‘Les Révolutions’ – A World in Revolt 1917–1921

A Document Collection and Bibliography on the Kronstadt Uprising

The archive site “Fragments d’Histoire de la gauche radicale” (“Fragments of the History of the radical Left“, mainly in French language) has recently announced a documentary collection on the Kronstadt uprising of 1921. (1) Its authors have undertaken an appreciable effort to collect material from as many sources as were accessible to them, so to speak “from all camps”, without however any claim of being exhaustive. In its presentation we read:

« 150 years ago, the Paris Commune was put down by a soldiery under the orders of the French bourgeoisie. Fifty years later, the Commune of Kronstadt was crushed by military forces obeying a new power resulting from the October 1917 revolution. If the Paris Commune is part of the consensual, collective imaginary of the left, the Kronstadt Commune, on the contrary, breaks the consensus of victim-hood, and brings to light the contradictions of those forces that claim to fight for freedom.
In collaboration with the site that aims to disseminate archival documents of the European-Russian geographical area for the period 1917-1921, we have gathered a set of texts that relate to the Kronstadt uprising of March 1921. Some were sympathetic, others frankly hostile. A bibliography as complete as possible is attached to this set.
Moreover, we have not limited ourselves to doing a work of archivists. We have
an opinion on what happened, on what followed and on the lessons that can be drawn from it. »

Notwithstanding that references to documents of the historical communist lefts are exceptional (“internationalists of the third camp”), we consider this collection relevant to any researched critique of Leninist positions on the historical watershed that the ‘Kronstadt’ uprising would turn out to be, and recommend the authors’ survey on the following page.

1Les Révolutions – La boucherie de la guerre de 1914 – 18 accouche d’une monde qui se révolte.