Radio-Telegram to Bela Kun, April 7, 1919

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Lenin’s radio-telegrams to Bela Kun were sent in connection with the news of the proclamation of a Soviet Republic in Munich on April 7, 1919. At that time it was not yet known in Moscow that the Soviet Republic in Munich had been proclaimed by leaders of the German Social-Democrats and of the Centrist Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany, who by this manoeuvre wanted to deceive the workers and to discredit the idea of Soviet power. Conditions in Bavaria not yet being ripe for the proclamation of a Soviet Republic, the Bavarian Communists refused to take part in this provocative act of adventurism.

On April 13, 1919, when the Bavarian counter-revolutionaries made an attempt to seize power, a furious struggle took place on the streets of Munich, ending in the victory of the workers. A Soviet government was set up in Bavaria—the Executive Committee headed by the leader of the Bavarian Communists, Eugene Levin; the government also included Independents. The Government of the Bavarian Soviet Republic set about disarming the bourgeoisie, organising a Red Army, nationalising the banks, establishing workers’ control at enterprises, and organising food supply.

On April 27, 1919, Lenin wrote his “Message of Greetings to the Bavarian Soviet Republic”, in which he gave the revolutionary government of Bavaria advice in the form of a concrete programme of action for the proletarian party that had come to power (see present edition, Vol. 29, pp. 325–26).

The home and foreign situation of the Bavarian Soviet Republic was a difficult one. At the very first difficulties encountered by the Soviet Republic the representatives of the “Independent Social-Democrats” began to pursue a treacherous policy. Towards the end of April, the Independents succeeded in removing the Communists from leading positions. Taking advantage of this situation, the counter-revolutionaries went over to the offensive. On May 1, whiteguard units entered Munich and after three days’ hard fighting captured the city.

1[edit source]

April 7, 1.45 p.m.

Lenin asks you to greet the Bavarian Soviet Republic. He requests to be informed urgently and in as great detail as possible. In particular about everything concerned with land socialisation in Bavaria.


2[edit source]

April 8, 2.15 a.m.

Please give us details about the revolution that has taken place in Bavaria. Apart from the brief radio-telegram of the Bavarian Soviet Government we have no information. Please let us know how events are developing there and whether the new order holds full sway. Please give us the information I asked for yesterday about your programme on the national question. What is the position in Bavaria as regards the agrarian programme of the Soviet Government?[1]


  1. ↑ This refers to the Bavarian Soviet Government.—Ed.