesto of October 17 as a trap, and the conduct of the government after publication of the Manifesto as provocative. What are all these promised liberties worth, so long as power and armed force remain in the hands of the government? Is not this “amnesty” actually a trap, when those who are released from, prison are shot down in the streets by Cossacks?

[1] The Second Congress of the “League of Russian Revolutionary Social-Democracy Abroad” was held on October 13-18 (26-31), 1903 in Geneva. It was convened by demand of the Mensheviks, who wished to contrapose it to the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. Expressing himself against the congress of the League Abroad, Lenin wrote, “A League congress at present will provide everything for a squabble but nothing for practical pur poses, i.e., for work abroad” (see Collected Works, Vol. 34, “Letter to G. D. Leiteizen”, October 10, 1903).

Published: Proletary, No. 24, November 7 (October 25), 1905.
Published according to the text in Proletary.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 9, pages 436-437.
Translated: The Late Abraham Fineberg and Julius Katzer

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