Quotations: The October Revolution

This selection of Russian Revolution quotations pertains to the October Revolution of 1917. These quotes have been sourced and selected by Alpha History authors. If you would like to contribute a quotation for inclusion on this page, please contact us.

“Before history, before the international proletariat, before the Russian Revolution and the Russian working class, we have no right to stake the whole future on the card of an armed uprising.”
Lev Kamenev, September 1917

“The will of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets has been predetermined by the enormous feat of the uprising of Petrograd workers and soldiers which occurred last night.”
Leon Trotsky, October 1917

“The congress was called to primarily discuss the question of forming a new government, and yet what do we see? We find that an irresponsible seizure of power has already occurred and that the will of the congress had been decided beforehand… We must save the revolution from this mad venture.”
Georgi Kuchin, Menshevik delegate

“A rising of the masses requires no justification. What has happened is an insurrection and not a conspiracy. We hardened the revolutionary energy of the Petersburg workers and soldiers. We openly forged the will of the masses for an insurrection, and not a conspiracy. The masses followed our banner and our insurrection was victorious. And now we are told: Renounce your victory, make concessions, compromise. With whom I ask?…No, here no compromise is possible. To those who have left and those who tell us to do this we must say: You are miserable bankrupts, your role is played out; go back where you ought to go: into the dustbin of history!”.
Leon Trotsky at the Second Congress of Soviets

“The entire labour of practical organisation of the insurrection was placed under the immediate direction of the President of the Petrograd Soviet, Comrade Trotsky. It can be stated with certainty, that the party owes the rapid coming over of the garrison into the camp of the Soviets and the skilful work of the Revolutionary Military Committee above all, and particularly to Comrade Trotsky.”
Joseph Stalin, November 1917

“Lenin and his comrades-in-arms think they can commit any crime, like the massacre at Petrograd, the storming of Moscow, abolition of the freedom of speech, the senseless arrests – all the abominations that used to be committed by Plehve and Stolypin.”
Maxim Gorky, November 1917

“A wild and unexampled orgy spread over Petrograd… We tried to stop them by walling up the entrances. The crowd penetrated through the windows, forced out the bars and grabbed the stocks. An attempt was made to flood the cellars with water. The fire brigade sent to do this themselves got drunk… The whole city was infected by the drinking madness. At last, the Council of People’s Commissars appointed a special commissar, endowed him with emergency powers, and gave him a strong escort. But the commissar too proved unreliable… Only after an intense effort was this alcoholic lunacy overcome.”
Antonov-Ovsenko, Bolshevik military commander

“I am especially distrustful of a Russian when he gets power into his hands. Not long ago a slave, he becomes the most unbridled despot as soon as he has the chance to become his neighbour’s master.”
Maxim Gorky