The financing of the Bolsheviks by Germany is one of the main controversial topics among historians and the public. According to the documents of the German authorities, Berlin sponsored the revolutionaries until the end of 1917 and made significant efforts to organize the riots.
What role did the received money play in making the revolution?
According to the German Foreign Ministry, declassified after World War II, from 1914 to 1917 the Bolsheviks
The money was spent primarily on propaganda and weapons. The main Bolshevik newspaper, Pravda, was fully paid for from abroad. In addition, Germany provided the revolutionaries with all-round assistance and closely followed the events in Russia.
By the way, it was German intelligence that organized the delivery of Lenin and his entourage from Switzerland to Russia in April 1917. The move was carried out in the famous sealed carriage.
Berlin’s motives were understandable. The protracted war depleted the forces of the German Empire and the destabilization of the situation in Russia could give the enemy a chance to withdraw from the war.
The money came through Alexander Parvus and Karl Moor. First
However, as modern historians note,
In addition to sponsoring the Bolshevik Pravda, the Germans financed dozens of French, Italian and Romanian newspapers. The share of Russia in these expenses turned out to be the smallest
Germany did not take the Bolsheviks seriously, and even after the outbreak of the Civil War, it strongly doubted the victory of the revolution. The shooting of the family of Nicholas II and the establishment of the communist regime in Russia came as a surprise to the enemy.
Most historians do not consider Lenin an agent of Germany, because he simply took the opportunity. In addition to the Germans, the Bolsheviks were sponsored by Austria-Hungary, French capitalists and even some Russian entrepreneurs.
At first, Lenin fulfilled his part of the agreement: the Bolsheviks
However, a few months later, the communists created the Red Army, began to fight against the White movement and foreign invaders, and began to seize the former territories of the Russian Empire.
Lenin strove to «turn the imperialist war into a civil war» and called on the workers of different countries to rise up against their oppressors.
As a result, the Bavarian and Hungarian Soviet republics managed to emerge in Germany and Austria-Hungary, the heads of which received direct instructions from Moscow. The communist movements were suppressed only by the troops of the Entente.
Although Germany managed to pull Russia out of the war, as a result, support for the Bolsheviks ended badly for the Germans.