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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 15, New Delhi, March 27, 2021

The Story Behind Exiled Vladimir Lenin’s Journey to Russia in 1917 | The Film Lenin . . . The Train Part 1 & 2 | Damiano Damiani (1988)

Friday 26 March 2021


When the February revolution broke out in Russia, Lenin found himself stranded in Zurich, in neutral Switzerland. The only way home was through Germany, and so the exiled and Bolshevik leader, acting through a slimy intermediary (Swiss socialist Robert Grimm approached the German Ambassador to Switzerland to open negotiations, but it was Grimm’s compatriot Fritz Platten, who brokered the final agreement to allow Lenin and others exiles to travel by train through Germany to neutral Sweden.), negotiated the deal to get himself and his comrades shipped back to Russia. Accompanied by his wife and comrade Krupskaya and 30 companions, boarded a train in Zurich. It as week-long journey from Germany, via Sweden and Finland, to Russia.

Finnish Locomotive 293, which undertook the last leg of Lenin’s journey. It was presented to Russia by Finland and is now preserved at the Finland Station in St Petersburg. (Photo © by James G. Howes, 1998, from Wikimedia Commons)

Lenin... The Train is an English-language Television film directed by Damiano Damiani in 1988. The film was released in November 1988 by Rai 2. It is based on Vladimir Lenin’s journey from Switzerland to Petrograd by sealed train through wartime Germany during the Russian Revolution of 1917.

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