Talk:Lenin's Hanging Order

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Based on the current contents, I am about to do some rewording with a little more inputs. --Bhadani 14:54, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

What is to be done[edit]

Regardind the concerns posts during VfD. The order mentions an uprising in 5 volosts, which is a clearly encyclopedic event. When the corresponding article will be written, this one may be safely merged into it. mikka (t) 21:25, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Hanging Order? OK, so what?[edit]

The first reference cited in the reference section comes from a clearly proto-fascist, Ukranian-anti-communist supportive website which "lists" the actions of the Soviet communists page by page, with the obvious intention of leading the reader to think them "abhorrent" and turn them off to Leninism and communism. This is absolutely despicable: even if Lenin issued this so-called Hanging Order, and I'm sure that he did, good for him!! They were in a crisis, and they needed to do something; they were in the middle of a civil war for godsake, being run at from all sides, and on top of the warfare the kulaks were taking the grain and were slaughtering their cows and DID NOT support the Bolsheviks, either before the revolution, during it, and especially not after it. What was to be done, indeed? So the Bolsheviks had to set an example, did they? OK, fine. Guess what? I would've done the same thing.

Communists should be proud of their heritage. It is honorable! 09:02, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Go talk about this on a political forum.

Whoever wrote that just made one of the most convincing arguements against the communist or extremist mentality I have ever read. Up there with Marxs' Civil War in France for hypocritical relativism. Thank God most people have the common sense to reject such idiocy. --Dudeman5685 06:09, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I could not agree more. Absolute madness. Every living communist should be deeply, deeply ashamed of their ruinous, disastrous and sickeningly murderous "heritage." (As for dead communists, I am sure they are as sorry as sorry can get.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Distortive propaganda[edit]

This does not at all pertain to "hanging kulaks" but was simply an instruction to react to an insurrection. Lenin gave these reactions based on reports received about violent insurrection. The issue of this "document" is not at all about hanging kulaks but about suppressing insurrection.

This page is not acceptable because it is based on a primary source.

Since it includes analysis by non-primary sources, it's OK. Rklawton 01:35, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Primary Source[edit]

This violates Wikipedia guidelines: A primary source is a document or person providing direct evidence of a certain state of affairs; in other words, a source very close to the situation you are writing about. The term mainly refers to a document produced by a participant in an event or an observer of that event. Primary sources include official reports, letters, eyewitness accounts, autobiographies, statistics compiled by authoritative agencies, and court records. Experts usually have advanced training, and use as many different primary sources as are available so they can be checked against each other. Thus, primary materials typically require interpretation, interpolation, extrapolation, or corroboration, each of which usually constitutes original research. Wikipedia articles may use primary sources, so long as they have been published by a reliable source, but only to make descriptive points about the topic. Any interpretive claims require secondary sources. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:13, 14 January 2007 (UTC).

First, I find it ironic that someone would want to surpress an original document that helps make a useful point (an action which is permitted as per above). However, in this case, the document comes complete with its own Wikipedia article - an article complete with its own secondary sources. That's exactly the sort of thing we like to support here at Wikipedia. Rklawton 22:31, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

It is clear that this tiny order, one of hundreds and hundreds has become quite infamous. It is clear that this specific order was picked out by anti-communist propagandists to "prove" the barbarism of communism. I am shure this order was issued by Lenin, and that it leaves not doubts on the intention. But to lift this one little order out of the masses of the other "friendly" orders given by Lenin and Trotsky, is a briliant example of capitalist propaganda: They always tell the truth, but only parts of it. They only tell the things that could be explained in their vavor, or in the disvavor of their enemies. This order is even put in the quotation page of Lenin. I think that if one order is placed on wikipedia like this, ALL of them should be placed.

And in the end, how ever cruel it may seem, the hanging was a happy event for all the peasants who were opressed and exploited by those kulaks. Plus, one must not forget that the cuelty by the counter revolutionairy kulaks against the peasants and the communists was at least as bad, if not worse. The difference is that the communists were acting in favor of the majority of people, and the whites were acting in the favor of the minority. The revolution was not a High Tea party.

Lenin's Humanitarian Order[edit]

In January of 1919 the demonic Lenin sent this horrifying order to the Cheka at Kursk, inhumanely demanding that 120 starving workers be fed:

"Immediately arrest Kogan, a member of the Kursk Central Purchasing Board, for refusing to help 120 starving workers from Moscow and sending them away empty handed. This to be published in the newspapers and by leaflet, so that all employees of the central purchasing boards and food organizations should know that formal and bureacratic attitudes to help starving workers will earn severe reprisals, up to and including shooting." (Quoted from Ronald Clark (1988) Lenin: the Man Behind the Mask: 383)

Strangely this order hasn't got its own wikipedia article yet... Colin4C 10:00, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Even though this "humanitarian order" also shows Lenin's disregard for the due process of Law, the hanging order is more relevant since it shows Lenin's disregard for the lives of its own people. --Paulo Batista (talk) 17:10, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Is there any chance that you could show me a war where everything was done by law? I was under the impression that wars themselves, especially a civil war in a county without an actual government, made laws defunct. "Laws are silent in times of war". --Slon02 (talk) 16:23, 23 April 2011 (UTC)


"Назначить" (appoint; designate, nominate) not "казнить" (execute). Correctly:

"4) Execute Appoint (designate, nominate) the hostages - in accordance with yesterday's telegram".

"and to execute appoint (designate, nominate) an unspecified number of hostages" 12:24, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. Even the Library of Congress can make mistakes. I wonder how this was unnoticed for two years! 0xFFFF 21:11, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Lenin's original Russian is more poetic and idiomatic than the Library of Congress translation. Translating it into a 'bureacratic' style serves the purposes of American Cold War Warriors and Neocon propagandists better than an idiomatic translation. Colin4C 11:23, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
See WP:NOR and WP:RS. Pleae cite an alternativ source for a different translation, not a personal tranaslation.Ultramarine 11:41, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

According to the above explanation, and taking in account that the article uses the verb "appoint" and after that the verb "execute" (in the body of the order), I think that the verb "execute" must be replaced by the right verb "appoint" or "designate". I have tried to do it myself, but, after a little while, the text was rebuilt and the wrong verb "execute" appeared again. Please, apply the right method to restore the truth. Excuse my poor english. {A visitor from Greece} —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:07, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Again see WP:NOR and WP:RS. We do not insert what we "think" or feel is a right translation, we must cite reliable sources.Ultramarine (talk) 11:27, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Here is more accurate translation by a respected independant British scholar, not in the pay of the American government:

Comrades! The insurrection of five kulak districts should be pitilessly suppressed. The interests of the whole revolution require this because 'the last decisive battle' with the kulaks is now under way everywhere. An example must be demonstrated.

1. Hang (and make sure that the hanging takes place in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers.
2. Publish their names.
3. Seize all their grain from them.
4. Designate hostages in accordance with yesterday's telegram.

Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble, know, shout: they are strangling and will strangle to death the bloodsucking kulaks.

Telegraph receipt and implementation.
Yours, Lenin.
Find some truly hard people (translated by Robert Service, page 365 of his Lenin a Biography (2000). London: Macmillan) Colin4C (talk) 16:53, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

1)First of all, I did not write "I think the right translation is", but "I think that (after the full explanation OxFFFF has given about the subtitution, in the mind of the translator, of the right verb "назначить" = "designate" by the wrong verb "казнить" = "execute")the verb "execute" must be replaced by the right verb "appoint" or "designate"". Second, the most "reliable source" is the hand-written order itself. We can see (using a magnifier, perhaps) that : a)the first letter of the verb is an N (H in russian) not a K (K in russian, b)The letter K can be seen three lines above, in the beginning of the line, in the word "kulakoв" = "of the kulaks" (under a thrice underlined word). 2)The verb "на-зна-чить" (designate) has three sylalbles, the verb "казнить" only two. It is obvious that in the order the first verb is written. 3) The discussion must be, not about the right or wrong translation, but about the presence, in fact, of the one or the other verb in the order. 4)The very article of the Wikipedia is contradictory. It uses, first, the verb "appoint" ("and to appoint an unspecified number of hostages") and, second, the verb "execute" {4) Execute the hostages - in accordance with yesterday's telegram}. 5)I cite the "yesterday's telegram" from the on-line Lenin's Collected Works :

TO TSYURUPA     10/8/1918

(1) It is a great scandal, an outrageous scandal, that there is grain in Saratow and we cannot get it away!! What about having one or two food officials sent to each railway junction? What more can be done?

(2) Draft of a decree – 25-30 hostages from among the rich in each grain-producing volost, answering with their lives for the collection and delivery of all surpluses.

(3) Instruct Popov urgently to make up delivery orders by volosts. That is, how much surplus grain there should be in each volost. How much should each give?


1) You have not replied about “hostages”. 2) When will Popov finish his work? (He must be given a short time limit).


I propose that “hostages” should not be taken but designated by name for each volost. The purpose for designating them : it is the rich peasants who, in the same way as they answer for contribution, will answer with their lives for the prompt collection and delivery of grain surpluses. An instruction to this effect (to designate “hostages”) to be given (α) to the Poor Peasants’ Committees (β) to all food detachments.

Force? Just now, in the front-line area, there will be a force.

This telegram can, also, be found in the russian 5fth edition of Lenin's Complete Works, Tome 50, pages 144-145. The "Hanging Order" is not included. [(Panos, a visitor from Greece)] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Out of the frying pan into the fire
They have corrected the verb "execute" in point No4 with the right verb "designate", but, at the same time, firstly, they have replaced (in the 3rd line of the article)the right verb "appoint" (in the previous edition) with the verb "execute" and, secondly, they have added, at the bottom of the article, the line : Another common translation translates "designate" as "execute". I have fully explained, in my humble opinion, that it is not a question of translation, b u t of the fact which verb is written in what order!

I have, also, sent an email to the Library of Congress, telling them to correct their version of the order. Panos, a visitor from Greece 00:10 23 December 2007

Again and again about the famous russian verb!!!

I must confess it was silly of me to insist on the issue which verb was, in fact, written in the order. I made this mistake thinking that for the translation of a given verb must not be an issue of discussion and the only controversy would be about which verb existed in the order, due to the hand-written character of it. But yesterday, using the 2 links the article itself gives I found that both include the same verb (the correct one), so there is no ground for controversies. I cite the two sources and the one and only translation of this verb from various russian dictionnaries :
1) Link one. "The text of the order is in Russian". This link refers to Wikipaedia. The text of the telegram is as follows :

Текст телеграммы В Пензу Т-щам Кураеву, Бош, Минкину и другим пензенским коммунистам.

Т-щи! Возстанiе пяти волостей кулачья должно повести к безпощадному подавленію. Этого требует интерес всей революциі, ибо теперь везде «последній рѣшительный бой» с кулачьем. Образец надо дать.

1. Повѣсить (непремѣнно повѣсить, дабы народ видѣл) не меньше 100 заведомых кулаков, богатѣев, кровопiйцъ. 2. Опубликовать их имена. 3. Отнять у них весь хлеб. 4. Назначить заложников — согласно вчерашней телеграмме.

Сделать так, чтобы на сотни верст народ видѣл, трепетал, знал, кричал: душат и задушат кровопійц кулаков.

Телеграфируйте получение и исполнение. Ваш Ленин.

P. S. Найдите людей потверже

2) Link two. "At least 13 people were shot [1]". This link refers to an article of a russian on-line paper and gives the following text of the telegram :

Письмо В.В.Кураеву, Е.Б.Бош, А.Е.Минкину

11.YIII. 1918г.

В Пензу

Товарищи! Восстание пяти волостей кулачья должно повести к беспощадному подавлению. Этого требует интерес всей революции, ибо теперь везде «последний решительный бой» с кулачьем. Образец надо дать.

1) Повесить (непременно повесить, дабы народ видел) не меньше 100 заведомых кулаков, богатеев, кровопийцев.

2) Опубликовать их имена.

3) Отнять у них весь хлеб.

4) Назначить заложников – согласно вчерашней телеграмме.

Сделать так, чтобы на сотни верст кругом народ видел, трепетал, знал, кричал: душат и задушат кровопийц кулаков.

Телеграфируйте получение и исполнение.

Ваш Ленин.

P.S. Найдите людей потверже.

In the No4 of the order is written the same verb "Назначить". As for the translation of this verb I cite the russian dictionnaries anyone can find on-line :
Add Dictionaries Business Customers Affiliates Support

Look up: Russian English Dictionary


Babylon Russian-English Download this dictionary 

назначать v. (perf. >назначить) appoint, nominate; designate; set, fix in place

RUSSIAN LEARNER'S DICTIONARY Download this dictionary 




To nominate



Russisch-Deutsch Woerterbuch Download this dictionary 



1. (на должность) ernennen* vt (кем-л. zu); einsetzen vt, bestimmen vt назначить комиссию — eine Kommission einsetzen 2. (установить) bestimmen vt; ansetzen vt; aussetzen vt (пособие, пенсию и т. п.) назначить заседание — eine Sitzung ansetzen [anberaumen] 3. (предписать) vorschreiben* vt, anordnen vt, (ärztlich) verordnen vt; verschreiben* vt (лекарство и т. п.)

I hope these explanations will help you to delete the apparently wrong translation of the Library of Congress and keep the right translation of Robert Service. Thank you.

 [(Panos, a visitor from Greece)]  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 15 February 2008 (UTC) 

In addition, I have to say that, in my opinion, (if my poor english does not beguile me) the expression "to execute an unspecified number of hostages" makes no sense at all! Panos193, 03:08, 24 February 2008

May I apply here the proverb "silence gives consent" and edit myself the article? This is the procedure we follow in Greece for the articles of the Greek Wikipedia. If you have another one, please let me know. Thank you. Panos193 1:15, 15 March 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Panos193 (talkcontribs)

No, per WP:NOR. Further, it does make sense because it means that the number of hostages was not designated, however, it was plural. --Veritas (talk) 23:18, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I have red the WP:NOR, but I do not think that I have done an OR. I, simply, cited the two links YOU gave to us and three reliable sources (the on-line russian-english dictionnaries)for the meaning of the russian verb "Назначить". The policy of the WP related to the NOR is as follows : "Original research" is material for which no reliable source can be found. The only way you can show that your edit is not original research is to produce a reliable published source that contains that material. I hope you can easily see that I have been conformed fully to this policy. --Panos193 (talk) 11:30, 6 April 2008

Another (maybe the major) issue is the one that concerns the "reliability of the sources". Here we have two sources giving the translation of the order : the Library of Congress and Robert Service. It seems that you considered more reliable the Library of Congress. In my humble opinion, apparently, the more reliable is Robert Service. I challenge the reliability of the Library concerning the issue of the translation because I think the unreliability of the Library in this issue is fully proved by now. So, if you agree, please, make the necessary changes or let me know your objections. --Panos193 (talk) 00:45, 18 April 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
The article writes that : "Whether anyone was actually hanged according to this order, remains unknown. At least 13 people were shot". The text to which refers the link (1) you give, is in russian. I would like to have the full translation of this russian text (made, in your opinion, by a reliable source) in order to check how this reliable source translates ("execute" or "designate") the russian word in question. I thank you in advance. --Panos193 (talk) 00:55 22 April 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Purpose of the Article[edit]

There does not exist any reasonable basis for the existence of this article. If we were to create an article for every single one of Lenin's books, articles, and telegrams then there would be tens of thousands of Wikipedia articles. It's striking that while this one insignificant document is treated with its own article, there is not an entry for a far more prominent work such as this [1]

There are analagous communications sent by Lenin published in his official "Collected Works" volumes. [2][3] Thus, there does not exist a purpose for this article since there is not anything extraordinary about its content. There is a particular communication published in Lenin's official "Collected Works" that relates directly to the content in this article [4] The footnotes explain:

On August 5, 1918, a kulak revolt broke out in Kuchkino Volost, of Penza Uyezd, and soon spread to neighbouring volosts. By means of deceit and coercion, the kulaks managed to recruit many middle and even poor peasants. It was stamped out in Penza Uyezd on August 8, but the situation in the gubernia remained tense. A Left S.R. revolt started in the uyezd centre of Chembar on the night of August 18. The Penza leaders did not take sufficiently vigorous action to suppress the counter-revolutionary revolts. Lenin sent several telegrams to Penza demanding resolute measures in fighting the kulaks.

Drabj (talk) 01:43, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not paper. We can have thousands of articles on thousands of articles of Lenin provided their reasonable notability and published discussion by researchers. `'Míkka>t 01:06, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
The fact is that this telegram is not the subject of intense discussion in the scholarly community. As I demonstrated above with the presence of analagous telegrams in Lenin's collected works, there is not anything particularly extraordinary that Lenin called for a violent revolt to be suppressed during a period of martial law. Wikipedia should not be in the business of arbitrarily analyzing unpublished primary sources. I will move for this unhelpful article to be deleted in the future. Drabj (talk) 16:45, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Edits of Drabj[edit]

user:Drabj inserted numerous quotes from Lenin which are unclear as to how they are related to the Order in question. Lenin wrote thousabds of letters. What you are doing is called "original research", which is inadmissible in wikipedia. `'Míkka >t 01:03, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

If we are to create on article of one of Lenin's telegrams, then it would only be an exercise of objectivity to quote Lenin from the 45 volumes of his published Collected Works. It is necessary to show the context during which Lenin wrote this telegram which is made abundantly clear here ("The Soviet Republic is surrounded by enemies")[5]
Plus, there are contents in the volumes of Collected Works which relate directly to the telegram that is the subject of this article. The telegram that is the subject of this article is dated 11 August 1918 and is sent out to Kuraev, Bosh, Minkin, and other Penza communists. This [6] substantially identical telegram published in Lenin's Collected Works is dated 9 August 1918 sent to Yevgenia Bosh of the Penza Gubernia Executive Committee. It is explained in the foonotes of this telegram "On 5 August 1918, a kulak revolt broke out in Kuchkino Volost of Penza Uyezd..." It is necessary to include this latter part because it demonstrates that Lenin was merely reacting to unfavorable uncircumstances.
To sum up, if we are to create an article relating to a single telegram from Lenin, then it would only be fair to quote from just two or three of the many thousands of articles, letters, and books written by Lenin published in Collected Works. Drabj (talk) 01:20, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this article is about a single telegram from Lenin. It was notable enough to deserve a separate article. You are welcome to create articles about other Lenin's telegrams if they satisfy WP:Notability. As about "wider context", this should be done in a separate article, such as "Policies of Bolshevik regime" or something like that. We must stay exactly on the subject to avoid content forks with other articles. You have also included a worse translation of the Lenin's order from Russian. There are no reasons to delete older version. Biophys (talk) 18:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Your assertion that this telegram was notable enough to warrant the creation of its own article is questionable, at best. There are hundreds of analagous telegrams published in Lenin's Collected Works as seen with these.[7] [8] It is emphasized in the footnotes of Lenin's Collected Works that there were a wave of kulak revolts in the Penza district and adjacent territories. Since Lenin's words do not sufficiently explain to the reader the context in which such remarks are made, it is necessary to incorporate the explanation of the editors of the Collected Works. Your inclusion of a poorly translated edition of Lenin's telegram does not in any way help to enhance the article but instead adds needless filler. To decide from where and how to quote Lenin only serves to create a distorted picture of the situation in Russia during the summer of 1918. Indiscriminately deleting sourced text cannot be justified. I find the good faith of Biophys and Míkka to be questionable, for they are systematically deleting my additions to several other articles. Drabj (talk) 19:06, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
This article still exists only because this order was notable. You are fighting a consensus opinion here. Please follow WP:Dispute resolution if you disagree.Biophys (talk) 20:34, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
That A substantially similar telegram exists in Lenin's Collected Works.[9] refutes your assertion that the telegram that is the subject of this article is somehow notable. If this article has to stay, then it would only be objective to quote Lenin from other material found in his Collected Works. Regrettably, you have not provided a persuasive justification for your unhelpful deletion of sourced text. Drabj (talk) 21:03, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Your "sourced text" has no relation to the narrow topic of the artcle. Lenin wrote thousands letetrs and telegrams. `'Míkka>t 23:26, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
This [10] is dated two days prior to the telegram that is the subject of this article. It was sent to the exact same people (Bosh) and to the exact same district (Penza). The foonotes of this telegram explain that Lenin was reacting to a violent revolt that broke out in Penza and adjacent areas: "On August 5, 1918, a kulak revolt broke out in Kuchkino Volost, of Penza Uyezd, and soon spread to neighbouring volosts." It is necessary to include this fact in order to show context.Drabj (talk) 23:34, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Footnotes "explaining" history from a work published in the censored Soviet Union is not a reliable source. Ultramarine (talk) 23:35, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Every historian on revolutionary Russia utilizes the 45 volumes of Lenin's collected works.Drabj (talk) 23:37, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Really? Source for claim please. A censored work is not reliable.Ultramarine (talk) 23:38, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Look at this: "Lenin's writings were carefully censored under the regime that he himself established. Even the fifth complete edition of his works (published in 55 thick volumes between 1958 and 1965) left out parts that either contradicted dogma or showed their author in too poor a light."[11]
The historian Evan Mawdsley in a basic general survey of the Russian Civil War has dozens of quotations of Lenin from his published Collected Works.[[12] The scholarly community is not in agreement with your bizarre view that Lenin's Collected Works have no historical value. Every work on revolutionary Russia studies the 45 volmes Lenin's Collected Works published in Russia.
Concerning the article you posted, it is a review of a book in a popular newspaper. A review of that same book in a scholarly journal by Alexander Rabinowitch states: " is also surprising how little information in The Unknown Lenin is in any way new."[13] Drabj (talk) 23:47, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Your source does not support your claim. Orlando Figes is a well-known historian. But this argumentation looks familiar. user:Jacob Peters, I presume.Ultramarine (talk) 23:50, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Orlando Figes does not say out of hand that Lenin's Collected Works are to be dimissed. Every historian who studies revolutionary Russia utilizes Lenin's Collected Works "The best way to get to understand Lenin is to read some of his works. This is a very easy proposition since the forty-seven volumes of his Collected Works are gradually being transferred to the Web." [14] Drabj (talk) 23:55, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with some of Drabj's points, but as well as some of his opponents. 1. It must be relevant to a discussion of this particular order. This article is not about all of Lenin's many letters. Any discussion of other letters has to be in context of this one (assuming this is notable enough to have a whole article on, which I'm not sure about.) Having said that, its correct to address the context of the order by presenting the circumstances in which it was issued, i.e. the thing that Lenin was reacting to. I see no problem about that as long as its kept concise and to the point. More in-depth material should point to a father article on the subject. As far as using a Soviet source, there is no problem with that; wp does not take sides with different governmental sources as long as they are properly identified and attributed.Giovanni33 (talk) 06:09, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

This article seems mainly to exist for the POV purpose of slurring Lenin's reputation. As attempts to put the letter in context or provide a decent translation go against this POV purpose they are routinely stymied by the Lenin-bashing POV pushers here. The wikipedia should be an encyclopedia not a place to re-fight the Cold War. Colin4C (talk) 10:12, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
In addition to be problem with reliability this source is not speaking about this telegram at all but about another. Quite probably the telegram mentioned here was simply censored from the Soviet "Complete" collection.Ultramarine (talk) 12:23, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
The question is, is it relevant to the context of this order? Does it provide background information that explains Lenin's reasons, thinking, for issuing the order? NPOV requires this for fair treatment of the subject. Otherwise it comes off as an attack on Lenin, as Colin4C states.Giovanni33 (talk) 16:33, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Colin4C, do you know Russian? The existing translation is much better. As about context, it could be provided, but only in NPOV fashion. The consensus of Soviet and Western historians is that Lenin was a chief ideologist of the Red Terror (it is known as "war communism" in the Soviet historiography ). Most historians (the Soviet ones and Pipes) also agree that the terror policy was neccessary for Bolsheviks to stay in power. Others (like Figes) possibly disagree, although I am not sure. However, disussion of such "context" would lead us too far from the subject of this article.Biophys (talk) 17:37, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
A middle ground would be mention of this context, without a full discussion. This helps this article in the NPOV area. Then it should link the the larger article where it discusses the issues relevant to this order.Giovanni33 (talk) 18:47, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Can someone get hold of Pipes's translation of the so-called 'Hanging Order' in his edition of Lenin documents 'From the Secret Files'? As far as I can remember it was very similar to the translation by Service and unlike the Library of Congress version which has our friend Lenin executing hostages rather than designating them. I went to the library today to check but some annoying person had taken it out...I admit by knowledge of Russian is rudimentary. My Czech is better (similar Slavic language). If we want real accuracy I think we should include the text of the original Russian version. I think it a bit of a scandal that POV points about Lenin are being made on the basis of a disputed translation. I think the context is vital. Out of context it seems that Lenin has had an attack of blood-thirsty mania for no apparant reason. In context the order was issued at one of the most dangerous point of the Civil War when Lenin and the Bolsheviks had to deal with a combination of kulak/peasant revolts, a Left SR revolt, the Czech Legion and the White Armies. If you read Figes you will see that Lenin and the Bolshevik's position was very precarious at this time. If the Whites had succeeded it would have been Lenin and co hanging from the ropes rather than the kulaks. If the present day United States Gov was in a similar position of peril faced with a revolt of Ozark hillbillies as the City of Washington lay surrounded by the combined forces of the Taliban and Al Qaida they might resort to similar methods. Colin4C (talk) 19:32, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Biophys made a certain mistake, in stating that : "Lenin was a chief ideologist of the Red Terror (it is known as "war communism" in the Soviet historiography )". "Red Terror" is not at all identical to "War communism". Red Terror is what is meant by the words themselves, it is a terror applied by the Reds. Reversely, "war communism", as anyone can read in WP, was an economic policy and nothing else. If the "war communism" had as its necessary supplement the "red terror" or not, or if both Red Terror and War Communism were applied about the same historical period, that is no reason to entangle the two meanings. Panos193 (talk) 18:50, 3 May 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

First of all, I want to express my satisfaction due to the fact of adoption of the right translation in the issue in hand. Second, I try to understand the strange insistence to present to the readers of WP the wrong translation of the Library of Congress and in the very first line of the article, giving the link [1]. Why such a reverence towards this Library which has been proved to be an unreliable source (at least, in relation with this issue)? I have sent two letters by e-mail to the Library about their translation and they did not even display the least courtesy to answer me a single word. I consider this as a guilty silence. So, I make an appeal to the admins of WP to delete the above mentioned link [1] from the article, in order to make it consistent, in all its details, to the right translation. Panos193 (talk) 11:53, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

In view that there is no opposition to my writing aiming to the abolition of the link [1] of the article, in more than a month period, I consider that I can make this abolition by myself. Am I wright? Panos193 (talk) 13:50, 27 Juin 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No you are not right. The fact that the LOC hasn't responded to you is not an indication of guilt as you assert, nor does it prove them to be an unreliable source. The LOC is generally considered to be a reliable source by Wikipedia standards (WP:RS) and your attempt to remove it because you don't agree with the translation is most certainly original research, which is not allowed. When there are differing opinions on an issue, Wikipedia's NPOV encourages the inclusion of both sides, allowing the readers to draw their own conclusions. C thirty-three 16:55, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


A terrible close at Articles for Deletion, but not worth the appeal. Aside from the fact that this is an article about a single archival document, recently "discovered" and piled upon by various anti-Communist historians (Pipes, Black Book, Library of Congress) this title is not encyclopedic. There is no such thing as "Lenin's Hanging Order" in the historical literature, outside of a catchy little header put into the world by a functionary at the Library of Congress. What do you want to call it? I don't know, but I do know that this title is inherently a blatant POV push. Flagged until fixed. Carrite (talk) 02:43, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

I had a suggestion to merge the article into a section of prodrazvyorstka for better historical perspective and away from the POV title, but it gained little support last year. (Igny (talk) 08:51, 28 July 2011 (UTC))
This should be part of prodrazverstka, war communism, or red terror. It's really quite ridiculous as a free-standing article about a single document which does not even seem to have been implemented. This is pretty much an exercise in contemporary Gotcha politics rather than serious scholarship, starting with Pipes & Co. and trickling down into Wikipedia. Carrite (talk) 18:53, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
The letter is quoted in relation to at least four different subjects (prodrazverstka, war communism, red terror and Lenin). Hence it works better by remaining a separate page, instead of merging it with several other pages. Biophys (talk) 19:08, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I would like to formally note that I object to the phrase "terrible close" - this is a personal attack on me as the closing admin. If you really believe that to be the case, have the courage of your convictions and take it to Deletion review. I think what you mean is "It wasn't what I thought should happen, but I don't think a review would end up with the decision being overturned, so I won't bother."
Assuming that it was a terrible close, then I would expect a review to conclude this fact. I have no problems with a review; if I have made a mistake (I am human after all), then this should be decided upon by the community, and the closure overturned. In approx. 480 AfD closures, I have had several times where someone disagreed with the closure, or asked for further explanation which I have provided. I have had a few taken to deletion review. I have never had anyone accuse me of making a 'terrible' close, even if they disagree with my conclusion. PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 19:54, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

In response to the foregoing discussion I have this to say: I discovered the article "Lenin's Hanging Order" by following a "See also" at the bottom of, and after having read WP's "Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code)," which I found after having done the same at WP's article on Nikolai Yezhov, a top NKVD official eventually executed on Stalin's order. Article 58 makes clear the virtually unlimited ruthlessness to which Communist Party leaders would resort in order to remain in power. I found the article "Lenin's Hanging Order" an excellent example of the "types" of ruthlessness eventually legalized by Article 58. The various arguments that it does not rate an article by itself seems to hold no water whatsoever after reading the articles I had and in the sequence in which I had read them. There is also no doubt that "execute" meant exactly that, to kill outright, to murder, and nothing else as some here seem so determined to believe (assuming I am understanding them correctly; such arguments seem so illogical - and are so biased as to border on the bizarre - I may have it wrong).

In conclusion, IMHO, the article "Lenin's Hanging Order" very much rates as a stand-alone article if one is trying to gain a clearer understanding of what communism was like in Soviet Russia, especially in its pre-war days, and entirely irrespective of what other events may or may not have been taking place simultaneously (I don't, for example, ever recall discovering President Lincoln or General Lee ever having had farmers or grain merchants either taken hostage and/or hanged for withholding food, this despite the great bitterness and even hunger experienced during the U.S. Civil War. Certainly the "civilization" of mankind moved forward since the middle 19th century, except, as we have seen, in places like communist Russia, communist China and communist North Korea, to name but a few). The combination of Marxism, Leninism and Communism led to the murders of tens of millions of innocent lives in the 20th Century, and continues to lead to still more (murders) in the 21st. Comprehending this incubus of inhumanity is essential if we are to avoid allowing its return no matter the guise, and the "Hanging Order" is a prime example of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 17 September 2011 (UTC)


I don't see any significant independent discussion of the document. The references are only to two translations and to "background". I don't see why this particular Lenin's order about terror is special. He gave lots of orders and advices to shoot or hang. Venedikt Yerofeyev even printed a My Little Leniniana in which he collected quite a few such bloodthirsty Lenin's orders found in a single volume of Lenin's Complete Works printed in tens millions of copies. So I fail to see how this order is a particular sensation. - üser:Altenmann >t 02:00, 9 April 2016 (UTC)