E.A. Preobrazhensky Autobiographical Sketch. Part 4. of 5. with link to complete text.

“In Zlatoust, where I had returned to work, our Party was in the minority amongst the workers, even during the October Days. The majority supported the SRs. In October I took part in an armed demonstration by the Party under the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets’, and urged workers so vehemently at the Zlatoust works to support us that I lost my voice. Yet we were only partially successful. In the Sima district, however, where I arrived on 26 October, we managed to take control everywhere and to nationalise all the mines in the area. After the October Days, all the remaining comrades, myself included, concentrated on establishing Soviet power in the Urals and on strengthening our Party organisations.…[continued below]

This is the fourth installment in my scan digitization and referencing of an English translation of the autobiography of E.A. Preobrazhenksky.  Preobrazhenksky a leading figure in the Russian Revolution and later of the ‘left’ opposition to Stalin, a collaborator of both Lenin and Trotsky, joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903 at the age of 17.

It is from the 1969 book Makers of the Russian Revolution originally published in French and edited and annotated by  Georges Haupt and Jean-Jaques Marie

The scan and OCR is from the English translation Cornell University Press 1974.

The book provides profiles of leading figures of the Russian Revolution including many of the original Bolsheviks. The editors produced the work using as much original and autobiographical material as was available to them. The book is available used for about 20.$ US.

EAP Autobiography complete PDF follow this link for the complete PDF format Scan.

Link to the 1st installment

Link to the 2nd installment

Link to the 3rd installment

Autobiography of E.A. Preobrazhensky Fourth Installment

From Ekaterinburg I was sent back to exile after six months in jail for my escape. I remained there for only a short while and in 1915 I was allowed to move to Irkutsk.[1] I joined the local Party organization, which soon collapsed. After that, to avoid further betrayals, we organized a group of the most ‘reliable’ comrades, that is Zavadsky, Rom, Dzyarsky, Krut, Samsonov and myself, equipped a printing-press and planned to begin publication with an anti-war proclamation which I had written. It soon became apparent that there was still an agent provocateur in our midst, so we dissolved the group, and it was only after the February Revolution that on the basis of the archives of the Irkutsk Department of Gendarmes we were able to establish who had betrayed us. It was David Krut, who was brought to trial for this in Moscow in 1926. During my stay in Irkutsk, I contributed two articles against the war to the SD paper Zabaikalskoye Obozreniye. After Irkutsk I went to Chita[2], and whilst I was there, the February Revolution[3] [4]began. In April I left Chita as a delegate to the forthcoming first Congress of Soviets, stopping on the way in the Urals to work with old friends there. After the Congress, I was elected to the Urals Regional Committee and was a Urals delegate to the Sixth Party Congress,[5] where I was chosen as a candidate Central Committee member.

In Zlatoust, where I had returned to work, our Party was in the minority amongst the workers, even during the October Days. The majority supported the SRs. In October I took part in an armed demonstration by the Party under the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets’, and urged workers so vehemently at the Zlatoust works to support us that I lost my voice. Yet we were only partially successful. In the Sima district, however, where I arrived on 26 October, we managed to take control everywhere and to nationalize all the mines in the area. After the October Days, all the remaining comrades, myself included, concentrated on establishing Soviet power in the Urals and on strengthening our Party organizations.”


[1] From Ekaterinburg to Irkutsk is about 3,500 kilometers. Thousands of miles from Moscow or from his prior base of operations in Ufa but with greater freedom Preobrazhensky is able to maintain his morale and continue his political activism.

[2] Chita is another 1000 km east of Irkust at this point he is located less than 500km from the Chinese border and 6,000 kilometers from Moscow where he had been during the Presnya insurrection.

[3] The Russian revolution may be understood to have occurred in 3 acts. The first—sometimes considered a rehearsal, though I prefer Act 1—was the 1905 revolution which expanded legal and democratic rights, established a proto-constitution and elected representation effectively creating a weak consultative-constitutional Monarchy in which the Tzar asserted veto power and the arbitrary right to dissolve the Duma(parliament). This expanded the open role of the bourgeoisie in Russian politics and consequently expanded the realm of action and political space for the organization of the working class and the peasantry. Act 2 is the February Revolution of 1917 in which mass political action resulted in the overthrow of the Tzar and the establishment of parliamentary rule with the fundamental transfer of class power from the autocracy and feudal class structure to bourgeois and middle class elements. At this stage The ‘Soviets’ Councils of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies sprung up creating a contest of power between the formal parliament and the revolutionary democratic organizations of the working class. This ‘dual power’ is well described in Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution

[4] For Lenin on Dual Power follow this link

[5] This is the Sixth (Petrograd) Congress of the Bolsheviks July 26 to August 3 1917. Held between the February and October Revolutions.

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News and political commentary from the point of view of the social interests of the international working class.
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