The Bolsheviks' "German Gold" Revisited: An Inquiry into the 1917 Accusations

Semion Lyandres


On the evening of 4 July 1917, at the height of the anti-government uprising, the Provisional Government's Minister of Justice, Pave! N. Pereverzev,

authorized a press release accusing the Bolshevik leaders of treasonable activities. The report published the next day alleged that Lenin had been sent to Russia by the German government to rally support for a separate peace with Germany and "to undermine the confidence of the Russian people in the Provisional Government. " The money for his activity was allegedly channeled from Berlin to Petrograd, by way of Stockholm. In Stockholm the transfer was carried out by the Bolshevik Jakub Ftirstenberg (Hanecki) and the Russo-German Social Democrat Alexander Israel Helphand (Parvus). The main recipients in Petrograd were the Bolshevik lawyer Mieczyslaw Kozlowski and Evgeniia M. Sumenson, a relative of FtirstenbergHanecki. She and Kozlowski ran a trading business as a cover for financial dealings with Ftirstenberg, thus making the transfer of German funds look like a legitimate business transaction.

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