I really like the way Winston Churchill described the German support to Lenin and the Russian Communists before World War 1. The Russian Empire was a great rival of the German Empire, and the Germans were trying to destroy it by supporting and financing the Russian Communists.
Image 1 Winston Churchill
You can read Churchill’s exact words from the site of Churchill Center: “Lenin was sent into Russia by the Germans in the same way that you might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid or cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city, and it worked with amazing accuracy”.
“The Creeds of the Devil”: Churchill between the Two Totalitarianisms, 1917-1945 (1 of 3)
“Lenin was sent into Russia by the Germans in the same way that you might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid or cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city, and it worked with amazing accuracy”.
I would like to give a few more details about the German support to Russian Communists. After France’s defeat by Germany in 1871, the industrial zones between France and Germany came under German control, and Germany proved that she was the dominant industrial and military power of the European mainland. Germany was ready to dominate the region from France to Russia, and from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
Map 1 Geographical Map of Europe
With her alliance with the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empires (Baghdad Railway), Russia could threaten the English in Iraq and India, and the Russians at the Caspian Sea. Moreover, with her alliance with Italy, Germany could reach the raw materials of Africa and dominate the Mediterranean Sea, if she had managed to construct a navy that could challenge the British one, as she was trying to do.
I have to say that Italy was not a very reliable ally, and even though she was a German ally, she decided not to officially take part in the beginning of WW1, and at a later stage she allied with England, France and Russia.
The English, the French and the Russians had great differences, but they decided to put their differences aside for a while, in order to fight Germany, which was perceived as a threat for all of them.
Map 2 Europe 1900
Map 3 Ottoman Empire 1900
Even though the Germans finally lost the First World War, they were paid back for their “investment” to the Russian Communists. In 1917, one year before the end of WW1, the Russian Communists grabbed the chance and attacked the weakened Russian army, they managed to rise to power, and with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk they made peace with the Germans, the Ottomans and the Austrians, and they exited the war. With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Russian Communists gave the Germans, the
With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Russian Communists gave the Germans, the Austrians and the Ottomans many lands of the Russian Empire, because the Germans, the Austrians and the Ottomans somehow had to be paid off for all the support they had provided the Russian Communists during their fight with the Russian Army.
At the same time, the Russian Communists made public the agreements that were signed by the British, the French and the Russians, about how the three countries would allocate the Ottoman colonies in English, French and Russian spheres of influence in case of victory i.e. what later became Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine (Israel+Jordan), Saudi Arabia. That also greatly helped the German, Austrian and Ottoman propaganda.
Therefore we could say that the German “investment” in Lenin and the Russian Communists really paid off, even though it was not enough for the Germans to win the War, since the English and the French lost their major ally at the East front once the Russian Communists rose to power. It is said, and I am sure it is true, that Pravda, the Russian Communist newspapers that was founded in 1912, two years before the outbreak of WW1, was founded with German money.
Pravda was the main source of Communist propaganda during the Soviet era, and it is still published, and it is still a Communist newspaper full of propaganda and conspiracy theories. It cannot be a coincidence that Pravda was first published in 1912, just two years before the outbreak of WW1, and just five years before the Russian Communists attacked the Russian army with the support of Germany.
The Nazi conspiracy theories normally say that it was the Jews who financed Communism, but that’s nonsense. It was Germany that financed Russian Communism, in order to destroy the Russian Empire, which was one of her great rivals. If the Russian Communists cared about the Jews, they would have never left the War, and they would have never singed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Germans, the Austrians, and the Ottomans, because in 1917 the English had promised to allow the creation of a Jewish State in the Ottoman colonies in case of victory (Balfour Declaration 1917). By leaving the War the Russian Communists made it much harder for the English and the French to win the War, even though they finally did win it.
If the Russian Communists cared about the Jews, they would have supported the English, who had promised to give a part of the Ottoman colonies for the creation of a Jewish state. But they did exactly the opposite because they could not care less. All Communists hate religion, and the Jewish Communists are not an exception.
On the other hand it is reasonable to assume that the Communist Propaganda was appealing to some Russian Jews, because in Charist Russia the Russian Jews had very limited political rights. But whether the Communist propaganda could charm a part of the Russian Jewry is one thing, and who was financed and supported the Russian Communists is another. And it was Germany that was financing the Russian Communists in order to weaken the Russian Empire i.e. in the same way you “pour cholera or Typhus in a city’s water supplies” as Winston Churchill put it in his memories.
I have to say that I would not be surprised if the Austrians and the Ottomans were also supporting the Russian Communists in order to undermine the Russian Empire, because the Russians were facing the Ottomans at the Caspian Sea and the Bosphorus Straits, and the Russians were also supporting the Orthodox Serbs, and Serbia was at the time a colony of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But I guess Churchill emphasizes the German support to the Russian Communists because Germany was the main economic and military power, and the one that would be more willing and able to pay more to undermine the Russian Empire.
We should not be surprised at all by the German support to Lenin and Russian Communism. It is very common for rivaling countries to finance political parties in their rivals in order to undermine them. We recently found out that Venezuela and Iran were financing the Spanish communist party Podemos, in order to undermine Spain. Venezuela and Iran are both exporters of natural gas and oil, and Spain connects the oil and gas deposits of Africa with the hungry for energy countries of the European Continent (Nigeria, Algeria, Libya). Spain is also promoting a natural gas pipeline to France, and it is already importing large quantities of Qatari LNG, and it plans to import American LNG too.
Turkey and Qatar are also financing the Greek Communists in order to undermine Greece, a traditional rival of Turkey. As soon as the Greek Communists rose to power in January 2015, the Greek Communists and the Turkish Islamists started flooding Greece and Europe with Muslim immigrants. See “Germany’s Defeat by the Turkish Islamists and the Greek Communists”.
Also remember that it was the Iranians that supported the Turkish Islamists against the Turkish Kemalists in Turkey, because the Turkish Kemalists were strong allies of United States and Israel. Indeed, when the Turkish Islamists came to power, the Turkish-Israeli alliance was destroyed, and the Turkish-American alliance was put to the test. But on the other hand, the doctrine of Neo-Ottomanism brought forward by the Turkish Islamists, which calls for Turkish influence in the Middle East, led to a war between Turkey and Iran in Syria.
The Turkish Kemalists were focused on the security of the Turkish Kurdistan, and were not challenging the Russians and the Iranians in the Middle East, in order to avoid retaliation by them in the form of support to the PKK in Turkish Kurdistan. I am trying to say that by financing political parties in your rival countries you can ensure that your rivals are weaken, but you can not guarantee that they will forever do what you want them to do. But if you make sure that you finance the “correct” political parties in your rival countries, you can make sure that your rival countries are becoming weaker, and if you still have to face them in the future, you will face a weaker rival.
Another example of weakening your rival is the Arab and Iranian support to the Jewish Communist Bernie Sanders in United States. Bernie Sanders is also supported by all the American enemies in Latin America i.e. Venezuela, Bolivia etc. Bernie Sanders has promised to ban oil and natural gas production from shale rock in United States, and that will lead to much higher prices for the Arab, Iranian, Venezuelan, Bolivian and Russian oil and natural gas. See “The Financing of Hollywood’s Socialist Propaganda”.
There are many examples of countries supporting political parties in rival countries in order to undermine them. But I think the German support for Russian Communism is a very interesting example.