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THE MERCHANT OF REVOLUTION

Alexander Helphand. Drawing by Walter Bondy

THE MERCHANT OF REVOLUTION
The Life of Alexander Israel Helphand (Parvus)

1867-1924
Z. A. B. ZEMAN and W. B. SCHARLAU

London OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
New York Toronto 1965

Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C.4
GLASGOW NEW YORK TORONTO MELBOURNE WELLINGTON CAPE TOWN SALISBURY NAIROBI IBADAN ACCRA KUALA LUMPUR HONG KONG

© Z. A. B. ZEMAN and W. B. SCHARLAU 1965

Printed in Great Britain by W. & J. Mackay & Co Ltd, Chatham, Kent

For F. W. Deakin and E. Lehnartz

Contents
Introduction: The Nature of the Enigma
1. Disengagement from Russia

1
5

2. The Great Fortune 3. The Schwabing Headquarters
4. St. Petersburg, 1905

26 50
75

5. Strategist without an Army

101

6. An Interlude in Constantinople

125

7. Between the Socialists and the Diplomats 8. Not by Money Alone
9. Business and Politics 10. Revolution in Russia
11. Dirty Hands

145 170
192 206
235
260

12. Schwanenwerder

Epilogue Bibliography

276 282

Index,

291

List of Illustrations
Alexander Helphand. Drawing by Walter Bondy Frontispiece

I
II

Karl Kautsky, 1905

facing page 68
69

Helphand, Trotsky, and Lev Deutsch in the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress, 1906 Helphand and Deutsch on the way to exile in Siberia,
1906

III

84

IV Rosa Luxemburg
V a Christo Rakovsky b Karl Radek, 1924

85
132

VI Rosa Luxemburg and Helphand
VII Lenin and his sister
VIII Konrad Haenisch IX Brockdorff-Rantzau

133
148
149 212

X Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, Gottlieb von Jagow, and Karl Helfferich, 1915
XI Richard von Kuhlmann and Count Czernin, 1917
XII Philipp Scheidemann speaking outside the Reichstag, 1919

213

228

229

Preface
This study has grown out of an association of the joint authors with St. Antony's College, Oxford. They have both enjoyed, at different times, the hospitality of the College, and they have benefited from its stimulating international character. The authors are no less indebted to the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst in Bad Godesberg which financed, jointly with the College, a two-year scholarship in Oxford. The Warden of the College and Professor Dr. E. Lehnartz, the President of the Austauschdienst, have been most understanding and helpful while the work on this book was in progress, and to them the book is dedicated. The authors would also like to thank the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Court of St. Andrews University, and the Landesregierung in Nordhein-Westfalen. Their generous grants made research in a number of European archives possible. It is difficult to indicate the gratitude the authors feel towards Professor Dr. Werner Hahlweg of Minister University, and to Dr. George Katkov of Oxford University, who supervised, with great patience, the two theses in which preliminary explorations were made. In addition, the authors have benefited by the advice and help of many scholars, and they should especially like to mention Professor Sir Isaiah Berlin, Mr. David Footman, Dr. Michael Futtrell, Professor Dr. Heinz Gollwitzer, Mr. James Joll, Mr. Peter Nettl, Dr. Eberhart Pikart, and Professor Leonard Schapiro. The authors have also received valuable information from Helphand's friends and contemporaries, in particular from Frau Martha Jackh of New York, Dr. Moritz Bonn of London, Herr Arno Scholz of Berlin, Herr Bruno Schönlank, jun., of Zürich, and Mr. Satvet Lutfi Tozan, O.B.E., of Istanbul. This biography, a joint work of a German and a British historian, appeared in Germany last year. This edition can, however, be regarded as a separate book rather than as a literal translation of the German version.

January 1965

W. B. SCHARLAU Hamburg.

Z. A. B. ZEMAN St. Andrews, Scotland.

Introduction:

The Nature of the Enigma
About eight miles due west from the centre of Berlin, the River Havel broadens into the Wannsee: Schwanenwerder is the smaller of two islands on the lake. In the nineteenth century it provided building-sites for the houses of some of the richest Berlin families; the cooks and butlers were still attending to the needs of their employers between the two wars. A few large residences now remain; their private landing-stages are deserted. From time to time the desolate, shuttered peace of the island is disturbed by a boatload of tourists who come to inspect the ruined house that used to belong to Josef Goebbels. But twelve years before Hitler's Minister of Propaganda acquired his Schwanenwerder estate, a man who had been one of the first targets of Nazi vituperation had died there. His name was Alexander Israel Helphand: he died at the sumptuous house on 12 December 1924.

His obituaries lightly glossed over a life of extraordinary eventfulness. Konrad Haenisch, then Minister of Culture in Prussia, eulogized Parvus—he was better known under this pseudonym in socialist circles—as the 'ablest head of the Second International'.1 The liberal Berliner Tageblatt regarded him as a 'knowledgeable man in a class of his own' who, 'without being in the foreground, exercised a considerable influence'.2 The conservative Kreuzzeitung, on the other hand, saw Helphand as a man 'completely without character, a morally empty type of a political and business crook'. The obituary in a communist magazine, by an erstwhile friend of Helphand, discerned a sharp break in the life of the deceased man. Before the First World War, Helphand had been an original thinker, an influential socialist and revolutionary. But then he sold out; after August 1914 he 1 Parvus, Ein Blatt der Erinnerung, Berlin, 1925, p. 5. 2 13 December 1924.

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The Merchant of Revolution

became a traitor to the working class, a German chauvinist, a corrupt war profiteer.3 Karl Radek, the leading Soviet publicist, took the same line on Helphand in Pravda, where Radek also described him as a 'traitor', while pointing out that he had been 'one of the foremost of the revolutionary writers in the era of the Second International'.4 After his death, Helphand's striking personality and the unique role he had played in the history of Russia and Germany in the first two decades of the century sank farther and farther into oblivion. Admittedly, the restless, uncertain years of the Weimar Republic that gave way to Hitler's dictatorship and the holocaust of another war, as well as the conditions that obtained in the Soviet Union between the wars, were not conducive to dispassionate inquiry into so recent a past. And then, there was something in Helphand's activities that discouraged remembrance and prevented inquiry. The German Socialists intermittently remembered him as a leading Marxist theorist and a brilliant journalist; historians who concerned themselves with Germany's eastern policy in the First World War, knew that Helphand had had connexions with the Imperial German Government, and that he had advised the Foreign Ministry. It also emerged that he had taken part in the support, by the government in Berlin, of the revolutionary movement in Russia, and that he had played some role in connexion with Lenin's famous 'sealed train' journey across Germany in April 1917. Nevertheless, the politicians and soldiers who knew the facts preferred to surround the relations between the government and the revolutionary movement in Russia with a conspiracy of silence. The memoirs of Bethmann-Hollweg, of Helfferich, Nadolny, Ludendorff, and Kuhlmann made not a single reference to the name of Helphand. It was given certain prominence when he became one of the principal whipping-tops of Nazi propaganda. As a rich Jew and a Marxist revolutionary, he presented the ideal target for men like Alfred Rosenberg and Josef Goebbels, who included him among the ranks of the 'November criminals'—the
3
4

Clara Zetkin, in Die Kommunistische Internationale, No. I, January 1925. 14 December 1924.

Introduction: The Nature of the Enigma

3

enemies of the German people who had destroyed Imperial Germany and who had opened, on the frontier of Europe, the flood-gates of Bolshevism. In the Soviet Union, Helphand's name accompanied that of Trotsky into the limbo of forgetfulness. He was given an entry in the first edition of the official Soviet Encyclopedia: but from the second edition he disappeared. The revelations from the captured archives of the German Foreign Ministry, soon after the Second World War, made possible at least a partial decoding of the enigma of Helphand's life. The secret Great War series among these papers contain a large number of documents concerning Alexander Helphand. He emerged as the central figure in the conspiratorial connexions between the Imperial Government and the Russian Social Democrat party, and in particular Lenin's Bolshevik faction of it. The contention that the Imperial German Government had taken a great deal of interest in the spread of rebellion in wartime Russia could now be supported by documentary evidence.5 Indeed, a far-reaching revision of the accepted views of the First World War resulted from the opening of the Foreign Ministry's archives. It became apparent that policy-making in Berlin during the war had been a much more complex process than had been assumed. At the same time, men who had been ascribed historical greatness were demoted: the larger-than-life figures of Wilhelm II, of Ludendorff, or of Hindenburg, disappeared from their pedestals. Claims to historical prominence were staked on behalf of new men: Alexander Helphand belongs among them. Nevertheless, our knowledge of his motives and intentions, as well as of his personality, is still only fragmentary. The newly available information raised new problems, and aroused fresh controversies. Behind them the enigma of Helphand's life remained unsolved. Not that Helphand himself would have disapproved of the mystifications that followed his death. In a brief apologia pro vita sua, published in Berlin in 1918, he wrote: 'My life is marked by
G. Katkov, 'German Foreign Office documents on financial support to the Bolsheviks in 1917', in International Affairs, vol. XXXII (April 1956), pp. 181-9; St. T. Possony, Jahrhundert des Aufruhrs, Munich, 1956; W. Hahlweg (ed.), Lenins Ruckkehr nach Russland 1917, Leiden, 1957; Z. A. B. Zeman (ed.), Germany and the Revolution in Russia 1915-1918, London, 1958.

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The Merchant of Revolution

my literary works as with milestones. From one year to another, one can establish what constituted the focal point of my thinking, what filled my life at any given time.'6 No potential biographer could have wished for more misleading advice. Helphand's written works represent only the surface of the iceberg. He was obsessed by a desire for secretiveness; he preferred legend to serve his memory. He took, in the last years of his life, elaborate precautions to achieve this aim. The case of Philipp Scheidemann's book of reminiscences, Der Zusammenbruch, throws a sharp light on the manner in which Helphand acted after the war. Scheidemann was a German Social Democrat leader, and he wrote the book under Helphand's guidance, while staying at the house on the Wannsee; when the book appeared, it bore the imprint of Helphand's publishing house. Although he had been closely associated with Helphand during the war, Scheidemann did not once mention his host's name in his reminiscences. And then shortly after Helphand's death, his son, together with a number of his friends, searched the Schwanenwerder house for his political papers. They found nothing. It is very probable that he had destroyed the documents before his death: only after the last war was a small collection of Helphand's business documents discovered in Berlin. A considerable number of his papers must also have been deposited in Copenhagen: a young English scholar, who recently worked in the archives in the Danish capital, gained the impression that a mopping-up operation had been carried out there as well. All this sounds true to form: secretiveness was the hallmark of Helphand's activities. For more than three decades after his death, Helphand's determined effort to discourage inquiry into his secret operations appeared to have been successful. The authors of this biography often found themselves following false trails; their patience was severely tested by the peculiar elusiveness of their subject. Nevertheless, they believe that they have deciphered some of the mystery which Helphand had done his best to create.
6

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 45.

1
Disengagement from Russia
In 1867—the year of Helphand's birth—Europe was still the powerful centre of the civilized world. It was changing, but not very rapidly. There were trains, but no cars; in the capitals gas was still providing the light, and horses the short-distance transport; although telegraph was available, there were no telephones. In this year, a clumsy typewriting machine made its appearance; Alfred Nobel took out the patent for his new invention, dynamite. In Vienna, Strauss delighted his devoted public with the latest light-hearted composition, the Blue Danube Waltz; in London, Karl Marx completed the first volume of his magnum opus, Das Kapital. And from now on, the course of the main political developments in Europe was by no means difficult to forecast. The unification of Germany under Bismarck would soon be completed, and a trial of strength between the new state and France was a matter of speculation. Austria had been forced to withdraw from the affairs of both Italy and Germany, but she would soon find a new interest in the Balkans. Here, the influence of the Sublime Porte was fast declining: the question was whether Austria or Russia would fill the gap. Here, sooner or later, the interests of the two powers would clash. In the country of Helphand's birth, Alexander II, who had taken over the management of autocracy after the Crimean War, was still preoccupied with internal affairs. In Russia, the implementation of his reforms—the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 and the reorganization of local government three years later— left a lot to be desired. These were formidable tasks, the instruments for their accomplishment had proved inadequate, and the ranks of ill-wishers numerous. Even while the reforming zeal of the Tsar lasted, it made no serious inroads into the citadels of
M.R.-B

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The Merchant of Revolution

autocracy. In an age when new sections of the hitherto apolitical masses were forcing their way into the political affairs of the other European states, when Russia's neighbours to the west, Germany and Austria-Hungary, were experimenting with constitutions, Russia herself remained an autocracy, without a constitution or a parliament. She was supervised by a corrupt police force and administered by an inefficient bureaucracy. Together with the autocrat, graft reigned supreme. The Tsar may have expected gratitude from his subjects for his edicts of reform; if he did, he was bitterly disappointed. Karakozov's attempt on Alexander's life in April 1866 put an end to the era of reform. And as reform from above abated, the radicalism of the Russians changed. Alexander Herzen and his generation had shared the hopeful atmosphere of the fifties and the early sixties; they had had no use for violence and revolution. These now became fashionable. Although revolution remained a distant and hazy goal for the young radicals—only Bakunin dreamt of it in exile, uttering, from time to time, the precise date of its outbreak— terrorism became the accepted revolutionary technique. The repercussions of the terrorists' activities were out of proportion to their real numbers: the first victims were slain and the first martyrs of the revolution were created. In 1881 the Tsar himself was assassinated: his successor, Alexander III, could do no better than turn his back on the progressive aspects of his father's reign. Under the guidance of Pobedonostsev, the Tsar's chief adviser, plans for constitutional reform were shelved; the police force was strengthened and a stricter censorship introduced; the liberal university statute of 1863 was repealed. Among these conditions, radical revolutionary doctrines exercised an ever-growing attraction on the young educated Russians. Soon, another group was to go through a process, similar to that of the young radicals, of alienation from the established social order; this was Russian Jewry. They had lived inside the 'pale'— their settlements in western and south-western Russia—in relative peace until the assassination of Alexander II. Their time of trials began in 1881. They suffered from further discriminatory legislation from above, and by persecution inflicted from below. It

Disengagement from Russia 7

was tolerated and sometimes even encouraged by the Tsarist authorities: it deflected the fury of the mob from the genuine causes of its suffering. The word pogrom passed into the English language early in this century; it had acquired its frightful connotations in Russia some twenty years before. There were two periods of violent outbreaks of antisemitic feeling in Russia, in the years 1881 and 1883, and then again in 1903 and 1906. The pogroms soon developed their characteristic pattern. The localized disturbance spread like an avalanche; the mob would methodically proceed from one Jewish street to the next, from one Jewish shop to another. The property that could not be stolen was smashed. The pogroms—the revolutionary movement of the moronic mob—drove many Jews away from eastern Europe. The exodus to the west, as far afield as the east end of London, the Bronx in New York, and Palestine, started soon after the first violence had died down. It was not surprising that many young Jews who stayed behind in Russia eventually joined a revolutionary group of one kind or another. Israel Lazarevich Helphand was born a Russian Jew, and became a revolutionary. The place of his birth was Berezino in White Russia, a small town some ninety miles east of Vilno, in the province of Minsk. This was the northern part of the "pale', where the Jews accounted for more than a half of the total population.1 Russians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and Poles made up the rest of the population of the province. The Jewish community was self-contained. Barred from political appointments of any kind and from many of the professions, the Jews were either tradesmen or artisans; they rarely employed Gentiles, and were never employed by them. The Jews were mostly literate, but they could read and write Hebrew only, they spoke Yiddish, and knew little or no Russian. They led their separate lives: trade and sex outside marriage were their only links with the Gentile world. They lived in the past, on their historical memories. The exodus irom Egypt, Abraham's sacrifice, the occupation of Canaan, these events were alive for them, and hotly disputed. Such subjects
1 Thecensus of 1897 gave these figures for the province of Minsk: total population— 90.879; Jews-49,957.

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The Merchant of Revolution

were more pleasant to think about than the drab, depressing, and often dangerous present.2 Helphand was born into a lower middle-class Jewish family in this province on 27 August 1867. There is very little we know about his descent, his childhood, and youth; even the date of his birth is likely to be an approximation. After Helphand left Russia, he had to fill out a number of forms, in Switzerland or in Germany, and 27 August was the date of birth he gave on these. He also adopted the name of Alexander: it was as Israel Alexander Helphand that he appeared in the police files of a number of European countries. His father was an artisan, perhaps a locksmith or a blacksmith; we have only one vivid memory from Helphand's childhood on record. It is an account of a fire at his native town :
A part of the town in which we lived—it was a Russian provincial town—burnt down one evening. But at first I, a small boy, knew nothing about it, and continued to play in a corner of the room. The window-panes acquired a beautiful red glow, I noticed it, and it gave me pleasure. Suddenly the door was flung open, and I saw the frightened face of my mother, who rushed towards me and who took me, without saying a word, into her arms, and carried me away. My mother is running through the street, I am toddling behind her, firmly held by the arm, stumbling, nearly falling over, puzzled, clueless, but without any feeling of fear, surprised and looking around with the wide-open eyes of a child, people running everywhere. They are all carrying beds, chests, pieces of furniture. We hear hurried, hollow voices. A confusion of voices in the semi-darkness of the night. I want to look round, but I cannot, I am being dragged forward too fast. Then we come to an open space, filled, in two rows, with all kinds of possessions, pieces of furniture, beds, etc. There are some of our things already there. An encampment is built from beds and cushions, and I am sat down there with strict orders not to move. I was not thinking of doing that anyway: everything around me is so unusual, fantastic, it came so unexpectedly, and now I am sitting so snugly among the many soft cushions. The open space becomes enveloped in darkness. One sees the swaying hand-lamps cut across it like large will-o'-the-wisps, they approach us or they merge
2

Jehudo Epstein, Mein Weg von Ost nach West, Stuttgart, 1929, p.8 et seq.

Disengagement from Russia 9
into the darkness. At first, one sees a red spot of light in the distance, then nearer and nearer, a growing circle of light, and behind it vague, shadowy outlines of people, carriages, large pieces of furniture. The sky is black, without stars, only in one place a glare can be seen, growing bigger, striving upwards, it hurriedly reaches out and flares up more brightly, but soon it draws back and grows dimmer, and then again the lost territory is quickly reclaimed by the glowing surfaces. Dogs are howling. But with all this going on I feel secure, so peaceful behind the entrenchment, among the enormous, white pillows, that I stretch out and soon doze off, having no notion of the catastrophe that afflicted a whole town.3

The destruction by fire of the Helphands' house was followed by their move to Odessa. They had a long way to go for they had to traverse the whole length of the Ukraine, north to south, before they reached the Black Sea port. The reason for the family's move may well have been the fact that Odessa was the birthplace of Helphand's father. In the circle of his friends, young Helphand later fondly remembered his family's Odessa origins, where his ancestors had been well known for their physical strength among the Jewish stevedores in the harbour. At the time of the family's arrival in the south, early in the eighteen-seventies, Odessa was going through a period of unprecedented prosperity. The town itself was one of the biggest trading centres of the Empire; in the privileged free port, the dockers handled large cargoes of Ukrainian grain. Russians, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Turks, Tatars, and Persians made up the colourful crowds in the streets, where rows of tradesmen's and artisans' houses occasionally gave way to the splendid white palaces of the rich merchants. The open horizons and the sun, the proximity of the sea, and the active, prosperous citizens of Odessa leading an alfresco existence, combined to create the atmosphere of a Mediterranean town. It did not encourage any section of its inhabitants to brood and stagnate in isolation: the Jewish community in Odessa led a life which bore little resemblance to that of the Jews in the northern provinces of the 'pale'. Most of them could speak Ukrainian or Russian; religious orthodoxy had never been strongly entrenched in the town on the 3
C. Lehmann and Parvus, Das hungernde Russland, Munich, 1900, pp. 172-3.

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The Merchant of Revolution

Black Sea, and many Jews there discarded the rigid ritual of their faith. Some of them belonged among the rich grain merchants, the vital and explosive figures of Isaac Babel's short stories. Their strong attachment to life was their main virtue; riches, they knew, came and went. They found as much satisfaction in the risk and uncertainties of their business as in the profit they made. Although the Odessa Jews were not spared the horrors of mob violence unleashed after the assassination of Alexander II, the years young Helphand spent at the Black Sea port provided him with a Russian background. He went to a local gymnasium—a grammar school that stressed the classical disciplines—and he also received some private tuition in the humanities before he went to university. But formal education gave Alexander only formal qualifications. Influences outside the school were more decisive for his intellectual development. He returned to them many years later:
I dreamed under the starry heaven of the Ukraine, listened to the surf on the shores of the Black Sea. In my memories the songs of the Ukraine and the fairy tales and other yarns of the master craftsmen from the central Russian provinces, who visited my father every summer, go together. Shevchenko was the first to acquaint me with the idea of class struggle. I was enthusiastic about the haidamaki. Mikhailovski, Schedrin, and Uspenski played an important role in my further intellectual development. John S. Mill's book, annotated by Chernyshevski, was the first work on political economy I ever read.4

Such accomplishments were not taught at Russian schools: like many other young men of his generation, Helphand had to acquire them for himself. He learned about class struggle, rather surprisingly, from Shevchenko, the poet of Ukrainian national freedom; his imagination was fired by the haidamaki, the peasants and the cossacks of the Dnieper region who had repeatedly rebelled against Polish domination in the eighteenth century. All this had specifically local, Ukrainian connexions: the rest of his spiritual guides Helphand shared with the Russian intelligentsia. Mikhailovski, the journalist and the founder of an influential school of thought in sociology; Saltykov-Schedrin, a bureaucrat
4

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, Berlin, 1918, pp. 4-5.

Disengagement from Russia

11

by profession, whose vitriolic satire ridiculed the bureaucracy; Uspenski, one of the founders, in 1879, of the Narodnaia Volya, the secret terrorist organization. Such guides showed young Helphand the path to a reasoned contempt for the Tsarist order. In addition to the impulses he shared with the Russian intelligentsia, his Jewish background may safely be assumed to have contributed to the formation of his political attitudes. At the same time, however, he had to face the first problems and doubts arising out of his revolutionary faith. What were the best means of furthering the revolution? Should he dedicate himself to terrorist activity, and follow the example of the Narodnaia Volya? The party was fast losing its prestige, and was found to have been riddled with police agents; some radicals had already started questioning the political effectiveness of terror. 'Going to the people'—in order to establish contact between the intelligentsia and the submerged masses, and to introduce them to revolutionary ideas—appeared, to Helphand, a more attractive alternative. He spent the year 1885 together with a friend of his called Zhargorodski, learning a trade and getting to know the workers. The two friends became apprenticed to a locksmith, and subsequently they tramped from one workshop to another. The people Helphand and his friend 'went to' were workers and not peasants, an indication of the path which his political interests would soon take. Nevertheless, the year of experiment proved to Helphand the falseness of his romantic revolutionary enthusiasm; it is unlikely that he received much inspiration from his friend, for Zhargorodski was a simple, unintellectual young man, a natural rebel. Only their youth could have obscured the fundamental differences between the two friends, and their ways soon parted: Zhargorodski later became a Social Revolutionary, whose contemporaries in Russia knew him as a fat, uninspired journalist who lived in poverty with his large family, anaesthetized by alcohol.5 In 1886, when he was nineteen years old, Helphand went abroad for the first time, hoping that 'travel would resolve my political doubts'.6 Since most of the revolutionary literature was
5 6

FeliksKon, Za piatdesat let, Moscow, 1936, vol. 3, p. 254. Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 5.

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not available in Russia, and many of the revolutionary leaders lived in exile, there was some justification for the young traveller's hopes. He went to Switzerland: her placid, orderly towns attracted the discontented Russians. In Zürich the treasures of revolutionary writings lay open to Helphand; he read with fervour, beginning with the early books of Alexander Herzen. Although the young man may have been impressed with what he read, he certainly was not satisfied. His practical turn of mind asserted itself. He came to Switzerland immediately after a year spent among the workers in South Russia, and he knew that very little of what he was reading was suitable for their enlightenment. Although he perused all the revolutionary literature he could get hold of in Zurich, he found 'nothing there for the workers apart from the book Clever Mechanics and Dickstein's pamphlet'.7 The Khitraya Mekhanika was a light-weight propaganda handbook, used especially by the populists; Dickstein's pamphlet had a selfexplanatory title—'Who Lives on Whom'. Although young Alexander was able to explore revolutionary literature during his first visit to Switzerland, voracious reading did not entirely solve his doubts. Indeed, the new maze in which he now found himself was more complex than the one he had left behind him in Russia.

The accumulation of a large body of literature of an unusual kind
was the most striking result of the activities of the Russian intelligentsia during the preceding decades. It raised a large number of questions, and it gave a bewildering variety of answers. Problems of the internal development of Russia, of her future, of her place in the world, were examined and many fields of intellectual activity were drawn on for illustration and evidence. And then in the early eighteen-eighties, Marxism entered into competition for the favours of the Russian intelligentsia. Although

the translation of the first volume of Das Kapital, by Nikolai
Danielson—an economist and one of Marx's correspondents in Russia—had appeared as early as 1872, Russian Marxism did not

emerge as a movement until some ten years later. In 1882, a year
before his death, Marx wrote the preface to the Russian transla-

tion of his Communist Manifesto of 1848, in which he attempted to provide an answer to the problem of Russia's future development.
7

ibid., pp. 5-6.

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13

He knew that the peasant commune, a form of primitive collective property—an institution on which many Russian writers, including Alexander Herzen, had placed high hopes—was being destroyed, but he was of the opinion that 'if the Russian revolution becomes the signal for the workers' revolution in the West, so that one supplements the other, then the present form of land ownership in Russia may be the starting point of a historical development'.8 Nevertheless, Russia was an uncharted territory for Marx: the main body of his theories applied to the conditions obtaining in the highly industrialized countries of western Europe. Russia, on the other hand, was going through the opening stages of industrial development, and Marx's doctrine, even if correct, was hardly applicable to her. Why should it then have exercised an attraction on a considerable section of the Russian intelligentsia? Why should they have complicated their already difficult lives with a doctrine unsuited to Russian conditions? First of all, Marxism was a revolutionary doctrine: although the effectiveness of revolution as a means of political and social progress was soon to be questioned even by the Marxist socialists in the West, revolution remained the Russian radicals' only bright hope. Marxism also offered them a 'scientific', all-embracing explanation of human society. It had an authoritative, even a propheticring; it claimed to be not only a dispassionate examination of the past, but a blue-print for the future. It in fact dealt in terms for which the Russian intelligentsia were prepared by their earlier radical literature. In addition, Marx examined the kind of society many Russians wished to construct: the 'westernizers' of an earlier generation, who maintained that Russia had to follow the path of western European development, were the intellectual ancestors of the Russian Marxists. By adopting Marx's doctrines, the Russians anticipated the development of their country, while hoping that such a process would provide them with the classical Marxist revolutionary conditions. They indulged in an interesting piece of wishful double-thinking. In 1883, Plekhanov, who had gone into exile three years earlier, started to expound Marxist doctrine in his pioneering works; in
Communist Manifesto, Moscow, 1959 edition, p. 20.

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the same year, together with Vera Zasulich, the translator of the Communist Manifesto, Pavel Axelrod, and Lev Deutsch, he founded the Emancipation of Labour Group, the first Russian Marxist organization. When Helphand visited Zürich some three years after its foundation, it was this group of exiles which most attracted him. He later wrote that a 'programme, which put class struggle of the proletariat into the foreground, appealed to me'.9 But in the same place he remarked that 'as far as Russia was concerned, I was disturbed by the fact that Plekhanov's programme had no place for the peasantry; Russia is, whichever way one looks at it, an agricultural country'. Helphand had become a Marxist revolutionary: the second remark hinted, however, at a certain confusion at the back of his mind. He had a personal decision to make: was it possible to be a Russian Marxist? Was the description not a contradiction in terms ? Back in Odessa from his visit to Switzerland, Helphand was restless and he did not stay there long. In 1887, less than a year later, he left his native country for a much longer time. He returned after twelve years, for a brief visit; he had started building a new life for himself abroad. It is possible that, during his stay in Russia between the two trips abroad in 1886 and 1887, the police became interested in Helphand, and that he had to leave for the sake of his personal safety. On his return journey from Switzerland, he had had his suitcase searched for illegal literature, and had been subjected to a thorough personal search on the frontier; a plain-clothes man had kept him company on the train to Odessa.10 It is certain that he went through a protracted spiritual and personal crisis at the time. More important than the problems connected with his revolutionary faith were those arising from his Jewish background. In the autobiographical fragments scattered among his later writings, he tended to play down his Jewish origins, and he never made a single reference to their specific implications in nineteenth-century Russia. But he must have witnessed the pogroms of the eighteen-eighties, which reached an especially violent peak in Kiev and Odessa. Such experiences must have
9
10

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 6. G. Lehmann and Parvus, Das hungernde Russland, p. 12.

Disengagement from Russia

15

made young Helphand search widely and intently for a solution to his personal problems. As a Jew, he would not have been able to rise above the inferior rank of second-class citizen. Nevertheless, the town where he had spent the best part of his youth made an indelible impression on Helphand. Indeed, the various aspects of Odessa can be recognized as they unfold themselves in the adventurous Jew's life. The cosmopolitan atmosphere of the town gave him some idea of the infinite variety of life; its wide horizons meant more than the mere absence of physical barriers. Odessa was an eastern town, and it was a trading town. In his later travels Helphand rarely crossed the Rhine on his way farther west. He came to lead a wandering life, but within certain limits. France, England, and America, the lives and aspirations of their peoples, the political traditions of these countries, remained a closed book to him. In central Europe— inside the vast quadrilateral area demarcated by St. Petersburg and Constantinople, Copenhagen and Zürich—Helphand felt at home. And when he set out on the road to becoming a rich man, he did so in the manner of the Odessa merchants: grain trade along the shores of the Black Sea was the foundation of his financial success. On his return to Switzerland in 1887, Helphand started to shed his former Russian and Jewish identity, discarding his purely Russian revolutionary interests, and turning towards the study of political and economic developments farther west. Helphand himself tells of a characteristic incident which happened to him shortly after his arrival in Switzerland. Plekhanov asked him to write an article on Belinski, the famous Russian literary critic of the first half of the nineteenth century; Helphand refused to do so, because, in his own words, he was then 'busy with problems of labour legislation and state monopoly'. Plekhanov used the opportunity to admonish young Helphand: 'Do you know what? First of all, you must honour your own national literature.'11 Such patriotic sentiments fell on barren soil. Helphand thought he had more important problems than articles on old-

fashioned literary critics to tackle. He felt a desire to get away from the life of the Russian exiles, which could hardly have
11

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 7.

16

The Merchant of Revolution

agreed with his mood at the time. He did not settle down in one of the main exile centres, but went farther afield, and, at the beginning of the autumn term in 1888, he entered the University of Basle. The atmosphere of the quiet bourgeois town on the Rhine agreed with his studious mood, and with the exception of one term in the summer of the following year, for which he transferred to Berne, Helphand spent all his university years in Basle. Its reputation commended Basle to the young man. Jacob Burckhardt, the historian of the Renaissance, Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher of the superman, and Alphonse Thun, the author of one of the first studies of the Russian revolutionary movement, had taught there. But when Helphand came to Basle, it was Professor Bucher who struck an especially modern note in his lectures. He had taught at the University of Dorpat before he came to Basle early in the eighteen-eighties; at the Swiss university he lectured on political economy and its history. He was careful to relate his academic discipline to contemporary economic and political problems; he gave his pupils the benefit of his experience as a journalist—he had worked for the Frankfurter Zeitung—and tried to instil into them a regard for hard facts and an abhorrence of empty theorizing. He exercised a strong influence on Helphand. Political economy—Helphand's main subject at Basle—was still an unestablished academic discipline. The conservatives among the university teachers disapproved of it because it 'adversely affected legalistic thinking'.12 Although the warning may have influenced Swiss students, it had no effect on the young Russians. Bucher's lectures dealt with subjects which concerned the Russians most intimately: the fundamental principles of political economy, questions of contemporary economic development, and especially the problems of capitalism and socialism. Such a syllabus exactly corresponded to the demands Helphand made on a university education. Biicher taught him the value of precise statistical analysis: later, Helphand's Marxism always contained a certain empirical element. Marx was for him a teacher and guide rather than a fountain-head of preconceived ideas. Helphand's four years at the Swiss university were by no
12

Karl Bucher, Lebenserinnerungen, 1847-1890, Tubingen, 1919, vol.

1 p. 325. ,

Disengagement from Russia 17

means carefree. Acquaintance with the police and the censor, the pogroms and the terrorist societies, made the Russian students impervious to the light-heartedness and youthful naïveté of their more fortunate Swiss colleagues. The Russians were naïve, but in a different way. They thought of their studies as a kind of preparatory course for the revolution; they were neither interested in a vocational training, nor were they preparing to become gentlemen. One of Helphand's contemporaries observed that if the Swiss students had any problems at all, they were connected either with money or with sex, with 'accounting and marriage'.13 To the Russian students, on the other hand, such difficulties did not apply. Most of them lived in acute poverty and they knew that, below a certain minimum of income, accounting did not pay; a middle-class marriage was out of the question for them. There was no prospect of ordered lives before them, and if there were, they would have considered it humdrum and dull in comparison with their main preoccupations. The Russian students were busy with problems they thought more important— the future of the world, Russia's place in it, her future development—such were the most popular subjects of their endless, meandering conversations. The attics of bourgeois houses in Swiss university towns became the nurseries of future revolutionary leaders, who were already starting to disturb the nocturnal repose of middle-class society. Helphand learned nothing from his Swiss colleagues: the Russian way of life was much more congenial to him, and until the end of his life he preserved a keen distaste for bourgeois values. But the doubts and questions which he had brought with him from Russia on his first visit to Zürich were finally resolved. The youthful, romantic admirer of the haidamaki became converted, under the influence of Karl Marx, into a rational, or—this was then the fashionable description—a 'scientific' socialist. Marx gave him a clear insight into the world of politics; the uncertainties of an erstwhile sympathizer of the Narodnaia Volya were replaced by the self-confidence of a Marxist. His newly acquired self-confidence was reflected in his
13

F.Brupbacher, 60 Jahre Ketzer, Zürich, 1935, p. 53.

18

The Merchant of Revolution

academic work. In the Michaelmas term of 1890 he started, on Bucher's advice, to write a thesis on the problem of the division of labour. It gave him an opportunity to apply Marxist methods to a concrete piece of research. Within six months he was able to put his ideas on paper. The historical part of the study dealt with the views on the distribution of labour expressed by the classical writers on political economy: Helphand examined in detail the theories of Adam Smith, Wakefield, and John Mill; he reserved, nevertheless, many more pages for the consideration of Marx's views. The conceptual framework of Helphand's study also pointed to the economist to whom Helphand felt himself most indebted: 'the suppression, or, to use a blunt but descriptive modern word, the exploitation of the masses—slavery—is the basis of the division of labour.'14 AndMarx's ideas also inspired the young student to offer a suggestion which, he thought, would do away with the disadvantages of the advancing division of labour: 4There exist special circumstances that counter these harmful influences—mainly the organization of the working class and the awakening class consciousness.'15 By the time Helphand completed his study in the summer of 1891 an important change had occurred in his faculty. Bucher had left for Karlsruhe and was replaced by Professor Kozak, of the Zürich Polytechnic. Kozak had no sympathy for Helphand's Marxist approach: he approved the draft of the thesis only after some revision. Helphand then had a rough passage at his viva voce examination; in addition, he did not distinguish himself in his subordinate subjects, mineralogy and physics. On 8 July 1891 he was granted his doctorate, but with a rather disappointing rider—rite—the equivalent of a third-class degree. The University of Basle, Helphand must have perceived, was a 'scientific' but not a socialist institution; it may even have been classconscious, but it certainly was not proletarian. In the future, Israel Alexander Helphand, Doctor of Philosophy, would never again have his Marxist studies considered by a board of solemn academics. From now on, he would write for
14

15

I. Helphand, Technische Organisation der Arbeit ('Cooperation' und 'Arbeitsteilung'), Eine kritische Studie, Fil. Dis., Basle, 1891, p. 50. ibid., p. 72.

Disengagement from Russia

19

the audience of the European proletariat: it might show a greater understanding for his exertions than did the bourgeois professors of Basle University. When he finished his studies—he was then twenty-three years old—Helphand was faced with the most important decision of his life. Should he return to Russia and help to organize the working class there? Or should he stay in Switzerland with the revolutionary Russian exiles? Or should he shed his Russian identity, and join one of the western European workers' parties? He had no desire to return to Russia: there was nothing there to attract him. He felt an aversion towards her backwardness, perhaps even towards the harshness of her native people. He had seen western Europe, and was impressed by its material and spiritual achievements. He had written his first study in German, and Germany was for him—as for many other Jews from the East—the key to western Europe. This aversion of Helphand's to Russia was still more intense in regard to the Russian exiles, and it made the second possibility—namely to join one of their groups—also distasteful to him. He thought of them as a dead branch, cut off from the living body of the people. They lived in a world of shadows, where theory became a substitute for reality and talk replaced action. About this young Helphand had felt strongly at the very outset of his studies: in 1887 he avoided Geneva and Zürich, the main marshalling-grounds of the exiles; he went to outlying Basle instead. He retained his distrust of the Russian intelligentsia, isolated from the masses, until the end of his life. It was the last choice—to join a west European working-class movement—that Helphand was prepared to consider seriously. In this way he could both serve socialism and earn a living. As a Marxist, he knew that there existed a profound difference between the revolutionary struggle in western Europe and in Russia: whereas constitutional and civil liberties were still the main object of the revolution in Russia, western Europe had arrived at this stage of development in 1848, or, at the latest, in 1871. The workers in the West had a socialist aim before them, namely, the overthrow of capitalism and the introduction of a socialist economic order. And in Helphand's view, Germany was

20

The Merchant of Revolution

the country most advanced on the path to socialism; the Germans were running the best organized workers' movement in Europe. Helphand was convinced that the world revolution, which would emancipate the proletariat everywhere, would be decided in Germany: the class struggle in Berlin was of much greater importance to him than the opposition against Tsarism in Russia. Alexander Helphand was the first emigrant to decide to give his full loyalty and support to a socialist organization in western Europe. He thus became the predecessor of a number of wellknown socialists who made their names before the outbreak of the Great War: Rosa Luxemburg, Julian Marchlewski, and Karl Radek in Germany, Charles Rapaport in France, and Angelica Balabanoff in Italy. None of Helphand's successors identified themselves with their adoptive parties as fully as he did. But it should be said at once that his break with the Russian revolutionary movement was not as clean as Helphand himself later chose to remember. Although, until the turn of the century, he took no direct part in the movement, the personal contacts with the exiles he had established in Switzerland kept him in touch with Russian affairs for three decades to come. He might look down at the political achievements of the exiles: he would, however, always value highly the personal contacts with his Russian and Polish friends. He regarded Plekhanov as too academic, 'classical', and vain. He was much more impressed by the selfless and retiring manner of Pavel Borisovich Axelrod, the benign patron of a whole generation of Russian revolutionaries. Helphand also admired Vera Zasulich, the romantic heroine of the Narodnaia Volya., an eccentric and motherly person, who affectionately called young Helphand 'the seal'. Lev Deutsch appealed to the adventurous streak in Helphand: Deutsch had developed the technique of escaping from Tsarist prisons into a fine art: he was a kind of revolutionary Odysseus, whose resourcefulness was surpassed only by his desire for action. Apart from the older generation of the Russian revolutionary leaders, Helphand also became acquainted with a group of Polish students in Switzerland, who later came to play important roles in the history of European socialism. Julian Marchlewski, Rosa

Disengagement from Russia

21

Luxemburg, Leo Yogiches, and Adolf Warszawski-Warski lived in Zürich at the time, where they were studying political economy. Marchlewski—who later used the pseudonym of Karski— and Rosa Luxemburg came to figure prominently in Helphand's life. Late in the summer of 1891, Helphand left Basle for Germany. It was a prosperous and hopeful country that he decided to make his home. Yet in his own view, his decision had somewhat narrower implications: he wanted German Social Democracy, and not Germany as a whole, to receive him. He had no sympathy for the conservative, aristocratic, and absolutist side of his adopted country; he gave little thought to the question of how much of a German he would have to become by becoming a German Social Democrat. As a Marxist, he could perhaps play down the national element involved in his decision; he later wrote: 'Whether Russian or German, the struggle of the proletariat always remains the same, and it knows neither national nor confessional differences.' And he added: 'When I became unfaithful to my native Russia, I also became unfaithful to that class from which I originated: the bourgeoisie. My parting of company with the Russian intelligentsia dates from that time.'16 The party which received Helphand into its ranks had existed for sixteen years. The policy of repression of the socialist movement that had been initiated by Bismarck in the early eighteenseventies had drawn the two main streams of German socialism together: at the Gotha congress in 1875 the Lassallians—the older, non-Marxist movement—merged with Liebknecht's Social Democrats, who, in the following years, consolidated their leading role in the party. Bismarck's anti-socialist laws lapsed in 1890: from a period of rigorous chicanery, the party emerged unscathed. By then, German socialism had acquired its characteristic features. Belonging to the party did not only imply adherence to a certain set of political beliefs; it was a way of life. Social Democracy claimed to look after its members from birth until death and it demanded, in return, their undivided loyalty. A similar demand was made by the Prussian State and the Catholic Church: the three-cornered fight was complicated and hard, and the resulting
16

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 7.
M.R.-c

22

The Merchant of Revolution

tensions were reflected inside the party itself. At a party congress, Vollmar, the leader of the Bavarian socialists, was accused by one of his comrades of not really understanding the struggle of the working class because he was a wealthy man; the accusation that a party member was 'in the pay of the state' was a serious and frequently used charge. The Social Democrat leadership became largely a lower middle-class preserve; the attitudes and morality of this class dominated the organization. It was run primarily for the benefit of the German workers; only lip-service was paid to the international brotherhood of the proletariat'. Nor did the party have any great interest in foreign policy or in developments outside Germany. It was parochial but dedicated, with limited horizons, but confident. Stuttgart was Helphand's first stop. The local party organization enjoyed, at this time, a special position in the socialist movement; it was a suitable jumping-off ground for a socialist career in Imperial Germany, and it received the young Russian with great sympathy. It was dominated by two socialists of consequence : Karl Kautsky and Clara Zetkin. Nothing very kind is written about Kautsky nowadays. He is generally regarded as an eclectic and a popularizer of ideas, who could seldom call a thought his own. He of course wrote too much, too dryly and didactically; Kautsky the politician and writer faithfully reflected Kautsky the petit bourgeois, the dispirited patriarch, who seemed to have been born already old. But when Helphand first met him, Kautsky, together with Friedrich Engels, was a leading ideologist of European socialism. And after the death of Engels, Kautsky, as his friend and heir, achieved a position of power such as only a few socialists might since have claimed. He was the pope of socialism, a kind of oracle of the approaching revolution. He had devoted admirers among the working class, and he profoundly influenced the young socialist intelligentsia. As the editor of the leading theoretical organ of the party, the Neue Zeit, he carefully tended journalistic talent: he was the foster-parent and mentor to a generation of young socialist writers and theorists in the whole of Europe. His house was an editorial office, a university, a school of journalism, a meeting-place for socialists who came to learn and talk there.

Disengagement from Russia 23

Kautsky recognized talent when he encountered it, and he opened the gate for Helphand to German party journalism. As early as the end of 1891, Neue Zeit published his first contributions signed 'Ignatieff' or initialled 'I.H.': a review, an essay on Bohm-Bawerk's theory of the accumulation of capital, and another one on the position of Jewish workers in Russia. Clara Zetkin—the other leading light of the Stuttgart party organization—also helped the young man. This acid, embittered, socialist suffragette was not to be outdone by Kautsky in kindness. As the head of the socialist women's societies she ran her own magazine, Gleichheit. Helphand wrote for it, and its fees contributed to his meagre income. But it hardly covered his day-to-day needs. His appearance was pitiful; his trousers came down in shreds to the troddendown heels and he wore an oily, second-hand working man's cap. He gave the impression of extreme poverty. Yet he made an indelible impression on his German comrades: he was an exotic phenomenon among them. In the tatty clothes there was a powerful body, supported by rather short legs: his head was solid, with a high forehead, further enlarged by the beginnings of premature baldness. Karl Kautsky's children called their father's Russian friend 'Dr. Elefant' (this, and not helfende Hand, was incidentally, the etymological origin of his name): there was indeed a certain heavy, powerful formlessness about his appearance. He was exuberant, larger than life, and used striking, angular gestures when he spoke: his vitality was somewhat overpowering. By the end of 1891, Stuttgart had become too small for him. He wanted to go to Berlin, and Kautsky gave him the introductions he needed. His arrival at the nerve-centre of German politics and commerce did not improve his material circumstances. He took a cheap room in a working-class district in North Berlin, and from there he had to walk several miles to the editorial offices of Vorwärts, the main daily organ of the party, in Beuthstrasse, carrying his contributions to the newspaper in his pocket. He could afford neither the tram fare nor the postage. Nevertheless, he made a successful start in his career as a journalist. All the most important party newspapers and periodicals printed articles by him; in 1892 he received a commission

24

The Merchant of Revolution

from Vorwärts to write a series of articles on the famine in Russia. The examination of the Russian famine, following the catastrophic harvest of 1891, was his first major success in socialist journalism.17 His German comrades were not accustomed to the presentation of a well-informed analysis of the foreign scene: Helphand's views sounded convincing, and the Social Democrats accepted them—as they were to do on many later occasions—as authoritative and above question. Helphand did not regard the famine as an accident, but rather as a 'chronic illness of long standing'. The emancipation of the serfs in the eighteen-sixties had transformed Russia into a producer of goods, and she was now undergoing the transition from simple to complicated forms of production. The peasantry would supply the necessary reserve of labour for the fast development of a modern industry in Russia: the place of the impoverished peasants, who had so far acted as a reliable support of the Tsarist regime, would be taken by the rising bourgeoisie. Nothing could be expected, Helphand wrote, of the Russian middle class in the way of political progress—the freedom to enrich itself would become essential for this class, and it could be guaranteed only

under the established order. The proletariat was, Helphand
informed his readers, the only reliable revolutionary force in

Russia. So far, Helphand's reasoning was similar to that of Friedrich Engels and Georg Plekhanov, who also concerned themselves with the famine. But in his conclusions, Helphand went much farther than either of the two older men. Engels concluded that the weakening of Russia would mean safety for Europe; Plekhanov described the famine as a 'prologue' to the rise of the workers' movement in Russia. Helphand, on the contrary, thought in much larger dimensions, in terms of decades and continents. He was not misled by temporary set-backs in Russia: he forecast rapid progress in industry and in agriculture; in some ten or fifteen years the country would flourish in, of course, the capitalist sense. Europe would thus find itself pushed out from its position of economic hegemony by Russia and by America. The resulting competition would bring about, in Germany, an
17

Four articles entitled 'Die Lage in Russland', printed in Vorwärts in June 1892.

Disengagement from Russia 25

increase in the price of corn: the European proletariat should be prepared for a period of sharp wage disputes. Helphand's articles on Russia contained two points which later appeared in the key places of his thinking: the position of Europe between the two great capitalist powers, Russia and America, and the lack of revolutionary enthusiasm of the Russian bourgeoisie. In a postscript to his earlier series of articles,18 Helphand made his first contribution to the relations between the Russian and the German socialists. Until this intervention, the German socialists had regarded the narodniki—the decaying populist revolutionary movement—as the embodiment of progressive forces in Russia. Helphand demonstrated to his comrades the error of their ways. He was highly critical of the populists, and he pointed to the Marxist Emancipation of Labour Group, placing it firmly among the European working-class movements. His arguments made a profound impression on the German party. The contributions of the two narodniki correspondents to Vorwärts, Lavrov and Rusanov, ceased to appear in the pages of the Social Democrat organ; in December 1892, the newspaper printed an open letter from Plekhanov to Liebknecht, the first piece written by a Russian Marxist ever to appear in the newspaper. Nevertheless, the Prussian police became interested in the young man before his name became familiar to the German socialists. The Ministry of the Interior closely followed his literary activities; the file of press-cuttings of his articles was growing fast. As early as the beginning of 1893 his presence in the capital appeared so dangerous to the Prussian officials that he—as an undesirable alien—was served with a police order to leave Berlin. Prussia was not to remain the only federal State where Helphand was accorded this kind of treatment.
'Die Sozialdemokratie in Russland', Vorwärts, 23 September 1892.

2
The Great Fortune
For two years after he had been expelled from Berlin, Helphand led the life of a wandering socialist scholar. He travelled between Dresden and Munich, Leipzig and Stuttgart, with occasional expeditions to Zürich where his Polish friends, Marchlewski and Luxemburg, were always ready to listen eagerly to the descriptions of his experiences in Germany. He travelled light, frequently, and invariably third class. But despite the way he lived, his position in the German party was full of promise. Apart from his qualifications as an economist, he possessed an intimate knowledge of foreign countries—an unusual accomplishment among the German socialists; he was a polyglot writer and journalist, which made it possible for him to consult, in the original, the publications that concerned his special interests. He found it easy to place his pieces in the socialist press: his theoretical studies in Neue Zeit were regarded as highly as his occasional articles in the daily press. Karl Kautsky was so favourably impressed by his new, still only twenty-sixyear-old contributor, that he recommended him to his Austrian comrades as a correspondent for their main organ, the Vienna Arbeiterzeitung. In a letter to Viktor Adler, a highly intelligent and sophisticated doctor, now leader of the Austrian Social Democrats, Kautsky wrote: 'Here we have a Russian, Dr. Helphand, who has spent six years in Germany, a very shrewd chap . . . who attentively follows German developments and who has good judgement. . . . He is living in Stuttgart, because he has been expelled from Berlin. He would like best to become naturalized in Austria, in order to be able to join the movement openly. His naturalization in Germany is out of the question, since his deportation order.

The Great Fortune 27

The party would gain in him an excellent, well-trained worker. Do you regard naturalization as possible?'1 In his letter to Adler, Kautsky mentioned the problem that very much occupied Helphand at the time: the question of his naturalization in Germany or Austria. It mattered little to him whether it was to be Prussia, Wurttemberg, Bavaria, or Austria, that would grant him the rights of a citizen. Before he moved to Stuttgart he had written from Switzerland to Wilhelm Liebknecht, editor-in-chief of Vorwärts: 'I am looking for a fatherland, where can one get a fatherland cheaply?'2 His enthusiasm for German Social Democracy made him overestimate the actual political influence of the Berlin party executive. Instead of gaining Prussian citizenship, he was expelled from Prussia: the negotiations in Vienna, in spite of Viktor Adler's help, led to nothing; another attempt in 1896, this time in Wiirttemberg, also brought no success. Until the First World War, Helphand, in fact, had no defence against the German police. And when, in February 1916, he finally became a Prussian citizen, it was in circumstances that the young revolutionary could hardly have foreseen in 1893. In spite of the uncertainty of his legal position, Helphand vigorously participated in the political discussions then taking place in Germany. In this respect, no reserve or carefulness was apparent in his behaviour. His German comrades were often astonished by the uninhibited and self-confident manner in which he conducted his public polemics; he made his mark as an outspoken and independent young revolutionary. The German socialists were treated to a preview of Helphand's assertiveness when, in October 1893, he put forward his views on the elections to the Prussian Diet in the Neue Zeit. As an expression of their disapproval of the three-tier suffrage, the Social Democrats had never taken part in the Prussian elections, and for a long time this practice was allowed to continue unchallenged. Finally, before the elections in 1893, a distinguished voice condemned the socialist attitude to the Diet. Eduard Bernstein, then living in exile in London, was, together with Engels
1

V. Adler, Briefwechsel mit August Bebel und Karl Kautsky, Vienna, 1954, p. 182. 2 ImKampf um die Wahrheit, p. 7.

28

The Merchant of Revolution

and Kautsky, a member of the Marxist ideological triumvirate. An inquiring thinker, he was one of the least dogmatic of the party theorists. Bernstein suggested that, despite their customary attitude, the socialists should take part in the forthcoming Prussian elections: he pointed out that abstention was far from being an effective political weapon. The socialists should lay aside their objections to, in Bismarck's words, 'the poorest of all election systems', and take part in the elections. Bernstein's suggestions were not well received in Germany. The Neue Zeit wrote that 'it might work, but it doesn't'; Vorwärts clearly attached to their demonstration of moral disapproval: like Bernstein, Helphand was unimpressed by this show of sentimentality. Under the pseudonym Unus he made a plea, in the Neue Zeit, in support of Bernstein's suggestions. His article was in fact a sermon to his comrades on the importance of the Diet, which controlled justice and the budget of the Prussian State. Such an influential institution could not be, according to Helphand, left at the mercy of the reactionary parties. He realized that the political influence of the socialist fraction would be small; but the socialists could use the Diet as an agitation platform. 'The enlightenment of the masses can be achieved by action, by political activity, by social struggle.'3 As far as Helphand was concerned, inactivity and reserve were quite unsuitable as means to conduct the class struggle. The German socialists who read the attack on their sacrosanct practice in the Neue Zeit were puzzled by the identity of the person behind the pseudonym. Who would dare, they asked, support Bernstein's heresies, after the party had made its mind up in such a unanimous manner? But before the pseudonym was deciphered, Helphand was ready for another foray. In the summer of 1894 the socialists in the Bavarian Diet, led by Georg von Vollmar, decided to support the government's budget proposals. Once again, a tradition of the party was about to be challenged: to withhold support for the budget was generally regarded as a demonstration against the established order.

Helphand thought the incident important enough to release a
3

Unus, 'Die preussischen Landtagswahlen, Neue Zeit, 1893-4, vol. 2, p. 44.

The Great Fortune 29

broadside against his comrades in Bavaria. Again, he signed the article with a pseudonym: this time it was Parvus. It remained with Helphand until the end of his life. As Parvus he would be, from now on, praised and disapproved of, attacked and admired. But when the first article by Parvus appeared, the German socialists realized that they could not afford to ignore the name in future. Helphand's article in the Neue Zeit on support for the Bavarian budget shocked the party out of its complacency. 'Not a single man and not a single penny', Helphand proclaimed on the question of support for the regime. 'Support for the budget is equivalent to the support of the predominant political order, because it would make available the means for the maintenance of this order.'4 Opposition to the budget proposals was, according to Parvus, the most powerful 'means of parliamentary struggle' at the disposal of the party—the best way of expressing its oppositional standpoint. He could not understand how support for the budget could be wrong in theory but right in political practice. 'When one is no longer able to reconcile theory and practice, to deduce practice from theory . . . it is a certain sign that something is wrong with the one or the other side.'5 This article by Parvus set off a discussion inside the socialist movement which continued, intermittently, until the outbreak of war. Did support for the budget—even when it brought substantial concessions from the government—mean a compromise with the established order, or was it merely a part of the give and take of political life? Was it opportunism or political wisdom? The party was unable to find an answer acceptable to all its regional organizations. Parvus thus opened a wound which it was impossible to heal. The following party congress at Frankfurt in 1894 witnessed the first debate of principle in regard to this question: it was an inconclusive engagement. As Helphand had no mandate to the congress, Fritz Kundert, a delegate from the Halle constituency, had undertaken to speak on Helphand's behalf, and to
4 Parvus, 'Keinen Mann und keinen Groschen, Einige Betrachtungen uber das bayerische Budget', Neue Zeit, 1894-5, vol. 1 p. 81. ,

5

ibid., p. 86.

30

The Merchant of Revolution

lead the attack against Vollmar and the Bavarians. The majority of the delegates preferred, however, to withdraw into a position of neutrality, and the result of the fight remained undecided. Parvus won no victory, but he had made a name for himself. Bruno Schönlank, editor-in-chief of the socialist Leipziger Volkszeitung, read the article by Parvus with great interest. Schönlank, a man with artistic leanings, had a liking for eccentrics; he discerned in Parvus the kind of talent he needed on his newspaper. From Leipzig, Schönlank had initiated a journalistic revolution: from a rather ponderous vehicle for socialist agitation he attempted to transform the Volkszeitung into a modern daily newspaper, which would capture its readers' interest and inform them, in a swift and comprehensive manner, of current events. Such an experiment—it in fact meant that Schönlank entered into competition with the bourgeois press—was viewed by the party with consternation. Only many years later, when the Leipzig experiment could be regarded as a success, did other German socialist newspapers follow Schönlank's pioneering policy. At the beginning of 1895, Schönlank was convinced that he had found a suitable assistant in Helphand. He invited the young man to come to Leipzig as an editor of the Volkszeitung. Helphand could not afford to turn the offer down: it meant a secure position in German journalism, a position from which he could better influence the politics of the party. Schönlank was not disappointed. The young immigrant from Russia soon proved his ability as a journalist. The articles he wrote for the Volkszeitung did not lack in substance or conviction; the political analysis contained in them was far-reaching, interlaced with considerations of principle; they were based on sound facts, and their argument moved effortlessly. Schönlank also liked Helphand as a person. Their conversations which could not be finished in the editorial offices in the evening were usually wound up, late at night over a glass of wine, at the Thuringer Hof. Helphand's zest for work appeared to have no limits. After a sleepless night he was back at his desk early in the morning, fresh and ready for another day. The early months of the friendship between Schönlank and Helphand were almost idyllic: the calm

The Great Fortune 31

of their relationship was suddenly broken, by a difference of opinion on a matter of principle, late in the summer of 1895. Together with Georg von Vollmar, Schönlank had suggested, at the 1894 party congress, that a committee should be set up to formulate a programme of agrarian agitation in the coming year. Vollmar and Schönlank believed that the Social Democrats should look after the interests of the small peasants, and draw the rural population into their organization. Schönlank became a member of the committee which was set up at the congress: before it properly embarked on its deliberations, Engels published, in the Neue Zeit, a forceful warning against the possibility of ideological misconceptions in the agrarian question. Engels reminded the German socialists that the progressive concentration of industrial and agricultural property—the trend towards large economic units forecast by Marx—would eventually destroy the small peasants. The custodian of the great fortune of Marxist inheritance appeared reluctant to see the German socialists formulate a tactical line in regard to the party's agitation in the countryside: he elegantly avoided the issue by his proposal that the party should do nothing for the peasants. Karl Kautsky and Viktor Adler were outspoken in their condemnation of any attempt to look after the peasants; Eduard David, on the other hand, a former teacher from the wine-growing district of the Rhine, supported the necessity of a constructive agrarian programme. Among the committee, opinion was equally divided. Its findings took the form of a compromise which satisfied no one. Bebel, who had taken a mildly orthodox position, complained to Kautsky of a 'bastardization' of the party programme. He asked Kautsky to put the committee's findings, without any regard to the comrades who had worked them out, 'under a magnifying glass and edit them'.6 Before Kautsky was able to take up Bebel's suggestion, Parvus launched, from Leipzig, a ruthless campaign against the supporters of the agrarian programme. Although Schönlank intended to recommend the committee's findings to the party, he was broadminded enough to allow Helphand to examine them in the
6

A letter from A. Bebel to K. Kautsky, 11 July 1895, Kautsky-Archiv.

32

The Merchant of Revolution

columns of his newspaper. The young man did not regard the editor's magnanimity as a sufficient reason for restraint on his own part. Helphand's series of articles treated the committee's findings as a worthless scrap of paper. If the party adopted the improvement of the existing order as its task, he wrote, 'for what purpose then the social-revolutionary struggle?'7 A social revolution should be the aim of the party, and not 'petty reforms'. Helphand's main charge against the findings of the committee was that they were unrealistic and unpractical, because they were not revolutionary enough. On the whole, Helphand's views corresponded with those of the majority of his comrades who attended the party congress in Breslau in 1895. After three days of heated debate, the congress rejected the programme of the agrarian committee. Nevertheless, the decision made in Breslau did not satisfy the young man in Leipzig. There seemed to be no end to his acid comments in the Volkszeitung and in the Neue Zeit. Even the patient and broadminded Schönlank could not stand such overpowering fanaticism. He saw no other way of stopping his assistant's tirades, than to fire Helphand, which he finally did. This might well have been a serious set-back to the young man's career. Fortunately, the Dresden socialists were at the time looking for a new editor-in-chief for their financially ailing Sächsische Arbeiterzeitung. They needed a man like Parvus: they wanted to appoint to the office someone who could put the newspaper on a sound financial basis. Parvus accepted the offer. He was fully compensated in Dresden for his swift exit from Leipzig. Until the spring of 1896 the Arbeiterzeitung had been edited by Georg Gradnauer, who then joined Vorwärts in Berlin. The rest of the editorial board stayed behind—Emil Eichhorn, who became head of the Berlin police force during the revolution of 1918, was one of its members. When Helphand took over the direction of the newspaper, Dr. Julian Marchlewski, his Polish friend from Switzerland, came to help him: Helphand also secured contributions from young Rosa Luxemburg, whose first
7

The series of articles was published in the Leipziger Volkszeitung on 18, 19, 22, 24, 31 July, and on 1 and 2 August 1895.

The Great Fortune

33

articles in the German party press appeared in the Dresden newspaper. First of all, Helphand gave his attention to the state of the paper's finances. In order to make the newspaper profitable, he contemplated the acquisition of its own printing-presses; but the credit he asked for was too high, and the party executive in Berlin turned down his request; the leaders there liked the provincial press to look after itself, without making demands on the central exchequer. Only the Berlin Vorwärts was in a privileged position, and Wilhelm Liebknecht, its chief editor, did his utmost to maintain it. Helphand was undeterred by the refusal from the party executive; he secured an offer of help from the trade unions. Their generous credit, together with some private contributions, provided enough capital for the purchase of a printing-press for the newspaper. And success was not long in coming: as Parvus had calculated, the finances of the newspaper soon improved to such an extent that its balance-sheet began to show a small profit.8 As far as editorial policy and the make-up of the newspaper were concerned, Helphand was much less successful. His temper and harshness made co-operation with his editorial board a delicate problem: his conflicts with them often just stopped short of physical violence. The situation eventually became so strained that Helphand moved to Stuttgart, from where he tried to guide the editorial policy of the paper. Even its make-up reflected the editor's predilections. He seemed to have forgotten everything that Schönlank had taught him. Instead of offering his readers concise information, news accompanied by short, sure-fire comment, he printed long series of endless leading articles, often spilling over the front page, which could be reprinted—as they frequently were—in the form of rather big pamphlets. He treated the Arbeiterzeitung as if it were his own publishing enterprise, serving no other purpose than as a receptacle of his own unlimited journalistic output. Schönlank, his erstwhile guide, was shocked by the 'anarchy' reigning in Dresden; even Rosa Luxemburg, who otherwise held
8

Parvus, 'Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie', Die Glocke, 1915, p. 30; cf. Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 21.

34

The Merchant of Revolution

Helphand's writing in high regard, called the Arbeiterzeitung 'the most neglected paper'.9 However shocked the professional journalists may have been, the working-class readers of the Arbeiterzeitung and, even more, the young socialist intellectuals, read Helphand's articles with enthusiasm. They were unconcerned with journalistic formulas: they were more impressed by the spectacle of the newspaper moving swiftly into action when a political controversy flared up; they liked its forthright attitude to matters that were overlooked by their comrades in Berlin, usually out of fear of government action; they were delighted to read Marxist tracts that made sense even to ill-educated workers. The voice of the Saxon party organization could now be heard all over Germany; in Dresden, 'the Russian', or 6Dr. Barfuss'—Parvus in Saxon dialect—was spoken of with respect. With the support of the local organization behind him, Parvus was able to exercise a considerable influence on the climate of opinion inside the German party. For two years he continued to inundate the party executive and the congresses with suggestions, criticism, and polemic. He was obsessed by the idea of revolution, and he conducted, single-handed, a war on the self-satisfaction and torpor of many members of the party. After the agrarian controversy had died down, Helphand remorselessly continued the argument. The question had been whether the policy of trying to win the support of the peasants for the party be abandoned because it ran counter to Marxist dogma: Parvus was single-minded in his defence of the purity of the Marxist laws of development. In his view it was not the theory but political practice that needed shaking up. He intended to prove to his German comrades that they had to revise their policy within the framework of Marxist theory, that European socialists could not afford to wait, hands folded in their laps, for the automatic collapse of capitalism. To stand still meant, for him, to retreat; he argued forcefully that the German party should use its strength for the conquest of one citadel of capitalism after the other. He publicized his views on the tactics of the attack soon after
9

In 'Einige Briefe Rosa Luxemburgs und andere Dokumente', Bulletin of the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 1952, No. 1, p. 17.

The Great Fortune 35

he had taken up the job on the Arbeiterzeitung in Dresden. Rumours were in circulation, at the time, of the possibility of a reactionary coup d'état which would do away with g frage on the federal level: this occasioned Helphand's examination, in the Neue Zeit, of the effectiveness of a political mass strike. His series of articles entitled 'Coup d'état and the Political Mass Strike'10 was intended to convince the German party that, although it could no longer fight on the barricades against a modern army (Engels had made this point some time ago), it was not entirely defenceless in regard to the power of the state. In the mass strike the party possessed an up-to-date weapon. Parvus at first regarded the strike as a means of defence, a show of power, which had the advantage of being legal. Again, together with Bernstein, who had first discussed the strike in the Neue Zeit some five years before, Helphand initiated a discussion of socialist tactics, which continued to occupy party congresses until the outbreak of the First World War. The later discussion, however, in which Karl Kautsky, Henrietta RolandHoist, and Rosa Luxemburg figured prominently, was of little interest to Helphand. He had said his last word on the subject before the beginning of the official party debate, when, in August 1904, he raised the strike from a weapon of defence to an instrument of attack. The disruption in the life of the state occasioned by the strike, he then added, would force the party into a position in which a 'basic decision' would have to be taken: in other words, the party would have to engage in an open contest for power in the state. Such a strike could no longer mean, in the words of Jean Jaures, 'tactics of despair', but a 'method of revolution'.11 By then Helphand did not expect the leaders of German Social Democracy to be shifted from their position by the force of his arguments; he was unmoved when his concept of mass strike was described as 'general nonsense'. He was hoping that, sooner or later, political events would make his points for him.
10 Staatsstreich und politischer Massenstreik', Neue Zeit, 1895-6, vol. 2, pp. 199-206. 261-6, 304-11, 356-64, 389-95. In 1897, the articles appeared as a pamphlet, entitled 'Wohin führt die politische Massregelung der Sozialdemokratie? Kritik der Pohtischen Reaktion in Deutschland'. The quotations given here are indicated fording to the pagination of the pamphlet. 11 Parvus,'Der Generalstreik', in Aus der Weltpolitik, Munich, 16 August 1904.

36

The Merchant of Revolution

His analysis of the mass strike brought Helphand's thinking on the problem of instilling a new vigour into the socialist struggle to another point of departure. This was the total and tight organization of the proletariat. Socialist sympathies or even membership of the party were not enough for him. The political organization had to be reinforced by the trade unions, which would represent the basic material interests of the workers. In this respect, Helphand was again little concerned with the low view of the value of the trade unions which the Berlin party executive had adopted. At the Koln party congress in 1893, Bebel had expressed the opinion that 'for natural and self-evident reasons . . . one lifeline after another will be cut off' from the trade unions: Helphand violently disagreed with this sentiment, and he wrote: 'The near future belongs, in Germany, to the trade unions.'12 Every trade union fight was a class fight, and every class fight was a political fight: the trade unions completed and lightened the political work of the party. Although Helphand harped on the organizational indolence and petty suspicion of the party executive in regard to the trade unions—they were not directly subordinate to the executive—he supplemented his criticism with a number of constructive suggestions. Social Democracy, he argued again and again in a series of articles, must learn how to use its own strength. The proletarian masses could not be contained within the movement in the expectation of a revolution alone, a revolution that was to take place at an unspecified time in the future. The workers were after immediate and concrete gains. Helphand regarded the shortening of working hours as an aim that could be successfully achieved; the slogan concerning the eight-hour day, coined at the foundation congress of the Second International in 1889, he regarded as a magic formula that could be used to inspire the masses to a more intensive fight against the established order. From Dresden he caused two resolutions to be put before the Gotha congress in 1896, which would bind the party to take the initiative in respect of the eight-hour day. When the speakers at the congress said that such ideas, although 'stimulating' were 'utopian', and that 'demands that cannot be achieved [should not
12

Leipziger Volkszeitung, 20 and 22 June 1895.

The Great Fortune

37

be] put forward as resolutions', Helphand was far from discouraged. He tried again in the following year. He suggested to the Hamburg congress in 1897 that the demand for the eight-hour day should become the main plank in the socialist platform at the next general election. After his suggestion had once again fallen flat, he took it upon himself, in 1901, to surprise the party with a ready-made draft law: all the socialist deputies had to do was to put it before the Reichstag. Bebel, for one, was unimpressed with Helphand's legislative abilities. He informed the Dresden congress in 1903 that he himself also wanted a law concerning the length of working hours. But the evidence in this case was so complex that he preferred the law to be drafted by experts, such as the Prussian 'Privy Councillors'.13 BebePs pronouncement finally broke Helphand's patience. So much respect for the authorities, such coyness and lack of political initiative was beyond his power of understanding. He furiously reminded Bebel that 'complete withdrawal from all matters of parliamentary initiative would mean . . . only pure opposition. An anti-government attitude would become the lode-star of party tactics.'14 Again and again Helphand attacked the optimism that had nourished German Social Democracy since it threw off, in 1890, the fetters of Bismarck's anti-socialist laws. This optimism found a classical expression in the words of August Bebel: 'The bourgeois society is working so forcefully towards its own downfall that we only have to wait for the moment to pick up the power that drops from its hands.'15 In an atmosphere of such tawdry illusion, Helphand's plans for the unfolding of offensive revolutionary tactics appeared more than ephemeral. His occasional pin-pricks did not move the worthies on the executive in Berlin from their optimistic lethargy. Instead, while Helphand was preaching the course of a militant revolution from Dresden, another, equally distinctive voice was heard. Eduard Bernstein started his funeral oration over the grave of the revolution.
13
14
15

Protokoll Dresden, 1903, pp. 311 et seq. Parvus, 'Nutzloser Streit', Aus der Weltpolitik, 31 August 1903. Erfurt Protokoll, 1891, p. 172. M.R.-D

38

The Merchant of Revolution

In October 1897, the first of a series of articles by Bernstein entitled 'Problems of Socialism' appeared:16 they confronted the party with some of its unquestioned, favourite assumptions. The capitalist system, Bernstein argued, was far from breaking down. The economic development of the past years had proved that the periodic crises forecast by Marx had lost their sharp edge and were having little effect on the existing order. The socialist party, Bernstein suggested, would do well to take note of the new facts of capitalism, and then proceed to draw the right conclusions from them: instead of waiting passively for a distant revolution, the outcome of the breakdown, the party should unite in a determined effort of reform which would ameliorate the position of the working class, as well as transform the state in a 'democratic' sense. Bernstein disguised his basic doubts of the validity of Marxist dogma so carefully that the party at first failed to perceive the importance of the issues he had raised. Both Vorwärts and the Leipziger Volkszeitung welcomed his articles as 'stimulating observations', which could, but only in a few places, be somewhat misunderstood. Even Karl Kautsky appeared to have been afflicted by temporary blindness: he regarded Bernstein's essays with 'the utmost sympathy'. But not so Helphand in Dresden. It may have been that the agrarian debate had first opened the gate to a revision of Marxist dogma, and that he had expected an attack to take place soon, or simply that he had read Bernstein's thesis more attentively than his comrades; but be that as it may, he understood at once that Bernstein's blow was aimed at the very roots of Marxist doctrine. In his view, it was now the moment to show, once and for all, whether German Social Democracy in fact stood for what it was generally taken to stand for. He could not allow the train of Bernstein's thought to go unchecked; he at once grasped the communication cord. He devoted page after page in the Säcksiche Arbeiterzeitung to a fierce assault on Bernstein's ideas. What Bernstein was doing was, for Helphand, nothing less than the 'destruction of socialism'. Bernstein's doubts as to the breakdown of the capitalist order, as to the lethal effects of economic crisis,
16

'Probleme des Sozialismus Eigenes und Übersetztes', Neue Zeit, 1896-7 and 1897-8.

The Great Fortune 39

only proved his inability to think in a 'scientific' manner. There was no need for the German workers, Helphand fiercely argued, to take seriously Bernstein's prognosis that a premature revolution would end in a 'colossal defeat' of the socialist party. And then Helphand's battle cry rose to a shrill pitch: 'Give us half a year of violence by the government, and the capitalist society will belong to history.'17 It shook the German socialists: one after the other, their newspapers joined the affray. Nevertheless, all the party leaders at first restrained themselves from making public pronouncements. They were accustomed to differences of opinion in the party, and in particular to the disturbances caused by the editor of the

Arbeiterzeitung. Bernstein himself believed that a chance still existed of silencing his Dresden critic. Helphand's barrage, his statistical counterblows, and his revolutionary zest were nothing but cheap sound-effects for the ignorami. 'It is indeed ridiculous to go on arguing, after fifty years, in the periods of the Communist Manifesto, which correspond to entirely different political and social circumstances from those of today. . . . In the field of the modern workers' movement it is not the sensational battles, but the positions gained, step by step, in a continuous, tenacious struggle, that matter.'18 The article did not achieve the intended effect: nothing could hold Helphand back any longer. He did not stop short of attacking Bernstein personally. He had never met 'Ede', and, unlike Kautsky, Bebel, or Liebknecht, he was unrestrained by personal considerations or any feeling of a socialist Kameraderie. The men on the executive were at first incredulous and then infuriated by the spectacle of Helphand setting himself up as the Grand Inquisitor, of Helphand prosecuting, with the most intense fury, the much-loved pupil of the late Friedrich Engels. They watched their friend 'Ede' being branded as an 'anti-socialist', a traitor, a saboteur of the revolution. Every voice raised in Bernstein's defence Helphand haughtily brushed away; he acted as the prophet wronged. Finally, Helphand resolved that the official condemnation
17

Sächsische Arbeiterzeitung, 6 March 1898.

18

E. Bernstein, Kritisches, vol. 1, p. 750.

40

The Merchant of Revolution

should break over the head of the erring man at the coining party congress at Stuttgart in 1898. He caused the Dresden constituency to move a resolution which put it flatly that reform alone could not do away with the class character of the existing state: this was the task of the revolution. The party executive could not put up with Helphand any longer. Before the opening of the congress, Bebel wrote to Kautsky, telling him frankly what he thought of Helphand: 'The man is plagued by a devouring pride, and his resolution shows that he has not the slightest understanding of our condition. The last thing we need is the congress solemnly resolving that it strives for a social revolution.'19 In the town where he had joined the party some seven years before, Helphand suffered, at the hands of his comrades, his first deep humiliation. The congress in Stuttgart of course rejected Bernstein's thesis as opportunist. But the author himself was treated kindly: he was asked to reconsider his ideas and then to publish them in the form of a book. But no mercy was shown for Helphand. Speaker after speaker repaid him in his own coin; Heine, Auer, Frohme, Stadthagen, Bebel, and Liebknecht all intended to put Helphand firmly in his place. They condemned the tone in which he had conducted the controversy as schoolmasterish, unashamed, and unsuitable; and his criticism, though partly justified, as out of proportion and ill-founded on facts. Only Clara Zetkin tried to make cordial, understanding excuses for him; she convinced no one. Although Parvus did not carry a mandate, he was allowed to defend himself before the congress. He did so very badly. He was embittered and disenchanted, but by no means discouraged from a detailed settling of accounts with Bernstein. Helphand's articles in the Arbeiterzeitung had been merely a tentative attempt at a reply. While the general discussion inside the party deteriorated into a series of personal squabbles, and while many socialist leaders made an all-out effort to minimize the incident, Parvus settled down to dissect to the bone the body of Bernstein's argument.
19

'Einige Briefe Rosa Luxemburgs und andere Dokumente', in the Bulletin of the International Institute of Social History, 1952, No. 1, p. 10.

The Great Fortune 41

He first tackled Bernstein's doubt as to the lethal effects of the capitalist crisis. The present economic crisis, he allowed, bore little resemblance to the ideas of Marx. This Bernstein had perceived quite rightly. The ten-year cycles which Marx believed he had discerned, had been discredited. The reason for this was that capitalist development was taking place in circumstances different from those prevailing in the middle of the nineteenth century. Economy had broken through the frontiers of the national states to form one single unit, the world market, which had become the regulator of the crisis cycles. Boom and slump came to reflect the situation in the world market: when it became too small for the offered products a crisis resulted; when it was extended through, say, the incorporation of Russia or America, or the colonization of Africa or the Far East, a boom followed. The answer to Bernstein therefore was that although the reasons and the forms of the crises had changed, the crises themselves did not disappear. Parvus went as far as to forecast that the crises would be more serious for the capitalist economy than Marx could have possibly foreseen forty years ago. Studies concerning finance and economic crisis, land rents, and the laws governing the world market, became Helphand's recreation; they also confirmed his abilities as a theorist. He advanced far beyond the ideas current at the time. It is now accepted that economic factors had disregarded national frontiers and that the world market was on the way to becoming a single unit; that Europe found itself pressed hard, economically and politically, by two new world powers, Russia and America. But at the end of the last century, all this was a closed book to the German socialists. When the Reichstag came to deal with the respective merits of free trade and protective barriers, in the great debate of 1900, the socialist party executive described the problem as an internal affair of the bourgeoisie, quite 'alien' to their party. The debate went on far above the heads of the socialist parliamentarians. Helphand's recommendations for free trade, by which the proletariat could also benefit, found no response in the party. In 1900 Helphand had anticipated a development which assumed concrete form only half a century later:

42

The Merchant of Revolution

Though hindered, the development of the world market has made impressive progress. And its result at the moment is the displacement of competition of individual industrial states by that of whole continents. In order to gain a place in this formidable race, free trade is a sine qua non for western Europe. But insignificant as the European capital is in relation to the working class, it is the same also in its trading policies. It is divided, and it chases after the interests of the splintergroups and of the moment. Hence the political strife. Europe is suffering, more than ever, from small-statesmanship [Kleinstaaterei]. Although the states have become bigger the historical yardstick has also grown, only much more so. This is the curse of political tradition. Free trade will do away with it, it will create great groups of nations, it will lead to the United States of Europe. 20

Such fantasies could not be taken seriously in Germany. Helphand found more response to his suggestions on matters of tactics, which he developed in connexion with the revisionist debate. To the last man, every member of the party saw himself as capable of taking part in the discussion on socialist tactics. They all wanted a revolution, but they hoped rather than fought for it. Was the regime not heading in the direction of its inevitable fall? To be patient and to keep his peace ('Not to let ourselves be provoked!') was therefore the worker's first duty. August Bebel, who, as a speaker, exercised a hypnotic power over his public, particularly excelled in spinning fantastic dreams about the forthcoming crash of capitalism. This was an illusion of which Eduard David perceptively said that its 'mother [was] the Marxist theory of crisis, its father Engels' belief in the proximity of war'.21 Parvus of course wanted an early revolution as much as Bebel did. But he held an entirely different view of capitalist aggressiveness and of the tasks of the powerful socialist organization. To wait and to remain inactive—in this respect he fully agreed with Bernstein—was a completely unsuitable tactical approach. He was searching for a way to square the practical daily work of the party with its ultimate aim, that of evolution with revolution.
20 Parvus, 'Die Industriezölle und der Weltmarkt', Neue Zeit, 1900-1, vol. 1, pp. 783 et seq. 21 E. David, 'Die Eroberung der politischen Macht', Sozialistische Monatshefte, Berlin, 1904, vol. 1, p. 16.

The Great Fortune 43

He came to realize that his ideas on the routine work of the party did not differ much from those of Bernstein. Nevertheless, the revolution was Helphand's main target, and here he left no room for doubt; in his view, it was revolution alone that could do away with the class society. When Bernstein wanted to move the party to act in the intervening time, he could rely on Helphand's full support. The German socialists, who were used to thinking in either/or categories, were incredulous when, in the following years, Bernstein and Helphand formed a tactical alliance. In 1899, Vollmar had come to a limited agreement with the Centre Party in Bavaria, for the purpose of the elections; he was hoping—not in vain, as it later appeared—to double the number of socialist mandates in the Munich Diet. Rosa Luxemburg at once gave the alarm signal in order to prevent this alliance with the class enemy. Bernstein's followers were amazed as they observed Helphand combat Luxemburg's views. Eleven deputies were better than five, he argued, whatever his friend Luxemburg might think. Only power and the possibility of exercising it mattered.22 The first doubts arose as to whether Helphand really was the radical Marxist he had hitherto seemed. Was not Vollmar simply the mouth-piece of Bernstein, and the most advanced practitioner of opportunism? Parvus disagreed: everything was permissible that helped the party to advance. His meaning became clearer during the discussion of the problem of the vice-presidency in 1903. In that year, the Social Democrats became the second-strongest party in the Reichstag, and could therefore claim the office of Vice-President of the parliament. Bernstein at once suggested that the socialists should accept the office. Bebel angrily dismissed the suggestion: a socialist Vice-President would have to attend the Court, and observe its protocol. This would be unworthy of a socialist. Helphand pointed out that, although the protocol was a bitter pill to swallow, it could be gulped down for the sake of the position of power the party would thus achieve. Because he wanted the party to exercise its influence through the office, he agreed with Bernstein, 'although he is Bernstein'.23
22 23

cf. R. Luxemburg, Gesammelte Werke, vol. 3, pp. 408 et seq., 419, and 423 et seq. Parvus, 'Nutzloser Streit', Aus der Weltpolitik, 31 August 1903.

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The Merchant of Revolution

Helphand's friends and enemies could hardly believe their eyes. They had never had an opportunity to follow a course so zig-zag, yet founded in a logical system, in which both evolution and revolution could be accommodated. Bebel was at the end of his tether when he pronounced his judgement on Helphand at the Dresden congress of 1903: 'Look at this Parvus (laughter), about whom everybody could have sworn, only recently, that he was a hard-bitten radical. And this proud pillar . . . is broken. . . . Naturally as a former radical he is broken in a different way than that in which a revisionist would break, but he is broken all the same.'24 Parvus now grasped the fact that his tactical deliberations had reached the point where it was difficult for him to make his views intelligible to his comrades. Concepts of revolution or routine daily work were too meaningless to enable him to communicate his ideas with any precision. He began to search for an example from the history of the working-class movement, and he found it in Ferdinand Lassalle. Lassalle, he wrote to a friend, had rightly recognized, already after the 1848 revolution, that the proletariat could not stand outside the state, but could use every position it gained inside the state for its own advancement: 'I have often written that the proletariat, in its political struggle, should not stand outside the general life of the state. It has to penetrate every nook and cranny and exploit the clash of class interests; but in practice, parliamentary opposition comes easily to resemble bourgeois democracy.'25 Helphand also used the example of Lassalle to show how he himself regarded the middle-class parties of opposition—a question raised by Vollmar's alliance with the Centre Party. According to Helphand, Lassalle had achieved the separation of the workers from the middle class, and had built up their organization. Despite this, he supported the liberal and progressive groups whenever their aims coincided with those of the proletariat: at all other times he did not hesitate to attack the bourgeoisie. Social Democracy had to behave in the same way as
24

25

Protokoll Dresden, 1903, p. 311. Parvus to Axelrod, 18 January 1904; in Sotsial-demokraticheskoe dvizhenie v Rossii, edited by A. N. Potresov and B. I. Nikolaevski, Moscow, 1928, p. 109.

The Great Fortune 45

Lassalle had done: it had to be prepared to support the Liberals, or to conduct, when necessary, a two-front engagement against both them and the government. The party executive cared little or nothing for what Helphand had to say. For his own part, he did not make it easy for his comrades to show an interest. On the contrary, shortly before the Lübeck congress of 1901, he decided to embark on the final and fiercest assault on Bernstein and his followers. On this occasion his invective was even harsher than it had been in 1898. Without Kautsky's knowledge—the editor of Neue Zeit was away on a summer holiday—Parvus published, in Kautsky's periodical, a series of articles entitled 'Opportunism in Practice'. Bernstein, Vollmar, and Ignaz Auer, the head of the party organization, an experienced politician and an amiable senior member of the executive organization, were his main targets. Auer was, in Helphand's view, the 'patron saint of opportunism' who regarded his political actions as far above any ideological scruples. As a 'full-blooded German' he was by no means as 'overpoweringly shrewd' as he was generally regarded to be. Bernstein's revisionism Helphand described as a hotchpotch of outworn bourgeois ideas, which were now to become a substitute for the teaching of Marx and Engels. 'Only a revision to the left of our party principles is now possible . . . in the sense of the extension of political activity, . . . of the intensification of social-revolutionary energy, . . . of a bold endeavour and will, and not of fearful, reserved softness.'26 Bernstein was spending the accumulated revolutionary capital in small change, while the enthusiastic agreement of the bourgeois social reformers provided the background 'chorus for his heroic deeds'. Capitalism could be fought, Helphand insisted, only from the standpoint of the social revolution. 'The proletariat can be only the grave-digger or the subject of capitalism.'27 The motives which caused Helphand to renew his assault on the revisionists were of a twofold nature. For personal reasons, he regarded the time as ripe to drive his critics with 'lashes of the
26
27

Parvus, 'Der Opportunismus in der Praxis', Neue Zeit, 1900-1, vol. 2, p. 746. ibid., p. 794.

46

The Merchant of Revolution

whip into the frog-pond'. There were also political motives. He thought that the revisionists' distaste for, and criticism of, the sharpness of his tone would provide his followers with a cover for the counter-attack. He explained this in a letter to Kautsky: 'Now they can, by abusing my abuse, and thus retaining a certain reserve, present our common standpoint all the more ruthlessly; they are therefore fighting under a cover. . . . I doubt whether, without a cover, they could fight as bravely.'28 August Bebel felt that a catastrophe was about to occur in Lübeck. He did not regard Helphand's essays in the Neue Zeit as some kind of provocation, but as an 'objective even though not always correct criticism'. But he was afraid, he wrote to Kautsky, that the 'emotion merchants' who had Parvus 'in their stomachs' might now lose patience. 'You would not believe', he concluded the letter, 'what animosity exists in the party against Parvus and also Rosa [Luxemburg], and although I do not think that we should take this prejudice into consideration, one cannot disregard it entirely.'29 The events at the Lübeck congress were even more dramatic than Bebel had feared. Parvus and Rosa Luxemburg (who had recently distinguished herself with a withering attack on the French socialists) had to run the gauntlet of their critics. Bebel, who did not want to add fuel to the fire, maintained a cautious reserve. In his opinion, he said, it needed a 'certain amount of tastelessness to present, so to speak, leading party comrades in their bathing costumes'. Nevertheless, the enemies of Helphand and Rosa Luxemburg were in no mood for restraint. Richard Fischer made a reference to 'literary ruffians'; Erhardt, the delegate from Ludwigshafen, expressed his distaste for the immigrants from the east: it appeared to him that the party life had been defiled by 'the male and female arrivals from the east'. Wolfgang Heine, a Berlin lawyer and one of the best-known of Bernstein's partisans, excelled himself: antisemitism was clearly discernible behind his attack on Helphand and Luxemburg. It made little difference that
28

29

Parvus to Kautsky, undated 1901, in 'Einige Briefe Rosa Luxemburgs und andere Dokumente', 1952, No. 1, p. 27. Bebel to Kautsky, 4 September 1901, in 'Einige Briefe Rosa Luxemburgs', p. 26.

The Great Fortune 47

the congress eventually condemned Heine's views; underneath the surface they still could do a great deal of harm to the immigrants. The withering attacks on him by the delegates to the Lübeck congress made no impression on Helphand. He took nothing back: he thought of his polemic as in no need of an apology, only perhaps some explanation. He wrote to Kautsky after the congress : 'More than ever, the proletariat needs an open, clear, unafraid voice, which judges events as well as people with equal sharpness. Such a voice will not be generally acceptable. It will embitter those who think differently, it will injure the wavering, it will anger the gentle-minded. But if it is a true voice, its future triumphs will be the greater, the more it is at present combated and denied.'30 In public, Helphand added: 'The revolutionary spirit speaks in a blunt language.9 It was necessary for the young man to employ, at this point, the words of Martin Luther: 'I know of no other way than anger and zeal; when I want to write well, pray well, and preach well, I must be angry.' All in all, he concluded the discussion on what was permissible in party debate—'I maintain that a hundred rudenesses are preferable to one hypocrisy.'31 When Parvus was listening to the attacks on himself at Lübeck, he had long since lost the security the editorship of the Dresden Arbeiterzeitung gave him. In order to present the revisionist debate and its offshoots as one piece, we have had to anticipate our narrative. Parvus and his friend Marchlewski had been expelled from Saxony as early as the end of 1898; the local police could no longer tolerate their activities. At first, Parvus attempted to exert some influence on the editorial policy of the newspaper from Gera, the capital of the neighbouring Duchy of Reuss. In order to make quite certain of the paper's political line, he had Rosa Luxemburg appointed as his successor. The arrangement held good for a short time only. A few months later, Parvus and Marchlewski were seen out of Gera as well; the two friends were now looking for a safer and more permanent abode. They no longer had a large choice before
30
31

An undated letter, Kautsky-Archiv. Parvus in Aus der Weltpolitik, 31 December 1904 and 5 January 1905.

48

The Merchant of Revolution

them: it fell, in the end, on Bavaria, where their old opponent, Georg von Vollmar, was kind enough to secure for them residential permission. Helphand's departure for Munich meant that he had been effectively removed from the centre of the party activity. But he had not much of a position, no great influence, to lose. The attacks on Bernstein had cost him what remained of the sympathy of the Berlin executive; even the socialist publishers no longer showed any interest in printing his pamphlets. After the Lübeck congress, his erstwhile protector Kautsky started turning down his contributions to the Neue Zeit: between 1901 and 1906, the leading organ of the German Social Democrat party published not a single word by Helphand. Indeed, soon after the turn of the century it seemed as if Helphand's career in the German party might come to a premature end. It is true that, from the point of view of the party executive, he had been very difficult for many years. But he was not a trouble-maker pure and simple. He had his own vision of the German party: he thought of it as having inherited, in the Marxist revolutionary doctrine, a great fortune, and he abhorred the possibility of it being wasted away in the small-change of gradual reform. He remained enough of a Russian intellectual to be obsessed by the reality and proximity of a social revolution: this was the centre about which all his thinking revolved. But his disappointments in the German party were amply compensated by the Russians. Plekhanov, as well as the younger socialist leaders, Martov, Potresov, and Lenin, followed Helphand's attacks on Bernstein with admiration. While Bebel and Kautsky thought themselves fortunate to have silenced the 'literary ruffians', the Russian party held Parvus in high esteem. Plekhanov, who personally had no liking for Helphand, publicly thanked him for his articles in the Sdchsische Arbeiterzeitung;32 Lenin wrote to his mother from Siberia, to send him copies of Helphand's Arbeiterzeitung articles. Martov translated Helphand's series from the Neue Zeit, entitled 'Opportunism in
32

G. Plekhanov, 'Erörterungen über die Taktik. Wofür sollen wir ihm dankbar sein ? Offener Brief an Karl Kautsky', Sächsische Arbeiterzeitung supplement, published on 30 October and 2 and 3 November 1898.

The Great Fortune 49

Practice', into Russian, and he described it, on the occasion of its publication in the Russian party organ, Zarya, as a 'masterly analysis'.33 Indeed, already before the Lübeck congress, it had seemed that Helphand might find his way back to the Russian Social Democrat party.
33 Zarya, Nos. 2-3,1901.

3
The Schwabing Headquarters
It was no accident that, at the turn of the century, Helphand began to draw closer to the Russian exiles. The nature of his personal and political dilemma had already become apparent in 1896, soon after his first meeting with Alexander Potresov, one of the younger of the Russian Marxists. Potresov was very impressed by Helphand, and set out to win him over to the Russian revolutionary movement. He suggested that Parvus should become a member of the Russian delegation to the forthcoming congress of the Second International in London. Plekhanov, who had, a few years before, made a similar but unsuccessful attempt, at first opposed the suggestion; he did, however, change his mind and Helphand was invited. At this point certain difficulties arose, and it was Helphand himself who raised them. He was hoping for a German party mandate as well, and he was willing to accept the Russians' invitation on the condition that he would be allowed to do most of the work and the voting at the congress with the Germans. Together with his friend Rosa Luxemburg, he would almost certainly have voted against the Russians in connexion with the Polish question. But his reservations fell flat. He was not offered a mandate by the German party, and he was forced to drop the conditions. It was better to go to London as a Russian delegate than not to go at all; and this was what, in the end, Helphand did. Despite a somewhat irritating quality in his behaviour towards the Russians, they continued to treat him with consideration, even with respect. In London, although he was unable to speak to the plenary sessions of the congress, he took the chair at the separate meetings of the Russian delegation: a magnanimous gesture on the part of such luminaries of the movement as Plekhanov and Vera Zasulich.

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For the time being, the advances by the Russian exiles proved futile. When he returned to Germany from London, Helphand's job as editor of the Dresden Arbeiterzeitung proved too absorbing to allow him to take part in the Russian revolutionary movement. The controversy with Bernstein kept him busy until the summer of 1898; then the expulsion from Saxony and his move to Munich revived his interest in Russia, and subsequently brought him nearer to his Russian comrades. The events in the country of his birth also attracted Helphand's attention. The century ended on a harsh, disturbed note in Russia. In the early months of 1899, a series of strikes disrupted the young industries of the Empire. Had they known of the report by the Chief of Police at Moscow, the Russian socialists may well have been encouraged: he thought their success had an
extremely dangerous and prejudicial effect upon the State, inasmuch as they [the strikes] constitute an elementary school for the political education of the working class. They confirm the confidence of the masses in their own power, teach them more practical methods of combat, and train and give prominence to specially gifted individuals of greater initiative. They further convince the labourer of the possibility and advantage of combination, and of collective action in general. At the same time, they render him more accessible to Socialist ideas which he had previously regarded as idle dreams. The consciousness of a solidarity of interests with the labouring classes throughout the world is developed in these local struggles. This involves a recognition that political agitation in the social democratic sense is indispensable to victory. The present situation is so disquieting and the activity of the revolutionary agitators so intense, that a combined action of all authorities affected will be necessary to combat it.1

Apart from unrest among the workers, disturbances also occurred at the universities. In February, students at St. Petersburg clashed with the police; violent protest meetings against the official measures were organized at universities throughout the country. Then the institutions of higher learning were closed down, and an Imperial commission was appointed. In March, while its members were considering university reforms, all
1

Annual Register, 1899, p. 301.

52

The Merchant of Revolution

students were expelled. If they wished to re-enter they had to sign individual petitions, binding themselves to submit unconditionally to university regulations. The famine, more serious than the one in 1892, on which Helphand had reported in the Berlin newspaper, Vorwärts, formed the general background to the disturbances among the workers and the students. The Tsarist Government was aware of the gravity of the situation in the countryside: in the budget published at the beginning of the year (calendar and financial years were concurrent in Russia), 35 million roubles were set aside for famine relief. But neither the help of the government, nor the work done by the Red Cross in the most severely afflicted areas, provided enough relief for the starving population of rural Russia. The disturbances of 1899 tempted some of the revolutionaries to return to their country from exile. Vera Zasulich crossed the frontier illegally, shortly before Helphand. Early in May 1899 Helphand left Munich for Russia, carrying an Austro-Hungarian passport under the improbable name of a Czech called August Pen; he was accompanied by a friend of his, Lehmann, a socialist doctor of medicine. Lehmann was older than Helphand, and it was he who paid most of the expenses of the trip. He was an idealist who started to study medicine at an advanced age; a son of a well-to-do family, he joined the still illegal socialist party in the early eighteen-eighties. The journey was not, at any rate for Parvus, without excitement. As the train approached the Russian frontier he was filled with a feeling of 'uncertainty and curiosity' ;2 he was musing on his chances of ending the journey in Siberia. 'The train stops. We are at the door of the carriage—and as if rooted to the earth, there stood before us a completely still, hard and bony figure in a grey military coat, the first Russian gendarme, and also the very first thing we saw in Russia. Without a change in his expression, he extended his arm and said just one word: "Passport".'3 After they had handed over their passports, Parvus and Lehmann left the train and followed the general stream of people which was filling up a large, ill-lit hall. In the huge customs shed there was a long, crescent-shaped counter; the officials stood on the inside
2

C. Lehmann and Parvus, Das hungernde Russland, p. 6.

3

ibid., p. 11.

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and the travellers on the outside; at its focal point, behind the officials, there was the commander's table, and on it, a bright lamp, the only one in the room. The officials were only concerned with the authenticity of the passports and with the literature the travellers were carrying; they checked some of the travel documents against the 'black book', a list of people the Russian authorities regarded as undesirable. Helphand had good reason to be nervous. He was travelling on a forged Austro-Hungarian passport, and he had a police record in Russia. Nevertheless, nothing unpleasant happened to him, and he was allowed to enter the country of his birth after a twelve-year absence. A few hours later the train went on to St. Petersburg, via Kovno and Pskov. When the travellers woke up the following morning, they had passed the half-way mark of their journey to the capital; during the night, layers of fine dust had covered all their personal belongings. Having dusted themselves, the two socialist friends watched the countryside—not that there was very much to look at for the landscape before them was bleak and desolate. Dust seemed to have taken the place of people; in comparison, the sandy plains of eastern Prussia appeared a land of plenty to the two travellers. They amused themselves, for a while, by timing the incidence of the human element against the desolate background. Only one object of interest relieved the tedium of the journey: about two o'clock in the afternoon—an hour before they reached St. Petersburg—the travellers caught a glimpse of the gloomy castle of Gatchina where the Tsar, Alexander III, spent a large part of his reign. He was lonely there, but safe from the attacks of the terrorists. The two friends spent a few days in St. Petersburg. Neither of them had ever visited the capital before, and they indulged in traditional tourist pastimes. They admired the magnificent architecture of the city, and were amazed at the way in which its white nights affected the lives of the inhabitants. There seemed to be for them little difference between night and day; after midnight, the streets were as busy as at noon. They also visited the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress with its prison, one of the toughest in Russia: a few years later, Helphand was to get to know it much more intimately. From St. Petersburg they travelled to Moscow,
M.R.-E

54

The Merchant of Revolution

the more 'Russian' (to Helphand this meant the more 'Asiatic') of the two towns. They were amazed at the number of pictorial symbols that served as shop signs—an aid for the many illiterates. Lehmann had brought with him a camera, the latest model from the Zeiss works; something quite simple went wrong with the instrument, and the doctor had to spend most of his time in Moscow looking for someone capable of putting it right. From Moscow the two travellers set out on an arduous journey which took them to Nizhni Novgorod, then down the Volga to Kazan, from there to the River Kama, and then up the river to a small landing stage called Mursikha, the easternmost point of their journey. After a brief stay there, they turned south to the province of Samara. They went from Orenburg to the town of Samara on the Trans-Siberian Railway; from there once more up the Volga to Simbirsk and then back to Moscow, Warsaw, and Germany. The whole trip took them several months and they covered some 5,000 miles. Their main purpose was a detailed investigation of the famine areas. Back in Munich, Helphand and Lehmann spent the remaining months of 1899 writing their joint book. Lehmann had kept a diary of the journey, and he wrote the medical parts as well as the accounts of their visit to St. Petersburg and to Moscow. Helphand wrote most of the book, and did also all the editing: the political slant is recognizably his. They sent the finished manuscript, together with a large number of photographs taken by Lehmann, to their publisher, Dietz of Stuttgart, early in the following year. Although the book still remains a valuable historical source, it completely lacks human sympathy and its intention is all too clearly propagandist. Indeed, excerpts from it were later used in France, during the socialists' drive against the subscription of French loans to the Tsarist Government. The authors summed up the purpose of their book in the following manner:
The world exhibition in Paris and, before, in Chicago, gave the Russian government a magnificent opportunity for self-advertisement. By skilful arrangement, it conjured up before the visitors a picture of riches and plenty. Is that not the old art of Potemkin villages? We have known, for

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a long time, that Russia is a land rich in natural resources. But what has always surprised us about her is how little she has exploited these resources, how poor she is among all her riches. Has there been a change already? This book shows the reverse side of the coin: the official Tsarist Russia presents herself as a Russia of affluence—our book describes the starving Russia.4

There are also some interesting and obvious omissions in the book. Apart from two autobiographical references—one concerning the Berezino fire, a memory from Helphand's childhood, and the other relating to his brush with the customs officials after his first visit to Switzerland in 1886—the book tells us nothing more about Helphand personally. He did not even mention the fact that he was travelling on a forged passport, which would have explained his nervousness—which he did describe—at the frontier post. He made no reference to the fact that at least one of his parents was still alive in Russia, and he is very unlikely to have made a detour to visit them. Nor is there any mention in the book that Helphand tried to contact the leaders of the socialist movement in Russia. There is only a reticent reference to a visit of 'acquaintances' in the suburbs of Moscow:5 in fact, Helphand and Lehmann did meet Potresov, with whom they discussed plans for the publication of a Russian socialist newspaper abroad. After his return to Munich, Helphand's relations with the Russian exiles became more intimate. The Bavarian capital was at the time attracting the Russians, students and political exiles alike, in large numbers. Late in the summer of 1900, Lenin and Potresov—Martov joined them later—arrived there as well. The three revolutionaries had met in Russia in May, and they decided to start publishing a newspaper abroad; they were influenced by Helphand in their choice of residence. From Germany, Lenin and Potresov made a short visit to Geneva, where they met Plekhanov and Axelrod. Lenin and his friend put their plans before the older men, who were opposed to the suggestion that the paper should be published in Germany. Plekhanov wanted it to appear, under his editorship, in Geneva; he was clearly unwilling to exchange his pleasant legal refuge for the hazards of illegal
4

Preface to Das hungernde Russland.

5

ibid., p. 32.

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The Merchant of Revolution

existence in Bavaria. In the end, the two young revolutionaries returned to Germany with Plekhanov's reluctant blessing. They wasted no time. Early in November Lenin wrote a leading article on party press and organization, which was published in one of the first numbers o Iskra. The newspaper was turned out f by a German Social Democrat printing-press in Leipzig, on specially thin paper, in closely packed, neat type. Its every feature bore witness to the preoccupations of the younger generation of the Russian revolutionaries. Whereas Plekhanov and Axelrod had organized their group of Marxists in exile and in isolation from their home country, Lenin and his friends had undergone a different kind of development. They had embarked on their revolutionary careers in Russia; they had lived through imprisonment and banishment to Siberia; they arrived in exile as hardened conspirators, with an intimate knowledge of the difficulties involved in the organization of a socialist mass movement in Russian conditions. They were more practical, tougher, and more ruthless than the older exiles of the Plekhanov vintage. They knew the value of maintaining close connexions with their home country; they had built up an underground network in Russia, and they intended to run it. This meant that they had to keep their comrades at home supplied with political directives and with material for the use of the agitators. They decided to produce their paper in Germany because this would facilitate its dispatch to Russia; its size and weight were designed for easy smuggling. In the first issue, Lenin's concern with a strong, efficient party became apparent. It foreshadowed the formation, two years later, of a party of professional revolutionaries under his leadership. The qualities of the younger generation of the Russians appealed to Helphand; he himself had been critical of Plekhanov and his friends when he had made their acquaintance. Lenin met Helphand for the first time in Munich. He was three years younger, and he was quite familiar with the name of Parvus. In March 1899 he had reviewed a collection of essays translated into Russian, on the crisis in agriculture, by Parvus; he described the author as a 'talented German publicist'.6 A few months later
6

Collected Works, vol. 4, pp. 51 et seq.

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Lenin asked his mother to forward to him, in Siberia, Helphand's anti-revisionist articles.7 Helphand did not boast when he later wrote that he had persuaded the editors of Iskra to live in Munich.8 The town offered many advantages for the Russian revolutionaries, and Helphand was able to render them a variety of good services. Lenin lived in Munich illegally, using a Bulgarian passport provided for him by Christo Rakovsky, the wealthy young socialist from Dobrudja. Lenin did not like having too many contacts with the German socialists himself: Helphand was the only 'German comrade' whom Lenin and his wife saw frequently—especially after they moved nearer to him, into the Munich artists' suburb of Schwabing.9 Indeed, in the first five years of the century, Helphand's flat in Schwabing was a focal point for the Russian exiles. Rosa Luxemburg met Lenin there for the first time; Lev Trotsky stayed there with his wife. Lenin's correspondence from Russia was sent to the addresses of German socialists, which had been supplied by Helphand; they were then forwarded to Munich to one 'Dr. Leman'10 who was no other than Dr. Lehmann, Helphand's friend and companion on his trip to Russia. According to Martov,11 the two most active supporters of the Iskra group among the Germans were Lehmann and Dietz, the Stuttgart publisher of Das hungernde Russland. At his Schwabing flat, Helphand ran an illegal printing-press, a highly efficient machine which incorporated a device designed to destroy the printing frame instantly; a precaution against the possibility of a police raid. On this machine, eight numbers of Iskra were printed.12 The editorial board of Iskra stayed in Munich until the beginning of the year 1902. Helphand was then in a position much to his own liking. He was the host, the man-in-between, an intermediary between two worlds. He drew his strength precisely from this situation. There were as yet no differences between him
The Letters of Lenin, edited by E. Hill and D. Mudie, London, 1936, p. 96. Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 8. 9 N. K. Krupskaya, Lenin, Moscow, 1959, p. 68. 10 ibid., p. 60. 11 J. Martov, Geschichte der russischen Sozialdemokratie, Berlin, 1926, p. 59. 12 L. Stern (ed.), Die Auswirkungen der ersten russischen Revolution auf Deutschland von 1905-!907, Berlin, 1956, p. 40.
8

7

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The Merchant of Revolution

and Lenin; he consented to write for the Russian press on the German socialist movement and took pleasure in introducing the young generation of the Russian socialists to his German comrades. In Helphand's own words, he 'wanted to bring the intellectuals on the editorial board of Iskra closer to the mass movement of German Social Democracy'.13 The Russians had retained their revolutionary fervour; the Germans had built up a mass organization; and Helphand believed they had a lot to learn from each other. At the same time, Helphand set to work among the Russian and Polish students at Munich University and the technical school. Together with his friend Julian Marchlewski, he became a well-known and highly esteemed figure among them. He wrote and printed propaganda pamphlets for the students' societies; he took a prominent part in their social functions; and he organized demonstrations of sympathy with the Russian revolutionary movement. When he could no longer resist the attractions of the revolution in Russia in October 1905, he left Munich just in time. The Munich police had prepared, two months before, a highly incriminating document on the subject of Alexander Helphand. Had he stayed in Munich, the loss of Bavarian residential rights would have been the lightest penalty. Helphand's endeavours to bring the Germans and the Russians together were so intense that even the Munich police could not help noticing them. On 30 August 1905, the Chief of Police reported:
Helphand wilfully uses his relations with the Russian students on the one hand, and, on the other, with the local Social Democrats in order to gain sympathy for the Russian revolutionary movement, as well as for a systematic linking together of our own trade union and socialist cause with the revolutionary tendencies abroad, a connexion which—because of the persistence with which it has been pushed into the foreground on various occasions since the beginning of the year—has become troublesome to the public; it seems to be, at least, not commendable for the public good. In this respect we should remember the regrettable coincidence of the great demonstrations of sympathy for the Russian
13

Im Kampf um die Wahrheity p. 9.

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revolutionaries with the obstinate demonstrations of the unemployed, the manner in which questions of Bavarian internal and foreign policy were dragged in, the unauthorized collections for those killed during the events in St. Petersburg, at a time when aid for the unemployed was introduced at the cost of financial sacrifice, the Russian students' dance, too obviously following the murder of Grand Duke Sergei, in order to prove that these developments, as they occur under the visible influence of agitators like Helphand, are certain to lack in consideration for the public welfare of the country and the town.14

The Chief of Police in Munich expressed, at the end of the report, the fear that as a result of Helphand's activities the workers' meetings in Munich would lose their hitherto peaceful character. Indeed, in the years Helphand spent in the Bavarian capital, he exerted himself to quicken the leisurely pace of the local socialist movement. The peaceful character of the workers' meetings was exactly what Krupskaya, Lenin's wife, disliked when she witnessed, in 1901, a May Day parade in Munich.15 The sight of the German Social Democrats, with their wives and children, their pockets stuffed with horse-radishes, swiftly and silently marching through Munich in order to get to the beer gardens in the suburbs as quickly as possible, all this made Krupskaya profoundly sad. She wanted to take part in 6real militant demonstrations, and not a procession organized by the police'. She did not stay in Munich long enough to see her heart's desire fulfilled. Soon after the departure of the editorial board of Iskra from Munich, Lenin made the opening moves in his campaign to capture the control of the Russian Social Democracy. At the second party congress in the summer of 1903, the split took place between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Conflicting views of the party organization emerged: Lenin defended the need for a highly centralized society of professional revolutionaries, the kind of organization he had outlined in the first issue of Iskra. In the meantime, however, the frontier guards and the Tsarist police started to inflict severe punishment on the underground traffic between the socialists abroad and at home. The split
14

L. Stern, op. cit., pp. 41 and 42.

15

N. K. Krupskaya, Lenin, p. 68.

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between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks was only faintly reflected, at first, in the party organization in Russia. Although Lenin was convinced that only his kind of party was capable of leading the Russian working-class movement, its direction in fact began to elude the grasp of the party. In the early years of the century, the growing revolutionary unrest among the workers in Russia's industrial centres was, on the whole, taking place independently of the Social Democrat organization.16 At the same time, competitors for the favours of the Russian public were appearing on the scene. In 1901, an illegal group of Social Revolutionaries—direct descendants of the populists, with their predilection for terrorist activity—was set up; soon afterwards, the liberals began to seek agreement on a political programme among like-minded men, and to organize their ranks. Indeed, at the time of the controversy on party organization, it seemed possible that Lenin might get too involved in émigré politics, and that, like so many revolutionaries before him, he would disappear into the futility and oblivion of exile. Mainly through Potresov's good services, Helphand was well informed about the differences among the exiles, and he soon noted their growing alienation from their home country. By the summer of 1904, he was aware of the fact that the Russian party had lost contact with the masses, and that it was working as a 6motor without a fly-wheel'.17 For some time after the conclusion of the second party congress in the summer of 1903, European socialists remained unaware of the momentous events that led to the split of the Russian Social Democrat party. Helphand was the first to break the silence after the storm. He reported on the split in his agency news-sheet at the end of November 1903.18 He was clearly unwilling to take sides; Lenin appreciated Helphand's non-partisan tone, and he suggested to him to wait for the publication of the protocol of the congress, and not to take 'party gossip for hard currency'.19 Helphand regarded the restoration of unity among
16 17

cf. Leonard Schapiro, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, London, 1960, p. 41. A. N. Potresov and B. I. Nikolaevski (editors), Sotsial-demokraticheskoe dvizhenie v

Rossii, vol. 1, Moscow, 1928, p. 137.
18

19

Aus der Weltpolitik, in an article entitled 'Der Anfang vom Ende ?' 30 November 1903. Collected Works, vol. 7, p. 105.

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the Russian socialists as imperative; he thought the authority of the German party might help to heal the breach. For over a year he wrote a large number of letters to Potresov, Axelrod, and Martov, who were now Lenin's adversaries and, since his resignation, in control of Iskra: Parvus implored them, exhorted them, and, most frequently, sermonized them.20 In a letter to Axelrod at the beginning of January 1904, Helphand made the first move in the campaign aimed at bringing the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks together. After reading an article by Axelrod in Iskra which dealt with the problem of the unity of Russian socialism, Parvus wrote to the author: 'You have touched upon a sore spot in the policy of the Russian Social Democrat party. The fight against autocracy demands the unity of all the elements of opposition and the concentration of forces for an immediate political effect.' Nevertheless, Helphand did not want to give Axelrod and his friends the impression that he was, without reservations, on their side. He told Potresov that he intended to remain in touch with Lenin; in February, he urged the Mensheviks to co-opt Lenin, without making any fuss, on to the editorial board of Iskra, and to do so even if Lenin refused to admit, by way of compensation, a Menshevik to the central committee of the Bolshevik faction.21 When Potresov complained that Lenin was a man with whom it was impossible to co-operate, Helphand replied that the unity of the party was more important than personal animosities. A few months later, Karl Kautsky gave the Mensheviks exactly the same advice. In his zeal to mediate between the two factions of the Russian party, Parvus made a bad blunder. He expressed the opinion that the whole leadership of the party was suffering from the same disease as Lenin, in overestimating their importance in regard to the working masses. He lumped the leader of the Bolsheviks together with his adversaries, and reprimanded them as a lot of self-important adolescents. It pleased no one. Lenin was in no mood to take advice or criticism, and he firmly declined the offer to rejoin the editorial board of Iskra.
20
21

A large part of this correspondence was printed in Potresov and Nikolaevski, op. cit., pp. 108-20, 136-44, 152-7. ibid., p. 112.

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A few weeks later, a thoughtful Potresov wrote to his friend Axelrod: 'How Lenin is to be beaten, that is the question. I think that one should, first of all, let loose on him authorities like Kautsky (we have him already), Rosa Luxemburg, and Parvus.'22 By this time, Helphand's sympathies, as well as most of his contacts, were with the Mensheviks. He came to regard Lenin's struggle for power in the party with an almost physical aversion. Kautsky also came down, in the end, on the side of Lenin's critics; Rosa Luxemburg wrote with distaste of the 'night-watchman spirit of ultra-centralism recommended by Lenin and his friends'.23 It was natural that Helphand and Luxemburg, who had received a large part of their training as socialists in Germany, should have viewed Lenin's activities with suspicion and contempt. They regarded mass organization—like the organization they knew in Germany—as essential for the advance of socialism; they thought the employment of absolutist methods unnecessary in the struggle against an absolutist regime. The attitudes of the Mensheviks had certain affinities with those of Helphand: they were keen to learn from their German comrades, and were even prepared to overlook a certain amount of patronizing. Lenin, on the other hand, went his own way. He was ruthless, willing to pay a high price for a clear-cut victory, hovering, at the time, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. While the Russian exiles quarrelled and intrigued, and Helphand tried, in vain, to mediate between them, the Tsarist Government blundered into a war with Japan. Helphand was convinced that the war provided the weightiest argument for the unity of the Russian Social Democrat party. In the issue of Iskra that appeared soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Helphand started a series of articles under a significant title—'War and Revolution'.24 It opened with a prophetic sentence: 'The RussoJapanese war is the blood-red dawn of coining great events.' Parvus then proceeded to develop the thesis that the period of European stability that had begun in 1871, after the last of the
22
24

23 ibid., p. 125. Neue Zeit, 1903-4, vol. 2, pp. 484-92 and 529-39. They were reprinted in Parvus's book Rossiya i revolyutsiya, St. Petersburg, 1906, pp. 83 et seq.

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wars for national unification, was brought to an end by the outbreak of the war between Russia and Japan. It opened a new cycle of crisis. Parallel to his theory of economic crisis,25 he argued that the national state had played out its role. Future historical development would not be shaped by national hostilities, but by the economic interests of the modern industrial states, which had already embarked on a ruthless struggle for domination of the world market. Competition for the still unexploited sources of raw materials and for overseas markets would involve the European Great Powers in a conflict which would 'inevitably lead to a world war'. Parvus then stressed the special position of Russia in this development: unlike Japan, England, or Germany, she was not compelled to conduct wars for capitalist reasons. The Tsarist regime needed the war with Japan to relieve internal pressures by military victories abroad, and to restore, through victory, its credit on the European stock exchanges. Nevertheless, Parvus was convinced that the war would act as a ventilator for the pentup frictions and energies inside Russia. He argued that no radical overhaul of Russia's political system could be expected from the Tsarist Government, and that the hopes of the liberals for a constitution were unfounded. The Russo-Japanese war would, according to Helphand, further disturb the precarious internal balance in Russia. He warned his Russian comrades before taking a purely determinist view of these developments. He thought it possible that the 'continuation of the capitalist order will be due to the policies of the Social Democrat party. It is impossible to make events. But it is possible to delay them. The idea of revolution fights against this. It fights against reaction, against political stupidity, against all vagueness, cowardice, and indecisiveness that slow down political development. It is not an independent political factor, but it makes the way for history clear.'26 Helphand advocated a united front of all the opposition elements in the struggle against Tsarism; he did, however, fear that the contribution of the working class to the struggle might lose its identity: he insisted that the proletariat must exploit class antagonism for its own political ends. He was convinced that the
25

See above, p. 41.

26

ibid., p. 132.

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international development of capitalism would lead to a revolution in Russia and that this revolution, in turn, would influence the internal situation of other countries. 'The Russian revolution will shake the political foundations of the capitalist world, and the Russian proletariat will take over the role of the avant-garde of the social revolution.'27 In the articles "War and Revolution', Helphand emerged as a theorist of great originality and power, capable of writing in a more distinguished manner than anyone else in the movement. He rose above the main preoccupations—whether with reform work or with the shape of the party—that exercised the minds of the German and Russian socialists, and he took a broad view of his main concern—revolution. The ideas Helphand expressed in Iskra were far-sighted and lucid. He rightly insisted on the importance of interaction between the domestic and the international situation; he pointed out the connexions between war and revolution. He grasped the fact that war, just as much as the inexorable economic forces of classical Marxist theory, would open the door of revolution. He understood the manner in which war could act as a powerful solvent on the fabric of the state. But, most important of all, he substituted the Russian for the German proletariat as the avant-garde of the revolutionary movement. It was a rationalization of his disappointing experiences with the German party. It was at the height of this impressive intellectual activity that Helphand met Trotsky for the first time. Trotsky was not the only Russian revolutionary, as the Munich police so carefully recorded, who found a refuge in Helphand's flat. Lev Davidovich Bronstein—Trotsky—received much more than hospitality from his host. His brief but intense friendship with Parvus was one of the most important events in Trotsky's stormy life.28 It was, of course, a friendship between two revolutionaries in which the political element overshadowed every other; nevertheless, much later, after years of concentrated slander against Helphand from diverse quarters, Trotsky was able to find words of the highest
27

28

ibid., p. 133. In the first volume of Trotsky's biography, The Prophet Armed, London, 1954, Mr. Deutscher devoted a chapter entitled 'An Intellectual Partnership' to the relations

between the two men.

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praise for his former friend. A bond of sympathy, even of loyalty, remained between them although their ways had parted. They met for the first time in the spring of 1904. Trotsky was some twelve years younger than Helphand but their backgrounds were similar. He was born into a lower middle-class Jewish family in South Russia and went to school in Odessa; revolution claimed him before he began his university career. By the time Trotsky came into exile in western Europe in the autumn of 1902, he commanded a good inside knowledge of the Russian movement, and an intimate experience of its hazards. Like Helphand, Trotsky knew the view from the Odessa harbour; but the younger man had also seen the inside of the local prison. After he fled from Siberia in October 1902, Trotsky spent the first months in exile under Lenin's wing, who thought very highly of him. He had Trotsky co-opted to the editorial board of Iskra and used him, like all new arrivals, as a source of information on the situation in Russia. But there existed sharp differences between the two men's characters; Lenin had none of the warmth of Trotsky's nature: it was inevitable that the passionate demagogue and the calculating strategist would, sooner or later, come into collision. They did, on many occasions. At the London congress in 1903, Trotsky was one of Lenin's sharpest critics. He remained on the editorial board of the party newspaper even after it had passed into the control of Lenin's adversaries; after some personal differences with Plekhanov, Trotsky then parted company with the Mensheviks as well, in April 1904. At the time of their first meeting, Trotsky, like Helphand, stood outside either of the two factions of the Russian party, and shared Helphand's concern with the schism. Trotsky came to Helphand with an open mind. Although Marx was his spiritual mentor whose theories guaranteed the advent of the revolution, Marxism was not, on the whole, an informative guide to political action. In this respect, Parvus was more helpful; in Trotsky's own words, 'his early studies brought me closer to the problem of Social Revolution, and, for me, definitely transformed the conquest of power by the proletariat from an astronomic "final" goal to a practical task of our own day'.29 Indeed, in
29

My Life, New York, 1930, p. 167.

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regard to revolutionary action, Helphand's thinking was freer of the dead weight of determinism than that of his contemporaries; he had definite views on the manner in which the revolution would occur, and how it could be delayed or expedited. The corner-stones of the later 'Trotskyism' were laid down in Munich. Helphand's thesis on the development of capitalism into a universal system, on the decline of the importance of national states, and on the parallel extension of both the bourgeois and the proletarian interests outside the framework of these states, all this Trotsky took over in toto. But he was most strongly influenced by his friend's conception of the mass strike, the starting-point of the coming revolution. Trotsky's imagination was fired by Helphand's abstract idea of the strike, and he gave it concrete form in a pamphlet30 he wrote in the autumn of 1904. The event took place in Russia a year later. Nevertheless, Trotsky's time in Munich was not all taken up in spinning political theory. Trotsky was happy at Helphand's flat in Schwabing and he asked his wife, Natalia Sedova—she was in Switzerland—to come and join him. Helphand was a considerate and entertaining host, and Schwabing was the ideal starting-point for an exploration of the artistic and bohemian life of Munich. Its small cafés and bars were well-suited for passing the time convivially, and, in this respect as well, Helphand proved a useful guide; the two friends became well known among the cartoonists and writers around the Simplicissimus. Much later in his life Trotsky was described—not entirely without justification —as a cosmopolitan who felt at home everywhere in the world, a revolutionary with artistic ambitions, an internationalist by conviction, who knew his way around the coffee-houses of Vienna as well as around the Red Army trenches. For this kind of life, the young man could not have chosen a better tutor than Helphand. In this relationship, Trotsky did not remain a pupil and junior partner. Although he greatly admired his host, he did not overlook a certain characteristic instability in Helphand. He distrusted the marked ambiguity in the older man in whose, as Trotsky put it, 'head of a bulldog', desire for riches was inextricably mixed with the quest for a social revolution. Trotsky dis30

Do devyatovo Yanvarya, Geneva, 1905.

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approved of his friend's uncontrolled eagerness to live his life to the full, of his frivolity and spiritual instability, of the laziness that prevented him from developing his talent. The young man's reservations made it possible for him to free himself from Helphand's tutelage. He had, without doubt, assimilated his older friend's most important ideas, but he was independent enough to use them for the construction of his own system, to develop them further. He went too far for Helphand: we shall have occasion, in the following chapter, to trace the collapse of their intellectual partnership. In the meantime, in Munich, consideration of the fastapproaching revolution was the focal point of their interest. What tactics should the party employ, and what class aims should it pursue? And then—was the revolution in Russia a middle-class affair, like the European revolutions in 1848, or would it open the door to socialism? The results of these deliberations indicate that Helphand was mainly concerned with the political and tactical aspects of the problems, whereas Trotsky concentrated on the actual revolutionary developments. Helphand's tactical suggestions were directed against the middle class: the proletariat had to be careful, Helphand explained in an open letter to Lenin,31 not to become an auxiliary unit under liberal command. It should, as Lassalle had shown, remain an independent fighting force, which, in case of possible treason to the revolution by the middle class, could at once disengage itself from the united front against the Tsarist regime, in order to carry on, alone, a two-front war against the Government and the liberals. Helphand aimed not only at a victory for constitutional democracy, but also at the extension of the class struggle; not only at the reorganization of the existing order, but above all at the political advance of the socialist organizations. Trotsky, on the other hand, recorded his views in a manuscript which he finished shortly before his departure from Munich. He offered it to the Mensheviks in Geneva for publication: they were, however, somewhat taken aback by Trotsky's arguments, and the appearance of the pamphlet was delayed.
31

Reprinted in Rossiya i revolyutsiya.

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The Merchant of Revolution

The Mensheviks disapproved of Trotsky's attacks on the Russian bourgeoisie. Trotsky judged its revolutionary potential by the standards of the socialist underground work, and his estimate of the degree to which the middle class was unfitted to take part in the revolution far exceeded that of Helphand. For Trotsky, the middle class was a negligible political factor that could be entire discounted in the plotting of the course of the revolution. The proletariat would have to carry the main burden of the struggle: the political mass strike would give the main impetus to the unfolding of the strength of the working class. A few weeks later Trotsky was proved right. Nevertheless, friendships with the Russian exiles, and their politics, however absorbing, could not occupy Helphand fully during his stay in Munich. His business transactions, and his unsettled family life also made heavy demands on his time. After the German party had put him into cold storage, his desire to be rich, and to be able to live independently both of the meagre journalist's fees and of the socialist publishers, became so intense and obvious that it was noticed by his friends. In this regard as well, he thought in large dimensions. Since, after the Lübeck congress, much of the German party press was inaccessible to him, he wanted to found his own newspaper; a radical daily, he confided to Trotsky, which should appear simultaneously in four European languages. He was able to fulfil his wish some twenty years later; but then it was no longer a revolutionary organ but a solid, constructive magazine, more liberal than socialist. What he in fact accomplished at the time—he was never short of magnificent ideas—was more modest. After his expulsion from Dresden, he had founded, together with his friend Marchlewski, a small feature-agency. It offered the provincial socialist press weekly supplies of leading articles written by Helphand, and published under the title Aus der Weltpolitik. It was a difficult enterprise to run. The provincial press might well have benefited by accepting, more readily than it did, Helphand's services: he offered them a good coverage of the main foreign events. But the party was still occupied almost exclusively with internal problems, and only a few newspapers made use of the agency.

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna

I. Karl Kautsky, 1905

British Museum

II. Helphand, Trotsky, and Lev Deutsch in the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress, 1906

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Although it made it possible for Helphand to publicize his views, its political influence was negligible; it did, however, provide him with a small income, which helped to bridge the first difficult months in Munich. In order to acquire a bigger capital, Helphand embarked on another project. In the summer of 1902 he founded a publishing house, the Verlag slawischer und nordischer Literatur. It was based on an original idea; since Russia was not one of the signatories of the Berne copyright convention of 1886, Russian authors were not protected by its provisions, and their work could be pirated abroad. (This is still the case nowadays. The lack of a formal agreement of course works also in the other direction, to the disadvantage of foreign authors translated into Russian.) Helphand realized that he would establish the Russian authors' claim to legal protection by publishing small editions, say 100 copies, in Germany. He himself remained in the background: Marchlewski became the titular head of the new publishing house. An old friend of Helphand's since their student years in Switzerland, Marchlewski had worked with him since 1896. Born in Poland in the same year as Helphand—1867—Marchlewski ideally complemented his friend. He was a natural diplomat, who later became the successful arbiter of innumerable disputes inside the Polish party. While Helphand generated ideas and plans at a high rate, Marchlewski's strength lay in quiet, precise, and persevering work. He was able to bring Helphand down to earth from his flights of fancy; he was concerned that the publishing venture should not only be started, but that it should also be efficiently carried on. He was, for Helphand, friend, partner, and managing director in one person. The enterprise made an astonishingly good start. Its first venture was a sensational success: the discovery of Maxim Gorki —Russia's first genuine proletarian writer—for the western European public. In order to meet Gorki personally, Helphand risked, in the summer of 1902, a short, illegal visit to Russia. At the railway station in Sevastopol, on the Black Sea, the two men concluded an agreement by which Helphand was empowered to look after Gorki's author's rights in western Europe. He was to
M.R.-p

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retain 20 per cent of the proceeds; Gorki was to receive onequarter of the remainder, and three-quarters were to go to the funds of the Russian Democrat party. Helphand made the agreement on behalf of his publishing house, and Gorki on behalf of Znanie, a Russian agency which handled the financial side of his literary work.32 The timing of the agreement was well chosen. Helphand and Marchlewski thus acquired Gorki's latest play, The Lower Depths, which they introduced to Germany only a few weeks later, with great success. Max Reinhardt's famous Berlin production was only the beginning: the play ran there for some five hundred performances, and in the following four years it did the rounds of almost all the provincial theatres. But this was the first and last financial success of Helphand's publishing house. The income from the play was soon used up, partly to cover the subsequent losses incurred by the Verlag, and partly by Helphand himself. Neither Gorki nor the Russian Social Democrat party received any royalties. There the matter rested until the end of 1905. During the revolution in Russia in that year, however, Gorki and the Bolsheviks suddenly remembered the royalties Helphand owed them. As they were not forthcoming, charges against Helphand's integrity, personal and financial, were raised. They reverberated, as we shall see, through the Russian and the German socialist movements. After the publishing house had run into difficulties, because of, as Helphand put it, "unfavourable business trends', he lost all interest in the venture. The October strikes in Russia then indicated the high-water mark of the 1905 revolution: Helphand packed his bags, and left Munich for St. Petersburg. Marchlewski went on looking after the ailing business until, finally, he had to liquidate it on his own. Helphand behaved with total irresponsibility. On this occasion, the most serious flaws in his character lay revealed: an absence of steadfastness and an utter lack of consideration for his friends and colleagues. He regarded human ties in strictly utilitarian terms; he did not hesitate to sacrifice his friendship with Marchlewski to a momentary advantage for himself. The end of
32

cf. M. Gorki, Lenin, Moscow, 1931, p. 7.

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the publishing house broke a friendship of some fifteen years' standing. Marchlewski never forgave Helphand. If certain features in Helphand's character repelled his friends, they had a disastrous effect on his family life. Like the affair of Gorki's royalties, Helphand's private life later became a source of severe embarrassment to him. This was a venue through which he was frequently attacked; he was especially vulnerable to criticism from his erstwhile friends, who had known him intimately. The story of Helphand's private life can be pieced together, mainly from information contained in these attacks— purposeful attempts at character assassination made in full view of the public—and from his own counter-thrusts. Helphand had married early, probably soon after his arrival in Germany. One of his Socialist comrades described his wife as a Russian midwife. Helphand himself wrote, many years later,33 that his wife had gone through many adversities with him, including his expulsions from Prussia—this was in 1893—and from Saxony, five years later. But he added that the conditions the family lived in became worse after the birth of their son, an event which took place shortly before his departure for Russia with Dr. Lehmann in 1899. On his return, his wife and son were waiting for him in Munich, in a flat in the Bohemian suburb of Schwabing. It was here that the Helphands spent the only quiet interlude of their marriage, and that Alexander found time to refer, in correspondence with his friends, to his wife, and their small son Lazarus, nicknamed Zhenya. This was the flat and the family which Lenin and Krupskaya knew so well. Nevertheless, the couple had perhaps lived through too many hardships together, and these had not helped to strengthen the bonds between them. The marriage broke up in 1904. When he later defended himself against charges of irresponsibility, Helphand pointed out that he had paid his wife 200 marks a month, half of his income at the time. He could not have continued to do so for long. He left for St. Petersburg in the autumn of 1905; after his departure, his former wife got into financial difficulties, and the Kautskys began to send her fifty marks a month. Helphand left his first wife, Tanya, for another woman: of her
In an article, 'Philister über mich!' Die Glocke, 1919, vol. 2, p. 1335.

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he wrote that 'she made no demands on me', and that her only desire was to have a child by him. She went to Russia with him in October 1905, but the political developments allowed them to spend only a short time together in St. Petersburg. After the failure of the revolution, she bore Helphand his second son in a Tsarist prison. They returned to Germany separately, and Helphand showed no interest in continuing their relationship. Again, he retreated very swiftly, without giving much thought to the consequences of his action. His family ties were of the loosest kind. He cared little about the later fortunes of his sons, and, indeed, very little can be found out about them. It has been said that they were both brought up in Russia, and made their careers under the Soviet regime. In 1920, Helphand himself made a reference to a son who lived in Russia, with whom he was not in touch. In the nineteen-thirties, two diplomats appeared at Soviet embassies in western Europe: rumour had it that they were Alexander Helphand's sons. Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister and son-in-law of Mussolini, had frequent dealings, in the years 1939 and 1940, with a Leon Helfand, the Soviet Charge d'Affaires in Rome. The last reference in Ciano's diary to the Soviet diplomat reads:
July 14th, 1940. Helfand, who directed the Soviet Embassy in Rome for so many months, has to return to Moscow, but he sniffs the odour of the firing squad. This is why he has asked for help to escape to America, where he will leave his family, and, I believe, stay himself. He is a keen and intelligent man, whose long contact with bourgeois civilisation has made a complete bourgeois out of him. Under the stress of imminent misfortune all his Jewish blood came to the surface. He has become extremely obliging and does nothing but bow and scrape. But he wishes to save his family; he adores his daughter. He fears their deportation more than death for himself. This is very human and very beautiful.34

Leon Helfand fled to the United States, where he later made a considerable fortune, dealing in war surplus material. He recently died in New York, under an assumed name. Ievgenii Gnedin was the name of the other Soviet diplomat,
34

Ciano's Diary, edited by Malcolm Muggeridge, London, 1952, p. 276.

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possibly the son of Helphand's second wife. In the nineteenthirties, he was the head of the Press Department in the Foreign Ministry; about 1936, he was appointed First Secretary at the Soviet Embassy to Berlin. He was then arrested during Stalin's great purges; according to the reminiscences of his friend Ilya Ehrenburg, he was released in 1955 and is still alive in the Soviet Union. We can only assume that these two men were Helphand's sons: the difficulties involved in verifying this assumption show how little inclined Helphand's relatives have been to identify themselves with his adventurous life. Knowledge of his private affairs placed a sharp weapon in the hands of his adversaries and his erstwhile friends. Karl Kautsky did not hesitate, shortly after the end of the First World War, to use his knowledge against Helphand. Kautsky's sharp personal invective elicited a reply from Helphand, which he printed in his own weekly, Die Glocke, and which he entitled 'Philistines About Me'. The case he made in his defence didnot sound entirely convincing. He produced nothing but a pompous selfjustification. In his acid reply to his former friend, Helphand attempted to create the impression that he had always been, in an unphilistine manner, a good father. He only succeeded in conveying the simple truth about himself. And this was that his family always came a poor second, and his political interests and friends first. He wrote that 'I looked after my nearest and dearest as often and as soon as I could, but I did not let material cares and regards for my family hem in my intellectual work and my political activity; I did not hesitate, when it was necessary, to stake everything: my own life and the existence of my dependants.'35 And anyway, he did not think very highly of the institution: "There is a great civilizing value in the family, but the bourgeois family, as we know it now, is a nest of robbers. It is predatory and it does not rest on concord; it is united only by the consciousness which looks upon the rest of the world as its natural prey. There is no meanness, no crime, that has not been committed in the name of the family. The most brutal, the most horrible person
35

Die Glocke, 1919, p. 1336.

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can be the nicest father of a family. When the biggest scoundrel suffers from scruples of conscience, then the family serves as his decoy.' Such sentiments Helphand had entertained as a student at the University of Basle. A family, a regular life, a steady income, were not for him; his sights were set on higher aims. And Helphand's vitality, his contempt for bourgeois morals, remained with him throughout his life. The German socialists did not share this attitude of mind. The scandals, the love affairs, all the colourful rumours connected with the names of the socialist leaders were things left behind with the past of the movement. What Lassalle could do, Kautsky or Bebel would not and could not do. When the Marxists came to dominate German socialism after the Gotha Congress of Unity, they imposed on it not only a new political doctrine, but also a new code of morality. It was puritan and, in the German context, lower middle class; it tolerated no excess or eccentricity. Many of his German comrades were unable to understand a personality of Helphand's complexity and calibre, and they labelled and dismissed him as a wicked libertine. Helphand was too preoccupied with socialism, with writing, with revolution; later, he even earned money for his political pursuits. He always had an alternative to the German party, in the Russian socialist movement. His interests were incompatible with a settled, quiet life. He never missed an adventure of any kind.

4
St. Petersburg, 1905
The year 1905 opened in Russia with a massacre. Early in the afternoon of Sunday, 22 January, a large and orderly procession of workers halted in front of the Winter Palace: they had come to ask the Tsar for a constitution and an improvement in their living conditions. But the Tsar was away, and the soldiers had their own way of dealing with demonstrations. The salvoes fired by the troops stationed outside the palace killed some five hundred people. A general strike, affecting almost the whole of the Empire, was the immediate outcome of the 'bloody Sunday' in St. Petersburg; it was a spontaneous, unorganized protest by embittered workers. The political climate of the country started to take a stormy turn: in the following months strikes, mutinies, concessions from the Tsar, followed each other in rapid succession. The small band of agitators, who had hitherto worked underground, made their public debut in Russia's politics. As far as the Russian exiles in western Europe were concerned, the news from home was, though welcome, rather unexpected. They had badly needed the stimulant of the revolution, and their apathy and depression were fast replaced by hectic activity. Yet their exalted mood could not conceal the utter unpreparedness of the Russian Social Democrats. The thesis Lenin had developed during the discussion of the party programme in 1902—that capitalism had already been established in Russia, that the proletariat had to fight both the liberals and the government, that the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat could now be regarded as a practicable possibility—proved useless in the situation in 1905; in addition, the party was divided, and was incapable of swift reaction to the new political developments. Not so Helphand and Trotsky. They had anticipated these

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events: again and again, they had stressed the 'actuality of revolution' long before its outbreak; they had never desisted in their attempts to restore the unity of the party. Only now did it become obvious how far they had advanced, in political planning, beyond their comrades' concerns. The first news from St. Petersburg reached Trotsky in Geneva. He at once decided to return to Russia: on the way back, he made a stop in Munich in order to consult Helphand. Trotsky and his wife, Natalia Sedova, found their friend in a mood of exalted optimism. But the younger man was impatient, and he spent only a few days at the Schwabing flat, discussing the events in Russia. Trotsky gave his friend the manuscript of his pamphlet, Do devyatovo Yanvarya,1 to read: Helphand was very pleased with it, and he told Trotsky: 4The events have fully confirmed this analysis. Now, no one can deny that the general strike is the most important means of fighting. The 22 January was the first political strike, even if it was disguised under a priest's cloak. One need add only that revolution in Russia may place a democratic workers' government in power.'2 Trotsky left the manuscript of his pamphlet with Helphand, who promised to write an intro-

duction for it, which would sum up their latest conversations; Helphand thought that it should not now be difficult to make the Mensheviks publish the two essays. Helphand finished the introduction at the end of January, and the Mensheviks published the pamphlet in Geneva, early in March. Few manifestos have made such a profound impression on the Russian socialists. For the first time in the history of the Russian movement, the thesis was advanced that the proletariat should at once grasp for political power, and that, as the vanguard of the revolution, it had the right to form a provisional government. Helphand's introduction was an impassioned plea for such a government, and he developed convincing arguments in support of his own and Trotsky's views. To begin with, he dealt with the weakness of the Russian bourgeoisie as a class, and their inability
1
2

'Till the Ninth of January'—according to the old Russian calendar; 22 January,
according to the new. My Life, p. 167.

St. Petersburg, 1905 77

to play a leading role in the revolution. In the Tsarist empire there existed no independent provincial towns in which a politically active middle class could have flourished. The centralism of the Government in St. Petersburg produced only a sterile and apathetic bureaucracy: it was politically insignificant, unconnected (this was not the case in Europe in 1848) by the ties of class loyalty with the other liberal professions—doctors, technicians, teachers. And Russia possessed no parliament which might have contributed to the consolidation of the classes and their interests. Helphand's examination of the peasantry found them also lacking in political significance. As an unorganized mass, the peasants might increase anarchy, but could play no independent political role. The logical conclusion followed: the proletariat alone was in a position to assume the leadership of the revolution. 'Only the workers can complete the revolutionary change in Russia. The revolutionary provisional government in Russia would be a government of workers' democracy. If Social Democracy stands at the head of the revolutionary movement of the Russian proletariat, then this government will be Social Democrat. If, in its revolutionary initiative, Social Democracy becomes alienated from the proletariat, then it will become a faction of no importance.'3 Only radical tactics were suitable, in Helphand's view, for the achievement of this ambitious aim. The united opposition front with the bourgeoisie, although essential until the fall of Tsarism, should be regarded as a temporary alliance only. Helphand used the example of the European revolutions of 1848 to point out the danger that, sooner or later, the middle class would become reconciled with Tsarism in order to deprive the workers of the fruits of their revolutionary struggle. He therefore exhorted the workers not to lay down their arms even after victory, and to be prepared for a possible 'civil war'. He succinctly expressed his tactical principles:
1. Not to mix up the organizations. March separately, strike united. 2. Not to forget their own [the workers'] political demands.
3

Do deyyatovo Tanvarya, p. IX.

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3. Not to conceal the differences of interests [between the workers and the middle class]. 4. To watch their allies as much as their enemies. 5. To pay more attention to ensuring that the situation created by the struggle is exploited, than to retaining one's allies.

Finally, Helphand discussed the aims the workers should pursue through their provisional government. In this connexion it became obvious that Helphand was not considering a purely socialist revolution. He stressed the fact that Russia would go through a bourgeois revolution—the first stage of the classical Marxist theory—which would, paradoxically, be carried out not by the middle class but by the workers. The introduction of socialism was therefore not the aim of the revolution in Russia. At most, it could achieve the establishment of a 'workers' democracy'. This meant, for Helphand, the introduction of a constitutional system which would guarantee—apart from the usual civil rights—special class provisions, such as the eight-hour day and other progressive social legislation. Helphand had the example of German Social Democracy before his eyes: he accepted the further development of capitalism in Russia as an historical necessity, but he wanted to place restrictions on this capitalism by the introduction of certain social rights. He believed that, as a reward for their essential contribution to the victory of the revolution, the Russian workers would acquire the necessary room for the construction of their own mass organizations, an aim for which the proletariat in western Europe had fought, only with partial success, for a number of decades. His conception of the workers' democracy was, therefore, based upon the right of the socialist organizations to exist and to develop freely. Helphand was not thinking of a full and immediate transition to socialism. Helphand's introduction to Trotsky's pamphlet ran to twelve pages only, and it was a masterpiece of political analysis. He did not hesitate to develop his argument to its logical conclusion: none of his Russian comrades had dared to tread the territory Helphand was now exploring. He demanded no less than that the Russian socialist movement should concern itself with the

St. Petersburg, 1905 79

problem of the immediate acquisition of political power. At the time, the socialist leaders were far from ready to take up the challenge. The Mensheviks who had only recently wanted to use the 'authority' of Helphand against their adversaries, were quite unable to follow him. They could not accept his suggestion for a provisional government; they thought he had overshot the target, that his imagination had finally triumphed over his critical faculties. Helphand himself, they argued, had had to admit that Russia was going through a bourgeois revolution. It followed therefore, that the middle class would have to assume the leading role; the proletariat should renounce all its class demands, and simply concentrate on the support of the opposition to the Tsarist regime. When the Mensheviks came to use quotations from Marx and Engels against him, Helphand pointed out that the basic principle of Marxist tactics lay in the exploitation, for the purposes of social revolution, of every phase of historical development. He asked his critics: 4Do you want to use the revolution in the interests of the proletariat, or do you wish, like Mr. Struve, to exploit the workers for the revolution?'4 The Bolsheviks too, were somewhat terrified by Helphand's plan. They behaved as if Helphand had betrayed a carefully concealed party secret. The immediate, though provisional acquisition of power by the proletariat appeared such a highly dangerous conception to Lenin, that he at once launched an impassioned refutation. In the middle of March 1905 he wrote in his newspaper, Vperiod: 'This cannot be, since the discussion does not concern an accidental, transitory episode, but a revolutionary dictatorship of a certain duration, which could leave certain traces in history. This cannot be, since only a revolutionary dictatorship, which is supported by a huge majority of the nation, can be of a certain duration (naturally not absolutely, but relatively). The Russian proletariat, however, now forms only a minority of the nation.' It was not Helphand's political programme, but the exhorta4

cf. Winfried Scharlau, Tarvus und Trockij: 1904-1914', Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, October 1962, vol. 10, p. 365.

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tion to the workers to grasp power, that appeared so monstrous to Lenin. His own plans, which he described as a 'revolutionary democracy' were in fact almost identical to those of Helphand. Lenin also wanted to achieve certain class aims; he, also, wanted to have certain working men's demands guaranteed by the constitution. But he was irritated by the idea that the Russian proletariat, a fraction of the population, should alone reach for political power. He therefore preferred to work for a coalition with the agricultural proletariat and with the left-wing petite bourgeoisie. For him, the provisional government would largely consist of the 'greatest variety of representatives of revolutionary democracy'. Social Democracy would of course be represented, but as a minority and not a majority. The progress of the summer of 1905 was marked by endless, hair-splitting polemics. In the meantime, the revolutionary situation in Russia showed no signs of abating. On 6 August, the Tsar finally made a fundamental concession to the movement of opposition: an Imperial manifesto announced the Tsar's intention of establishing a consultative parliament, retaining his right to dissolve it at will. Again, the question of their attitude to the Duma precipitated a violent debate among the exiles. Lenin regarded non-participation in the elections as a matter of principle. The Mensheviks, on the other hand, recommended at least participation in the election campaign. In this discussion as well, Helphand could not resist the temptation to have his say. He supported neither the Bolsheviks nor the Mensheviks. He had, after all, preached participation to the German movement for some ten years: he now recommended the same course of action to the Russian socialists. To make full use of every opportunity that presented itself was the axiom of his tactics; he was, however, as unsuccessful as was the invitation of the Tsar, in convincing the Russian party leaders to interest themselves in the forthcoming elections. At this point, the first signs appeared that his polemics against the two factions of the Social Democrat party had found some response in Russia herself. The socialist agitators who actually worked on the spot had never quite been able to follow the various political subtleties that resulted from the split in the

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party, and that proved so absorbing for the exiles. A man like Parvus, who said that he was neither a Bolshevik nor a Menshevik, and that he was content to remain a Social Democrat, appealed to the party workers in Russia. His name now stood for a political programme: on 29 March 1905, the Bolshevik organ Vperiod reported, significantly, that on the margin of the Menshevik group in St. Petersburg a new circle had formed: its members called themselves 'Parvusists'. Ryazanov, who later became the Director of the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute in Moscow, and Ermanski, who was to find his place among the Mensheviks during the war, were the leading figures in the circle. Its official secession from the Menshevik group was expected to be announced very shortly. Although no independent organization was formed in the following weeks, the existence of the circle indicated that Helphand had accumulated considerable political capital in Russia. It was of course not sufficient for him to make a bid for supremacy inside the party: this much he certainly knew. But it was an expression of confidence, an indication that he would be welcome to take his place among the leaders of the revolution, without any regard to party discipline. It was precisely in this position of an independent politician, who relied on spontaneous support rather than on a party organization, that Helphand made his mark, in the following months, in St. Petersburg. In the meantime, the political situation in Russia had deteriorated further. A printers' strike early in October was transformed, unexpectedly, into a general strike. It again brought the workers out into the streets in their thousands. On 13 October, a workers' council—the Soviet—was set up, and assumed the leadership of the revolt. Trotsky was on the spot at the right time. After having spent some time in Kiev and then underground in Finland, he arrived in St. Petersburg in the middle of October. He now assumed the leadership of the movement. The October strike also provided the final motive for Helphand's return to Russia. He brushed aside the warnings of his German comrades, that such an expedition might well end in Siberia. He disregarded danger and difficulties, and relied on

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luck and help from his friends. He needed as much of both as he could get; for he did not have enough money for his trip to St. Petersburg. About 20 October, he unexpectedly turned up in the editorial offices of the Leipziger Volkszeitung. Paul Lensch, the newspaper's editor-in-chief, and Konrad Haenisch, his assistant, could hardly believe their eyes. Helphand was committing a criminal offence, a breach of banishment from Saxony. In his reminiscences, Haenisch vividly described the encounter.
Is it really you? Where have you come from? Where are you going? From Munich of course! The beast is finished! [This was a reference, by Helphand, to the Tsarist regime.] Is it really finished? Has it really gone so far? Can you now, without danger . . .? A crushing glance from the grey, enormous eyes, and a contemptuous shrug of the shoulders were the only answer to such petit bourgeois faint-hear tedness. And the fare? Advance for the book I shall write on my experiences. And I shall experience a lot—you can rely on that! And your publishing house? The publishing house can go to the devil! What do I care about the silly publishing house? Marchlewski will have to sort that one out. It is the revolution now, my friend! And he vigorously slapped me on the back.5

After cashing the cheque for advance royalties, Helphand left for St. Petersburg. Again, he was travelling on a forged passport; again, nothing untoward happened, and he reached the Russian capital in the last days of October. Trotsky was there to welcome him: their early arrival gave the two men, in contrast to the leaders of the two party factions, a flying start. So far, none of the exiles had braved the perils of returning home. Only after the Tsar declared, on 30 October, a general amnesty for political offenders, did the party leaders in western Europe feel safe enough to make their way back to Russia. Martov, Lenin, and Vera Zasulich reached St. Petersburg early in November;
5

K. Haenisch, Parvus, Ein Blatt der Erinnerung, Berlin, 1925, p. 21.

St. Petersburg, 1905 83

Axelrod was prevented from going by illness; Plekhanov was so absorbed in his theoretical studies that he did not even consider making the journey. The workers of St. Petersburg needed leaders who were on the spot, and it did not much matter whether they were Bolsheviks or Mensheviks, socialists or not. Helphand and Trotsky knew this, and they used the situation to their advantage. They assumed the leadership of the movement, and received popular support: both of them became members of the Soviet; Trotsky had taken part in its very first session. The two friends knew what they wanted and they were energetic and skilful enough to strengthen their leading positions. Their master-stroke was the acquisition, early in November, of the hitherto insignificant liberal newspaper, the Ruskaya Gazeta, which they transformed into the first truly popular socialist daily in Russia. Helphand now proved that he had not wasted his years of apprenticeship on Bruno Schönlank's staff. Within a few days, the vaguely liberal, deadly soporific Gazeta became a lively, easily intelligible paper. Its price was one kopek only—the equivalent of the first English mass-circulation penny papers— and its sales shot up rapidly. At first its circulation went up from the original 30,000 to 100,000; early in December, the sales of the Ruskaya Gazeta reached the half-million mark. The Bolshevik newspaper, the Novaya Zhizn, on the other hand, had to content itself with a circulation of 50,000 copies. In the field of publicity, Parvus and Trotsky had stolen the show. And when the party leaders finally arrived in St. Petersburg, they could do nothing but accept the situation. The split in the Social Democrat party found little or no reflection in the Soviet; it accommodated a variety of groups and their different political ideas. It formulated no socialist programme: Lenin was at first highly suspicious of its activities, and gave the Soviet his approval only after long hesitation, when he convinced himself that there was nothing he could do about Trotsky's and Helphand's leading roles on the council. The attitude to the Soviet of the Menshevik leaders, Martov and Potresov, was cleverer than that of the Bolsheviks. Instead

of behaving with Lenin's grave reserve, they accepted the

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situation, and then proceeded to invite Helphand and Trotsky to take part in the foundation of their newspaper, Nachalo, successor to the illegal Iskra. The two friends accepted the invitation in principle, but put forward their own conditions. They insisted that their contributions should not be subject to any form of editorial control; they wanted to be able to express their opinions freely, without regard to the political line of the party faction. Martov and Potresov agreed in the end. They did not know, at the time, how much they were giving away. Both Helphand and Trotsky made unlimited and ruthless use of their freedom: they turned the Nachalo into a militant anti-liberal organ. The Mensheviks, on the other hand, pursued the policy of alliance with the liberals; they found themselves in an invidious position, in which they had to connive, as one of them put it, at 'propaganda for a rather risky idea', which ran directly counter to their own views. The activities of the two friends, Helphand and Trotsky, were perfectly complementary. At the age of twenty-six, Trotsky became the favourite of the crowds. His talent as an orator of intense passion, his ability to persuade, gave him decisive sway over the Soviet. It was not Krustalev-Nostar, a dull lawyer who happened to be the president of the workers' council, but Trotsky, who directed its work. Parvus, 011 the other hand, remained more in the background: in terms of influence, however, his own position equalled that of Trotsky. He controlled an immensely influential publicity apparatus, and he shaped the opinion of the Soviet by his frequent pronouncements on points of programme. In a leading article in the very first number of the Menshevik Nachalo, Helphand made a lucid statement on the future course of the revolution. He entirely disregarded the objections raised by the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, and insisted again on the necessity for a provisional workers' government, and for the establishment of a workers' democracy. As the leaders of the revolution, the workers had every right to make their own demands. Helphand again stressed that the introduction of the eight-hour day, guaranteed by law, should become the central aim of proletarian tactics. But only now did Helphand make it clear that he did not regard the Russian revolution as an event

III. Helphand and Deutsch (centre, to left of guards) on the way to exile in Siberia, 1906

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna

IV Rosa Luxemburg

St. Petersburg, 1905

85

completely isolated from the class struggle in western Europe; he forged another link in his chain of thought. Russia, though an industrially under-developed country, formed a part of the world market, which, as a whole, was ripe for socialism. And since capitalism formed a global unit, the revolution in Russia was bound to have a world-wide effect. The workers of St. Petersburg would therefore become the spearhead of a social world revolution. The demand for the eight-hour day was the spark which would set the whole of Europe aflame. For more than a decade, the German party had generated an intense agitation in precisely the same direction; the achievement, by the Russian workers, of this demand would become the signal for a revolt in Germany. The fight for the eight-hour day, aimed against absolutism as much as against liberalism, Helphand regarded as the testing-ground of a genuinely working-class policy, which would also become the first step towards a socialist world revolution. Many years later, Helphand accurately described his intentions during the revolutionary weeks of 1905, in the following way:
My tactics during the revolution, in the year 1905 in Russia, were based on the following point of departure: to pave the way for the revolutionary energy of the proletariat in the west. Although I knew very well that socialism could not be achieved in Russia at the time, it was clear to me that a victorious revolution, supported by the working masses, would have to give the proletariat power, and I demanded that the proletariat should use this power in the interests of the introduction of a workers' democracy. 'And if the talk should come round to the establishment of a bourgeois parliamentary system in Russia only', I told my Russian friends, then I would have quietly remained in Germany, where this parliamentary system had already a rather long history behind it.6

Indeed, early in November, it looked as if the workers might succeed in achieving a decisive political break-through. The Tsar was cautiously avoiding an open trial of strength with the Soviet; A he middle class, in so far as it was politically active, declared
6

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, pp. 9-10. M.R.-G

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its solidarity with the workers' demands for a democratic and constitutional order. Some of the industrialists in St. Petersburg even paid the wages of the workers on strike, to encourage them to carry on the struggle. Following an order by the Soviet, St. Petersburg editors no longer sent their newspapers for inspection by the Imperial censor. The Russians had never experienced so much freedom in their history. The socialist leaders clearly enjoyed the power that had fallen, quite unexpectedly, into their hands. For a few weeks, men who had previously borne the hardships and ignominy of exile, banishment, or imprisonment, were able to act as the representatives of a new Russia. Not all of them assumed their new role lightly. Lenin found it especially difficult to abandon the hazards, as well as the anonymous security, of illegal underground work, and to venture into the harsh light of public activity. Helphand and Trotsky, on the other hand, were in their element. From the assembly rooms of the Soviet, at the Technological Institute, they rushed to their editorial offices, from party meetings they hurried to the political salons, where they monopolized all interest. They stood head and shoulders above the crowd. They were the men of the day, well known and respected. Helphand was in a state of permanent elation. The prospect of victory stimulated him to boundless activity. Outside his political interests, he found time to take enthusiastic pleasure in the cultural life of the capital. On one occasion he bought fifty tickets for a satirical revue, which he had greatly enjoyed. But he was denied the pleasure of passing them on to his friends; the policemen who arrested him could make no sense of their curious find in one of Helphand's pockets. Trotsky, who told the story in his reminiscences, added: "They did not know that Parvus did everything on a large scale.' Helphand bought the theatre tickets with the payment he had received for a collected Russian edition of his theoretical writings: ever since his arrival in St. Petersburg, he had taken great care over the arrangements for this book. He knew that it would strengthen his position in the Russian socialist movement, and he may well have hoped that, in the political circumstances, the publication might bring him a good profit. It was easy to find a

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publisher; but the collection of his studies, which had appeared in many German newspapers over the years, presented a more difficult problem. It took Helphand some time to solve it. In the end he wrote to Motteler, one of the senior members of the German party, who had earned for himself the nickname the 'red postmaster' by efficiently organizing, in the eighteen-eighties, the smuggling of illegal socialist literature from Switzerland into Germany. Motteler found the articles, and sent them to Helphand's publisher in St. Petersburg. Early in 1906, two volumes of selected studies by Helphand appeared, under the title "Russia and the Revolution'.7 They contained his most important articles from Iskra, as well as studies from Sdchsische Arbeiterzeitung and Neue Zeit: the reprinting of them impressively proved Helphand's originality as a prolific socialist writer. Nevertheless, before the two volumes were published, the sands of the revolution had started to run out. It seems very likely that the intensive publicity for the eight-hour day, conducted by Helphand and Trotsky, made a large contribution to the difficulties that the revolutionary leaders now faced. The demand had of course been made before the two friends launched their campaign; they, however, had raised it to the focal point of the revolutionary programme. Nothing else could have appealed so greatly to the imagination of the wrorkers in 1905. On 8 November, several working-class districts in St. Petersburg made an attempt, on their own initiative, to introduce the eight-hour day. Two days later, workers employed in heavy industry made the same demand. The Soviet then passed a resolution, by acclaim, to the same effect. Against the opposition of the Mensheviks, and despite the numerical weakness of the proletariat, Helphand and Trotsky pursued the policy—implied in the campaign for the eight-hour day—of separation of the workers from the liberal opposition. Their ultimate aim was the achievement of power, at least temporarily, in the state; their instrument was the general strike. The middle class reacted promptly. The unilateral introduction of the eight-hour day occasioned a sharp clash between the bourgeoisie
Rossiya i revolyutsiya and V riadakh germanskoe sotsial-demokratii, St. Petersburg, 1906.

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and the workers' movement. The industrialists replied to the great strike on 20 November by locking out some 100,000 workers. The policy of the Soviet, now clearly directed both against the Government and against the bourgeoisie, led to the ultimate trial of strength. Both the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks feared that the workers might become politically isolated, and they advocated moderation. For Helphand and Trotsky, on the other hand, the growing pressure exerted by the middle class against the policies of the Soviet, was a certain sign that the bourgeoisie was about to betray the revolution. Instead of avoiding an overestimate of the forces at their disposal, and then countering the middle-class opposition in a less rigid manner, Helphand and Trotsky continued with their policy of further intensification of the class struggle. They contemptuously dismissed the proposal, published in the liberal newspaper Rus, that the representatives of the Soviet as well as of the liberal parties should form a revolutionary government. They were convinced that for the 'stoppage of production in the whole country the proletariat was not dependent on the support of the bourgeoisie', and that they could therefore afford to turn down the offer of a coalition: at this point in the revolution, the possibility of political co-operation no longer existed. They believed that victory could be achieved by rapid advance, rather than by entrenchment. At the same time, the two friends looked beyond Russia, towards the socialist parties of western Europe, which would follow Russia's example, and which would make it possible for the Russian proletariat 4to stretch a permanent revolutionary chain between the immediate and the final aims'.8 It became quite obvious, early in December 1905, to what extent Parvus and Trotsky were misled by their own calculations. They overestimated the revolutionary preparedness of western Europe as much as they underestimated the ability of the coalition between the middle class and the Tsarist system to strike back. They had overlooked the fact that the insignificance of the Russian provincial towns, as well as the political ignorance of the muzhiki, did not necessarily favour the revolutionaries. An army
8

Trotsky in Nachalo, No. 10.

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89

of peasants knew no difference between a foreign enemy and their own people, once the orders to shoot were given: this factor Helphand and Trotsky had entirely neglected. St. Petersburg was not the whole of Russia, and despite support from Moscow and some industrial towns in the provinces, the revolutionary movement did not succeed in severely disrupting the administration of the state. By the beginning of December, the days of freedom were definitely numbered. On 5 December, Count Witte's Government resolved to embark on a trial of strength with the Soviet: Krustalev-Nostar, its president, and several other members of its executive committee were arrested. The Soviet—having elected Trotsky as its new president—was no longer capable of countering force by force. The weapon of the mass strike was fast becoming blunt, and it could not be used indiscriminately. Instead, the Soviet chose the method of passive resistance. In the meantime, the Peasants' Union proposed to the Soviet that it should support the Union's declaration for a tax strike, and for a withdrawal of all deposits from the banks. The Soviet set up its own commission, which was to supplement the suggestions of the Union and to produce a general protest against the Government. Helphand was entrusted with the preparation of the first draft; after consultations by the special commission of the Soviet, a financial manifesto was distributed, on 14 December, to St. Petersburg newspapers. In popular language—it revealed Helphand's authorship—the manifesto fiercely attacked the financial abuses current in Tsarist Russia. The Tsar was obstructing the convocation of the constitutional assembly, it was pointed out, because he feared any outside control of the state. By cooking accounts and by foreign loans, the Government was robbing the nation and hindering the free development of trade, industry, and transport. There was only one way out: to deprive the Government of its income, and to overthrow Tsarism. The manifesto ordered the following measures: 'The payments of amortization as well as all payments to the state are to be refused. In all business transactions, as well as the payment of wages and salaries, gold must be demanded, and sums under five roubles [must be paid] in ringing coin of full

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weight. All deposits are to be withdrawn from the savings banks and from the state bank, and the payment of the whole sum should be in gold. The people have never given the government either confidence or full powers. At the present moment the government treats its own country as an occupied territory. We therefore resolve that the debts the government incurred in the course of its open and ruthless war on the people will not be repaid.'9 On the following day—15 December—the manifesto was published by all the important socialist and liberal newspapers in St. Petersburg. They were all confiscated, and the members of the Soviet were arrested. The Government launched an all-out attack on the workers' council; its last session ended in the cells of the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress. By chance, Helphand avoided arrest that day: he was away from the chamber when the police broke in. He was by no means ready to give up the fight. The formation of a new cadre of leaders was essential, and Helphand at once set to work. Under the most difficult circumstances he succeeded in bringing together the second Soviet. It was an improvised body, consisting of 200, instead of the original 400, members; the full number met only on one occasion. The actual work was carried out by the executive committee; Viktor Semenon, Boris Goldman, Timofei Smirnov, and Eugenii Frenkel were its leading lights, and Helphand its president. As a spectacle, with continuous ovations, revolutionary songs, and other shows of high-spirited enthusiasm, this assembly could not compete with the first Soviet. The Tsarist Government had no intention whatever of prolonging the agony of the revolution. The Soviet was forced to operate underground, with very limited means at its disposal. Its original organ, Izvestia, appeared twice only, in time to inform its readers of the formation of the second Soviet. Severnyi Golos, successor to both Nachalo and Novaya Zhizn, could also be published only twice before it was confiscated. A further attempt to re-establish contact with the workers —it took the form this time of the Mash Golos—did not succeed either. In addition, the Soviet was short of money. The coffers
9

P.Gorin,Ocherki poistorii sovetov rabotchikh delegatovv

1905, 2nd ed., Moscow, 1930, p.363.

St. Petersburg, 1905 91

were empty, and it was impossible to ask the workers to make any more sacrifices. Lev Deutsch, the past-master of escape, offered to visit western European capitals in order to collect some funds. He did not get very far. Berlin was his first stop, and it was there that he received the news that the striking workers were beyond help. He returned to St. Petersburg, resigned, with a 4few thousand roubles'.10 In spite of these difficulties, the executive committee decided to declare, on 20 December, a protest strike against the arrest of the original Soviet. The proclamation of the strike was addressed to "the whole nation': "Citizens! Freedom or slavery, a Russia ruled by the nation, or a Russia plundered by a band of robbers. That is the question. . . . It is nobler to die fighting than to live in slavery.'11 The opening stages of the strike seemed full of promise. Some 83,000 workers came out on strike in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and thirty-two provincial towns that followed suit. Yet the weaknesses of the cause soon became evident. The workers were exhausted, and they had had enough of strikes: they had come out three times within nine weeks. And economic measures alone were no longer sufficient in face of the armed might of the state. The situation appeared to Helphand to demand an armed uprising, a brutal civil war for power in the state. After four or five days the strikers in most of the provincial towns ran into trouble; only in Moscow, under Bolshevik leadership, the first street fights were taking place. In the meantime, the executive committee in St. Petersburg was conducting an embittered debate about the tactics of the revolution. Helphand made an impassioned plea for an armed uprising. But the Soviet had no arms at its disposal, it had no military experience, and its president developed fantastic plans as to the ways in which this difficulty could be overcome. He intended to disarm the police by using water-hoses; the morale of the army was to be undermined by propaganda, and the troops were to take the side of the workers. Helphand was spinning revolutionary dreams; he was fast
1 1

10 L. Deutsch, Viermal entflohen, Stuttgart, 1907, p. 117. Gorin, op. cit., p. 375.

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losing contact with political realities. This was accompanied by a sharp decline in his authority on the executive committee of the Soviet. He was incapable of taking the place of Trotsky. The members of the committee came to regard Helphand as a confused theorist, an ineffective intellectual. He was unable to convince and inspire. He possessed none of the charismatic qualities of a great leader: he had a good deal of self-confidence, but he was unable to inspire confidence in others. After a long discussion the committee agreed, in principle, to his proposal for an armed uprising. In the present situation, however, it could not be carried out, and the committee also resolved to break off the strike on 1 January. Yet another proclamation informed the workers that the disruptive economic strike was no longer adequate for this phase of the revolution. They were further instructed to arm themselves for an uprising, and to prepare for the future struggle. Helphand, who knew that the workers in Moscow were still fighting on the barricades, registered his protest against the resolution, and resigned his office in the Soviet. He decided that his place was not in the chair on a committee, but at a desk in a newspaper office, and he made the decision at the right time. While Helphand was trying to produce another newspaper, the executive committee of the second Soviet was arrested, on 16 January. Once again, chance helped him to escape arrest. What Helphand, however, did not know, was that important material had fallen into the hands of the police when the Soviet was arrested. The security officials were able to establish the details of his work on the executive committee. His name was put on the list of wanted men.12 Helphand nevertheless succeeded in living underground until the beginning of April 1906. He then produced a pamphlet, which somehow escaped the censor's attention, entitled 'The Present Political Situation and the Prospects for the Future'.13 In it, Helphand attempted to draw up a balance-sheet of the revolution. He anticipated a criticism which was yet to be made—that he
12

Police report of 8 July 1906, in 1905 god v Peterburge, Moscow and Leningrad, 1925, pp. 159-61. 13 Nastoiashtshee politicheskoe polozhonie i vidy budushchee', reprinted in Rossiya i revolyutsiya, pp. 212-25.

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and Trotsky, by their agitation for the eight-hour day, had led the revolution into a blind alley—and he insisted that sooner or later an armed clash with the Government was inevitable. He added that the workers themselves had indicated the rhythm of the movement, and that the Soviet had then assumed the leading role: 'We were nothing but the strings of a harp, on which the storm of the revolution played. . . . Whether or not we ... had made mistakes, one thing is certain: the attacks by the government were not aimed at us because of our real or imaginary mistakes, but because of the strength and decisiveness that was our own.' Helphand wrote of the Soviet in terms of the highest praise. The fact that it had not formally adopted a socialist programme appeared to him especially remarkable. It united the workers not through agitation but by practical work, and, in the same way, it acquainted them with the aims of socialism. The Soviets were not, for Helphand, a thing of the past: they would have to be used in the future, since cin the St. Petersburg Soviet an organization came into being which worked not only destructively, but also constructively. One felt here, that a force was being created and developed which would be capable of undertaking the reconstruction of the state.' With prophetic insight, Helphand hinted at a possibility which, eleven years later, was put into practice by Lenin, but with a difference: in 1917 the Soviet did not 'reconstruct' the state—it completely replaced the old machinery. Nor did Helphand have any intention of substituting the national assembly by the Soviets: workers' councils inside a workers' democracy were part of his idea of the future. By 1917, Lenin had acquired a keener understanding of the realities of political power: he, and not Helphand, put the revolutionary ideas into practice. And then the police finally caught up with Helphand; he was arrested early in the morning of 3 April 1906. He was now on the way to becoming a fully-fledged Russian revolutionary; most of his friends had been arrested at least once. Imprisonment—a term of 'sitting' in jail—or banishment to Siberia were integral parts of the experience of several generations of rebels against the Tsarist State. It was their school, their social club, even a kind of

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holiday. Though the prisons were often unpleasant, and the demoralizing effect of banishment deep, their standards can hardly be compared with those developed later in the century, with the organized brutality of the great modern totalitarian states against their citizens. In prison, Trotsky was able to write some of his most ruthless indictments of Tsarism; during his banishment to Siberia, Lenin went out shooting ducks; Lev Deutsch simply left when he got tired of captivity. After his escape from Russia, Helphand proudly carried with him a picture of himself, together with Trotsky and Deutsch. It could have been taken by a fashionable photographer in St. Petersburg. The three friends all looked well, respectable in their dark suits and stiff collars above the rich cravats, completely selfassured. The picture was in fact taken in a Tsarist prison, with a warder in attendance. On the day of his arrest, Helphand was brought from his hiding-place to the local police station; the long, untidy room was heated by a large tile oven. A servant was tending it, stuffing piles of tightly packed paper on to the grate: Helphand realized that copies of a revolutionary pamphlet, written by a friend of his, were keeping him warm.14 Some time after lunch, which was obligingly fetched for him by a policeman, Helphand was transferred to a prison. And on the way there, an illuminating incident occurred. He was locked up in a carriage which, in his own words, was 'not without claims to elegance', but which was battered, dirty, with torn upholstery: the kind of carriage used for 'third-class funerals'. He was accompanied by one guard only, and he contemplated escape. He realized that he would have to overpower the guard, knock him out, perhaps even kill him. Helphand's musings suggest that he did not feel his situation to be desperate. He was, after all, not a murderer but a writer, and he cautioned himself: 'Be careful, this is not a newspaper article you are writing, you are playing with a human life!' He did nothing, chatted with the guard, and, after a while, they both arrived
14

Parvus, In der russischen Bastille während der Revolution, Dresden, 1907. This part of the chapter is mainly founded on Helphand's only detailed autobiographical fragment,

based on a diary he kept during his imprisonment.

St. Petersburg, 1905 95

safely at the Cross Prison. It was in the Viborg quarter of St. Petersburg and contained a thousand individual cells. No. 902 was a pleasant place in most respects, rather like a room in a comfortable provincial hotel. There was electric light there, and central heating, but no plumbing of any kind. In a corner of the cell stood the inevitable parasha, a bucket half filled with water, and a source of discomfort, especially in the summer months, to the inmates. An icon was hanging in the corner, diametrically opposite to the parasha; above the table there was a list of rules and regulations, and, on the reverse side, a price-list of the articles that prisoners could purchase at their own expense. Its longest section, which gave a good choice of chocolates and sweets, bore witness to the fact that the establishment was often visited by members of the younger set of the Russian intelligentsia. There was a good library in the prison, and Helphand soon started to write: it gave him rare pleasure 'not to have to synchronize the tempo of thinking with the pace of the printing presses'. The first interrogations were concerned with Helphand's identity; no formal accusation was made. Helphand produced his forged Austro-Hungarian passport, this time in the name of Karl Wawerk. It was no use: from their agents' reports, and from the papers confiscated on the occasion of the arrest of the Soviet, the police knew that they had the right man. The days of Easter 1906 were the last Helphand spent at the comfortable Cross Prison. He was woken up one night by the chime of bells; the light in his cell was on. The warder stood at the door, and he brought the prisoner the traditional offerings of the Russian Orthodox Easter: coloured eggs, white bread, milk curd with raisins. Helphand realized that the festivities had reached their point of culmination. The Easter greeting set off a characteristic chain of thought in Helphand's mind. 'Christ has arisen! The Redeemer has left this world of martyrdom and tears. Himself steeped in pain, He forgave everybody. Yes, so it should have been. So it was at the time when the priests of the Christian church were themselves persecuted and thrown into prisons, as we are now. That was at the time when they shared their board and lodgings with the poor. Christ has

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arisen. They are now singing in fat voices, thinking of the drinks and hams waiting for them at home.'15 Soon after Easter, Helphand was transferred, together with Trotsky, to the ill-famed prison in the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress. It was a change for the worse after Cross Prison. The cells were cold, without ventilation, and badly lit; for the first time since his arrest, Helphand had to change into regulation uniform. Built in 1747, the Fortress was one of the oldest of the official buildings in the capital; although it contained the Imperial Mint and the tombs of the Romanov Tsars within its walls, it was best known as a prison for the elite of the political offenders. Chernyshevski, Bakunin, and many other illustrious names of the Russian revolutionary movement had been its inmates before Helphand and Trotsky. The prison was difficult to endure not because of the inhumanity of the warders—there was very little of it—but because its inmates were kept in strict solitary confinement. Selfdisciplined men like Trotsky easily came to terms with the imposed solitude. When he left the 'hermetically sealed celP, he did so with a tinge of regret. 'It was so quiet there, so eventless, so perfect for intellectual work.' He soon transformed the room into a monastic cell; it was rather untidy, full of manuscripts and books. It was here that Trotsky worked out the first draft of his theory of permanent revolution. Helphand, on the contrary, could not endure the new prison; the feeling of oppressive isolation from the outside world fell on him as soon as he had said good-bye to Trotsky, before entering his cell. In the tomb-like peace, Helphand had to fall back on his own resources, and he found them lacking. He relapsed into selfpity, dreams, sentimentality; he thought of himself as a helpless victim of Tsarist brutality. He paced up and down the cell like a wild animal, counting the minutes and the hours, trying to nourish illusions of a political amnesty which would bring him back to the world of the living. Self-analysis did not help: on the contrary, Helphand came to resent his fate bitterly. His former life in Europe, the adventures and the hectic activity, had left their mark, and they made it impossible for Helphand to
15

ibid., p. 40.

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remain satisfied with his own company. Hell for him was solitude. The best he could do was to keep a pathetic diary, in which he registered his moods and impressions. His life was shaken down into a new pattern: it was later described, fittingly, as 'parvocentric'. Early in May his spirit began to break. The lack of air, of light, of physical and mental exercise brought him to the brink of madness. He made frequent attempts to improve the conditions of his imprisonment, and his efforts resulted in a number of clashes with the prison administration. He believed that the authorities were open to persuasion by rational means, and he expended a lot of nervous energy in this way; an experienced revolutionary would have known better. Only after some three months' solitary confinement, his position somewhat improved. Books were issued three times a week; letters were handed out, and there was a twenty-minute walk every day. Helphand was finally able to overcome the crisis of the last weeks. He was convinced that he would be tried together with the other members of the Soviet, and he energetically started to make preparations for his defence. He knew that political trials could be used for the purposes of political propaganda; he would turn the tables on the prosecution, and convert the accusations against himself into an accusation of the Tsarist regime. When he wrote his speech, he constantly thought of its effect outside the courtroom. In drafting the speech for his defence Helphand was much more cautious than Trotsky, who made no attempt to dispute the accusation that the Soviet had been preparing an armed uprising, a forcible overthrow of the established order. Helphand hinted repeatedly at the rift between the Government and the people: there was no cohesion, no unanimity between them; then came the clash in October 1905; even after the publication of the Imperial Manifesto on 31 October, conceding the Russian people certain constitutional rights, there existed, in Helphand's words, no government, but only abuses of government'.16 The people therefore regarded the Soviet as their own representative body: it never prepared an armed uprising. For reasons of
16

Parvus, op. cit., p. 112.

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self-protection—against the mob, the reactionary Black Hundreds organization, the Cossacks, the police, the army—the workers needed arms, and they were resolved to acquire them. But they in fact never did. 'I will tell you where these arms were,' wrote Helphand, 'they were in the barracks, in the hands of the troops. The reactionary government had on its side the rifles, but the workers wanted to win influence over the minds that controlled these rifles. They wanted to convince the soldiers to defend, side by side with them, those political demands which I have mentioned many times in the course of my speech.'17 Helphand was, however, unable to complete the draft. At the end of July, the leaders of the Soviet were transferred to a civil prison for interrogation. Although he had succeeded in smuggling his manuscripts out of the fortress, he could no longer find an opportunity to carry on his work. There was a good deal of activity going on in the prison, and he was glad to see his friends again: his concern with the forthcoming trial abated. Lev Deutsch was there, and with him, Helphand made the first plans to escape. The fact that they came to nothing did not much depress the two conspirators. The doors of the cells were locked only at night, and in the day-time, the prisoners could move about freely. And there was distraction from the outside: Rosa Luxemburg, who had taken part in the revolution in Warsaw, and who had just been released from prison there, visited her friends in St. Petersburg. She reported to Kautsky that 'the fat one has lost weight, but he is full of energy and zest'.18 In the meantime, the Government decided not to prosecute the members of the second Soviet: the honour of a public trial was granted only to the leaders of the first. Helphand was not given an opportunity of delivering his defence speech; he received an administrative sentence only. It was not very stiff: three years' banishment in Siberia. He was not very proud of it, and did not mention it in the account, published in the following year in Dresden, of his imprisonment. He probably regarded three years
17

18

ibid., p. 128.

A letter from Rosa Luxemburg to Karl Kautsky, 13 August 1906, in 'Einige Briefe
Rosa Luxemburgs und andere Dokumente', Bulletin of the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 1952, No. i, pp. 9-39.

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in Siberia as an inadequate reward for the role he had played in the revolution. On 4 September 1906, the adventurous trip to Siberia began. The party, which left St. Petersburg that morning under military supervision, was a colourful one. Apart from a small group of the 'politicals'—among them, Helphand and Deutsch—it consisted of some fifty criminal prisoners; Turuchansk, in the Yenisei province near the Arctic circle, was their destination. Helphand was glad he had Deutsch with him; he could hardly have a better companion. They were both well provided with the means for escape: concealed in their small bundles of linen there were glazier's diamonds, forged passports, addresses of local party agents and, above all, enough ready cash. They had no intention of accompanying their party very far. They stopped at Krasnoyarsk, where they were supposed to board a steamer, which would take them down the River Yenisey. Here, Deutsch went on a shopping expedition, from which he never returned. Helphand had to wait a few days before he succeeded in escaping; by then, the party had already passed the town Yenisey, far in the north. He plied the guards with drinks, and only when they were well past caring, Helphand and some other of his comrades took their leave. Guided by a local peasant, they made their way, across the deserted, desolate taiga, back to Krasnoyarsk. The local station of the Trans-Siberian Railway was heavily guarded; a friend bought a ticket for Helphand, who then boarded the train disguised as a muzhik. He of course travelled third class, and in order to remain undetected—there was an armed guard on the train—he had to mix with the peasants. He was safe with them, but nauseated. He shared not only their vodka but also their dirt and their smell; direct contact with the people was no source of inspiration for Helphand. After he had got through the most heavily guarded territory, he changed at the house of some friends. As a respectable gentleman in a second-class carriage, Helphand returned to St. Petersburg. Instead of a hiding-place, he moved into a hotel. Although he was using a forged passport, the police did not let him rest in peace. A comrade warned him in time; he could not return to his hotel, and he left the capital

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without his luggage. His stay in Russia was becoming too perilous for his liking. At the beginning of November, carrying only a brief-case crammed with manuscripts, he crossed the frontier into Germany. He never returned to the country of his birth.

5
Strategist without an Army
Despite the high expectations of many socialists, especially those who took part in the events in St. Petersburg, the shock-wave of the Russian revolution did not travel far westwards. The underground rumble in the east evoked hopes and fears, but not a revolutionary mood. Instead of fighting on the barricades, the peoples of Germany and Austria-Hungary chose their new parliamentary representatives. The election campaign in Germany began to warm up early in the winter of 1906. It became fierce, and revolved around the crisis inside the group of the middle-class parties, leaving the Social Democrats undisturbed to increase their growing strength. Colonial policy, and a trial of strength between Bernhard von Bülow, the Reich Chancellor, and the Catholic Centre Party, proved the most absorbing subjects in Germany's politics. The Social Democrats were allotted an unrewarding role in the campaign. The party would not and could not come to an agreement with the middle-class Centre; the quarrel inside the bourgeois camp concerning colonial policy, compelled the socialists to face certain problems for which Marxist theory offered no unambiguous solution. Should the party simply oppose colonial expansion? Were all these activities outside Europe nothing but a reactionary adventure? Could socialism offer an alternative policy, incorporating the demands of class struggle? The party executive was disinclined to give a clear answer to any of these questions. It meticulously avoided pronouncements on the major foreign themes. Hesitation and confusion as to the aims of the party were the result. The workers in its local organizations were on their own, having to develop, as best they could, a policy suited to the regional circumstances.
M.R.-H

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Helphand returned to Germany at the right time. The political excitement was entirely to his liking, and he continued his trip from the frontier to the Ruhrgebiet. It was a brave decision. In the Ruhr territory Helphand was under Prussian legislation, and he would have been unlikely to have got away with a short term of imprisonment had he been caught in the act of a 'breach of banishment'. The German Government was at that time extraditing Russian revolutionaries, and he might well have found himself on his way to Siberia for the second time. In Dortmund, Helphand's friend Konrad Haenisch, as the editor of the Dortmunder Arbeiterzeitung, carried the main burden of the election campaign in the west of Germany. Haenisch was the son of a Prussian civil servant: an unusual background for a left-wing socialist. He came into contact with the movement as a young student; his family retaliated, and, to cure him of his political convictions, had him confined to a lunatic asylum. After his release, young Haenisch at first worked on the distribution side of the Leipziger Volkszeitung, and then as an assistant in the editorial office of the same newspaper. Paul Lensch, Rosa Luxemburg, and Franz Mehring guided his first steps in socialist journalism. In the middle of the eighteen-nineties, at the height of the agrarian debate, he met Helphand for the first time. A young man of an inflammable, yet extremely obstinate temper, he took Helphand's side in such a violent manner that his comrades in Leipzig nicknamed him 'Parvulus'. He never lost his pride in the name. After the turn of the century, Haenisch moved to Dortmund, where he stayed until 1910, editing the local socialist newspaper. His comrades regarded Haenisch as a militant partisan of the left-wing group around Parvus and Rosa Luxemburg. Haenisch, with his heavy, stocky figure, his flaming red beard, his vitality, added to their policy a good dose of revolutionary romanticism of his own. As a prodigal son of the middle class, he found the greatest satisfaction in parading before the bourgeoisie its gravedigger—the proletariat. On a dull day in the middle of December, Haenisch found a brief note on the desk at his office. It read: 'Dear Haenisch, I will look you up soon. If any letters arrive for Peter Klein, they are

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for me. See you soon. But please—discretion at all costs. Yours ever, Peter' 1 Haenisch had no doubt as to who this Peter Klein in fact was. A few days later, Helphand arrived in Dortmund; he had with him nothing but an old brief-case. Haenisch was glad to see his friend unchanged: he was confident and energetic, his imprisonment in Russia had left no mark on him. When Haenisch asked how he had survived the time in the lion's den, Helphand replied modestly: 'It's not really worth talking about.' But he could not resist adding, perhaps to keep up his own courage, perhaps to please his friend: 'But the fact that in the prison, during the journey, and on the flight I did not waste a single day without working hard for the good of the party, of that I am really proud.'2 He was prepared to work hard again, this time in Germany. He told his friend straight away that he came to Dortmund to help him with the election campaign, and that he needed a refuge, safe from the police. Haenisch was glad to do his friend a favour. He was very busy on the newspaper, and he was happy to have a man of Helphand's standing to work with him. He told only two of his closest assistants that Helphand was staying in his flat; during this time, Haenisch got to know his friend better and to like him more. Helphand got on very well with Haenisch's children, and he derived as much pleasure as they did from buying them presents. He obviously enjoyed other people's children more than his own. He was of course unable to do his work for the Arbeiterzeitung publicly; his contributions appeared unsigned. For eight weeks Helphand lectured his comrades on the problems of home and of foreign policy. Bülow and the Centre Party, which was particularly well entrenched in the Catholic Rheinland-Westfalen, were to be fought with their own weapons. In order to put down his ideas on the 'Hottentot elections' in a longer study, Helphand retired to a boarding-house near Düsseldorf. Early in 1907, the pamphlet was ready for the printers. But the Reichstag Elections and the Working Class3 appeared too late to affect socialist agitation at the federal level. The party was bitterly disappointed
1
3

2 K. Haenisch, Parvus, p. 24. ibid., p. 25. Die Reichstagwahlen und die Arbeiterschaft.

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with the election returns. Although more people had in fact voted socialist, it lost a number of mandates because of an unfavourable division of constituencies. The socialists had won an empty victory: they had gained votes, but lost political influence. Even after the elections, the problem of colonial policy appeared, to Helphand, still important enough to be examined in detail. The election pamphlet made enough money for a fortnight's holiday on the Lago di Guarda in North Italy. Helphand needed the peace the hotel room provided, and his work made rapid progress. After the nerve-racking months in Russia, and after the excitement of the German elections, he greatly appreciated the opportunity to record, unhurriedly and without any kind of pressure, his thoughts. The satisfaction he had failed to achieve as a practical politician, he was now able to derive from his writing. His interest in colonial policy dated back to the eighteennineties; he was one of the first socialists to have recognized the fundamental importance of the problem. He had followed the moves of the Great Powers in this field with interest, and had repeatedly accused the party of overlooking the importance of colonial expansion, thus giving the Government a dangerous freedom of action. On these foundations, he now resumed the construction of his theories. He intended to survey the situation of the world market, and to produce, at the same time, a blueprint for a socialist foreign policy. The study published at the end of the year 1907, and entitled Colonial Policy and the Breakdown,4 was a pioneer analysis of modern imperialism. In sharp contrast to the later works of Rudolf Hilferding and Rosa Luxemburg, who concerned themselves mainly with the economic causes of colonial expansion, Parvus was mainly interested in its political aftermath. The hostilities that might lead to a war, rather than the capitalist contradictions that forced the Great Powers to expand overseas, formed the hard core of Helphand's thinking. The connexion between the protective customs barriers and colonialism, Helphand regarded as the most dangerous element
4

Die Kolonialpolitik und der Zusammenbruch.

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of capitalist foreign policy. The erection of customs barriers occasioned a movement of capital out of the home countries; at the same time, however, the barriers were extended into colonial territories. 'An industrial state together with a colonial empire', was the imperialist entity which resulted from this process.5 Nevertheless, Helphand did not regard imperialism—in contrast to the opinions of many of the later explorers of this territory, Lenin and Radek among them—as the inevitable consequence of the capitalist economic order. He looked on protectionism as a freely chosen restriction, a 'premium for retreat', an adequate illustration of the political blindness of the middle class. It was, Helphand thought, to everybody's disadvantage that the unity of the world market was in the process of being disrupted by the rival colonial empires. And this was, for Helphand, the high road to an international cataclysm: 'If trade policy is replaced by colonial policy, this is the way to political breakdown.' As to Germany's position, Helphand expressed his concern with the fact that, in the course of expansion in Africa and Asia, the Berlin Government was bound to encounter the hostility of Britain and Japan. In such a situation, an alliance with Russia was the only way out for Germany. And against the 'Russian orientation' Helphand trained his heaviest guns. Tsarist Russia, 6' the cornerstone of monarchist violence for the whole of Europe', would not be able to resist internal political pressures; it would collapse in the near future. If it came to an imperialist conflict, Germany would be fatally isolated. Helphand added, with prophetic foresight, that Britain would then become Germany's most dangerous enemy. Helphand offered an antidote to this catastrophic development, a development which would benefit neither capitalism nor socialism. He advocated free trade, which would keep the world market open for everybody. The Social Democrat party should conduct, he suggested, its future agitation under the slogans of 'Democracy, the unification of Europe, free trade'.6 The programme would make it possible for the party to take the initiative in the field of foreign policy.
5

ibid., p. 97.

6 ibid., p. 30.

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In these conclusions, Helphand returned to his old tasks. He saw himself as the grand strategist, destined to make the German socialists take up the offensive. But neither encouragement nor arguments could change the customary attitudes of the party leaders. They had built their entrenchment, and no power on earth could move them to advance into the open battlefield. Once again he was reduced to the rank of an outsider, of a theorist without influence; he was sharply reminded that his absence from Germany had earned him no promotion in the party chain of command. A more reasonable man would not have been surprised. For the time being, Helphand was immune to disappointments. External circumstances were favourable and they helped to preserve his internal balance. And on his Italian holiday he met Rosa Luxemburg, who also came to recuperate on the shores of the Lago di Guarda. The reunion with Rosa was important for him at this point: a lot had changed since their last meeting, at the prison in St. Petersburg. After the intense companionship of the revolution, they were both suffering from its aftermath, from isolation and a feeling of loneliness. They both knew what they could expect in Germany. They had had enough experience of the party machinery, and yet they were both resolved to carry on the fight, as before. Although they were both intensely political people, and politics was their primary concern, underneath this, they faced similar personal problems. Helphand had left his second wife and their son behind in Russia. The friendship with the temperamental, sarcastic, but infinitely feminine Rosa made it possible for him to forget the past quite easily. For her own part, she was glad to have found some support, a compassionate understanding, in Helphand. Soon after the Warsaw revolution, she had parted company with her friend, Leo Yogiches. She now seemed to prefer a looser relationship with Helphand than she had had with Yogiches; she regarded Helphand's company as a pleasant distraction which eased her over the spiritual crises of the past months. They were both very discreet about their friendship. It was their personal secret, a conspiracy between them which they treated with the utmost tact. They were not romantic lovers, but they shared an understanding and could rely on each other.

Strategist without an Army 107

When Helphand returned to Germany early in the summer, he found out, with satisfaction, that the role he had played in Russia had brought him quite a lot of popularity. He was a man who had taken a personal part in a revolution. Mass strikes, army mutinies, street fighting—all the things the German socialists knew from romantic songs—he had seen, taken part in, directed. It was safer to raise a man who had taken part in a revolution to the rank of hero, and to celebrate him in this role, than to accept his views, or give him political support. Helphand did not see the snag in the enthusiasm of his German comrades. He was genuinely pleased, especially since he derived certain benefits from the situation. The party could come to his aid and it did so, swiftly and magnanimously; his enthusiasm for it was now about to be rewarded. The old quarrels and disappointments were forgotten, and Helphand was welcomed back into the centre of German journalism. Karl Kautsky asked for contributions by Helphand for the Neue Zeit, for the first time since 1902; even Vorwärts, a newspaper with which he had conducted a bloody feud since the middle of the eighteen-nineties, reopened its columns to Helphand. The past was forgotten, at any rate for the time being. Helphand used the opportunities offered to the full; he allowed no editor to run short of his contributions. He also revived his news-sheet Aus der Weltpolitik, which had ceased to appear at the end of 1905. The book of reminiscences of the Russian revolution was his greatest success. It appeared in the summer of 1907 in Dresden, under the title In the Russian Bastille during the Revolution.7 Its contents matched the title: the political events in Russia in 1905 were pushed aside, to provide the background for the adventurous life of the hero, Alexander Helphand. The author knew his German comrades and their tastes: a large majority of them had found out about life inside a prison from Casanova's memoirs, rather than from their own experience. Helphand spared no effect to press home the awfulness of his own imprisonment; the narrative culminated in his flight from Siberia. The book scored on two counts, and they were both finely
In der russischen Bastille während der Revolution.

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calculated by the author: it sold extremely well, and it left its mark on the socialist agitation in Germany against the Tsarist regime. In this last regard, Helphand could well be satisfied with his achievements. He may have found it impossible to influence the course of the domestic policy of the party; he may have found it difficult to arouse a wider interest, among his comrades in Germany, in foreign policy. But he contributed hugely to the formation and the acceptance, by the socialist movement, of a particular image of Tsarist Russia. This Russia was the bulwark of monarchist reaction, beyond redemption, quite incapable of reform. A revolution was the only way out, and the Social Democrats the only people who could achieve it. And on a more practical level, Helphand had introduced the Russian party leaders to their German comrades. All this did not seem very important at the time, but later, during the First World War, it became so. When Trotsky returned from London, from the Russian party congress in the summer of 1907, he found his friend in an optimistic mood. They were very glad to see each other again— Trotsky also had escaped from Siberia—and they decided to spend their holidays together. But first of all, Helphand took care of the German edition of Trotsky's memoirs of the revolution: like Helphand's own reminiscences, they were published by Kaden's house in Dresden. Together with Trotsky's wife, Natalia Sedova, they went from Dresden to the Saxon mountains and then crossed the frontier into neighbouring Bohemia, where they stayed at a small village favoured by junior Austro-Hungarian civil servants as their summer residence. It was a very pleasant holiday, but one person was still missing. Helphand sent Rosa Luxemburg a most pressing invitation to join the three of them in Bohemia. But his cautious friend preferred to stay in Berlin. Early in the autumn, Helphand and Trotsky returned to Germany; Sedova had in the meantime left for Russia, to collect her son. Helphand took it upon himself to acquaint his friend with the German socialist movement. He introduced Trotsky to Karl Kautsky; to Lenin's intense displeasure, Trotsky became a correspondent of the Neue Zeit and of Vorwärts. Trotsky was

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glad of the goodwill of the German comrades: he was, however, unable to settle in Berlin. The atmosphere inside the party was too petit bourgeois, too inbred for him. He respected Kautsky as an authority on Marxism, but he was bored by the dryness of the German theorist's book learning. They were small things that irritated Trotsky; they added up, however, to an unpleasant picture of the German party. It was Maxim Gorki who recorded the kind of impression the German party made, in 1907, on a visitor from Russia; the following extract is an account of his own visit to Berlin that year:
My dejection began in Berlin where I met almost all the leading Social Democrats, and dined with August Bebel, with Singer, a very stout fellow, beside me, and other distinguished people around. We dined in a spacious and comfortable room. Tasteful embroidered cloths were thrown over the canary cage and embroidered antimacassars were fastened on the backs of the armchairs so that the covers should not get soiled from the heads of the persons sitting in them. Everything was solid and substantial. Everyone ate in a solemn manner and said to each other in a solemn tone 'Mahlzeit'. This was a new word for me, and I knew that 'mal' in French meant bad and 'Zeit' in German meant times —'bad times'. Singer twice referred to Kautsky as 6my romanticist'. Bebel, with his aquiline nose, seemed to me somewhat dissatisfied. We drank Rhenish wine and beer. The wine was sour and tepid. The beer was good. The Social Democrats spoke sourly and with condescension about the Russian Revolution and the Party, but about their own Party —the German Party—everything was splendid! There was a general atmosphere of self-satisfaction. Even the chairs looked as though they delighted in supporting the honourable bulk of the leaders.'8

Despite Helphand's exertions to show his friend the more attractive sides of the German socialist movement, he does not seem to have had much success. And when the police started creating difficulties at the end of 1907 about Trotsky's residential permit, he left Berlin, without much regret, for Vienna. During the last weeks of Trotsky's stay in Germany, the two friends must have felt that their ways were about to part. Their
8

Gorki, Lenin, Moscow, 1931, p. 6.

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reunion after the revolution lacked the warmth of their relationship in the Munich days; Trotsky was now more independent and more mature. Although he still held Parvus in high esteem, he was now convinced that their ideas were developing in different directions. The differences between the two friends were occasioned by a theory, which was to become famous, developed by Trotsky: the theory of permanent revolution. He had first drafted it in his cell in the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress, while Helphand was busy with the popular account of his experiences in Russia. The foundations of the theory were borrowed, almost in their entirety, from Helphand. In an essay entitled 'Prospects and Perspectives',9 Trotsky first recapitulated Helphand's most important findings: the sociological and political reasons for the impotence of the Russian middle class, the leading role of the proletariat, the conception of the global unity of the world market, as well as his belief in the avant-garde mission of the Russian proletariat in the world revolution. From these premisses, Helphand had developed his concept of the 'workers' democracy', which was to be, as we have already seen, a modified phase of capitalist development. In Helphand's view, the revolution could on no account introduce socialism to Russia. This could occur only when the country reached a high degree of industrial development, and the working class formed the majority of the population. From the same premisses, Trotsky now drew completely different conclusions from those of Helphand. He argued that the proletariat, after achieving provisional power in the state, would have to transcend, under the internal pressure of the revolution, the frontiers of the middle-class as well as of the workers' democracy, and proceed to make deep inroads into the capitalist order of property. The revolution could not be confined within artificial frontiers: it could only be extended. The co-operation between the Russian and the western European proletariat should make it possible for the Russian workers not only to assert their power, but to take the first steps into socialism: 'Without the direct political help of the European proletariat, the working
9

'Itogy i perspektivy', in Nasha revolyutsiya, St. Petersburg, 1906, pp. 224-86.

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class in Russia would not be in a position to retain power in its hands, and to transform its temporary domination into a lasting socialist dictatorship.'10 Helphand could not agree with this view of the revolution. It was not that he lacked the courage and the perception to draw radical conclusion from the premisses he himself had laid down.
Instead, his unwillingness to go along with Trotsky may be regarded as an indication of his doubts as to the spontaneous revolutionary potential of the proletariat in western Europe. He thought that Trotsky relied too much on foreign aid: Helphand knew better what could be expected from the German party. At the same time, in contrast to Trotsky, who concerned himself largely with revolutionary action, Helphand had made a thorough examination of the technical and economic conditions that were necessary for the successful introduction of socialist economy. Socialism meant for him the transformation—and not the construction—of an industrial society. He had himself stressed the international implications of capitalism. But his concept of a party capable of the construction of socialism had nothing in common with the Russian view of a party of revolutionary elite. For the purposes of the organization of the future, Helphand thought the German type of movement the most suitable: a disciplined and tightly organized mass party, together with its auxiliary troops, the trade unions and the co-operatives. He was not convinced that the backwardness of Russia would prove a political advantage. Their differences as to the theory of permanent revolution marked the end of the intellectual partnership between Helphand and Trotsky. At first they took great care to paper over the cracks: they were still treading the lonely path between the two Russian party factions, and they had no interest in airing their differences in public. When Trotsky left for Vienna at the end of the year the quarrel was set aside, but by no means forgotten. It was finally concluded a decade later, in circumstances which the parting friends could hardly have imagined in 1907. The benevolent reception by his German comrades helped
10

ibid., p. 278.

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Parvus to find his bearings. It resolved his doubts as to his proper place in European socialism. There was no point in his following Trotsky back into the Russian organization: once again, he had had enough of his mother country and of his former compatriots. And the wheel of history had somehow got stuck in Russia: in the West, the historical process would continue to unfold. Again, a profound aversion to émigré circles came upon Helphand. Contemptuously, in measured terms, he declined several offers to take part in Russian exile journalism. It was again operating in a vacuum; the exiles did not have to respond to the demands of a mass movement, and Helphand was convinced that they would relapse into a state of chaotic disunity. He accused the Menshevik editors of their new Golos Sotsialdemokrata of jettisoning the principles of class struggle in order to secure circulation in Russia herself. He therefore could make no contributions to their organ: he would be content with the 'role of an observer', who would work mainly for the German party.11 This was precisely what Helphand intended to do, and he resolutely stuck to his decision. It did not mean that he had chosen the simplest and most comfortable way out. The delight of the first months after his return from Russia was an exception, an oasis in the wilderness that lay before and after him. It would not take long for him to be reduced to his old status. And Germany was, at the time, no paradise for socialist émigrés. The necessity to remain on good terms with the Tsarist Government occasioned a tougher attitude, on the part of Berlin, towards the exiled revolutionaries. Two of them had been extradited to the Russian authorities shortly before Helphand's arrival in Dortmund; when the socialist deputies protested in the Reichstag, the Chancellor's reply amounted to a declaration of war on the Russian 'extortionists and conspirators'. Prince von Bülow was convinced that they represented an unbearable burden for Germany's foreign policy. This warning was doubtless sufficient for Helphand. Arrest in one of the states from which he had been banned would have meant extradition, and another trip to Siberia. Nevertheless, he
11

Parvus to Martov, February 1908, in Sotsial-demokraticheskoe dvizhenie.

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stayed on in Germany. He knew enough about the habits of the police, and was able to keep out of their way. In the years between 1908 and 1910, he led an unsettled, wandering life in Germany. For a short time, he worked on the Chemnitzer Volkstimme, illegal visits to Prussia and Saxony alternated with more peaceful weeks in Stuttgart or Munich. He earned his living by running the feature-agency, and by contributions to the socialist press. Despite the way he lived, it was a very productive period of his life. After many years of employment as a journalist, when he had had to mould his ideas into the form of articles and, at best, of short pamphlets, he now decided to write a longer study, perhaps his magnum opus. The time had come, Helphand thought, to draw up a preliminary balance-sheet. It took him two years to complete his work. In the summer of 1910, he sent his publisher the manuscripts of two books, which were published, in the following months, under the titles The State, Industry, and Socialism,12 and The Class Struggle of the Proletariat.13 Parts of both these studies had appeared, in the course of the year 1909, as separate pamphlets; it was impossible, however, to form a judgement of Helphand's first comprehensive account of his theoretical work until the publication of the two books. They were his last original contribution to the ideology of socialism. A retrospective glance at the history of the German workers' movement served Helphand as an excuse for a brief examination of his own contribution to the party controversies. In a short chapter, he stated his own views on the following problems: political mass strike, trade unions, revisionism, economic crisis, the world market, protective tariffs, and colonialism. Helphand was able to say that the party had, though painfully and in the midst of internal convulsions, considerably increased its theoretical arsenal. And then an appraisal of the relative positions of power of the two sides engaged in the contest revealed the following picture. The capitalist economic order, protected by a powerful army and controlled by monopolies and cartels, was, without an
12

13

Der Staat, die Industrie und der Sozialismus, Dresden, 1910. Der Klassenkampf des Proletariats, Berlin, 1911.

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impulse from the outside, far from breaking down. The 'breakdown' theory beloved of so many socialists, Helphand dismissed as erroneous without much ado. There was still life in capitalism, though not life eternal. He had a low view of the value of the occasional economic crisis: the greatest danger to the capitalist system was armed conflict between the imperialist states. A war could be occasioned by competition on the world market, and by the resulting imperialist power politics. A two-front engagement would thus be forced on the state—against the external imperialist enemy on the one hand, and, on the other, against the internal class enemy. This situation, in Helphand's view, would bring about the final breakdown: in the future, war and revolution would be indivisible. 'The war sharpens all capitalist contradictions. A world war may therefore be concluded only by a world revolution.'14 Helphand did not believe in the inevitability of the internal breakdown of capitalism, nor in the automatic victory of Social Democracy. He abhorred equally both these complementary ideas. The writing on the wall indicated that it was not the bourgeoisie, entrenched behind the power of the state, but the proletariat, that had reached the limit of its possibilities. Economic concentration had provided a counterbalance to the might of the trade unions; the parliamentary influence of the party had been cancelled out by the decline in the powers of the parliament. In Helphand's view, the proletariat had to develop new revolutionary tactics. He was convinced that these new tactics would have to make use of what he described as 'combined weapons'.15 The nineteenth century had been a period of isolated battles: the proletariat had developed and proved the various weapons at its disposal. In this century, however, a grand revolutionary strategy was needed, which would bring all the component parts of the class struggle into concerted and effective action. 'There are no specific means of revolutionary struggle. The revolution uses all the available political means of struggle . . . since the revolution is not a method of fighting, but a historical process.'16 In the demand for the strategic integration of all the available
14

16

15 Klassenkampf des Proletariats, p. 147. ibid., p. 109. 'Die russische Revolution', in Leipziger Volkszeitung, 13 November 1908.

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means of struggle, Helphand gave a timely hint to his comrades. This piece of homespun advice has been absorbed into the very texture of the revolutionary method of the communist parties. In this regard, there are no differences between Moscow and Peking. But how should these weapons be used? Here, Helphand touched the most sensitive nerve of German socialism. During the year 1908, among the party leaders there raged an embittered controversy. The problem was whether the time was ripe to lead the proletariat into the streets and, by the employment of the mass strike, to force reaction into retreat. The suggestions offered, led to a three-way split in the party. The moderate group simply warned the socialists off any kind of political adventure. The left wing, on the other hand, represented by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the son of the late socialist leader, pressed for revolutionary action. The workers, so their argument ran, were ready for the decisive fight, and it was high time to join it. Rosa Luxemburg especially, frightened her German comrades: after one of her speeches to the party congress, August Bebel was so impressed by her vision of the revolution that he already believed himself to be wading, up to his ankles, through blood. And she addressed Kautsky, with whom she was now continually falling out, after many years of close friendship: 'We do not need you, comrade Kautsky, at the brakes.' The decisive influence belonged, however, to a third group centred around Bebel and Kautsky: their intermediate position was acceptable to the majority on the party executive. Kautsky pointed out, on many occasions, that the party leadership was ready for an offensive; the proletariat, however, was not strong enough for the final engagement. The solution therefore followed : 'Neither revolution nor legality at any price.' This was the situation inside the party when Helphand was working out the new strategy. It was self-evident that he should have found nothing to his liking in the attitude of the moderate group. But he also viewed all the other suggestions with suspicion. He thought of Rosa Luxemburg's policy as an attempt at a blind crash-through, a mere Revolutionismus. It was dangerous, he thought, to whip up the passion of the masses and then to direct all the released energy at one single point. He put it this

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way in a letter to Kautsky: 'The revolution will become the mass strike, the mass strike a demonstration strike, and the struggle for political power will be reduced to the struggle for the Prussian suffrage.'17 This contraction of the target was, in Helphand's view, a very grave error. Rosa Luxemburg knew of one aim only, and she was unconcerned with the political and economic background. Instead of starting with the highest demand, Helphand proposed, the aims should be set in such a manner that their achievement would naturally lead to the intensification of the revolutionary struggle. Nevertheless, Helphand was disinclined to deliver ammunition to Rosa Luxemburg's opponents. She wanted the right thing the wrong way; Kautsky, on the other hand, was wrong all along the line. He was in fact making a plea for peace and moderation; he feared the defeat of the socialist movement in some kind of cataclysmic engagement. In Helphand's view, Kautsky's policy would have led, in practice, to utter stagnation. Kautsky taxed his mind beyond endurance, calculating the advent of the time of reckoning: he was afraid that it might be wrongly chosen, and that the choice might 'corrupt' the whole course of history.18 At this point, Helphand had cleared the ground sufficiently to advance his own propositions. The revolution, he said again and again, could not be confined in time in the same way as, for instance, a battle. It had to be seen as a dialectical process, as a long chain of victories and failures. The two alternatives—an immediate victory or a catastrophic defeat—were nothing but a negation of political realities. There was, according to Helphand, an analogy of the revolutionary process in the cycle of economic crises. Peaceful development would be disrupted by social explosions; the revolutionary period would then 'undergo its own development, and appear as a historical process and not as one single action'.19 The revolutionary period demanded an offensive strategy. Helphand recommended a dynamic, dialectic method of combat, planned deployment of all the available arms, and steadfastness in face of defeat. Against the background of contemporary socialist thinking
17

18

Helphand to Karl Kautsky, 14 June 1910, in the Kautsky-Archiv. 19 Klassenkampf des Proletariats, p. 137. ibid., p. 137.

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his views were highly personal and distinct. Most of the party theorists were so constrained by a narrow approach to Marxism that they failed to understand Helphand's breadth of vision. He was neither a radical nor a revisionist, and yet he had points of contact on both sides. He was a complicated, but logical theorist of revolutionary action, who integrated the various trends current in the party in one plan. He was a 'Parvusist': the only one. He worked hard to push forward the advance positions of ideological development. He went so far that most of his contemporaries came to regard him as a dreamer irretrievably lost in fantasy. It was said that his mother had died in a state of mental derangement: hence his revolutionary day-dreams. In order to protect themselves against his visions, the European socialists chose to regard him as a lunatic. He had shocked his Russian comrades by the idea of a provisional workers' government in January 1905; this was the first step towards a Utopia. Five years later, when he completed the two studies, the German socialists returned the same verdict. It was especially the publication of The State, Industry, and Socialism which occasioned concern for Helphand's sanity. There was really no cause for alarm. His interest in trade cycles, monopolies, and trade unions, convinced Helphand that examination of the past and the present no longer sufficed. Capitalism had been analysed frequently and in detail; the workers had learned what kind of weapons stood at their disposal, and how they should attack the established order. But nothing had been said about the tasks of the future, about those political and economic problems the Social Democrats would face on the day after the revolution. What was socialism in practice? Where and how did one begin to build it up? How would the system function? Here, Parvus found himself in uncharted territory. Marx and Engels had indicated the shape of the future socialist society only vaguely, and the German party ideologists were very reserved in this respect. Indeed, anyone rash enough to concern himself with the future state ran the risk of incurring ridicule and the charge of indulging in Utopian and unscientific fancies. Until 1910, the German socialist writers had confined themselves to producing apologies concerning this society, without suggesting a concrete
M.R.-I

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picture of its structure. Their belief in the inevitability of historical development allowed them to disregard problems which, they were certain, would be automatically solved in the coming years. When, at the Hanover party congress in 1899, Bernstein pointed to the difficulties the party would face after the revolution, Bebel described Bernstein's attitude as a 'fear of victory', and he added that, by introducing artificial difficulties, Bernstein was destroying faith in the possibility of victory. Behind BebePs forceful pronouncement, there was a good deal of mental confusion. Bebel had had enough of the party intellectuals, who were creating problems that he himself, a practical politician and an experienced parliamentarian, could afford to disregard. He asked his comrades in Hanover: 'Do you believe that the clerks, the technicians, the engineers and others will strike, that they will not stick with us if we promise them better treatment and better pay? (Laughter, applause.) I will tell you that there are many privy councillors who will then come to us, perhaps even Ministers.'20 Helphand, on the contrary, remained entirely unmoved by dreams of governments which would include venerable privy councillors and Ministers willing to serve whoever was in control. He insisted that the socialists would have to be less silly than Bebel, and more precise. After all, the conception of the socialist state of the future was, in his view, 'the most important theoretical problem of the living generation'.21 Despite the general attitude of the party, Helphand developed the following programme for the socialist transformation of the economy. He regarded the nationalization of the banks as the starting-point. If the socialist Government controlled the money and capital market, it would be in a position to direct the whole economy: the banks themselves had created the necessary basis for this change. In this connexion, Helphand quoted Walter Rathenau, who had once spoken of 300 men who controlled the 'economic fortunes of the continent'. Such a concentration of control, Helphand regarded as a symptom of the ripeness of European economy for a social revolution, and also as the main
20

Protokoll Hannover, 1899, p. 127.

21

Klassenkampf des Proletariats, p. 4.

Strategist without an Army 119 venue of attack. There was, in his view, no need for an immediate abolition of private ownership of the means of production. The construction of socialism had also to be a gradual organic process, and the nationalization of the banks would give it the initial momentum. The socialist state would then be in a position of power, enabling it to push the private economic sector farther and farther back.22 Helphand's blue-print for the future was of course greatly oversimplified and there was a good deal of romantic zest in his programme. He ignored the problems of all-embracing planning by the state, and he failed to envisage the massive unwieldiness of the bureaucracy which would be needed to carry out his plan. Nevertheless, at the time he was writing, there existed neither interest, nor practical experience of these problems. And Helphand did not return from his explorations with a completely idyllic tale of the promised land. In fact, he encountered a number of difficulties. The nationalization of the means of production, it occurred to him, would change 'only the form of capitalist domination'. It would provide the state with more power than it had ever possessed before, and although the state would now be the instrument of the proletariat—the majority of the population—it still ran the danger of being misused. The plenitude of economic power in its hands was dangerous, unless certain controls were introduced. At this point Helphand discovered the final argument in support of his old thesis that the proletarian organizations were not an end in themselves. They were necessary for the achievement of power: they would, however, be essential for the realization of a socialist order. Only they could be entrusted with the task of the protection of the individual; they alone were in a position, and this was true especially of the trade unions, to maintain balance in regard to the strengthened machinery of the state. Socialism, therefore, did not mean only the, transformation of capitalism: it meant also the further development of the workers' organizations. Helphand touched here on a crucial point in the theory and practice of socialist development. We, in fact, have the example
22

Der Staat, die Industrie und der Sozialismus, passim.

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of the Soviet State before us, where the first steps into dictatorship were the dissolution of the opposition parties and the neutralization of the power of the trade unions. In addition, the concentration of economic power in the hands of the state had an adverse effect on the rights of the individual. Nevertheless, Helphand's suggestions as to the checks and balances that should operate within a socialist state cannot be regarded simply as an early warning against a Bolshevik dictatorship. In 1910, the socialists were still incapable of imagining a situation in which the party might use its power, acquired through a revolution, against the majority of the nation. However, the fact that Helphand, as early as 1910, pointed at the dangers inherent in an all-powerful socialist state, certainly deserves special mention. His study anticipated a possibility which eluded the imaginative grasp of men steeped in the traditions of democratic socialism, a possibility which was translated into hard political terms in Russia in 1917. Helphand's German comrades received his message as if it came from another world. The Neue Zeit critic was even incapable of noticing that Helphand had written of a socialist state. He took it that the author of The State, Industry, and Socialism was merely advising the current Imperial Government to nationalize the banks. Rosa Luxemburg did better than anyone else. 'The fat one has written a beautiful book', she wrote to a friend of hers, 'but I believe that he is slowly going mad.' Although Rosa Luxemburg knew a lot about the circumstances of Helphand's life, she was, on this occasion, neither perceptive nor charitable. The act of writing was Helphand's one firm link with the world of sanity; in every other regard, the difficulties he now faced would have broken a weaker man. He saw his predicament clearly enough. He may well have felt that he had written the two recent books in vain. Nobody understood them, and nobody took them seriously. He had wasted two years, and he had received 2,000 marks for the two manuscripts. And by the time he wrote the last sentence, the whole miserable sum had been spent. The ideas he tried to put across, he knew, were too complicated, too intellectual, and quite unsuitable for mass agitation. The leaders of the

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party were sometimes puzzled, more often hostile to what Helphand had to offer. He had completely failed in his attempt to keep the revolutionary consciousness of the party alive. A group of dedicated followers might have lent some weight to his policies. But he had always been rather careless about rallying reliable support around himself; he possessed a monumental disinterest, amounting to arrogance, in the practical details of organization. He could call Konrad Haenisch his friend and devoted admirer; Rosa Luxemburg could be protective and considerate towards him, but only at the cost of coming to regard him as an utterly helpless person. Otherwise, Helphand had succeeded in antagonizing most of his prominent comrades. From Bernstein to Bebel they had all, at one time or another, been given the sharp side of his tongue. And then the Schönlank and the Marchlewski incidents were remembered, and held against him. There were too many features in his conduct and his thinking that alienated him from his German comrades, and condemned him to political isolation, even to personal loneliness. He came to be looked upon as a natural catastrophe, both unexpected and devastating. It was therefore not surprising that the German socialists kept their distance, and that they should try to circumscribe his influence. During the nineteen years he had spent in Germany— though with occasional breaks—he was never entrusted with an official party job. He never attended, as a delegate with a right to vote, one of its annual conferences. As an alien, a Reichstag mandate was for him out of the question. Only a few newspapers and periodicals remained, in which he could give vent to his anger. The German party did not, as he had hoped as a young man, become his fatherland. He did not know where to turn. He had learned, during the 1905 revolution in Russia, that he was incapable of directing political action: he had completely failed as a leader of men. He realized, after the failure of the revolution, that he was out of touch with Russian conditions; he had shown no interest in securing a place for himself in the Russian party. And now, at last, he came to believe that despite his considerable talents as a writer the written word would secure for him no power, no influence.

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He was well known, but without power; he was ambitious and talented, but, apart from his writing, unable to show positive proof of his quality. He would have to take some drastic steps to break out of the impasse; and he did not yet know in which direction. Then suddenly he was made to act, and to act quickly. Since December 1905, the storm-clouds had been gathering above him, and he tried hard to take no notice. The Bolsheviks, under Lenin's leadership, were then fighting against heavy odds in Moscow, and, like the Soviet in St. Petersburg, they ran into financial difficulties. Their large printing plant was proving especially expensive. It was to be expected that they should now remember that Helphand owed them royalties for Gorki's play, and they did. I. P. Ladyzhnikov, a close friend of Gorki, was then in Berlin: under the instructions of the Bolshevik central committee, he was trying to set up a publishing house there which would specialize in Marxist literature, as well as in the works of the 'progressive' authors, and in particular those of Russia's first proletarian writer. The profits made by the enterprise were intended to augment the Bolshevik party funds.23 First of all, however, Ladyzhnikov had to acquire the rights that Gorki had transferred to Helphand in 1902. Sometime late in December 1905, Ladyzhnikov wrote to his friend: 'I have already given my agreement to a court of arbitration. I had consulted Nikitich and Ilich [Lenin], and they should have told you about it. Of course we do not have to inform everybody about this case, so that we should not deal any trump cards into the hands of the bourgeoisie. Either I or Ilich should have seen Parvus about it—but so far, there has been no time. We wanted to demand from him the immediate transfer to us of all the rights, from which he is still making a good profit. . . .' 24 The Bolsheviks estimated that Helphand had embezzled some 130,000 marks, which rightfully belonged to them.25 They by no means had an open-and-shut case against him. The original agreement with Gorki had been made in 1902, a year before the Bolshevik-Menshevik split: the Social Democrat party as a
23
24

Arkhiv Gorkovo, Moscow, 1959, vol. 7, p. 292. 25 ibid., pp. 131-2. ibid., p. 294.

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whole was supposed to benefit by it, not any one of its factions. Their estimate of the profits made by the play was overoptimistic: it would have had to earn some 180,000 marks, a very large amount by the standards of German theatre productions at the time. In any case, the legal owner of the rights was the publishing house in Munich, which, apart from Gorki's play, had done very badly. When Ladyzhnikov wrote to Gorki, it was on the point of being liquidated; Ladyzhnikov made no reference to his negotiations, if any, with Marchlewski. Be it as it may, the affair blew up into a big socialist scandal. Rumours started to circulate, especially after Gorki's visit to Germany in 1907. He then lodged a complaint against Helphand's conduct with the party executive. Helphand had embezzled this large sum, and, in reply to a letter to Helphand, Gorki maintained, he had received the 'bland' explanation that the money had been used for a number of trips to Italy. The furious poet advised the German party executive that Helphand, the publisher, should 'have his ears cut off'. Helphand defended himself as best he could. He said again and again that Marchlewski had arrived, during the liquidation of the publishing house, at a settlement with Gorki. The whole affair, he said, was libellous nonsense. And when it was resuscitated during the First World War, for the purposes of character assassination, Helphand let it be known that he was quite ready for another consultation, and even for the eventual settlement of any outstanding debts. Gorki himself then said that certain publicists—men like Burtsev and Alexinski—had distorted the facts of the affair, and he added: 'Nevertheless, I regard it as neither necessary nor possible to complete and to straighten out the reports.'26 The story did not end here. Some years after the war Gorki returned to it, and to his old assault on Helphand. He did so in a rather extraordinary place: in an obituary for his recently deceased comrade, Ilich Lenin. Nevertheless, in the years after the first Russian revolution, Gorki's perseverance did Helphand a great deal of harm. And what he had to say in his own defence did not sound entirely convincing. As great an admirer of Helphand as Haenisch, wrote
26

Birshevye Viedomosti, 20 October 1915.

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in his reminiscences that, as far as matters of finance were concerned, he always behaved on 'a very grand scale indeed'. And when Helphand started to deal, during the war, in terms of millions, he often told his friend that 'his head was his main book ofaccounts'. Negligence in keeping of accounts was a poor excuse in an affair in which Gorki, Lenin, and the Bolshevik party funds were involved. Financial carelessness was a hangman's noose, and Helphand himself had put his head into it. He left himself wide open, and in a matter about which his German comrades would tolerate no joke. Dishonesty and transgressions against private property were, in their eyes, much graver offences than, say, political stupidity. The complaint Gorki had lodged with the party executive in Berlin delivered Helphand into the hands of party justice. A commission of inquiry, consisting of Bebel, Kautsky, and Zetkin studied, in the years 1908 and 1909, this extremely complex case. The proceedings were surrounded with the utmost secrecy: the rank and file of the party knew nothing about them. The verdict was never made public. Helphand had a bad case, and the findings of the commission went against him. The German socialist leaders were innocent of scandals on Russian party lines, and they did not know how to deal with them. Rumours soon started to circulate that Helphand had been warned, and that he had been told not to apply, for the time being, for editorial posts on any of the German socialist newspapers. Although truth and fiction became interchangeable in the course of the Gorki affair, it had the most unpleasant personal repercussions for Helphand. He was enmeshed in a situation from which there was no obvious way out. One thing must, however, have been clear to him: further stay in Germany would have broken him once and for all. His demoralization was now complete, and he went through a deep spiritual crisis. He wanted to be able to regard the hopelessly bleak situation with some detachment, and he decided to leave Germany for the time being. In the summer of 1910, he moved to Vienna. He thought the trip would give him a change of climate: it became a turningpoint in his life.

6
An Interlude in Constantinople
Late in the summer of that fateful year, 1910, Helphand certainly needed a change. The Habsburg capital was well suited to provide it. Its leisurely pace, its tolerant, easygoing ways eased him over the personal crisis of the past months. The Austrian socialists were unlikely to be much concerned or informed about the recent party inquiry in Germany. Trotsky was still living in Vienna, but from him Helphand had no secrets. From Vienna, Helphand might be able to start afresh; he could console himself with the thought that the years he had spent in the socialist movement had not been, after all, entirely wasted. He had played a distinguished part in all the most explosive socialist controversies in Germany, as well as in the first revolution in Russia. He had learned a lot, about himself and about politics, and he was unlikely ever again to make the same mistakes, or to lay himself open as much as he had done. And most important, he had developed a sensitive, seismographic reaction to politics. He possessed a very keen eye for the irregularities, the eruptions which punctuated the broad movements of European history. For the time being, the political life of neither Germany nor Russia offered any prospects of excitement. Having discarded every vestige of revolutionary zeal, the German movement had stagnated; in Russia, the revolution had suffered defeat only too easily. Helphand was an impatient and ambitious man, for himself and for socialism: he now felt that neither he himself, nor, for that matter, the cause of revolutionary socialism had made any great advance. Looked at from Vienna, however, the situation south-east of the Habsburg capital appeared more promising. The decline in the influence of the Sublime Porte in the Balkans, the revolutionary

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developments inside the country itself, the subjection of Turkey to the system of the Great Powers' Capitulations: here were the components of high-grade political dynamite. Some time after his arrival in Vienna, Helphand wrote to his friend, Rosa Luxemburg, that he was leaving for a three-month visit to Constantinople. He in fact stayed in Turkey for nearly five years. Helphand now made the final preparations for his trip to the Near East. He knew that his articles from Turkey would be acceptable to a number of newspaper editors in Germany and Austria; Trotsky arranged for his contributions to appear in the popular Russian liberal newspaper, the Kievskaya Mysl. His forwarding address in Constantinople was c/o Albrecht Dvorak, Poste Autrichienne: a Czech name and an Austro-Hungarian address. Helphand reached Constantinople early in November 1910. His socialist past gave his life, from the first, a certain continuity. Workers' parties were then growing up in the former Turkish territories on the Balkans; the name of Parvus was familiar to many of the Serbian, Rumanian, and Bulgarian socialists, and the Turkish capital still provided them with a convenient meetingplace. The part that Trotsky had once played in Helphand's life was now taken over by Christo Rakovsky. The son of a wealthy Bulgarian landed family in Dobrudja, Rakovsky became a Rumanian partly by choice, and partly by accident, due to the shifting frontiers in this part of Europe. He had studied medicine and law in France, and already at that time was a socialist of some years' standing. After a long absence —he went from France to Germany, to be expelled from Prussia in the early eighteen-nineties, soon after Helphand—he returned to Rumania in 1905. He had now become the man who later, after he had been executed by Stalin in the great Soviet purges, was fondly remembered by his comrades; an ubiquitous, polyglot Marxist, a revolutionary with a taste for historical research. Nevertheless, Rakovsky's political activities in Rumania earned him yet another deportation order; he then spent much of his time travelling between Vienna and Constantinople. He became a friend of Trotsky's, and he had made the acquaintance of Rosa Luxemburg and Helphand in Germany; now, during the early

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part of his stay in Constantinople, Helphand met, through Rakovsky, many of the leading Balkan socialists. Some of them were then toying—not entirely to the displeasure of the Ottoman authorities—with a variety of plans for a Balkan federation; Helphand was especially impressed by a young Bulgarian socialist called Vlachov,1 whose activities on behalf of the federation even succeeded in arousing the interest of the Austrian Ambassador to Constantinople; and who, in addition, made contact with the Russian Union of Sailors. Helphand became absorbed in the investigation of the economic and political situation in the Near East; the extremely unsettled atmosphere suited him well and he showed no desire to return to western Europe. For the time being, he was still suffering for his interests. A native of the city on the Bosphorus could live quite cheaply there: the Europeans, however, were expected to maintain European standards, and this Helphand could not quite afford. If he lived like a respectable European, he would have to eat like a poor Turk, or the other way round. During the early months of his stay in Constantinople, he got to know Scutari, the Asian part, and the dock area near the Galata bridge, quite well. He had to rub shoulders with the humblest inhabitants of that proud city, and share their simplest nourishment at the cheapest of eating-places. When he later described this time of his life to a friend of his, he said that 'often I had to tread carefully, so that nobody could see the holes in my shoes'. However, it was in Constantinople that he laid down the foundations of his fortune. He had tried to make money before: the feature-agency publishing Aus der Weltpolitik (he founded, incidentally, a similar and more successful enterprise in Turkey), and the publishing house in Munich, were Helphand's first commercial ventures. They both failed. The German socialist press did not need much foreign news to keep going; the establishment of foreign authors' copyrights in western Europe was not as good a financial proposition as it had, at first, seemed to Helphand. In Turkey, however, he at last found the key to the treasure that had hitherto been denied him. The exact details of the way in which Helphand became a rich
1

Parvus to Kautsky, 3 April 1911, Kautsky-Archiv.

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man must remain a matter of conjecture. The wealthy Turks themselves, the indigenous and permanent inhabitants of the capital, were either administrators or soldiers, who held business in contempt, and left it in the care of a heterogeneous community which consisted largely of Armenians, Greeks, and Jews. Theirs was a very transient society: their business deals left behind no traces. It is possible that Helphand succeeded in attracting the attention of European business circles, and that he became their adviser and representative in the Ottoman Empire—the Krupp concern and Sir Basil Zaharoff have both been mentioned in this connexion; it is possible that he began dealing in corn and other commodities on his own initiative. By 1912—the beginning of the Balkan wars—he was doing both these things, and doing them quite successfully. It is also certain that he conducted his business under the protection of the local politicians. He had established some connexions with the leaders of the rising nationalist party of the Young Turks, and in 1912 he became the economic editor of their newspaper, Turk Yurdu;2 he is said to have been entrusted, during the Balkan wars, with providing supplies for the Turkish Army. There can be no doubt that, at this time, Helphand had closer connexions with Turkish official circles than he later cared to admit. He travelled extensively in the Balkans and he was in a good position to supply the Turkish Government with useful intelligence. His political experience and financial expertise had finally found an appreciative audience. During the two years before the outbreak of the First World War, Helphand acquired, for the first time, political contacts that could be put to an eminently practical use. The man who, for many years, had always moved on the periphery of political power—in the German party and, even more so, in the German State—was now gradually approaching its very centre. He learned that in the conditions obtaining in the Ottoman Empire, power could be reached through money, and that money could be acquired through political power. He was to make a good deal of use of this knowledge.
2

cf. K. Haenisch, Parvus, p. 50, and M. Harden, 'Gold und Weihrauch', in Die Zukunft, Berlin, 1920, pp. 2-35.

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And then, on 28 June 1914, the shots fired by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo shattered the high-summer repose of Europe. The assassinations of the Habsburg heir apparent and his wife, were followed by an upsurge of patriotism everywhere: first the mobilization orders, and then the declarations of war, received enthusiastic support. The inhabitants of the European capitals welcomed the prospect of a military show-down; counsels of moderation were drowned in the clamour of patriotic slogans. The socialist member-parties of the Second International were among those who attempted to avert the threatening catastrophe, and, at the end of July, they demonstrated for peace. It was too late. From Constantinople, Helphand observed the crisis with detachment. He was content to advise the Turks, in a highly regarded article in Tasviri Efkar published a fortnight before the outbreak of the war, that their country should derive the greatest possible benefit from Germany's victory in the coming contest, and he suggested that she might rid herself of the onerous capitulation treaties. Otherwise he said no more in public and did nothing in support of the peace campaign of the Second International. His socialist friends in Europe noticed Helphand's absence from their ranks. Trotsky remarked testily that Helphand must be waiting until he could 'come to St. Petersburg when everything is ready'.3 Trotsky was quite wrong. Despite the change in his personal fortunes, Helphand had not sold out. His main interests had not altered, nor had he laid them aside: his approach, however, had. He still regarded himself as a socialist, and he was more than ever ready to help the socialist cause. But he would do so in his own way, and on his own terms. He had his old self-confidence, and he was near to achieving one of his most cherished aims. As a man of substance, with useful political connexions, he saw himself in a position to help his comrades in their hour of need. He was ready to make concessions to the realities of politics, but, above all, he was ready to act. And if he needed an explanation for his behaviour there was one at hand. He was observing, in the last days of peace, the
3

R. Abramovich, In Tsvei Revolutsiesy New York, 1944, vol. 1, p. 374.

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collapse of the Second International, the collapse of pre-war socialism, for which he had tried to do so much. It had paid no regard to him, and it had achieved little or nothing. And now the war, which he had foreseen a long time ago, was about to break out. It mattered little to Helphand that it had been set off in a fortuitous manner, by a young fanatic in a small provincial town in Bosnia. It was the war he had been waiting for, and he found the perspectives that it opened up not at all displeasing. He envisaged the road to socialism as leading across the ruins of the middle-class national states, rather than through the tidy avenues of the existing order. In the weeks immediately before and after the outbreak of war, Helphand plunged into feverish activity. Agitation on behalf of the Central Powers, economic mobilization of the Ottoman Empire, and the first subversive moves against Russia, kept him fully occupied in Constantinople. From Turkey, Helphand extended his agitation in Germany's favour to Bulgaria and Rumania. The two countries were still neutral, and both the belligerent camps desired their entry into the war on one side or the other. Helphand made use of the local socialist press: a few days after the outbreak of the war, the Bucharest Zapta and the Rabotnichesky Vestnik carried the same article by him, with the telling title Tor Democracy—Against Tsarism'.4 His old habit of writing, and his skill as a journalist now stood Helphand in good stead. The socialists were, however, divided: a situation which had had no place in their thinking before the war—namely, that the workers would face each other on opposite sides of the battle-lines—became a stark reality. The new situation forced the socialists to take an unequivocal decision, and Helphand, too, made it. In the course of proving it acceptable, to himself and to his comrades, he put forward some interesting arguments. But they could no longer move in the vacuous world of pure socialist theory: it had to be tailored to fit the hard facts of war. He wrote, in the Rumanian and Bulgarian socialist organs, that there was no point whatever in discussing the question of war
4

A German translation of the article later appeared in Die Glocke, 1915, pp. 77-85.

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guilt. The war simply carried on the economic competition of the imperialist states by military means, and those socialists who looked for the causes of the war in diplomatic intrigues, had forgotten, according to Helphand, to 'think in the socialist manner'. The war was not merely a temporary breach of an essentially harmonious capitalist order: it should be transformed into a vehicle of socialism.The crisis of capitalism, he pointed out, must be exploited for the sake of a social revolution. This was the proper task of socialist policy in the war. The socialists could not therefore afford to stand aside during the hostilities: but for whom—and this was the crucial question, especially in the countries not yet committed one way or the other—should they fight? According to Helphand, the choice before them was clear. Germany, with her powerful workers' organization, embodied progress. Since Russian absolutism was to be found on the other side, in the Entente camp, no further proof was needed as to where the enemies of socialism were to be found. He informed the Rumanian and the Bulgarian socialists that the victory of the Entente would bring about the triumph of Tsarism, which, in turn, would do infinite harm to the cause of revolution in Russia, while inaugurating a 'new era of boundless capitalist exploitation' in the whole of Europe. The workers' parties everywhere had to unite in their struggle against Tsarism. It was one way of looking at the war, and its appeal to some continental socialists was not at all badly calculated. It was inspired by Helphand's profound hatred of the Tsarist regime; the achievement of a revolution in Russia was the aim of all Helphand's thinking about the war. He disregarded the demands a victorious German empire might make on Russia; he was unconcerned with the strengthening of the semi-absolutist German State; the implied defeat of the French and English democracies were outside his field of vision. Later in the war he would have to make concessions and compromises, and all of them in the direction of German chauvinism. Helphand regarded himself neither as a chauvinist, nor as a renegade from the socialist movement. No price was too high, as far as he was concerned, for the destruction of Tsarism. His

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concern for Germany's victory made him of course a bitter opponent of any kind of revolutionary movement inside Germany, during the hostilities. The reasons he gave were that the destruction of Tsarism would, in its turn, considerably weaken the reactionary forces in Germany, and help to accelerate the development of socialist revolutions everywhere. But writing for socialist newspapers could not occupy Helphand fully: there was a lot to do on the spot, in Turkey. First of all, the Government had to be persuaded to join the war, on the side of the Central Powers: before it could do so successfully, it would have to undertake the mobilization of the country's economic resources. The German Ambassador to Constantinople was of the same opinion.5 In this respect also, Helphand's services could be of use. He was mainly concerned with the supply of grain to the Turkish capital, and with the modernization of the Turkish railways. By swift improvisation, he succeeded in obtaining grain from Anatolia and Bulgaria; from Germany and Austria, he imported railway equipment as well as spare parts for the milling industry.6 By assisting Turkey in her economic preparations, he made a substantial contribution to her early entry into the war. The personal profit he made enabled him to extend his business interests to many parts of Europe. After Turkey, he turned his attention to Bulgaria, where he carried out similar work. The call-up of the Turkish Army was followed by Helphand's first wartime experiment in subversion against the Tsarist regime. In Vienna and in Lvov, the Ukrainians—also known as the Ruthenes, whose western settlements extended into the Habsburg Empire—had set up a society called the Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine; after the outbreak of the war, it began to agitate extensively in the press and in the camps of the Russian prisoners of war. The Union aimed at the establishment of the Russian Ukraine as an independent state, and it soon began to receive protection and financial support from official quarters in
5

AA. (Auswärtiges Amt. Unpublished documents in the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry.) Telegram No. 362 to the Foreign Ministry, 22 July 1914, in Deutschland Nr. 128 geh. 6 cf. Parvus, 'Meine Entfernung aus der Schweiz', in Die Glocke, 1919, p. 1488; also K. Haenisch, op. cit., p. 34.

V (a) Christo Rakovsky

Radio Times Hulton Picture Library

(b) Karl Radek, 1924

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek,Vienna

Ullstein Bilderdienst

VI. Rosa Luxemburg (left) and Helphand (centre)

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Vienna and Berlin. The Austrian and the German Governments were now favouring, eagerly but without much discrimination, a variety of activities aimed at the weakening of the Tsarist Empire. They put considerable sums at the disposal of the Union, and then placed it under the control of the Foreign Ministry in Vienna.7 Towards the end of September, the Union put forward a plan for direct military action against Russia. It was suggested that an expeditionary force should be dispatched to the Ukraine where it would incite rebellion, behind the front, against Tsarist rule. Two of the Union's leaders, Marian Basok-Melenevski and Dr. Leo Hankiewicz, left Vienna for the Balkans; they intended to explore the situation in the area surrounding the region of their proposed action, as well as to secure additional assistance. The heads of the Austrian diplomatic missions to Constantinople and to Sofia were advised by the Foreign Ministry of the impending arrival of the two Ukrainians, and asked to assist them in every way.8 Melenevski had known Helphand since the Iskra days at the turn of the century, and Helphand's attitude to the war had been received with special attention by the socialist contingent inside the Ukrainian Union. It was therefore Helphand, rather than Pallavicini, the Austrian Ambassador, whom Melenevski at once sought out in Constantinople. Helphand was ready to assist his Ukrainian friends. First, he gave Melenevski a letter of introduction to the editors of the big Constantinople newspapers; towards the end of October, the Tasviri Efkar printed the first proclamation by the Union, and the Austrian Ambassador at once reported to Vienna on this initial success of Melenevski's mission.9 At the same time, the Armenian and the Georgian socialists also declared themselves for the independence of their countries. They, too, found encouragement from Helphand. His house in Constantinople became the
Memorandum by Consul Heinze, 6 August 1914, AA, WK 2; for the Austrian side cf. HHuStA (Haus-, Hof-, und Staatsarchiv. Unpublished documents in the Vienna State Archives), P.A.Krieg 21, 948. 8 The Foreign Minister to Pallavicini and to Freiherr von Mittag, 29 September 1914, HHuStA, P.A.Krieg 8b, 902. 9 Pallavicini to Berchtold, 22 October 1914, HHuStA, P.A.Krieg 8b, 902. M.R.-K
7

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meeting-place of both the nationalist and the socialist conspirators against the Tsarist Empire. At the same time—late in October 1914—Basok-Melenevski asked Helphand for his permission to publish, by the Ukrainian Union, his article 'For Democracy—Against Tsarism'. Helphand gladly gave his consent, and then proceeded to use the opportunity to formulate his attitude to the question of national revolutions. He did so in a special preface to the pamphlet, the translation of his essay, which appeared in Constantinople in December 1914. He perceived the revolutionary energy in nationalism, and he was prepared to harness it for the purpose of the overthrow of the Tsarist regime. The experience of the year 1905 had shown, he explained, that the greatest reserves of power at the disposal of the autocracy lay in the tight administrative centralization of the Russian Empire. The socialist opposition could, in his opinion, achieve success only if it allied itself with the national minorities. The centralized, autocratic state had to be replaced by a 'free union of all the nations of the large Empire'. He told Basok-Melenevski, without much ado, that he thought it pointless for the national leaders to continue to organize their activities in exile; Helphand maintained that the revolutionary movement would remain ineffectual if it confined itself purely to the traditional pastimes of exile. The work performed on the spot, in Russia, was what mattered. In this respect, however, there existed no differences between the two men. The Union's plans for the dispatch of its own private army to Russia met with Helphand's full approval. In the course of the preparations for the expedition, Melenevski introduced Helphand to Dr. Zimmer, who was now supervising the activities of the Union on behalf of the Austrian and German diplomatic missions. Like Helphand, Zimmer knew the Balkans well; he was the son of a German industrialist from Mannheim, and he had settled, in 1909, as a gentleman-farmer on the Black Sea. He had taken an interest in the tensions resulting from the national aspirations of the minority groups in Russia: when, in September 1914, he offered his services to the German Embassy to Constantinople, they were gratefully accepted. He was entrusted with the general, on-the-spot supervision of the

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revolutionary movements supported by the German and the Austrian Governments. The Ukrainian Union benefited greatly from the co-operation between Zimmer and Helphand. On 2 December, Pallavicini again reported to Vienna on the surprising success of Melenevski's mission. His valuable socialist connexions, Pallavicini indicated, gave Melenevski the entry into Russian Social Democrat circles, and secured the Russian socialist's support for the policy of the Ukrainian Union. And two days before, Count Tarnowski, the Austrian Minister to Sofia, had also reported in an optimistic manner on the work of Dr. Hankiewicz, the local representative of the Union. Dr. Hankiewicz, who had made contact with a number of politicians and journalists, also entertained, in Tarnowski's words, 'certain secret relations' with assorted socialists.10 In the meantime, the Union had succeeded in recruiting the nucleus of the expeditionary force. There now existed a group of Ukrainians and Caucasians who were prepared to carry out subversive activities deep behind the fronts, in Russia's hinterland. But Zimmer's private army never left Constantinople: the project which had begun with high promise came to a pitiful end. The mistakes made during the past weeks now became painfully apparent. First of all, in its endeavour to recruit enough volunteers, the Union had engaged men who were in fact quite unsuited to partisan and subversive work. They possessed no expert knowledge or experience of such activities, their approach to the difficult task was amateur, with too much sense of adventure and too little military organization. And, worst of all, they had no notion of the meaning of security. As early as November 1914— to the surprise of the governments in Berlin and Vienna—the Russian émigré press published the first reports on the activities of the Ukrainian Union.11 In these articles early in the war, the first sinister reports of Helphand's subversive activities appeared: for the first time the web of rumour, that later was to be spun
10

11

Pallavicini to the Foreign Ministry, telegram No. 898, and Count Tarnowski to Consul Urban, telegram No. 1256, of 30 November 1914. HHuStA, P.A.Krieg 8b, 902. Golos, 11 November 1914; cf. P. S. Melgunov, Zolotoi nemetskii klyuch, Paris, 1940, pp. 18-20.

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in such complexity that it was impossible to disentangle, began to gather around his name. He had to learn how to deal with it; we shall have occasion to observe what kind of technique he developed. This first time, however, he was convinced that the Russian émigrés in Switzerland and in France could know but little, and he flatly denied his connexions with the Union.12 Finally, the whole enterprise came to a complete standstill when Enver Pasha raised objections against the expedition on strategic grounds. Supported by General Liman von Sanders, a German who was then in Turkish services, Enver succeeded in having the dispatch of the expeditionary force postponed until Turkey should have gained naval supremacy in the Black Sea. This was in the middle of November, a few days after Turkey entered, on the side of the Central Powers, into the war.13 Despite the failure of the Union to advance beyond political agitation, Helphand was far from discouraged. He had convinced himself, by the beginning of December 1914, that he possessed an unfailing method for the overthrow of the Tsarist regime. It could not long resist a direct alliance between the Central Powers and the Russian revolutionaries, between the Prussian guns and the Russian proletariat. Although the motives of the two parties to the alliance differed, in the defeat and overthrow of Tsarism they shared an immediate aim. Helphand believed this alliance to be of immense and immediate advantage to both sides; he was quite unconcerned with their obvious incompatibility, or with the difficulties which lay in the distant future. It was early in January 1915 that he asked Zimmer to arrange a meeting for him with the German Ambassador to Constantinople. On 7 January Freiherr von Wangenheim received Helphand, who put the following plan before him: 'The interests of the German government', Helphand stated bluntly, 'are identical with those of the Russian revolutionaries.' Helphand said that the 'Russian Democrats could only achieve their aim by the total destruction of Tsarism and the division of Russia into smaller states. On the
12
13

cf. 'Ein Verleumdungswerk', in Die Glocke, 1915, p. 127. Pallavicini to the Foreign Ministry, telegram No. 837, 17 November 1914, HHuStA, P.A.Krieg 8b, 902.

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other hand, Germany would not be completely successful if it were not possible to kindle a major revolution in Russia. However, there would still be a danger to Germany from Russia, even after the war, if the Russian Empire were not divided into a number of separate parts.' Some of the Russian revolutionaries were already at work; there was, however, still a certain lack of cohesion between the various factions. The Mensheviks, for instance, had not yet joined forces with the Bolsheviks; Helphand told the Ambassador that he saw it as his task 'to create unity and organize a rising on a broad basis'. A congress of the Russian revolutionary leaders should meet, possibly in Geneva, as the first step towards restoring unity; but for all this, considerable sums of money would be needed. Helphand expected, however, the Imperial Government in Berlin to do more than dole out money for the purposes of the revolution in Russia. He was confident, Helphand told the Ambassador, that the German Social Democrats would be rewarded, for their 'patriotic attitude', by an immediate improvement in primary schools and in average working hours. The following day, on 8 January, Wangenheim reported on the conversation with Helphand in a detailed telegram to the Foreign Ministry.14 The Ambassador stressed the 'useful services' which Helphand had rendered in Constantinople, and added that the attitude of this 'well-known Russian socialist and publicist' had been, since the beginning of the war, 'definitely pro-German'; he also transmitted Helphand's request that he should be allowed to present his plans personally to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Helphand, for his part, came away from the meeting with Wangenheim with the impression that he could expect a favourable reception at the Wilhelmstrasse. He set off on the trip before the telegram reached the Foreign Ministry. He made a number of stops on the way: the first one in Bucharest, where he arrived on 9 January. Of the local socialists, Helphand knew Dimitru Marinescu and Dobrogeanu-Gherea; but most important, his old friend Rakovsky was now back in the Rumanian capital, leading the local party and editing its daily newspaper.
14

Z. A. B. Zeman, Germany and the Revolution in Russia, document No. 1, London, 1958.

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Helphand knew he had to tread carefully in Bucharest. A few weeks before his arrival there, Südekum, the Reichstag deputy, had visited the Rumanian capital on a mission sponsored by the German Foreign Ministry and by the party executive, in an attempt to influence the local socialists in Germany's favour. Südekum had succeeded only in bringing the Rumanian socialists under suspicion of having accepted political subsidies from Berlin. And as far as Helphand was concerned, their attitude to the war by no means corresponded to his own. The party leaders were determined to remain neutral and to keep their country out of the war. Though at all events preferable to war on Germany, neutrality did not necessarily imply an anti-German attitude. Helphand understood the position of the Rumanian socialists, and he made no attempt to win them over for the policy of an alliance with Germany. Helphand understood the Balkan milieu well, and he was much more successful than Südekum. If he wanted assurance of a 'well-disposed' neutrality, Marinescu and Gherea were quite prepared to give it. Rakovsky, on the other hand, could see beyond the narrow confines of local politics: with him, Helphand could speak quite openly, and not only about the Rumanian situation. All the evidence points to the fact that Rakovsky declared himself ready to accept subsidies for the Rumanian party, and that he agreed with Helphand's plans in regard to Russia. Three days after Helphand's arrival in Bucharest, the German Minister there, von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen (who had been advised by the Foreign Ministry of Helphand's impending visit) telegraphed Berlin that he was now in a position to let the Rumanian socialists 'have money in an inconspicuous manner', and he asked for the approval of an expenditure of 100,000 lei.15 On the day when the approval from Berlin reached Bucharest, Bussche met the socialist leader personally, for the first time. Nevertheless, at the party congress in the same year, Rakovsky claimed that only Helphand himself had subscribed 300 lei for the socialist newspaper, a sum which was later paid back.16 At the time of the
15

16

Zernan, op. cit., document No. 84, note 1. Internationale Korrespondenz, Berlin, 1915, No. 45, p. 545.

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congress Rakovsky was the main speaker at a socialist mass demonstration for peace, which Bussche described as having been 'supported by me and the Austro-Hungarian Minister'. After Rumania's entry into the war on the Entente side, the Rumanian police arrested Rakovsky at the end of 1916, on charges of having conducted propaganda against the war. In 1917, after Rumania's speedy defeat, Rakovsky emerged in Stockholm, running, as usual, a Rumanian socialist newspaper. He then asked the German authorities to allow his wife transit across Germany so that she could come and join him in Sweden. Bussche was now in Berlin, working as Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign Ministry; he supported Rakovsky's request, stating quite plainly that 'formerly, Rakovsky was connected with us and working for us in Rumania'. There is an ironic postscript to the story. When Rakovsky stood in the dock at the great Moscow trial of, in Stalinist official jargon, the 'Block of Rights and Trotskyites', Vishinsky made, on behalf of the prosecution, precisely the same charge against Rakovsky. The veteran socialist, the former Soviet Ambassador to London, might well have wondered where the public prosecutor got his information. However, in January 1915 Helphand had every reason to be satisfied with the outcome of his lightning descent on Bucharest. In a matter of a few hours, he succeeded where a prominent German socialist had failed so dismally. He was now moving fast. When Bussche asked the Berlin office for a special allowance of 100,000 lei, Helphand had already spent two days in the Bulgarian capital. He arrived in Sofia on 10 January. He was well known among the Bulgarian socialists who still regarded him, in a rather outdated way, as an orthodox Marxist, a leading critic of revisionist tendencies. The party was divided at the time into two factions; the 'narrow' and the 'broad' socialists. The split had been caused by a problem—the attitude to the small peasants—similar to that which had occupied the Germans during the agrarian debate in the eighteen-nineties. Because of the position he had then taken, Helphand was held in especially high esteem by the 'narrow' faction of the Bulgarian party. Although its leaders, Dimitar Blagoev and Georgi Kirkov, hardly differed from their

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Rumanian comrades in their attitude to the war, they thought they owed it to Helphand, their old comrade-in-arms, to enable him to put his ideas before a large audience. They invited him to appear as one of the main speakers at a mass meeting on the following day. His name retained its old power of attraction among the Bulgarian socialists. On 11 January 1915, some 4,000 people assembled in a hall called 'New America', the largest theatre in town, and when Helphand arrived on the platform he was greeted by 'tumultuous applause'.17 What Helphand had to say, however, soon made the ovations die down. Tsarism, he pointed out, threatened European democracy. The achievements of socialism were being threatened by the Russian
Army, and Germany was carrying the main burden in the struggle

against Muscovite absolutism. He then came out into the open. He exhorted the Bulgarians to enter the war on the side of Germany. Her victory, he said, was not only necessary in the interest of socialism, but also for the national development of the Balkan states, and for the independence of the Ukrainians, the Caucasians, and the Poles. By the time Helphand finished the speech there was an icy silence in the hall. The Bulgarian socialists were clearly not prepared to budge from their position of neutrality. Some time before the meeting, Plekhanov, the founder-father of Russian Marxism, had been trying to do, on behalf of Russia, what Helphand was now doing on behalf of Germany. They were both utterly unsuccessful. In the party organ, Nove Vreme, Blagoev wrote that Helphand, like Plekhanov, was a patriot and a chauvinist. The Berlin party leadership, which Helphand had defended with conviction, had, in Blagoev's view, betrayed the German workers on 4 August 1914. The true representatives of the German proletariat, Blagoev hopefully believed, were the extremists around Rosa Luxemburg, Liebknecht, and Mehring, who had openly condemned the war. And then the pro-Russian Bulgarian patriots also chipped in. They furiously attacked first Helphand's political line, and then his personal integrity. They dismissed him as an agent of German
17

D. Blagoev, Izbrany Proizvedeniya; 'Plekhanov i Parvus', Sofia, 1951, vol. 2, pp. 669-

76.

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Imperialism, a traitor to socialism; they made it quite plain that he was a man who could be bought, a shady businessman who had made a fortune by sinister transactions, and in whose support for the German Government pecuniary motives played a large part. Helphand believed that the press campaign against him had been inspired by the Russian legation in Sofia: be it as it may, his visit there brought him a lot of publicity but little success. The German Minister himself, von Michahelles, a conventional and reserved diplomat of the old school, could not quite believe in Helphand's authenticity as a political adviser: the two men got on very badly. In contrast to Bussche in Bucharest, who was open-minded and who had a flair for political improvisation, Michahelles had no time for experiments of Helphand's kind. It was to Bussche that Helphand reported on his mission to Bulgaria; he returned to the Rumanian capital at the end of January. Early the following month, Helphand arrived in Vienna. He was much more interested in establishing contacts with the remaining Russian exiles than with the local Austrian socialists. Most of the Russians of the large pre-war colony in the Habsburg capital had been compelled, as enemy aliens, to cross the frontier into Switzerland on the outbreak of the war; Helphand was fortunate that Ryazanov was among those who had stayed behind. As an expert on Marx, Ryazanov enjoyed a good reputation among the Austrian and German socialists; he was wellconnected in Vienna, in the university and official circles, and felt quite at home there. He was an old friend of Helphand. A long time before their reunion in 1915, they had been pupils, in the eighteen-nineties, at the same school in Odessa. When Ryazanov came to Germany at the turn of the century, Helphand introduced him to the German socialist leaders and arranged for his contributions to appear in Kautsky's monthly, Neue Zeit. And since the split in the Russian Social Democrat party in 1903, both men were highly critical of the Russian party organization. In comparison with the mass movements in western Europe, they found it lacking, mainly on account of remoteness from the political realities in Russia. There existed striking political affinities between the two men: in St. Petersburg in 1905,

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Ryazanov emerged as the leading member of the group of 'Parvusists'. Their friendship was based on a similarity of political attitudes, as well as on certain features of character common to the two men. They were both too detached, too critical and self-confident to fit easily into an organization; although Ryazanov's tastes were more in the direction of precise scholarship—he later became the Director of the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute in Moscow—the two friends were united in their contempt for intellectual mediocrity, and convinced of the originality of their own ideas. There were, however, differences in their attitudes to the war: Ryazanov sympathized with the internationalists—who were opposed to participation by the socialists in the war—around Trotsky, Martov, and the circle of their friends connected with the newspaper Nashe Slovo in Paris. This did not, however, stop Ryazanov offering his friend hospitality at his house in Vienna. Helphand stayed there a few months after Lenin had done so, when the Austrian authorities had allowed the Bolshevik leader, after a brief term of imprisonment, to proceed on his trip to Switzerland. The stay with Ryazanov was of the utmost importance for Helphand, and he made good use of it. He was looking for up-todate information about the Russian Social Democrat exiles: on their policies and mood, on their latest alliances and enmities. His host was in a position to provide it. Ryazanov had at his house all the important legal and illegal publications; he was in touch with the Russian party leaders, and he knew what they were doing and thinking. Such information was just as important for Helphand as the private contacts with the Russian socialists, which Ryazanov was able easily to establish. Through Ryazanov, Helphand opened up another secret channel which led deep into the complex network of the Russian socialist groups. Ryazanov's past tied him to Helphand with links of affection and political sympathies; he was not a man of petty scruple who was afraid to compromise for the sake of tactical advantage. It did not require a high degree of political sophistication to perceive that the Russian socialists—and in particular those who had, or were about to declare themselves against the war—were a small, divided, and isolated group, and that they

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might need allies who could offer concrete assistance. Ryazanov had every reason to believe that Helphand would become such an ally. His work did not go unrewarded. Among the few extant papers that Helphand left behind him there is a banker's order for 5,000 marks, made out in Ryazanov's favour in 1915.18 There were a few other small matters for Helphand to attend to in Vienna. Ryazanov introduced him to Abramovich, a member of the Menshevik central committee, and one of the leaders of the Jewish socialist Bund. He was deeply impressed by Helphand, but not so much as to approve of his attitude to the war.19 Helphand also talked to the editor-in-chief of the Italian newspaper Avanti, Geaccinto Serrati, who assured him that Italy would remain neutral: Helphand told the German Ambassador to Vienna, von Tschirschky, about the views of the Italian journalist.20 Helphand was now ready to go to Berlin. He had done a great deal on his way from Constantinople, and he had gathered much of the information he needed. His was not a return of the prodigal son. Some five years earlier, Helphand had stopped in Vienna on his way to the Near East. He was then a penniless journalist, living from hand to mouth, driven by the need for temporary escape and by the desire for adventure. Now, although he had broken some more of the unwritten rules of socialism—he had made too much money, and his connexions with the powers-thatbe were too intimate—he could face his comrades with confidence. He thought they could use his services, and he knew he could use theirs. His material circumstances had changed considerably; so had his political position. He was now one of those socialists who approved of the war: that he did so for other than patriotic reasons was not immediately apparent. He had had the first taste, in Constantinople and in Sofia, of the kind of price he would have to pay. A new picture of his personality would soon emerge: the image of a radical socialist and revolutionary would be overlaid by that of a propagandist of Germany's victory. It was not too
18 19
20

Nachlass Helphand, Report 92. Abramovich, In Tsvei Revolutsies, vol. 1, p. 374. AA, von Tschirschky to Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, 10 February 1915, in WK IIC sec.

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high a price: it would not mean his exclusion from the socialist ranks. He had had his first encounters with the German diplomats, the men who were now going to play an important role in his life. Some of them trusted him, but none entirely, and he did not trust them. In the world they were accustomed to, he cut a bizarre figure; it would take some time, especially for the stiff butterflycollar men, to come to terms with his existence, let alone with his political plans. He of course did not have to tell them everything, and he very rarely did. He became used to operating in the shadowy background of the political stage: he became accustomed to the exercise of influence without ever appearing as one of the leading actors. He could be anonymous when he chose to, and withdrawn. From this position Helphand was able to observe the world with equanimity and, perhaps, even with contempt.

7
Between the Socialists and the Diplomats
The interview with the Ambassador to Constantinople early in January had brought Helphand firmly to the attention of the Foreign Ministry. It set in motion an intricate and powerful machinery with which he was, as yet, little acquainted. On 10 January, von Jagow, the State Secretary, gave his agreement to Helphand's reception at the Wilhelmstrasse; Dr. Kurt Riezler was sent over from the General Headquarters to Berlin 'with more detailed instructions', but Helphand was not to be told where Riezler had come from.1 Dr. Max Zimmer, who had returned from Constantinople, was also invited to Helphand's audience in the Foreign Ministry, not, of course, without having first been pledged to special secrecy. Helphand's meeting with the diplomats took place at the end of February: because of the nature of the business on hand, no record of it was made. We are, however, fortunate in possessing a detailed memorandum which Helphand handed in to the Foreign Ministry a few days later, on 9 March 1915. It gives an accurate picture of Helphand's part in the conversation. It is a unique document, a plan, on a vast scale, for subversion of the Tsarist Empire. Helphand put a three-point plan before the German diplomats. He suggested that support be given to the parties working for social revolution in Russia, as well as to the minority nations which were striving for independence from the Tsarist Empire; he proposed the infiltration of Russia by propaganda, and an international press campaign against Tsarism. In regard to the support of the refractory nationalist groups, Helphand put forward detailed suggestions on the way in which the programme of national subversion could best be carried out.
1

Zeman, Germany and the Revolution in Russia, document No. 2.

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In his view, the Ukrainians occupied the key position among the minority nations; he regarded the conflict of economic interests between the Ukrainian peasants and the Russian landowners as especially promising. The Ukraine was the corner-stone which, once removed, would destroy the centralized state. More than a quarter of a century later, Alfred Rosenberg, one of the Nazi experts on Helphand, incidentally held and practised precisely the same views. Finland offered, according to Helphand, a similar promise. The Finns had opposed Russian rule in 1905, and they were ready to resume their fight for independence. Helphand recommended that the Swedish Government should draw the Finns into negotiations, and that military and political contacts should be established between Berlin and Helsinki in order to prepare the Finns for an armed uprising against Russia. He laid special stress on the fact that these contacts would be valuable, before the outbreak of the revolution in Russia, for intelligence and communications. The easiest way of smuggling arms and explosives into the Russian capital led across the Finnish frontier. Helphand was less optimistic about the chances of success in the multi-national area of the Caucasus. The independence movement in the South was fragmentary because of the existence of various national groups: Helphand recommended consultation with the Turkish Government. He suggested that the Turks should convince the Moslems of the Caucasus to conduct a Holy War on Russia only with the support of the local Christians. Helphand expected the Armenians and the Georgians to give the most vigorous lead; agitation among the Kuban cossacks could also be conducted from Turkey, through the Ukrainian liberation movement. It was, however, the support of the socialist opposition that lay at the centre of Helphand's interest. The history of the first Russian revolution of 1905 had shown that the Tsarist Government needed speedy victories in order to counter the growing discontent of the population. Since the development of the war had dashed such hopes to the ground, it could now be assumed that the refractory forces of nationalism would ally themselves with the socialist revolutionary movements. It was, Helphand

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insisted, in Germany's interest to accelerate this development. First of all, connexions with the local strike committees had to be established. Apart from the industrial areas in the South—the Donets basin, the oil industry in Baku and on the Black Sea, as well as the Black Sea merchant marine—Helphand emphasized the revolutionary potential of Siberia. A large part of the population there was made up of political exiles, the military forces stationed in Siberia were weak, and centres of political and military subversion could easily be established. At the same time, preparations should be made to facilitate the flight of the exiled revolutionaries to European Russia. In this way, St. Petersburg would gain 'many thousands of the ablest agitators'. Helphand regarded the local movements as a basis on which, early in the following year, a general strike could be organized: it should be conducted under the slogan 'Freedom and Peace'. He then singled out the Putilov, Obukhov, and Baltic works in St. Petersburg as the centres of industrial unrest; the support of the railwaymen for the strike he regarded as of the highest importance. He was convinced that 'Strikes here and there, the risings produced by distress and the increase in political agitation will all embarrass the Tsarist government. If it takes reprisals, this will result in growing bitterness: if it shows indulgence, this will be interpreted as a sign of weakness and fan the flames of the revolutionary movement even more.'2 Helphand made it quite clear to the German diplomats that the Russian Social Democrats were alone capable of organizing the strike: he pointed to the Bolsheviks, under Lenin's leadership, as the most effective organization. He thought it essential that all the socialist groups that were to be supported by Germany should form a united front. The Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks would have to come to an agreement; the Jewish Bund, the Spilka (the Ukrainian organization), the two Social Democrat parties of Poland, as well as those of Lithuania and Finland, would also be represented. A socialist congress of unity in Switzerland or in another neutral country, Helphand regarded as the most suitable way of achieving this aim. Finally, the press campaign that was to be conducted inside
2

Zeman, op. cit., Appendix I, Memorandum by Dr. Helphand, p. 144.

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and outside Russia; infiltration of pacifist propaganda should be accompanied by support for the émigré press, in so far as it took an anti-war, defeatist line. Helphand mentioned Golos—which later appeared under the name Nashe Slovo—as a newspaper which maintained a 'thoroughly objective attitude' to the war. Helphand envisaged a world-wide drive for peace and against Tsarism, in which the socialist press of all countries would play an important part; he saw the two campaigns, inside and outside Russia, as closely linked. He added that the United States, because of the 'enormous number of Jews and Slavs there', who represented a Very receptive element for anti-Tsarist agitation', deserved some special attention. Such was the plan Helphand put before the German diplomats. Attached to the March memorandum, however, there was a fivepage supplement: its appearance and contents differ from the main body of the document, and it is very likely that it was added a few days later. Helphand summed up in it the result of his activities in Bucharest, Sofia, and Vienna, as well as adding a few afterthoughts on the contents of the memorandum. He regarded the Balkan trip as a success. A change of mood in favour of Germany was noticeable in the Rumanian as well as in the Bulgarian press. 'The Bulgarian press is now completely pro-German, and there is a noticeable swing in the attitude of the Rumanian press. The provisions which we have made will soon show even better results.'3 Helphand also reported that he had succeeded in establishing the first contacts, through Sofia, with the organization of the Russian sailors in Odessa, and he hoped that he would be able to maintain the connexion through Amsterdam. He then concluded the supplement with an elevenpoint programme, which somewhat modified the views expressed in the main part of the memorandum. He now gave the Bolsheviks the key place in his revolutionary plans. Under point 1, Helphand wrote: 'Financial support for the majority group [i.e. the Bolsheviks] of the Russian Social Democrats, which is fighting the Tsarist government with all the means at its disposal. Its leaders are in Switzerland.'4 In Helphand's opinion, Lenin's experienced group of professional revolu3

Zeman, op. cit., p. 150.

4

ibid., p. 150.

Radio Times Hulton Picture Library

VII. Lenin and his sister

VIII. Konrad Haenisch

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna

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tionaries offered the best guarantee of success for the mass strike; his previous central idea of a socialist congress of unity was now relegated to the eighth place. After the reference to the Bolsheviks, Helphand's second point mentioned the possibility of strikes in Odessa and Nikolaev. Helphand had already put out the first feelers to South Russia: we shall have occasion to discuss the events in Nikolaev, where the strike movement in January 1916 reached the highest pitch of intensity. It was not the day-dream of a fanatical conspirator: Helphand had drafted a blue-print for the revolution. It was practical, detailed, with all its parts creating an impressive whole—and it was original. Helphand worked with the combined forces of national and social disintegration; he built on the experiences of 1905, knowing that the World War would provide a more suitable background than the Russo-Japanese War to revolutionary events. He spoke of the 'preparations for a political mass strike', rather than of the organization of the revolution, which, in his view, was latent, needing only the appropriate impulse for its release. Helphand's plan for subversion was a calculated and sophisticated policy aimed at knocking Russia out of the war. He was prepared to use every means for the achievement of this aim. 'Thus the armies of the Central Powers and the revolutionary movement will shatter the colossal political centralization which is the embodiment of the Tsarist Empire and which will be a danger to world peace for as long as it is allowed to survive, and will conquer the stronghold of political reaction in Europe.'5 He nevertheless left open the question of which other states in Europe would be deprived of protection by the downfall of Tsarism, the 'stronghold of political reaction'. There was no need, Helphand may well have thought, to spell out all his intentions for the benefit of the German diplomats. The strategy Helphand suggested can, of course, be faulted on grounds of the long-term incompatibility of the two partners to the alliance. He knew about it, but that was not, at the time, his concern. In the long run he expected socialism to benefit more than the Central Powers: early in 1915, Helphand was in fact
5

ibid., p. 150. M.R.-L

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deceiving the diplomats rather than the socialists. His indirectly expressed intention—to make socialism into the leading force in Europe with the help of Imperial Germany—shows that his readiness to co-operate with the Berlin Government was not, as Lenin came to suspect, based on Helphand's German chauvinism. He was working with the Imperial Government, but not for it; he was sufficiently independent, financially and politically, to indulge in his own pursuits. The situation had a certain ironic quality: he was helping capitalism to dig its own grave. The diplomats, confident of the strength of their own position, cared even less than Helphand about the long-term incompatibility of the allies. Helphand was offering them a lot, and he had made his appearance on the scene at the right time. The ground had been prepared for him. On 18 November 1914, Falkenhayn, then the Chief of the General Staff, informed the Reich Chancellor that the war situation was serious. The failure of the Marne offensive had convinced the German military leaders that the opportunity for a decisive, lightning victory had been lost. Germany was now facing the danger of collapsing, after a protracted war of attrition, in face of the material preponderance of the Allies. The military leaders therefore requested the Chancellor to take steps to break the enemy alliance by political means. The Reich rulers were thinking in terms of a separate peace with either France or Russia: it would leave them in a better position for the settling of accounts with Britain. The first peace feelers put out to Paris brought no encouraging results. And as the hopes for a separate peace in the West declined, the expectations for an agreement with the Tsar rose. Falkenhayn and Tirpitz in particular supported the idea of a peace in the East. It was Crown Prince Wilhelm who took it upon himself to open up contacts with the Court at St. Petersburg. In his letter to the Grossherzog von Hessen, on 6 February 1915, he was clearly excited and pleased with the idea: 'I am of the opinion that it is absolutely necessary to conclude a separate peace with Russia. First of all, it is too silly that we should hack each other to pieces only so that England could fish in dark waters, and then we would have to get all our forces back here, so that we could put the French in order, because this protracted stationary war costs

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much sacrifice, and it does not improve the morale of our troops. Could you not establish contact with Nikki [the Tsar] and advise him to agree with us amicably, the desire for peace is apparently very great in Russia—only we would have to get rid of that bastard Nikola Nikolaevich [the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces]. . . .'6 However, there existed serious objections against a separate peace in the east. Zimmermann, the Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign Ministry, argued that Russia, no less than England, was the Reich's enemy. 'The Russian is not a friend of ours. . . . Russia's ultimate aim is the union of all Slavs of the Balkans and of the Dual Monarchy under her rule. . . . I am convinced that we must, for the sake of our own desire for self-preservation, oppose, with all our strength, such a drive for Russia's expansion. If we don't settle accounts with our eastern neighbour now, we shall certainly run into new difficulties and another war, perhaps in a few years. . . .'7 Nevertheless, a separate peace with Russia remained the only way out of Germany's military impasse. The Reich Government soon decided to extend, in earnest, peace feelers to Russia; until the end of July 1915, separate peace in the East was thought to lie within the reach of Berlin. Helphand's March memorandum therefore fitted well into the general scheme. The German diplomats did not, of course, believe in any nonsense about ridding Russia of her dynasty and paving the way for socialism. But they were interested in the encouragement of internal unrest in Russia, in order to bring home the point, in St. Petersburg, that the conclusion of peace was urgent. The Foreign Ministry simply regarded the support of the Russian revolutionaries as a means of exerting pressure on the Tsar, and thus speeding up diplomatic negotiations. For Helphand, on the other hand, separate peace with the Tsar meant the collapse of his whole plan. Peace would free the Russian Government to suppress the revolution by force, in the same way as in 1905. This diversity of aim—the diplomats wanted peace, Helphand a revolution—was the main source of
6

7

E. Zechlin, in Das Parlament, 15 May 1963, p. 54. E. Zechlin, Das Parlament, 17 May 1961, pp. 275-7.

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friction between them in the early months of their co-operation. Helphand never tired of warning the diplomats of the dangers of a separate peace with the Tsar. For their part, the diplomats were not greatly worried about the ultimate socialist aims Helphand was striving for. Only the Minister to Copenhagen, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, thought it necessary to point out, in a private letter to the Under State Secretary, the dangers involved in supporting Helphand: 'It might perhaps be risky to want to use the powers ranged behind Helphand, but it would certainly be an admission of our own weakness if we were to refuse their services out of fear of not being able to direct them. . . . Those who do not understand the signs of our times will never understand which way we are heading or what is at stake at this moment.'8 Both parties knew what they wanted, and were prepared to take risks. Peace with Russia and the victory of Germany, revolution and the triumph of socialism, were at stake. They were able to come to an agreement. From the middle of March 1915, Helphand became the leading adviser to the German Government on revolutionary affairs in Russia. His assignment was to organize a united front of European socialism against the Tsarist regime, and to enable the socialist party organizations in Russia to promote their country's collapse through defeatist propaganda, strikes, and sabotage. At the end of March he received, from the Foreign Ministry, the first payment of one million marks for these purposes. According to his request the money was transferred, 'exclusive of losses incurred in exchange', to Bucharest, Zürich, and Copenhagen.9 The Foreign Ministry also had the Prussian deportation order of 1893 against Helphand, withdrawn. He was issued with a police pass, which freed him from all the restrictions on enemy aliens then in force. But what of Helphand himself? Was he doing all this for the love of the game? Only partly. He represented a special kind of revolutionary: not for him were pockets stuffed with explosives and illegal literature, the secret codes and frontier crossings, and, at the end of the journey, imprisonment. Instead, he operated on a grand scale, using the levers of power: money, high-level con8

9

Zeman, Germany and the Revolution in Russia, document No. 5. ibid., document No. 3.

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tacts, a formidable machine of war. All this was sheer delight for him. Behind it there was a hard, calculating ambition. He was preparing the ground for his ultimate entry as a reformer, a saviour, the leader of the revolution. There was more than a hint of this in the suggestion he had made for a socialist congress of unity. The idea might well have occurred to him that, with the help of unlimited financial means, the Russian party could be reorganized. It could be converted, under his influence, from a factious clique of conspirators into an instrument of revolutionary power. Yet in the immediate future, Helphand had a difficult time before him. He had been out of touch with European socialism for nearly five years: the leaders of the German party he had known at the turn of the century had been replaced by a younger generation of politicians. Bebel, Auer, and Singer were dead; Karl Kautsky had severed his connexions with the party leadership and formed an alliance with Eduard Bernstein: they were highly critical of the conniving, by the majority of the German socialists, at the war. Rosa Luxemburg and Franz Mehring had made a clean break with the party, openly declaring their opposition to further war credits. Helphand knew none of the current party leaders: Hugo Haase, Friedrich Ebert, Philipp Scheidemann. They were all practical politicians; they had no interest in theory in general, nor in Helphand's past achievements in that field in particular. They did, however, know something of the scandals connected with his name, especially that of the Gorki affair. Then the rumours which reached Berlin from the Balkans, early in the war, did nothing to vindicate his reputation. Tales of his legendary riches, as well as the first critical references in the socialist newspapers to his work with the Ukrainian Union, preceded his arrival in Germany and again revived interest in Helphand, as well as the old, unforgotten resentments. The first calls Helphand made on his comrades in Berlin did not succeed in allaying their suspicions. Even those socialists who gave the Imperial Government their full support, whose political position was, in this regard, the same as Helphand's, found themselves unable to say anything in his favour. Hugo

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Haase, the chairman of the party, went as far as warning his comrades against any kind of contact with Helphand: he expressed the suspicion that Helphand was a Russian agent.10 Eduard David summed up the attitude of the party leadership to Helphand in his diary. 'A very splendid case indeed: an ultraradical revolutionary; a Russian informer, a scoundrel, a confidence trickster (Gorki affair!), and now a Turkish agent and speculator.11 When Parvus called on the editor of the party organ, Vorwärts, Heinrich Strobel received him with ill-concealed contempt. He was ironical and insulting; when Helphand complained that he could not get rid of the 'bad smell of his radical past', and that he still had not been granted German citizenship, Strobel advised him not to show so much 'selfassurance and talent' but simply to write 'patriotic articles like a good boy, as Haenisch was doing, and then he might even receive an honorary citizenship'.12 Nor were Helphand's former friends on the radical left of the party delighted by his return to Berlin. When he visited Rosa Luxemburg, she gave him no opportunity to speak and showed him the door. Helphand's second trip to her flat was also unsuccessful: by then, Rosa Luxemburg had been arrested. Karl Liebknecht, Clara Zetkin, and Leo Yogiches also received him coldly. Zetkin, who, at the Stuttgart party congress many years before, had been Helphand's only comrade to take his side in the controversy with Bernstein, now called him a 'souteneur of imperialism', who had sold out to the German Government. Helphand's appeals to their former friendship failed to make any impression. The break was final: their ways had parted, once and for all. Helphand was, however, tenacious, and he had one ally. His old friend Konrad Haenisch was completely on his side. On the outbreak of the war, Haenisch's radicalism had proved shallow: there was a hard patriotic core in him and, on 4 August 1914, he gave his whole-hearted support to the Government. He was glad that Helphand had reached, though in a different way, the
10
11
12

Südekum papers, entry for 1 March 1915 in the diary; Bundesarchiv Koblenz. Entry for 28 February 1915, Bundesarchiv Koblenz. H. Ströbel, Die Weltbühne, No. 51, 11 December 1919.

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same decision. He was one of the few German socialists to give Helphand an enthusiastic welcome. Owing to Haenisch's cautious mediation, Helphand succeeded, in the following months, in removing the suspicions of the right wing of the party under Eduard David and Lensch, as well as in gaining direct access to Ebert and Scheidemann. His reception in Germany was a foretaste of what was awaiting him in Switzerland, the home of most of the Russian exiles. But before he embarked on the trip to the decisive meetings with the Russians in Switzerland, Helphand returned, in the middle of April, to the Balkans. He first wanted to wind up his private affairs in Constantinople. On his way there he made a stop in Bucharest, where he once again met Rakovsky and Bussche, the German Minister. Having had a part of the one million marks the Foreign Ministry had put at his disposal transferred to a bank in the Rumanian capital, Helphand attempted to persuade Rakovsky —Trotsky's old friend and political associate—to siphon the money off to the Russian socialist exiles in Paris, who, under Trotsky, Martov, and Lunacharsky, were engaged in publishing the defeatist newspaper, Nashe Slovo. Helphand was probably successful: Trotsky said later, in New York, that he had received the money for Nashe Slovo mainly from Rakovsky.13 It is ironical to consider that it was Trotsky, who, a few weeks before Helphand's meeting with Rakovsky in Bucharest, had lashed out against his former friend in Nashe Slovo. In his 'Epitaph for a Living Friend', published in the middle of February, Trotsky drew a sharp distinction between the old radical Parvus before 1914, and the 'political Falstaff' and chauvinist who emerged after the outbreak of the war. Trotsky conceded that Helphand had been a figure of historical importance, a friend and a teacher of his. Since 4 August 1914, Parvus was, in Trotsky's eyes, dead. 'This is Parvus, whom, for many years, we saw as our friend, and whom we now have to place on the list of the politically deceased.'14 The distinction between the old and the new Parvus, first drawn by Trotsky, has remained valid for the
13

14

cf. David Shub, 'Lenin i Vilgelm II. Novoe o germano-bolshevitskom zagovore I 9 1 7 , Novy Zhurnal, June 1959, pp. 226-7. Nashe Slovo, 14 February 1915.

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communist publicists and historians. They still find words of praise for Parvus, the socialist thinker; Parvus in the war, on the other hand, is described as a chauvinist and a profiteer, a horrible example of the decline of the Second International. Trotsky's article certainly contributed to the hardening of opinion against his former friend in exile circles. Yet Helphand was anything but petty. Although Trotsky had made his mission more difficult, he was bent on swiftly carrying it out. He was not without assistance. About the time of the publication of Trotsky's article, Karl Radek was busy making Helphand the subject of a lively discussion among the Russian exiles in Switzerland. As a Jewish immigrant from Austrian Poland, Radek had joined the German party before the war. He then played a conspicuous role—first as Rosa Luxemburg's friend, later as her enemy—in the party's radical group. He was a talented and cynical publicist, and as such he had made his name in the German movement. On the outbreak of the war, in order to avoid military service in the Austro-Hungarian forces, Radek moved to Switzerland. His pacifist views did not prevent him from developing a warm admiration for Helphand. Helphand, for his own part, could not have wished for a better public-relations man. Though unpaid, Radek was very active on his behalf. He was fond of telling political anecdotes about Helphand in the Berne cafés, to any of the Russian exiles who cared to listen. Radek spun tales about Helphand's relations with Melenevski and the Ukrainian Union; even when he told of Helphand's affairs with women, or his dishonesty in financial matters, Radek did not really sound very disapproving. He may have felt that Helphand had realized a lot of what he himself was secretly desiring; his listeners certainly got the impression that there was in Radek a hipsch shtik—a good bit—of Helphand.15 In the middle of May 1915, Helphand himself arrived in Switzerland. The impression he made on the Russian exiles surpassed even Radek's fantastic yarns. Helphand did not just move into Bauer au Lac, one of the most expensive hotels in Zürich: he set up court there. He lived like an oriental potentate, surrounded by an ostentatious show of wealth. There was usually
15

A. Litwak, Geklibene Schriftn (in Yiddish), New York, 1945, p. 254.

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a retinue of rather well-endowed blondes about; his liking for enormous cigars was matched by his indulgence in champagne: preferably a whole bottle for breakfast. His appearance, too, had changed. His massive, gigantic figure was more puffed out than ever. The broad, bull-like face with its high forehead, tiny nose, and carefully trimmed beard, had developed a flabby double-chin, behind which his neck completely disappeared. The small lively eyes were deeply embedded in fat. His short legs were barely strong enough to support his body, and when he was standing up or walking, he seemed to use his arms to maintain himself on an even keel. This was not the man many of the Russian exiles remembered from the time of the first revolution when he was scraping a meagre living as a journalist, when his old and tattered clothes made him, even in appearance, one of them. Now his actions seemed almost calculated to arouse the contempt of his former friends. Comrade Ekaterina Groman—at one time Helphand's mistress, who was known under her cover name 'the wave' when she worked illegally in St. Petersburg— did, however, take it upon herself to spread the news of Helphand's arrival in the Russian colony; he also gave her money for distribution among the poorer exiles. The gesture further intensified the rumours of Helphand's fantastic riches. A meeting with Lenin was, however, Helphand's most urgent task. He knew that of all the various factions of the party, the Bolsheviks ran the most experienced and efficient organization. Lenin had already spoken out against the victory of the Tsarist regime in the war. He wanted an immediate revolution—an international revolution in all the belligerent countries: the transformation of the imperialist war into a series of civil wars— but a revolution above all else. If Helphand therefore achieved an agreement with Lenin, it should then not be difficult to win over the remaining factions of the party; in Helphand's scheme, Lenin was the key to success. Sometime at the end of May, Helphand, accompanied by Ekaterina Groman, suddenly appeared at a restaurant where the Russian exiles usually lunched. After inquiring if Lenin was there, one of the Russians took him over to the Bolshevik leader's

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table: Lenin was having a quiet meal with Nadezhda Krupskaya, his wife, Inessa Armand, his friend, and Kasparov. After a brief conversation, Lenin and Krupskaya left the restaurant with Helphand, and took him to their modest flat in Distelweg. Helphand himself described the ensuing conversation: 'I explained to him my views on the social-revolutionary consequences of the war, and at the same time drew his attention to the fact that, as long as the war lasted, no revolution would occur in Germany and that, at this time, a revolution was possible in Russia only, where it would break out as the result of German victories. He dreamt, however, of the publication of a socialist journal, with which, he believed, he could immediately drive the European proletariat from the trenches into a revolution.'16 A Bolshevik called Siefeldt, who was told by Lenin about the meeting shortly after it had taken place, reports that Lenin hardly gave Helphand enough time to finish talking, saying that he regarded Helphand as an agent of Scheidemann and the other German socialists turned chauvinists, and that he wanted to have nothing to do with him. Lenin then apparently saw his visitor to the door, asking him never to return.17 Whatever turn the conversation took, the essential point is quite clear: Helphand and Lenin did not reach an agreement. The conversation took place under the shadow of the old personal aversion, dating back to the early years of the century; since the Bolshevik-Menshevik split, Helphand had repeatedly criticized Lenin for his dogmatic narrowness and an egocentric approach to matters of organization; for his own part, Lenin resented Helphand's overbearing and patriarchal attitudes. And differences in character, in their ways of life, must have reinforced the sharply divergent political attitudes of the two men. In addition, the likelihood that Lenin saw in Helphand a rival for the leadership of the revolutionary movement may also have influenced his decision. Lenin had to take into account the fact that, if successful in his scheme, Helphand would eventually acquire control of the Russian socialist organizations, and, with his financial resources and his intellectual ability, would be able
16
17

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 50. A. Siefeldt, Bakinskii Rabochii, No. 24, 1 February 1924.

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to outmanoeuvre all the other party leaders. We know that the same thought had occurred to Helphand himself. Yet Lenin treated the whole incident with the utmost caution. In his public declarations he never made a single reference to his meeting with Helphand, nor did he denounce, as so many socialists did, Helphand's personal qualities or his political designs. It is not inconceivable that Lenin wanted to keep a back door open: he certainly used it later, as we shall have occasion to see. In May 1915, however, the important thing for Helphand was that he had failed to secure Lenin's co-operation, and that the use of the Bolshevik underground organization had been denied him. The plans he had outlined in Berlin early in March were deprived of their main foundation. Without Lenin he was able neither to create a united socialist front, nor to operate, with any hope of success, inside Russia. Helphand now had to make a choice. He could inform the Foreign Ministry of the failure of his mission to Switzerland and then confine himself, in agreement with the German diplomats, to, say, socialist propaganda in western Europe. Or else he could attempt to form his own organization, powerful and effective enough to extend its activities into Russia. In this event, the aims of his programme would remain unchanged: its implementation would have to be revised. It would have been out of character for Helphand to take the first choice. He possessed a firm faith that there was no problem that money and inspired improvisation could not solve. After all, he had learned such methods in business, and he saw no reason why they should not prove equally successful in politics. He knew full well that he could not build up this independent organization in Switzerland, in full view of the Russian party leaders. Helphand needed a change of political climate, and the Scandinavian countries were best suited to provide it. Stockholm and Copenhagen were the clearing-houses for business transactions between the belligerent countries, and the centres of a multitude of more or less effective espionage networks. In addition, the 'northern underground'—the traditional secret channel linking the Russian exiles with their home country, in successful operation since the days of Alexander Herzen—passed

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through the Scandinavian capitals. Helphand's writings were well known to the Danish socialists, and it was to Copenhagen that he decided to move. Before leaving Switzerland, however, Helphand had one more thing to do. He had to recruit exiles who would be prepared to work for him. He asked Ekaterina Groman to let it be known among the Russians in Zürich that he wanted to get together a group of research workers to staff an institute for scientific and statistical studies in Copenhagen. It was a typical Helphand idea: the institute was to be a front organization, giving protection to secret and conspiratorial activities; recruitment for it could be carried out quite openly. If the research workers later refused to engage in political activities, they could still carry on with their research; if not, so much the better, from Helphand's point of view. Initially, the recruitment drive was not a success. Helphand's promise that the members of the staff could travel through Germany on legal passports somewhat detracted from the value of the assurance that their work would take place in neutral Denmark, and not in Germany. The Russians became still more suspicious when Hermann Greulich, the veteran Swiss Social Democrat, revealed to the exile press the fact that he had been commissioned to obtain visas at the German Consulate for their transit through Germany. When Helphand left for Copenhagen early in June 1915, he was accompanied by four Russian exiles. Apart from the inevitable Ekaterina Groman, the others who travelled with Helphand were Vladimir Davidovich Perasich, Georgi Chudnovski, follower of Trotsky, and Arshak Gerasimovich, an Armenian Menshevik, and former deputy to the second Duma. The five travellers' departure from Switzerland occasioned yet another flare-up of the controversy concerning Helphand. The rumours finally filtered through to the leading Russian patriotic newspapers: Helphand's research workers were described as German agents, and he himself as a man heavily committed to the German Government. Martov, the Menshevik leader, summed up the views of the majority of the exiles when he wrote, in a letter to a friend, that he regarded the behaviour of Helphand's

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recruits as 'tactless' even when, at best, it might be assumed that Helphand was not a direct agent of the German Government.18 Regardless of growing hostility, Helphand carried on recruitment among the Russian and Polish exiles in Scandinavia. He knew he had financial security and political action to offer, two things the exiles badly needed, but could never get. His activity met with a mixed reception. Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin—an unworldly Marxist scholar who was to rise high in the Soviet State, only to be struck down, like most of his comrades, by Stalin— had arrived in Scandinavia shortly before Helphand, and he was by no means averse to joining the Copenhagen institute. He declined the offer only after Lenin's intervention.19 Another refusal came from Zeth Höglund, the leader of the left-wing group in the Swedish Social Democrat party, who, three years before, had translated a number of Helphand's studies into Swedish. Helphand was more successful with a Menshevik called Moisei Uritsky. In 1910, Uritsky had moved close to Trotsky and became responsible for organizing the transport of the newspaper Pravda, then being published in Vienna, to Russia. When the war broke out, Uritsky was in Germany, from where he went on to Stockholm; he remained in Scandinavia until the outbreak of the revolution in Russia in 1917. In that year he became a prominent member of the Bolshevik central committee: in January 1918 he was entrusted with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. Uritsky's promising career ended in the same year, at the hands of a member of the Social Revolutionary party, who murdered him. His first reaction to Helphand's advances was unfavourable: Uritsky was not interested in working for a scientific institute. He did, however, appreciate the value of Helphand's practical plans, and in this respect the two men soon reached an agreement. Uritsky remained in touch with Helphand, occasionally organizing courier services for him, which were usually carried out by Alfred Kruse, the Danish socialist. In conversation,
18
19

Pisma Axelroda i Martova, Berlin, 1924. Martov to Semkovski, 10 July 1915, p. 344. cf. Lenin's letter to the Bolshevik central committee, 12 December 1917, in Leninskii Sbornik, Moscow, 1959, vol. XXXVI, p. 19.

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Uritsky always expressed his approval of Helphand's activities; on a number of occasions he defended Helphand as an honourable, trustworthy, and helpful comrade.20 Jakob Fürstenberg was Helphand's most valuable acquisition. Better known by his cover names Hanecki or Kuba, Fürstenberg was a Polish socialist who became one of Lenin's most trusted friends. He was born in Warsaw in 1879, the son of a wealthy family; after some years spent as a student in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Zürich, he gave all his time and energy to party work, distinguishing himself as a specialist in illegal transportation. For two years before the war Fürstenberg had lived with Lenin in Poronino, a village near Cracow; after a short stay in Switzerland, he arrived in Scandinavia in the summer of 1915, about the same time as Helphand. Fürstenberg was a reticent and completely reliable conspirator; he was versatile, capable of acting in two or more roles simultaneously. In his personality, the qualities of a dray-horse were combined with those of a fox. He often undertook, at Lenin's request, delicate missions without appearing to bother much with their purpose and, still less, their justification. Since Lenin must have wanted to place one of his own men in Helphand's organization, Fürstenberg would be the obvious choice. We have, in fact, every reason to assume that Fürstenberg joined Helphand with Lenin's consent. The Bolshevik leader had an accurate eye for the characters of his comrades, and an infinite patience with the details of organization. We have seen that he advised Bukharin against joining Helphand's institute: he knew that an intellectual like Bukharin would be useless for the purpose of keeping a check on Helphand's activities. Lenin then forbade his other agent in Scandinavia, Alexander Shlyapnikov, to enter into any contact with Fürstenberg. Shlyapnikov was an honourable, incorruptible party worker who disapproved even of the little he knew of Fürstenberg's activities. 'Lenin', Shlyapnikov wrote in his memoirs, 'warned me against relations with Hanecki and others, who were mixing business with politics.'21 It was, however, the same Hanecki whom Lenin called, in the spring of 1917, a
20
21

Z. Höglund, Från Branting till Lenin, Stockholm, 1953, p. 157. A. Shlyapnikov, Kanun Semnadtsatovo Goda, Moscow, 1923, Part II, vol. 4, pp. 297-8.

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'reliable and clever chap'.22 If, in 1915, Lenin seconded Hanecki to work in Helphand's organization, both parties were well served: Lenin could be kept informed about the progress of work in Scandinavia, while Helphand had in Fürstenberg a most suitable connexion with the Bolshevik headquarters. Finally, it is likely that Kozlovsky, a lawyer from St. Petersburg and originally a member of the Polish Social Democrat party, was also willing to co-operate with Helphand. This connexion was revealed only in July 1917, when Kozlovsky, together with Lenin and others, was charged by the Russian provisional Government with diverting German money to the Bolshevik party coffers. Very little, unfortunately, is known about Kozlovsky's wartime activities; one fact is, however, common to all the memoirs by his contemporaries: Kozlovsky often travelled between Stockholm and St. Petersburg on unexplained and secret missions. There were other people who worked for Helphand. They were occasional revolutionaries, adventurers, and other representatives of the wartime demi-monde, whose undecipherable pseudonyms and Christian names have come down to us in official records, bearing witness to their owners' obscurity. Helphand kept away from the diplomats while he was building up his revolutionary organization. Only when it was well advanced on the way to operational order, did he let them know more about his activities. At the beginning of August, his friend from Constantinople, Dr. Zimmer, arrived in Copenhagen to make inquiries on behalf of the Foreign Ministry. He was able to find out quite a lot.23 When Zimmer visited him, Helphand showed his concern with the press campaign against him in the Entente countries as well as in the Russian émigré circles. He complained that because of it, two of his assistants had declined to go on working for him. Helphand thought that his visits to the Berlin ministries might have been noticed, or that the German Government security was not tight enough. He recommended that the Foreign Ministry's reply to these rumours should be that he had merely 'been advising on economic questions in Turkey'.
22

23

Lenin, Sochineniya, vol. XX, p. 55, letter to Hanecki 17/30 March 1917. AA, 'Bericht über den Stand der Arbeiten des Herrn Dr. Helphand', 6 August 1915. Akten der Gesandtschaft Kopenhagen, file 'Helphand'.

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Zimmer was able to find out for himself that the speculations of the Russian émigré press on Helphand's Copenhagen institute —that it concealed the headquarters of a conspiracy—were quite wrong. Helphand had used it as a decoy during his recruitment drive; although the institute existed, it was merely what it purported to be: a research organization. Revolutionary conspiracy was also being taken care of, but under an entirely different front. From every point of view, a business company was much more suitable than a research institute for Helphand's purposes. Despite the war, trade between Germany and Russia was still going on—between August 1915 and July 1916 it amounted to 11,220,000 roubles—and it passed, legally or illegally, through Scandinavia. Since wartime trade regulations in Russia were not very restrictive, and Helphand was able to obtain special import and export licences from the German authorities, he was in a position to build up a trading-cum-revolutionary organization in Russia. The company Helphand set up in Copenhagen judiciously mixed politics with business; it ran its own network of agents, who travelled between Russia and Scandinavia. Apart from looking after business interests, they maintained contact with the various underground cells and strike committees, trying to coordinate them into a unitary movement. Zimmer described their activities in the following manner:
The organization created by Parvus is now employing 8 people in Copenhagen and about 10 who travel in Russia. This work serves the purpose of contacting various personalities in Russia, as it is necessary to bring together the various disjointed movements. The centre in Copenhagen maintains an uninterrupted correspondence with the connexions made by the agents. Parvus has set aside a fund to cover the administrative costs of the organization, which is used very thriftily. Till now it has been possible to run the whole affair so discreetly, that not even the gentlemen who work for this organization have realized that our government is behind it all. It has already been noticed that Parvus spends much money on behalf of the party. This can be disguised when the export firm, connected with the bureau, does some

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business. In this respect I have discussed various suggestions with Dr. Helphand.24

It was the only company in the Russian revolutionary business. Lenin, Zimmer knew, was still inactive and could do very little because he had no money. There was, however, nothing against supporting him when the 'existing tension [i.e. with Helphand] has abated'. In the meantime, however, Helphand was well ahead. His business representatives were able to cover the whole of Russia, and the dealings of the export-import enterprise soon provided a channel for money through which German subsidies for the revolutionary movement could be pumped. Such a channel was beyond control by the Russian authorities. Helphand could, for instance, use German official money to purchase goods in the West for sale to Russia: political money was thus neutralized into current business income, which was used on the spot for revolutionary activities. Imports from Russia for the German war industry could be highly profitable; some of the profits were then distributed among the 'businessmen', and others ploughed back into purchasing goods for export in Russia, and so on. A member of the Austro-Hungarian legation in Stockholm later summed up the whole business in the following manner:
It is quite certain that, during the war, Helphand and Fürstenberg could, and did carry on, with German help, an export business through Scandinavia to Russia. . . . This import of German goods to Russia was undertaken regularly and in considerable volume by the Helphand-Fürstenberg enterprise, in the following manner: Helphand received from the Germans certain goods such as surgical instruments, medicines, and chemicals, needed in Russia, and then Fürstenberg, as his Russian agent, shipped them to Russia. The cost of these goods was not paid back to Germany, but, since the outbreak of the Russian revolution, it was mainly used for Lenin's propaganda.25

It was useful business experience which stood Jakob Fürstenberg in good stead when he became, after the Bolshevik revolution, the head of the Soviet National Bank.
24

25

ibid. H. Grebing, 'So macht man Revolution', in Politische Studien, Munich, 1957, p. 234. M.R.-M

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Zimmer was very impressed by what he found in Copenhagen, and he suggested that the German legation should from now on keep in touch with Helphand. In the following years, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, the Minister to Copenhagen, became closely connected with Helphand's revolutionary activities. Their first meeting took place at the end of July 1915; a fortnight later Rantzau wrote: 'I have now got to know Helphand better, and I think that there can be no question that he is an extraordinarily important man whose unusual powers I feel we must employ for the duration of the war and should, if at all possible, continue to use later on—whether we personally agree with his convictions or not.'26 On the surface, the two men did not have much in common. Helphand was a wandering Jew, a socialist with a taste for flamboyant good living, a taste he had only recently been able to indulge. Brockdorff-Rantzau, on the other hand, was an overcivilized grand-seigneur, icily reserved, self-controlled, elaborately polite. Helphand's retinue of women would have appealed to him not at all. His career in the Foreign Ministry had progressed swiftly and successfully. After a number of appointments abroad— the stay in St. Petersburg between the years 1897 and 1901 had awakened his keen and lasting interest in Russia—he was appointed Minister to Copenhagen in 1912, when he was fortytwo years old. He did not, however, fit the accepted picture of an Imperial German diplomat. The Rantzau family was neither Prussian nor Junker. They were an old-established Holstein comital family, connected with the Danish royal house. His politics were marked by a strong liberal streak; during the war he assumed a benevolent attitude towards the German Social Democrat party. Brockdorff-Rantzau knew no prejudice when concrete political aims were at stake: he was quite able to set aside the predilections of his class. He was ambitious, for himself and for his country, and it was this ambition that made it possible for him to deal, when necessary, with the devil himself. But he was reserved, and he found it difficult to establish human contact. He would receive visitors and discuss politics only late at night; for then, he was
26

Zeman, op. cit., document No. 5.

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able to show a certain amount of 'bluff openness', especially towards those men who, by day, usually did not move in the same social circles as he himself. Towards Helphand, Rantzau showed no personal or political prejudice. Their relationship grew out of the formal framework of political co-operation: obsession with Russia's defeat, and their conviction that a revolution in St. Petersburg was the surest way of achieving it, created a community of interest between the two men. Rantzau saw Helphand as an expert on revolutions, whose advice he readily accepted. Yet there existed between them an understanding, even sympathy. Helphand could be a very pleasant and witty companion; his untrammelled vigour, his frivolous Bohemian existence, appealed to Rantzau. Neither of the two men could be measured against a conventional yardstick; their mutual tolerance made the smooth development of their relationship possible. In Brockdorff-Rantzau, Helphand acquired a powerful ally among the diplomats, the best liaison with the Foreign Ministry he could have wished for. In their first conversation at the beginning of August, Helphand tried hard to safeguard his revolutionary policy against the threat of a separate peace with Russia. With uncanny perception, he felt that Berlin was still toying with the idea of a separate peace: his suspicions were in fact justified. He told Rantzau that he regarded a revolution in Russia as 'inevitable'. According to the latest information at his disposal, he told the Minister, unrest had already affected the army and the armaments workers. The position of the Tsar had been weakened so far that he no longer commanded sufficient authority to conclude a separate peace with Germany. Again, Helphand tried to strengthen his arguments by drawing Rantzau's attention to the problem of the long-term aims in the East: he knew that his views on the weakening and decentralization of Russia could make a strong impression in official quarters. At the same time, Helphand suggested that the over-all military strategy should be co-ordinated with his revolutionary plans. Germany had to make quite certain, he argued, that Russia did not gain control over the Straits. Such a success, he knew full well, would bring the Tsarist Government a tremendous amount of prestige at home. The war would be 'lost politically, even if a

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military victory was won'. The German armies should therefore concentrate their striking power in South Russia, and thus give Turkey a military respite; another line of attack should be aimed at the Donets basin: the occupation of this industrial area would cut across Russia's main artery.27 Co-operation with the Minister to Copenhagen, as well as the establishment of the revolutionary headquarters in the Danish capital, represented, for Helphand, an important advance. One thing only remained to be done: the publicity campaign directed at the European socialists. He had placed great value on a guided press campaign, designed to exploit their traditional aversion to Tsarism. When Dr. Zimmer called on him in Copenhagen, Helphand mentioned to him the fact that he still lacked the 'necessary basis' for the publicity drive. He told his visitor that he intended to found his own periodical, to be called Die Glocke. For this project, too, Rantzau gave his full support. It was essential, he advised the Under State Secretary, that the Foreign Ministry should remove all obstacles in the way of the projected journal. It was to be used not only for the purposes of a revolution in Russia, but also to lead the German workers to support the state, thus creating stability and unity within the Reich. 'Otherwise', Rantzau wrote, 'we shall never achieve the great aim which I have before my eyes. I have the hope that we shall not only emerge from this war as the external victors and the greatest power in the world, but also that, after the tremendous test that the German workers, indeed—to avoid invidious comparisons—"the common man" in particular, have now undergone, we may be able confidently to try to bring those elements to co-operate who, before the war, stood apart and seemed unreliable, and to group them around the throne.'28 The day before Rantzau dispatched his confidential letter, Helphand had left—on 13 August—for Berlin. Rantzau had smoothed the way for him, and he could expect a good reception in the Foreign Ministry. In addition, recent political and military
27

28

Brockdorff-Rantzau to the Foreign Ministry, telegram No. 1306 of 10 August 1915, in WK Nr. 2; and a letter to Zimmermann of 13 August, in WK Nr. 11c sec. Zeman, op. cit., document No. 5.

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developments had also gone in Helphand's favour. On 3 August, Germany's peace feelers to St. Petersburg had finally come to grief, and the possibility of a separate peace appeared, once again, remote. On 11 August, Bethmann-Hollweg, the Reich Chancellor, reported to the Kaiser that the 'pushing back of the Muscovite Empire to the East by detaching its western territories' was the central aim of Germany's eastern policy.29 At the same time, the occupation of Warsaw on 5 August revived the hopes in Germany of Russia's early breakdown. Once in Berlin, Helphand soon found out that neither the Foreign Ministry nor the General Staff had any objections to the foundation of his journal. The reservations of the Ministry of the Interior against a socialist publication were easily disposed of, and Helphand was allowed to address public opinion direct. His task now was to warn European socialists against the Tsarist regime, and to begin preparations for a political mass strike in Russia. The date for the outbreak of the strike—the fuse which was to set off the revolution—Helphand had fixed for 22 January 1916. He had only five months in which to accomplish his selfimposed and gigantic task.
29

F. Fischer, Griff nach der Weltmacht, Düsseldorf, 1961, p. 238.

8
Not by Money Alone
The publication of his own socialist newspaper was the dream of Helphand's life. Ever since the time of the revisionist controversy in the eighteen-nineties Helphand had suffered, in one way or another, at the hands of the editors of the German socialist press: he developed a desire to be financially and politically independent of them. Now he was rich, and the dream was going to come true, at whatever price. From August 1915 Helphand concentrated on launching Die Glocke—'The Bell', a name evocative of Alexander Herzen's Russian radical magazine Kolokol—as early as possible. Helphand had good reasons for speedy publication. Since November 1914, Liebknecht and the left wing of the party had been expounding the thesis that Germany had successfully defended herself against the enemy attack, but that she was now carrying on the war purely out of a desire for territorial gain. Helphand thought this was a dangerously sentimental view of the situation, since it portrayed Russia as a defeated power, and thus threatened to undermine the fighting spirit of the proletarian masses. Helphand was also motivated by journalistic as well as political considerations. Karl Kautsky was opposed to the war, and he took the Neue Zeit with him: there was now a void in the party publicity, which Helphand intended to fill with his new magazine. Among the leading dailies, Vorwärts and the Leipziger Volkszeitung followed the Kautsky line, and the party leadership had to fall back on the support of two small provincial newspapers, the Hamburger Echo and the Chemnitzer Volkstimme. Helphand had embarked on the first technical preparations for Die Glocke some time before he officially informed the Foreign Ministry of his intentions to start publishing it. He was attracted to Munich as a possible location for the editorial offices: military

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censorship in Bavaria was less severe than that imposed in the other federal states. He could also rely on the help there of Adolf Müller, the editor-in-chief of the Münchener Post, who had been a friend of his since the turn of the century. Adolf Müller, the son of a middle-class Catholic family in the
Rhineland, joined the Social Democrat party about the year 1890, having studied medicine and political economy. In 1893, partly on the recommendation of Christo Rakovsky, he was entrusted

with the editorship of the Münchener Post. His was an easygoing and conciliatory disposition, and he had little interest in the subtleties of Marxist dogma: he was able to remain aloof from the theoretical discussions which, from time to time, threatened the unity of the party. His attitude to the war was that of a patriotic politician, and he was able to give Helphand's public stand his full approval. As early as May 1915 Helphand had got in touch, through Müller's good services, with the printers of the Münchener Post, and he acquired a majority interest in the shares of the company. He also wanted to own the company that published his magazine, and for this purpose he founded, at the beginning of July, the Verlag für Sozialwissenschaft in Munich. He then appointed Louis Cohn, the business manager of the Post, to direct the new enterprise. It was some time before Cohn acquired editorial and administrative staff: at first, he had to do most of the work for Die Glocke himself. Helphand was, however, convinced that his strong financial backing would tide the magazine over its teething troubles: he could afford costly improvisation in the production of the first numbers. He did not hesitate to waive all financial considerations in order to have the magazine exactly as he wanted it. On business grounds, Cohn opposed any mention of the political commitment of the magazine on its title page; Helphand insisted that the sub-title of Die Glocke should be 'A Socialist Bi-Monthly'—Sozialistische Halbmonatschrift. 'I am not afraid of boycott9, Helphand wrote to Cohn in the middle of August. 'It will not be as bad as you appear to think. In any case—I will not give way.'1 After feverish activity, the first number of Die Glocke finally
1

Nachlass Helphand, Rep. 92, letter from Helphand to Cohn, 12 August 1915.

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appeared in September 1915. In a special introduction, Helphand explained the aims of the new periodical. It would not, he wrote with self-confidence, 'pander to the public'; its task was to discuss the political and social problems which had been raised by the war, as well as to explore the ways in which a new political order could be established after its conclusion. At the same time, it was intended to awake the intellectual interest of the workers, and to integrate them into the cultural life of the nation. This consciousness of having a cultural mission to fulfil among the workers in fact set the tone of Die Glocke until its demise in 1925: the magazine became popular especially among the party educational functionaries and among socialist schoolteachers. The first number of Die Glocke contained nothing but contributions from its publisher. In addition to a lengthy essay on the history and the present position of the German socialist party, a shorter piece concerned itself with social conditions in Russia and the prospects of the further development of the war. Helphand had not dropped his old habit of writing, and it was now clearly marked with signs of compromise with the powers that be. He of course had good reasons for wanting to retain the goodwill of the Foreign Ministry, and he needed the co-operation of the diplomats in order to beat the military censorship. Anyway, he was not the kind of man who could be expected to forgo the privilege of having his manuscripts forwarded to Munich in diplomatic bags. Nevertheless, his long essay on the Social Democrat party was anything but a patriotic declaration or a renunciation of the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat. It glorified the party as a model for the international workers' movement, and was a critical survey of the credit and debit side of the work accomplished in Germany. It was in fact a manifesto similar to Trotsky's study Itogy i perspektivy, a distillation of the sum total of Helphand's theoretical work. It certainly contained sharp criticism of the German party, but not the kind of criticism a renegade would have made. When Helphand rebuked the party, it was for its revolutionary barrenness. Earlier, his criticism had concerned individual cases and not general themes: now, the stones he had kept on throwing at the party glass-houses since the agrarian

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debate in 1895 were picked up, and used for laying the foundations of a neat little building. In Helphand's opinion, Marx's revolutionary teaching had been watered down in Germany. The dull arch-vulgarizer, Karl Kautsky, had achieved nothing but corruption of Marx's doctrine. Had the socialists listened to Helphand, they would have won one position after another in a continuous struggle against capitalism: Bebel's defensive tactics, based on nonsensical illusions about the automatic breakdown of capitalism, had neither forced a revolution, nor prevented the war. German Social Democracy therefore bore 'great political guilt'. 'But it was not a temporary guilt, nor one which originated in a passing mood; it was the outcome of wrong tactics, employed for 25 years, which could not be changed at the critical moment: a guilt which accumulated through the decades.'2 In this criticism there was much of the 'old' pre-war Helphand: the active, trouble-shooting revolutionary, whom Trotsky had already pronounced dead in the spring of 1915. But what was the situation as far as the 'new' Helphand was concerned—if such a person existed at all? He came out in defence of those socialists who had given support to the Government when war was declared; he regarded the German General Staff as the protector of the interests of the proletariat in the struggle against Tsarism; he vigorously defended the war policy of the Government against the criticism of the left-wing party group around Liebknecht and Luxemburg. But he did not for a moment lose sight of the interests and the future of socialism, and of the German movement in particular. He thought of it as the 'stronghold' of the European movement, which, if it fell, would bring socialism everywhere crashing down. If, however, it were victorious in Germany, then the battle in the whole of Europe would be won. The way to socialist victory led, Helphand never wearied of stressing, through Germany's defiance of the Tsarist threat. In this situation, the proletariat would gain nothing if it maintained a negative and passive attitude. The sacrifice of 'blood and suffering should not be made for nothing'. The party
2

Die Glocke, 1915, p. 41.

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must now free itself from the 'lunacy' of men like Kautsky and Bernstein, who had demonstrated for peace without being able to conclude the war. The middle class, Helphand warned, should not entertain any illusions that the war would rid them of the socialist threat. On the contrary, the workers would return from the trenches with a new readiness to fight. The war was teaching them a 'new daring, a new initiative, and a new keenness of resolution', all the qualities they had not been able to learn from parliamentary practice. The 'new' Helphand was in fact already announcing that the civil truce would end, the day the peace was signed; there were more violent struggles ahead. It was not the kind of writing the German Government would have welcomed without reservations: no rebuke from the Foreign Ministry was, however, forthcoming. The high government officials in fact proved themselves quite broadminded; they had accepted Helphand, they had taken the point in his plans, and they refrained from irritating him with petty restrictions. Anyway, they were glad of additional socialist propaganda in favour of Germany's war policy, and in this respect Helphand never failed them. The war, he repeatedly hammered into his readers, was a defensive war against Tsarist absolutism. In the third issue of Die Glocke, Helphand concentrated on countering the recent attacks and slanders of his enemies. The two articles3 were good specimens of his many personal polemics to come. He developed a technique for dealing with such controversies. In this instance, he glossed over the gravest charge against himself—that he was working as an agent of the German Government, and that his war policies were in complete harmony with those of the Government. He made not a single reference to his relations with the Berlin officials. Instead, Helphand closely examined the half-truths and faulty information produced by his opponents, in order to demolish, by employing semi-proofs and semi-denials, the whole structure of their accusations. He did not tell the whole truth: he evaded the core of the controversy, and he drew quite as misleading a picture of his activities as had his accusers.
3

'Offener Brief an die Zeitung Nasche Slowo', and 'Ein Verleumdungswerk', Die Glocke, 1915, pp. 117-32 and 155-62.

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Helphand described the suggestion that he had officially worked for the Young Turks as a 'low-down, filthy libel'. In regard to the Ukrainian Union he admitted his friendship with Marian Melenevski, but he insisted that he had 'no connexion' with the Union itself. The assertion that he was attempting to incite a revolution in Russia while in the pay of the Turkish and the Austrian Governments was quite easy to deal with. In Helphand's view, it had a farmyard quality about it, like the 'excrement of a stinking beast'. Certainly, he was not in Austrian services. But what of his co-operation with the German Government? He found a way round this point. He took up the challenge and openly stated his aims, speaking of his mission with pathos: 'This mission is— to create a spiritual link between the armed German and the revolutionary Russian proletariat.' The adjective 'spiritual' was, of course, a wild euphemism, a propaganda device for drawing a veil across the solid fact that he was mediating between the German Government and the revolutionary movement in Russia. But it was far from impossible to understand the real meaning of the statement. Helphand could not have been more outspoken without severely endangering the success of his work. Only after he had discharged his duties to the socialist movement and to himself, as a writer, was Helphand ready to hand over the direction of his paper to an independent editorial staff. From the beginning of October 1915, Konrad Haenisch, who had greeted Helphand's first article with boundless enthusiasm, began to act as the editor-in-chief. A group of patriotic comrades formed around him: among them, Paul Lensch, Eduard David, Heinrich Cunow, Ernst Heilmann, and Wilhelm Jansson were prominent. With them, Helphand acquired the co-operation of the most effective publicists of the policy of the majority party. It was a mixed group. Like Haenisch, Paul Lensch originally came from the radical wing of the party. As a member of the editorial staff of the Leipziger Volkszeitung, he had established himself as an energetic and effective journalist. After some hesitation during the voting on war credits in the Reichstag, he confidently transferred his allegiance to those men who upheld the thesis of the revolutionary effects of the war. Eduard David had

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taught German and history at a grammar school in the Rhineland; at the turn of the century, he was to be found among the leading exponents of socialist revisionism. His talent was dry and didactic: his arguments were always considered and individual. He secured for himself an influential position on the editorial board of Die Glocke, as well as in the party itself. Heinrich Cunow had enjoyed a high reputation in the party as an economist and ethnologist; for several decades he had been an important contributor to the Neue Zeit. He was a sober politician: after August 1914 he made an attempt to guide the Neue Zeit on the lines set down by the party leadership, and against Karl Kautsky's wishes. After a time, he dropped the arguments with Kautsky and decided to use instead the new Helphand publication as an outlet for his writing. Heilmann and Jansson represented the more practical side of socialist politics. As a radical in Saxony, Heilmann had earned the nickname Ruberrimus, but he grew, however, considerably paler after the outbreak of the war. He became one of the most extreme of the socialist patriots, identifying himself completely and uncritically with the policies of the German Imperial Government. Wilhelm Jansson provided a link between the editorial board of Die Glocke and the trade union movement. A Swede by birth, he had become completely integrated into the German party, so much so that he became a partisan of the idea of a socialist Germany's hegemony in Europe. Such company was not always to Helphand's liking. In the following years, the editorial board of the magazine did not always pursue a policy of which Helphand could wholeheartedly approve. Paul Lensch's anti-British campaign, and Haenisch's jingoist predilections sometimes occasioned the publisher of Die

Glocke to point at certain differences of opinion. Shortly before the end of the war, Helphand described his relations with these men in the following manner:
I founded Die Glocke in 1915 as a free socialist platform. Its editorial board was and is directed entirely independently by Haenisch and a board of his assistants. I myself figured only as the publisher. When the newspaper was founded, I did not think that the war would go on for

Not by Money Alone 177
such a long time, and I intended to raise the major problems of economic transformation after the war. But the war went on, and it pushed our interest in its aftermath into the background. Pressure of circumstance made it necessary for us to occupy ourselves with the problems of the war. The general line of the newspaper corresponded to my views on the necessity of concluding the war victoriously: in this connexion it was impossible to avoid the confusion of arguments by individual authors, a confusion that arose in socialist circles under the influence of the war. . . . Had I been editing the newspaper myself, I should have tried to exercise a wholesome restraint on the too violently nationalist authors.4

Despite the differences, Helphand gave the editorial board a free rein: he was quite content to have at his disposal an independent means of communication with the public, which he could use when the need arose. He was rich enough to afford the luxury of his own journal which, even if it did not always correspond to his views, at least bore his name. He could console himself with the thought that he was doing better than Kautsky, whose journal appeared once a month only. Die Glocke filled an empty space in German socialist publicity, and it made some contribution towards the consolidation of the party after the rift caused by the war. It also served as a public front for Helphand's activities in regard to Russia; it failed, however, to set off an international propaganda campaign against Tsarism. It was, essentially, a prestige undertaking: this may well have made the thought of a large financial loss bearable for Helphand. The sharpest criticism of Die Glocke came, at its first appearance, from the circles of the socialist opponents of the war. Karl Kautsky spoke contemptuously of the Glockner (the bell-ringers) of the 'imperial Falstaff', Helphand; Franz Mehring made a scathing reference to 6the little bell of the poor sinners, which Parvus-Helphand smelted, and which Parvulus-Haenisch is pulling'. Rosa Luxemburg's reaction was more to the point. With remarkable insight, she recognized at once that the aim of Die Glocke was to propagate the idea of the revolution in Russia. She addressed Helphand directly on this point: at no other time did her intelligence suffer so much by her aversion to Prussia, than
4

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 19.

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The Merchant of Revolution

on this question of the revolutionary effects of a German victory over Tsarism. 'Anyway,' she wrote, 'it is to be feared that the cause of the revolution in Russia will be obstructed by the war.' When she came to contrast Helphand's claim that, by establishing a spiritual link between the armed German and the revolutionary Russian workers he was fulfilling an important mission, with the fact that he was making a fortune in the security of Denmark, Rosa Luxemburg could, she admitted, no longer understand anything at all.5 The appearance of Die Glocke finally moved Lenin to make a public pronouncement on the subject of Helphand. In his Sotsial-Democrat he described Helphand's periodical as an 'organ of renegades and dirty lackeys', surrounding the 'cesspool of German chauvinism', in which 'not a single honest thought, not a single serious argument, not a single straightforward article' could be found. Helphand's declaration that he had a mission to fulfil in connexion with the revolution in Russia, Lenin described as a 'bad joke'.6 Lenin's article against Die Glocke has since been used by the Bolshevik publicists as the ultimate proof that there existed no connexion between their party and Helphand. They should have known better. Lenin's characteristic use of the abstract concept, tempered by bad language, was in the accepted socialist convention of full-blown journalistic invective; it was a part of the game. What is more significant is that even on this occasion Lenin refrained from describing Helphand as an agent of the German Government; the article did not contain a single reference to their meeting in May. It in fact did not eliminate the possibility, however remote it may have appeared at the time, of using Helphand's services if the occasion should arise. Lenin may have thought it politically expedient to dissociate himself publicly from Helphand without making a clean break. The tacit agreement about Jakob Fürstenberg's role as Helphand's assistant and as Lenin's confidential agent, was in no way affected by Lenin's criticism of Die Glocke. Finally, the Bolshevik
5

6

Spartakusblätter, No. 10, reprinted in Spartakusbriefe, ed. by Dr. H. Kolbe, Berlin, 1958, p. 68. No. 48, 20 November 1915.

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leader was right not to underestimate the steps Helphand had taken towards the revolution. Although in August and in September the work connected with the publication of Die Glocke proved to be time-consuming, Helphand did not neglect the developments in Russia. Through the regular consultations with Brockdorff-Rantzau, his views reached the Chancellor, or at least the highest officials in the Foreign Ministry. And as soon as Die Glocke was securely established, Helphand returned to the final preparations for the strike in Russia. He anticipated that it would take place in January 1916. The following weeks were decisive for the success of Helphand's project. He was working with his revolutionary-business organization in Copenhagen, completely absorbed by the formidable task. He even neglected Brockdorff-Rantzau: he made no appearance at the German Legation for several weeks. Towards the end of November, one of Helphand's agents returned from St. Petersburg; on 2 November, Helphand told Rantzau the news he had had from Russia. He reported on the low state of the Russian Army's morale, which remained unrelieved when the Tsar himself took over the high command. The situation in the hinterland was also on the down grade: starvation was expected to hit St. Petersburg and Moscow during the winter. One piece of information did, however, disturb the Minister. Helphand told him that the Russian Army would not be ready for revolution until the war was concluded. Helphand tried to allay the Minister's concern by hinting at the various local mutinies that had affected the army, and by saying that the 'revolutionary organizations' of the proletariat were much more important. They were now so strong that he 'stuck to his view and regarded revolution as inevitable'.7 Nevertheless, the Minister's doubts prompted Helphand to describe the 'revolutionary organizations' in some detail. He disliked doing this, but he trusted Rantzau more than the other diplomats, and in any case he now needed their support more than ever. After pointing out that the information was 'strictly secret', he told Rantzau that 'certainly 100,000 men' could be called out
7

Brockdorff-Rantzau to the Foreign Ministry, telegram No. 1932, 21 November 1915, WK 11c sec.

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on strike in St. Petersburg at twenty-four hours' notice. Only eight days before, a meeting of all the organized workers had taken place and a three-day strike had been decided upon in order to assess the forces which would be available for a general strike. Helphand once again stressed his conviction that it would take place on 22 January, the anniversary of the 'Bloody Sunday' of 1905. He added, however, that better co-ordination of the various organizations, and the establishment of connexions between them and the army, still remained to be accomplished.8 Helphand told Rantzau this much and no more: it was a very brief account of the arrangements he was then making. We have already seen that in Copenhagen, Helphand had succeeded in securing the co-operation of Fürstenberg, Uritsky, and Kozlovsky; he was now also in touch with Zurabov, a contributor to the newspaper Nashe Slovo. All these men were experienced underground workers; they had a variety of contacts in Russia, with local strike committees, independent revolutionary cells, or simply with like-minded individual revolutionaries. In addition, it is possible that Helphand was in touch, through Uritsky, with the Mezhrayontsy, a socialist group in St. Petersburg. Uritsky and another friend of Helphand's, Ryazanov, were among its leading members; it was the same group which Trotsky, after his return to Russia from America in 1917, joined and then later in the same year took with him into the Bolshevik party. Helphand did not tell Rantzau of his reverses. Another attempt to secure the co-operation of Bukharin failed; so did an offer, backed 6by a few hundred thousand roubles', to persuade Gurevich-Smirnov, a revolutionary journalist who lived in St. Petersburg, to found a newspaper. It was Kozlovsky who, during one of his frequent trips to the Russian capital, made the proposal to Smirnov. The journalist was, however, puzzled by the strange form in which the offer was made, as well as by the high subsidy which accompanied it. Smirnov's suspicion that the proposal involved political money from Germany was aroused. He declined the offer, adding that he was rather short of time.9 Another
8

9

Telegram No. 1943, continuation of telegram No. 1932, in WK 11c sec. Cf. Smirnov's report of the incident in Zolotoi nemetskii klyuch, by P. S. Melgunov, Paris, 1940, p. 137.

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attempt to establish a connexion in St. Petersburg was made by Helphand together with Uritsky and Kruse, the Danish journalist. On his trip to Russia, Kruse was to get in touch with a certain Buchspan, a high official in the Russian Ministry of Trade; according to Kruse, the attempt failed.10 The Bolshevik groups in Russia took no part in Helphand's activities. Their co-operation depended on Lenin's consent, and their leader had never given this. Anyway, the Bolshevik underground organization was so weakened by the war that it was hardly in a position to take effective action. Their St. Petersburg committee, for instance, never had more than eight to ten members, and its influence was severely limited. Apart from police supervision, they had to struggle against the enmity of those Mensheviks who approved of the war.11 Alexander Shlyapnikov, who supervised the Bolshevik organization on Lenin's behalf, has emphatically denied the suspicions that the Bolsheviks cooperated with Helphand at this point of the war. It is impossible to doubt his statement. Had they agreed to co-operate, the Bolsheviks would have been much better off than they were. Neither their central committee in Switzerland, nor the bureau in St. Petersburg, had even the most basic financial means at their disposal: at the time of Helphand's briskest activity in Russia, in the middle of December 1915, Lenin wrote to Alexandra Kollontay in Scandinavia: 'No money. There is no money here. That is the main trouble.'12 Such cares Helphand did not have. The Foreign Ministry and, if need be, he himself, were good providers. He did, however, have to keep an eye on the diplomats, to maintain their interest in the revolution in Russia, and to convince them that attempts at achieving a separate peace with the Tsar were futile. Especially then, when the strikes in Russia were imminent, Helphand wanted to make quite sure that no unexpected agreement between the German Government and the Tsar would ruin his plans. On 30 November 1915, Helphand gave Rantzau a memorandum which examined the problem of peace, while making
10

11
12

Cf. M. Futrell, Northern Underground, London, 1963, pp. 173-4. A. Shlyapnikov, Kanun Semnadtsatovo Goda, vol. 2, p. 100. Gankin and Fisher, The Bolsheviks and the World War, London, 1940, p. 280. M.R.-N

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additional suggestions as to the ways in which a revolutionary

situation in Russia could be precipitated. He warned the German Government against a deal with the Tsarist regime. He claimed that it no longer commanded the necessary authority: if the Tsar concluded a peace with Germany, it could then be expected that a reactionary government would come into power. It would have a 'heavy nationalist coat of paint', and it would not feel itself
bound by the Tsar's undertakings. With financial backing by the

Entente, it would attempt, Helphand argued, to circumvent the contract made by the Tsar: Germany would thus be deprived of the 'political results of her own achievements on the battlefield'.13 An agreement with the Tsar might therefore conclude the war, but it could not establish a peace. 'Russia has already reached such a stage of political development that a secure peace with this country is impossible as long as the contracting government does not enjoy the confidence of the people.' If, on the other hand, Germany did not conclude peace with the Tsar, peace would then become the general slogan of the revolutionary movement. Helphand added that the desire for peace, combined with extreme material privations, would give the impetus to revolution. For a government which achieved power
in this way, the first problem would be to put an end to the

hostilities and to offer immediate peace. And since the leaders of the revolution could place the whole blame for the war squarely
on the shoulders of the late government, it should be much easier

for them to make considerable concessions to Germany in the peace treaty. Peace would then be the fulfilment of the wishes of the whole nation, and it would have strong popular backing. Helphand was convinced that the situation was quite ripe for the emergence of the government he had in mind. 'The revolutionary organizations are now stronger in Russia and more resolute than they were before the outbreak of the general strike
in 1905. The bitterness which has spread among the masses cannot be compared with that in the year 1905, and the army has

taken up an anti-government position. Only the last inclinations towards inertia and apathy remain to be overcome, as always is the case with great mass movements.' Helphand believed that in
13

Über die Möglichkeit der Revolutionierung Russlands, WK 11c sec.

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the stormy atmosphere of Russia, highly susceptible to influence from abroad, the developments on the eastern front were of firstrate importance: he was certain that the capture of Riga and of Dünaburg would make a profound impression in Russia, destroying her last faint hopes of victory. He then proposed certain financial measures which would open up another way for effective intervention from the outside. This was an inexpensive measure against the Russian money market, a measure which would push the value of the rouble still lower, and which would undermine the confidence of the Russian people in their currency. Should it be possible to demonstrate, Helphand wrote, that two sets of notes with the same serial numbers were in circulation, a panic would be created in Russia which would have the most harmful effect on the country's credit position abroad. It would not be difficult, Helphand implied, to introduce forged currency into the Russian market. Finally, he recommended a concentrated propaganda campaign in the Russian Army. It would have to take a form tailored to fit the circumstances, and not just that of anonymous leaflets. Helphand thought the German Social Democrat party and the trade unions were the most suitable organizations for the conduct of such a campaign, which should respect national feelings and avoid making a direct appeal to the troops to lay down their arms. 'The main thing', Helphand concluded, 'is to stimulate the revolutionary mood. All this will have to be tackled vigorously, as according to every expectation, the revolutionary events will be concentrated around 22 January.' Brockdorff-Rantzau sent Helphand's memorandum to Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, together with his own covering letter, noting that the memorandum was written on 'the basis of the secret reports of his confidential agent who has arrived here from St. Petersburg'.14 He went on to say that 'although, as with all such projects, we have no means of knowing that this plan will definitely succeed, Helphand's political past and especially the role he played in the revolution of 1905, give us a certain guarantee that his suggestions have some prospect of success; at any
14

The Minister to Copenhagen to the Chancellor, Report No. 43, of 30 November 1915,

in WK 11c sec.

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rate they are—compared with the vague views about the Russian revolutionary problem commonly in circulation—positive, and perhaps promise to bring about a solution of the question, which in favourable circumstances would be more radical than any solution we have contemplated. . . .' The Foreign Ministry's immediate decision to invite Helphand to Berlin was doubtless made on the basis of Rantzau's recommendations. The Minister to Copenhagen did everything to move the Foreign Ministry from its reserve, and to get its full support for Helphand's plans. Through his cousin, Counsellor Langwerth von Simmern, he even tried to arrange an audience for Helphand with the Reich Chancellor. For some members of the Foreign Ministry, this was going too far: Diego von Bergen, the reticent influential Minister in the Wilhelmstrasse, who dealt mainly with subversion in Russia, thought that people like Helphand were not fit to be admitted to the highest councils of the state. Between 16 and 20 December, Helphand spent a few days in Berlin where he discussed his plans in the Foreign Ministry and in the Treasury. A few difficulties emerged. Whereas the Foreign Ministry promised support, State Secretary Helfferich in the Treasury did not bother to conceal his disapproval of Helphand's monetary schemes. In 1915, no European government could be expected to take up that kind of suggestion; anyway, Helfferich was doubtful as to the technical plausibility of the measures against the rouble, and of the possibility of carrying them out successfully in haste and in absolute secrecy. Helphand did, however, take away with him from Berlin the promise that the German Government would allocate another one million roubles for propaganda directed against the Russian army.15 Although Helphand did not meet the Chancellor, Rantzau was doing more than his official duty on Helphand's behalf. On the day of his departure for Berlin, the Minister to Copenhagen wrote to Bethmann-Hollweg: at no other time did he make so determined a bid to influence Germany's eastern policy.16 The Russian Tsar, Brockdorff-Rantzau pointed out, had
15

16

Helfferich to Zimmermann, 12 December and 26 December 1915, in WK 11c sec. Report No. 470 of 16 December 1915, WK i ic sec.

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'assumed a frightful historical guilt and forfeited the right to any leniency from us': the traditional friendship with the Romanovs should therefore be given no weight whatever. Rantzau thought it necessary to attempt the destruction of the remaining feelings of solidarity between the German and the Russian ruling houses. The Tsar was a 'weak and insincere ruler', who, 'under the influence of mystic flagellants dreams of victory over an enemy who never wanted to start hostilities against him'. The political proposals put forward by Rantzau revealed the extent of the influence Helphand exercised over the Minister's thinking. Separate peace with the Romanovs was out of the question, because Russia's dynasty was on its way out: only a revolution could solve the eastern question. The Minister thought every means justified that secured Germany's position as a great power, that protected her from exhaustion, that would simply save her from 'accepting conditions dictated by the Entente' at the peace negotiations in the future.
Victory and its reward, the first place in the world, will be ours if we succeed in instigating a revolution in Russia at the right time, thereby breaking up the Entente. After the conclusion of peace the internal collapse of Russia would be of little value to us, perhaps even undesirable. It is certainly true that Dr. Helphand is neither a saint nor a welcome guest; he believes in his mission, however, and his competence was tested during the revolution after the Russo-Japanese war. I think we ought, therefore, to make use of him before it is too late. We should prepare ourselves for a policy with Russia which our grandchildren will, one day, call traditional, when, under the leadership of the House of Hohenzollern, the German nation has established a lasting friendship with the Russian people. This goal will not be achieved until the Tsarist Empire is shocked out of its present condition. Dr. Helphand believes he can show the way, and he has made positive proposals which are based on twenty years' experience. In view of the present situation, I believe we must take the chance. The stakes are certainly high, and success not necessarily certain. Nor do I misjudge the repercussions on our internal political scene which this step can bring in its wake. If we are able to

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bring about a final military decision in our favour, this would be by all means preferable. Otherwise, I am convinced that all that remains is the attempt at this solution, because our existence as a Great Power is at stake—perhaps even more.

Brockdorff-Rantzau's striking communication to the Reich Chancellor clearly defined the scope and the problems of Germany's eastern policy. He was aware of the risks his country was running, and he did not neglect the possible consequences for Germany's internal policy of the measures he recommended so highly. The consequences Helphand was hoping for Rantzau accepted, perhaps even feared: this was the only important difference between them. Rantzau accepted the risks because, at the end of 1915, he was certain that victory could no longer be achieved by conventional military means: he made it quite plain what kind of a victory he would have preferred. He welcomed Helphand's co-operation because he saw no other way out. There can, on the other hand, be no doubt that Rantzau's willingness to oblige had a profound effect on Helphand. He was certainly glad of the Minister's benevolence; he may even have been flattered. It caused him to abandon the caution he had shown before. When Helphand had written his original March memorandum for the Foreign Ministry, he had confined himself to discussing the preparations for a mass strike; with Rantzau he had talked, during the previous few weeks, about preparations for a revolution. The two men gave each other far too much encouragement. The fact that the German Government had shown itself unwilling to give their plans as much support as they demanded, did not dampen Helphand's enthusiasm. Immediately after his return to Copenhagen from Berlin, Helphand again requested, through the Minister, the promised one million roubles.17 He pointed out that it was absolutely essential that an agent travelling to Petrograd in the next few days should be given the money in order to organize, in the last remaining weeks before 22 January, the connexions between the various revolutionary centres. So that he should forestall objections, Rantzau added that Helphand
17

Report No. 489 of 21 December 1915, WK 11c sec.

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187

did not appear 'to be twisting my arm; his suggestion appears to have arisen out of the political situation rather than personal considerations. . . .' It was in the same conversation that Helphand indicated, for the first time, that a successful outcome in January was not an absolute certainty. He indicated that an additional twenty million roubles were necessary to complete the organization of the revolution: he was clearly toning down the high expectations that had recently marked his conversations with the Minister. Although Helphand still maintained his belief that the revolutionary movement would be set in motion by the events in January, he added that it would not embrace 'the whole country at once'. And although he was convinced that, after the initial revolutionary success, Russia would be unable to regain her internal peace and stability, he advised the German Government to prepare itself for another winter campaign, and to put the measures he had suggested into immediate operation. Now, at the end of December, Helphand tried to retreat to the position he had originally held, before he had started talking about a revolution instead of a general strike. But his attempt to bring the Foreign Ministry down to earth and to dispel, at the last moment, any illusions about the great event which was about to occur in St. Petersburg was doomed to failure. It was he himself who had nurtured these illusions in the first place. He was now fighting against his own shadow: Parvus, the revolutionary, was in danger of being outplayed by Dr. Helphand, the diplomatic adviser. He received the million roubles 'for the support of the revolutionary movement in Russia' on 29 December,18 and early in January 1916 he took it with him to Stockholm. He was more accessible there to his agents in Russia, and better placed to observe the development of the strike. On 3 January 1916, he telegraphed Brockdorff-Rantzau: 'A11 is going as desired. Expecting reports from St. Petersburg.'19 The strike movement in Russia in January 1916 made a vigorous start. On 11 January, more than 10,000 workers at the 'Naval'
18 19

The Akten der Gesandtschaft Kopenhagen, 'Helphand', contain his handwritten receipt. loc. cit., telegram No, 24.

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factory in Nikolaev came out on strike. Although it was ostensibly motivated by economic grievances, the local police was in no doubt as to its political motives. The wage demands were pitched so high that the management could not possibly have satisfied them. In a police report signed by Rear-Admiral Muraviev and sent to the Government, it was left an open question 'whether this political strike is the work of the enemy of the established order, that is, of the left-wing parties, or whether the enemy of the state [Germany] had a hand in it'.20 Since every attempt to bring the strike to an end failed, the Admiralty ordered the closure of the factory on 23 February. Eleven days after the Nikolaev workers had downed tools, another 45,000 workers came out on strike in St. Petersburg, in memory of the events of the Bloody Sunday in 1905. The January strikes started unexpectedly and briskly: they were taken note of by diplomatic observers in the capital, who regarded them as an early danger signal. There can be no doubt that Helphand thought them his own achievement. He had put a special stress on the development of the revolutionary movement in the harbour towns of South Russia, Odessa and Nikolaev: his first revolutionary contacts in the war were with these towns; the date and the course of the strike in the capital also pointed to Helphand's influence. The workers everywhere were able to stay away from their factories for a considerable length of time: Helphand had taken special care that the strike committees should have sufficient sums at their disposal for the payment of the rouble equivalent of about 3s. (1916 value) to a worker every day. The strikes did not, however, spark off a revolution. In the capital, fewer men were involved than Helphand had anticipated; the workers in Moscow and in the provinces did not follow their lead. Helphand was wrong in assuming that he could, in the course of a few months, convert the volatile mood of discontent into a revolution; he overestimated the effectiveness of the means at his disposal. Organization had never been his strong point: he thought improvisation sufficient if enough money, imagination, and energy, were used in the process. He fell far short of creating a comprehensive and disciplined organization capable of leading
20

N. G. Fleer, Rabocheie dvizhenie v gody voiny, Moscow, 1923, p. 247.

Not by Money Alone 189

a mass movement; he had perhaps failed to see through the contrived optimism of his paid agents. He did not, however, consciously mislead the Foreign Ministry. The diplomats' trust in him, and his reputation as an expert, would have been too high a price to pay for a confidence trick. He was not under any pressure to produce tangible results so soon. He himself was the original source of the high expectations and hopes, but he made an error of judgement, for which he alone was responsible. When Helphand returned to Copenhagen after three weeks' stay in Stockholm, he tried hard to save his face. In a conversation with Brockdorff-Rantzau on 23 January, he told the Minister that they had not really suffered a defeat. He said that his confidential agents in St. Petersburg had opposed—and this sounds quite possible—his directive to launch the strike on 22 January. The situation in the capital had changed considerably: some leading revolutionaries had been appointed to official positions; the supply crisis had been temporarily overcome. The leaders of the organization had therefore decided to postpone the beginning of the general strike. The organization was, however, still ready for action: its leaders hoped that they would later be able to bring 'enough people' into the streets, and to maintain control over their actions.21 Helphand was right in one respect: preparations for a strike were being made in St. Petersburg at the time. At the beginning of February the workers at the Putilov factory came out, and the course of the strike closely resembled the concurrent developments in Nikolaev.22 It is nevertheless doubtful whether there existed an organization behind the strike capable of bringing, as Helphand had maintained, 100,000 men into the streets at twenty-four hours' notice. Helphand himself had come to doubt its strength. He referred to the organization in order to explain the failure of the movement; after his talk with BrockdorffRantzau in January, he never mentioned it again. The Minister transmitted Helphand's explanation to the Chancellor on the same day, without making his customary comments. The report had a depressing effect in Berlin. The trump
21

Report No. 19 of 23 January 1916, WK 11c sec.

22

N. G. Fleer, op. cit., p. 255.

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card of the revolution had proved a dud. After the disappointment in January the question whether such a dubious and dangerous weapon was worth toying with had to be re-examined. It was not surprising that the critics of the revolutionary policy now found a wider response in Government circles. State Secretary von Jagow in particular, who, from the outset, had regarded the revolutionary adventure with the greatest misgivings, now felt himself vindicated in his political and moral objections. A descendant of a noble Prussian family, he had succeeded Kiderlen-Wachter as the head of the Foreign Ministry at the beginning of 1913. In the company of self-confident politicians and diplomats who never expressed their doubts as to the certainty of Germany's victory in the war, the sensitive and critical State Secretary appeared, in the words of a contemporary, an 'intellectual inclined to scepticism'. His bad health and limited energy made it difficult for him to assert himself against the more robust war lords. Jagow was an aristocrat and diplomat of the traditional school who had no liking for the paraphernalia of political warfare. He despised all agents, mediators, and political schemers, whose methods and personalities offended his sense of propriety and order. He had observed the unfolding of the revolutionary policy towards Russia with a great deal of reserve. Helphand he trusted neither personally nor politically, and, when he had to speak of him, he did so only in a derisive and sarcastic tone. In Rantzau's view, the State Secretary used Helphand only to 'sharpen his tongue on him'. After the January debacle, Jagow's distrust increased further: he expressed the suspicion that Helphand let the funds for the revolution flow into his own pocket. It was mainly due to Jagow's influence that the Foreign Ministry let itself be discouraged by the initial failure. After January 1916, the diplomats cut back their revolutionary activities to a minimum. Neither the Minister to Copenhagen nor Helphand were asked, throughout the year, to organize any major enterprise of subversion in Russia. Only propaganda work and the smuggling of defeatist leaflets were carried on, though without any considerable official subventions. These activities were assigned no greater importance than the isolated operations

Not by Money Alone 191

of a handful of Russian and Baltic revolutionaries, which received occasional support from Gisbert Freiherr von Romberg, the German Minister to Berne. As far as the diplomats were concerned, Helphand was banished into a political limbo. Rantzau kept in touch, but he was incapable of reviving their project on his own. None the less, Helphand's belief in the inevitability of the revolution made it possible for him to weather the crisis, and to wait for his rehabilitation by the events in Russia. Only time would show whether his work had been as pointless as the Foreign Ministry was inclined to assume. He kept up both his revolutionary headquarters in Copenhagen, and his interest in the work of subversion in the Tsarist Empire. He is very likely to have received further support for his activities in Russia from the Political Section of the General Staff.23 When the Foreign Ministry's interest in the revolution in Russia and in Helphand again revived in March 1917, we catch a glimpse of Helphand swiftly transferring his activities, carried out under the auspices of the General Staff, back under the protection of the diplomats. Nevertheless, during the year 1916, his Copenhagen export and import business in fact extended its scope. Its transactions seldom lacked political purpose.
23

The papers of the General Staff were destroyed by fire in World War II.

9
Business and Politics
Early in 1916, Helphand decided to bring a personal matter to a conclusion. For more than twenty years he had been tolerated in Germany as an alien: he had suffered expulsion from a number of federal states, including Prussia; he had been put into custody, on a number of occasions, for 'breach of banishment'. Apart from the threat of being extradited to Russia, he had been unable to participate fully in Germany's politics. He remained a homeless, vagabond revolutionary; the Social Democrat party was his 'new fatherland', and he regarded such terms as 'people' and 'nation' as the relics of a dying age. He may have detested Prussia and everything the term stood for, and he may have suffered an acute aversion from the ways of the German lower middle class. Yet he acquired, over the years, respect for Germany's civilization, which he thought 'more complex and more profound' than that of other countries he knew well. Originally, German language and literature had been for him the gateway out of the east European spiritual ghetto. In 1891 he had written to Liebknecht that he was looking for a new country, but one for a reasonable price: the consideration hardly applied in 1916. Helphand could now afford the best. He demanded it, in abrupt terms. He had suffered too long at the hands of the bureaucrats, and he was going to stand no more nonsense from them. He had mentioned his request to Zimmermann in the Foreign Ministry in December; on 2 January 1916 he requested 'as speedy a settlement of this question as possible'. He wanted to become a German, not a Prussian, citizen (naturalization was usually granted by one of the federal states; only foreigners who were employed in official positions could receive Reich German citizenship): Helphand agreed to accept Prussian citizenship only after the Minister of the Interior had expressed

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'grave misgivings'. In the curriculum vitae which accompanied his application, Helphand made it clear that he saw himself as a bearer of German civilization, as a socialist who had enjoyed, for many years, 'a world-wide reputation as a German scholar and a representative of the ideas of German Social Democracy'.1 'I am renewing my application for German citizenship', Helphand added, 'for personal reasons—because I wish the intellectual bond between the German people and myself to be formally recognized—but above all for political reasons. It is important that in the great struggle between the nations, which the war has brought about, everyone should perform his part with all the strength he can muster. This is possible in my case only if I become a fully recognized German citizen.' During the preliminary negotiations for his naturalization, Helphand behaved in a self-confident, even arrogant, manner. He knew he was applying from a position of strength; it was merely the purchase of another bourgeois convenience. In this respect he had made a considerable advance in the last few months. Soon after his arrival in Copenhagen, he had acquired a large house in the Vodrovsvej, the fashionable quarter of the town, which he furnished lavishly and without taste. He then bought one of the biggest cars on the market, a large Adler limousine; several thoroughbred dogs kept guard over his property. He had another residence at his disposal in Berlin, which he used very rarely: he preferred to impress his German comrades with a suite in the Hotel Kaiserhof. He even made an experiment in conventional family life. He lived with a Frau Maria Schillinger: their son—Helphand's third—born in the middle of 1917, bore the surname of his mother and the Christian name of his father. Helphand always spoke with great pride of the child, regarding him as a guarantee of the continuity of the family tradition. Like the rest of Helphand's children, Alexander Schillinger also disappeared into the whirlpool which Europe was later to become. Helphand's generous hospitality as well as his efforts to make concessions to the bourgeois way of life, made it possible for him to establish, very slowly, personal contacts with the leaders of the
1

11 February 1916, in WK 11c sec.

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The Merchant of Revolution

right wing of the socialist party. Whereas previously Helphand had had to be content with meeting them in private, now, in the spring of 1916, he started to make occasional visits to a number of coffee-houses, especially the C f Victoria, where Südekum, aé Cunow, Baake, Haenisch, Lensch, and others were usually to be found. Most of them were contributing to Die Glocke, which was then paying unusually high fees. With their help, he was soon able to start expanding his publishing activities. He was still thinking, as he had done at the turn of the century, in terms of a socialist publishing company, through which he could exert a direct influence on party politics, and which would become a rallying point for his personal supporters. He had no need to fear the difficulties into which he had run in the case of Gorki's contract. In his own words, Helphand was suffering from a 'surfeit of mammon': he could afford to carry even a continuous and substantial loss. In the summer of 1916, Helphand had his Verlag für Sozialwissenschaft transferred from Munich to Berlin; under Heinrich Cunow as the new director, it soon embarked on the publication of its own pamphlets and book series. A year later, Helphand bought the paper Internationale Korrespondenz, which had been established by Albert Baumeister at the beginning of the war. Through its translations of foreign press commentaries, the new Internationale Korrespondenz exercised a considerable influence on the provincial socialist newspapers. At the same time, Helphand's publishing house extended its activities to the army: 20,000 copies of its Sozialdemokratische Feldpost were sent fortnightly to the front, free of charge. Helphand was building for the future, regardless of the price. The political purpose behind his publishing activities was easy to detect: he was a German subject, and political office would no longer be closed to him. He was patiently assembling a group of followers and establishing a direct means of communication with the rank-and-file party members. Apart from his Berlin enterprise, Helphand's 'Institute for the Study of the Social Consequences of the War' in Copenhagen was now also in good running order. He had first used it as a decoy for the recruitment of the Russian exiles, but it soon settled down

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to the pursuit of legitimate research. He succeeded in attracting local Scandinavian talent to the Institute: Professor Karl Larsen, who entertained pro-German sympathies in the war, looked after its interests; Sven Trier, the Danish socialist, became its secretary. At the Institute's headquarters on the Österbrogade, a unique library grew up in the course of the war, which Helphand subsidized at the monthly rate of 40,000 kroner. It also published, from March 1916, a special bulletin containing statistical material and articles on the political and social impact of the war. Helphand himself made use of this material in a study of the social consequences of the war, published by his Berlin firm in the summer of 1917.2 Helphand told Brockdorff-Rantzau nothing about the activities of the Institute. Only in December 1915 did the Minister discover, by the aid of a confidential agent, that the Institute in fact existed, and that it kept 'a number of young Jews' only mildly busy.3 Since Helphand was the President of the organization, Rantzau could not help suspecting the existence of 'political aims' behind it; it was not until January 1916 that he dared 'most humbly to observe that the work of the Institute for the Study of the Social Consequences of the War has increased considerably, and that we cannot deny it a certain academic value'.4 Helphand was unusually sensitive to any doubts as to the genuine scholarly purpose of the undertaking. In the French newspaper Humanité in October 1915, the Russian publicist Alexinski—formerly a Bolshevik—described Helphand as an agent provocateur and his Copenhagen Institute as an organization of spies, hiding behind 'the name of knowledge'. Through one of the Institute's employees named Zurabov, Helphand sent a sharp denial to Humanité, threatening an action against the author of the article.5 The Foreign Ministry in Berlin was of the opinion, however, that there was no point in stirring up the affair: on its advice, Helphand let the matter drop. Helphand's extreme sensitivity was largely due to the fact that he wanted to be seen in the role of a patron of learning. Alexinski's
2

3
4

Die soziale Bilanz des Krieges, Berlin, 1917.

5

Report by Herr Otto, in Akten der Gesandtschaft Kopenhagen, 124 a. Report No. 6 of 14 January 1916, loc. cit. Humanité 19 October 1915. 'Le Cas Parvus. Une Protestation et une Réplique.'

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insinuations were in fact wrong. Helphand was spending a lot of his own money on the Institute and he maintained, quite rightly, that it was a scholarly enterprise. As to its international reputation—Helphand thought that the Institute had achieved this—its accomplishments were not very impressive. After the war, a few writers made use of the material assembled in Copenhagen: they were neither numerous nor well known enough to hand down the name of Helphand, with the reputation he so much desired, to posterity. All this multifarious academic and publishing activity was made possible by Helphand's amazing success in business. It touched a dominant instinct in him: its results were much more tangible than those of his writing on the problems of economic theory. He had always wanted financial success, but now he wanted it more than anything else. He had a good eye for the deficiencies in the economic structure of capitalism, and he avoided competition with the established financial interests. Instead, he concentrated on the neglected areas of economy and international trade. After his arrival in Denmark he continued to make money on an even larger scale than he had done in Constantinople. In Copenhagen, Helphand soon made a promising start. First, he obtained a licence for a poster company, which was to turn the customary German system of 'advertising columns' into a profitable sinecure. Then, late in the summer of 1915, he founded the 'Trading and Export Company'—Handels og-Eksportkompagniet—which, apart from serving as a front-organization for Helphand's revolutionary activities, soon became a profitable business enterprise. Jakob Fürstenberg was its managing director; his connexions in Russia and Poland proved useful in both of the company's functions. In April 1916, Georg Sklarz joined the Eksportkompagniet. He had worked for the Admiralty and for Military Intelligence; apart from a capital of 40,000 marks and the goodwill of the General Staff, he brought with him into Helphand's company the assistance of his two brothers, Waldemar and Heinrich. Georg was the eldest of the three Sklarzes; he was a small man with an ascetic face and very deep-set eyes. He was a resourceful, versa-

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tile businessman, unscrupulous and tough. Brockdorff-Rantzau himself was much impressed by the little man with the suffering face: he kept on recommending Georg Sklarz 'most warmly' to his cousin Langwerth von Simmern. Waldemar Sklarz worked for Georg as his secretary, while Heinrich was engaged in carrying out secret commissions in the field of economic espionage. He had been sent to Copenhagen at the end of 1915, by the General Staff: he was to report regularly on the influence exercised by the Allied countries on Danish economic life. Heinrich Sklarz ran, under the cover name 'Pundyk', a small intelligence agency in Copenhagen; it employed a few agents, double agents, ladies of doubtful virtue, and a female artiste called Amatis. Apart from his main field of investigation, Sklarz specialized in collecting information on the passage of embargoed German goods through Denmark on the way to the Allied countries. The German Naval Staff paid 4,000 kroner a month towards the running expenses of Heinrich Sklarz's agency: the money was passed on through Helphand and Georg Sklarz. Their trading company made use of the information gathered by Heinrich Sklarz's agency; the official co-operation and protection certainly did not have an adverse effect on the size of the profits made by the Eksportkompagniet. It satisfied all the interested parties: trading profits could be regarded as a reward for the political services rendered by Helphand and his friends. Although the range of their company's business was wide—it extended as far as the Netherlands, Great Britain, and the United States—it concentrated largely on trade with Russia. It dealt in a variety of goods, from stockings and contraceptives to raw materials and machinery: Helphand procured copper, rubber, tin, and corn for Germany's war economy, while exporting chemicals and machinery to Russia. Some of the goods were covered by export licences, others were smuggled; they were taken over, as soon as they crossed the Russian frontier, by the Petrograd firm of Fabian Klingsland. A woman called Evgeniya Sumenson acted as an agent for this firm; it was she who kept in touch with Fürstenberg. The Klingsland firm was authorized, by an agreement in April 1916, to sell medical supplies from
M.R.-O

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Copenhagen, and then to deposit the profit on a special account at a Petrogradbank.6 After the failure of the strike movement in January 1916, Helphand's firm either continued to finance current revolutionary expenditure in Russia, or—and this alternative sounds more probable—was accumulating capital in Russia to be used for similar purposes in the future. Whatever the case may have been, the business proved a profitable undertaking: it could stand on its own feet, without drawing on official subsidies. Helphand himself had extended his business interests across the whole of Europe. In 1916 he paid taxes to the Danish internal revenue on a capital of 540,000 kroner, and on an income of 41,000 kroner; it represented only a small part of his fortune. In July, Helphand invested a 'considerable sum 'in a firm in Bulgaria and Turkey, which was to reorganize the agrarian production in these countries with the help of the German Government; he had other sums of money invested in almost all the neutral countries. He had, however, not yet exhausted the business opportunities offered by the Scandinavian countries. The strength of Denmark's economic ties with Britain caused concern among the German diplomats, for they feared that the country might come under an even stronger Allied influence. In an attempt to counter this development, the Danish socialist movement was to prove useful. In the circles of the Danish socialists and trade unionists, Germany could count on a more cordial atmosphere: the socialist ties between the two countries were not completely cut off by the outbreak of the war. Although Helphand's welcome by the local socialists had been rather cool, he succeeded, by the end of 1915, in establishing close contacts with the leaders of the trade unions. The Danish unions were practical and undogmatic organizations which had become, through their various co-operative and trading offshoots, deeply embedded in the economic life of the country. It was this aspect of their activities that brought Helphand into contact with Karl Kiefer, the influential and shrewd trade union leader. Helphand was favourably impressed by the enterprise shown by the Danish trade unions: he realized that their trading com6

Nachlass Helphand, Rep. 92.

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199

panics could be supported by Germany in an unobtrusive, purely commercial way. There existed, at the time, an opening through which Germany's influence could make itself felt. Britain was the main exporter of coal to Denmark; its price rose sharply owing to the war until, in the winter of 1915-16, severe shortages of coal hit the Danish economy, and especially the private consumer. In the spring of 1916, Helphand told Brockdorff-Rantzau of his plan for making Denmark less dependent on coal supplies from Britain. He proposed that coal, imported from Germany, could be sold to the private consumer direct through a special trade union sales organization. Helphand was convinced that, by cutting out all intermediate trading, the price of English coal could be undercut. Again, the Minister to Copenhagen gave his unqualified support to Helphand's plans; in the middle of June 1916 he went once more to Berlin, with the Minister's recommendation, in order to discuss the project with Baron Langwerth von Simmern, and with the official 'export bureau'.7 After some initial difficulties, which were soon removed with the help of Dr. Töpffer, the commercial attache in Copenhagen, Helphand swiftly brought the negotiations to the point where the Danish trade unions were made a concrete offer of supplies of German coal. They founded their own distribution company called the Arbejdernes Faellesorganisations Braendselfortning A/S:8 the German authorities agreed to supply it with a minimum of 90,000 tons of coal a month. Helphand held no official position on the board of the distribution company: its chairman was Karl Madsen, the president of the Danish trade union movement, who was assisted by Karl Kiefer and V. G. A. Walther; two Germans—a Herr Albrecht and Georg Sklarz—looked after the technical side of the organization. Nevertheless, there remained an important part for Helphand to play: it is very likely that, without his assistance, the whole transaction would have broken down. He kept the shipment of coal from Germany to Denmark in his
Helphand to the Minister to Copenhagen, 27 June 1916, in Nachlass BrockdorffRantzau, H231402-H231407. 8 P. G. Chesnais, Parvuset le parti socialiste danois, Paris, 1918, p. 16.
7

200The Merchant of Revolution

own hands. In October 1916, he founded his own freight company, the Københavns Befragtnings-og Transport-Kompagniet, a
share in which he gave to the Danish trade unions; the company declared itself ready to look after the entire transportation of coal. At this point, however, Helphand ran into a variety of vested interests. Hugo Stinnes, the powerful industrialist who had hitherto controlled the export of coal to Denmark, as well as Herr Huldermann, a representative of the Hamburg-Amerika shipping line, raised objections; the insurance companies were unwilling to commit themselves to a quotation of a fixed rate of premium. There came a point when the whole project appeared in danger of running into insuperable difficulties. No one connected with Germany's coal trade showed the slightest sympathy for a competitive undertaking, by which the Danish trade unions were largely to benefit. The difficulties did not put Helphand off. On the contrary. He found himself, once again, in a situation he was used to: he had to build up a large-scale organization from scratch, and as fast as he could. And once again he was able to take advantage of an inconsistency in the existing arrangements. The union of the German shipping-lines and the independent shipowners in Stettin were then locked in fierce competition, and Helphand made good use of this. He was able to offer steady employment for the freighters; in return, he received special terms. He also bought a number of freighters and went into business himself as an independent operator. The arrangements for the shipment of coal from Germany worked far too well. Towards the end of the autumn, the Danish docks came under a veritable bombardment from Helphand's coal. The agreed monthly minimum was easily exceeded; the dockside warehouses were soon full to capacity; there was neither enough space nor labour for unloading the freighters. Because of the delays in unloading, Helphand ran into difficulties with the shipowners; in the end, the saturation of the docks became so severe that some 200,000 tons of coal had to be put on a pit heap outside Copenhagen. At the same time, the trade-union-owned distribution company was unable to sell, and therefore to buy, the agreed quota.

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Sklarz's efforts to find new storage space were frustrated by the Danish coal dealers as well as—according to Sklarz—by English agents; they all had good reasons for wanting the venture to fail. Helphand was the only person who could save it. At the most critical moment he gave the distribution company a credit of one million kroner, which tided it over the temporary difficulties. The failure on the distribution side aroused the German opponents of the project once again. Brockdorff-Rantzau received reports from the Hamburg-Amerika line stating that 'the whole affair was handled in an unbusinesslike manner', and that, because of the fines resulting from delays in unloading, the price of coal would be considerably increased. The Minister was advised to withdraw from this 'great bankruptcy' while there was still time, so as not 'to sink into the abyss of political oblivion'.9 Dr. Töpffer, the commercial attache, also expressed grave misgivings. He suggested, in the middle of November, that the enterprise was, in its present form, a complete failure and that it would do more harm than good. According to the information at his disposal, Töpffer told the Minister, only a small part of the German coal was helping the Danish workers. The company had sold most of the coal to industry and to the Government: it had in fact developed a coal business—in order to overcome the temporary crisis—which in no way corresponded to the original intentions. In addition, he considered Helphand's freightage profits—two kroner a ton—too high. Töpffer was very pessimistic as to the future of the business, and he regarded intervention from the Berlin Ministry of War as most likely.10 Before taking any steps one way or the other, Rantzau waited to hear the opinion of Eric Scavenius, the Danish Foreign Minister. They met on 18 November, the day Dr. Töpffer submitted his report. Scavenius implored Rantzau straight away 'not to be discouraged by the unfortunate experiences which, perhaps, cannot be avoided in such a great undertaking'.11 When Rantzau pointed out that Hugo Stinnes would try to turn every difficulty to his own advantage, Scavenius said that because of this and
10

B. Huldermann to Brockdorff-Rantzau, 11 October 1916, Nachlass Brockdorff-Rantzau H231400-H231401. Memorandum from Dr. Töpffer, 18 November 1916, Nachlass Brockdorff-Rantzau. 11 loc. cit., Brockdorff-Rantzau's memorandum of 19 November 1916.

9

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The Merchant of Revolution

because of the threat of English intervention, every measure must be taken to enable the unions to carry on with their coal imports. The Foreign Minister declared himself 'against giving up the coal business in any circumstances' because—he could not have given a better reason—'the most important means of taking up an independent attitude in regard to England would be taken out of our hands'. After the talk with Scavenius, Brockdorff-Rantzau could no longer entertain any doubts as to the political importance of the coal business. Apart from continuing to give it his full protection, Rantzau helped to put it back on its feet. On Dr. Töpffer's suggestion, deliveries of coal were temporarily stopped, to give the transport and distribution companies enough breathing space to reduce their reserves and sort out their organization. They used the opportunity successfully. The distribution company purchased, in the course of the year 1917, a large number of wharves and warehouses, which employed about 1,000 people. At the same time, Helphand converted his freightage agency into a regular shipping firm, which could guarantee fixed rates on long-term contracts. The Danes wanted the security of long-term agreements: this, however, the German authorities refused, preferring to regulate the supply of coal on a monthly basis. In this way they could also regulate the amount of food and the number of horses imported from Denmark, as well as keeping the Danes—as the Foreign Ministry in Berlin saw it—under control. Otherwise, Helphand had it all his own way. He even succeeded, with the support of Brockdorif-Rantzau, and after lengthy negotiations in Berlin, in coining directly to terms with the mining companies in the Ruhr area. The German authorities continued to regard the coal trade as being of first-rate political importance. When, for instance, difficulties arose after the declaration of unrestricted U-boat warfare, they were soon ironed out by Rantzau's intervention with Ludendorff. The German Minister to Copenhagen certainly had every reason to stand by the coal agreements, as their political results exceeded all expectations. As early as August 1916, Rantzau was able to report that the deliveries had had 'such a favour-

Business and Politics 203

able effect on the Socialist Party that they are prepared to use their parliamentary influence in any way I might suggest'.12 On the same day Scavenius, the Foreign Minister, told Rantzau that to his delight he found enthusiastic support among the socialists for his policies. When the anti-German newspapers in Denmark published disclosures about the bribery of the Danish trade unions by the German Government, Rantzau emphatically repeated that, without the coal business, it would have been impossible 'to win the Social Democrat trade unions, and the party, over to our side'.13 Success in Denmark led Helphand to consider applying the same methods in other neutral countries. The German Minister to Stockholm, Lucius von Stödten, was enthusiastic when Jansson, the German trade unionist of Swedish origin, put the idea before him, on Helphand's request. 'Quite regardless of whether or not it suits German industry', Lucius wrote to the State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry, 'the thing must go through.'14 Helphand's coal business in Sweden was not, however, as successful as his deal in Denmark; from Norway, Jansson brought with him a flat refusal by the local socialists. A similar rejection came from Switzerland after Robert Grimm, the influential socialist editor of the Berner Tagwacht, had put Helphand's proposal before the Swiss trade unions. Although Helphand soon found out that the same formula could not be applied in every case, he had scored a great success in Denmark. He needed this, especially after the debacle in Russia in January 1916. He was now at least partially rehabilitated in the eyes of the German Government. He was able to prove that Helfferich, the State Secretary in the Treasury, had been wrong when he described Helphand as a Utopian and revolutionary dreamer. In this penumbral region between politics and business, Helphand was in his element. He had a lot to offer, to a variety of men. He made the coal market safe for the Danish socialists: they
13

Brockdorff-Rantzau to the Foreign Ministry, telegram No. 1190 of 12 August 1916, in Europa Genera lia. BrockdorfF-Rantzau to the Chancellor, Report No. 76 of 6 March 1917, in Akten der Gesandtschaft {Copenhagen, 124. 14 Lucius to Zimmermann, letter of 12 June 1917, in WK 2 geh.

12

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gained a great deal of money and influence for their organizations during the war, and they repaid Helphand by remaining loyal to him until his death. To Rantzau, Helphand handed over the political laurels. The achievement of Denmark's 'benevolent neutrality' was credited to the Minister; his reputation was made in Copenhagen. It was a repayment for the disappointment in Russia. Helphand himself mainly made money: his gains from the coal business ran into millions of kroner. He never denied the profits he was making: he even was, in his way, rather off-hand about them. 'Be it far from me', he wrote in 1918, 'to justify capitalist gain by personal qualities. But I do not see why I should not bring some of the surplus value, hoarded by the capitalist class, over to my side.'15 He was, he admitted, a 'businessman, industrialist, capitalist', but he was not using his money any more selfishly than was customary at the time. He might have claimed that a considerable part of his income was used for the support of scholarship, in the form of the Institute in Copenhagen, and that, in addition, he was financing a holiday home for German children in Denmark. That he did not do so is another point in his favour. He felt no need to justify his wealth, and to counter the envy of his less fortunate enemies by drawing their attention to his generosity. Nor did he have any scruples about enjoying his good fortune, and letting his friends share in the enjoyment. In relation to money, Helphand did not feel himself bound by the conventional socialist code. It is possible that his business methods would have been somewhat out of place in the City of London: neither he nor his partner Sklarz corresponded exactly to the accepted picture of the 'city gent'. Helphand knew that he was on his own, that he had nothing but his wits to rely on; he may well have reflected that the embellishments on the old firm's coat-of-arms are usually added by the second or third generations who can also afford to take a more leisurely approach to the problems of accumulation of capital. Anyway, in comparison with most business magnates of his time, Helphand was by no means as unscrupulous and as
15

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 43.

Business and Politics 205

grasping as he was later described. He was an opportunist in business, and a passionate businessman: he had no scruples in exploiting the weaknesses of a system for which he had no liking whatever. For this reason he was unable to treat his financial success with the respect that was its due. The money he made was less important for him personally than for his political plans. He was a Marxist millionaire: a nouveau riche with a mission. There existed certain basic similarities between his coal plan for Denmark and the revolutionary memorandum of March 1915 for Russia. On both occasions, Helphand showed that he believed that any political aim could be realized with sufficient money, that the elite of the socialist leaders could resist the lure of mammon no more than any other social group, that friendship, as much as political support, had to be bought. Such a view informed his political strategy: it was the essence of his political and human experience.

10
Revolution in Russia
Within a few weeks, in the spring of 1917, the revolution in Russia tore down the structure of the Tsarist State. Early in March, starvation and fury forced the workers in Petrograd into the streets. Soon the political leaders emerged to make demands on behalf of the revolution. It was spontaneous, and therefore unexpected: it surprised the Russian exiles even more than the belligerent governments. Two and a half years' battering along a front-line which stretched hundreds of miles between the Baltic and the Black Seas, accompanied by economic and administrative dislocation on a vast scale, such was the necessary setting for the collapse of the Tsarist regime. It opened up new perspectives for the continuation of war, or for the conclusion of peace. It justified Helphand's expectations. His public acknowledgement of the revolution in Russia was decisive. 'Your victory is our victory', he wrote in Die Glocke on 24 March 1917. 'Democratic Germany must offer democratic Russia a helping hand for the achievement of peace and for effective co-operation in the field of social and cultural progress.' He saw the collapse of Tsarism as the result of Germany's military victory; the revolution was a mass movement, which concluded the 'momentous development which started in 1905'. Russia now had to complete her internal organization: Helphand described an immediate peace as the first task of the revolution. But public pronouncements were, as far as Helphand was concerned, no more than a means of expressing his sympathy for the revolution. He was more explicit in his correspondence with the German party leaders. On 22 March he wrote to Adolf Müller that he would like to see the introduction of the following measures: arming of the Russian proletariat, public prosecution

Revolution in Russia 207

of the Tsar, redistribution of the landed estates, introduction of the eight-hour working day in industry, the summoning of the constituent assembly, and the conclusion of peace: a programme which came close to Bolshevik ideas.1 He knew that he would need help, now more than ever, from the German authorities. As soon as the first reports on the success of the revolution reached Copenhagen, Helphand visited Brockdorff-Rantzau and asked him to transmit the following telegram to Berlin: 'Revolution is victorious, Russia is politically incapacitated, constituent assembly means peace.'2 On this occasion, the Minister received Helphand's optimism in a more reserved manner. He thought that Helphand expressed his opinions with an 'apodictic certainty': it was not, after all, the first time that Rantzau had heard Helphand passing judgements on Russia with the same self-assurance. Despite his caution, the Minister thought that 'these events are a great stroke of luck for us'. Once again, Rantzau showed himself ready to take careful note of what Helphand had to say. On 1 April, a detailed exchange of views took place between the two men.3 Helphand developed the view that Russia was tired of the war, and that a desire for peace should soon sweep over the whole country. For this reason, Germany had to abstain from a military offensive: Helphand feared that it might create a patriotic mood 'for the defence of liberties now achieved'. The Russian revolution had to be left alone in order to 'develop logically the consequences of the clash of interests which it had created'. The effect of the clash of class interests, Helphand went on, would shatter the very foundations of Russia. The peasants would expropriate, by force, the land of the nobility; the troops would desert the trenches and shoot their upper-class officers. The Ukrainians, the Caucasians, and other minority nationalities, would free themselves from Petrograd and break up the centralized organization of the Russian State. And starvation would continue to tax the patience of the masses: in
Parvus to Adolf Müller, in Akten der Gesandtschaft Kopenhagen (Russland). Brockdorff-Rantzau to Langwerth von Simmern, telegram of 17 March 1917, in Akten der Gesandtschaft Kopenhagen, 123. 3 Shorthand minutes of the conversation are in Nachlass Brockdorff-Rantz.au, H232307H232325.
2 1

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Helphand's words, the 'worst anarchy' would occur in two or three months. He pointed out that Germany's policy towards revolutionary Russia could follow one of two paths: the Berlin Government could decide on a large-scale occupation of Russia, and on breaking up the centralized Empire; or it could conclude an early peace with the provisional Government. For the realization of the first alternative Helphand recommended a powerful military offensive, to be launched in three months' time, which would, at the height of anarchy, conquer South Russia and render the country defenceless. In this case, however, the German Government 'would have to be determined to exploit ruthlessly the victory in the political field. This would involve the disarmament of the Russian army, the demolition of her fortresses, the destruction of her navy, prohibition of the manufacture of armaments and munitions, and an extensive occupation of Russia. If this did not happen, there is no doubt that the Russian Empire would rapidly grow into a new and aggressive military power, and its enmity would be all the more dangerous to Germany, the greater the wounds inflicted on it now.' In order to prepare the ground for this radical solution of the Russian question, the 'extreme revolutionary movement will have to be supported, in order to intensify anarchy'. If, however, the German Government was not prepared, as Helphand put it to Rantzau, to 'clear the decks in regard to Russia', or if it regarded the enterprise as impracticable, then it would have to make an effort to 'conclude peace with Russia, but a peace which would leave no bitterness on either side'. Otherwise Helphand feared a repetition of 'what happened to our relations with France in 1870, only with the difference that France had not outgrown us economically or politically, whereas Russia would doubtless develop an economic and political power that would surpass that of the territorially limited Germany'. For the achievement of this second aim, there was no point in trying to intensify the condition of anarchy in Russia: a stable situation would have to be brought about, and then negotiations opened with the government that could guarantee peace. Of the two choices, Helphand of course had his own pre-

Revolution in Russia 209

ference. As he saw it, his revolutionary programme had advanced, but not much: an early peace with the provisional Government might even slow down further developments in this direction. Anyway, at the time of his conversation with Rantzau, the possibility of peace with the new government in Petrograd appeared to be remote. The revolution, it was calculated in Petrograd and in other Allied capitals, would release fresh energies for the successful continuation of Russia's war effort. Helphand's own sympathies therefore lay with the first solution, which meant lending full support to the 'extreme revolutionary movement', that is, of Lenin and his Bolshevik party. Helphand found himself in a situation similar to that of May 1915. Then, it may be remembered, Lenin refused to co-operate: after the revolution in Russia, however, new factors had come into play which would—according to Helphand's calculations— force Lenin to adopt a different attitude towards a deal with Helphand and with the Imperial German Government. The circumstances were indeed different. In Switzerland, Lenin was cut off from Russia and 'corked up, as if in a bottle'; he was desperately looking for a way out. Even a deal with the devil, Lenin had declared, would suit him, if it made his return to Petrograd possible.4 There was really no need for Lenin to have been so agitated. The ground for a request to cross Germany had been prepared, and there were a number of influential men in Berlin ready to help. It was not the first time the German authorities had faced such a request: as early as the summer of 1915, the Russian exiles who were about to start working at Helphand's Institute had travelled through Germany on their way to Copenhagen. Again and again, Helphand had told the German diplomats what to think about the effectiveness, as a subversive force in Russia, of Lenin and his party. Bethmann-Hollweg, the Chancellor, recognized the momentous importance for Germany of the revolution in Russia; early in April he instructed the Minister to Berne to establish contacts with the Russian exiles and to offer them transit through Germany. Helphand did not wait as long before taking action as the poli4

N. Krupskaya, Vospominaniya o Lenine, Moscow, 1957, pp. 273-6.

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ticians in Berlin. While technical and legal means of transport were still being discussed in the Foreign Ministry, he had already taken the first practical steps. Since the transport of large numbers of Russian revolutionaries was complicated to arrange, he thought that an immediate transit across Germany of Lenin and Zinoviev, the two leading Bolsheviks, should be aimed at. It was at this point that the Fürstenberg link between Helphand and Lenin proved its value. Helphand first obtained the consent of the General Staff—not the Foreign Ministry—for his plan, and then asked Fürstenberg to let Lenin know that the transit for him and Zinoviev had been fixed, without, however, making it clear from which quarter the help had come. Georg Sklarz at once travelled to Zürich to accompany the two Bolshevik leaders on their journey across Germany.5 Helphand was wrong to assume that Lenin would accept the offer at once. On 24 March, the Bolshevik leader asked Zinoviev to send the following telegrams to Fürstenberg: 'Letter dispatched. Uncle [i.e. Lenin] wants to know more. Official transit for individuals unacceptable. Write express to Warschawski, Klusweg 8.' Georg Sklarz had left Copenhagen before the arrival of Zinoviev's telegram, and he further complicated matters in Zürich, by offering to pay the two Bolsheviks' fares. Lenin abruptly broke off the negotiations. Helphand had made a grave mistake. Without meaning to, he had built a trap for the two Bolshevik leaders: had Lenin accepted the offer, he would have compromised himself so much in the eyes of his compatriots that he would have been of use neither to the Bolsheviks nor to the Germans. And the tactlessness of Helphand's offer was matched by the clumsiness with which Georg Sklarz approached the Bolsheviks in Zürich. The provisional Government in Petrograd was still at war with Germany, and despite the amnesty it had recently declared for political offenders, there were risks Lenin knew he could not afford to take. A free trip on his own across Germany, was definitely one of them.
5

Fürstenberg's communication to Lenin is not available; Lenin's reply, through Zinoviev, has been published in Leninskii Sbornik, vol. XIII, p. 259; cf. also, telegram No. 353 of 27 March 1917, the Foreign Ministry to the Minister in Berne, in WK 2 geh.

Revolution in Russia 211

When Helphand talked to Brockdorff-Rantzau on 1 April, he knew that his proposal to Lenin had run into difficulties. He decided to visit Berlin in order to discuss the developments in Russia—which were now again absorbing all his attention—with both the diplomats and the socialists. His reputation as an expert on Russia had greatly improved: Rantzau's activities on 2 April, while Helphand was on the way to Berlin, bore witness to this. First of all, the Minister drafted a long telegram to the Foreign Ministry, summing up the views Helphand had expressed, and making them his own.
Either we are both militarily and economically in a position to continue the war effectively until the autumn. In that case it is essential that we try now to create the greatest possible degree of chaos in Russia. To this end, any patently apparent interference in the course of the Russian revolution should be avoided. In my opinion, we should, on the other hand, make every effort surreptitiously to deepen the differences between the moderate and the extremist parties, for it is greatly in our interests that the latter should gain the upper hand, since a drastic change would then be inevitable and would take forms which would necessarily shake the very existence of the Russian Empire. . . . In all probability, we should, in about three months' time, be able to count on the disintegration having reached the stage where we could break the power of the Russians by military action. If we were now to launch a premature offensive, we should only give all the various centrifugal forces a motive for uniting and even, perhaps, lead the army to rally in its fight against Germany.6

On the same day, Brockdorff-Rantzau wrote a personal letter to Zimmermann, Jagow's successor as Secretary of State in the Foreign Ministry. In every respect, Zimmermann was a much tougher person than the former State Secretary, and he had no scruples about the methods employed in the pursuit of his policies. Separate peace with Russia was one of them: but peace with a country so weakened that she would be dependent on Germany's goodwill. He was therefore convinced of the necessity of Russia's complete political and military breakdown: he understood that this, as well as separate peace, could be achieved only
6

Zeman, Germany and the Revolution in Russia, document No. 22.

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with the aid of the most radical wing of the Russian revolutionaries. Rantzau had been on friendly terms with Zimmermann for many years, and now, in the letter he wrote on 2 April, he asked the State Secretary to 'be kind enough personally to receive Dr. Helphand'.7
I am well aware that his character and reputation are not equally highly esteemed by all his contemporaries, and that your predecessor was
especially fond of whetting his sharp tongue on him. In answer to this,

I can only assert that Helphand has realized some extremely positive political achievements, and that, in Russia, he was, quite unobtrusively, one of the first to work for the result that is now our aim. Certain things, perhaps even everything, would be different now if Jagow had not totally ignored his suggestions two years ago! The connexions which Helphand has in Russia could now, in my opinion, be decisive to the development of the whole situation. Moreover, he is also in such close contact with the Social Democrats in Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia that he could influence them at any time. He is genuinely grateful to Your Excellency, as he knows that he has your intercession to thank for his acceptance into the German state at a time when his position was more than precarious, and he now feels himself to be a German, not a Russian, in spite of the Russian revolution, which should have brought about his rehabilitation. I therefore ask you to give him a hearing, since I am convinced that, properly handled, he could be extremely useful, not only in the decision of questions of international politics, but also in the internal politics of the Empire.

By the time the Foreign Ministry issued a formal invitation to an audience with the State Secretary, Helphand had already left Berlin; he had, however, discussed the technical details of the scheduled transport of the Russian exiles with von Bergen in the Foreign Ministry, arranging for Wilhelm Jansson, his trade unionist friend, to be included among the officials who were to accompany the Russian party. Helphand did not wait for the State Secretary's invitation
7

Zeman, op. cit., document No. 23.

From the Blue Book People of Our Time

IX. Brockdorff-Rantzau

X. Bethmann-Hollweg, Reich Chancellor, von Jagow, State Secretary, and Karl Helffench, State Secretary in the Treasury, 1915

Revolution in Russia 213

because he had more important business on hand. He had to win over the executive of the 'majority socialists' for his plans. So far their leaders, Philipp Scheidemann and Friedrich Ebert, had appeared unable to grasp the significance of the political changes in Petrograd. They knew little about Russia, and they were quite lost in regard to the problems of eastern policy. Their acknowledgement of the revolution had been rather off-hand: the telegrams to the chairmen of the Duma and the Soviet, drafted by Scheidemann, had been dispatched in the teeth of Ebert's opposition. In the evening of 4 April, Helphand, together with Jansson, addressed the party executive. They announced that within a few days Borbjerg, the Danish socialist deputy and editor of the Copenhagen Socialdemokrat, would travel to Petrograd. He intended to meet the leaders of the Soviet and discuss with them the possibilities of peace; both Helphand and Jansson suggested that a representative of the German party executive should travel to Copenhagen as soon as possible, in order to provide Borbjerg with instructions for his mission. Speed, Helphand insisted, was essential: Borbjerg was to leave within a few days, as he was determined to reach Petrograd before Hjalmar Branting, the Swedish socialist leader whose sympathies lay with the other side, the Allies. The executive were impressed, and they at once decided to send Scheidemann, Ebert, and Gustav Bauer, the trade union secretary, to Copenhagen. None of the party leaders had a passport of his own, and they applied for them to the Foreign Ministry. When Scheidemann recalled, in his memoirs, that Zimmermann directed his Ministry to issue the necessary documents 'overnight', he did so with a good deal of pride.8 Zimmermann was glad that the socialists had concurred with Helphand's suggestion, and he asked them especially to impress on Borbjerg Germany's desire for peace, and the fact that Poland should not prove an obstacle to a settlement. On 6 April, the German party leaders set out on their journey. Helphand travelled with them; he had made all the arrangements for the trip. Seats on the train were reserved; rooms had been
8

P. Scheidemann, Memoiren eines Sozialdemokraten, Dresden, 1928, vol. 1, p. 421. M.R.—P

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booked at the expensive Hotel Central in Copenhagen; a reception was waiting for the party leaders at Helphand's house on the Vodrovsvej. The German socialists were not accustomed to this kind of treatment and they were very impressed. Quite apart from his political usefulness—his connexions, in this case, with the Danish socialists—Helphand was a considerate and lavish host. He had not known Ebert and Scheidemann at all well before their trip to Copenhagen; he succeeded in establishing, during the expedition, a relationship of trust and friendship with them, which later survived much adversity. After dinner on their first day in Copenhagen, Helphand introduced Borbjerg to his friends. They liked their Danish comrade, who made it clear that his sympathies lay on the side of Germany. In what they told Borbjerg, Ebert and Scheidemann were carrying out Zimmermann's and Helphand's instructions. They said that Germany wanted a negotiated peace without annexations; it would be easy, they declared, to come to an understanding about some frontier rectifications. In the Balkans, however, the formula of 'no annexations' was not generally applicable: but given goodwill, even these problems could be settled. They added that Borbjerg might assure the Russians that Germany did not intend to launch an offensive on the Russian front.9 The German party leaders were so much absorbed by their new role as participants in high-level politics that they entirely lost sight of the interests of international socialism. They made not a single reference to the possibility of direct co-operation between the Russian and the German parties. It was left to Helphand to stress, in the conversation with Borbjerg, the socialist aspect of the new situation in Russia, and to draw the attention of his comrades to the future development of socialism in Europe. Helphand told Borbjerg that it was nonsensical to draw analogies from the events in Petrograd to the situation in Germany, and he asked the Danish comrade to make it clear to the Russian party leaders that, as long as the war lasted, no revolution could occur in Germany. The tasks of the German revolution were different: it did not have to remove, as in Russia,
9

P. Scheidemann, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 424.

Revolution in Russia 215

an obsolete state structure only, but the whole of the capitalist system. Russia was going through a bourgeois revolution, Germany would go through a socialist one. Helphand therefore advised the Russians not to worry about 'how freedom could be established in Germany', but to strive for the achievement of peace, which would bring the socialist workers out of the trenches and back into the party organization.10 All this was rather vague and unsatisfactory: apart from the assurance that the military would not launch an offensive on the eastern front, Borbjerg took with him nothing for the Russians worth having. It was, however, one way of establishing contact with the Russian revolutionaries, and there were others that might prove more effective. On 9 April Helphand inquired, through Brockdorff-Rantzau, about the date of the departure of the Russian émigrés from Zürich; he told the Foreign Ministry, at the same time, that he intended to meet the Russians as soon as they arrived at Malmö in Sweden. Only now did he let the German party leaders know that Lenin and Karl Radek, together with some forty other exiles, were on their way from Switzerland to Stockholm. He tried hard to convince Ebert, Scheidemann, and Bauer, who were then about to start on their return journey to Berlin, that at least one of them should stay in Copenhagen. There existed the possibility, he told them, that the Russians might want to discuss the situation with them, in which case a representative of the party should be available to travel to Malmö at once. The German party leaders were rather taken aback by Helphand's announcement about the return of the Russian exiles. They of course knew nothing about Helphand's connexions with the Foreign Ministry, nor of its activities for the promotion of chaos in Russia. In this particular case, they jumped to the wrong conclusions: they thought of the transport of the émigrés as an 'arrangement of Dr. Helphand', who had carried it out without the knowledge of the German socialists in order to absolve the party, should the plan misfire, from future incriminations.11 When Helphand suggested that one of them should stand by, they behaved just as naïvely. Ebert said that he feared he
10

Scheidemann, op. cit., p. 425.

n

ibid., p. 427.

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had no time to stay on in Copenhagen and that, anyway, the Russians probably would not negotiate with their German comrades. Scheidemann, who was at first inclined to stay, was overruled. The German delegation found it impossible to wait for the arrival of the Russians. The party leaders did, however, provide Helphand with a letter giving him full powers to negotiate on behalf of the executive. For the first time in his life, he was able to act as the representative of the German party: his main purpose was to get in touch with Lenin and the Bolsheviks, and he may well have been glad that there would be no witnesses about. Jakob Fürstenberg had instructions to arrange a meeting with Lenin: the company director met the Bolshevik leader in Malmö, and then travelled with him to Stockholm. They had enough time to discuss the case of comrade Helphand on the train. Would it be wise for Lenin to meet Helphand personally? The answer was no, it certainly would not. Lenin knew that, especially after his journey across Germany, he had to tread carefully and do nothing to compromise himself. When the Russian exiles arrived in Stockholm on 13 April, Helphand was already waiting there. He understood that Lenin's security precautions did not exclude the possibility of a confidential exchange of opinions through their mutual friend, Jakob Fürstenberg. Helphand therefore asked him to request information from Lenin about his political plans; 'peace was needed; what did he want to do'. Lenin replied that 'he was not concerned with diplomacy; his task was social-revolutionary agitation'.12 This reply did not satisfy Helphand: according to his own testimony, he then asked Fürstenberg to warn Lenin that '. . . he may go on agitating; but if he is not interested in statesmanship, then he will become a tool in my hands'. Helphand was the proud owner of a letter giving him full powers to negotiate on behalf of the German party, but it was of no use to him. He may well have been disappointed when he found out that Lenin was not inclined to risk a personal meeting: hence the bitterness of his last message to the Bolshevik leader. Lenin emerged as a much shrewder man than Helphand: there
12

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 51.

Revolution in Russia 217

was really no point in a high-level meeting. Whatever Helphand may have thought about it, the two men were not in a position to conclude peace between Germany and Russia, and Lenin's own views on the necessity of peace were by no means secret. The Bolshevik leader needed help but, above all, he had to be cautious. Anything Helphand and the Germans could do for him would have to be done in a roundabout way: in refusing him a personal meeting, Lenin made precisely this hint. Fürstenberg was still available as a go-between, and now Karl Radek arrived on the scene. He was, it should be remembered, officially an Austro-Hungarian subject; it was with him that Helphand spent most of the day on 13 April. It was a crucial and entirely secret encounter: we shall never know exactly what the two men had to say to each other. It is unlikely that they spent much time discussing Marxist theories. Helphand was in a position to promise massive support for the Bolsheviks in the forthcoming struggle for political power in Russia: Radek was empowered to accept the offer. The events of the following months provide sufficient evidence that this was precisely what happened in Stockholm on 13 April. After the conversation with Helphand, Radek, because of his Austro-Hungarian passport, was unable to continue the trip with Lenin's party to Petrograd. He stayed on in Stockholm. Helphand returned to Copenhagen three days later, and he went to see Brockdorff-Rantzau at once. The Minister's telegram to Berlin was brief and reticent, stating simply that Helphand was back from Stockholm, where he had had talks with the Russian exiles, and that he would arrive in Berlin on 18 April, to await an invitation to an audience with Zimmermann and to report to the executive committee of the Social Democrat party.13 The first meeting between Helphand and the party leaders took place late at night, an hour after his arrival in Berlin; another meeting was then arranged for the following day, 19 April. There was no need to tell the socialists everything he had discussed in Stockholm: their function, from Helphand's point of view, was different from that of the diplomats. First of all, he wanted his comrades to adopt what he regarded as the right attitude towards
13

Zeman, op. cit., document No. 50.

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the revolution in Russia, and to bear in mind the international socialist connexions; to opt for, in case general peace should prove impossible to achieve (Helphand thought it would), a separate peace with Russia. He succeeded on all these counts. The party's enlarged committee (erweiterter Parteiausschuss) passed a resolution at the meeting on 19 April, which was a reply to the declaration of the Petrograd Soviet, published on 14 April. It was drafted by Scheidemann and carried unanimously; it accepted the Russian formula of peace without annexations and indemnities. When the party press published the resolution the following day, the similarity to the idea of the Soviet was emphasized. The crucial passage of the declaration read:—'We greet with passionate sympathy the victory of the Russian revolution, and the reawakening of the international desire for peace which the revolution has sparked off. We proclaim our agreement with the resolution of the Russian Workers' and Soldiers' Council, to pave the way for a general peace, without annexations, and indemnities, on the basis of the free development of all nations.'14 While the German socialists agitated for a peace which would more or less correspond to the Russian views on the subject, the most important task of Germany's eastern policy was to make it impossible for the provisional Government in Petrograd to carry on the war. It was this second objective which came to exercise the ingenuity of the Imperial Government. After his recent consultations with the socialists, Helphand was received at the Foreign Ministry. An audience was arranged for him with Zimmermann, the State Secretary; it had the highest security rating. There were no witnesses, and no record of the conversation was taken. There can be no doubt that Helphand drew the State Secretary's attention to the advantages of supporting the Bolshevik party. Lenin was the only Russian party leader whose stand on the question of peace was firm, and whose organization was disciplined and effective. It could be supported in a variety of ways: the Bolsheviks needed money for extensive pacifist propaganda
14

Protokoll der Sitzung des erweiterten Parteiausschusses am 18 und 19 April 1917, im Reichstagsgebäude zu Berlin, 1917, p. 74.

Revolution in Russia 219

in the Russian hinterland; the agitation among the front-line troops, which had been going on for many months, would now have to be intensified and geared more closely to the Bolshevik cause. There still existed the danger that a German offensive on the eastern front would rally the patriotic forces in Russia, and thus cancel the effect of pacifist propaganda. It would have hit the Bolsheviks hardest: Helphand therefore must have insisted, once again, that no offensive should be undertaken within the next few months. And finally, earlier on in the month, the Foreign Ministry had asked the Treasury for a further grant of five million marks for political purposes in Russia: it was the highest sum of money requested so far, and it was approved on 3 April.15 The ways in which it was going to be used may also have given Zimmermann and Helphand another subject for conversation. Helphand was the only man in contact with the Foreign Ministry who dealt in sums of that order. He was much more cautious now: he signed no receipts, as he had done two years before. After concluding the business in Berlin, Helphand travelled to Copenhagen, and then to Stockholm: he spent the following weeks commuting between the two Scandinavian capitals. In Stockholm, he spent most of his time with the members of the Bolshevik Foreign Mission: indeed, it looked as if he himself was one of them. It was the only foreign branch of the Bolshevik central committee in Petrograd; it also served as a propaganda office, which publicized Bolshevik policy through two German-language periodicals, the Bote der russischen Revolution and Korrespondenz Prawda. It was run by Karl Radek, Jakob Fürstenberg, and another Bolshevik of Polish origin, V. V. Vorovski, also known as Orlovsky. The last man in this conspiratorial trio, and, for us, the only unknown quantity, was an engineer by profession, who had been active as a Bolshevik party worker and journalist in Odessa in the years 1913 and 1914. When he returned to Moscow he joined the local branch of the Siemens-Schuckert firm which sent him, in January 1916, as its representative to Stockholm. He had started to work with Fürstenberg immediately after the March revolution
15

Zeman, op. cit., editorial note, p. 24.

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in Russia; it is very probable that the two men had been in touch for some time before the revolution.16 Vorovski may have known Helphand from the time he spent studying, soon after the turn of the century, at the Polytechnic in Munich. Of the three men in the Bolshevik bureau, Radek was the most active and dominant. He was now in a position to establish the connexions he had always prized so highly. Apart from Helphand, he got to know Gustav Mayer, who had come to Stockholm on an official mission for the German Government; a ubiquitous character called Goldberg, who was acting as an agent for Erzberger, the Reichstag deputy; and Karl Moor, a Swiss socialist who was concurrently working for the Swiss, the Austrian, and the German Governments. Through his contacts, Radek let the German Government know that the victory of the Bolsheviks over the provisional Government was only a question of time. And he told everybody who cared to listen that he was not looking for a flat in Stockholm for the winter, as he wanted to return to Petrograd immediately after the Bolshevik victory.17 Apart from propaganda and intelligence activities, this carefully selected, all-Polish Bolshevik team served another function. It was used for the purposes of channelling money into the Bolshevik party coffers in Russia. Helphand was the main—if not the only—source of this munificence; if the Bolsheviks thought that Helphand still owed them money from the Gorki royalties, it was now being repaid to them, and in the most generous manner. All the three Poles in Stockholm were experienced underground workers, who continued to combat the provisional Government with the means they had employed against the Tsarist regime. They were now in a favoured position. The Germans put their diplomatic communications system at their disposal; the Bolshevik mission also occasionally used the official Russian diplomatic bag for communications with Petrograd. In addition, there existed the well-tried connexions between Russia
16

In the introduction to Vorovski's collected works, based on an essay by Fürstenberg, there is no mention of Vorovski's activities during the year 1916: cf. V. V. Vorovski, Sochineniya, Moscow, 1933. cf. also N. Piashev, Vorovski, Moscow, 1959, pp. 184-5. 17 G. Mayer, Vom Journalisten zum Historiker der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, Zürich, 1949, pp. 276-9.

Revolution in Russia 221

and Scandinavia which had been established by Helphand's Copenhagen export company, of which Fürstenberg was the managing director. Radek and his friends commanded an impressive variety of means of communication: if these failed, the Bolshevik mission was quite capable of establishing connexions of its own with Petrograd. Lenin trusted his political bureau in Stockholm implicitly. A large number of messages were exchanged between Petrograd and Stockholm; from the very beginning, the question of money for the Bolshevik party occupied a prominent place in the correspondence. In his first letter to Fürstenberg, written a few days after his arrival in Petrograd, Lenin complained that 'until now . . . we have received no money from you', and he asked the Foreign Mission to exercise 'every care and caution in your relationships'. In the second letter, Lenin was able to acknowledge the receipt of 2,000 roubles from Kozlovsky, the Polish lawyer and socialist, and one of Helphand's contact men.18 Early in May, the mission of Borbjerg to Petrograd imposed itself, once again, on Helphand's attention: it appeared to have somewhat complicated matters. Helphand had organized it before his talk with Radek, and now he behaved as if he wished he had not done so. After successfully overcoming certain difficulties at the Russian frontier, Borbjerg reached Petrograd towards the end of April. He met Cheidse, Kerensky, and Skobelev, the leaders of the Soviet, and then was invited by its executive committee to a general discussion which took place on 6 May. Two points were discussed: the message from the German party, and the possibility of a general socialist conference.19 Borbjerg was unable to do much more than stress the goodwill of the German party. The Russians raised the question of Germany's readiness to apply the right of self-determination to Alsace-Lorraine; they asked the Danish emissary whether the German socialists were acting on behalf of the majority of the Reichstag or only for themselves. Borbjerg gave a satisfactory answer to neither of these questions.
18 19

Proletarskaya revolyutsiya, Moscow, 1923, No. 9, pp. 227-8. N. Avdeev, Revolutsiya 1917 goda, Moscow, 1923, vol. 2, p. 64.

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After a few days' wait, Borbjerg was told that the Soviet favoured the idea of a socialist peace conference, which should, however, be summoned by the Petrograd Workers' and Soldiers' Council itself. This announcement produced a difficult situation: since the end of April, the Dutch and the Scandinavian socialists had themselves been preparing such a conference, which was to take place in Stockholm in the summer. Nor did Borbjerg succeed in getting the Bolsheviks to agree to take part in the Stockholm conference. During the Dane's stay in Petrograd, the ail-Russian conference of the Bolshevik party passed a resolution which opposed participation; for good measure, the resolution denounced Borbjerg as an 'agent' of the Imperial German Government and of the German and Scandinavian 'socialist chauvinists'.20 On 10 May Borbjerg returned to Copenhagen, where Helphand met him soon after his arrival. Although the Dane was in a more optimistic mood than his performance in Petrograd warranted, Helphand was unable to be either impressed or interested. He was too deeply committed to the support of the Bolshevik line. He observed the preparations, which the Dutch-Scandinavian committee were making for a socialist conference in Stockholm, with growing displeasure. They had advanced so far that, on 21 May, several preliminary conferences with a number of national delegations were opened; their organizers hoped that they would be able to come to an agreement with the Petrograd Soviet on its participation. After discussions with the Bulgarian, Finnish, Austrian, Czech, and Hungarian delegations, the DutchScandinavian committee were to receive the representatives of the German majority party on 4 June. Helphand kept his distance from all this activity. He did nothing to give the conference public support: Die Glocke, which usually contained a comment by its publisher on every important development in the socialist movement, was silent. The failure of the Borbjerg mission had brought home to him the deep divisions on this problem inside the Soviet itself: he knew well of the patriotic disposition of many of the Russian socialists, who supported the policy of the continuation of the war. It was not a socialist conference, but the achievement of political power by
20

ibid., p. 258.

Revolution in Russia 223

the Bolsheviks, that promised to fulfil everything he expected the Russian revolution to accomplish. He would do nothing to jeopardize his policy of maximum support for the Bolsheviks. He therefore faced the enthusiasm of the German delegation to Stockholm—it consisted of such pillars of the party as Ebert, Scheidemann, David, Hermann Müller, Carl Legien, and Gustav Bauer—with misgivings. The delegates broke off their journey in Copenhagen on 30 May; there were conversations with Stauning, the chairman of the Danish party, and with Borbjerg; Helphand gave a very good party for his comrades and singing and dancing went on until late at night. But when the delegation resumed its journey two days later, Helphand showed no desire to accompany it to Stockholm. Instead of going to the conference, he left for Marienbad, to nurse his rheumatism for a few weeks. His interest in the conference was aroused only when the arrival in Stockholm of the Soviet representatives was announced. It was a mixed delegation, consisting of J. P. Goldenberg, a former Bolshevik, Smirnov and Ehrlich, two right-wing Mensheviks, and Rusanov, the Social Revolutionary. They came to Sweden early in July, about the same time as Helphand returned to Denmark from Marienbad. He then went over to Stockholm, where he had confidential talks with the Russians on 13 and 14 July. Two days later, Helphand reported on the conversation to the party executive in Berlin. The Russians, he confided to his comrades, had talked Very sensibly', and they were determined to prevent any 'useless discussion about war guilt'. They had, however, stressed the fact that the decision of the coming conference should be binding for all parties, including the German.21 Helphand knew that the Germans were disinclined to accept this condition and he may have intended to warn them of the futility of the conference. Nevertheless, for the time being, the party executive and Helphand had no interests in common. The majority of socialists were too deeply committed to a vague concept of peace: their interest in the Stockholm conference, and their participation in the Reichstag peace resolution—published the day after their talks with Helphand—were sufficient proofs
21

E. David, Diary, entry for 16 July 1917. Bundesarchiv Koblenz.

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The Merchant of Revolution

of this. Helphand knew that they would have no understanding of the practical implications of his Bolshevik policy. He told
them nothing about it. Instead, he visited the Foreign Ministry on 17 July. The

diplomats were more understanding than his socialist comrades, and Helphand, in return, was more informative. The influence of Lenin, Helphand said, continued to increase; the present Russian military offensive was carried out under British and American pressure, as it had been made the condition of further
supplies of money and goods. Nevertheless Helphand said, as reported in the memorandum, 'disappointment had already set in, and would result in a further softening-up of the army. This had already reached such a degree, even before the offensive, that the army, through the person of Brusilov, had said that the collapse of the armed forces could only be prevented by an immediate offensive. In addition to this, there was the poor harvest. The Russians living in Stockholm had claimed that only 30 per cent of the area being farmed before the war was under cultivation now. Helphand regards this as an exaggeration, but thinks that the total could hardly, in fact, be more than 50 per cent.'22 Helphand had good reasons for his optimism. In Russia, increase in anarchy and material privations went hand in hand;

at the front, where German propaganda was run on the same lines as Bolshevik agitation—this fact was commented on by a
number of independent witnesses who visited the front in the

summer of 1917—the army was melting away under the eyes of its commanders. Helphand had told Brockdorff-Rantzau in April that it would take a few months to reach the peak of anarchy in Russia. He was convinced that no power in Petrograd could prevent the Bolsheviks in their work of destruction. He was now more cautious than in 1915, and he committed himself to no precise dates: but he knew full well that sooner or later the Bolsheviks would grasp at supreme power in the state. After the consultations in the Foreign Ministry, Helphand made an unpredictable move. Instead of returning to Scandinavia,
he left for Switzerland on 22 July. He said he had some business to do there, and that the country would be better for his health;
22

Zeman, op. cit., document No. 66.

Revolution in Russia 225

in Scandinavia too many spies, agents, and hangers-on were pestering the socialists who had assembled in Stockholm for the conference. Helphand, however, had better reasons than that for wishing to be out of the way. During the past few days, a storm had been gathering over his head. On 16 and 17 July, while Helphand was assuring the diplomats in Berlin of the eventual victory of the Bolsheviks, Lenin and his party organized a rising against the provisional Government in Petrograd. It was suppressed with some difficulty, and Kerensky's Government decided to settle accounts with the Bolsheviks once and for all. On 18 July, the Ministry of Justice published a series of documents which were intended to prove that Lenin and the Bolshevik party were guilty of high treason. They were produced as evidence that the Bolsheviks had received money from the German Government; the whole operation was aimed at discrediting the Bolsheviks in the eyes of the public. Business telegrams to and from Fürstenberg, Kozlovsky, and Sumenson, the Petrograd representative of the Nestle firm, and Lenin's telegrams to Fürstenberg and Kollontay, a Russian lady socialist who later served for fifteen years as the Soviet Ambassador to Sweden, were published. The curtain was rung up on a major political scandal. On the following day—19 July—the headlines of the Russian patriotic press proclaimed Lenin's treason to the nation. The campaign was led by two journalists, Alexinski and Burtsev, who had accused the Bolsheviks of treasonable activities as early as 1914; Burtsev had known and hated Helphand for a long time. And it was Helphand who now appeared as the central figure in the drama, as the man who organized this treasonable co-operation between the Bolsheviks and the German Government. He appeared as a sinister background figure, who had used his business relations with Jakob Fürstenberg to the benefit of the Bolshevik party coffers. 'Parvus is not an agent provocateur', Burtsev wrote on 20 July in Milyukov's newspaper Rech, che is more than that: he is an agent of Wilhelm II.' Lenin, for very good reasons, had always managed to avoid the use of this term in his public pronouncements on Helphand.

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The Merchant of Revolution

The press campaign was followed by legal proceedings against the Bolsheviks. The case for the prosecution was that Fürstenberg and Alexandra Kollontay had transferred the money received from Helphand from the Nye Bank in Stockholm to a special account of Sumenson's at the Siberian Bank in Petrograd, an account to which the Bolsheviks had access.23 The main charges against the accused were contained in the following passage:
The investigation established that Yakov (cover-name 'Kuba') HaneckiFürstenberg, while residing in Copenhagen during the war, had close financial connexions with Parvus, an agent of the German government. Moreover the activity of Parvus as a German and Austrian agent was directed towards the defeat of Russia and the separation of the Ukraine. . . . From numerous telegrams in the hands of the legal authorities it is established that a constant and extensive correspondence was carried on between Sumenson, Ulyanov (Lenin), Kollontay, and Kozlovsky residing in Petrograd, on the one hand, and Fürstenberg (Hanecki) and Helphand (Parvus), on the other. Although this correspondence refers to commercial deals, shipment of all sorts of goods, and money transactions, it offers sufficient reasons to conclude that this correspondence was a cover-up for relations of an espionage character.24

On the basis of the available evidence, the prosecutor regarded the charge—that the accused co-operated with Germany in order to diminish Russia's fighting power—as proven.
For this purpose and with the money received . . . they organized propaganda among the civilian population and in the army, appealing to them to refuse immediately to continue military operations against the enemy; also, towards the same end, to organize in Petrograd, from 16 to 18 July 1917, an armed insurrection against the existing order. . . .25

Thanks to the inevitable leak from the Ministry of Justice, Lenin and Zinoviev were able to go into hiding in time. Kozlovsky, Sumenson, and later, Trotsky, were arrested. It was like old times; the whole Bolshevik party went underground. Its very existence was now at stake, and a determined effort was made to clear its name. In Listok Pravda, which was then published instead
23

24

R. P. Browder and A. F. Kerensky (editors), The Provisional Government 1917, Stanford, 1962, vol. 3, pp. 1464-5. 25 ibid., pp. 1375-6. ibid., p. 1376.

Revolution in Russia 227

of Pravda proper, the Bolshevik central committee nervously defended itself, on 19 July, against the 'unheard-of accusations' against Lenin, and against the 'monstrous libel' from the ranks of the counter-revolution. The central committee demanded that the provisional Government and the Soviet should immediately order an investigation which would clear up 'all the circumstances of the foul conspiracy by the pogromists and hired slanderers against the honour and life of the leaders of the working class'.26 Trotsky, who was suspect because of his friendship with Helphand, dissociated himself from his erstwhile comrade in a newspaper article as early as 21 July:27 his previous attacks on Helphand—the 'obituary' in Nashe Slovo, and the warning against the Copenhagen Institute in Humanité—could now be used as valuable alibis. The most interesting denial, however, came from the Bolshevik Foreign Mission in Stockholm. It appeared in Korrespondenz Prawda on 31 July, and it had the Radek touch. The charges against the Bolsheviks were described as a plot, cooked up with the help both of documents of the old Okhrana —the Tsarist secret service—and the forgeries perpetrated by the 'Alexinsky canaille'. The flat denial and the vitriolic abuse were, of course, to be expected: the line Radek took on Helphand, the central figure in the affair, was unique. Radek pointed out that, throughout the war, there had existed political differences between Helphand, the socialist-chauvinist, and the Bolsheviks. They had also kept out of his Copenhagen Institute, because they did not want to be tarred with the same brush as Helphand. Nevertheless, the close relationship between Helphand and Fürstenberg was known in socialist circles, and it had to be explained away. Even for Radek, this was a difficult task. When Fürstenberg arrived in Copenhagen, Radek wrote, he wanted to avoid joining the Copenhagen Institute for political reasons, and he grasped the opportunity of working in Helphand's business:
1. Because he then regarded Parvus as a personally honest man (and he still does so now). 2. Because he could then not only support his family, but also because he could give powerful financial help to the Polish party organization in Russian Poland. . . . Hanecki was not
26

cf. Browder and Kerensky, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 1366.

27

Novaya ZJiizn.

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The Merchant of Revolution

bound to Helphand by any political ties, but through the support of the Polish party press and organization, which was conducting a sharp struggle against the German forces of occupation, and which publicly declared itself in agreement with Liebknecht: he was actually working against the policy of Parvus.

Despite his determined attempt at obfuscation, Radek revealed a point of extreme relevance: that money had been siphoned off from Helphand's business for political purposes. Radek was, of course, unable to add that the Polish party was a creation of Lenin, and that it stood in such close connexion with the Russian Bolsheviks that it was difficult to tell the two organizations apart. The members of the Bolshevik Foreign Mission regarded Helphand in a more favourable light than was customary among their comrades. The Korrespondent Prawda stated that Helphand could be described neither as an Austrian nor as a German agent, and then it went on publicly to correct Lenin's verdict that Helphand was a socialist chauvinist. Lenin, it was pointed out, had been convinced that Helphand's business activity had conditioned his war policy. There were, however, many Bolsheviks who regarded Helphand as a man unable to sell himself. Fürstenberg in particular, it was said, thought that Helphand's attitude to the war was based on his socialist ideology, and that the revolutionary theory he had developed before 1914 was the key to the understanding of his ideas during the war. Only history would show, Radek wrote, 'who was right in his verdict on Parvus as a man: Lenin or Hanecki'. This was a rhetorical question. Neither Lenin nor the members of the Stockholm Mission were inclined to reveal the true facts. The Bolsheviks had to defend themselves against the accusations of the provisional Government, and they had to make a decision as to the degree of whitewashing of Helphand they could safely risk. They were fighting for the existence of their party. From his hiding-place in Finland, Lenin proceeded with great caution. His declaration, also published in Stockholm, contained no comment on Helphand's personality.28 The Bolshevik leader was
28

Bote der russischen Revolution, No. 2, 22 September 1917.

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna

XI. von Kühlmann, State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry, and Count Czernin, Austro-Hunganan Foreign Minister, 1917

Radio Times Hulton Picture Library

XII. Philipp Scheidemann speaking outside the Reichstag, 1919

Revolution in Russia 229

content to refer to his review of the first issue of Die Glocke in 1915, and to deny the accusation that he had received money from Helphand. He was not yet ready to pass the final verdict. The time was certainly as inopportune for Helphand's rehabilitation as a socialist and revolutionary, as for his denunciation as an agent of the German Government. There existed a momentary community of interest between the two men, and Lenin decided to postpone the final settlement of accounts, one way or the other, with Helphand. When the blow fell upon the Bolshevik organization, Helphand was being rather elusive in Switzerland. There were a lot of people looking for him. When Fürstenberg and Vorovski asked him, in telegrams of 25 July (the Bolshevik Mission was using the German diplomatic network of communications) to return to Stockholm at once, and to send a declaration on oath that he had not let the Bolsheviks have any money through Fürstenberg or anyone else, Romberg, the German Minister to Berne, had to report that he had been unable to run Helphand to ground. Only two valuable days later, on 27 July, Helphand was discovered staying at a luxury hotel, and the telegrams from Stockholm were handed over to him. Helphand's reply did not go through diplomatic channels, but there is no reason to assume that he did not comply with his friends' request. He knew that the Bolshevik party would have to prepare itself for the eventual court proceedings in Petrograd, and he did as much for it as he possibly could. As early as 8 August, his publishing house in Berlin issued a pamphlet by Helphand, entitled 'My Reply to Kerensky and Co.'. It read like a Bolshevik propaganda tract: Helphand avoided dealing with the main charge—that he had acted as an intermediary between the Bolsheviks and the Imperial German Government—putting his defence in still more general terms than the Russian defendants had done. He wrote: 'I have always supported, and will go on doing so, the Russian revolutionary movement in so far as it is socialist, with every means at my disposal. You lunatics, why do you worry whether I have given money to Lenin? Lenin and others, whose names you give, have never demanded or received any money from me either as a loan or as a present. But I have
M.R.-Q

230

The Merchant of Revolution

given them, and many others, something more effective than money or dynamite. I am one of those men who have given spiritual nourishment to the revolutionary determination of the Russian proletariat, which you are now trying, in vain, to destroy.' In the circumstances, neither the Bolsheviks nor Helphand could do more than issue flat denials of the charges by the provisional Government. Passions aroused by the war were running high, and neither Lenin nor Helphand could expect the prosecution to take into account the subtleties of the situation: that Lenin had used German help for his own purposes, that there existed no agreement between him and the German Government, and that both he and Helphand were pursuing independent policies of their own. In London, after all, Roger Casement had been sentenced to death on less weighty evidence. Nor could the Russian provisional Government know anything about the messages the German diplomats were exchanging at the time. On 29 September, Kühlmann, who had succeeded Zimnaermann in August as State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry, telegraphed the Ministry's Liaison Officer at the General Headquarters on the subject of subversive activities in Russia. 6Our first interest, in these activities, was to further nationalist and separatist endeavours as far as possible and to give strong support to the revolutionary elements. We have now been engaged in these activities for some time, and in complete agreement with the Political Section of the General Staff in Berlin (Capt. von Hülsen). Our work together has shown tangible results. The Bolshevik movement could never have attained the scale or the influence which it has today without our continual support. There is every indication that the movement will continue to grow, and the same is true also of the Finnish and Ukrainian independence movements.'29 Two months later, Kühlmann spelled out the effects of the policy in more detail, again for the benefit of the General Headquarters : 'Russia appeared to be the weakest link in the enemy chain. The task therefore was gradually to loosen it, and, when possible, to remove it. This was the purpose of the subversive activity we caused to be carried out in Russia behind the
29

Zeman, Germany and the Revolution in Russia, document No. 71.

Revolution in Russia

231

front—in the first place promotion of separatist tendencies and support of the Bolsheviks. It was not until the Bolsheviks had received from us a steady flow of funds through various channels and under different labels that they were in a position to be able to build up their main organ, Pravda, to conduct energetic propaganda and appreciably to extend the originally narrow basis of their party.'30 Kühlmann was quite right in his forecast that the influence of the Bolsheviks would continue to grow. The provisional Government proved itself unable to destroy the party's underground network; the published evidence against the Bolsheviks was too sketchy, and the prosecution did not press the case beyond the preliminary charges. Although Helphand was acting as the main link between the Bolsheviks and the Imperial German Government, this was not the only connexion available to Berlin in the summer of 1917. A part of the funds allocated for subversion in Russia—Eduard Bernstein later estimated the total sum at the rate of fifty million gold marks: an estimate of thirty million appears to be nearer the truth—may well have been handed over direct to the Bolshevik Foreign Mission by the German Legation in Stockholm; the Swiss socialist Karl Moor, who was working for the German Government under the cover name Baier, had his own contacts in Russia among the Bolsheviks, and he could also have been helpful in this respect. The only man who knew the whole story was Minister Diego von Bergen, who dealt with subversion in Russia in the political section of the Foreign Ministry. Bergen was free of the political enthusiasms so dear to Brockdorff-Rantzau; he was a reliable civil servant who served, after the war, both the Weimar and the Hitler regimes as the Ambassador to the Holy See. He combined efficiency with reticence: the draft of the above-quoted December telegram from Kühlmann to the General Headquarters, for which Bergen was responsible, was the only minor indiscretion he ever committed. Despite the manner in which the charges of the provisional Government against the Bolsheviks petered out, their aftermath was disastrous for Russia's politics. The rift between the
30

Zeman, op. cit., document No. 94.

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The Merchant of Revolution

Bolsheviks and the moderate socialist groups deepened, and the hostility between the Bolsheviks and the provisional Government became clearly irreconcilable. Early in 1918, the charges against the Bolsheviks were again taken up in the forged documents assembled by Edgar Sisson, a gullible American journalist in Russia: an incident which marred the relations between Washington and the Soviets in their formative stage. The affair of the German subsidies proved the conspiratorial efficiency of the Bolsheviks on the one hand, and, on the other, the inability of the provisional Government to rule the country: its unfinished, inconclusive nature affected political behaviour as much as historical writing. In the summer of 1917, the only outside assistance the Bolsheviks had received had come from Helphand: the logic of the situation demanded that he should give support to Lenin and his party. He replied to Kerensky's charges in a tone reminiscent of his early controversies, when he was editing the Sächsische Arbeiterzeitung. His attacks were directed against the majority of the Soviet, and against the socialist ministers in the provisional Government in particular: they had not summoned the Constituent Assembly, they had proved incapable of solving the land question, they had not achieved peace: 'Instead of peace—a new mass of victims, instead of land—taxes, instead of democracy—autocracy! Instead of one Tsar—many small ones.'31 Helphand was now gambling va banque. After vacillating for many years in his attitudes to Lenin, he now staked everything on the trump card of Bolshevism. It was in this sense that the Bolsheviks themselves understood Helphand's actions. They expressed the wish that Helphand's answer to Kerensky should be given wide publicity: Brockdorff-Rantzau was, as usual, ready to oblige. On 16 August, he requested the Foreign Ministry to publicize Helphand's leaflet through the Wolffsche Telegraphen Bureau, the official news agency.32 There was, however, a limit beyond which the Foreign Ministry would not go in assisting the spread of Bolshevik propaganda. Bergen thought the comment in Vorwärts on 14 August sufficient; he was, however, willing to
31 Parvus, Meine Antwort an Kerenski und Co., Berlin, 1917, p. 3. 32 Telegram No. 1060, in WK 2 geh.

Revolution in Russia 233

organize further publicity for Helphand's leaflet in Switzerland and Sweden.33 Although the sympathetic leading article in Vorwärts stressed the fact that Helphand had turned the tables on the provisional Government, and put it 'in the dock', the German party was by no means united on this issue. On 20 August Cohen-Reuss wrote, in the same newspaper, that Helphand's views were 'unintelligible and dangerous'. Helphand's reply to Kerensky contained, in Reuss's opinion, 'senseless suspicions against the leading figures of the Russian revolution', and it therefore made no real contribution to the cause of understanding between Russia and Germany. The German party, Reuss thought, had every reason to disagree with Helphand, who had made an 'ill-disguised attempt to broadcast Bolshevik propaganda'. But Cohen-Reuss's was an isolated voice: no other German socialist hinted at the deeper implications of Helphand's policy. Early in the autumn, Helphand was still lying low. It would have been very unwise for him to surface in Scandinavia. His presence there would only have nourished the rumours of his secret connexions with the Bolsheviks; in addition, he had been getting too much undesirable publicity there, for yet another reason: because of Helphand's coal business, the Danish trade unions had also become the target of vigorous attacks. In the middle of October he therefore quietly returned to Switzerland after a brief stay in Berlin. He appeared unconcerned with the commotion he had caused, patiently biding his time. This state of suspended activity was unusual for Helphand. He of course knew that he must do nothing to jeopardize the position of the Bolsheviks still further; there was, however, another reason why he was letting events take their course. He had done everything he could to influence Germany's policy towards Russia. He had even secured the services of a man whom he could trust to act as a high-level public relations officer. Victor Naumann had been introduced to Helphand by Adolf Müller, early in 1917: without an official position, he exercised considerable influence. The son of a Protestant middle-class family in Berlin, he had sought success as a dramatist after his
33

Telegram No. 606 of 18 August 1917, in WK 2 geh.

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The Merchant of Revolution

studies in Freiburg and Leipzig. As a dramatist, Naumann was a failure; at the turn of the century he became a Catholic convert and settled in Munich. He wrote a variety of Catholic apologia and through them he gained access to the court circles in the Bavarian capital. He also was a close friend of Count Hertling, who was soon to become the Reich Chancellor. Helphand regarded these connexions as highly valuable and he started paying Naumann, in the summer of 1917, a retaining fee for his services as a lobbyist and informant.34 Naumann came to Marienbad in June, while Helphand was staying there: he was instructed to make Helphand's policies towards Russia known in the right quarters. Naumann passed them on to Count Czernin, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister; he talked about them to the German and the Bavarian Crown Princes, as well as to General Ludendorff.35 At the end of October, Naumann then accompanied his employer to Vienna in order to arrange a meeting there with Count Czernin. Before a date could be fixed for the audience, the first news reached the Habsburg capital of the successful Bolshevik coup d'etat.
34
35

Nachlass Helphand, Rep. 92, No. 7. V. Naumann, Dokumente und Argumente, Berlin, 1928, pp. 257-60.

11
Dirty Hands
In Vienna, Helphand witnessed the great enthusiasm with which the workers greeted the news of the Bolshevik revolution. The socialist newspapers celebrated the 'revolution of peace' in Petrograd, and a mass meeting on the following Sunday, 11 November, acclaimed the events in Russia as 'a new epoch in the struggle for the liberation of the international proletariat'. On 14 November Helphand was received by Count Czernin: on the same day, soon after the audience at Ballhausplatz, he received an important communication from the Bolshevik Mission in Stockholm. Radek and Fürstenberg asked Helphand to return to Sweden at once: it was said in their telegram that the Bolshevik Government urgently needed support from the socialist parties in Germany and Austria-Hungary. 'Great demonstrations and strikes', the Bolsheviks in Stockholm telegraphed Helphand, were highly desirable.1 Helphand left Vienna at once and broke off his journey in Berlin: he was expected in the Foreign Ministry. The diplomats were highly gratified by the turn of events in Russia. The Bolsheviks, though victorious, were by no means securely entrenched in their positions of power: they still needed support, and the Imperial German Government was by no means averse to giving it. On 9 November the Treasury allowed a further fifteen million marks for political purposes in Russia: Bergen in the Foreign Ministry knew that the Bolshevik Government had to struggle cwith great financial difficulties', and that it was therefore desirable to supply it with money. For the same reason, 'a further two million for known purposes' were transferred to
1

P. Scheidemann, Memoiren eines Sozialdemokraten, vol. 2, p. 122.

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the Legation in Stockholm, immediately after the Bolshevik coup d'état in Petrograd.2 In his conversations with the Foreign Ministry officials. Helphand drew an optimistic picture of future developments in Russia. He urged the German Government to respond warmly to the Bolshevik peace declaration of 9 November: Germany must adhere to the formula of 'no annexations and indemnities' in order to strengthen the peace movement in Russia, and to bring about peace negotiations. He pointed out that a favourable reply from Berlin would strongly influence public opinion, and that it was very likely to result in the complete collapse of the Russian Army. The Russian front was held together only by the fear of a German offensive. And, most important, Germany's readiness to conclude peace would necessarily strengthen the position of the Bolsheviks, the most outspoken partisans of peace. Helphand made quite clear his opinion that, according to available information, the position of the Bolsheviks was far from secure. Their Government was not supported by the majority of the people: 'it was the victory of one minority over another minority'; there existed the threat of Kerensky's armies as well as a crisis in food supplies; the land problem was also entirely beyond the control of the Bolsheviks: 'they simply let events take their course'. In addition, during the struggles of the past months, the party had to carry with it the 'dark masses'—Helphand

avoided the pertinent Marxist term Lumpenproletariat—which were now threatening the stability of the new order.3 Because of the weakness of its position, the Bolshevik Government was forced to pursue, in Helphand's words, a 'simple policy'. Only by concluding peace could it consolidate and win the national assembly, which was to meet soon, over to its side. The reason why Lenin's Government had so far maintained a reserved attitude towards peace negotiations was, according to Helphand, that the Bolsheviks were still awaiting revolutionary developments in Austria-Hungary and in Germany. Nevertheless, the Bolsheviks entertained 'no particular enmity,
2
3

Zeman, op. cit., documents Nos. 75, 92, 72, etal. Helphand's memorandum for Bussche, the Under State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry, in WK 2.

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especially towards the German government'. Helphand pointed to the fact that the Bolshevik leaders had gone through the school of German Social Democracy—he did not think it necessary to spell out the useful services the German Government had performed—and 'when they have renounced the adventurous elements in their plans, then they will have to rediscover their bonds with German Social Democracy and with German civilization'. Indeed, after the successful putsch the large pro-German group inside the Bolshevik party had dared to come into the open again. 'In the ranks of the leaders themselves, in the closest proximity of Lenin and Trotsky, there are people who kept up their contacts with German Social Democracy throughout the war.' As far as the concrete conditions of peace between the Soviets and Germany were concerned, Helphand was very reserved. Although he encouraged the diplomats to regard 'cessions of territory as not impossible', he suggested that they would be of value to Germany only if they were carried out with the 'unconditional approval' of the Bolshevik Government. He regarded economic relations and preferential trade treatment as much more valuable than carving off slices of Russia: 'The Russian market and participation in the industrialization of Russia are more important to us than any transfers of territory.' Helphand's proposals on the political treatment of the Bolshevik regime were cautious: as far as he was concerned, the diplomats had fulfilled their function. He was now moving away from them. His second appointment in Berlin was with Ebert and Scheidemann. Now that the Bolsheviks were in power, the cooperation of the socialists, Helphand thought, would prove more useful than that of the diplomats. But neither of the leaders of the majority socialists showed enthusiasm for the Bolshevik request for 'great demonstrations and strikes' in Germany. They maintained that the party could not, at the present moment, stab the Imperial Government in the back. Scheidemann and Ebert agreed, however, that they were ready to agitate for a negotiated peace during their forthcoming propaganda tour through Germany.4
4

P. Scheidemann, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 123.

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The party leaders then reached agreement with Helphand on the following procedure: Helphand should travel to Stockholm, in order to transmit the congratulations of the German party to the Bolshevik Foreign Mission. He should inform the Bolshevik representatives of the intention of the executive to pass, at mass meetings at Dresden and Barmen, a resolution of sympathy with the Bolshevik victory. Helphand was to put the draft of the resolution before the Bolshevik bureau for approval; in addition, he was to ask the Bolsheviks for an immediate reply, so that it could be read to the Dresden and Barmen meetings. The greatest possible speed was essential, and, after breaking his journey at Copenhagen for a hurried consultation with Brockdorff-Rantzau, Helphand arrived in Stockholm on 17 November. He met the members of the Bolshevik Mission on the same day. He found them in high spirits. For weeks they had been under constant fire from their political opponents, and the news of the Bolshevik victory came as a great release to them. Fürstenberg's position was the most exposed, and he had suffered more than his comrades; he had left for Russia shortly before Helphand's arrival. It was therefore Radek and Vorovski whom Helphand congratulated, going on to ask them to approve the resolution that was to be put before the mass meetings in Germany. It read: 'The meeting congratulates the workers on their achievements in the Russian revolution, and wishes them continued success in their difficult task. It assures the Russian comrades of its solidarity, and agrees with the demand for an immediate armistice to pave the way for a democratic peace which will insure free economic development for Germany and all other countries.'5 Apart from one minor correction—Radek asked Helphand to insert after the word 'solidarity', the phrase 'promises them energetic support'—there was no objection, as far as the Bolsheviks were concerned, against the resolution. As to their reply, Helphand agreed that it should be addressed to both factions of the German socialist party, the U.S.P.D. as well as the S.P.D., and that it should read:
5

Vorwärts, 19 November 1917.

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The revolutionary movement in Russia has entered a new phase. The Russian workers and soldiers have seized power from the hands of those who abandoned the peace aims and the social goals of the revolution. They have themselves assumed power, and they propose immediate negotiations for a peace without annexations or indemnities, and on the basis of the self-determination of nations. In Russia and abroad, however, this peace of the peoples will be opposed by capitalist forces. Before us, there is still a long struggle, which can be concluded victoriously only by international action of the proletariat. The Bolshevik representatives abroad have received the assurance of the French, the Austrian and the German Social Democrat workers that the Russian proletariat can rely on their vigorous support. They have transmitted this news to the Russian workers, and they send brotherly greetings to all Social Democratic workers who are righting for a peoples' peace. They hope that the fratricide will be stopped by the united struggle of the international proletariat, and that this will lay the foundations for the realization of socialism.6

This much Helphand had agreed to do for Ebert and Scheidemann. But he wanted to talk to Radek privately, and he had an unexpected request to make. To Radek's astonishment, Helphand offered his services to the Soviet Government, and expressed the wish to ask for Lenin's permission to return to Russia. He was quite aware of the fact, Helphand said, that his war policy was suspect in Russian party circles. He was therefore prepared to defend his actions before a workers' court whose verdict he would accept. He then asked Radek to put his request personally before Lenin, and to tell him of Lenin's decision.7 Radek was profoundly impressed, and at once set out on a trip to Petrograd. On the way he caught up with Fürstenberg: as soon as they reached the Finnish frontier on 18 November, they sent the following telegram to Lenin: 'We are travelling by special train to Petrograd. We have a very important message. Request immediate consultation.'8 With equal alacrity, Helphand set about the transmission of
6 7

8

Vorwärts, 20 November 1917. Pravda, 14 December 1924. Dela Naroda, No. 219, quoted in P. S. Melgunov, Zjolotoi nemetskii klyuch, p. 150.

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the Bolshevik message to Berlin. Immediately after his conversation with Radek, he visited the German Legation in Stockholm. He was received by Counsellor Kurt Riezler: he had met Riezler for the first time in March 1915, when Helphand presented his
revolutionary programme to the Foreign Ministry. The two men were not on the best of terms.

Dr. Kurt Riezler had been appointed to Stockholm in July 1917, where he assisted the Minister in all matters concerning socialist peace efforts and subversion in Russia. He regarded Helphand as no more than a valuable agent: he wanted to use Helphand but without allowing him any freedom of action. In Riezler's view—which differed from that of Brockdorff-Rantzau —Helphand should confine himself to carrying out the instructions of the Foreign Ministry. He strongly disapproved of Helphand's recent mission of mediation between the Bolsheviks and the German Social Democrats. Since the mass meetings at Dresden and Barmen were to take place on the following day, 18 November, Helphand asked Riezler to transmit the Bolshevik declaration to Berlin at once. He stressed the need that the message should reach both factions of the party, Haase's U.S.P.D. as well as Ebert's and Scheidemann's S.P.D. Riezler promised to comply with Helphand's request. He made, however, an important alteration. Since the U.S.P.D. stood in opposition to the Government, Riezler abbreviated the address so that the message should reach the majority socialists only. Nevertheless, when the telegram arrived at the Foreign Ministry, the diplomats thought that the Bolshevik reply contained more explosive material than was good for the mass meetings at Dresden and Barmen. Bergen therefore made arrangements that it should be passed on to Scheidemann and Ebert only after the meetings on 18 November. The interests of the diplomats and those of Helphand no longer tallied. The leaders of both the socialist parties, Scheidemann and Haase, made representations to the Foreign Ministry. Kühlmann simply ignored them, and proceeded to rebuke Riezler for having agreed to send the telegram through diplomatic channels at all. There was no point in having a code, Kühlmann telegraphed

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Stockholm, if it were used for transmitting messages of 'private, especially non-German origin'.9 As a result of this episode, Helphand became the target of criticism for the second time in the same year. In diplomatic circles in Stockholm his mission was regarded as the result of his megalomania, of his desire to play an important role at any price. In the Reichstag in Berlin, the leader of the minority socialists, Hugo Haase, sharply attacked the choice of Helphand for so delicate a mission. Haase thought it suspicious that the S.P.D. approached the Bolsheviks in this manner: it was objectionable to the German proletariat, Haase told the deputies, that a man like Helphand, who had made a fortune by war speculation, and who had become a German citizen in the most curious circumstances in the middle of the war, should be sent to negotiate with the Bolsheviks.10 There was nothing much Scheidemann could say in his defence. He was content to declare that Helphand had undertaken the mission at the request of the Bolsheviks. In the meanwhile, immediately after the incident of the exchange of telegrams, the German Government made arrangements to keep a close watch on Helphand's activities. The day after his conversation with Radek, the Deputy General Staff in Berlin ordered the Abwehrstelle—the army intelligence—and the Telegraph Supervisory Office to observe every step Helphand took, and to register every telegram he dispatched: the order was suspended only on 23 May 1918.11 The German Government was now clearly determined to prevent Helphand from pursuing an independent policy. For his own part, Helphand had received a clear hint that the German Government was intending to exploit the revolution in Russia for its own ends. In a report of the Counsellor in the Austro-Hungarian Legation to Stockholm, Prince Emil von Fürstenberg, Helphand's position was described with astonishing clarity. He wrote to Czernin on 18 November that Helphand's views would 'hardly fall into the same category as those of the
The State Secretary to Riezler, telegram No. 1562 of 18 November 1917, in Akten der Gesandtschaft Stockholm., 72 a. Other diplomatic exchanges concerning this episode can be found in the same file. 10 Verhandlungen des deutschen Reichstags, XIII, vol. 311, p. 3961. 11 The order of the General Staff can be found in WK 2 c.
9

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Wilhelmstrasse. His tactics are based on entirely different premisses, and his aims are not entirely the same. Helphand is an old Russian revolutionary, who has been working vigorously on the preparations for the revolution in Russia during the past two years, and who now wants to crown his endeavour by bringing about, so to speak, a peace of brotherliness, under his own own auspices. . . . Helphand is working, if I may say so, one third for the Central Powers, one third for Social Democracy, and one third for Russia, whose proletariat he wants to bind to himself by offering favourable conditions. In these circumstances, it is desirable to keep a sharp eye on his moves, and not let him get above himself.'12 Helphand now had the diplomatic resources of the Central Powers ranged against him. He could not expect the diplomats to accept the socialists as partners in the peace negotiations with the Bolsheviks. If the war was to be exploited in the interests of socialism, then the socialist parties would have to be brought into play as independent factors. An international socialist meeting—like the conference which had run into difficulties in August—now appeared to him a suitable counterbalance to the policy of Berlin. The socialist parties, Helphand thought, would come to an understanding more easily than the diplomatic representatives. It was clear, in Helphand's words, that 'if a congress of socialist parties of the states concerned should meet at the same time as the official peace conference, the work of this congress would exert a strong influence on public opinion in favour of a democratic peace'.13 It was Thorvald Stauning, the leader of the Danish party, whom Helphand regarded as the most suitable person to organize the socialist peace conference. Helphand found it easy to get Stauning's support for the idea, especially when he suggested that the conference should take place in the Danish capital and not in Stockholm.14 Helphand of course did not mention to Stauning his secret hope that he himself would be able to exercise a stronger influence on the work of the conference in Copenhagen,
12
13

14

Fürstenberg to Czernin, 18 December 1917, HHuStA, PA. XXVI, 33. Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 54. Stauning to Helphand, 22 November 1917, Bundesarchiv Koblenz.

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and that he could thus consolidate his position. As Stauning did not want to suggest Copenhagen himself, Helphand exerted all his powers of persuasion to win over Ebert and Scheidemann for his choice of the meeting place. They met Helphand's request half-way. They let Stauning know that 'both places [i.e. Copenhagen or Stockholm] were equally agreeable' to them. Helphand's endeavours for socialist peace negotiations seriously alarmed the Governments of the Central Powers. To his utter dismay, Riezler found that Helphand's ideas were supported by Vorovski, the only remaining Bolshevik representative in Stockholm. There was also a threat from another direction: Matthias Erzberger had plans of his own in regard to Russia. As a leading Reichstag deputy of the Centre Party, Erzberger was now pursuing aims similar to those of Helphand. But Erzberger's idea was that representatives of the Reichstag, rather than of the socialist parties, should take part in the main peace negotiations. Riezler did his best to discredit both Helphand and Erzberger in the eyes of the Bolsheviks. He consulted Vorovski about the progress of the negotiations almost daily: he told the Bolshevik representative, again and again, that only direct talks with the German Government were in the Soviet's own interest. With Kühlmann's approval, he even let the Bolshevik Government know that, immediately after the conclusion of peace, Germany would be prepared to grant it a substantial loan.15 Nevertheless, time was running out fast for Helphand. By the beginning of December, he had not made much progress in improving his position in regard to the Foreign Ministry. His plan for a socialist conference was now widely known and discussed, but that was all. The German Government was doing much better: within a few days, official armistice negotiations were about to start at Brest-Litovsk, the fortress town on the PolishRussian frontier, and the seat of the German Eastern Command. Faced with this situation, Helphand decided on a desperate step. He made an attempt to bring the leaders of the German party together with the Bolsheviks, in order to prove to the Soviet Government that the Germans were prepared to negotiate on a socialist level. He tried to get Ebert and Scheidemann to come to
15

Telegram No. 1571 of 22 November 1917, in Akten der Gesandtschaft Stockholm, 72 a.

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Stockholm: in the end he succeeded in talking only Scheidemann into making the trip. Again, the Foreign Ministry exerted powerful pressure on the socialist leader: Rantzau had talked to him persuasively in Copenhagen, and when Scheidemann arrived at Helphand's Stockholm flat on 11 December, Kurt Riezler was already waiting for him there. The diplomats were successful. Scheidemann was so lacking in political resolution that he completely abandoned the idea of a socialist peace conference. When Scheidemann at last met Vorovski and Helphand, the German socialist leader behaved as a well-briefed emissary of the Wilhelmstrasse. To Vorovski's objection against Brest-Litovsk as the location of the forthcoming official negotiations, Scheidemann replied that it did not matter where, but how, the negotiations would be conducted. He also told Vorovski the news he had received from Riezler—that, if the Bolsheviks were represented by Lenin or Trotsky, Kühlmann himself was prepared to come to Brest-Litovsk. As far as the question of the socialist peace conference was concerned, nothing could move Scheidemann to take up a decisive position. He listened to the arguments Helphand presented at the three-hour conference without comment, without giving any indication as to how far the German party identified itself with Helphand's views. Only towards the end of the conversation, when Helphand assured Vorovski that no revolution would occur in Germany at least until the end of the war, did Scheidemann express his agreement. Scheidemann's visit to Stockholm meant a political fiasco for Helphand. As the German Legation reported, with much satisfaction, to Berlin, the socialist leader had 'done nothing for the socialist conference, in spite of Parvus'.16 To make the situation still worse for Helphand, the Stockholm newspaper Socialdemocrat published an article on the same day, 15 December, which was highly critical of the Bolshevik 'secret diplomacy' conducted by Helphand and Vorovski. The article revealed that Scheidemann was in Stockholm on a secret visit, and it expressed the suspicion that the Bolsheviks had begun to negotiate with the German majority socialists. The German Legation thought the article, from the point of view of official policy, very useful. It
16

Telegram No. 2037 of 15 December 1917, in WK 2 geh.

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would make private relations between Helphand and Vorovski more difficult, and it would put the Bolsheviks off the idea of a socialist conference. Helphand could do no more than remain in touch with Vorovski. He thought he held the one last trump card. If Radek came back with a positive reply from Lenin, the idea of a socialist conference might still be salvaged. This was the reason why Helphand stayed on in Stockholm: he was waiting for Radek to return, and to bring back clear instructions for the Bolshevik external bureau. In addition, Lenin's decision about Helphand's return to Russia was still pending. The Foreign Ministry continued to regard Helphand's activities as extremely dangerous. There still existed the possibility that, through his relations with the Bolshevik Mission, Helphand might have an adverse effect on the official negotiations, which were about to begin at BrestLitovsk. The Ministry employed a transparent ruse when it asked Helphand to come to Berlin immediately, for important business negotiations. Helphand treated the request in a dilatory manner, finally producing an equally silly excuse, that he was unable to get a booking for the train journey. Even the diplomats knew that he would not leave Stockholm before Radek's return: they were ignorant, however, of the personal side of the story. Above all, Helphand wanted to know whether Lenin would allow him to come back to Russia. It was, of course, an unusual request for Helphand to have made. Nevertheless, Karl Radek—the only first-hand witness of these events in December 1917, to which Helphand himself never made a single reference—was wrong when he maintained, after Helphand's death in 1924, that his late friend had decided to turn over a new leaf, to set out on the straight and narrow path of personal and political reform. Radek committed a gross act of sentimentality in the columns of Pravda when he maintained that, after the November revolution in Russia, Helphand wanted to pull himself out of the 'morass' of his past, and to begin a new life in the services of the Russian revolution. Helphand was too calculating and intelligent for that. He would hesitate to betray himself by a single dramatic gesture, to
M.R.-R

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dismiss his whole past as a dismal catalogue of errors. He was too sceptical to entertain the illusion that, through naïve and uncritical co-operation in the construction of the Soviet State, he could begin a new life as a paragon of socialist honour. Nor was Helphand likely to have been moved by a desire to return to the country of his birth. Helphand's thoughts were moving on different lines. He had, after all, made a considerable contribution to the victory of the Bolsheviks: was it unreasonable to expect that they would now acknowledge him as an ally? And even without public acknowledgement, could the Bolsheviks not continue to make use of his advice and financial skills? There also may have existed political considerations in Helphand's mind. He had long distrusted Lenin's autocratic tendencies in matters of party organization, and he may well have believed that he could influence developments in Russia in the direction of a workers' democracy. It is, however, clear that Helphand's request to return to Russia was, above all, a bold political move designed to maintain his independence of action, and a defensive device against the outflanking manoeuvres of the diplomats. Then at last, on 17 December, Radek returned to Stockholm. According to Radek's recollections, Lenin's reply was not only disappointing for Helphand: it was offensive. Radek told Helphand that the Bolshevik leader could not allow him to return to Russia, and that, in the words of Lenin, 'the cause of the revolution should not be touched by dirty hands'. Helphand's last hope for support disappeared: his political plans collapsed. He now had time to reflect on the self-righteous tone of Lenin's reply. Helphand knew that there was a strong 'pro-German' group in the Bolshevik party, which consisted of his friends: Radek, Fürstenberg, and Rakovsky were the most prominent in the faction. What he did not know—and this would have softened the blow of Lenin's decision—was that, since August, a forceful campaign against Fürstenberg had been going on inside the central committee. In August and September 1917, while Lenin was still in hiding in Finland, the 'controversial affairs' of Fürstenberg and Kozlovsky, that is, their connexions with Helphand, were discussed no less than eight times at the sessions

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of the committee.17 Early in December, while Radek was waiting for Lenin's decision, the controversy about Fürstenberg flared up once more on the Bolshevik central committee. Again, Lenin was unable to attend the meeting, which decided to rescind Fürstenberg's nomination as the Soviet diplomatic representative to Scandinavia. On 12 December, Lenin wrote a letter of protest to the central committee, in which it was made plain that some of the party leaders regarded the shady relations between Fürstenberg and Helphand as a sufficient reason for not entrusting Lenin's and Helphand's mutual friend with the mission to Scandinavia. In his letter to the central committee, Lenin endeavoured to present the co-operation between Fürstenberg and Helphand as having been of a purely business, unpolitical nature, and to dismiss all the accusations as the 'chatter of irresponsible gossips'. Lenin wrote: 'What evidence does one have against Hanecki? Hanecki earned his bread and butter as an employee of a firm in which Parvus had shares. That is how Hanecki told me the story. . . . Are there not others among us who have worked for Russian, English or other capitalist trading companies? The whole business is nothing more than "fear" of chatter by irresponsible gossips. . . . Such an attitude towards an absent comrade who has worked for the party for over ten years is the peak of unfairness.'18 Lenin was unable to change the decision of the central committee, and alternative employment had to be found for Kuba Fürstenberg. (He was rewarded for political services rendered, by becoming the head of the Soviet State Bank.) Nevertheless, the affair sufficed to show Lenin the risks connected with Helphand's return to Russia. Lenin liked neither Helphand nor his politics enough to tax the patience of his central committee further: it was not difficult for Lenin to jettison Helphand, as well as his political plans. Lenin's refusal must have deeply affected Helphand. He knew better than to expect gratitude, but he could not help feeling especially embittered by the behaviour of his friends among the
17

Protokoly tsentralnovo komiteta RSDRP (b), Avgust 1917—Fevral 1918, Moscow, 1958, p. 250. 18 Lcninskii Sbornik, XXXVI, Moscow, 1959, pp. 18-19.

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Bolsheviks. All of them appeared to him to have sacrificed their friendship for the sake of their political careers. Helphand came to despise Radek most of all: from now on he was to refer to him, only when he had to, as the 'political harlequin'. Without the support of the Bolsheviks, without a socialist conference, Helphand was forced to capitulate to the Foreign Ministry. The German diplomats were still in business, and he could try to influence them by giving them advice: but he had no fulcrum for the leverage he had wished to operate independently. On Christmas Eve 1917, Helphand let the Stockholm Legation know that he was now ready to comply with the Foreign Ministry's earlier request, and come to Berlin. The diplomats bore him no grudge. In a letter to Bergen, Kurt Riezler announced Helphand's impending arrival in Berlin.
At this moment, when his interests and ours are running parallel again, he is once more very important, and I would strongly recommend you to ask him, in confidence and quite intimately, for his advice in Berlin. . . . He really is a very considerable man and he has excellent ideas. It may well be that we shall soon feel that it would be an advantage to base our position in Russia on wider circles than those around Lenin, and in that event he will be essential to us. He must not be allowed to suspect that we simply wanted to get him away from here. I have nothing against his return, especially if things go well at Brest. However, I think that we could now use him better somewhere else, as Stockholm will soon cease to be of any importance as regards Russia because of the poor communications with Petrograd—that is, if nothing goes wrong at Brest. Let us hope that all goes well.19

On the surface, Helphand's toughness was indeed amazing. He returned to his old haunts as if nothing had ever happened. Only in the following months did his actions betray some of the scars, some of the deep sense of personal loss, that had been inflicted on him in the days in the middle of December 1917. On 28 December he was back at the Foreign Ministry; two days later he called on his old friend, Brockdorff-Rantzau, in Copenhagen.
19

Zeman, Germany and the Revolution in Russia, document No. 111.

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He told Rantzau of his low estimate of the stability of the Soviet regime, of his belief that conditions in Russia would return to normal only a few years after the conclusion of peace. He thought of Bolshevism as an anomalous period of transition, which would give way to a more democratic form of government. On the question of war aims, the personal affront recently administered by Lenin brought Helphand nearer the position of the Foreign Ministry: he now regarded annexation plans with great sympathy. In this respect, the conversation between the two men followed a widely meandering course. Helphand was desperately trying to re-establish his position with the diplomats and he did his best to please them. Although he thought that the GermanRussian negotiations had opened, on 22 December, in a promising way, he agreed with Rantzau that if the Bolsheviks behaved badly at Brest-Litovsk military pressure would have to be employed against them. He thought that Russia could easily be finished off by half a million troops, that she could be partitioned and her power completely destroyed. But what if Germany achieved a military break-through in the West? In such a case, Helphand told Brockdorff-Rantzau, there could be no more talk of a negotiated peace with Russia. If Russia were eliminated and France defeated, then Germany could, in Helphand's words, 'establish a gigantic army . . . which would dominate the whole of Europe'.20 There could then be no limit to Germany's territorial claims. In the following months, Helphand developed his vision of Germany's military and political hegemony in Europe still further. His position corresponded exactly to that of Adolf Hitler in 1941, after the National Socialist assault on the Soviet Union. Germany's hegemony appeared preferable to a Continental balance shared in by Russia. On 30 December 1917, however, when Helphand talked to Rantzau, he may have realized that he had allowed himself to go too far. He again warned Rantzau of the danger of Russia's desire for revenge, and then he steered the conversation to a different problem. He said that independent
20

'Geheime Aufzeichnung', 30 December 1917, in Nachlass Brockdorjf-Rantzau, H232334-H232345.

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states such as Finland, Poland, and the Ukraine, would always gravitate to Russia, and that they would offer only a limited protection for Germany. As he had done before, he again stressed economic considerations; that it was more important for Germany to secure her share in Russia's industrial development than to annex a few provinces. Helphand's description of the relations between Germany and Russia was pure music to the ears of the German diplomats. They put no obstacles in his way when he decided, early in January, to return to Stockholm. He had convinced himself of Lenin's hostility, and he had made his peace with the diplomats: Helphand was now ready to take up the Bolshevik leader's challenge. He had never thought very highly of the intellectual qualities of his Bolshevik friends, and he fondly regarded himself as one of their leading mentors. In the few weeks of its existence, the new Government in Petrograd had made so many mistakes that, in Helphand's opinion, they could be fatal to its standing at home and abroad. On 20 December the central committee had ordered the establishment of a political police force, the Cheka; on 26 December the Soviet Government appropriated two million roubles for the support of revolution in western Europe; on the following day, banking in Russia became a state monopoly. Helphand was convinced that these measures would find no support among the majority of the Russians, and he came to regard it as his duty to attack the Bolsheviks for these mistakes, and to encourage the socialist opposition groups. He planned a press campaign inside and outside Russia, which was to effect the isolation of the Bolshevik party from the majority of the nation; he intended to convince the local organizations and the middle ranks of the party hierarchy that the Bolsheviks were leading Russia into dangerous waters. He wanted to make use of the mood of opposition which existed in Russia at the time: he intended to mobilize and encourage the enemies of the Bolsheviks, and thus put their government under severe pressure. After his return to Stockholm at the beginning of January 1918, Helphand lost no time in launching his anti-Bolshevik campaign. He had already founded, at the beginning of December, a

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Russian news-sheet called Izvne—'From Outside'. He could now use it for this campaign; it was being delivered to Russia in several thousands of copies, and distributed free of charge. As Helphand told Prince Fürstenberg of the Austrian Legation, on 28 January, he wanted 'through this publication . . . to exercise influence on the soldiers' and workers' councils in the cities and in the provinces, . . . to teach them their lessons, and to rub the government's nose in all the serious mistakes which it had committed in the last weeks, against its own best interests'.21 In Izvne, Helphand ran through the lessons which his former, unfortunately rather thick-skulled pupils had forgotten. Russia was not yet ripe for socialism which, in any case, was not to be achieved by 'official decrees', but by a 'social process'. Nationalization of banking made sense only in the countries which had reached a high degree of industrial development. Indeed, the whole social programme of the Bolsheviks revealed their 'terrible, boundless ignorance and lack of perception'. He was highly critical of the Bolshevik advance towards dictatorship: this was undemocratic, and Russia was not yet ready for the dictatorship of the proletariat. At long last, Helphand was now standing on the same side of the barricade as his former friend, Rosa Luxemburg. They were united in their condemnation of Lenin's party, and they furiously disputed its claim to be a revolutionary elite, which could deputize for the working class in revolutionary matters. A minority could not terrorize the majority of the nation indefinitely, Helphand pointed out; '. . . it will not be possible for a workers' government to survive for ever with the aid of machine guns. . . .'22 Helphand described what the Bolsheviks had so far done in Russia as 'an insult to the splendid history of European revolutions' ; the Soviets reminded him more of a 'Jewish cabal than of a modern democracy'. The Bolsheviks maintained themselves in power only by the force of arms: in the Red Army, they had created hirelings for their own protection, 'like the multimillionaires of America'.
21

22

Fürstenberg to Czernin, 28 January 1918, HHuStA, P.A.Kreig 3, 836. Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 66.

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Helphand's criticism of the Bolsheviks became still sharper soon after the conclusion, on 3 March, of the negotiations at Brest-Litovsk. It was only in private conversations with the German and Austrian diplomats that Helphand distributed the blame for the treaty between the two contracting parties. By her desire for annexations, Helphand feared that Germany had deprived herself of the chance of running an economic monopoly in the East. The 'blemishes'—Helphand was stating his case cautiously —of the treaty dictated by the German Government, would have disastrous effects on future relations between the two states.23 In public, however, he put the whole blame for the treaty squarely on the Bolsheviks. By their renunciation of the socialist conference, they had made it possible for the German Imperialists to turn the screw. Helphand believed that a compromise had been possible in regard to the original German demands which, he thought, were quite realistic. But the 'revolutionism' of the Bolsheviks committed them to a policy of 'all or nothing'. They had discredited the German Social Democrats and strengthened the German military party in its conviction that a negotiated peace with Russia was not possible. The 'huckster' Trotsky, and the 'windbag' Radek, bore the main responsibility, according to Helphand, for the 'revolutionary chauvinism' which led to the peace of Brest-Litovsk.24 There were certain tragic undertones in Helphand's position after the Brest-Litovsk treaty. The ideas he regarded as his own had turned against him. His former friend Trotsky had used the theoretical foundations of Helphand's conception of a workers' democracy in support of his own view that Russia could venture the step into socialism at a time when the workers constituted a minority of the population. The German Government, on the other hand, had converted Helphand's idea of a separate peace with the Bolsheviks into a dictated peace which required military force to ensure its fulfilment. Both sides had used Helphand, and then suddenly dropped him. He had helped to clear the way for momentous historical developments, without having enough influence to control their direction.
23 Fürstenberg to Czernin, 23 April 1918, HHuStA, P.A. XXVI, 33. 24 Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, p. 57.

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He might have consoled himself with the thought that both the Imperial Government in Germany and the Bolshevik regime would shortly collapse. A revolution in Germany might sweep the present system away; as for Russia, Helphand regarded the overthrow of the Bolshevik Government as being, to a high degree, his own personal mission. Again, Helphand needed a front organization, but this time for operations against the Bolsheviks: it should be able to work inside Russia, without giving the appearance of a political opposition centre. Helphand was inventive and skilled at producing such organizations: a few days after Radek had returned from Petrograd with Lenin's message, Helphand had a blue-print ready. To Brockdorff-Rantzau he outlined a plan to create a 'large-scale press organization', which would disseminate and collect news in Russia. The diplomats were quite impressed, and soon after Helphand arrived in Stockholm, early in January 1918, he was certain of official financial support for his plans.25 Helphand very likely regarded the distribution network of his Izvne news-sheet as the nucleus of the future press organization; although he did not inform the diplomats of its anti-Bolshevik purpose, they would have raised no objections. Since the opening of the negotiations in Brest-Litovsk, the German Government had been greatly concerned with the effects of Bolshevik propaganda at home: there was nothing objectionable in repaying the Bolsheviks in their own coin. Despite the undesirable revolutionary agitation generated by the Soviets, the peace of Brest-Litovsk brought ample rewards for Berlin. At long last Germany's rulers could breathe more freely: they had achieved the aim they had been pursuing since November 1914. The war was reduced to a one-front engagement: as a result, a powerful German offensive was launched, on 10 March, on the western front. The relief engendered a mood of high optimism in Berlin: it survived surprisingly long, until midsummer 1918. In these circumstances, and under heavy pressure from the great industrialists, the German Government endeavoured to 'keep Russia under control', and to penetrate the country economically. This policy was summed up by State
25

Bergen to Lucius, telegram No. 27 of 2 January 1918, in WK 2 gen.

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Secretary Hintze—he succeeded Kühlmann in July—in the following manner: 'What do we want in the East? The military paralysis of Russia. The Bolsheviks are taking care of this better than any other Russian party, without our contributing a single man or a single penny. We cannot demand that they or other Russians should love us for the fact that we are squeezing their country like an orange. . . . That is exactly what we are doing: we are not co-operating with the Bolsheviks, we are exploiting them. That is what politics is about.'26 Helphand sensed this policy when it was in the making, and, with his intuitive understanding of the shifting goals of German diplomacy, he managed to ride its wave. There was real virtuosity in his skill in harnessing the desires of the Reich Government to his own political and commercial schemes. Towards the end of May, Helphand came to regard his Russian propaganda operations as inadequate: early in the following month he submitted a detailed memorandum to the Foreign Ministry, which elaborated on the expansion of the enterprise. He was thinking in terms of a vast publicity empire which would 'far exceed the achievements of Lord Northcliffe'. He assured the diplomats that 'if we employ the necessary tact and sufficient means . . . we should be able to bring the whole of the Russian press under our control'.27 Helphand envisaged the foundation of some 200 new dailies all over Russia, which would be kept supplied with news by an agency covering China, Japan, Afghanistan, and Persia. Each of these newspapers would be technically independent, but 'the connexion would be established by the concentration of shares in a holding company in Berlin, of which the public should know nothing. The centre would issue instructions through its agents. . . . All this would be made possible by a capital of 200 million marks.' Helphand then proposed that his already established publishing house in Berlin should produce a million almanacks—the annual publication, designed to entertain and edify, which was popular especially among the literate peasantry in Russia—to be
26

27

F. Fischer, Griffnach der Weltmachty pp. 764-5. Memorandum by Helphand on 'Das Verhältnis Deutschlands zu Russland', undated, in Deutschland Nr. 31 geh.

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charged to the German Government at four marks a copy. Their sale would have two advantages for Germany: first, it offered the possibility of 'creating a permanent organization extending throughout Russia. Branch offices would be set up in the various capitals and provincial towns, and they would employ personnel who could later take over the newspapers. . . . Altogether, the branches would have 1,000 permanent employees, and together with agents and salesmen, the operation would require about 10,000 men.' And secondly, Germany could use the almanacks for political as well as economic advertisements. 'We shall say what should be said about England. Briefly, we shall exploit our propaganda opportunities to the full.' On 17 June, the Foreign Ministry received a notification that a 'further 40 million marks' had been made available, and Helphand received the commission to begin at once with the production of the almanacks. The fact that the Foreign Ministry was taken in by Helphand's fantastic project is explicable by the mood, so fittingly described by State Secretary Hintze, that prevailed in Berlin at the time: it reflects on the diplomats rather than on the author of the plan. It came to a grotesque end. The production of the almanack was completed only after Germany's defeat, at the end of the year. In order to save the invested capital, the almanacks— some 600,000 copies were ready—had to be somehow got to Russia and sold there. By special permission from his old comrades, Ebert and Scheidemann—the President and the Prime Minister respectively in the new Government—military transport carrying the almanacks, set out for Russia. It did not get beyond the Soviet frontier. In Berlin, revelations in the opposition newspapers built up the affair into a dangerous political scandal, in which Ebert and Scheidemann were accused of favouritism, and Helphand of bribery and corruption.28 But to return to the early summer of 1918. Helphand himself was clearly affected by the same mood of hysterical optimism as prevailed in the Berlin Government circles. He also had his own vendetta against the Bolsheviks to carry on: the vast newspaper enterprise was intended to fulfil the same political function as the more modest news-sheet, Izvne. The scale of the new enterprise
28

M. Harden, Die Zukunft, 6 December 1919.

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was conceived in the dimensions in which Helphand had become accustomed to think during these years; it was no less characteristic of his thinking that political and business interests were interwoven in the enterprise. He did not see why his feud with the Bolsheviks should affect his business interests adversely: there was perhaps a profit to be made out of the situation. It was therefore not surprising that Helphand was available in Berlin when economic negotiations were opened, at the end of June, between the German Government and the new Bolshevik mission. As a businessman, Helphand was not unreasonable. The price for his help in getting 100,000 tons of coal from Germany to Russia was a mere 5 per cent of the total sum.29 Despite the continued 'surfeit of mammon', Helphand now appeared to be losing his touch. Often afflicted by rheumatism and past his fiftieth year, he was ageing fast. In his newspaper project, fantasy merged with reality: he was finding it more and more difficult to tell business and politics apart. Nor did he perceive that the growing criticism of his person and of his activities during the war had isolated him from the German Social Democrat party. There had been the publicity connected with the financing of the Bolshevik party in the summer of 1917. Then there appeared the highly critical series of articles in the Danish daily Københaven, which ran from 24 November until 5 January 1918: different versions of it later appeared in many European newspapers, including Le Temps, Matin, Gazette de Lausanne, and the Daily Mail. It firmly established the image of Helphand as a crook and a war profiteer. He defended himself as best he could. His apologia pro vita sua, issued by his own publishing house in Berlin in the spring of 1918, carried, despite its impassioned tone, little conviction.30 The accounts of his Danish coal business, of his war transactions, and of his relations with the Bolsheviks, were such a hopeless mixture of truths, half-truths, and deliberate omissions, that the pamphlet only fed the various rumours already in circulation. Its tone of moral indignation fell flat:
The slanderers have been given a hearing, they have been believed and
29

30

G. A. Solomon, Sredi krasnykh vozhdei, Paris, 1930, vol. 1, p. 100. Parvus,Im Kampf um die Wahrheit.

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encouraged, they have even been helped to achieve a certain renown. And yet I have been taking part in public life for more than thirty years, my writing stretches back more than a quarter of a century. One would suppose that I had earned the right to be judged according to my views, without the imputation of low motives. My life is punctuated by my writings as by mile-stones; from year to year, one can establish what formed the centre of my thinking, what filled my life at the time. . . . And when I look down at the puny creatures crawling far below and trying to throw dirt at me, I feel that between me and this people there lies the whole history of civilization. . . . I am going on my way —to new, to old tasks.31

'The new, the old tasks' had now contracted for Helphand to one thing only—Germany's military victory. After all his other plans foundered, Helphand felt that the fate of Germany would be his own fate. 'The victory of Germany and her allies', he wrote, 'can no longer be delayed.'32 The material resources of the Ukraine, of Rumania and Bulgaria, appeared to him sufficient to hold off the Entente Allies for an unlimited length of time. He was convinced that Germany would be able to dictate the peace in the West as she had done in the East: he dreamt of a united Europe under the military and political leadership of Berlin. He gravely overestimated the strength and endurance of the Reich. He did so largely because his personal experience was confined to Continental Europe and to Russia: he had left the Continent only once in his life, to attend the congress of the Second International in London in 1896. Despite his theoretical studies of the world market and other global phenomena, his picture of the world centred on Europe, and in it America was a name without any economic or strategic significance. Like so many other European politicians, he was not perspicacious enough to include her in his calculations of the development of the war. The year 1918 extended his imaginative powers to their limits; events were moving too fast for him. Not until September 1918 did Helphand recognize that the war was lost. The collapse of his world was hard enough for him to take, but it had a certain sobering effect. He had been intoxicated
31

Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, pp. 45-47.

32

ibid., p. 60.

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by the prospect of Germany's victory for too long: in the cold light of morning, he made a quick return to reality. Now that the military decision had been made, every additional day of the war seemed to him a senseless increase in human sacrifice. Perseverance, Helphand was convinced, would only worsen the coming chaos, and would facilitate the same development in Germany as that experienced by Russia during the period of the Bolsheviks' ascent to power. He at once decided to switch over his own organs of publicity to the policy of peace. When he failed to wean Ernst Heilmann, the editor of his Internationale Korrespondenz, away from the policy of blind perseverance, he simply killed the whole newspaper. He offered to pay Heilmann 20,000 marks for breach of his editorial contract: it was worth this much to him to bring the war to an end, at least in his own newspapers.33 Although he was uncertain as to what forms the new, post-war order would take, he clearly foresaw the dangers of the near future. Before Germany's final collapse in October 1918, Helphand warned the readers of Die Glocke of the perils of a 'democracy of defeat'. Using the new Government of Prince Max von Baden to illustrate his point, he showed how the rulers of the Reich had decided to give way to democracy only in order to improve their political position. They were doing no more than offering democracy in Germany as a concession to the Entente Powers for a negotiated peace. Helphand appealed to the German socialists to assist democracy in making a break-through out of conviction, and not as the present Government was doing, out of dubious political considerations.34 Helphand's reference to a democracy of defeat contained an implied hint at the birth of a revolution from the military breakdown. This would not be his kind of a revolution. He had not wanted it, and he had done everything to prevent it. He had never tired of arguing, with his Bolshevik comrades in Stockholm, that a revolution in Germany could not be expected for the time being, and not even immediately after the end of the war. When defeat and revolution came in November 1918, Helphand was unable to
33
34

Heilmann in Das Freie Wort, 10 April 1931. Parvus, 'Notizen zur Kanzlerkrise', Die Glocke, 1918, p. 904.

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summon enough energy to take an interest in the new course of events. He simply stood aside, isolated and passive. Instead of staying in Berlin to put his services at the disposal of the Social Democrat party, Helphand was to be found in the Munich Chancellery talking to Dandl, the Bavarian Prime Minister, about measures to be taken for the prevention of civil war. He recommended immediate elections to a national assembly. The nation must be given a chance, Helphand argued, to express its opinion through elections and to send new men to parliament. He must have known that he could not be among these new men. He had brought upon himself, during the war, too much public disapproval. Despite his political commitment, he had made a fortune out of the war, and it was assumed that he would use the military breakdown in a similar manner. It would have been out of character had he done anything else. He at once began buying up war surplus material: he exported military vehicles to Denmark where the factory Aurora, owned by the metal workers' union, provided them with new bodies, and distributed them on the Scandinavian market. According to Helphand's own account, the business proved 'not unprofitable'. The outbreak of the revolution in Berlin on 9 November, marked the end of a period of Helphand's life. By his collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, Helphand had become, consciously or not, a part of the order which now collapsed. While the future of the new state was being decided, Helphand travelled to Switzerland, into voluntary exile. He had come to Germany from Switzerland in 1891 as a militant and radical socialist. After twenty-seven years he made the return trip, resigned and disenchanted, but rich enough to enjoy what Switzerland had to offer.

12
Schwanenwerder
On 20 November 1918, after a long journey through defeated, post-war Germany and Austria, Helphand arrived in Zürich. He had seen, from the window of his first-class compartment, a fair sample of the grim realities of life in the defeated countries; war invalids, railway stations crowded with ragged troops returning home and civilians with no homes to return to. Helphand wanted no reminders of poverty and privation. At this point, he wanted what Switzerland had to offer—security and material abundance. Helphand thought of his journey to Switzerland as a one-way trip. He intended to settle at a place where he would be undisturbed, where he could live out his old age. The village Wädenswil on the Lake of Zürich offered the ideal retreat, and it was here that Helphand bought his house. It was on a small, expensive estate; the chauffeur and the chambermaids, the cook and the two Swiss farmers soon moved in to look after their master and his property. The arrival of the 'well-known comrade Parvus' caused a local sensation. But the excitement soon died down, and Helphand and his establishment became an accepted, though notable, landmark on the lake. His wealth impressed the cautious and realistic local farmers and shopkeepers: a man as wealthy as Helphand could hardly be a cheap adventurer. Had they known the true size of Helphand's fortune, they would have been still more impressed. In the years 1919 and 1920, his capital deposited in Switzerland amounted to 2,222,000 francs, producing a yearly income of 123,000 francs. It was only a fragment of his wealth, which was invested in almost all European countries, from Sweden to Turkey. But Helphand was not left undisturbed for long. The circum-

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stances and the timing of his arrival in Switzerland were all wrong; he had been too much of a controversial figure to be allowed a quiet exit from the political stage. As early as the end of November, the first press reports appeared about his participation in the Swiss general strike, and then about the Bolshevik agitation he had conducted, at the request of Chicherin, the Soviet Foreign Minister, during the international socialist conference in Berne at the end of January.1 The suspicion that Helphand was a Bolshevik agent was nourished by a profound nervousness in Switzerland about the possibility of a Bolshevik conspiracy against the state. In Helphand, the Swiss press believed they had discovered the arch-plotter of a fast-approaching coup d'état. Bickel, the Zürich public prosecutor, had started to collect press-cuttings on the subject of Alexander Helphand in November ; his financial transactions were closely followed by the Swiss authorities, who suspected that Helphand was engaged in distributing Bolshevik subsidies. By 30 January 1919 Bickel was convinced that he had an open-and-shut case against the alleged Bolshevik agent, and he had Helphand arrested.2 In the course of his interrogation it became apparent that the case against Helphand rested mainly on the evidence supplied by a large collection of press-cuttings. Helphand had little difficulty in exposing the central weakness of the case for the prosecution, and, to make quite sure of his safety, he appealed to his old friend, Adolf Müller, now the new German Minister to Berne. On the day after the arrest, Müller lodged a strong protest with the Swiss Government: Dr. Helphand, the Minister pointed out, was a member of the German socialist majority party, and a politician who 'fought vigorously the Spartakists and especially the Bolsheviks'.3 Helphand was released at once, even though on bail of 20,000 francs: it was paid back to him soon, and the Swiss authorities politely informed him that no further action would be taken. Although the press campaign showed no signs of abating, it did
1
2
3

Daily Telegraph, 26 January 1919. 'Meine Entfernung aus der Schweiz', Die Glocke, 1920, pp. 1484 et seq. Telegram No. 223 of 31 January 1919, in Deutschland 141 Nr. 7 geh., 'Agenten*. M.R.-S

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not greatly disturb Helphand's peace of mind. As long as he was allowed to enjoy his idyllic life at Wädenswil, he could endure the journalists' shafts quite easily. He was unable to desert politics for long. While his comrades in Berlin were busy defending themselves and their Government against assaults from the left by the Spartakists, Helphand wrote his 'Letters to the German Workers'. They were considered, didactic essays, written with insight, but without passion. He showed how the institution of the Soviets was entirely out of place in Germany, where there existed a parliamentary tradition; he ran through the problems and tasks faced by the German socialists at home and abroad. He again pointed at the threat presented by Russia: he believed that the Bolsheviks would transform the country into a military power which could be confronted, on equal terms, by no other European state. He perceived that 'Czechoslovakia and Jugoslavia and Poland will all be done away with, they all are creations—as soon as Russia develops her military power—which will not survive one generation'.4 Nor was Helphand able to get away from his old political friends. Philipp Scheidemann, the first Prime Minister of the Weimar Republic, visited him at Wädenswil in the summer of 1919. Scheidemann had just resigned, after refusing to sign the peace treaty: he was an embittered, depressed, sick man. He personified the tragedy of the German revolution of November 1918. He had been attacked from the extreme right as a saboteur of Germany's victory; he had been accused by the extreme left as the murderer of the Spartakist leaders. Even his own party had declared itself, at the crucial moment, for the acceptance of the peace conditions, thus leaving him high and dry, in an untenable position. Scheidemann told his host of the insuperable political difficulties that lay in the path of the Weimar Republic. But in his Wädenswil retreat, Helphand had been out of touch with the developments in Germany; he ascribed his friend's pessimism to overwork, and he provided him with every kind of luxury and distraction. At the end of September, however, when he accompanied Schiedemann on the trip back to Berlin, he saw for himself
4

Der Arbeitersozialismus und die Weltrevolution, Berlin, 1919, IV, p. 12.

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that the situation was as bad as the socialist leader had depicted. Neither the extremists nor the sentimentalists—the nationalists, the communists, the monarchists—had become reconciled to the Weimar Republic and the dominant position, in the Government, of the Social Democrats. Under assault from every side, the socialists were concerned with the means of defence of the Republic: could they trust the old officers' corps? It might be highly skilled; it might even be useful in the struggle against the Spartakists; but was it reliable from the point of view of the Government? Many instances of disloyalty indicated that the answer was a negative one. The controversy divided the socialist leadership and occasioned a sharp clash between Ebert and Scheidemann. Helphand was present at one of their conversations on the subject, where Scheidemann took the line that the officers could not be trusted with the defence of the state, nor with the creation of the new army. Helphand had never seen his friend so resolute as on the question of the officers' corps, and he gave Scheidemann all the support he could. He published a large edition of Scheidemann's speech, 'The Enemy is on the Right!', and he expressed his agreement in Die Glocke. But Helphand knew that there was no more for him to do in Berlin. He left it as unobtrusively as he had arrived. In Switzerland, the affairs of Helphand were still providing the journalists with scandalous copy. At the end of November, their campaign received fresh impetus from Germany. Maximilian Harden, the well-established retailer of political gossip, had become interested in Georg Sklarz, Helphand's Copenhagen business partner: one thing led to another, and Harden went on to give the readers of Die Zukunft a detailed account of Helphand's Russian almanack venture. Then an unfortunate altercation between Helphand and his former friend, Karl Kautsky, provided Harden with new ammunition.5 Kautsky attacked Helphand on personal grounds, using information which only a long and intimate friendship could have
5

Parvus, 'Der Fall Kaustky', Die Glocke, 1919, pp. 1213-20; Kautsky's reply was published in Welt am Montag, on 22 December 1919; Harden's article appeared in Die Zukunft, January 1920.

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given him. Helphand's reply was less than convincing: he put too much of himself into the defence. He showed his hatred of the German philistines, and of the qualities and institutions they held in high regard. He dismissed the family as a 'robbers' nest', selfseeking and deceitful to the outside world; he expressed his abhorrence of everything orderly and mediocre, as well as his disregard for moral values. He wrote: 'Am I merely morally degenerate, or without any morals whatsoever? I do not know, such has been my life. Such I was and such I am, judge me as you will, I know no other way.'6 In Helphand's defence, his most hidden thoughts lay revealed. His German comrades reacted as if they had caught a glimpse of the dark side of the moon. Konrad Haenisch alone resolutely came to Helphand's defence. He wrote a warm and loving defence of his friend in the Berlin Achtuhrabendblatt; without trying to diminish Helphand's human weaknesses and faults, he expressed his belief in his basic goodwill and honesty:
I believe that Parvus would be out of place as an honorary member of a society of protestant maidens. His is an unusually strong nature, and after all the decades of a poverty-stricken existence as a refugee, this natural vigour is evident in every field, in the pleasures of the table as much as those of love. . . . A church leader might perhaps disapprove of certain details of Parvus's way of life. . . . As far as Parvus's business transactions, the details of which I do not know, areconcerned, please do not forget that Parvus is not a conforming German petit bourgeois, and that, after his kind of development, he cannot become one. He is a true son of Russia, of a European country of—also spiritually—unlimited possibilities, and in his veins there doubtless flows a remarkable mixture of Jewish, Russian, and Tartar blood. Such a man has the right to be judged according to the laws of his own nature. One should not hurriedly measure him by current standards, which, in Germany, have become a part of our flesh and blood, or apply to him our own attitudes, however much proved they may be.'7

Haenisch's plea for tolerance and understanding completely failed to achieve its purpose. His high official position—Haenisch
6

7

Parvus, 'Philister Quoted after the Preussische Zeitung, 5 December 1919.

über mich', Die Glocke, 1919, p. 1339.

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was the Prussian Minister of Education—and his close personal relationship with Helphand only provided the opposition press with a new line of attack. Should a Prussian Minister have a friend like that? Had not Scheidemann himself accepted Helphand's hospitality, proving his dependence on the man? Had not the socialist Government made special arrangements for Helphand's Russian almanacks ? The scandal fast developed into a crisis of confidence in the Government. Maximilian Harden demanded the immediate formation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry, which should examine the misuse, by the ministers, of their official powers in connexion with Helphand's business activities. Although Harden's suggestion did not materialize, the violent public debate delivered valuable propaganda material into the hands of the enemies of the Weimar Republic. The Nazis, in particular, continued to make political capital out of it until January 1933. According to their propaganda, Helphand was one of the leading 'November criminals': men responsible for a diversity of crimes— defeat in the war, foundation of the Republic, the humiliating peace treaties, and much else besides. Alfred Rosenberg, the leading Nazi ideologist, never tired of using Helphand as an example of the detestable, corrupting influence of the Eastern Jews on Germany's national life. The storm in Berlin reached Switzerland, and it destroyed Helphand's rural idyll on the Lake of Zürich. The first reports about the alleged intimate relations between Helphand and the Zürich Chief of Police appeared, accompanied by descriptions of Helphand's 'harem' at Wädenswil. Details about constant supplies of young ladies, and wild orgies at Helphand's house, were punctuated by accusations of hugely successful political corruption, which had made Helphand into 'le roi de Zürich'. The inevitable demand for Helphand's expulsion from Switzerland was raised. The Swiss Legation in Berlin received an order to collect further evidence against Helphand; Adolf Müller, the German Minister to Berne, found it increasingly difficult to protect his friend against the Swiss authorities. Finally on 3 January, the highly respected Neue Zürcher Zeitung hinted at the 'unsavoury spectacle of the way Helphand conducted his private

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life': at the end of the month, Helphand was officially informed that his permission to reside in Switzerland could not be extended. He was asked to leave the country before 11 February 1920. The Swiss journalists succeeded in hounding Helphand out of the country. Although he may well have sought the consolations of a life of pleasure to compensate him for the deep political disappointments of the recent past, most of the political charges against him were without foundation. The Swiss deportation order was a bitter blow to Helphand. In his own newspaper, he passionately disputed the decision of the Swiss Government.8 His belief in the protective powers of wealth had received a blow; he now spoke of his fortune with contempt. It followed him like a curse, he wrote; he felt, he told a friend of his, like an 'inverted Midas. The gold I touch turns into dung.' Helphand, the ageing and tired Midas, returned to Berlin in February 1920. He moved into a suite at the Hotel Kaiserhof: he was not sure whether he wanted to stay in Berlin. He toyed with the idea of settling down somewhere in South Germany, or in the neighbourhood of Bodensee, but this was too much trouble. In the end, he decided to set up house on the Schwanenwerder estate, outside Berlin. It was on the Wannsee, the lake on the River Havel; Helphand saw it as a poor substitute for Switzerland, Italy, and the sea. Although he could live there without having to make yet another involuntary move, it had been a hard decision for him to make. Berlin was too evocative of his past, and Helphand had never really liked the town. A personal letter to young Bruno Schönlank, the son of Helphand's former employer, the editor of the Leipziger Volkszeitung, revealed how desolate Helphand felt:
It has been a difficult decision for me, to come to Berlin. I have the feeling that, this time, I shall go under here. I hate these piles of masonry, I cannot bear the oppressive atmosphere, and I cannot stand the Berliners—the city scepticism and cynicism, without the French esprit, but with a coarse, upstart brashness. Talk is all that is left. And the world is brimming over with hate.
8

'Meine Entfernung aus der Schweiz', Die Glocke, 1920, p. 1482.

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This is terrible. But how can one withdraw without abasing oneself? To join the starving masses, put on sackcloth and ashes, playing poor Job, all of one's own accord, merely in order to be like the others ? . . . But the whole dunghill depresses me only because I fell out of touch with current intellectual life. Am I unable to see it, or does it not exist? . . . I need change and life, and all I see is decay, slime, dissolution. I hear only the sound of footsteps and the clamour of the market place. . . . I long to get away from the cries of the hungry, I long for them to stop, I cannot endure them any longer. But I would like to drink deep again, I would like to return to the world where people create and strive—I do not want to have to listen any longer to shouts of murder and lamentations. I want intellectual creativeness, the joy of hope, the triumph of spiritual achievement, the joy of new discoveries— I would like to feel again the heartbeat of civilization.9

Berlin reminded Helphand of too many past disappointments. As the winter of 1920 was drawing to its close, their memory set off in him a deep personal crisis. When he was at last established at his splendid residence at Schwanenwerder, he felt deceived: this was not, after all, what he very much wanted. His dedicated work for the Sächsische Arbeiterzeitung, his passionate friendships with Schönlank, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, were things of the past. Most of his old friends were either dead, or manning the other side of the barricades. There was nothing in his life that could take their places. The revolutions in Russia and in Germany—in one way or another Helphand had predicted them and worked for them— had also run their course. In both countries the revolutions were the outcome of national disaster, and their results now appeared to Helphand drab and uninspiring. The stupidity of the bureaucrats had rubbed the bloom from the fruits of the revolution, the political upheavals remained unaccompanied by a spiritual renaissance. When Helphand's thinking reached this point, it appeared that there was still more hope for him. The younger generation of socialists would have to find a new inspiration, they would have
9

Helphand to Bruno Schönlank, 25 April 1920. Quoted with the kind permission of
Herr Bruno Schönlank of Zürich.

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to prevent the vulgar debasement of the revolutionary spirit. It was precisely on this point that Helphand addressed his young friend Schönlank in May:
No new ideas! That means: no life, no movement, no art, no science, the sun is standing still, until the last satiated proletarian wife folds her hands in her lap, and, yawning, declares that now all is well. . . . Do you then not understand that this standstill of culture, until socialism is realized, is basically the whole damned ignorance and enmity to culture of an enslaved class, and that it is the outcome of the Bolshevik pogromist policy? This is precisely what has always set me against vulgar socialism, and is still doing so nowadays: it is that I have always seen socialism and the struggle for socialism as work and more work, the exertion of all the powers of the collective, the most highly ideal striving, a spiritual revolutionization of all human relations, the striving of new spiritual

forces!10

Helphand's fit of depression passed, and he was soon ready to come to terms with the outside world. By the time he had written to Schönlank, the house on the Wannsee was ready to receive its first guests. It greatly differed from Wädenswil. Schwanenwerder was not intended to be a quiet country retreat, a comfortable and isolated fortress, which would invite the spinning of outrageous rumours. On the Wannsee, Helphand kept open house on a grand scale. There were liveried footmen and butlers in white cotton gloves, who conformed—as did their master—to a rather elaborate etiquette. Lavish parties alternated with more intimate evenings, and with discussions arranged for the benefit of the younger socialist set. It was all very impressive and tame. The formal receptions at Schwanenwerder were attended by socialist ministers and State secretaries; by Scheidemann, who was now under a lucrative contract to Helphand's publishing house, by Haenisch, who remained a loyal friend, by Otto Wels, the chairman of the socialist party, by Gradnauer, the Saxon Minister to Berlin, by Ullrich Rauscher, the first press chief in the Chancellery, who later became the Minister to Warsaw, and by many other dignitaries of the Weimar Republic. Although Help10

Letter to Bruno Schönlank of 6 May 1920.

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hand knew that he could not aspire to high political office, he remained, in this way, in close touch with the leadership of the party as well as with the government of the Weimar Republic; his advice was, when needed, still available. In spite of the best food and drink Berlin could provide, there often hung an air of unreality over these formal gatherings at Schwanenwerder. For most of Helphand's friends, these were unfamiliar surroundings. The men—those who had risen highest above their original social starting-point—were usually selfassured enough to take the splendour and formality in their stride. It was their poor wives, according to a frequent visitor to Schwanenwerder, who suffered most. They had been unable to keep up with their husbands' rapid rise to prominence, they were intimidated, and they showed it.11 Fortunately for Helphand, formal receptions were not a daily occurrence at Schwanenwerder. He was now giving much of his attention to the younger generation of German socialists. He expected a lot from them. He often invited them to informal discussion evenings, and he was fond of lecturing to them on the theory and practice of socialism. Arno Scholz, the present editor of the largest Berlin daily, the Telegraph, and Bruno Schönlank, were among the young socialists who attended Helphand's gatherings. Scholz was introduced to socialist journalism by Robert Breuer, then editor of Die Gloche; the young man also acted, in the last years of Helphand's life, as his private secretary. Bruno Schönlank had made a name for himself, during the war, as a poet: he knew a side of Helphand's personality which remained completely hidden from the jaundiced view of hostile journalists. In one of his letters to Schönlank, Helphand wrote: 'I take it that your poetry has not yet earned you any palaces, and I am therefore enclosing a cheque for 5,000 marks.'12 Apart from the prominent men and the young generation, there were of course the various supplicants who came to Schwanenwerder : provincial journalists who asked for credits and grants for their newspapers, or local socialist functionaries who wanted to acquire printing-presses or buildings to house the secretariats
11
12

cf. M. J. Bonn, Wandering Scholar, London, 1949, p. 263. Helphand to Schönlank, 19 March 1920.

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of their organizations. They rarely left Helphand empty-handed. In the spring of 1920, after he had overcome the depression following his deportation from Switzerland, Helphand once again returned to journalism. It had been the favourite occupation of his youth, and he now gladly resumed his duties as the publisher of Die Glocke. It was badly in need of attention. Over the years, the periodical had become the domain of the socialist intelligentsia: more often than was good for Die Cloche, opinionated university lecturers, inspectors of schools, and other frustrated pedagogues were given an opportunity in its pages to dispute their favourite themes, such as drunkenness, abortion, or school reform. At the end of 1919, Konrad Haenisch resigned the

editorship of Die Glocke in order to devote himself to his official duties as Minister of Education in Prussia; Max Beer, the former London correspondent of Vorwärts, took over the editorship. He made an effort to widen the circle of contributors: Die Glocke now started printing occasional pieces by such well-known socialists as Bernstein and Scheidemann, as well as by the younger men—Ernst Niekisch, Erich Ollenhauer, Theodor Heuss, and Ernst Reuter. Helphand himself started to write regular articles for Die Glocke, mainly on problems of financial policy and of reparations. He appealed to reason and for sober, business-like thinking; he demanded that international trade be freed from political restrictions. He believed that extortionate reparation payments were the surest way to bankruptcy for all concerned: 'The point is not that the heaviest possible load should be placed upon Germany, but that France should be able to secure for herself the highest participation in the development of Germany's industry.'13 Helphand was convinced that the problem of reparations should be solved within the framework of European reconstruction; his optimism did not desert him even after the publication of the London ultimatum on 5 June 1921, which demanded a payment by Germany of an astronomic sum. Helphand clearly perceived the dangers of a harsh treatment of the Weimar Republic. Addressing France at the end of 1921, he wrote:
13

The most important of these articles were published in a book entitled Aufbau und Wiedergutmachung, Berlin, 1921, p. 179.

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If you destroy Germany then you will make the German nation the organizer of the next World War. There exist two possibilities only: either the unification of western Europe, or Russia's domination. The whole game with the buffer states will end in their annexation by Russia, unless they are united with central Europe in an economic community, which would provide a counter-balance to Russia. Either western Europe retains its industrial leadership, and for this purpose it has to be politically cohesive, or it will become subordinate economically, politically, and culturally to a great Russia, the frontiers of which will extend from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. . . . This would mean the fall of French as well as of German culture. In such a case we should start to teach Russian to our children at school, and introduce them to Russian history, so that they would not be helpless when they came under Russian rule.14

Helphand's conviction of the necessity of a close European co-operation came to dominate his political activities. He had been moving in this direction for some time. In the autumn of 1919, a select audience of diplomats and journalists had been treated to an unusual spectacle at a dinner party at the Hotel Kaiserhof, when Helphand lectured to them, in stiff but correct French, on Russian politics.15 After his move to Schwanenwerder, two well-known French professors, Hesnard and Haguenin, who were then working in Berlin for the improvement of relations between France and Germany, became regular visitors at the house on the Wannsee. Helphand's new conception needed a broad political basis: it could not be carried out in the socialist context alone, which was too specialized and parochial. Problems of European reconstruction and of the closer co-operation between western European states required an international publicity organ. He set out to explore the possibility of publishing a newspaper concerned mainly with economics, which would be supported by the republican parties in Germany and which, apart from German, would be printed in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. The men to whom Helphand now turned, and who assisted
14

15

Parvus, Aufbauund Weidergutmachung, pp. 195-8. Count Harry Kessler, Tagebuch, Frankfurt am Main, 1962, p. 203.

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him in the early stages of the project, were the leading Berlin liberals, who were well connected in political as well as in business circles. Ernst Jackh was one of them: he was a talented writer and publicist who had acted, before the war, as an adviser on the Far East to the Foreign Ministry, and who had since undertaken numerous missions as a special emissary to the European ruling houses. He was learned, sophisticated, and discreet: the foundation of the Berlin School of Politics belongs among his many achievements. Helphand's plans, and especially the suggestion that the newspaper should aim at the support of the German republican parties, appealed to Jackh. He declared himself ready to take part in preparing the publication. On Jackh's advice, Helphand offered the editorship of the newspaper to Moritz Bonn. Like Jackh, Bonn was a liberal publicist and scholar; he had worked, shortly before the turn of the century, at the London School of Economics: after assisting Count Bernstorff at the German Embassy in Washington, he acted as the economic adviser to Brockdorff-Rantzau—then Foreign Minister—at the peace negotiations at Versailles. When he first met Helphand, Bonn was deeply impressed. He was reminded of characters in Balzac's novels: he at once recognized that there was a vital power in Helphand, an impressive intelligence accompanied by keen practical sense. Bonn accepted Helphand's offer, and the first number of Wiederaufbau—'Reconstruction'—appeared on 4 May 1922, in five European languages. It was an impressive publication. The exertions of Jackh and Bonn had not been in vain: after a few months of its existence, Wiederaufbau counted among its authors some of the leading German politicians and industrialists. Cunow, a director of the Hamburg-Amerika shipping-line who later became the Reich Chancellor, Carl Friedrich von Siemens, the young Theodor Heuss, as well as the foremost German socialists, were among the newspaper's contributors. Helphand himself wrote a lot for Wiederaufbau, on similar subjects to those he dealt with in Die Glocke and in an equally penetrating manner. The newspaper commanded an impressive list of advertisers: the large Mercedes and A E G firms, Banco di Roma, and many others, contributed to the running costs of Helphand's publication.

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The editorial policy set the paper firmly on a western course, on the path that led to Germany's understanding with the western powers rather than with Russia, to Locarno rather than to Rapallo. The treaty with Russia at Rapallo had been concluded at Easter, shortly before the appearance of the first number of Wiederaufbau: its editor regarded the treaty as a serious political mistake, which would shatter the confidence of the western powers in Germany. This policy, to which Helphand now gave his full support, was again inspired by his considerations on the future development of Russia: 'One has to bear in mind what comes later: the great Russia.'16 The war had not, after all, done away with the Russian colossus: the problem was still facing Germany. The Wiederaufbau project, like all Helphand's ventures, was conceived on a grand scale. It was an unusual product of Weimar journalism; although its conception, as a whole, may have been over-ambitious, it left its mark on the political climate of the period. By treating the reparations as a rational problem it paved the way for the Locarno treaty, and it prepared the Germans for the reparation plans offered by Dawes and Young. In the columns of the Wiederaufbau, the idea of a powerful coalition of the centre parties—President Ebert became one of its strongest partisans—found unequivocal support; currency reform was also discussed and concrete proposals made. Helphand himself argued convincingly in favour of the reform; it later took the shape of the Rentenmark.17 But behind the sober pages of the newspaper there existed, in editorial and financial matters, a highly complex situation. Helphand was the official publisher; Moritz Bonn, the editor, remained anonymous, according to the provision he had made when he accepted the job. But there was another anonymous person connected with Wiederaufbau. This was Hugo Stinnes, the Ruhr industrialist, and one of the richest men in Germany. During the war Stinnes had skilfully combined his coal mines and transport companies with a number of steel works into a self-contained empire. Apart from their wealth and political
16
17

Parvus, 'Das russische Problem', Wiederaufbau, No. 1, May 1922. Parvus, 'Die Sanierung der deutschen Staatsfinanzen, Wiederaufbau, No. 23.

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ambition, Stinnes and Helphand had little in common. Stinnes was an unassuming, modest man, deeply nationally conscious: as a Reichstag deputy of the nationalist Volkspartei, and as a leading Ruhr industrialist, he exercised a powerful influence on Germany's reparation policies. His views on this problem were at first sharply opposed to those of Helphand. Stinnes had made a name for himself as a critic of the Versailles treaty, who had lashed Rathenau's and Wirth's 'policy of fulfilment' of Germany's financial obligations.
In April 1922, however, the attitude of Stinnes to reparations and, with it, to Germany's relations with France, began to change. In that month he concluded an agreement with Marquis de

Lubersac, the President of the Confédération Générale des Coopératives de Reconstruction des Régions Dévastées. The agreement gave an opportunity to German industry to participate in
the reconstruction of France, by-passing the two governments. The next step in the same direction was Stinnes' partnership in

Helphand's goodwill publication. Both men treated the matter with the utmost discretion: neither Bonn nor Jackh knew about Stinnes' interest in the newspaper. It is possible that Helphand saw himself as a socialist counterpart of Stinnes; he may have made his last attempt to expropriate the expropriators. Despite the generous support of Stinnes, the Wiederaufbau soon ran into financial difficulties. The costs of the five-language edition surprised the publisher himself; technical organization was also lacking. There were difficulties and delays connected with translating and then with editing the text: when a copy of Wiederaufbau eventually appeared, it was not quite up to date. Helphand asked for additional subsidies: when, instead of enthusiasm, he encountered hesitation on the part of Stinnes, he threatened to make a public statement on the financing of the newspaper up to date. The Wiederaufbau received its final subsidy from the Ruhr. Nevertheless, half-way through the year 1923, Bonn resigned the editorship and the whole project was mercifully killed. After the appearance of fifty-one issues, the last Wiederaufbau was published on 17 September 1923. The closure of the newspaper completed Helphand's gradual

Schwanenwerder 275

withdrawal from public life. His health had been failing since the end of the war; the sparks of his tremendous vitality were now fast dying out. He suffered severe rheumatic pains, and his heartbeat was not as regular as it should have been. He spent much of his time taking the waters at Marienbad; his friends in Berlin noticed that he was increasingly relying on Schwanenwerder to provide him with the peace he needed. Nevertheless, hostile press reports on orgies at Helphand's house continued to appear. The enemies of the Weimar Republic needed Helphand for their agitation: he had received from them, in the summer of 1922, an unwanted proof of his political stature. His name appeared on a list circulating in the Femekreis—a right-wing terrorist organization of discharged officers—of persons who were to be liquidated. In September 1922, two former officers called Krull and Bracht began to prepare Helphand's assassination. They chose a rather complicated way of carrying out their plan: they intended to blow up the house at Schwanenwerder. They were arrested before they could strike.18 Had Krull and Bracht succeeded in assassinating Helphand, they would have killed a man who was fast approaching the end of his physical reserves. His former mode of life did not make for longevity. After the collapse of the Wiederaufbau project, there still remained Die Glocke: although its front page now bore Helphand's name, he no longer bothered to write for it. There remained two things for him to do. He married his secretary, a young Bavarian girl who, many years later, preferred not to be reminded of this brief episode in her life. And finally, he saw to the destruction of his private papers: it is likely that a bonfire in the garden of Schwanenwerder took care of that. On 12 December 1924, a heart attack put an end to Helphand's life.
18

Ernst von Salomon, Der Fragebogen, Hamburg, 1951, p. 128. Vorwärts, 22 September 1922.

Epilogue
It was on 17 December 1924 that a small party assembled at the Wilmersdorf crematorium in Berlin. Helphand's funeral was neither a family nor a religious occasion: it was a socialist ceremony. There was a magnificent wreath from the Danish comrades; the principal speakers were Georg Gradnauer and Otto Wels, who represented the German party executive. As they had no liking for the ritual formulas of religion, they expressed their grief in mundane terms; they were clearly moved by a desire to do well by their departed comrade, but, above all, to do so quickly. It seemed that Helphand's name and his diverse achievements would soon be forgotten, and that no one would care much if they were. Die Glocke reported on the memorial service for its founder and, six weeks later, itself ceased publication. Helphand's publishing house, the Verlag fur Sozialwissenschaft, was wound up at the same time, and the late owner's assets in Berlin were sufficient to cover the firm's deficit. His friends and relatives who searched the house at Schwanenwerder found neither any political papers, nor a last will. It was improbable that Helphand's great fortune could have disappeared, and rumours started to circulate that money had been deposited in numbered accounts in Switzerland. There was, however, no concrete proof; the search continues. In political pamphleteering alone, Helphand's name retained a certain evil significance. The enemies of the Weimar Republic used it often and effectively, and their usages resulted in some bizarre distortions of the dead man's memory. The majority of German socialists themselves preferred to forget Helphand altogether. In the large German socialist family of well-behaved and mediocre children, he was obviously the black sheep. And on

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the few occasions when they remembered him, they did so without sympathy. One of them came to regard Helphand's activities as a 'mixture of opinionation and business', a mixture of which he disapproved; another remembered a grand dinner at Schwanenwerder, which irritated him and left him spiritually hungry. The world Helphand inhabited had, in this socialist's view, nothing to do with socialism. In his speech at Helphand's funeral, Georg Gradnauer recalled how Helphand had once said: 'We love the high tide of life.' His few friends in Germany remembered him as someone with an immense will to live, as a massive figure, larger than life. Gradnauer's recollection was kindly and perceptive: it indicated the perplexity that Helphand had caused among the German socialists. It meant, moreover, that somehow he had surpassed their understanding. There can be no doubt that Helphand's untrammelled vitality, his personal and political independence, the range and keenness of his intellect, had placed him head and shoulders above his contemporaries in the socialist movement. But they distrusted his volatile, unbounded character, and Helphand himself gave them too many occasions on which to be contemptuous. In the fullness of time, his comrades grasped every single one. By 1914 he had broken all the unwritten rules of German socialism. Helphand showed too much interest in women, in money, and there existed doubts as to his financial probity. In addition, the company he kept was not always exclusively socialist. There was the dilemma of Helphand's character. The German socialists had never been able to comprehend it in its entirety, and their suspicions made them, after his death, not reluctant to accept a conspiracy of silence. In fact, they knew less than they thought they knew. In December 1924, the funeral orators were sentimental about a life in which sentiment had played only a small part. Had they known all, they would have said that this had been a life of extreme complexity, and that many of its aspects had at the time remained entirely hidden from their view. Only Helphand's activities as a writer had been entirely public; it was by them alone that he had wanted to be judged, in his late middle age. In the last instance, Helphand was an intellectual. As
M.R.-T

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a young man, he had believed in the power of the printed word to resolve his problems and doubts. He had gone abroad for the first time when he was nineteen years old, not because of a desire to see the world outside Russia, but because he wanted to read the revolutionary writings that were banned by the Tsarist authorities. He had a writer's temperament but a politician's interests. Like Karl Marx, he did not want only to describe and understand the world: he wanted to change it. Helphand was personally ambitious, and when he became a socialist journalist in Germany, he thought of writing as a means of emerging from obscurity into prominence, even as a means of achieving political power. Neither the rewards of writing, nor the power of writing to influence the actions of men, matched up to Helphand's expectations. Despite the sustained effort to disengage himself from his Russian background, there remained in him too much of the uncompromising Russian intelligent. He had no feelings for the ties of loyalty that bound together the German party leadership, and he remained a revolutionary in a movement which was about to reject revolution as a means of social advancement. The excellence of Helphand's theoretical writing was never properly acknowledged. He had not produced the Marxist magnum opus that was expected of him; his ideas were scattered over too many newspaper articles and pamphlets. The Russian socialists understood his revolutionary fervour better than had the German socialists, and it was among his compatriots that Helphand's views found their most receptive audience. But again, they were either misunderstood or misapplied. In one notable instance, Lev Trotsky, one of the best friends Helphand had ever had, parted company with him and struck out in a direction where Helphand could not follow. Helphand broke off the 'intellectual partnership' with Trotsky because he fully shared in the dominant tradition of nineteenth-century socialism: a socialist democratic tradition, in the liberal meaning of the word. Helphand's writing was meant to be a guide to political action; the advance of socialism was his aim, and revolution one of its most important means. In this regard, Helphand's attitude was all-embracing, or, as his enemies would have put it,

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indiscriminate. In order to advance the cause of socialism, Helphand was ready to employ any means at his disposal: revolution in Russia, elections in Prussia, the diplomats in Berlin. In this sense, there was a continuity between his writing and political action. Many of Helphand's former friends denied that continuity existed in his life. Both Lev Trotsky and Karl Radek pointed at a sudden break: it was supposed to have occurred in the summer of 1914, when Helphand apparently became a 'socialist chauvinist', and gave support to the war policy of the German Government. They were quite wrong. Helphand was neither a simpleton nor a monomaniac: in 1914, his life was not dedicated to one single pursuit, or governed by one all-pervading habit that could be suddenly broken off and replaced by another. The change in Helphand—it did not take place in full view of either his Russian or his German comrades—occurred for different reasons and at a different time. Soon after the turn of the century Helphand appeared to be working like a powerful dynamo, but without any machinery to drive. And then, in his early middle age, everything started to go wrong for him. His friendships were ruined; his ideas misunderstood or unnoticed; he had failed dismally as a leader of men, and finally, a web of rumour and scandal started to collect around his name. Had he stayed on in Germany, he would have paid a high price for his characteristic blend of ambition and carelessness. At best, he would have disappeared among the faceless supporters of a lost cause. He went to Constantinople instead, and his stay there was of decisive importance. He was able to cut off the ties that bound him to past failures and disappointments, and establish the pattern that was to dominate his activities until the end of his life. He learned to convert information and ideas into hard cash —die klingende Münze, pure music to his ear, and so long denied him—rather than into the monotonous, black and white columns of a newspaper; he explored the exclusive avenues that connected the world of money with the world of politics. He became interested in political influence rather than in the exercise of direct political power: he was the stage manager, and not an actor, in the drama that was about to begin. When the

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Great War finally broke out, Helphand was in a better position to advance the cause of his choice than ever before. It was still the cause of socialism, and, closely connected, the downfall of the Tsarist regime he so much abhorred. When, early in 1915, he came to see the German Ambassador to Constantinople, he had a splendid offer to make. Russia's defeat and war on one front only was the prospect he held out to the German Government. But of this partnership, Helphand expected even more himself. The armed might of Germany would accomplish what decades of peaceful development had left undone—the destruction of Tsarism and subsequent socialist victory. It was under Helphand's guidance that Imperial Germany launched a campaign of unrestricted political warfare on Russia. But there was a third party to the game— Lenin and the Bolsheviks—and when it ended, the winnings were unevenly distributed. In the middle game, the Imperial German Government had a remarkable run of luck. The German war lords concluded peace with the Bolsheviks and then, for a few glorious weeks in the spring of 1918, victory in the west appeared to lie within their grasp. Ultimately, however, the Bolsheviks took all. When the German Empire was swept away by defeat at the front and by revolution in Berlin, Lenin's party was established in power in Petrograd. There was no reason why the Bolsheviks should have acknowledged any other assistance in their rise to political prominence—apart from the desire of the Russian nation to be ruled by them and no one else. Helphand, who had brought the original party together, was the principal loser. He had intended to use Imperial Germany for his purposes: he was used himself, and, in the process, he became too much a part of this Germany. Lenin shed his undesirable ally as soon as he could conveniently do so. There was no bond of sympathy between Helphand and the newly-established regime in Russia. Although Helphand's grand strategy brought him no political rewards, there was nothing tragic in its failure. He had always found it difficult to serve one cause, stay in one place, or with one woman. All along, he had been playing for high financial stakes and, in this regard, he was entirely successful. His trade interests

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spanned Europe from Copenhagen to Constantinople, and by the the end of the war he was one of the richest men in Germany. In a way, Helphand's success as a businessman jeopardized his political activities. It appeared to many socialists that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to remain one of them. It was an attitude which was succinctly summed up in the words of a German comrade about Vandervelde, the Belgian party leader: 'He cannot be a socialist, he likes champagne.' In this view, Helphand had done worse than to like champagne; he could even buy his own. In addition, he took far too literally the lesson he had learned in Turkey: that money could be made through political power, and that political power could be reached through money. He never seemed to appreciate the intricate patterns into which the two basic strands could be woven, especially in the industrially advanced, or politically sophisticated, societies. It is possible that, after the war, Helphand wished for a different kind of reward. By then, however, he was ageing rapidly, the world he had loved and of which he had become a part had disappeared. The master plan had somehow failed, probably because of the human element involved: the historicist had been deceived by history. The excitement of revolutions had died down, and the drab, impoverished present had to be administered by new bureaucrats, perhaps even duller than the old ones. Helphand's personal tragedy lay in the failure of a movement. The disastrous developments, for European socialism, in the summer of 1914 have been generally recognized. But there was a worse shock to come. A few months after the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917, it became clear that a socialist dictatorship had been introduced in Russia: until then, the possibility of such a development had eluded the imaginative grasp of most European socialists. At the same time, while the new Russian rulers staked their claim to the Marxist inheritance of European socialism, many socialists farther west were turning from this inheritance. In the end they renounced the great fortune of Helphand's youth completely, and with it they renounced Helphand himself. This would have disappointed him; the reasons for the present revival of interest in his person would have pleased him even less.

Bibliography
A. Unpublished Material
Documents from the German Foreign Ministry deposited in Bonn, and their copies at the Public Record Office, London, and St. Antony's College, Oxford. Documents of the Austrian Foreign Ministry at the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Vienna. The diary of Eduard David; Südekum Nachlass; Wolfgang Heine's Politische Aufzeichnungen, at Bundesarchiv Koblenz. The diary of Bruno Schönlank at the Archives of the German Social Democrat Party, Bonn. Nachlass Kautsky at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam. Helphand's letters in the private collection of Bruno Schönlank, jun., Zürich. Nachlass Helphand at the Hauptarchiv, Berlin.

B. Published Documents
Balabanov, M., Ot 1905 k 1917g.: massovoye rabocheie dvizhenie. Moscow,
1927.

Browder, R. P. and Kerensky, A. F. (editors), The Provisional Government 1917, 3 vols., Stanford, 1962. Bunyan, J. and Fisher, H. H., The Bolshevik Revolution 1917-1918, Documents and Materials, Stanford, 1934. Fleer, N. G., Rabocheie dvizhenie v gody voiny, Moscow, 1923. Gankin, O. H. and Fisher, H. H., The Bolsheviks and the World War. The Origins of the Third International, London, 1940. Grebing, H., 'So macht man Revolution', Politische Studien, Munich,
1957, pp. 221-34.

Greve, B. B., Burzhuaziya na kanune Fevralskoi Revolyutsii, Moscow,
1927.

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Hahlweg, W., Lenins Ruckkehr nach Russland 1917. Die deutschen Akten, Leiden, 1957. Katkov, G., 'German Foreign Oflice documents on financial support to the Bolsheviks in 1917', International Affairs, XXXII, 1956, pp.
181-9.

Protokoll der Sitzung des erweiterten Parteiausschusses am 18 und 19 April 1917 im Reichstagsgebdude zu Berlin, Berlin, 1917. Protokoll des Parteitags der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands in Stuttgart, Berlin, 1898. Protokoll des Parteitags der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands in Würzburg, Berlin, 1917. Protokoly tsentralnovo komiteta RSDRP(b), Avgust 1917—Fevral 1918, Moscow, 1958. Revolyutsiya 1905-1907 gg. v Rossii, Dokumenty i Materialy, vol. 1, Moscow, 1957. Verhandlungen des deutschen Reichstags, XIII. Legislaturperiode, II,
Session, vol. 311, Berlin, 1917.

Zechlin, E., 'Friedensbestrebungen und Revolutionierungsversuche', Das Parlament, 17 May 1961, 14 June 1961, 21 June 1961, 15 May
1963, 22 May 1963.

Zeman, Z. A. B., Germany and the Revolution in Russia 1915-1918, London, 1958.

C. Published Correspondence
Adler, V., Briefwechsel mit August Bebel und Karl Kautsky, edited by Friedrich Adler, Vienna, 1954. Axelrod, P. B., Materialy po istorii russkovo revolyutsionnovo dvizheniya, Tom I: Pisma Axelroda i Martova, 1901-1916, Berlin, 1924. Krupskaya, N. K., Correspondence in Istoricheskii Arkhiv, 1960, vol. 3,
pp. 106-25.

Lenin, V. I., Correspondence in Leninskii Sbornik, vols. XIII, XXXVI. — The Letters of Lenin, ed. by E. Hill and D. Mudie, London, 1936. Luxemburg, R., 'Einige Briefe Rosa Luxemburgs und andere Dokumente', Bulletin of the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 1952, No. 1. Plekhanov, G. V., Perepiska G. V. Plekhanova iP. B. Axelroda, Moscow, 1925. Potresov, A. N. and Nikolaevski, B. I. (editors), Sotsial-demokraticheskoe dvizhenie v Rossii, materialy, Moscow, 1928.

284

The Merchant of Revolution

D. Selected Articles and Books by Helphand
Unus, 'Die preussischen Landtagswahlen', NZ, 1893-4, vol. 1, pp.
37-46. Parvus, 'Keinen Mann und keinen Groschen', NZ, 1894-5, vol. 2,
pp. 80-87.

— 'Staatsstreich und politischer Massenstreik', JVZ, 1895-6, vol. 2, pp.
199-206.

— Die Gewerkschaflen und die Sozialdemokratie, Dresden, 1896. — Marineforderungen, Kolonialpolitik und Arbeiterinteressen, Dresden,
1898.

C. Lehmann and Parvus: Das hungernde Russland, Reiseeindrilcke, Beobachtungen, Untersuchungen, Stuttgart, 1900. Parvus, Handelskrisis und Gewerkschaflen, Munich, 1901. — 'Der Opportunismus in der Praxis', JVZ, 1900-1, vol. 2, pp. 609-15,
786-94.

— Pismo k N. Leninu, Geneva, 1904. — V chem my raskhodimsya, Geneva, 1905. L. D. Trotsky: Do devyatovo Yanvarya, (with an introduction by
Parvus), Geneva, 1905. Parvus, Rossiya i revolyutsiya, St. Petersburg, 1906. — Die Reichstagwahlen und die Arbeiterschaft, Dresden, 1907. — Die Kolonialpolitik und der Zusammenbruch, Berlin, 1907. — In der russischen Bastille wdhrend der Revolution, Dresden, 1907. — Die Banken, der Staat und die Industrie, Dresden, 1910. — Der Staat, die Industrie und der Sozialismus, Dresden, 1910. — Der Klassenkampf des Proletariats, Berlin, 1911. — The Results of the Great War. If Germany Wins, Constantinople,
1915 (Turkish).

— The Results of the Great War. If England Wins, Constantinople,
1914 (Turkish).

— The Arteries of Turkey and the Debts of the Empire, Constantinople,
1914 (Turkish).

— Na oboronu demokratii—protitzarismu, Constantinople, 1914. — 'Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie. Die Hochburg des Sozialismus', Die
— — — —
Glocke, 1915, pp. 4-52. 'Fiir die Demokratie—gegen den Zarismus', Glocke, 1915, pp. 77-85. 'Der Freiheit eine Gasse', Glocke, 1915, pp. 117-22. 'Die internationale sozialistische Bewegung', Glocke, 1915,pp. 144-7. 'Meine Stellungnahme zum Krieg. I. Vorrede zu der ukrainischen Ausgabe der Schrift: Für die Demokratie—gegen den Zarismus.

Bibliography

285

II. Offener Brief an die Zeitung "Nasche Slowo" in Paris', Glocke, 1915,
pp. 148-62. — T)as neue Russland', Glocke, 1915, pp. 173-81. — 'Die französische Offensive und die Arbeiter', Glocke, 1915, pp.
237-41.

— — — — —

'Franz Mehring zum 70. Geburtstag', Glocke, 1915, p. 721. 'Ein Gespäch zur Kriegszeit', Glocke, 1916, pp. 24-35. 'Einheit der Partei', Glocke, 1916, pp. 35-40. 'Der Sieg der russischen Revolution', Glocke, 1916, pp. 961-70. 'Die Bolschewiki. Vorrede zu der danischen Ausgabe der Schrift "Meine Antwort an Kerenski und Co." ', Glocke, 1917, pp. 521-33. — 'Die Beschlagnahme der Privatbanken durch die Bolschewiki (Aus der russischen Zeitschrift "Iswne" in Stockholm)\Glocke, 1917,
pp. 689-93.

— — — — — — — — —

'Das soziale Programm der Bolschewiki', Glocke, 1917, pp. 761-6. Meine Antwort an Kerenski und Co., Berlin, 1917. Die soziale Bilanz des Krieges, Berlin, 1917. Im Kampf um die Wahrheit, Berlin, 1918. 'Der bolschewistische Friede', Glocke, 1918, pp. 197-209. 'Notizen zur Kanzlerkrise', Glocke, 1918, pp. 901-5. 'Die Entente und der Bolschewismus', Glocke, 1919, pp. 897-902. 'Der Fall Kautsky', Glocke, 1919, pp. 1213-20. 'Philister über mich! Meine Antwort an Karl Kautsky', Glocke, 1919,
pp. 1331-9.

— 'Meine Entfernung aus der Schweiz', Glocke, 1920, pp. 1482-9,
1507-14.

— — — — — —

'Deutschland und Russland', Glocke, 1919, pp. 1525-8. Briefe an die deutschen Arbeiter, Berlin, 1919. Aufbau und Wiedergutmachung, Berlin, 1921. Der wirtschaftliche Rettungsweg, Berlin, 1922. 'Das russische Problem', Wiederaufbau, 1922-3, pp. 1-5. 'Die russische Frage in Genua', Wiederaufbau, 1922-3, pp. 10-12.

E. Collected Works
Blagoev, D., Izbrany Proizvedeniya v dva toma, Sofia, 1951. Gorki, M., Sobranie Sochinenii, vol. 7. Lenin, V. I., Sochineniya (2nd and 3rd editions), vols. XVH-XXIV. Litwak, A., Geklibene Schriftn, New York, 1945. Luxemburg, R., Gesammelte Werke, vols. 3, 4, and 6. Trotsky, L. D., Sochineniya, vol. 3, Moscow-Leningrad, 1926. Vorovski, V. V., Sochineniya, vol. 1, Moscow, 1933.

286

The Merchant of Revolution

F. Secondary Works and Articles
Alexinsky, G., Du Tsarisme au Communisme. La Revolution Russe, ses Causes—ses Effets, Paris, 1923. Avdeev, N., Revolyutsiya 1917 goda (Khronika Sobytii), Moscow, 1923. Bernstein, E., 'Die preussischen Landtagswahlen und die Sozialdemokratie', NZ, 1892-3, vol. 2, pp. 772-8. — 'Der Streik als politisches Kampfmittel', NZ, 1893-4, vol. 2, pp. 687-90. — 'Die Zusammenbruchs-Theorie und die Kolonialpolitik', JVZ, 189798, vol. 1, pp. 548-57.

Bogart, E. L., War Costs and their Financing, London-New York, 1921. Chesnais, P. G., Parvus et le parti socialiste danois. Paris, 1918. Cunow, H., Parteizusammenbruch? Ein offenes Wort zum inner en Parteistreit, Berlin, 1915. David, E., Die Sozialdemokratie im Weltkrieg, Berlin, 1915. Deutscher, I., The Prophet Armed—Trotsky 1879-1921, London, 1954. Epstein, K., Mathias Erzberger and the Dilemma of German Democracy, Princeton, 1959. Fainsod, M., International Socialism and the World War, Harvard University Press, 1935. Fester, R., Die politischen Kämpfe um den Frieden 1916-1918 und das Deutschtum, Berlin, 1938. Fischart, J., Das alte und das neue System. Die politischen Köpfe Deutschlands. Berlin, 1919. Fischer, F., Griff nach der Weltmacht, Düsseldorf, 1961. Frank, V., 'Russians and Germans. An Ambivalent Heritage', Survey,
No. 44-45, 1962, pp. 66-73.

Frohlich, P., Rosa Luxemburg. Gedankeund Tat, 2nd ed., Hamburg, 1949. Futrell, M., Northern Underground. Episodes of Russian Revolutionary Transport and Communications through Scandinavia and Finland
1863-1917, London, 1963.

Gatzke, H. W., Germany's Drive to the West (Drang nach Westen). A Study in Germany's War Aims during the First World War, Baltimore, 1950. Gorin, P., Ocherki po istorii sovetov rabotchikh delegatov v 1905 g.,
2nd ed., Moscow, 1930. Grebing, H., 'Österreich-Ungarn und die "Ukrainische Aktion" 19141918', Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 1959, pp. 270-83. Haenisch, K., Parvus, Ein Blatt der Erinnerung, Berlin, 1925. — Krieg und Sozialdemokratie, Berlin, 1915. — Brief an Radek, Berlin, 1914.

Bibliography

287

Hahlweg, W., Der Diktatfrieden von Brest-Litovsk 1918 und die Bolschewistische Weltrevolution, Minister, 1960. Heidegger, H., Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie und der nationale Staat
1870-1920, Göttingen, 1956.

Holzle, E., Der Osten im ersten Weltkrieg, Leipzig, 1944. Kennan, G., 'The Sisson Documents', Journal of Modern History, vol.
28, 1956, pp. 130-54.

— Russia leaves the War.
London, 1956.

Soviet-American Relations 1917-1920,

Kizelov, I., K Razoblacheniyam o Parvuse, Paris, 1915. Koszyk, K., Zwischen Kaiserreich und Diktatur. Die sozialdemokratische
Presse von 1914-1933, Heidelberg, 1958. Legters, L. H., 'Karl Radek als Sprachrohr des Bolschewismus', Forschungen zur osteuropdischen Geschichte, vol. 7, 1959, pp. 196-322. Lenach, F., Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie und der Weltkrieg, Leipzig,
1915.

Luxemburg, R., Sozialreform oder Revolution, Leipzig, 1899. — Die russiscke Revolution, edited by O. K. Flechtheim, Frankfurt, 1963. Matthias, E., Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie und der Osten, Tubingen,
1954.

— 'Kautsky und der Kautskyanismus. Die Funktion der Ideologic in der deutschen Sozialdemokratie vor dem ersten Weltkriege', Marxismusstudien, second series, edited by I. Fetscher, Tubingen, 1957,
pp. 151-97.

Matthias, E. and Morsey, R., Der Interfraktionelle Ausschuss 1917-18, vol. 1. Dusseldorf, 1959. Melgunov, P. S., Zolotoi nemetskii klyuch k bolshevitskoi revolyutsii,
Paris, 1940.

Nikitine, B. V., The Fatal Years, London, 1938. Nolde, B. E., Russia in the Economic War, New Haven, 1928. Osterroth, F., Biographisches Lexikon des Sozialismus, vol. 1, Hanover,
1960.

Piashev, N., Vorovski, Moscow, 1959. Flatten, F., Die Reise Lenins durch Deutschland im plombierten Wagen,
Zürich, 1924.

Plekhanov, G., Nashi Raznoglasiya, Geneva, 1884. Possony, St. T., Jahrhundert des Aufruhrs, Munich, 1956. Prager, E., Geschichte der USPD, Berlin, 1921. Ritter, G. A., Die Arbeiterbewegung im Wilhelminischen Reich. Die Sozialdemokratische Partei und die Freien Gewerkschaften, 1890-1900, Berlin, 1959.

288

The Merchant of Revolution

Rothfels, H., 'Marxismus und auswärtige Politik', Deutscher Staat und deutsche Parteien, Friedrich Meinecke zum 60. Geburtstag, Munich
and Berlin, 1922. Scharlau, W., 'Parvus und Trockij: 1904-1914. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie der permanenten Revolution', Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas,
vol. 10, 1962, pp. 349-80.

Schorske, C. E., German Social Democracy 1905-1917. The Development of the Great Schism, Harvard University Press, 1955. Schurer, H., 'Alexander Helphand-Parvus—Russian Revolutionary and
German Patriot', Russian Review, 1959, pp. 313-31. Snub, D. (Zhub), 'Lenin i Vilgelm II. Novoe o germano-bolshevitskom zagovore 1917', Novy Zhurnal, June 1959, pp. 226-7. — Lenin. Eine Biographic, 3rd edition, Wiesbaden, 1958. Siney, M. C., The Allied Blockade of Germany 1914-1916, University
of Michigan Press, 1957.

Sling, Richter und Gerichtete, Berlin, 1929. Snell, J., 'The Russian Revolution and the German Social Democratic Party in 1917', The Slavic Review, vol. XV, 1956, pp. 338-50. Spartakusbriefe, Herausgegeben vom Institut f ür Marxismus-Leninismus beim Zentralkomitee der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands, Berlin, 1958. Stern, L. (ed.), Die Auswirkungen der ersten russischen Revolution auf Deutschland von 1905-1907, Berlin, 1956. Stern-Rubarth, E. von., Graf Brockdorff-Rantzau. Wanderer zwischen zwei Welten. Ein Lebensbild, Berlin, 1929. Strobel, H., 'Helphand-Parvus', Die Weltbühne, No. 51, 11 December 1919. Trotsky, L. D., Nasha revolyutsiya, St. Petersburg, 1906. — Stalin, An Appraisal of the Man and his Influence, New York and London, 1941. Wheeler-Bennett, J. W., Brest-Litovsk. The Forgotten Peace, March 1918,
London, 1938.

Wolfe, B. D., Three Who Made a Revolution, London, New York, and
Toronto, 1948.

Zarnow, G., Gefesselte Justiz, Munich, 1930. Zetkin, Cl., 'Helphand-Parvus', Die Kommunistische Internationale, No. 1, 1925. Ziv, G. A., Trotsky—Kharakteristika—Po lichnym vospominaniyam, New York, 1921.

Bibliography

289

G. Memoirs
Abramovich, R., In Tsvei Revolutsies, 2 vols., New York, 1944.

Bethmann-Hollweg, Th. von, Betrachtungen zum Weltkrieg, 2 vols.,
Berlin, 1919 and 1921. Bonn, M. J., The Wandering Scholar, London, 1949. Deutsch, L., Viermal entflohen, Stuttgart, 1907. Gorki, M., Lenin, Moscow, 1931. Höglund, Z., Från Branting till Lenin, Stockholm, 1953. Kerensky, A., The Crucifixion of Liberty, London, 1934. Kessler, Count Harry, Tagebuch, Frankfurt am Main, 1962. Krupskaya, N., Vospominaniya o Lenine, Moscow, 1957. — Lenin, Moscow, 1959. Kühlmann, R. von, Erinnerungen, Heidelberg, 1948.

Mayer, G., Vom Journalisten zum Historiker der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, Zürich, 1949. Nadolny, R., Mein Beitrag, Wiesbaden, 1955. Naumann, V., Dokumente und Argumente, Munich-Berlin, 1928. Paleologue, M., An Ambassadors Memoirs, 2 vols., London, n.d. Plesch, J., The Story of a Doctor, London, 1947. Prittwitz und Gaffron, F. von., Zwischen Petersburg und Washington. Ein Diplomatenleben, Munich, 1952. Radek, K., Portrety i Pamflety, Moscow, 1927. Scheidemann, Ph., Memoir en eines Sozialdemokraten, 2 vols., Dresden, 1928.

Shlyapnikov, A., Kanun Semnadtsatovo Goda, Moscow-Petrograd, 1923. Solomon, G. A., Sredi krasnykh vozhdei, lichno perezhitoe i vidennoe na sovetskoi sluzhbe, 2 vols., Paris, 1930. Trotsky, L., My Life, New York, 1930.

H. Newspapers and Journals
Arbeiterzeitung, 1914-18, Vienna. Aus der Weltpolitik, 1900-5, Munich. Bakinskii Rabochii, 1925, Baku.

Berliner Tageblatt, 1924, Berlin. Bote der russischen Revolution, 1917, Stockholm. Das Freie Wort, 1931, Berlin.
Der Angriff, 1934, Berlin. Die Glocke, 1915-25, Munich, Berlin.

Die Neue Zeit, 1891-1925, Stuttgart. Die Welt, 1957, Hamburg.
Die Weltbühne, 1918-33, Berlin.

290

The Merchant of Revolution

Die Zukunft, 1914-25, Berlin. Freie Presse, 1918, Elberfeld-Barmen. Hamburger Echo, 1915-18, Hamburg. Humanité, 1914-18, Paris. Internationale Korrespondenz, 1915-18, Berlin. Iskra, 1900-5, Munich, London, Geneva. Korrespondenz Prawda, 1917, Stockholm. Kreuzzeitung, 1925, Berlin. Leipziger Volkszeitung, 1894-1925, Leipzig. Munchener Post, 1900-25, Munich. Nackalo, 1905, St. Petersburg. Nashe Slovo, 1915, Paris. Novaya Zhizn, 1905, Petrograd. Novaya Zhizn, ed. Maxim Gorki, 1917-18, Petrograd. Pravda, 1917-25, Moscow. Proletarskaya revolyutsiya, 1921-41, Moscow. Sdchsische Arbeiterzeitung, 1896-1925, Dresden. Sozialistische Monatshefte, 1896-1925, Berlin. Times Literary Supplement, 1958, London. Vorwärts, 1891-1925, Berlin. Wiederaufbau, 1923-4, Berlin. Zarya, 1901-2, Geneva-Stuttgart.

Index
Abramovich, R., cited, 129, 143 Absolutism, 21, 62, 85, 131, 140, 174 Achtuhrabendblatt, 264 Adler, Viktor, 26-27, 31 AEG (firm), 272 Afghanistan, 254 Africa, 41,105 Agent (German), H. as, 141, 154, 158, 178,228-9 Agent provocateur, H. described as, 195, 225 Albrecht, 199 Alexander II, Tsar, 5-6, 10 Alexander III, Tsar, 6, 53 Alexinski, G. A., 123, 195, 225, 227 Alien, H. as : see Citizenship Allied Powers (Entente), 131, 139, 163, 182, 185, 197-8, 209, 213, 258-8 Almanacks, propaganda, 254-6, 263-5 Alsace-Lorraine, 221 Amatis (female artiste), 197 America, 15, 41, 148, 197, 224, 232; and Europe, 24-25, 257; Trotsky in, 180 Amsterdam, 148 Anatolia, 132 Annexations and indemnities, peace without, 214, 218, 236, 249-50, 252 Annual Register, quoted, 51 Antisemitism: see Jews Arbeiterzeitung (Vienna), 26 Arbejdernes Faellesorganisations BraendselfortningA/S, 199 Armand, Inessa, 158 Armed uprising, H. on, 91-92, 97-98 Armenia and Armenians, 9, 128, 133-4, 146 Asia, 105 'Asiatic' and 'Russian', 54 Assassination plot against H., 275 Auer, Ignas, 40, 45, 153 Aufbau und Wiedergutmachung, 270-1 Aurora (factory), 259 Aus der Weltpolitik, 68-69, 107, 127; cited, 35, 37, 43, 47, 60 Austria and Austria-Hungary, 5, 132,
156, 217, 220, 234, 260; activities against Tsarist Empire, 133, 135, 142, 175; constitution, 6,; naturalization attempt by H. in, 26-27; passports, 52-53, 95, 217; Russian revolution, effect, 101, 235-6; socialists, 26, 125, 141, 212, 222, 239; unpublished documents, cited, 133 Auswartiges Ami, see Germany: Foreign Ministry Autocracy, 6, 61 Avant-garde mission of Russian proletariat, 64, no Avanti, 143 Avdeev, N., cited, 221 Axclrod, Pavel Borisovich, 14, 20, 55-56, 61-62,83, 161 Baake, K., 194 Babel, Isaac, 10 Baden, Prince Max von, 258 Baier: see Moor, Karl Baku, 147 Bakunin, M. A., 6, 96 Balabanoff, Angelica, 20 Balkans, 138, 140, 151, 214; federation proposed, 127; Helphand's travels in, 128, 148, 155; Turkish influence declining, 5, 125-7; Ukrainians' mission, 133-4; wars, 128 Baltic Sea, 206 Baltic works, 147 Balzac, Honoré de, 272 Banco di Roma, 272 Banishment to Siberia: see Siberia Banks, threatened withdrawal of deposits, 89-90; nationalization, 118-20, 250-1 'Barfuss, Dr.' (nickname for H.), 34 Barmen, 238, 240 Basle University, 16-19, 21, 74 Basok-Melenevski, Marian: see Melenevski Bauer, Gustav, 213, 215, 223 Baumeister, Albert, 194

292

Index
Helphand and, 79—81, 147-9, *57j X78, 181, 209, 216-20, 222-5, 249, 268, 280-1; his campaign against (1918), 250—6; relations with, 256; suspected Bolshevik agent, 261-2 Key place in revolutionary plans, 148-8,157 Leader: see Lenin Party funds, 163, 218-9, 231; Gorki royalties for: see under Gorki Policy, 79-81, 83-84, 88, 207 Pro-German group, 246 Provisional Government, and, 220, 225,227-8, 230-3 Revolution (1905), and, 91, 122 Revolution (November 1917), seize power, 234-45 (see also under Revolutions) Split with Mensheviks (1903), 59-62, 65,122, 137,147,158 Stockholm Foreign Mission: see under Stockholm Underground organization, 159, 181, 226 Bonn, M. J., 269, 272-4 Borbjerg, F., 213-5, 221-3 Bote der russischen Revolution, 219, 228 Bourgeoisie, H.'s attitude to, 17, 19, 21, 24, 44-45, 74, 76-79, 114, 193; Trotsky's attacks on, 68; clash with workers' movement, 87-88; Haenisch and, 102 Bracht, 275 Branting, Hjalmar, 213 Breslau congress (1895), 32 Brest-Litovsk, treaty of, 243-4, 248-9, 252-3 Breuer, Robert, 269 Britain: see Great Britain Brockdorff-Rantzau, Count von, 190-1, 195, 215, 224, 231-2, 240, 244, 2489, 253, 272; biographical, 166; onH., 152,183-4; meetings with H., 166-8, 179-81, 189, 199, 207-11, 217, 238; H.'s memorandum to (1915), 181-4, memorandum to Chancellor, 183-7 > and Danish coal business, 199, 201-4; and peace with Russia, 207-9, 21112 Bronstein, Lev Davidovich: see Trotsky Browder, R. P., cited, 226-7 Brupbacher, F., cited, 17 Brusilov, General A. A., 224 Bucharest, 137, 141 148, 152, 155 Bücher, Professor Karl, 16, 18 Buchspan, 181

Bavaria, 55-56, 58-59; agreement with Centre Party, 43-44; budget, 28-30; censorship, 170-1; Grown Prince, 234; Helphand, and citizenship, 27; H.'s residence in (see also Munich), 48, 58; socialists, 22, 28-30, 43-44 Bebel, August, 39, 43-44, 74, 109, 115, 121, 153, 173; quoted, 31, 36-37, 118; on H., 37, 40, 44, 46; at Lübeck congress, 46, 48; and Gorki affair, 124 Beer, Max, 270 Belinski, V. G., 14 Berchtold, Count von, 133 Berezino, H's birthplace, 7; family move to Odessa after fire, 7, 55 Bergen, Diego von, 184, 212, 231-2, 235, 240, 248, 253 Berlin, H. moves to (1891), 23; expelled from (1893), 25-26; Trotsky leaves (1907), 109; expulsion order against H. withdrawn, 152-4; H.'s residence in, 193; publishing house transferred to (1916), 194; H.'s visits to, 211-2, 219, 233, 235, 248, 262-3, 266-7; police force chief, 32 Berlin School of Politics, 272 Berliner Tageblatt,1 Berne, 16, 156, 209, 229, 261 Berne copyright convention (1886), 69

Berner Tagwacht, 203 Bernstein, Eduard, 35, 118, 121, 231, 270; on participation in elections, 27-28; articles on 'Problems of Socialism', 37-38; H.'s attacks on, 38-43, 45, 48, 51, 154, 174; Kautsky's alliance with, 153 Bernstorff, Count, 272 Bethmann-Hollweg, Theobald von, 2, 143, 169, 183-4,209 Bickel (public prosecutor), 261 Bismarck, Prince, 5, 21, 28, 37 Black Hundreds organization, 98 Black Sea, 9-10, 15, 69, 134, 136, 147, 206 Blagoev, Dimitar, 140 'Bloody Sunday' (1905), 75-76, 180, 188 Bodensee, 266 Bohemia, 108 Bohm-Bawerk, E.,23 Bolsheviks: Accused of treasonable activities after
July 1917 rising, 225-32

Acquisition of power by proletariat, attitude to, 79-80 Dictatorship, and, 120

Index
Budget, socialists and support for, 28-30 Bukharin, Nikolai Ivanovich, 161-2, 180 Bulgaria, 57, 130-3, 135, 148, 198, 257; socialists, 126-7, 131, 139-40, 222; H. visits, 139-41 Bülow, Bernhard von, 101, 103, 112 Burckhardt, Jacob, 16 Bureaucracy, 6, 77, 119 Burtsev, V., 123, 225 Bussche-Haddenhausen, von dem, 138-9, 141, 155, 236 Cafe Victoria, 194 Capital market, 118 Capitalist system, automatic 'breakdown' theory, 34, 38, 42, 114, 173; Bernstein's views, 38, 41; development of, 66, 75, 78, no; economic order, 104-5, 113-4; Helphand as capitalist, 204; international implications, 85, 111; social revolution and, 45, 64, 85, 117, 131, 215; socialists and, 19, 119; wars, and, 63, 104, 114 Cartels, 113 Casanova, 107 Casement, Roger, 230 Caucasus and Caucasians, 135, 140, 146, 207 Censorship, military, 171-2 Central Powers, 130, 132, 136, 149, 242-3 Chauvinism, German, 131, 150, 158, 178, 222; H. as chauvinist, 2, 140, 150, 155-6, 228, 279; 'revolutionary', 252; Scandinavian, 222 Cheidse, 221 Cheka, 250 Chemnitzer Volkstimme, 113, 170 Chernyshevski, N. G., 10, 96 Chesnais, P. G., cited, 199 Chicherin, G., 261 China, 115,254 Chudnovski, Georgi, 160 Ciano, Count, 72 Citizenship, H.'s search for a 'fatherland', 26-27, 154, 192-3; becomes Prussian citizen (1916), 27, 192-4, 212, 241 Civil wars, 77, 91, 157, 259 Class struggle, 67, 77-80, 85, 88, 101, 112; H.'s views, 28, 36, 43-44, 63, 77-80,85, 114 Class Struggle of the Proletariat, The (1911), 113-16, 118 Clever Mechanics, 12 Coal trade, with Denmark, 199-205, 233, 256; with Russia, 256 M.R.-U

293

Cohen-Reuss, 233 Cohn, Louis, 171 Colonial Policy and the Breakdown, 104-5 Colonialism, 101, 104-5, 113 Communist Manifesto (1848), 12-14, 39 Communist parties, 115 Constantinople, H.'s stay in (1910-1915), 15, 126-44, 155,196,279-80 Constitutional democracy, 67 Co-operatives, 111 Copenhagen, 4, 15, 152, 159, 222-3, 2424, 248; H. moves to (1915), 160-5; research institute, 160-2, 164, 194-6, 204,209,227; company setup, 164-5, 221; H.'s revolutionary-business activities in, 178-80, 186, 189, 191, 194-9, 207, 214, 219, 226; H.'s residence, 193, 214; German party leaders' visit, 213-7 Copyright, 69, 127 Corn, H.'s dealings in, 128, 132 Cossacks, 98, 146 Coup d'tiat, possible reactionary, 35 Crimean War, 5 Cross Prison, 95-96 Cunow, Heinrich, 175-6, 194, 272 Currency, forged, 183; reform, 273 Customs barriers, 104-5, I13 Czech socialists, 222 Czecho-Slovakia, 262 Czernin, Count O., 234-5, 241, 251-2

Daily Mail, 256 Daily Telegraph, 261 Dandl, von, 259 Danielson, Nikolai, 12 David, Eduard, 31, 42, 154-5, 175-6, 223 Dawes plan, 273 Denmark (see also Copenhagen), 196205, coal business, 199-205, 233, 256; economic espionage in, 197; economic ties with Britain, 198-9, 202; Helphand's activities in: see under Copenhagen; neutrality, 204; socialists, 198, 203, 242; trade unions, 198-202, 233 Deutsch, Lev, 14, 20, 91, 94, 98-99 Deutscher, I., cited, 64 Dickstein, S., 12 Dictatorship, 2, 75, 79, i n , 120, 251 Dietz, H. (publisher), 54. 57 'Dirty hands' reference, 246 Dnieper region, 10 Do devyatovo Tanvarya (Trotsky), 66; H.'s introduction to, 76-79

294

Index

Falkenhayn, General Erich von, 150 Family, H. on the, 73-74 Famines, Russian, 24-25, 52, 54-55 Far East, 41 Feature-agency, 68, 113, 127 Femekreis, 275 Dresden, 26,32-40,51,68,107-8,238,240 Finland, 81, 146-7, 222, 228, 230, 239, 246, 250 Dresden congress (1903), 37, 44 First World War (and mentioned passim): Dünaburg, 183 German documents on, 3 Düsseldorf, 103 Germany's position and policy, 230-41, Dutch: see Netherlands 170, 190; possible effects of victory, Dvorak, Albrecht, 126 178, 249-50, 257-8; offensive (1918), Dynamite invented, 5 253; collapse, 257-9 Helphand, foretells, 130-1; subversive Ebert, Friedrich, 153, 155, 213-5, 223, activities, 128-69,179-91, 280 237, 239-40, 243, 255,263, 273 Peace offensive: see Peace Economics newspaper, 271-5 Reduced to one-front engagement, 253 Economy, periodic crises, 38, 41, 63, 113, Russia and, 108, 170, 179, 181-3, 187, 116; socialist programme, 118-20; 206-7, 209-11; military offensive, war and competition, 131 224; separate peace: see under Peace Ehrenburg, Ilya, 73 Social consequences, 194-5 Ehrlich, 223 Fischer, F., cited, 169, 254 Eichhorn, Emil, 32 Eight-hour day, 36-37, 78, 84-85, 87, 93, Fischer, Richard, 46 Fisher, H. H., cited, 181 207 Elections, non-participation in, 27-28, Fleer, N. G., cited, 188 'For Democracy—Against Tsarism', 130, 80, 116 'Elefant, Dr.' (nickname for H.), 23 134 Foreign policy, socialist, 104-5, IQ8 Emancipation of Labour Group, 14, 25 France, 15, 136, 150, 208, 249, 270-1; Engels, Friedrich, 22, 24, 27, 31-32, 39, and Germany, 5, 274; loans to Rus45,79,117 sia, 54; socialists, 20, 239 England: see Great Britain Franco-German War, 208 Entente Powers; see Allied Powers Frankfurt congress (1894), 29, 31 Enver Pasha, 136 Frankfurter Zeitung, 16 Erhardt, 46 Free trade, 41-42, 105 Ermanski, 81 Freightage agency, 200-1 Erzberger, Matthias, 220, 243 Frenkel, Eugenii, 90 Europe: Frohme, 40 America and, 24-25, 257 Germany, possible effect of victory, Fürstenberg, Prince Emil von, 241-2, 249-50, 257-8; hegemony in, 176, 251-2 Fürstenberg, Jakob (Hanecki or Kuba), 249-50 178,180,210,216-7,219,235,238-9, Position in 1867, 5-6 246-7; biographical, 162-3; head of Proletariat, no-ii Soviet National Bank, 165; managing Reconstruction, 270-1 director of trading company, 196-7, Russia's position in, 24-25; revolution 221; relationship with H., 225-9 and,84-85,101 Futrell, M., cited, 181 Russo-Japanese War, effect, 62-63 Socialists, 19-20, 34, 60, 88, 117, 152-3, Galata bridge, 127 159, 168-9, 173,214,281 Gankin, O. H., cited, 181 Trading policy, 41-42 Gatchina Castle, 53 Unification, 42, 105, 271 Gazette de Lausanne, 256 Western, 13, 19-20 Geneva, 19, 55,67, 76, 137 Exhibitions, world, 54 Georgia and Georgians, 133-4, 146 Export-import enterprise, 164-5, I 9 I > 2ai

Dobrogeanu-Gherea: see Gherea Dobrudja, 57, 126 Donets basin, 147, 168 Dorpat University, 16 Dortmund, 102, 103,112 Dortmunder Arbeiterzeitung, 102-3

Index
Gera, 47 Gerasimovich, Arshak, 160 German language, 19 Germany: Agrarian agitation, 31-32, 34, 38, 56, 172-3 Army, newspaper, 194; creation of new, 263; officers' corps, 263 Catholic Church, 21 Centre party, 101, 103, 243, 273 Citizenship for Helphand: see Citizenship Coal trade, with Denmark, 199-205; with Sweden and other neutral countries, 203 Colonial policy, 101, 104-5 Constitution, 6 Currency reform, 2 73 Eastern policy, 2, 169, 184-6, 213, 218 Economy, 38, 41 Elections, 101-4, 259 Europe, position in: see under Europe First World War, and, 130-41, 170, 174, 178, 190, 249-50, 253, 257-9 Foreign Ministry, H. and, 2, 137, 14553; archives, 2-3, documents, 3, 132 France, and, 5, 274 General Staff, 191, 196-7, 210, 241 Helphand, his attitude to, 19-21, 1535, 192; moves to (1891), 21; activities in, 21-48; expulsion from Berlin and Prussia (1893), 25-27, 71; expelled from Saxony (1898), 47. 51, 68, 71; from Gera, 47; in Munich, 51-52, 54-59; illegal visits, 82, 102, 113; his return to, after escape from Russia (1906), 100, 102, 107,111-13; leaves (1910), 124; Prussian expulsion order withdrawn (1915), 152; issued with police pass, 152; returns to Berlin, 143, 145, 154-5, 168-9, 184; audience in Foreign Ministry, ! 37> 145"~53 5 co-operation with diplomats, 145-53, 159, 163, 167, 172, 224, 237, 240, 248-50; adviser to German government, 152; Prussian citizenship (1916), 27, 192-4, 212, 241; as propagandist for, 144; connexions with government, 2; later visits to Berlin: see under Berlin Naval Staff, 197 Parliament, 114, 259 Reichstag: see Reichstag Republican parties, 271, 272

295

Revolution (1918): see under Revolutions Rumania and, 138 Russia, relations with, 3, 137, 145-7, 150—1: suggested alliance with, 105; promised loan, 243; German economic penetration, 253-4, 256; treaty with (1922), 273; trade with, 164-5, 197-8 Russian revolution (1905), and, 101-2,
112

Russian revolution (1917), and, 208— 15, 221, 224-6, 233, 235-45, 249-50 'Sealed train' journey across: see under Lenin Social Democrat party: see Social Democrat party, German Unification under Bismarck, 5 Wars, and, 63 Weimar Republic: see that title Gherea, Dobrogeanu-, 137-8 Gleicheit, 23 Cloche, Die, founded (1915), 168-72, 1769; Lenin's criticism of, 178-9, 229; contributors, 194, 269; H. resumes as publisher (1920), 270, 272, 275; ceases publication (1925), 276; quoted or cited, 33, 71, 73, 130, 132, 136,
206, 222, 258, 26l, 263-4, 266

Gnedin, Ievgenii (alleged son of Helphand), 72-73 Goebbels, Josef, 1 2 Gold, use for payments, 89-90 Goldberg, 220 Goldenberg, J. P., 223 Goldman, Boris, 90 Golos (later Nashe Slovo, q.v.), 135, 148 Golos Sotsialdemokrata, 112 Gorin, P., cited, 90-91 Gorki, Maxim, 69-71; H.'s agreement regarding royalties on play The Lower Depths, 70-71; scandal over unpaid royalties, 122-4, 153-4, 194,220 Gotha congress (1875), 21, 74; (1896), 36-37 Gradnauer, Georg, 32, 268, 276-7 Grain trade, H.'s dealings in, 15, 132 Great Britain, 15, 63, 105, 197; and First World War, 150-1, 224; anti-British campaign, 176; trade ties with Denmark, 198-9, 202 Great War: see First World War Grebirig, H., cited, 165 Greeks, 9, 128 Greulich, Hermann, 160

296

Index
ment, 239; seeks Lenin's permission
to return to Russia, 239, 245-7; request refused, 246-7; voluntary exile in Switzerland (1918), 259-65; expelled from Switzerland (1920), 2666; returns to Berlin, 266-9; death (1924), i, 245, 275; funeral, 276-7 Appearance, 23, 157 Assassination plot, 275 Business (see also Fortune, below), 15, 68-71, 196-205, 256, 259, 280-1; charges against his integrity, 70-71, 124, 277; Gorki royalties affair: see

Grimm, Robert, 203 Groman, Ekaterina, 157, 160 Guarda, Lago di, 104, 106 Haase, Hugo, 153-4, 240-1

Habsburgs, 129, 132
Haenisch, Konrad, 82, 102-3, I 2 I J I54~5? 175-7, 194, 268, 270; biographical, 102; defence of H., 264-5; eulogy of

H., I; cited or quoted, 82, 124-5,
128,132 Haguenin, Professor, 271 Hahlweg, W., cited, 3 Haidamaki, 10, 17 Halle, 29 Hamburg- Amerika line, 220-1, 272 Hamburger Echo, 170 Handels og-Eksportkompagniet, 196-8

under Gorki
Character, 66-67, 70-74, 86, 92, 155-7, 204-5, 259; sketch, 276-81 Children, 4, 71-73, 106, 193; H.'s attitude to, 103 Citizenship: see that title Critical articles about him in European press, 256-7 'Dirty hands' reference (Lenin), 246

Hanecki: see Fürstenberg, Jakob
Hankiewicz, Dr. Leo, 133, 135 Hanover congress (1899), 118 Harden, Maximilian, 128, 255, 263, 265

Havel, river, i, 266 Hebrew language, 7
Heilmann, Ernst, 175-6, 258 Heine, Wolfgang, 40, 46-47 Heinze, Consul, cited, 133

Education, 10-11, 16-19
Enigma of his life, 2-4 Family life, 68, 71-74, 193

Fortune, 127-9, 132, 143, 178, 193-4,
196-205, 259, 266, 280-1; early desire for riches, 66, 68; German payment to, 152, 155; legendary, 153, 157; tax payments, 198; size, 260; position after his death, 276

Helfand, Leon (alleged son of Helphand), 72-73
Helfferich, Karl, 2, 184, 203

HELPHAND, Alexander Israel (Parvus) (see also subject headings throughout
the index), birth at Berezino (1867), 5, 7-8; original names Israel Lazarevich, 7; adopts name of Alexander, 8; descent and early life, 7—11;

Friends, attitude to his, 70-71, 121,
154,279 Germany, activities in: see under Germany Health, rheumatism, 223, 256, 275; failing, 275 'Intellectual partnership' with Trotsky, 64, 67, 111,278 Jewish background, 8—11, 14-15, 65 Journalist, as: see Journalist Leader of men, failure as, 92, 121, 279 Marriages, 71, 106, 275 Munich police chief's report on, 58-59 Nicknames, 'The Seal', 20; 'Dr. Elefant', 23; 'The Russian' and 'Dr. Barfuss', 34 Obituaries, 1-2 Papers, search for, 4; probable destruction, 4, 275-6 Parents, 8-9, 55, 117 Personal and political reformation, Radek's statement refuted, 245-6 'Politically deceased' (Trotsky, 1915), 155-6. 173

family moves to Odessa after fire,
9-10; abroad for first time (1886), 11-12; leaves Russia (1887), 14; wandering life abroad, 14-26; re-

visits Russia after twelve years (1899),
14, 52-55, 71; first meeting with Lenin, 56; first meeting with Trotsky, 64; short illegal visit to Russia (1902), 69; in Russia (1905), 70-72,

81-83, 90-99; arrested and banished
to Siberia (1906), 93-99, 103, 107; escapes from Russia, 94,99-100,107; returns to Germany (1906-1910),

102, 107, 111-13; moves to Vienna (1910), 124-6; in Turkey (19101915), 126-44, 155; returns to Berlin (1915), 143, 145-53; meeting with Lenin, 157-9; in Copenhagen, 160-

8; offers services to Soviet govern-

Index
Private life, 68, 71-74, 106, 156-7, 166, 193,265-6,268-9,275,277 Pseudonyms, 'Ignatieff'and 'I. H.', 23; 'Unus', 28; 'Parvus', 29; 'August Pen', 52; 'Karl Wawerk', 95; 'Peter Klein', 102-3 Revolutionary faith, 11-13, 19-20, 93, 107, 152; obsessed with idea of revolution, 34-35, 39, 43, 48, 74 Russia, and: see under Russia Russian identity, 15, 19, 21, 51 Secretiveness, desire for, 4 Self-confidence, 92, 129 Sons, 4, 71-73, 106,193 Subversive activities (see also under countries concerned), 3, 130-69, 179, 181, 183-4, 188-91, 280; March (1915) memorandum, 145, 151, 159, 186, 205; adviser to German government, 152; reply to charges, 174-5 Theorist, as, 41-42, 64, 92, 106, 113, 117 'Utopian and revolutionary dreamer' (Helfferich), 203 Women, relations with, 106, 156-7, 166, 193,265,275,277 Written works (see also their titles), 4; differences with publishers, 48; collected editions, 86-87; completes two studies on ideology of socialism (1910), 113, 117, 120-1; as writer, 277-9 (see also Journalist, H. as) Helphand, Lazarus ('Zhenya') (son), 71-72 Helphand, Tanya (first wife), 71 Herding, Count von, 234 Herzen, Alexander, 6, 12-13, 159, 170 Hesnard, Professor, 271 Hessen, Grossherzog von, 150 Heuss, Theodor, 270, 272 Hilferding, Rudolf, 104 Hill, E., cited, 57 Hindenburg, Field-Marshal Paul von, 3 Hintze, Admiral, 254-5 Historical development, and revolution, 79, 114, 116, 118 Hitler, Adolf, 1, 2, 231, 249 Höglund, Zeth, 161-2 Holiday home for German children, 204 Holstein, 166 Holy War on Russia, 146 Hours of work, 36-37 (see also Eight-hour day) Huldermann, B., 200-1 Hülsen, Captain von, 230

297

Humanit^, 195, 227 Hungary, 322 Hungernde Russland, Das, 9, 14, 52, 54-55, 57

'I. H.' (pseudonym of H.), 23 'Ignatieff' (pseudonym of H.), 23 Im Kampf urn die Wahrheit (1918), 3-4, 256-7; cited or quoted, 4, 10-15, 21, passim Imperialism, 104-5, I J 4 In der russischen Bastille, 94-97, 107-8 Individual, rights of the, 119-20 Institute for the Study of the Social Consequences of the War (Copenhagen), 160-2, 164, 194-6, 204, 209, 227 Intelligentsia, Russian, 10-13, 19, 21, 95; socialist, 22 International, Second, i, 2, 129, 156; congresses (1889), 36; (1896), 50-51, 257; 0903), 65; collapse, 130 Internationale Korrespondenz, 139, 194, 258 Iskra, 56-59, 61-62, 64-65, 84, 87, 133 Italy, 5, 143; H.'s holidays in, 104, 106, 123; socialists, 20 Izvestia, 90 Izvne,251,253,255

Jackh, Ernst, 272, 274 Jagow, Gottlieb von, 145, 190, 211-12 Jansson, Wilhelm, 175-6, 203, 212-13 Japan, 62-63, 105,254 Jaures,Jean, 35 Jews, 128, 148, 195, 265; antisemitism, 7, 46; H.'s Jewish background, 8-11, 14-15, 65; pogroms, 7, 14; in Russia, 6-10, 23; socialist Bund, 143, 147 Journalist, Helphand as, 23-40, 48, 8384, 103, 107, 112-13, 124, 126, 128, 130, 132; editorships, 30-32, 47, 51; writes for Russian press, 58; featureagency, 68; founds Die Glocke (1915), 168-72, 176-7; purchases Internationale Korrespondenz (q.v.), 194; return to journalism (1920), 270; new economics newspaper, 271-5 Jugoslavia, 262 Kaden (publisher), 108 Kaiserhof, Hotel (Berlin), 193, 266, 271 Kama, river, 54 Karakozov, D., 6 Karski: see Marchlewski, Julian Kasparov, 158 Katkov, G., cited, 3

298 Index
Kautsky, Karl, 28, 31, 35, 38-40, 74, 115-16, 124, 141, 153, ijo, i73-4> 176; biographical, 22-23; H.'s relations with, 22-23, 26-27, 45-48, 73, 107, 177, 263-4; and Lenin, 6162; help for H.'s wife, 71; Rosa Luxemburg and, 98, 115; and 1 rotsky, 108-9 Kazan, 54 Kerensky, A. F., 221, 225-7, 229, 232-3, 236 Kessler, Count Harry, cited, 271 Khitraya Mekhanika, 12 Kiderlen-Wachter, A. von, 190 Kiefer, Karl, 198-9 Kiev, 14,81 Kievskqya Mysl, 126 Kirkov, Georgi, 140 Klassenkampf des Proletariats, Der (1911), 113-16,118 Klein, Peter (pseudonym of H.), 102-3 Klingsland, Fabian (Petrograd firm), 197-8 Københaven, 256 Københavns Befragtnings~og Transport-Kompagniet, 200 Kollontay, Alexandra, 181,225-6 Koln congress (1893), 36 Kolokol, 170 Kon, Feliks, cited, 11 Korrespondenz Prawda, 219, 227-8 Lassallians, 21 Lavrov, P. L., 25 Legien, Carl, 223 Lehmann, Dr. C., 9, 14, 52-55, 57, 71 Leipzig, 26, 30-32, 56; H.'s illegal visit (1905), 82 Leipziger Volkszeitung, 30-32, 38, 82, 102, 170, 175, 266; cited, 32, 36, 114 'Leman, Dr.', 57 (see Lehmann, Dr. C.) Lenin, V. I., 55-62, 67, 71, 75, 79-80, 105, 150, 161-3, 224; in Siberia, 48, 57, 94; and H.'s works, 48, 57; first meetings with H., 56-57; correspondence from Russia sent to addresses of German socialists, 57; leader of Bolsheviks, 3, 122, 142, 147-8, 162, 216, 218; campaign to capture party control, 59-62; and Trotsky, 65, 108; returns to Russia (1905), 82-83, 86, 93-94; and Gorki affair, 122-4; H.'s meeting with (1915), 157-9; lack of money, 165, 181, 221; criticism of Die Glocke, 1789, 229; transit across Germany ('sealed train', 1917), 2, 209-11,216; in Stockholm, 215-6; relations with H., 216-7, 228-9, 232, 24.7, 280; journey to Petrograd, 217; treason charges after July rising (1917), 225-30; goes into hiding, 226, 228; Soviet government, 236-8, 244-5, 250-1; request from H. for permission to return to Russia, 239, 245-6; Lenin's reply ('dirty hands' reference), 246-8, 253 Leninskii Sbornik, cited, 161, 210, 247 Lensch, Paul, 82, 102, 155, 175-6, 194 'Letters to the German Workers', 262 Liberals, 44-45, 60, 63, 67-68, 75, 83-85, 87-88 Liebknecht, Karl, 115, 140, 154, 170, 173,228 Liebknecht, Wilhelm, 21, 25, 27, 33-34? 39-40, 192 Liman von Sanders, General, 136 Listok Pravda, 226 Lithuania and Lithuanians, 7, 147 Litwak, A., cited, 156 Locarno treaty, 273 London, H. in (1896), 50-51, 257; Jews, 7; Second International congresses, 50-51,65,257 London School of Economics, 272 Lübeck congress (1901), 45-49, 68 Lubersac, Marquis de, 274

Kovno, 53 Kozak, Professor, 18 Kozlovsky, 163, 180, 221, 225-6, 246 Krasnoyarsk, 99
Kreuzzeitung,I

Krull, 275 Krupp concern, 128 Krupskaya, N. K., 57, 59, 71, 158, 209 Kruse, Alfred, 161,181 Krustalev-Nostar, G., 84, 89 Kuba: see Fürstenberg, Jakob Kuban cossacks, 146
Kuhlmann, R. von, 2, 230-1, 240, 243-4, 254 Kundert, Fritz, 29

Labour, division of, H.'s thesis on, 18 Ladyzhnikov, I. P., 122-3 Land rents, 41 Languages, 7, 9 Langwerth von Simmern, Baron, 184, 197,199,207 Larsen, Professor Karl, 195 Lassalle, Ferdinand, 44-45,67, 74

Index
Lucius von Stödten, 203, 253 Ludendorff, General Erich von, 2, 3, 202,
234

299

Ludwigshafen, 4.6 Lunacharsky, A. V., 155 Luther, Martin, 47 Luxemburg, Rosa, 20-21, 35, 46-47, 98, 102,104, 115-16, 126, 140, 156, 173; H.'s relations with, 26, 43, 47, 50, 106, 108, 120-1, 126, 154,251,267; articles in press, 32-33; and Lenin, 57, 62, 251; break with party, 153; quoted, 33-34, 98, 177-8

Lvov, 132
Madsen, Karl, 199 Malmö, 215-16 Marchlewski, Dr. Julian (Karski), 20-21, 26, 32, 47, 58; biographical, 69; titular head of publishing house, 68-71,82, 121, 123 Marienbad, 223-34, 275 Marinescu, Dimitru, 137-8 Marne offensive, 150 Marriage, Russian students' attitude to, 17 Martov, J., 48, 55, 61, 82-84, 112, 142, 155; cited, 57,160-1 Marx, Karl, 38, 45, 117, 173, 278; Communist Manifesto, 12-14, 39; Das Kapital, 5, 12; forecast of periodic economic crises, 38,41 Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute, 81, 142 Marxism and Marxists, 28, 31, 34, 38, 41-42, 48, 74, 101, 109, 117, 139, 171, 236; H. and, 16-18, 21, 25, 34, 43, 64, 278; publishing house for literature, 122; revisionism: see that title; revolutionary doctrine, 48, 64, 78-79; Russian Marxism, 12-14, 25, 50, 56; Trotsky and, 65 Mass strike, political: see Strike Matin, 256 May Day parade, 59 Mayer, Gustav, 220 Mehring, Franz, 102, 140, 153, 177 Meine Antwort an Kerenski und Co., 229, 232-3 Melenevski, Marian Basok-, 133-5, 156, J 75 Melgunov, P. S., cited, 135,180, 239 Mensheviks, 79-80, 83-84, 87-88, 143,

Mercedes (firm), 272 Mezhrayontsy, 180 Michahelles, von, 141 Middle class, 67-68, 74, 77-79, 85, 8788, 1 0 174; parties, 44-45, 101 1, Mikhailovski, N. K., 10 Military vehicles, export of, 259 Mill, John S., 10, 18 Milyukov, P. N., 225 Minsk province, 7 Mittag, Freiherr von, 133 Money, and political power, 128-9, 281 Monopolies, 113, 117 Moor, Karl, 220, 231 Moscow, 139, 179, 188; police chief's report on strikes (1899), 51; H. in, 53-55; strikes and unrest (1905), 89, 91-92, 122 Moslems, 146 Motteler, G., 87 Mudie, D., cited, 57 Müller, Adolf, 171, 206-7, 233, 261, 265 Müller, Hermann, 223 Münchener Post, 171 Munich, 82, 123; H. in, 26, 48, 51-52, 54-59, 64-71, 76, 110, 113, 170-1, 194, 259; police chief's report on H., 58-59; Trotsky in, 64-68, 76, no Munich Polytechnic, 220 Munich University, 58 Muraviev, Rear-Admiral, 188 Mursikha, 54

Muzhiki, 88, 99 'My Reply to Kerensky and Co.', 229, 232-3
Nachalo, 84, 88, 90 Nadolny, R., 2 Narodnaia Volya, 11, 17, 20 Narodniki, 25 Nash Golos, 90 Nashe Slovo (earlier Golos, q.v.), 142, 148, 155, 180,227 Nationalism, 134, 145-6 Nationalization, 118-9, 120, 251 Naturalization, H.'s search for: see Citizenship Naumann, Victor, 233-4 Nazis, 1, 249,265 Near East, 126-7,143 Nestlé firm, 225 Netherlands, 197, 222 Neue Zeit, 22-23, 26-29, 45-46, 48, 87, 107-8, 141, 170, 176; cited, 28-29, 3 - 23 , 51 0 1 3 , 54 , 2

160-1, 181,223;H. and, 79,80, 112; split with Bolsheviks, 59-62, 65, 122, 137, 147, 158; Trotsky and, 65, 6768,76

300 Index
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 265 New York, Jews, 7 Nicholas II, Tsar, 75, 80, 82, 85, 89, 179, 184-5, 207; and separate peace, 1512, 167, 181-2, 185 Niekisch, Ernst, 270 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 16 Nicholas Nikolaevich, Grand Duke, 151 Nikolaev, 149, 188-9 Nikolaevski, B. I., cited, 44, 60-62, 112 Nizhni Novgorod, 54 Nobel, Alfred, 5 Northcliffe, Lord, 254 Norway, 203 Novaya Zhizn, 83, 90, 227 Move Vreme, 140 'November criminals', 2, 265 Nye Bank, 226

Peasants' Union, 89 'Pen, August' (pseudonym of H.), 52 Perasich, Vladimir Davidovich, 160 Persia and Persians, 9, 254 Petrograd (earlier St. Petersburg, q.v.), 197-8, 248, 250, 253; revolution (1917), 206-7, 209-10, 213-14, 21722, 224-6, 229, 235-6, 239, 280

Obukhov works, 147 Odessa, 9-10, 14-15, 65, 141, 148-9, 188, 219 Okhrana,227 Ollenhauer, Erich, 270 'Opportunism in Practice', 45,48-49 Opposition Parties, dissolution of, 120 Orenburg, 54 Orlovsky: see Vorovski, V. V. Otto, 195
'Pale', The, 6-7, 9 Palestine, 7 Pallavicini, 133, 135-6 Paris, Russian exiles in, 155 'Parvulus', 102, 177 (see Haenisch, Konrad) Parvus (pseudonym of Alexander Israel HELPHAND,q.v.),29 'Parvusists', 81, 117, 142 Passports, forged, 52-53, 55, 82, 95, 99, 217; Bulgarian, used by Lenin, 57 Peace, proposed separate peace with Russia, 150-2, 167-9, 181-2, 185, 206-9, 211, 213-5, 217-9, 236-9, 242-5; Reichstag resolution, 223; Brest-Litovsk negotiations and treaty (1918), 243-4, 248-9, 252-3, 280; H.'s publicity campaign to end the war, 258; Versailles treaty, 262, 272, 274 Peace conference, Socialist: see Socialist peace conference Peasants, 10-11, 13-14, 24, 31, 34, 77, 89, 99, 207

'Philistines About Me', 71, 73 Piashev, N., cited, 220 Plekhanov, G. V., 13-15, 20, 24-25, 48, 50,55-56, 65, 83, 140 Pobedonostsev, K., 6 Pogroms, 7, 14 Poland and Poles, 7, 50, 69, 196, 213, 250, 262; exiles, 20-21, 161-3; independence, 140; social democrats, 147; students in Germany, 58; underground workers, 220, 227-8 Political economy, 16, 18 Population, Minsk, 7 Populists, 12, 25,60 Possony, St. T., cited, 3 Poster company, 196 Potresov, A. N., 48, 50, 55-56; cited, 44, 60-62,112

Pravda, 2, 161, 227, 231, 239, 245 'Present Political Situation ...', 92-93 Press (see also under names of newspapers), relations with party, 33; publication of Russian socialist newspaper abroad (Iskra, q.v.) (1900), 56-57; H.'s desire to ifound newspaper, 68; feature-agency, 68-69, 127; first popular daily, 83; circulations, 83; censorship dropped, 86; newspapers confiscated, 90; campaign against Russia, 145, 147-8, 250-1; Die Glocke (q.v.) founded (1915), 168-72; H.'s plan for 'large scale organization', 253-6; help from H., 269; newspaper on economics, 271-5
Preussische fitting, 264 Princip, Gavrilo, 129 Printing-press, illegal, 57 Prison life in Russia, 93-99, 107 Private ownership, 119 Progressive groups, 44 Proletariat, and acquisition of power, 65, 75~77> 79-8o, 87, no, 251; arming,

206; avant-garde mission in world revolution, 64, no; class, and, 63, 79; international, 235, 239; organization, 36; position in state, 44, 66,

Index
119; social revolution, and, 45, 64,

301

67-68, 75-77? 84-85, 88, 102, in, 114-15, 172; voice of, 47 Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya, cited, 221
Protective tariffs, 104-5, 113 Provisional workers' government, necessity for, 76-80, 84, 117 Prussia (State), 21, 178; Helphand expelled from (1893), 25-27, 71; illegal visits to, 102, 113; expulsion order withdrawn (1915), 152; granted citizenship (1916), 27, 192-4, 212, 241; 'Privy Councillors', 37; Rakovsky expelled from, 126; suffrage issue and (1893), 27-28, 116 Pskov, 53 Publishing, H.'s publishing houses, 6971, 82, 123, 171, 194, 256, 268, 276; attempts to set up house for Marxist literature in Berlin, 122; H.'s expanding activities, 194-6; almanacks plan, 254-5,263-5 'Pundyk': see Sklarz, Heinrich Putilov works, 147, 189

Revisionism, 37-48, 57, 113, 117, 139, i70,i76

Revolution, H.'s views, 34-45, 48, 64-66, 76-81, 1 01 , 114-19, 132, 151-3, 1-1 157; historical process, as, 79, 114, 116, 118; offensive tactics, 37, 39, 116; permanent, 96, 110-11; Soviet

appropriation for support in Western Europe (1917), 250; Trotsky and, 65-68, 96, iio-n; war and, 62-64, 114 Revolutionary democracy, 80 Revolutions: European (1848), 44, 67, 77 German, not expected until end of war, 214-15, 236, 244, 253, 258-9; outbreak (November 1918), 259, 262-3, 267, 280 Russian (1905), 70, 72, 75-100, 107-10, 117, 121, 146, 183 Russian (1917), 120, 206-28, 234-45, 249-50, 267, 281 Rheinland-Westfalen, 103 Rhine, 15-16, 31 Riezler, Dr. Kurt, 145, 240-1, 243-4, 24^ Riga, 183 Rabotnichesky Vestnik, 130 Radek, Karl, 20, 105, 215, 217, 252-3; Roland-Hoist, Henrietta, 35 Romberg, Gisbert Freiherr von, 191, 229 biographical, 156; and H., 2, 156, 217, 227-8, 238-41, 245^8, 279; in Rosenberg, Alfred, 2, 146, 265 Bolshevik bureau in Stockholm, Rossiya i revolyutsiya, 62-64, 67, 87, 92 219-21, 227-8, 235; puts H.'s re- Ruberrimus: see Heilmann, Ernst Ruhr, 102, 202, 273-4 quest to return to Russia before Lenin, 239, 245-8, 253; 'political Rumania, 126, 130-1, 137-9, 141, 148, harlequin', 248 '55>257 Rakovsky, Christo, 57, 126-7, 137-9, *55> Rus, 88 Rusanov, N. S., 25, 223 171,246 Ruskaya Gazeta, 83 Rantzau: see Brockdorff-Rantzau Russia (see also subject headings throughRapallo treaty, 273 out the index): Rapaport, Charles, 20 Agriculture, area under cultivation, Rathenau, Walter, 118, 274 224 Rauscher, Ullrich, 268 Amnesty for political offenders (1905), Rech, 225 82 Reconstruction, 272-5 Anarchy, 208, 224 Red Cross, 52 Army, low morale, 179-80, 224; propa'Red postmaster', 87 ganda campaign in, 183-4, 2 I 9> 22 6; Reichstag, 37, 41, 121, 175, 241, 243, 274; and revolution, 207-8; collapse peace resolution, 223; Social Demolikely, 236; Red Army, 251 crats in, 43-44, 112, 221; vice-presiBanking, threatened withdrawal of dency (1903), 43-44 deposits, 89-90; State, 247, 250-1 Reichstag Elections and the Working Class, Bolsheviks: see that title 103-4 Coal, from Germany, 256 Reinhardt, Max, 70 Constituent Assembly, 161,207, 232 Reparations, 270-1, 273-4 Constitutional system, 6, 75, 78, 80, 97 Reuss, Duchy of, 47 Europe, and, 24-25,84-85, 101 Renter, Ernst, 270

302 Index
Russia (continued): Exiles: see Russian exiles Famines, 24-25, 52, 54-55 Financial manifesto (1905), 89-90 French loans, 54 Germany, relations with, 3, 137, 145-7, 150-1; suggested alliance with, 105; promised loan, 243; German economic penetration, 253-4, 256; treaty with (1922), 273; trade with, 164-5, 197-8 Helphand, birth and early life in, 5, 714; leaves Russia (1887), 14; Russian identity, 15, 19, 21, 51; revisits after twelve years (1899), J 4> 52~55> 71; short illegal visit (1902), 69; returns to (1905), 70-72, 81-83, 90-99; fare paid from advance royalties, 82; leadership (with Trotsky) of workers' movement, 83-93; arrested and banished to Siberia (1906), 93-99, 103, 107; escapes from Russia, 94, 99-100, 107; possible later visits, 128; permission sought to return (!9i7)» 239» 245-7; request refused, 246-7 Jewry :see Jews Land, 207, 232, 236 Military offensive against, possible, 207-8, 211, 214-15, 219, 249 Money market, action against, 183-4 National Assembly, 236 Navy, 208 Occupation by Germans, proposed, 208 Parliament, 6, 77, 80, 85, 213 Press, H.'s plan, 254-6 Provisional government, 76-80, 84, 117, 220, 225, 227-8, 230-3 Radicals, 6, 13 Reform, era of, 5-6 Revolutionary movement, 6-7, 25, 50-52, 56-60, 64-68, 137, 149, 17791; Germany and, 2, 167; H. adviser to German Government, 152; money for, 180, 184, 186-7,190, 198; organizations, 179-80, 182 Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 : see under Revolutions Social Democrat party: see Social Democrat party, Russian Soviet Union, 2, 3 Soviets: see that title Strikes (1899), 51; (1905), 7°, 75> 81, 86-92, 182; planned for January 1916, 147, 149, 169, 179-81, 186;

failure described, 187-90, 198, 203 Students, in Switzerland, 16-17; in Germany, 58-59 Subversive activities against, 3, 130-7, 145-69, 175, 177, 179-91, 220, 226,
280; plan for direct military action against, 133-6; H.'s memorandum (March 1915), 145, 151, 159, 186, 205; H. adviser to German Government, 152; money for, 152, 180, 1867, 220, 226, 229, 231-2, 235-6 Terrorism, 6, 53 Tsar: see Nicholas II Tsarism: see that title Underground agitators, 75, 86 University disturbances, 51-52, 59 World market and, 41 'Russia and the Revolution': see Rossiya i revolyutsiya 'Russian, The' (nickname for H.), 34 Russian exiles, 56-57, 64-65, 134, 155-6, 217; H. and, 19-20, 48-51, 55, 68, 112, 141-2, 160-1, 164; some return to Russia, 52, 82-83, 86; differences among, 60-62, 80-81; attitude to revolution, 75, 206; extradition from Germany, 102, 112; in Siberia, 147; plans to facilitate flight to European Russia, 147; money for, 155, 157; recruitment of, 160-4, 194; transit through Germany, 2, 209— 12,215-16 Russian language, 7, 9 Russian Union of Sailors, 127, 148 Russian Workers' and Soldiers' Council, 218, 222 Russo-Japanese War, 62-63, 149, 185

Ruthenes, 132 Ryazanov, D. B., 81, 141-3,180
Sächsische Arbeiterzeitung, 32-35, 38-40, 47-48,51,87,232,267 St. Petersburg (taterPetrograd, q.v.)} 147,

157, 179-81, 183, 187-9; 'bloody Sunday' (1905), 75-76, 180, 188; Helphand in (1899), 53-54, (1905-

6), 70-72, 81-83, 94-95, 98-99, 106;
leadership (with Trotsky) of workers' movement, 83-93; revolution (1905), 75-76, 83-95, 101, 142; strikes, 8586, 91, 147, 180, 188-9; student disturbances (1899), 5!-52J 59 Saints Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg, 53, 90, 96, 110 Salomon, Ernest von, cited, 275

Index

303

Saltykov, M. Y. (N. Schedrin), 10-11 Siemens, Carl Friedrich von, 272 Siemens-Schuckert (firm) ,219 Samara province, 45 Simbirsk, 54 Sarajevo, 129 Saxony, 34; H. expelled from (1898), 47, Simmern: see Langwerth von Simmern, 51, 71; breaches of expulsion, 82, 113 Baron Scandinavia, 159-68, 181, 195, 198,212, Singer, P., 109, 153 Sisson, Edgar, 232 219-25,233,247,259 Sklarz, Georg, 196-7, 199, 201, 204, 210, Scavenius, Eric, 201-3 Schapiro, Leonard, cited, 60 263 Sklarz, Heinrich, 196-7 Scharlau, Winfried, cited, 79 Sklarz3 Waldemar, 196-7 Schedrin, N.: see Saltykov, M. Y. Scheidemann, Philipp, 153, 155, 158, Skobelev, M. I., 221 218, 223, 237, 239-41, 262-3, 265,Slavery, 18 268, 270; H. not mentioned in re- Slavs, 148, 151 miniscences, 4; journey to Copen- Smirnov, Gurevich-, 180 hagen (1917), 213-6; Stockholm Smirnov, Timofei, 90, 223 visit, 243-4; Prime Minister of Smith, Adam, 18 Weimar Republic, 255, 262; cited, Smuggling, 87, 197 Social Democrat party, German, 20-25, 213-5; 235*237 Schillinger, Alexander (son of Helphand), 27-48, 59, 63, 78, 103-10, 117, 137, 183, 263 193 Agrarian agitation, 31-32, 34, 38 Schillinger, Frau Maria, 193 Bismarck's anti-socialist laws, 21, 37 Scholz, Arno, 269 Budget support, and, 28-30 Schönlank, Bruno, 30-33, 83, 121 Committee, 218 Schönlank, Bruno (junior), 266-9 Congresses, 34-35; H. defends himself Schwabing, Munich, H.'s residence, 57, before, 40-41; H. never a delegate, 66,71,76 Schwanenwerder, Berlin, H.'s residence, 121; (1875), 21, 74; (1893), 36; (1894), 29, 31; (1895), 32; (1896), 1,4,266-9,271,275,277 'Scientific' socialist, 17—18, 39 36-37; (1897), 37; (1898), 40-41, Scutari, 127 154; (1899), 118; (1901), 45-49, 68; 'Seal, The' (nickname for H.), 20 (1903), 37, 44 Elections, and, 27-28, 80, 101, 103-4 'Sealed train' journey: see under Lenin Second International: see International, Executive, 27, 34, 36-37, 40-41, 45, 48 Helphand and, 2, 20, 25-27, 34-40, Second 46-48,50, 106, 112-4, 121, 153-5, Second World War, 3 212, 256, 259; essay on, 172-4; acts Sedova, Natalia, 66, 76, 108 as representative, 216-8; and the Semenon, Viktor, 90 younger generation, 269; party's Serbia, 126 memory of, 276 Sergei, Grand Duke, 59 Leaders, 22, 153-4; of right wing, 193Serrati, Geaccinto, 143 4; in Copenhagen, 213-6 Sevastopol, 69 Newspapers and periodicals, 22-23, 25 Severnyi Golos, 90 Revisionism, and: see that title Shevchenko, T., 10 Russians, and, 25, 58-59, 108, 213-6, Shipping-lines, 200 Shlyapnikov, Alexander, 162, 181 233,237-44, 252 Three-way split, 115 Shop signs, pictorial, 54 Shub, David, cited, 155 Two factions (S.P.D. and U.S.P.D.), 238,240-1 Siberia, banishment to, 52, 56, 81, 93-94, 98, 102, 112; Lenin in, 48, 57, 94; Social Democrat party, Russian, 3, 58, Trotsky escapes from, 65, 108; H. 75-83, 135, 147-8 Germans and, 25, 58-59, 108 escapes from (1906), 94, 98-99, 107; Gorki royalties for funds: see under Gorki political exiles in, 147 Helphand's relations with, 48-49, 55, Siberian Bank, 226 Siefeldt,A., 158 74

304

Index
Strauss, Johann, 5 Strike, Political Mass, 35-36, 66, 68, 7576,89, 113, 115-16, 149, 169, 186 Strobel, Heinrich, 154 Struve, P., 79 Stuttgart, 22-23, 26-27, 54, 57, 113 Stuttgart congress (1898), 40-41, 154 Sublime Porte: see Turkey Subversive activities: see under Helphand; and under countries concerned Südekum, A.O.W., 138, 154, 194 Sumenson, Evgeniya, 197, 225-6 Sweden (see also Stockholm), 139, 146, 161, 203, 215, 233, 235, 260 Switzerland, 87, 147, 220, 233 Coal business, 203 General strike, 261 Helphand in, 8, (1886), 12, 14, 55; (1887-1891), 14-21; (1915), 156-60; (1917), 224-5 ,229; (1918) voluntary exile, 259-65; arrested and released, 261; campaign against, 261-5; expelled from, 265-6; alleged deposit of money in, 276 Lenin in, 142, 209, 215 Russian exiles, 136, 141-2, 148, 155-6, 181,215 Tarnowski, Count, 135 Tasviri Efkar, 129, 133 Tatars, 9 Tax, strike, 89; H.'s payments, 198 Technische Organization ..., 18 Technological Institute, St. Petersburg, 86 Telegraph (Berlin), 269

Social Democrat party (continued):

Leaders return to Russia, 82-83, 86 Newspaper abroad, 55-57 (see Iskra) Split (1903) between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, 59-62, 65, 80-81, 122, 137, 141, 147, 158
Social Revolutionaries, 11, 60, 161 Socialdemocrat (Stockholm), 244 Socialdemokrat (Copenhagen), 213 Socialism, and world revolution, 85; H.'s attitude to, 111, 268, 278-9; ideology of, 113-4, 117; in practice after revolution, 117-21, 130; and war, 129-31; collapse of pre-war, 130 (see also Europe: Socialists) Socialist conference, International (Berne, 1919), 261 Socialist congress of unity, proposed, 147, 149,153 Socialist peace conference (Stockholm, 1917), 221-5 Socialist peace conference, proposed, 242-5, 248, 252 Sofia, 133,135,139-41, 143,148 Solomon, G. A., cited, 256 Sotsial-Democrat, 178 Soviet Encyclopedia, 3 Soviet National Bank, 165 Soviet Union, 2, 3 Soviets, (1905), 81, 83-98; (1917)5 93, 213, 218, 221-3, 227, 232, 249-56; in Germany (1918), 262 Sozialdemokratische Feldpost, 194 Soziale Bilanz des Krieges, Die (1917), 195 Spartakists, 261-3 Spartakusblätter, 178 Spilka, the, 147 Staat9 die Industrie, und der Sozialismus, Der (1910), 113-14, 117, 119-20 Stadthagen, 40 Stalin, J. V., 126, 139, 161 State, Industry, and Socialism, The (1910), 113-4,117,119-20 Stauning, Thorvald, 223, 242-3 Stern, L., cited, 57, 59 Stettin, 200 Stinnes, Hugo, 200-1, 273-4 Stockholm, 139, 159, 161, 163, 165, 226, 229, 238-48, 258; H. in, 187, 189, 219, 238-48, 250, 253; Russian exiles in, 215-17; Bolshevik Foreign Mission, 219-21, 227-9, 231, 235, 238,

Temps, Le, 256
Terrorism and terrorists, 11, 60, 275 Theatre tickets, H.'s purchase of, 86 Thun, Alphonse, 16 Tirpitz, Admiral von, 150 Töpffer, Dr., 199, 201-2 Trade cycles, 117 Trade unions, 33, 58, 176; H.'s views on, 36, i n , 113-4, 117, 119-20, 183; Danish, 198-202, 233 Trading and Export Company, 196-8 Trans-Siberian Railway, 54, 99 Trier, Sven, 195 Trotsky, Lev Davidovich Bronstein, 3,6468, 75-76, 108, 125-6, 142, 160-1, 227, 237, 244, 252; biographical, 6566; H.'s first meeting with (1904), 64; friendship with H., 57, 64-67, 76, 83-84, 108-11, 129, 267, 278-9; 'intellectual partnership' with H.,

Stockholm conference (1917), 221-5 Straits, 167

245

Index

305

64, 67, i n , 278; Do devyatovo Tan- Vodrovsvej (Copenhagen), H.'s resivarya, 66, 76-79; returns to Russia dence, 193,214 (1905). 76, 81-84, 86-89, 92-93; Volga, river, 54 imprisonment, 94, 96; escapes from Vollmar, Georg von, 22, 28, 30-31, 43Siberia, 108; 'Prospects and Per45,48 spectives', 1 01 , 172; 'Epitaph Vorovski, V. V., 219-20, 229, 238, 243-5 1-1
for a Living Friend' (on H.), 155-6, Vorwärts, 2, 3-5, 27-28, 32-33, 38, 52, 173, 227; again returns to Russia 107-8, 154, 170, 232-3, 270; cited, (1917), 180,226 24,25,238-9,275 'Trotskyism', 66 Vperiod, 79, 81 Tsarism, collapse of regime, 206; EuroVriadakh germanskoe sotsial-demokratii, 87 pean socialists and, 168-9; financial

abuses, 89; Germany and, 178, 182, 185; Helphand's views on, 20, 63, 77, 82, 97, 108, 130-4, 140, 173-4, 182, 280; Lenin and, 157; middle class and, 77, 79, 88; subversion against, 132-4, 136-7, 145-52, 191,
280; Trotsky on, 94

Tschirschky, von, 143 TurkTurdu, 128 Turkey (Sublime Porte), 5, 9, 125, 136, 146, 163, 175; Capitulations, 126, 129; H.'s stay in (1910-1915), 12644; H.'s investments in, 198, 260, 281; war, and, 132, 168; Young Turks, 128, 175 Turuchansk, 99 U-boat warfare, 202 Ukraine and Ukrainians, 7, 9-10, 140, 146-7, 207, 226, 230, 250; Union for Liberation, 132-6, 153, 156, 175 Ukrainian language, 9 Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine: see Ukraine United States of America: see America United States of Europe, 42 Unus (pseudonym of H.), 28 Urban, Consul, 135 Uritsky, Moisei, 161-2, 180-1 Uspenski, G., 10-11 Vandervelde, E.,281 Verlag für Sozialwissenschaft,
276

Wädenswil (Zürich), H.'s residence, 260, 262,265, 268 Wakefield,E. G., 18 Walther, V. G. A., 199 Wangenheim, Freiherr von, 136-7 Wannsee lake, 1, 4, 266, 268, 271 War, and revolution, 62-64, 114; capitalism and, 63, 104, 114; colonial
policy and, 104; socialists and, 129-

31; H.'s views on, 130-1 War, Great: see First World War
War credits, 153, 175

War surplus material, 72, 259 Warsaw, 54, 106, 169 Warszawski-Warski, Adolf, 21 'Wawerk, KarP (pseudonym of H.), 95 Weimar Republic, 2, 231, 262-3, 265, 268-70, 275-6 Wels, Otto, 268
Wiederaufbau, 272-5

Wilhelm II, Kaiser, 3, 169, 225 Wilhelm, Crown Prince, 150, 234
Wilmersdorf, 276

171, 194,

Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, 75 Wirth,J., 274 Witte, Count, 89 Wolffsche Telegraphen Bureau, 232 Women, H.'s relations with: see under Helphand Workers' councils (see also Soviets), 90, 93 Workers' democracy, 77-78, 84-85, 93, no, 246, 252 Workers' movement, international, 172
World market, 41-42, 63,85, 104-5,110, 113-4,257

Verlag slawischer und nordischer Literatur, 69-71, 82, 123 Versailles conference and treaty, 262, 272, 274 Vienna, 27, 126, 132-3, 135, 148, 161; H. in, 124-6, 141-3, 234-5; Trotsky in, 109,111 Vishinsky, A., 139 Vlachov, 127

World revolution, 20, 85, 110, 114 Württemberg, 27 Yenise province, 99 Yiddish, 7 Yogiches. Leo, 21, 106, 154 Young plan, 273 Young Turks, 128, 175

306 Index
Zaharoff, Sir Basil, 128
Zapta, 130 Zarya, 49 Zasulich, Vera, 14, 20, 50, 52, 82 Zechlin, E., cited, 151 Zeiss camera, 54 Zeman, Z. A. B., cited, 3, 137-8, 145, 147-9 passim Zetkin, Clara, 2, 22-23, 40, 124, 154

Zhub, D.: see Shub, David Zimmer, Dr. Max, 134-6, 145, 163-6, 168 Zimmerman, A., 151, 184, 192, 203, 2114,217-9,230 Zinoviev, G., 210, 226
£nanie, 70 Zukunft, Die, 255, 263 Zurabov, 180, 195

Zhargorodski, 11 Zhenya: see Helphand, Lazarus (son)

Zürich, 19, 21, 153, 160, 210, 215; H. in, 12, 14-15, 17, 26, 156-7, 260-1, 265 Zürich Polytechnic, 18