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Lenin. A Sealed Train. And 10m Dollars.

trotsky3

Here’s a great read for history fans - and you don’t even have to buy the book. ‘The Sealed Train’ by Michael Pearson is here on the net.

It’s an account of Lenin’s top secret journey from exile back to Russia in 1917.

The funny part about the Russian revolution, when it came, is that Lenin was the last to know.

A neighbour in Switzerland stopped by with the news.

Actually, not such good news at first. Lenin couldn’t scrape together the bus fare back to Russia at the time. Moreover, the rest of Europe was at war. So the story recounts the devious dealing between Lenin, a bunch of secret agents and the German Government.

Eventually, Lenin and his entourage were transported back to St Petersburg via Scandinavia in a sealed carriage. For company, Lenin had 10 million dollars from Germany to bring down the Russian Government and to surrender the Russian army in the process. Yes, this was high treason of course and the story of The Sealed Train was kept from Russians for many years.

Along with some good anecdotes about characters such as Inessa Armand, Lenin’s mistress, the book shows you that the principle of buying revolutions of any colour is nothing new. ‘Revolutionary demonstrators’ in Russia were said to have been paid three roubles each and the total cost of the Russian revolution was estimated at around 10 million dollars. A lot of money in those days.

The Sealed Train was originally published in 1975 and, being a rattling good story, was made into a film in 1987 starring Ben Kingsley. You can still get the VHS from Amazon along with Michael Pearson’s equally revealing book, ‘Lenin’s Mistress’.

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17 comments to Lenin. A Sealed Train. And 10m Dollars.

  • I love how the train was sealed because the Germans were worried that Lenin would infect Germans workers along the way. It is a good story indeed.

    While a good story and the money certainly helped the Bolshevik effort in 1917, I’m rather cautious about attributing too much weight to its influence. I think Mark Steinberg’s document collection Voices of Revolution, 1917 paints a pretty good picture of how events pushed Russians in Petrograd toward the Bolsheviks rather than Lenin and his money pulled them. It seems pretty clear that Lenin was an astute politician who told the crowds what they already believed.

  • copydude

    Hi Sean.

    Indeed, the book’s footnote about demonstrators being paid three roubles a hiss related to earlier demos in 1914.

    I read that Pearson did a lot of digging about the actual amount at Lenin’s disposal. It was an unimaginable sum of money for those days. Given that Lenin wasn’t buying peak-time TV spots, it appears excessive. Maybe he splashed out on ‘non-revolutionary sundries’. But obviously not clothes :-)

  • Question :

    In that video you mention, did Kingley talk about the credit extended to the bolsheviks by Germany; and did he bring up the subject of Lenin-ism, for which the inspiration came to Lenin during that train ride ?

    In 1901 Carnegie sold his steel mills for 300 million dollars
    In the Brest-Litovsk agreement Lenin agreed to pay 120 million (gold)rubels to Germany

  • copydude

    To: Yamaguchy

    I haven’t seen the video yet. I’ll check. About Carnegie - thanks for fascinating fact. It gives another perspective on the available slush funds of the day.

  • Alex van D

    I believe it was actually the other way around: Any contact of Lenin with the Germans could , upon his arrival in Russia, be percieved as high treason. That is why he proposed to give the train the diplomatich status of an embassy. The compartiment the Russians were in were sealed off. A white line on the floor indicated the border so that he could be protected by German soldiers. During the trip through Germany, he refrained from any contact with the outside world, and communicated through agents…
    Source : “In Europa”, Geert Mak, 2005. He also claims Pearson as a mjor source, alongside Krupskaya(1959) and Possony(1974)

  • Generally revolution was done on the money of the American bankers. These money went on Trocki, one relative of them. Lenin was a wedding general Trocki.
    (I am sorry for bad English)

  • Craig

    The whole October revolution was financed & planned by International bankers that saw the Romanov family in the way of World Control & setting up a Central Bank in Russia. I have also read about Trotsky & 300 hired jewish mafia mercinaries from New York leaving the U.S on a Norwegian liner to Scandinavia - Petrograd, Russia with 20 million dollars worth of Gold Bullion from Wall St Bankers.

  • [...] government — boarded a sealed train car which took them from Scandinavia to Petrograd, sitting on ten million dollars in gold supplied by Germany’s richest Jewish banker, Max Warburg (whose brother Paul, strangely enough, [...]

  • David Deni

    Graig you are on drugs, think you read too much Robert Service.

  • [...] government — boarded a sealed train car which took them from Scandinavia to Petrograd, sitting on ten million dollars in gold supplied by Germany’s richest Jewish banker, Max Warburg (whose brother Paul, strangely enough, [...]

  • Fox

    You can to read about Anna Konstantynowicz nee Armand from Moscow and about her husband Apollon Konstantynowicz, Polish owner of DEKA Company in Russia at my domain ‘konstantynowicz.info’.

  • I see, in the past 6 years a few people came here to flaunt their ignorance
    “ten million in gold” what make of forklift did Vladimir Ilyich use to load that gold on the train

  • S. Kadir

    Could you please provide me the the addtess to the video about Lenin, if there is any. The history is very interesting.
    Thanks

  • Hey Sunil, I often wondered how dashes or underscores compared to each other in a domain. I tend to agree that dashes are much more readable. I also wonder how much worse it is to have a dashed versus non-dashed domain in the eyes of google?

  • Hopeychangey

    One of the reasons I married a Russian girl was because I knew the western culture (because I am from it) does not value marriage. To be honest, I have no idea why any western man would marry a western girl. As most marriages divorce and most are instigated by the woman.

    So, if a western man thinks he is getting life long partnership - well he is wrong. And most west guys know this.

    Hence I looked for a culture valuing marriage - and believed all the crap about Russian women valuing marriage. A month ago I came across an article of what countries to NEVER marry a woman from - if you want a real marriage. It was just based on the percentage of divorces in each country.

    Leading the world by a big, big, big margin was Hopey’s beloved RUSSIA. Wow. Bad luck for me I believed the Russia women propaganda about valuing marriage. When, in fact, the FACTS show that Russian culture is the WORST CULTURE BY FAR for putting value on marriage.

    I know Hopey calls me a liar every chance she gets. She, as Jack Nicholson said, ‘CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH’. Well, Hopey these divorce stats are simple, unemotional facts - hence truth.

  • [...] government — boarded a sealed train car which took them from Scandinavia to Petrograd, sitting on ten million dollars in gold supplied by Germany’s richest Jewish banker, Max Warburg (whose brother Paul, strangely enough, [...]

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