Home > Uncategorized > Maxim Gorky: War permits destruction of every kind: losing limbs fighting for our country

Maxim Gorky: War permits destruction of every kind: losing limbs fighting for our country


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war


Maxim Gorky
From The Specter (1938)
Translated by Alexander Bakshy


“They cut off Dudarov’s leg for the ‘glory of the Church and the country,’ as the children recite at school. And now they’re beginning all over again to blow off the heads and legs and arms of the peasants…”


“We are already practically a colony. Our metal industry is almost sixty-seven per cent in French hands. French capital controls seventy-seven percent of our ship-building industry. The stock capital of our banks amounts to five hundred and eighty-five million, and of these four hundred and thirty-four are foreign capital, including two hundred and thirty-two million rubles representing the French investment.”

“We are fighting because M. Poincaré is eager for revanche for 1871, and because he wants to recover the mineral-bearing lands seized by the Germans forty-three years ago. Our army is playing the role of mercenaries – ”


Three square windows, blanketed with snow, let in a very little light…

“I hope it lasts all winter, so that it will kill the Germans,” the gendarme growled; looking around, he added: “You burned the partition?”

“We used the partition for coffins.”

“You’ll have to answer for the destruction of somebody else’s property.”

“We’ll answer for it. It’s easy to answer in this obvious matter – war permits destruction of every kind.”

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