V. I. Lenin

Speech At

The Universal Military
Training Festival

May 25, 1919[1]

Brief Newspaper Report

Deliver: 25 May, 1919
First Published: Izvestia No. 113, May 27, 1919; Published according to the Izvestia text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 383-384
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Today we are celebrating the universal military training of the working people.

Up to now, matters military have been an instrument of the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists and landowners. And to this day capitalists all over Europe are holding out with the aid of the remnants of their old armies, commanded by bourgeois officers. But this most reliable prop of the bourgeoisie will collapse when the workers take up the rifle, when they begin to form their own, vast proletarian army, when they begin to train soldiers who know what they are fighting for, who will defend the workers and peasants, their factories and workshops, and prevent the landowners and capitalists from coming back to power.

Today’s festival demonstrates the successes we have achieved, the new force that is springing up from the working class. This parade convinces us that Soviet power has won the sympathies of the workers of all countries, that the fraternal alliance of world Soviet republics will take the place of world wars.

Permit me to introduce to you a Hungarian comrade, Tibor Szamuely, Commissar for Military Affairs of the Hungarian Soviet Republic.

Long live the Hungarian proletariat!

Long live the world communist revolution!


[1] This speech was delivered at a parade on Red Square, Moscow, of workers’ regiments, communist battalions and students of Moscow army schools. The parade was held in celebration of the first anni-versary of the introduction of universal military training launched in accordance with a decree of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee dated April 23 1918; the training applied to workers and also to easants who did not exploit the labour of others. In the course of a year hundreds of thousands of working people received army training and were sent to reinforce the ranks of the Red Army.