F. E. Dzerzhinsky

"For Dzerzhinsky the security of the revolution was the supreme law, and so he could find in his heart that unshakeable rigour without which a victorious struggle against counter-revolution would have been quite impossible."

Karl Radek who wrote this article for a collection called 'Portraits and Pamphlets' was himself a member of the Polish Social-Democratic movement of which Dzerzhinsky was a founder. An early partisan of Lenin in the Polish Social Democracy, in emigration he was active In the German revolutionary opposition before World War I.
Later a supporter of the Zimmerwald left and, after the death of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, lhe premier politician of the German Communist Party to which he was assigned by the Communist International.
He was a member of the presidium of the executive of the Commitern, and a leading member of the Left Opposition until 1929 when he capitulated to Stalin, whom he served faithfully to the end. Framed and Imprisoned In the second Moscow Trial he was murdered In prison in 1939.

This article written in the nature of an obituary does not tell us about the differences between the Polish and Russian Social Democracy which stemmed from their historical origins and were to play such an important role in the later history of Luxemburgism and the actions of Dzerzhinsky himself In 1923.
They centred primarily around the two issues of democratic centralism and the right of national self determination for oppressed nationalities. The birth and development of the Polish labour movement closely corresponded to that of the Russian with the major disadvantage that Poland itself was territorially carved up between Prussia, Austro-Hungary and Tsarist Russia. The first party of the Polish working class was the Proletariat Party founded in the early 1880s. Subjected to savage persecution it gave birth to the second Proletariat Party, the Union of Polish Workers and the Association of Workers. Broken up by the police the movement was forced into emigration. In Poland it enjoyed the most precarious existence as the life of the young Dzerzhinsky exemplifies. The SDKP, as Ute new party was named later (1899), fused with its Lithuanian. equivalent to become the SDKPIL. This gave it a great fillip In the Labour movement. This party was In constant conflict with the opportunist Polish Socialist Party (PPS) which played up to every nationalist prejudice. It was this conflict, conducted in an inflexible and mechanical way, and at the same time its opposition to centralism (i.e. subordination to the Russian Social Democracy in a united party) that opened up and perpetuated the breach between the Rusian and Polish parties, which otherwise claimed to be equally internationalist.
The fruits of this policy which stemmed from the division of Poland and the lack of real theoretical development, resulted in frustrations which led to the premature split of the Hanecki-Leder-Radek-Unschllcht group of 1911. They were to make their way to Lenin earlier than Dzerzhinsky who was to identify with the Bolsheviks only after his liberation from a Russian prison in 1917.

The vagaries of Polish Socialism involved Dzerzhinsky with the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party (RSDRP) throughout the period of the formation of its bolshevik wing. After its walk-out of the 1903 (Brussels) conference of the RSDRP the Polish SPDKIL only returned to the fold at the 1906 (Stockholm) conference of the RSDRP, where Dzerzhinsky was elected onto its CC. Lenin, then In Cracow, reciprocated the Opposition's solidarity with him in the RSDRP's affairs by siding with them. In this struggle, Dzerzhinsky fought against the Opposition and defended the Berlin 'centre'. Warski strove to reunify the Polish party, his efforts being, rewarded much later and in a different context in the founding of the Polish CP In 1918.
All of Poland was overrun by the German forces in World War I, the Berlin Poles engrossed In the German Social Democracy or in prison and members of the Polish Opposition either in Russian prisons or working with the Bolsheviks.
Dzerzhinsky's fate was decided for him when he was sprung from prison by the February Revolution thereafter Identifying with the Bolsheviks.
Elected to the CC at the 6th Congress of the Party, August 1917. Member of the Millitary Revolutionary Committee. Organizer and Chairman of the Cheka, December 1917. Commissar for Internal Affairs, April 1921.
Initlally opposed to Lenin on terms of Brest-Litovsk treaty, erroneously opposing himself to the self-determination of small nations. In the Civil War, was active on many fronts and assignments as the 'flaming sword of the revolution'.
Was drawn into the web of Stalin's intrigues and involved in the plot to violate the Soviet-Georgian Treaty of May 7, 1920, which recognized Georgian Independence.
Stalin's military coup of February 1921, kept secret from Lenin, but soon to come to his ears, resulted in the breach between Lenin and Stalin-Dzerzhinsky. But illness cuts short Lenin's plan to denounce them before the forth-coming Party Congress.
Out of favour with Lenin, Dzerzhinsky's further progress was fostered by the Stalin faction. Commissar for Transport 1921, President of the Supreme Economic Council 1923, candidate member of Politburo 1924.
Fierce opponent of the Russian Opposition. But In October 1925 made an official admission of his error on the National question. Died July 20, 1926 of a heartattack.


The Social-Democratic Party of Poland grew out of the great strikes that swept the industrial areas of Poland during the 1890's, and the experience obtained after the collapse of the semi-terroristic, semi-conspiratorial first Socialist Party of Poland, which was known as the 'Proletariat' Party. It was born in battle with the social-patriotic current af 1893, was early subjected to mass arrests and completely destroyed.
The ease with which the Tsarist police succeeded in crushing it is largely to be explained by the fact that the Party numbered among its members very few members of the intelligentsia, which in its turn is explained by the nationalism of most of the intelligentsia and the markedly non-nationalist orientation of the young Socialist Party, which at the very outset put forward the slogan of the joint struggle and identity of aims of the Polish and Russian proletariat.
The arrests of Ratkinski, Weselowski and other Social-Democratic workers, and the lack of influx of new members from the intelligentsia broke up the network of contacts and disorganized the distribution of propaganda and the movement of active members.   
The various workers' groups were still too uncertain of their position to restore the organization. A group of founders of the Party, and its principal ideologists, Julian Marchlewski, Rosa Luxemburg, Leo Jogiches-Tyszka and Abolja Warski, who escaped thrnugh being abroad, were all theoreticians without direct connection with the country. But at last connection was re-established by Feliks Dzerzhinsky, 23-year-oid revolutionist; who escaped from exile after the debacle of 1885-1896.
ii was only at the begining of the 20th century that as a result of his efforts the Marxist internationalist Social-Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania was formed and lived for ten years. One might say that this party was the predecessor of the Communist Party of Poland as a mass party, and was the child of Feliks Dzerzhinsky's indefatigable efforts and endless labour. 'Jozef' - it was by this name that he was known among the masses of Polish workers - came to be the most beloved of all the Polish leaders.
Tall, well built, with. ardent eyes, quick, passionate speech, thus I first met him in the autµmn of 1903, when he came to Cracow for a time to hide from Tsarist detectives and at the same time to improve the apparatus for circulating Polish social-democratic literature, the publication of which had been resumed largely due to his initiative.
He won the love and esteem not only of the older workers, but also of the youth then coming into the movement. In their eyes he was surrounded by a halo by reason of his terms in prison and exile and his reputation as Party organizer. His opinion was valued not only by Rosa Luxemburg but even by veteran Tyszka who had great organizational experience and who combined sound Marxist scholarship with wonderful political sensitivity.
On all practical questions of the movement Jozef's opinion was almost decisive. How did he obtain this authority? In fact, what was the personal origin of this energetic revolutionist, so strict towards himself and towards everybody else too, this man able to inspire and lead them all?
He was born in Lithuania, in the Ossmiansk district, in the family of a small Polish landowner. It was in that district that Jozef Pilsudski was born, several years earlier. Lithuania was at that time cowed by memories of 'hangman' Muravev - of the punishments meted out by Tsarism for the year 1863.
The homes of the gentry were alive with thoughts of those whom the Tsarist satrap had executed, or had exiled into penal servitude for participation in the uprising. The youth of the intelligensia, cherished thoughts of the struggle against Tsarism for independence of the country. The leaders of the Polish Socialist Party, organized in the last decade of the 19th century, for the most part came from the younger generation of these Polish landowner families.
One of the few who rejected the road of nationalism and went over without hesitation to the camp of the international labour movement, was Dzerzhinsky. His action is probably to be explained by the fact that being of a comparatively poor family he had seen the Lithuanian peasant masses at closer quarters and was also familiar with the life of the craftsmen of the small towns, and found he was nearer them than to the nobility and its ideals.
There were no factory proletariat in Lithuani. There were Polish and Jewish craftsmen, and it was among them that 16-year-old Dzerzhinsky began his work.
The necessity of working among Polish and Jewish apprentices in a country where the majority of the peasantry was Lithuanian may explain the international trend of Dzerzhinsky's feeling and thought.
He studied socialism through Polish and Russian works, and for the sake of his work among the Jewish workers he studied Yiddish. Later it was a great joke to us that at the headquarters of Polish social-democracy, which contained quite a number of Jews, only Dzerzhinsky, former gentleman of Poland, and Catholic, could read Yiddish.
The frequent imprisonments of Dzerzhinsky gave him time to study most of the available literature on socialism and he joined the Polish movement with a thoroughly worked-out conception of life. The litterature of Polish social-democracy, including its organ 'Sprawa Robotnica' ('Labour Affairs') published in Paris in 1894-1895, reached him only later when on the basis of his own experince and thinking, he had already, in the main, come to the same conclusions as our theorists had.
The basis for his views had been given by Russian Marxist literature. You might say that he was an expression of the identity of the Polish and Russian labour movements.
His value to the movement was not only in the firmness of his views, but also in the unshakable revolutionary decisivene he brought into the movement. The Polish nobility of the borders, which had grown up in struggles with the Tartars, and later with Lithuanian and Ukrainian peasantry had been distinguished from time immemorial by great energy. It was the most resolute type of Polish society.
Dzerzhinsky had absorbed ideas foreign to this medium, but defended them with the same energy with which the Polish border landed class had defended their class interests. Dzerzhinsky did not recognize difficulties or defeats any more than the Skzetuskis, the Wolodyjewskis and other heroes of the Polish frontier landowners famed in Polish historical novels had done.
Dangers existed only to be overcome, defeats only to discover one's errors and team by them, and reforge one's sword for. further battles.
Most of the landed class who came over to the side of the revolutionary classes were of the 'penitent nobleman' type. But Dzerzhinsky's mastery of revolutionary thought enabled him fully to identify himself with the working class, and to feel himself an inseparable part of it.
He was not a man who idealized the working class from a distance. In the course of his long illegal activities he had lived with workers, eaten with them from a common platter, shared their beds, known them intimately with all the failings resulting from their history, but also with all that is great in them, pregnant with socialism.
In all moments of danger he was confident he could find workers who would not give him away, that with them and by their assistance he would be able once again to build up the shattered organization, that they would muster a militant detachment prepared afresh to go into struggle, fearing neither hunger nor, cold, nor afraid to leave wife and children) nor afraid of long years of solitude in the Akatui prison or the far-away swamps of Siberia.
In the course of this life among the working class the raw iron of his proletarian idea was tempered to supple steel, and this is the quality that Felix Dzerzhinsky brought into the Polish social-democratic movement.   
In the illegal work preceding 1905 this young revolutionary became a leader.
When the October Manifesto released him from his imprisonment in the tenth division of the Warsaw fortress where he had been incarcerated in. July, 1905, following a mass party conference called by him in the Dobia Woods near Warsaw, nobody had the slightest doubt that he, Dzerzhinsky, was the leader of social-democracy.
During the few months of mass movement up to his arrest in July he was a flame inspiring the whole party. Who can forget the days when Marciru Kasprzak was being tried by court martial? Kasprzak was a worker, one of the founders of the Party, on trial for armed resistance to arrest, in the spring of 1904, in a secret printing-works. The city was filled with troops, there were mass arrests.
On a new press Dzerzhinsky and Hanecki ran off proclamations calling for a General Strike. Dzerzhinsky personally went through the lines of gendarmes meant to isolate the working class districts, and carried copies of the proclamations round his waist. Tall, strapping, head high, he passed through the ranks of soldiers and gendarmes who were searching every passer-by. He looked bravely into the eyes of a gendarme, who could not make up his mind to stop him.
He remained in the memory of the Warsaw workers for long years, as a legend of a resolute revolutionist. When he was caught in Dobia Woods he made the comrades give him all the papers which it was impossible to destroy in order to take all the responsibility upon himself.
In Dobia all those arrested were kept under the convoy of the Cossacks, but Dzerzhin&ky immediately started propaganda among them. Had there not been a change of guard he would have succeeded in organizing an escape.
As organizer immediately after October, 1905, he swept the country like a flame, everywhere strengthening the connections with the centre, everywhere inspiring a militant spirit, everywhere creating the deepest confidence that the party would lead the working masses of Poland together with the workers of the whole of Russia to storm the strongholds of Tsarism.
At the Second Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Party, the social-democrats of Poland and Lithuania did not join the ranks of the general Russian organization because of a split over the national question. Then after the split between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, for more than a year the party hesitated as to which faction it should join.
The leading ideologists of the party, closely connected with the Western-European movement, in-clined to the organizational ideas of the Mensheviks, which seemed to them to move in accord with the experience of the international labour movement than the organizational ideas of Lenin. By the end of 1903 Dzerzhinsky was very close to Bolshevism. By the end of 1904, after the Zemstvo campaign, Dzerzhinsky was eagerly aiming at the earliest possible union with the Bolsheviks. In 1906, throughout the negotiations with the Russian social-democrats he played a decisive part in the delegations appointed by our main head-quarters. Even at that time Lenin had appraised him as his closest adherent among the Polish social-democrats.
The years of reaction came. Once again. Dzerzhinsky escaped from exile and worked feverishly in Warsaw rebuilding the organization. New questions arose of struggle against liquidators and against Otzovism (the 'Left' group in the Bolshevik Party who wanted to denounce all open parliamentary work and concentrate purely on 'underground' or secret work).
Dzerzhinsky could not be moved from his Leninist position which demanded struggle on both fronts both legally in the Duma, and illegally in secret organization 'underground'. While at work on rebuilding the underground organization he also worked zealously for the establishment of a legal social-democratic Press.
In 1912 a split took place in, the state Social-Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania which started from disagreement on a series of organizational matters between some of the district organizations and the theoretical centre abroad. This split, which was full of hard political and personal struggle, and caused great suffering to all the participants, was real hell to Dzerzhinsky, because while he was occupied with supporting the main nucleus of leaders of Polish Social-Democracy he was obliged for a time to desist from pushing for unity with the Bolshevik centre, from which nothing separated him politically.
What Dzerzhinsky went through when, not long before the 1914-1918 war, he found himself again behind the stone walls of the fortress of Warsaw and then later in Orel serving penal servitude, he used to find it difficult to tell. The crash of the Second International, the break up of the party after its great successes in the 'Pravda' period the murk that fell over the whole labour movement, the echoes of war that reached him through the prison bars, failed to break him even for a moment.
February, 1917, found him again in the militant ranks of the Bolshevik organization, working untiringly, full of faith, thirsting for the main struggle. October found him a member of tlte Revolutionary Military Committee in Petrograd, organizing workers for the working-class dictatorship.
After the great factory towns of Poland, from Lodz, Warsaw and the coal basin of Dobrowa, after exile and penal servitude, he came to the Putilov and Obukhov workers, and as their leader he entered the government of the Union of Soviet Republics
During the days of struggle for Petrograd and Moscow, Dzerzhinsky organized the 'Commission for combating Counter-Revolution, Speculation and Sabotage.'
A sword of revolutionary rigour forged and tempered in 15 years of battle was now raised by Dzerzhinsky in defence of the proletarian revolution. This sword was wielded with crushing force. against the class enemy whenever they raised their heads.
Untiringly he kept watch, day and night, a faithful guardian of the revolution, day and night looking for the enemy, dogging him, taking him by surprise. Dzerzhinsky formed an organization of revolutionary vigilance with the same verve as he once formed the workers' organizations.
Our enemies have developed legends about the all-seeing eyes of the Cheka, about its all-hearing ears, about the omnipresent Dzerzhinsky. They have pictured the Cheka as a sort of vast army, spread over the whole country, holding it in a firm grasp, and even reaching but its tentacles right into their own camp. They have not understood wherein Dzerahinsky's strength consisted.
In the first place, Dzerzhinsky's strength was of the same nature as the strength of the Bolshevik Party itself - it consisted in hav-ing the full confidence of the working masses and poorest peasants, in their confidence that 'Dzerzhinsky was their own flaming sword, their own watchful eye.
Every worker, every poor pea-sant, considered it his duty to help the Cheka in its great struggle to defend the revolution. The Cheka did not consist only of the brave Chekists. The Cheka was a multi-millioned working class body watching, reporting every movement of the enemy.
Who does not remember that during the struggle against Yudenich, there was unearthed a conspiracy between the Chief of Staff of the Petrograd Defence and Yudenich. This Chief of Staff was actually negotiating with Yudenich and acting under his orders!
The go-between used by this betrayer was an old man, a naturalized Frenchman. This old man's daughter lost a packet of papers in the street. A Red Army private picked the packet up, opened it a'nd noticed some sketches, suspected that there was something wrong and arres-ted the woman who had dropped the papers.
That brought the main nucleus of Yudenich's espionage into the hands of the Cheka. Dzerzhin-sky told me that at the investiga-tion the Frenchman said: 'If not for an accident you would not have caught me!' I asked Dzerzhinsky how he had an-swered him. Dzerzhinsky said he told him that if it had not been for the vigilance of an ordinary Red Army ranker the accident of losing the papers would not have done him any hann, that this vigilance of the Red Anny man was not accident at all, that this watchfulness of ordinary Red Army men-was the very strength of the Cheka.
The leading Chekists were selected by Dzerzhinsky from among old worker members of the party, men or women who were indubitably devoted to the tasks of the proletarian revolution. The second source of Dzerzhinsky's strength, as well as of the Cheka, was the determinedness of their actions, which was born of their iron conviction in the moral rightness of the prole-tarian revolution.
In the summer of 1918 Dzerzhinsky gave an interview to the representatives of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois newspapers which were still in existence. They asked if he was not prepared to admit that the Cheka might sometimes make mistakes and commit acts of injustice in individual cases.
Dzerzhinsky answered: 'The Cheka is not a court. The Cheka is the defence of the revolution, as the Red Army is. And just as in the civil war the Red Anny carunot stop to ask whether or not it may harn individuals, but is obliged to act with the one thought of securing the victory-of the revolution over the bourgeoisie, the Cheka is obliged! to defend the revolution and conquer the enemy, even if its sword by chance does sometimes fall upon the heads of the innocent.'
For Dzerzhinsky the security of the revolution was the supreme law, and so he could find in his heart that unshakeable rigour without which a victorious struggle against counter-revolution would have been quite impossible. Enemies have tried to make him out to be blood-thirsty. His name has become a bogy to the bourgeoisie of the world. But those who know Dzerzhinsky know that his mercilessness did not come easy to him. Dzerzhinsky was a man straining from the roots of himself towards socialism, to a harmounious social order which was to make possible the full development of all human forces.
Dzerzhinsky, this man of merciless warfare, was wrapped in dreams - dreams of a social order which would not only cease to produce inequality, but also cease to produoe crime. He was full of the profoundest love of people, love of their thoughts. While behind prison bars, in 1908, in his diary, he recorded his extremely deep-seated aversion to force. Even gendarmes and agents-provocateur he understod as the product of social conditions. It was only the deep conviction he had, that any soft-heartedness would only bring distres and suffering to the millions of the masses, allowed him to use his revolutionary sword without wavering.
He did not like to speak of what went on within him during sleepless nights, but from time to time words escaped which showed he did not find things easy. When in 1920 during the struggle against White Poland we were preparing to leave for the tre front, hoping for victory, hoping to help the Polish workers to quiickly establish their power, to free themselves from the bourgeoisie, Dzerzhinsky said: "When we win I shall take on the job of Commissar for Education!". Comrades present at this conversation laughed. Dzerzhinsky seemed to shrink up. But his words laid bare what was clear to everybody who knew him. Destruction, force, were for him only a means to an end. His whole nature yearned for construction of the new life.
Because of the strength of this desire, at the end of the civil war he joined the ranks of the builders of socialism. Not only the international bourgeoisie but even many of our own comrades were surprised when they heard of Dzerzhinsky's appointment to the post of Director of Transport.
But this appointment corresponded not only to Dzerzhinsky's dreams, it corresponded to his whole nature. Without letting out of his hands the leadership of the GPU, because danger still threatened the republic internally and external counter-revolutioary activity still persisted, Dzerzhinsky threw himself eagerly into the economic task.
For his work in the new administrative post Dzerzhinsky had neither professional nor social-economic preparation. His education had been like that of many of our older outstanding party members. Prison had been the university in which he, like the others, read Marxist literature. He had no special leaning towards studying economics. How then was it that he, a man of really innate modesty, a man to whose nature boasting was quite alien, came to take up this extremely difficult technical task of economic reconstruction?
When the Central Committee placed him at the head of the People's Commissariat for Transport, many thought that it was done because he was an udarnik, a 'shock-brigader', that with his unflagging energy he would overcome the immediate difficulties that stood in the way of the army of railway workers.
But soon it became evident that Dzerzhinsky understood his task in a very different way, that he was studying not only the organization of the railways but all the economic problems tied up with the development of transport, that he was concerned with the question of coal and iron, without a solution, of which it was impossible to lift transport to its proper height.
For Dzerzhinsky his work on transport was merely an organic part of the whole work on the economic front. He was, in fact, profoundly interested in and profoundly stirred by the problems of the construction of socialism.
He went into these problems fully, regarding them as vital tasks for every communist. It was not a speciality to him, it was the task of tasks. Dzerzbinsky was profoundly convinced of our ability not merely to strengthen the country's economy but to build socialism in spite of the slowness of the international revolution.
He had to study day and night in order to get a clear picture for himself of the country's economic organism as it was before the war, merely in order to be clear about the changes which had taken, place during the war and revolution - all that in order to be able to choose the most important link to deal with at the moment. And he studied and worked with zeal and tension such as only a man of his faith and energy could have had, for it was a task which provided an outlet for all Dzerzhinsky's fundamental yearnings as a revolutionist.
Not long ago at a small comradely meeting of a group of administrators I had an oppor-tunity to speak with Dzerzhinsky about our current economic problems. Others discussed, others proved this, that, or the other but only Dzerzhinsky burned, burned with enthusiasm, with faith and iron conviction.
One of the comrades there who had known Dzerzhinsky as I had for over 20 years, said to me on the way home: 'In all his life he has not wasted one grain of his socialist convictions or his socialist faith.'
Working furiously, kindling with his faith all around him, Dzerzhinsky understood very well that his work would be successful, that the work of the Party would be crowned with victory, if in addition to all else, it was never forgotten that for victory we need a full ultilization of the bourgeois science that we are heirs to.
And Dzerzhinsky who knew how to suppress without quarter any attempt at sabotage on the part of the middle-class specialists, also found it possible to fight for better working conditions for those same middle-class specialists, to protect them against mere prejudice and even against the natural distrust of the working masses. The best among these men learned to esteem and to love Dzerzhinsky and followed his great work with interest.
At the same time Dzerzhinsky understood that the most perfect science would not help us to build communism if it did not draw in the working masses, if the working masses were not aflame striving to build socialism, if they were not drawn into working out all problems of our construction.
In the last official document he signed - a circular of the Supreme Economic Council and the All-Union Council of Trade Unions about the necessity of strengthening the work of industrial conferences - Dzerzhinsky wrote: 'Administrators must understand that not one measure, not one item of policy, however vital, can be put into practice, and give the necessary results, if it is done over the heads of the working masses, if it is not understood by them.'
These words of Dzerzhinsky constitute his testament, the testament of a builder of socialism, who, having bound up his life with that of the working masses, having lived in their ranks and headed them, having driven away the enemy, took up pick and shovel, so to speak, in one hand, while he kept a ready sword in the other.  
Dzerzhinsky is no more. For the millions of the masses his name is that of a fearless fighter, a symbol of their firm will to victory. They see in him the champion of workers and poor peasants. His name will go down in the history of socialism as one of the best fighters of the proletariat.
If we say that the masses will always think of Lenin as the brain of the revolution, we can say that Dzerahinsky will be remembered as its heart. There was a combination of qulities in him such as history is not likely soon to repeat.
This communist deeply devoted to the working masses, who saw in them and their struggles the assurance of final victory, this communist who succeeded in conquering bourgeois individualism in himself, was also
personality; and the whole party down to its very latest recruit knows that just such a figter as Dzerzhinsky, with that wonderful alloy of will and faith, we shall never have again.
At Dzerzhinsky's grave, bowing their heads with those of the workers of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics for whom he toiled the last ten years, there will stand not only the workers of Poland in whose ranks he fought all the days of his youth, and for whom his very name is a clarion call, but  also the enslaved and imprisoned workers of all countries, as for them a name like Dzerzhinsky's shines with a bright ray of hope.
But the world bourgeoisie will rejoice at Dzerzhinsky's death. The founder and the head of the Cheka is dead. This news will flash round the world and inspire our enemies with hope. But they will be very mistaken. Just as Lenin's death stirred the working masses to close their ranks more firmly than ever, Dzerzhinsky's death will remind vast numbers of them of the great October days, of the heroic years of struggle against foreign capitalist intervention, and strengthen their determination to summon all their energy for the accomplishment of the task to which Dzerzhinsky devoted the flame of his last years - the task of socialist construction.

Karl Radek, 1926