Written by Martin S. Nowak Thursday, 08 October 2009 13:45
Vladimir Lenin led the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. For the next 70 years the U.S. would spend billions of dollars and sacrifice the lives of thousands of young men to contain the USSR and communism.
Lenin wanted his system to dominate the world. He tried to push westward, but Polish forces turned him back in 1920. Then the Allies after World War II handed Poland to Stalin, Lenin's successor. But in the 1980s Poland again saved Europe from communism, this time led by a shipyard worker's peaceful opposition. How ironic, then, that Polish soil had once given Lenin refuge and solace, if only for a brief time.
Under the czar in Russia, Lenin was a known agitator and he was kept under surveillance by the authorities. So in 1907 he and his wife moved to Switzerland, then Paris, home to many Russian socialist exiles. These men plotted revolution, spread propaganda and bickered. Though he emerged as leader of the communist movement, Lenin had enough of the infighting, so he and Mrs. Lenin moved to Kraków in June 1912 to be closer to Russia.