1918 | Petrograd

Preserving the Revolution

Lenin puts his foot down.

Comrades! The revolt by the five kulak volosts must be suppressed without mercy. The interest of the entire revolution demands this because we have now before us our final decisive battle “with the kulaks.” We need to set an example.

1) You need to hang (hang without fail, so that the public sees) at least one hundred notorious kulaks, the rich, and the bloodsuckers.

2) Publish their names.

3) Take away all of their grain.

4) Execute the hostages—in accordance with yesterday’s telegram.

This needs to be accomplished in such a way that people for hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know, and scream out: let’s choke and strangle those blood-sucking kulaks. Telegraph us acknowledging receipt and execution of this.

Yours, Lenin

P.S. Use your toughest people for this.


Vladimir Lenin

A letter sent to Communist agents in the city of Penza on August 11, 1918. The kulaks, wealthy peasant farmers suspected of hoarding grain, were virtually eliminated by Stalin in an extensive liquidation campaign.