Leon Trotsky and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Topics: Leon Trotsky, Russian Civil War, Bolshevik Pages: 3 (1075 words) Published: March 13, 2013
After the Bolsheviks came to power, Trotsky became the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and published the secret treaties previously signed by the Triple Entente that detailed plans for post-war reallocation of colonies and redrawing state borders. White Army propaganda poster depicting Trotsky as Satan, and portraying a xenophobic depiction of the Bolsheviks' Asian supporters as mass murderers. The caption reads, "Peace and Liberty in Sovdepiya". Bolshevik propaganda portrait from 1918 depicting Trotsky as a modern-day Saint George of communism slaying the dragon in a top hat with the word "counterrevolution" written on its body. This also has allusion to Russian patriotism, as the depiction of Saint George slaying the dragon has been on Russia's coat of arms for centuries.

Trotsky led the Soviet delegation during the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk from 22 December 1917 to 10 February 1918. At that time the Soviet government was split on the issue. Left Communists, led by Nikolai Bukharin, continued to believe that there could be no peace between a Soviet republic and a capitalist country and that only a revolutionary war leading to a pan-European Soviet republic would bring a durable peace. They cited the successes of the newly formed (15 January 1918) voluntary Red Army against Polish forces of Gen. Józef Dowbor-Muśnicki in Belarus, White forces in the Don region, and newly independent Ukrainian forces as proof that the Red Army could repel German forces, especially if propaganda and asymmetrical warfare were used. They did not mind holding talks with the Germans as a means of exposing German imperial ambitions (territorial gains, reparations, etc.) in the hope of accelerating the hoped−for Soviet revolution in the West, but they were dead set against signing any peace treaty. In case of a German ultimatum, they advocated proclaiming a revolutionary war against Germany in order to inspire Russian and European workers to fight for socialism. This...
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