Lenin's return to Russia in 1917

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Lenin's return to Russia in 1917


·         Lenin was isolated in neutral Switzerland during the beginning of World War I.

·         After receiving news of the February 1917 revolution in Russia, he wanted to return there immediately to give instructions to the Bolsheviks about how to continue with the revolution and defeat the Provisional Government

·         A Swiss Communist convinced the German government to send Lenin safely to Russia on a sealed train. The Germans provided Lenin with a guarded train that took him as far as the Baltic coast, from which he traveled by boat to Sweden, then on to Russia by train.

·         The train was sealed because the Germans didn't want to take any chances of him disembarking in Germany and spreading his Communist propaganda. They were, however, fully welcoming of the idea of him inciting revolt in Russia.

·         The Germans knew that most Russians wanted to end their involvement in the war, so the German High Command sent Lenin back in the hope that it would destabilise the government and disrupt the army, even possibly lead to another revolution.

·         Germany even funded Lenin and his Bolshevik Party to some degree.

·         Lenin arrived in Petrograd on the evening of April 3, 1917.

·         His arrival was enthusiastically awaited, and a large crowd greeted him and cheered as he stepped off the train. To their surprise, however, Lenin expressed hostility toward most of them, denouncing both the provisional government and the Petrograd Soviet that had helped to bring about the change of power.

·         He considered any who stood outside his own narrow Bolshevik enclave to be his sworn enemies and obstacles to the “natural” flow of history.

·         In the days following his arrival, Lenin gave several speeches calling for the overthrow of the provisional government.

·         On April 7, the Bolshevik newspaper Pravda published the ideas contained in Lenin’s speeches, which collectively came to be known as the April Theses.

·         From the moment of his return through late October 1917, Lenin worked for a single goal: to place Russia under Bolshevik control as quickly as possible.

·         The immediate effect of Lenin’s


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