|The Prague Manifesto of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia
|The manifesto was read in Prague on November 14, 1944 by a former Soviet General Andrey Vlasov, commander of the Russian Liberation Army and chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia during World War II. Below is an English language translation of the Russian original.|
The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia
Dear compatriots! Brothers and Sisters!
In an hour of difficult trials we must decide the fate of our Motherland, our peoples, our personal fate.
Humanity is undergoing an epoch of tremendous upheavals. The ongoing world war is a deadly fight of opposing political systems.
Fighting are the powers of imperialism headed by the plutocrats of England and the USA, the greatness of which is built upon the persecution and exploitation of other nations and peoples. Fighting are the powers of internationalism headed by the clique of Stalin, dreaming of a world revolution and the destruction of the national independence of other countries and peoples. Fighting are freedom loving nations, thirsting to live their own life, directed by their personal historical and national development.
There is no greater crime than to destroy, as Stalin is doing, countries and suppress peoples, who are trying to preserve the land of their ancestors and with their personal effort create upon it their own happiness. There is no greater crime than to persecute another nation and force one’s will upon it.
The powers of destruction and enslavement are covering their criminal aims with slogans of defense of freedom, democracy, culture, and civilization. Under the defense of freedom they understand the forceful pushing of their political system onto other governments. Under the defense of culture and civilization they understand the destruction of monuments to culture and civilization that were created by the millennial efforts of other peoples.
For what are the peoples of Russia fighting in this war? For what are they condemned to countless sacrifices and sufferings?
Two years ago Stalin could still fool the peoples with words about the patriotic liberational character of the war. But now the Red Army has crossed the state borders of the USSR and has broken into Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, and is drowning with blood foreign lands. Now the true character of the war dragged on by the Bolsheviks is clear. Its aim – to strengthen even more the lordship of the Stalinist tyranny over the peoples of the USSR, to establish this lordship throughout the entire world.
The peoples of Russia have for over a quarter of a century experienced upon themselves the weight of the Bolshevik tyranny.
In the revolution of 1917, the peoples that inhabited the Russian empire tried to seek a realization of their desires for fairness, general well-being, and national freedom. They rebelled against the outlived tsarist government, which did not want to nor was capable of destroying the reasons that created social unfairness, the remnants of serfdom, economic and cultural backwardness. But the party and leaders, who did not decide upon the brave and effective reforms after the overthrow of tsarism by the peoples of Russia in February of 1917, with their two faced politics, conciliatory attitude, and lack of desire to take upon themselves responsibility for the future – did not justify itself before the people. The people naturally went behind those who promised them an immediate peace, land, freedom, and bread, who put out the most radical slogans.
The people are not guilty for the fact that the party of Bolsheviks, having promised to establish public order, under which the people would be happy and in who’s name were brought countless victims – that this party, having taken power, by the people’s hands, not only did not fulfill the demands of the people but eventually strengthening its apparatus of power took from the people their fought for rights, placed them into constant neediness, lack of rule, and the most irresponsible exploitation.
The Bolsheviks took from the peoples of Russia their right for national independence, development, and originality.
The Bolsheviks took from the people the freedom of speech, freedom of conviction, freedom of privacy, freedom to choose one’s place of residence and freedom of movement, freedom of planning and opportunity for each person to take their place in society in relation to their abilities. They substituted these rights with terror, party privileges and arbitrariness, committed against the person.
The Bolsheviks took from the farmers the land they fought for, the right to freely labor on land and freely use the fruits of their labor. Having cuffed the farmers with their kolhoz organization, the Bolsheviks turned them into servants of the government without rights, more exploited and repressed.
The Bolsheviks took from the workers their right to freely choose a profession and place of work, to organize and fight for better conditions and compensation for their labor, to influence production and made workers into slaves of government capitalism without rights.
The Bolsheviks took away from the intelligencia the right to freely create for the benefit of the people and tried to use force, terror, and bribery to make it a weapon of their lying propaganda.
The Bolsheviks condemned the people of our motherland to constant poverty, hunger, and dying out, to a spiritual and physical enslavement and, finally, forced them into a war for alien interests.
All of this is masked by lies about the democracy of the Stalin constitution, about the construction of a socialist society. Not one country in the world did not know and does not know such a low living standard in the face of such large material resources, such lawlessness and denigration of the person, as this was and remains in the Bolshevik system.
The peoples of Russia disbelieved Bolshevism, in the face of which the government is an all consuming machine, while the people – its rights deprived, destitute, and overall deprived slave. They see the serious danger that is hanging over them. If Bolshevism could at least temporarily establish itself on the blood and bones of the peoples of Europe, the many year battle of the peoples of Russia that cost countless sacrifices would be fruitless. Bolshevism would use the exhaustion of peoples in this war and finally deprive them of the capability to resist. Therefore the efforts of all peoples should be directed at the destruction of the monstrous machine of Bolshevism and on the offering of rights to every person to live and create freely, in scope of their strength and capabilities, for the establishment of order, defending a person from arbitrary rule and not permitting the theft of the results of one’s labor by anyone, including the government.
COMING FROM THIS, THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLES OF RUSSIA, IN FULL UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITY BEFORE THEIR PEOPLES, BEFORE HISTORY AND ANCESTRY, WITH THE AIM OF ORGANIZING THEIR GENERAL BATTLE AGAINST BOLSHEVISM: CREATED THE COMMITTEE FOR THE LIBERATION OF THE PEOPLES OF RUSSIA.
The aims of the Committee of Liberation of the Peoples of Russia are: · The overthrow of Stalin's tyranny, the liberation of the peoples of Russia from the Bolshevik system, and the restitution of those rights to the peoples of Russia which they fought for and won in the people's revolution of 1917 · Discontinuation of the war and an honorable peace with Germany · Creation of a new free people's political system without Bolsheviks and exploiters
As the basis for a new government for the peoples of Russia the committee places the following major principles:
1) The equality of all peoples of Russia and a real right for national development, self determination, self rule, and governmental independence.
2) The confirmation of a popular worker front, before which the interests of the government are subordinate to the goals of raising the well-being and development of the nation.
3) The preservation of peace and the establishment of peaceful relations with all nations of the world, an all round development of international collaboration.
4) Wide ranging government actions for the strengthening of the family and marriage. A true equality for women.
5) The liquidation of forced labor and the granting to the laborers a real right to free labor which creates their material well-being, the confirmation of a wage for all types of labor in an amount that can support an appropriate standard of living.
6) The liquidation of collective farms, the free return of land to the private ownership of farmers. The freedom to determine labor land usage. The freedom to use the products of one’s personal labor, the abolishment of forced requisitions, and the cancellation of all debts to the Soviet government.
7) The establishment of protected private labor ownership. The reestablishment of trade, crafts, domestic industry, the granting of the right of private initiative and an opportunity for it to participate in the economic life of the nation.
8) Granting the intelligencia the opportunity to freely create for the well-being of their people.
9)Granting social justice and defense of laborers from any exploitation, regardless of their origin and former activities.
10) The creation for all without exception the real right for free education, medical care, vacation, and senior welfare.
11) The destruction of the regime of terror and force. Liquidation of forceful repopulations and mass exiles. The establishment of a true freedom of religion, conscience, speech, assembly, press. A guarantee of the protection of person, property, and home. The equality of all before the law, the independence and clarity of the court.
12) The liberation of political opponents of Bolshevism and the return to the motherland from the jails and camps of all who were repressed for their battle against Bolshevism. No revenge and persecution for those who stop their battle for Stalin and Bolshevism, regardless of whether this was done by necessity or by conviction.
13) The reestablishment of national property ruined during the war – cities, villages, factories, and plants at cost to the government.
14) Government support of invalids of the war and their families.
The destruction of Bolshevism is the uncompromised aim of all progressive powers. The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia is certain that the united efforts of the peoples of Russia will find support amidst all free loving peoples of the world.
The Liberation Movement of the Peoples of Russia is a continuation of a many years long battle against Bolshevism, for freedom, peace, and fairness. The successful completion of this battle is now provided for by:
a) The accumulation of greater experience than during that of the revolution of 1917.
b) The accumulation of growing and organized military forces – the Russian Liberation Army, the Ukrainian Liberation Forces, Cossack forces and national detachments
c) The accumulation of anti-Bolshevik armed forces in the Soviet rear.
d) The accumulation of growing oppositional powers within the people, government apparatus, and army of the USSR.
The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia sees the main condition for victory over Bolshevism in the UNITY OF ALL NATIONAL FORCES AND SUBORDINATION TO THE COMMON TASK OF OVERTHROWING THE BOLSHEVIK POWER. This is why the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia supports all revolutionary and anti-Stalin, anti-Bolshevik opposition while at the same time decisively rejecting all reactionary projects that are tied to the suppression of the people’s rights.
The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia welcomes the assistance of Germany on those conditions that do not affect the honor and independence of our motherland. This help is currently the only realistic opportunity to organize an armed struggle against the Stalinist clique.
With our battle we have taken upon ourselves the responsibility for the fate of the peoples of Russia. With us are millions of the best sons of our motherland, having taken up arms and already having shown their courage and readiness to give their life in the name of liberating our motherland from Bolshevism. With us are millions of people who left from Bolshevism and are giving their efforts to the common cause of battle. With us are tens of millions of brothers and sisters, suffering under the oppression of the Stalinist tyranny and awaiting the hour of liberation.
Officers and soldiers of the Liberation forces! With the blood spilt in our joint struggle, our battle friendship with warriors of different nationalities has been strengthened. We have a common cause. We must also have a common effort. ONLY THE UNITY OF ALL ARMED ANTI-BOLSHEVIK FORCES OF THE PEOPLES OF RUSSIA WILL LEAD TO VICTORY. Do not drop from your hands the arms you have received, fight for unity, selflessly fight with the enemies of the people – Bolshevism and its associates. Remember, you are being expected by the tortured peoples of Russia. Liberate them!
Compatriots, brothers and sisters who are located in Europe! Your return to the motherland as citizens with full rights can only be possible with the victory over Bolshevism. You are in the millions. Upon you hinges the success of battle. Remember, that you are working for a common cause, for the heroic liberation forces. Multiply your efforts and your feats of labor!
Officers and soldiers of the Red Army! Cease the criminal war that is aimed at the oppression of the peoples of Europe. Turn your weapons against the Bolshevik usurpers who have enslaved the peoples of Russia and condemned them to hunger, suffering, and lawlessness.
Brothers and sisters in the motherland! Strengthen your battle against the Stalinist tyranny, against the occupational war. Organize your powers for a decisive fight for your rights that have been taken away, for fairness and well-being.
The Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia calls you all to unity and to a battle for peace and freedom!
PRAGUE, NOVEMBER 14, 1944
The chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia
General Lieutenant A. Vlasov
Members of the committee: General lieutenant F. Abramov, social activist G. Alekseev, professor S. Andreev, Prof. G. Anufriev, general lieutenant E. Balabin, social activist Shamba Balinov, professor F. Bogatirchuk, artist S. Volhovskiy, colonel B. Boyarsky, worker K. Gordienko, sub-colonel A. Dzhapanov, general lieutenant G. Zhilenkov, general major D. Zakutniy, captain D. Zyzablitskiy, social activist Y. Zherebkov, colonel Bunyachenko, colonel M. Meandrov, senior lecturer A. Zaitsev, professor A. Karpinsky, professor N. Kovalev, journalist A. Lisovskiy, general major B. Malishkin, feldfebel I. Mamedov, professor I. Moskvitinov, writer Y. Muzichenko, worker N. Podlzanik, professor S. Rudnev, sub lieutenant G. Saakyan, senior lecturer E. Tenzorov, general major F. Trukhin, professor A. Tsagol, farmer H. Tsimbal, captain I. Chanukh, Dr. Ibrahim Chulik, social activist F. Shlippe, F. Yanushevsky.
Candidates: lieutenant V. Dubovets, worker V. Egorov, journalist A. Kazantsev, engineer P. Kumin, social activist L. Levitsky, worker Y. Rodniy, engineer P. Semenov, professor L. Smirnov, professor V. Stalmakov, professor V. Tatarinov, major I. Telnikov, soldier A. Sheglov.
(The last names of several Members and Candidates of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia are not published in ties to their presence on the territory of the USSR or with the aim of their personal safety).