An Appeal for Contributions for Russian Famine Relief

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An Appeal for Contributions for Russian Famine Relief


An Appeal for Contributions for Russian Famine Relief by Eugene V. Debs was published in Soviet Russia [New York], v. 6, no. 6 (April 1, 1922), pg. 166.


Eugene V. Debs


Soviet Russia [New York]


April 1, 1922


Edited by Tim Davenport.

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An Appeal for Contributions for Russian Famine Relief.
by Eugene V. Debs
As published in Soviet Russia [New York], v. 6, no. 6 (April 1, 1922), pg. 166.
Where the bravest of our comrades have fought and suffered and sacrificed their all with a sublime heroism that has no parallel in history; where the embattled Russian revolutionists have staunchly stood and held their ground against the combined powers of the world’s despotism and reaction in the war of the workers for liberation, there too are millions of men, women, and children stricken with gaunt hunger and writhing in the skeleton clutch of starvation. These Russian comrades of ours whose matchless valor and self-sacrifice have thrilled and inspired the workers of all nations and challenged the plaudits of the whole world now look to you, American workers, to come to their rescue in the desperate crisis now upon them and save them to humanity in the rebuilding of the ruined world.
These heroes in Russia who have immortalized their cause, our cause, who have paid in overflowing measure in blood and tears and agony unspeakable, the price of their fidelity and devotion to the oppressed and exploited toilers not only of their own land but of the whole world, now appeal to us for the food that shall save them from perishing as hostages to starvation, and shall we now fail to return in small party what we owe them for what they have suffered in the awful years of the revolution to break the fetters of labor everywhere and set humanity free from the curse of the ages?
In Russia our comrades have suffered and endured beyond the power of words to express to save us suffering; they have gone hungry and naked that we
might be fed and clothed; they have bared their heroic breasts to the bayonets and bullets of a hostile and heartless ruling class world to give liberty to the human race, and shall these martyr spirits, these glorious souls and their helpless children now be permitted to die ignominiously for the want of the bread we hold in our hands?
No, a thousand times no! We should merit eternal reproach for our recreancy if we failed in this crucial hour to give and to give promptly, and to give again and again to the full limit of our power.
The starving workers and peasants of Soviet Russia cry aloud to us in the throes of their desperation and agony, and unless our hearts are of stone we can hear them by day and by night, and I appeal to every member of the American working class, to every man, woman, and child with sympathy for starving fellow-creatures, to every human being responsive to human suffering within reach of my voice, to give and give at once and give freely and to the last dollar and the last penny that may be spared to the Friends of Soviet Russia, swelling the present contributions a hundredfold, for the relief as far as possible of the awful famine in the struggling Soviet Republic and for the rescue of the millions of its threatened victims whose cruel and shocking fate would forever shame our common humanity and leave a foul and damning blot on our vaunted civilization.
Eugene V. Debs

Edited by Tim Davenport. Published by 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, OR, 2005. • Free reproduction permitted.





Eugene V. Debs , “An Appeal for Contributions for Russian Famine Relief,” Debsian Archive, accessed April 23, 2018,