Political-emigrant Paris or Switzerland. As a matter of fact, it was only half emigration. In Cracow the chief interest of our life, practically speaking, was the work in Russia. Contacts with Russia were quickly established. Newspapers arrived from St. Petersburg in two or three days. At that time Pravda was being published in Russia. "And in Russia there is a revolutionary upsurge, not just any kind of upsurge, but precisely a revolutionary one," Vladimir Ilyich wrote to Gorky. "We succeeded alter all in setting up a daily Pravda – incidentally thanks to the very (January) conference which fools are barking at." The closest possible contacts were established with Pravda. Ilyich wrote articles for Pravda almost every day, sent letters there, followed its work, and recruited contributors for it. He urged Gorky to write for it. Zinoviev and Lilina wrote regularly, too, and the latter collected interesting foreign material for it. Such regular collaboration would have been inconceivable from Paris or Switzerland. Correspondence with Russia was also quickly established. The Cracow comrades taught us how to arrange this with the utmost secrecy. The thing was not to have a foreign cancellation-stamp on the letters. Then the Russian police would not take so much notice of them. Peasant women coming to the market-place from Russia would take letters across and post them in Russia for a small fee.
There were about four thousand Polish emigrants from Russia living in Cracow.
On our arrival there we were met by Comrade Bagocki, a Polish political emigrant, who immediately took us under his wing and helped us with all our domestic affairs and secret work. He taught us how to use the polupaski (special passes issued to the local inhabitants to enable them to cross and recross the frontier). These polupaski cost very little, and the important thing was that they greatly facilitated the work of our illegal comrades who travelled back and forth with them. We sent many comrades across with these polupaski. Varvara Yakovleva was one of them. She had escaped from Siberian exile, where she had contracted tuberculosis, and gone abroad to get medical treatment and see her brother in Germany. She went back through Cracow, as arrangements had to be made for corresponding and work. She got through safely. Only recently did I learn that when crossing the frontier she attracted the attention of the gendarmes by reason of the large suitcase which she carried. They wanted to know whether she was really travelling to the place she had booked her ticket to. The car attendant, however, warned her about it, and offered to buy her a ticket to Warsaw for a tip. She did so, and continued her journey without mishap. Once we sent Stalin across with a polupaska. The thing was to answer promptly in Polish jestem – "present" – when the name of the pass owner was called out at the frontier. I remember trying to teach our comrades this little trick. Soon we had this illegal crossing of the frontier properly organized. On the Russian side the secret rendezvous were arranged through Krylenko, who lived in Lublin at the time, not far from the frontier. We used the same means for smuggling illegal literature across. The police in Cracow gave us no trouble, and our mail was not tampered with. Generally speaking, they had no contacts with the Russian police. We had this brought home to us on one occasion. Shumkin, a Moscow worker, came to us once for literature, which he wanted to smuggle through in a special waistcoat made for the purpose. He was a great one for secrecy technique, and used to walk about the streets with his cap jammed down over his eyes. We went to a meeting and took him with us. He did not walk with us, though, and kept at some distance behind for safety sake. He looked so patently conspiratorial that he attracted the attention of the Cracow police. A police officer called on us the next day and asked us whether we knew this man and could vouch for him. We said we could. Shumkin nevertheless insisted on taking the literature, although we tried to dissuade him, and smuggled it through safely.
We had arrived in Cracow in the summer and Bagocki advised us to take rooms in the Zweizynce suburb. We rented rooms in the same house as the Zinovievs. It was a terribly muddy place, but the Vistula was quite near and offered enjoyable bathing, while about five kilometres away there was the Las Wolski, a vast beautiful forest which Ilyich and I often went to on our bicycles. In the autumn we moved to another part of the town, in a newly built quarter, together with Bagocki and the Zinovievs.
Ilyich liked Cracow very much. It reminded him of Russia. The new surroundings and the absence of emigrant squabbles tended to soothe his nerves. Ilyich closely observed the everyday life of the Cracow population, its workers and its poor. I liked Cracow, too. I had lived in Poland once when I was a child from the age of two to five, and I had still retained some memories of it. I liked the open wooden galleries in the courtyards; they reminded me of those on whose steps I used to play with the Polish and Jewish children; I liked the little gardens – ogródiki, where they sold kwasne mleko z ziemniakami (sour milk and potatoes). My mother, too, was reminded of her young days. As for Ilyich, he was glad to have escaped from Paris at last; he cracked merry jokes, and praised both the kwasne mleko and the Polish mocna starka (strong liquor).
Lilina knew more Polish than any of us. I knew it poorly; I remembered a little from my childhood days and had studied it a bit in Siberia and Ufa, and now I was obliged to make immediate use of the language along domestic lines. The housekeeping there was much more difficult than in Paris. There was no gas, and we had to light a wood fire in the kitchen. I tried asking for meat without bones at the butcher's, the way they used to sell it in Paris. The butcher looked at me and said: "The Lord God has created cows with bones, so how can I sell you meat without bones?" We had to stock up on leaves for Monday, because on Mondays the bakers would be having their hangover and the bakeries would be closed. One had to learn how to haggle. There were Polish shops and Jewish shops. You could buy everything at the Jewish shops at half the price, but you had to haggle there, pretend to go away, then come back again, and so on. It was a shocking waste of time.
The Jews lived in a separate quarter of the town and dressed differently. In the waiting room at the out-patient hospital, the patients would seriously discuss whether a Jewish child was the same as a Polish child or not, whether it was cursed or not. And a little Jewish boy sat there listening to it all. The power of the Catholic clergy in Cracow was boundless. The priests rendered relief to the victims of fires, to old women and orphans, the convents found employment for domestic servants and defended their rights, and church services were the only recreation the downtrodden ignorant population enjoyed. Feudal customs still survived in Galicia, and the Catholic Church kept them alive. For example, a lady would come to the market to hire a servant. A dozen or so peasant women who had come to hire themselves as servants would stand round the lady kissing her hand. Tips were given everywhere. On receiving a tip, the carpenter or cabby would drop on his knees and bow down to the ground. But then hatred of their masters lived strongly in the masses. The nurse whom the Zinovievs had hired for their little boy went to church every morning, and was wan with fasting and praying. Nevertheless, when I fell into conversation with her once, she told me how bitterly she hated the masters; she had worked for an officer's wife once for three years; like all ladies of the gentry, she slept till eleven o'clock, took her coffee in bed, and made the servant dress her and pull on her stockings. This fanatically religious nurse said that if there was a revolution, she would be the first to go against the gentry with a pitchfork. The poverty and downtrodden state of the peasantry and the poor were apparent at every step, and were much worse even than they were with us in Russia.
In Cracow Vladimir Ilyich met Ganiecki, who had been a delegate of the Social-Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania to the Second, and then the Stockholm and London congresses of our Party. He had been delegated by the Central Board. Vladimir Ilyich learned the details about the split among the Polish Social-Democrats from Ganiecki and other Polish comrades. The Central Board had started a campaign against the Warsaw Committee, which was backed by the whole Warsaw organization. The Warsaw Committee had demanded of the Central Board a more principled policy and a definite attitude towards the internal Party affairs of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The Central Board had dissolved the Warsaw Committee and begun to spread rumours alleging that the latter was connected with the secret police. Vladimir Ilyich sided with the Warsaw Committee (the Rozlamowcy, as they were called). He wrote an article in their defence, and sent a protest to the International Socialist Bureau. The Warsaw Committee was closely connected with the masses of Warsaw and other working-class centres (Lodz, etc.). Vladimir Ilyich did not consider that they were fighting for some alien interests; their cause had a very close bearing on the general struggle within the Party, which was very acute at the moment. Vladimir Ilyich, therefore, could not remain a mere bystander. Russian affairs, nevertheless claimed his chief attention.
Lenin's close comrades, Safarov and Inessa, went to St. Petersburg from Paris to make arrangements for the election campaign. They travelled with other people's passports. Inessa called on us in Cracow when we were still living in Zwiezynce. She stayed with us for two days, and we went into all the details with her and supplied her with all the addresses and connections. She and Ilyich discussed the whole plan of work. Inessa was to call on Krylenko on the way – he lived in Lublin, not far from the Galician border – in order to organize through him the crossing of the frontier by comrades bound for Cracow. Inessa and Safarov sent us fairly detailed reports of what was going on in St. Petersburg. They made contacts there and did a good deal towards acquainting the workers with the resolutions of the Prague Conference and the tasks which then confronted the Party. They set up their headquarters in the Narva District. The St. Petersburg Committee was re-established, and subsequently a Northern Regional Bureau was formed, members of which, in addition to Inessa and Safarov, were Shotman and his comrades Rahja and Pravdin. A sharp struggle was going on in St. Petersburg against the Liquidators. The activities of the Northern Regional Bureau prepared the ground for the election of Badayev, a Bolshevik railway worker, as deputy for St. Petersburg. The Liquidators were losing influence among the working-class masses of St. Petersburg; the workers saw that instead of fighting a revolutionary struggle, the Liquidators were taking the way of reform and actually pursuing a liberal-labour policy. An irreconcilable struggle had to be waged against the Liquidators. That is why Vladimir Ilyich was so upset when Pravda at first persistently kept striking out of his articles his polemics with the Liquidators. He wrote angry letters to Pravda. Only gradually did Pravda join in the struggle.
The election of deputies in the worker curia in St. Petersburg was fixed for Sunday, September 16. The police, too, were preparing for the elections. Inessa and Safarov were arrested on the 14th. But the police did not know yet that Stalin, who had escaped from exile, had arrived on the 12th. The elections in the worker curia passed off very successfully. Not a single candidate of the Right went through, and everywhere resolutions of a political character were passed.
Throughout October all attention was focussed on the elections. Traditionally and through ignorance, the working class masses in a number of districts showed a lack of interest in the elections and did not attach any importance to them. Wide agitation was needed. Nevertheless, the workers everywhere elected Social-Democrats. The elections in all the worker curiae of the big industrial centres resulted in a victory for the Bolsheviks. Party workers were elected who enjoyed great prestige among the working class. Six Bolsheviks and seven Mensheviks were returned to the Duma, but the six Bolshevik deputies represented a million workers, whereas the seven Menshevik deputies represented less than a quarter of a million. What is more, the Bolshevik group at the very outset showed that they were better organized and welded. The opening of the Duma on October 18 was ushered in by workers' demonstrations and strikes. The Bolshevik deputies in the Duma had to work together with the Mensheviks, although internal Party relations between them had become very strained of late.
In January the Prague Conference took place. It played an important part in organizing the Bolshevik forces.
A so-called Party conference, sponsored by Trotsky, was convened in Vienna at the end of August 1912. The avowed object of this conference was to unite all Social-Democratic forces; the fact that the ways of the Liquidators and the Bolsheviks had sharply diverged and that the conduct of the Liquidators was profoundly antagonistic to the Party line was completely ignored. The Vperyod-ists were also invited to the conference. As was to be expected, the conference was markedly Liquidationist in character. The Bolsheviks grouped around the Central Committee took no part in it, and even the Menshevik Plekhanovites and Bolshevik conciliators grouped around Plekhanov's journal Za Partiu (For the Party) (published abroad), refused to attend it. The Poles did not take part in it either, and Alexinsky, who went to the conference on behalf of the Vperyod group, exposed the weakness of its composition. The great majority of the conference delegates were people who lived abroad; two Caucasians were delegated to it from the Caucasian Regional Bureau, and on the whole all the delegates were elected by very narrow bodies. The resolutions of the conference were the quintessence of Liquidationism. The slogan of a democratic republic was thrown out of the election platform entirely, and the slogan of "revision of the agrarian legislation of the Third Duma" was substituted for that of "confiscation of the landowners' estates."
Boris Goldman (Gorev), one of the principal speakers, said that the old Party no longer existed, and that the conference was to become an "inaugural" one. Even Alexinsky protested against this. This August unification, or August bloc as it was called, set itself in opposition to the Central Committee and tried to discredit the decisions of the Prague Conference. Under the guise of unity of all Social-Democratic forces, a union against the Bolsheviks was established.
Meanwhile the workers' movement in Russia was growing. This was proved by the elections.
Soon after the elections Muranov visited us. He had crossed the frontier illegally. Ilyich was shocked. "What a scandal there would have been if you had been caught," he told Muranov. "As a deputy of the Duma you enjoy immunity, and there would have been no harm if you had travelled legally. As it is there might have been a scandal." Muranov told us many interesting things about the elections in Kharkov, about his Party work, about how he distributed leaflets through his wife, how she went to the market with them, and so forth. Muranov was so well up in secrecy technique that parliamentary immunity meant nothing to him. Ilyich spoke to him about his future work in the Duma and urged him to go back as soon as possible. Subsequently, the Duma deputies travelled openly.
The first conference with the deputies took place at the end of December and the beginning of January.
The first to arrive was Malinovsky. He was very excited, and I did not like him very much at first. I did not like his eyes, his free and easy manner, which was so obviously put on. The impression wore off the very first time we talked business with him. Then Duma deputies Petrovsky and Badayev arrived. They told us about their first month of work in the Duma, and their work among the masses. I can see Badayev, standing in the doorway, waving his cap about and saying: "The masses have grown up these last few years, you know." Malinovsky gave one the impression of being a very intelligent and influential worker. Badarev and Petrovsky, although somewhat shy, were obviously real dependable proletarians. At this conference a plan of work was drawn up, and the nature of the speeches to be delivered in the Duma and of the work to be carried on among the masses was discussed with special stress on the importance of closely linking this up with the work of the Party, its illegal activity. Badayev was put in charge of Pravda. Medvedev, who had come with the Duma deputies, told us about his work in connection with the printing of leaflets. Ilyich was very pleased. "Malinovsky, Petrovsky and Badayev," he wrote to Gorky on January 1, 1913, "send you their warm regards and best wishes." And added: "Cracow headquarters have proved useful. Our moving to Cracow has proved a paying proposition (from the point of view of the cause)."
In the autumn, owing to the intervention of the Great Powers in Balkan affairs, the war clouds began to gather. The International Socialist Bureau organized protest meetings everywhere. One such meeting was held in Cracow. It was a peculiar one, though, being more like a hate meeting against Russia than one of protest against war.
The International Socialist Bureau held an emergency congress of the Socialist International in Basle on November 11 and 12. The Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. was represented at the Basle Congress by Kamenev.
Vladimir Ilyich's indignation was aroused by an article by Kautsky In Neue Zeit, an out-and-out opportunist article, arguing that it would be a mistake for the workers to organize armed uprisings or strikes against war. Vladimir Ilyich had written a good deal about the organizing role of strikes during the Revolution of 1905. After Kautsky's article he dealt with the subject more thoroughly still in a number of articles. He attached tremendous importance to strikes, as he did to all forms of direct action by the working class.
The question of war had been discussed at the Stuttgart Congress in 1907, five years before the Basle Congress, and had been decided in the spirit of revolutionary Marxism. Opportunism had made tremendous headway during the intervening five years. Kautsky's article was a striking illustration of this. The Basle Congress, however, unanimously adopted a manifesto against war, and a great anti-war demonstration was organized. The extent to which the Second International was corroded by opportunism was not revealed until 1914.
During the Cracow period – in the years immediately preceding the imperialist war – Vladimir Ilyich devoted a great deal of attention to the national question. Ever since his youth he had hated national oppression in every form. Marx's saying that there could be no greater misfortune for a nation than to subjugate another nation, was near and comprehensible to him.
With war impending, the nationalist temper of the bourgeoisie kept rising, and national hatred was fomented by it in every possible way. The impending war meant oppression of the weak nationalities and the suppression of their independence. But the war – Ilyich had no doubts about that – would inevitably grow into rebellion; the oppressed nationalities would fight for their independence. It was their right. The International Socialist Congress held in London in 1896 had confirmed that right. Underestimation of the right of nations to self-determination in the face of imminent war at such a moment – the end of 1912 and beginning of 1913 – reused Vladimir Ilyich's indignation. Instead of rising to the occasion and high-lighting this issue, the August bloc passed a resolution to the effect that cultural-national autonomy, [The demand for cultural-national autonomy was put forward by the Bund in 1905 and formulated in the following way: all functions connected with questions of culture (public education, etc.) were to be withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the state and the organs of local and regional self-government and vested in the nation as represented by special institutions – local and central – elected by all its members on the basis of universal, equal, direct and secret ballot. – N.K.] which had been a controversial issue as far back as 1903 at the Second Congress of the Party and had then been voted down, was allegedly compatible with the clause in the Party programme dealing with the right of nations to self-determination. This meant surrendering the position on the national question, and confining the whole struggle to a fight for culture only, as if it were not clear that culture and the whole political system were bound together by a thousand ties. Ilyich held this to be opportunism carried to extreme lengths. The main dispute on the question of the right of nations to self-determination was carried on with the Poles. They contended – the Rozlamowcy as well as Rosa Luxemburg – that the right of nations to self-determination did not imply the right to secession. Ilyich understood the reason for the Poles' attitude on the question of self-determination. The Polish masses hated tsarism – this could be observed daily in Cracow. One man related what his father had lived through during the Polish insurrection, when he had barely escaped the gallows; another recalled how the tsarist authorities had desecrated the graves of his near and dear ones by turning pigs into the cemetery, etc., etc. Russian tsarism not only oppressed peoples, but mocked and humiliated them.
With war on the horizon, there was a revival not only of Black-Hundred nationalism and chauvinism on the part of the bourgeoisie of the ruling states, but of the hopes of emancipation of the oppressed nationalities. The Polish Socialist Party was fired more and more by dreams of Polish independence. The growing separatism of the P.S.P. – a party that was petty-bourgeois to the core – caused alarm among the Polish Social-Democrats. The latter, therefore, were opposed to secession. Ilyich met members of the P.S.P., had several talks with one of their prominent workers Iodko, and heard Daszyriski speak. He was therefore able to appreciate the reasons for the Poles' alarm. "But one cannot approach the question of the right of nations to self-determination only from the point of view of the Poles!" he said.
The controversy on the national question, which had arisen as far back as the Second Congress of our Party, flared up sharply on the eve of the war in 1913-1914 and continued in 1916, during the height of the imperialist war. Ilyich played a leading role in these disputes; he went to the heart of the problem, and the controversy was a useful one. It enabled our Party to find a correct solution of the national question within the Soviet state, to establish a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in which inequality of nations and restriction of their rights are unknown. We see in our country the rapid cultural growth of the nationalities which formerly lived under unbearable conditions of oppression, we see the ties being drawn ever closer and closer between the nationalities of the U.S.S.R., united on a common basis of socialist construction.
It would be a mistake, however, to think that the national question obscured from Ilyich during the Cracow period such questions as the peasant question, to which he always attached great importance. During the Cracow period Ilyich wrote over forty articles on the peasant question. He wrote a complete paper for Duma deputy Shagov "The Question of the (General) Agrarian Policy or the Present Government" and a paper for G. I. Petrovsky "On the Question of the Estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture." He started a big work in Cracow based on a study of American sources – "New Data on the Laws of Development of Capitalism in Agriculture." America is famous for the precision and wealth of its statistics. In this work Ilyich set out to refute the view of Himmer (the name of the now notorious Sukhanov, involved in the sabotage case).
"Mr. Himmer," Vladimir Ilyich wrote, "is not a stranger, not a casual author of a casual magazine article, but one of the most prominent economists representing the most democratic, the extreme left, bourgeois trend in Russian and European social thought. It is precisely for this reason that Mr. Himmer's views may become – and among the non-proletarian strata of the population have already become to a certain extent – particularly widespread and influential. For these are not his personal views, his individual mistakes; they are the expression of common bourgeois views – only particularly democratized, particularly embellished with pseudo-socialist phraseology – which in the conditions of capitalist society are most readily accepted by official professors who follow the beaten track, and by those small farmers who are distinguished among the millions of their kind for their intelligence.
"The theory of the non-capitalist evolution of agriculture in capitalist society advocated by Mr. Himmer is in essence the theory of the vast majority of bourgeois professors, bourgeois democrats, and opportunists in the labour movement throughout the world...."
Started in Cracow, this booklet on American agriculture was finished in 1915 but not published until 1917.
Eight years later, in 1923, when Ilyich was already ill, he scanned Sukhanov's notes about the revolution and dictated an article on them which was published in Pravda under the title of "Our Revolution." In this article he wrote: "And now there can be no doubt that in the main we have been victorious." Sukhanov had not realized this. Ilyich went on to say: "I have lately been glancing through Sukhanov's Notes on the Revolution. What strikes one particularly is the pedantry of all our petty-bourgeois democrats, as of all the heroes of the Second International. Apart from the fact that they are all extraordinarily faint-hearted... what strikes one is their slavish imitation of the past.
"They all call themselves Marxists, but their conception of Marxism is impossibly pedantic. They have completely failed to understand what is decisive in Marxism, namely, its revolutionary dialectics.... Their whole conduct betrays them as cowardly reformists, who are afraid to take the smallest step away from the bourgeoisie, let alone break with it."
Further on Ilyich speaks about the imperialist world war having created conditions "which enabled us to achieve precisely that union of a 'peasant war' with the working-class movement which no less a 'Marxist' than Marx himself had in 1856 suggested as a possible prospect for Prussia?"
Eight more years have passed since then. Ilyich is no longer among the living. Sukhanov still does not see what conditions for the building up of socialism the October Revolution has created, and actively strives to prevent us from tearing up the last roots of capitalism; he does not see how the face of our country has changed. The collective farms and state farms are being consolidated, harvester combines are turning up the virgin soil, the old unploughed bound strips are becoming a thing of the past, labour is being organized on new lines, and the very face of agriculture has changed.
In his numerous articles written during the Cracow period, Ilyich covers a number of very important questions giving a striking picture of the state of peasant and landlord farming, describing the agrarian programme of the different parties, exposing the character of the government measures, and calling attention to a number of momentous problems, such as the settler movement, wage labour in agriculture, child labour, the sale and purchase of land, the concentration of peasant lands, etc. Ilyich had a first-hand knowledge of the countryside and the 'peasants' needs, and the workers and peasants always felt and saw this.
The rising tide of the revolutionary workers' movement at the end of 1912 and the role which Pravda played in that movement were obvious to all, including the Vperyod-ists.
Alexinsky on behalf of the Paris group of the Vperyod-ists made an offer of cooperation to the Pravda editorial board in November 1912. He wrote a number of articles for Pravda, and in No. 3 of the Vperyod-ists' symposium Na Temi Dnya (Current Topics), he even urged the necessity of calling off the fight within the Bolshevik ranks and of forming a bloc of all Bolsheviks for the purpose of combatting the Liquidators. The editorial board of Pravda included in its list of contributors not only the members of the Paris group to which Alexinsky belonged, but also Bogdanov. Ilyich got to know of this only through the press. It was characteristic of Ilyich that he was able to draw the line between disputes on fundamental issues and squabbling and personal grievances, was able to set the interests of the cause above all else. Plekhanov might heap abuse on his head, but if the cause required unity with him, Ilyich was not one to hold back. Alexinsky might fight his way into a meeting of the group and conduct himself disgracefully, but once he realized that it was necessary to work wholeheartedly in Pravda, to fight the Liquidators and stand up for the Party, Ilyich was well pleased. One could cite dozens of examples like this. Ilyich hit back hard when he was attacked, and defended his point of view, but when new problems had to be tackled and it was found possible to cooperate with his opponent, Ilyich was able to approach his opponent of yesterday as a comrade. He did not have to make any special effort to do this. Herein lay Ilyich's tremendous advantage. Very guarded though he always was on matters where principles were involved, he was a great optimist as far as people were concerned. Despite an occasional error of judgement, this optimism of his was, on the whole, very useful to the cause. But where there was no agreement on matters of principle, there was no reconciliation.
In a letter to Gorky Ilyich wrote."I am wholeheartedly prepared to share your joy at the return of the Vperyod-ists provided that your supposition about 'Machism, God-building and all that stuff having gone for good,' as you say, is really true. If that is so, if the Vperyod-ists have realized this or will realize it now, then I heartily share your joy at their return. But I emphasize the 'if,' for so far this has been more a wish than a fact.... I do not know whether Bogdanov, Bazarov, Wolski (the semi-anarchist), Lunacharsky and Alexinsky are capable of learning anything from the painful experiences of 1908-1911. Have they learned that Marxism is a much more serious and profound thing than they had believed, that you cannot scoff at it the way Alexinsky did, or slight it as a dead thing the way the others did? If they have, then a thousand greetings to them, and all the personal things (inevitably involved in acute struggles) will go by the board in a twinkling. And if they have not realized this, not learned anything, then don't blame me – friendship is one thing, duty is another. Any attempt to throw mud at Marxism or confuse the policy of the workers' Party will make us light to the death.
"I am very glad that a way has been found for a gradual return of the Vperyod-ists through Pravda, which did not hit them directly. I am very glad But if this rapprochement is to be durable, we must go about it slowly and cautiously. That is what I wrote in Pravda. The friends who are anxious to bring about a reunion between us and the Vperyod-ists should direct their efforts towards this too. A careful return of the Vperyod-ists (tested by experience), from Machism, Otzovism and God-building, may do a devil of a lot of good. The slightest carelessness and 'a relapse to the disease of Machism, Otzovism, etc., may make the struggle flare up worse than ever.... I have not read Bogdanov's Philosophy of Living Experience; I suppose it is the same old Machism in a new garb...."
Reading those lines today brings up the whole path of struggle against the Vperyod-ists in that period of profound cleavage between 1908 and 1911. Now that that period was over, Ilyich was completely absorbed in Russian work, carried away by the rising tide of the movement. He could speak more calmly now about the Vperyod-ists, but he hardly believed, if he believed at all, that Alexinsky was capable of learning by experience or that Bogdanov would cease to be a Machist. Things turned out just as Ilyich had anticipated. Before long a sharp conflict broke out with Bogdanov, who, under cover of supplying a popular explanation of the word "ideology," attempted to smuggle his philosophy into Pravda. The end of it was that Bogdanov was crossed out of the list of Pravda's contributors.
During the Cracow period Vladimir Ilyich's mind was already running on socialist construction. Of course, this can only be said conditionally, since the direction which the socialist revolution would take in Russia was not yet clear at the time. Nevertheless, without the Cracow experience of semi-emigration, when the leadership of the political struggle of the Duma group came to grips with all the concrete problems of economic and cultural activity, it would have been difficult, during the period immediately following the October Revolution, to tackle ail the essential aspects of Soviet construction in their entirety. The Cracow period was a sort of preparatory class for socialist construction. Naturally, the problems were posed in bare outline, but they were so vital and real that they have lost none of their significance to this day.
Vladimir Ilyich devoted a good deal of attention at that time to questions of culture. At the end of December arrests and searches were made among the pupils of the Witmer gymnasium in St. Petersburg This school, of course, was unlike the others of its type. The head mistress and her husband took an active part in the first Marxist circles formed in the nineties, and rendered various services to the Bolsheviks in 1905-1907. In the Witmer gymnasium no one was forbidden to go in for politics, organize circles, etc. It was this gymnasium that the police raided. The question of the students' arrests was raised in the Duma, and the Minister for Education, Kasso, gave an explanation. His explanation was rejected as unsatisfactory by a majority of votes.
In an article entitled "Growing Incongruity," written for Nos. 3 and 4 of Prosveshchenie, Vladimir Ilyich pointed out in Chapter X that the State Duma passed a vote of no confidence in Kasso, the Minister of Education, in connection with the arrests of the students of the Witmer gymnasium. This, he said, was not the only thing the people ought to know. "The people and democracy must know the motives for this vote of non-confidence in order to understand the reasons of things regarded as abnormal in politics, and to find a way out to the normal." Ilyich goes on to examine the formulas of the various parties for proceeding to the next business. He examined the formula of the Social-Democrats, and writes:
"This formula can hardly be regarded as faultless either. One cannot help wishing it a more popular and comprehensive style of exposition, one cannot help regretting that it does not mention the legitimacy of engaging in politics, etc., etc.
"But our criticism of all the formulas is in no way directed against a particular style of editing; it is directed exclusively against the basic political ideas of the authors. A democrat should have said the main thing – that circles and talks are natural and gratifying. That is the point. Condemnation of political activity, albeit at an 'early age,' is hypocrisy and obscurantism. A democrat should have raised the question from that of a 'united cabinet' to that of the political regime. A democrat should have pointed out the 'indissoluble connection' first 'with the dominance of the secret police,' secondly, with the dominance of the class of large landowners of the feudal type in the economic life." Thus did Vladimir Ilyich teach how to link up concrete questions of culture with important political issues.
Speaking of culture, Ilyich always emphasized the connection between culture and the general political and economic system. He severely criticized the slogan of cultural-national autonomy, and wrote: "So long as various nations live in a single state they are bound together by millions and billions of threads of an economic, legal and social nature. How can school education be torn away from these links? How can it be 'removed from the jurisdiction' of the state, to use the classic and emphatic absurdity of the Bund formula? If economics unite nations living in a single state, then any attempt to divide them once for all in the sphere of 'culture,' and especially on school questions, is ridiculous and reactionary. On the contrary, we should strive to unite the nations in school matters, in order that the school may prepare for what is carried out in life. At present we witness the inequality of nations and dissimilarity in their levels of development; under such conditions the division of school education by nationalities will actually make it inevitably worse for the more backward nations. In the southern, former slave states of America. Negro children attend separate schools to this day, while in the northern states white and Negro children go to the same schools." In February 1913 Vladimir Ilyich wrote a special article "Russians and Negroes," in which he tried to show how the ignorance and cultural backwardness of one nationality affects the culture of another, how the cultural backwardness of one class leaves its mark upon the culture of the entire country.
Vladimir Ilyich's remarks about proletarian policy in the field of school education are extremely interesting. Protesting against cultural-national autonomy and the removal of school education "from the jurisdiction" of the state, he wrote: "The interests of democracy, in general, and of the working class, in particular, demand the exact opposite. We must strive to bring the children of all nationalities together in the same school of a given locality. The workers of all nationalities must carry out together the proletarian policy in school education that was so well expressed by Samoilov, a deputy of the Vladimir workers, on behalf of the R.S.D.L.P. group in the State Duma." Samoilov had demanded the separation of the church from the state and the school from the church; he had demanded the complete secularization of the schools. Vladimir Ilyich also said that facilities for the children of the national minorities to study their own culture would easily be arranged under a real democracy, when bureaucratism and "Peredonovism" [Peredonov-a gymnasium teacher, a character in Sologub's novel Little Demon typifying a vulgar sordid bureaucrat and petty tyrant, snob and sneaking cad.-N.K.] would be completely ousted from the schools.
In the summer of 1913 Ilyich drafted a Duma speech for Badayev "In Reference to the Policy of the Ministry of Education." Badayev delivered it, but was prevented from finishing it by the Chairman of the Duma.
In this draft Ilyich cited statistical data showing the unbelievable cultural backwardness of the country and the paltry sums allocated for education. He showed that the policy of the tsarist government barred nine-tenths of the population from education. In this draft speech Ilyich wrote about "the government's mean, shameless and disgustingly tyrannical treatment of the teachers." He drew a comparison again with America. There were 11 per cent of illiterates in America, and as much a 44 per cent among the Negroes. "But the American Negroes are more than twice better off than the Russian peasants in respect of "popular education." The Negroes in 1900 were more literate than the Russian peasants because half a century before that the American people had utterly defeated the American slaveowners. The Russian people, too, should have overthrown their government in order to make their country a literate, cultured country.
In a speech drafted for Shagov, Ilyich wrote that the only way for Russia to become a literate country was to give the landowners' estates over to the peasants. In an article "What Can Be Done for Education?" written at that period. Ilyich gave a detailed account of library organization in America and urged the necessity of doing the same job in Russia. In June he wrote his article "The Working Class and Neo-Malthusianism," in which he said: "We are fighting better than our fathers did. Our children will fight still better, and they will win.
"The working class is not finished, it is growing, maturing, becoming stronger, more united and enlightened, and hardened in the struggle. We are pessimists as regards serfdom, capitalism and small-scale production, but we are ardent optimists as far as the working-class movement and its aims are concerned. We are laying the foundations of the new edifice, and our children will complete it."
Ilyich was interested not only in questions of cultural development, but in a number of other questions of practical importance in socialist construction.
Characteristic of the Cracow period were articles such as "A Great Victory of Technics," in which Vladimir Ilyich compares the role of great inventions under capitalism and under socialism. Under capitalism, inventions go to enrich a handful of millionaires, tending to worsen the general conditions of the workers and increase unemployment. "Under socialism, the application of Ramsey's system would 'emancipate' the toil of millions of mining workers, etc., and would immediately make it possible to reduce the eight-hour working day for all workers from eight to, say, seven and even less hours. 'Electrification' of all the factories and railways would make the conditions of work more hygienic, would rid millions of workers of dust, smoke and dirt, and quicken the process of converting the filthy workshops into clean and airy laboratories fit for human beings. Electric lighting and heating in all houses would save millions of 'domestic drudges' from wasting three-quarters of their lives in smelly kitchens.
"Capitalist technics every day are steadily outgrowing the social conditions, which condemn the working people to hired drudgery." Eighteen pears ago Ilyich was thinking about "electrification," a seven-hour day, kitchen-factories and the emancipation of women.
Ilyich's article "A Young Industry" shows him eighteen Years ago pondering the problems and significance of automobile developments Under socialism. In his article "Metals in Agriculture," Ilyich described iron as "the iron foundation of a country's culture." "We are all fond of chattering about culture, about the development of productive forces, about raising the level of peasant farming, etc.," he wrote. "But the moment the question is brought up of removing the barrier that prevents millions of impoverished, downtrodden, hungry, barefooted, neglected peasants from being 'raised,' our millionaires' tongues stick in their throats.... Our industrial millionaires prefer to share their medieval privileges with the Purishkeviches and sigh about liberating the 'muterlend' from medieval backwardness... ."
Of especial interest, however, is Ilyich's article "The Ideas of Advanced Capital." In this article he examined the ideas of an American millionaire businessman by the name of Filene, who tried to impress upon the masses that the employers were bound to become their leaders, because they were learning ever better and better to understand the community of interests between themselves and the masses. Democracy was spreading, the strength of the masses was increasing, the cost of living was rising. Parliamentarism and the daily Press with its vast circulation were keeping the masses increasingly well informed. The ideas of advanced capital were designed to dupe the masses, make them believe that there was no antagonism of interests between labour and capital, for the sake of which they were prepared to go to a certain expense (by giving office employees and skilled workers a share in the profits). Having got to the bottom of these ideas of advanced capital, Ilyich exclaims: "My most esteemed Mr. Filene! Are you quite sure that the workers of the world are the simpletons you take them for?"
Written eighteen years ago, these articles show what problems of construction Ilyich was interested in at the time, problems, which, at the time the Soviet power was established, already proved to be familiar ones; all that had to he done was to put in effect ideas that had already been worked out.
In the autumn of 1912 we made the acquaintance of Nikolai Bukharin. Besides Bagocki, whom we saw pretty often, we received visits at the beginning from Kazimierz Czapinski, a Pole who worked on the Cracow newspaper Naprzod (Forward). This Czapinski told us a lot about the famous Cracow health resort Zakopane, about the lovely mountains there and the wonderful scenery, and incidentally mentioned that a Social-Democrat by the name of 0rlov lived there, who made fine paintings of the Zakopane mountains. Shortly after this we moved into town from Zwiezynce, and looking through the window one day we saw a young fellow coming up to the house with a huge canvas bag on his back. It turned out to be Orlov – otherwise Bukharin. He and Ilyich had a fairly long talk together. Bukharin lived in Vienna. We were in close touch with Vienna ever since. The Troyanovskys lived there too. When we asked Bukharin about his paintings he pulled a number of splendid reproductions of German painters out of his bag. We examined them with great interest. Some of the pictures were by Boecklin. Vladimir Ilyich was fond of paintings. I remember how surprised I was when Ilyich once brought home from Vorovsky's a heap of illustrated write-ups of various painters over which he spent hours in the evenings.
We had lots of visitors in Cracow. Comrades going to Russia used to call on their way to make arrangements about their work. Nikolai Yakovlev, the brother of Varvara Nikolayevna, stayed with us a fortnight once. He was on his way to Moscow to start the Bolshevik paper Nash Put (Our Way). He was a staunch and reliable Bolshevik. Ilyich had long talks with him. Yakovlev got the paper going, but it was soon suppressed and he was arrested. This was not surprising, since the man who had "helped" him start the newspaper was the Duma deputy from Moscow – Malinovsky. The latter told us a great deal about his tours of the Moscow Gubernia and the workers' meetings which he had conducted. I remember him telling us about a meeting at which a policeman had been present; the policeman had listened very attentively and had been very obliging. In relating this incident Malinovsky had laughed. He told us a good deal about himself. One story was about how he came to volunteer for the Russo-Japanese War. During the recruiting a demonstration passed by, he said, and he couldn't resist making a speech from the window. He was arrested for it, and afterwards the colonel of the police spoke to him and said he would leave him to rot in jail or pack him off to a military convict gang unless he volunteered to join up. He had no alternative, Malinovsky said. He also told us that his wife was religious and when she found out that he was an atheist, she all but committed suicide; she suffered from nervous fits ever since. His stories sounded queer. No doubt there was a particle of truth in them. In talking about his past experiences, he held certain things back, omitted important points, and gave things a wrong twist.
Later on I thought perhaps that recruiting story of his was true, and maybe that was the reason why, on returning from the front, he had had an ultimatum put to him – either to become an agent provocateur or to go to prison. His wife was really under great emotional stress, and had actually attempted suicide, but the reason may have been something else – perhaps she suspected her husband of being an agent provocateur. At any rate, Malinovsky's stories were a mixture of truth and lies, and it was this that made them sound so plausible. It never occurred to anyone at the time that he was a police spy.
Besides Malinovsky, the government took care to have a spy on Pravda, too. He was Chernomazov. He lived in Paris, and called on us in Cracow on his way to Russia, where he was going to work on Pravda. We took a dislike to him, so much so that I did not offer him to stay the night with us, and he was obliged to walk the streets of Cracow all night. Ilyich attached tremendous importance to Pravda. He sent articles there almost every day, carefully counted up what collections had been made for the paper and where, how many articles had been written for it and on what subjects, etc. He was very glad when the paper carried good articles and took the correct line. Once, at the end of 1913, Ilyich asked Pravda to send him its lists of subscribers, and my mother and I sat right through the evenings for over a fortnight cutting them up and sorting them out by towns and villages. Nine-tenths of the subscribers were workers. Sometimes you would come across a small town with a large number of subscribers, and on looking it up, you would find that it contained a big factory of which we had known nothing. This chart of Pravda distribution turned out to be an interesting one. It was never printed, however. Chernomazov must have thrown it into the wastepaper basket. Ilyich had liked it very much. Worse things than that happened, though. Sometimes – but not often – Ilyich's articles got lost. At other times they were held up and inserted only after some delay. Ilyich used to worry; he wrote angry letters to Pravda, but that did not help much.
Not only people going to Russia called on us at Cracow. We had visitors from Russia, too, who came to consult us on various matters. I remember Krylenko arriving shortly after Inessa Armand had visited him. He came to arrange closer contacts. I remember how glad Ilyich was to see him. In the summer of 1913 Gnevich and Dansky came to see us to make arrangements for publishing the journal Voprosy Strakhovania (Insurance Questions) under the auspices of the Priboy Publishing House. Ilyich attached great importance to the insurance funds campaign, which he believed would strengthen the Party's ties with the masses.
A conference of Central Committee members was held in Cracow in the middle of February 1913, to which our Duma deputies arrived. Stalin arrived too. Ilyich had met Stalin at the Tammerfors Conference and the Stockholm and London congresses. This time Ilyich had long talks with Stalin on the national question. He was glad to have met a man who was seriously interested in that question and well informed on it.
Previously Stalin had spent two months in Vienna, where he had studied the national question. He had become closely acquainted with our comrades there, notably Bukharin and the Trovanovskys. After the conference Ilyich wrote to Gorky about Stalin: "We have a wonderful Georgian here who is writing a long article for Prosveshchenie, for which he has collected all the Austrian and other materials on the subject." Ilyich was worried about Pravda, and so was Stalin. They discussed ways of putting things right. Troyanovsky, if I am not mistaken, was invited to these talks. They talked about Prosveshchenie. Vladimir Ilyich set great hopes on the Troyanovskys. Elena Troyanovskaya (Rozmirovich) was preparing to go to Russia. A scheme for the publication by Pravda of a series of pamphlets was discussed. We had big plans.
Just before this we had received a parcel from containing various fish products – salmon, caviar and cured fillet of sturgeon. I got Mother's cookery book out for the occasion and made a pancake party. Vladimir Ilyich was tickled by the whole affair – he loved to treat his comrades to good and satisfying fare.
On his return to Russia, Stalin was arrested in St. Petersburg on February 22.
Life in Cracow was rather monotonous when there were no visitors. "We are living here as if in Shushenskoye – from one mail to another," I wrote to Ilyich's mother. "Until eleven o'clock we manage somehow to pass the time, waiting for the first post, and after that we have another long wait of six dreary hours." Vladimir Ilyich found the Cracow libraries rather inconvenient to work in. He started going in for ice-skating, but spring soon came. At Easter we went for a walk in the Wolski forest. Springtime in Cracow is lovely and in the woods it was simply glorious. The bushes were a riot of yellow blossoms and the trees were budding. The heady scents of spring were in the air. We had a long walk back to town, and had to cross the whole city on foot to reach home, as the trams were not running on account of the Easter holidays. I felt quite done up. In the winter of 1913 I felt rather low; my heart became tricky, my hands trembled, and I suffered from general debility. Ilyich insisted on my going to see a doctor. The doctor said my case was serious – my nerves and heart were out of order as a result of goitre. He advised the mountains of Zakopane. I came home and related what the doctor had said. The charwoman – a cobbler's wife – waxed indignant. "Fancy saying you have nerves! It's the rich ladies who have nerves and throw crockery at your head!" I did not throw crockery about, but in the state I was in I was hardly fit for work.
We moved out to Poronino, seven kilometres from Zakopane, for the summer together with the Zinovievs and the Bagockis with their famous dog Zhulik. Zakopane was overcrowded and expensive; Poroninn was simpler and cheaper. We rented a large summer house together. It stood on high ground, some 2,300 feet above sea-level, in the Tatra foothills. The air was wonderful, although there were frequent mists and drizzling rains. But the view of the mountains during clear spells was beautiful. We would climb to the plateau near our house and feast our eyes on the snow-capped summits of Tatra. Sometimes Ilyich would go to Zakopane with Bagocki, and take long walks in the mountains with the local comrades (Vigelev). Ilyich was terribly fond of hiking. The mountain air did not do me any good, and I steadily got worse. After consulting Bagocki (who was a neurologist), Ilyich insisted on my going to Berne to be operated on by Kocher. We went there in the middle of June, stopping over at Vienna, where we visited the Bukharins. Bukharin's wife Nadezhda was ill in bed, and he was obliged to look after the house and do the cooking. He put sugar into the soup instead of salt while engaged in an animated conversation with Ilyich about matters that Ilyich was interested in and about our comrades who lived in Vienna. We met several of them, and went for a ramble about the city. This large charming city was a very pleasant contrast to Cracow. In Berne we were taken charge of by the Shklovskys who made quite a fuss of us. They rented a little house with a garden. Ilyich joked with the younger girls and teased Zhenyurka. I was in the hospital for about three weeks; Ilyich sat at my bedside half the day and spent the rest of the day in the libraries. He read a great deal. He even waded through a number of medical books on thyroid complaints and jotted down notes for himself. While I was in the hospital he visited Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne to read lectures on the national question. He also lectured on the same subject in Berne. After I came out of the hospital a conference of Party groups abroad took place in Berne, at which the state of affairs in the Party was discussed. I was to have spent another fortnight after the operation convalescing in the mountains of Beatenberg on Kocher's advice, but we got word from Poronino that a lot of urgent business was waiting to be attended to, and a telegram was received from Zinoviev, which induced us to go back.
We stopped at Munich on the way. Boris Knipovich, a nephew of Lydia Knipovich, lived there. I had known him since he was a child, when I used to tell him fairy-tales. Four-year-old blue-eyed little Boris used to climb up on my knees, put his arms round my neck, and demand, "Krupa, tell me the story about the little tin soldier." In 1905-1907 Boris was an active organizer of Social-Democratic study-circles in the gymnasiums. In the summer of 1907, after the London Congress, Ilyich had lived with the Knipoviches in the country in Finland, at Styrsudd. Boris was a gymnasium student at the time, but already took an interest in Marxism, and lent an eager ear to Ilyich, knowing in what high esteem his Aunt Lydia held Ilyich.
Boris was arrested in 1911 and later deported abroad, where he studied at the University of Munich. His first book The Differentiation Among the Russian Peasantry was published in 1912. He sent a copy of it to Ilyich. Ilyich's letter to Boris shows a keen interest in the young author "I read your book with great pleasure," he wrote, "and I was very glad to see that you were tackling something serious and important. A work of this kind should enable you to test, deepen and strengthen your Marxian convictions." Ilyich then went on to make several very tactful remarks and suggestions as to method.
Rereading this letter reminds me of Ilyich's attitude towards inexperienced writers. He always went to the heart of the matter, and considered in what way he could help to improve it. He did this very tactfully, however, so that the writer was hardly aware he was being corrected. Ilyich was really wonderful at helping people in their work. For instance, wanting to ask someone to write an article and not being sure whether that person would do it properly, he would first draw him out on the subject, unfold his own ideas, and get the person interested. After sounding him out, Ilyich would suggest: "What about your writing an article on the subject?" And the writer would not even have noticed how helpful this preliminary discussion with Ilyich had been to him, and he would use the latter's own turns of phrase and expressions without being aware of it.
We had planned to stay in Munich for a couple of days to see what changes had taken place there since we lived there in 1902, but as we were in a great hurry to get back we only stayed a few hours and caught the next train out. Boris and his wife had come to meet us, and we spent the time together in the Hof Bräu restaurant, which was famous for its beer. The initials "H.B." inscribed on the walls and the beer mugs read N. V. in Russian, and I laughingly deciphered them as Narodnaya Volya. We Spent the whole evening with Boris in that Narodnaya Volya place. Ilyich praised the beer with the air of a connoisseur. He and Boris discussed class differentiation among the peasantry, and we all talked about Uncle – Lydia Knipovich – who was also seriously ill with the same thyroid trouble as I had. Ilyich dashed a letter off to her there and then, urging her to go abroad and be operated on by Kocher. We arrived in Poronino at the beginning of August – the 6th, if I am not mistaken – to find it still drizzling there. Lev Kamenev gave us the latest news about Russia.
A conference of members of the Central Committee had been arranged for the 9th. Pravda had been suppressed Rabochnya Pravda (Workers' Truth) started coming out, but almost every number was confiscated. The strike wave was mounting. Strikes had broken out in St. Petersburg, Riga, Nikolayev and Baku.
Kamenev moved into the rooms above ours, and in the evenings after dinner he and Ilyich sat on for a long time in our big kitchen discussing the news from Russia.
Preparations were going forward for the Party conference which became known as the "Summer Conference." It was held in Poronino between September 22 and October 1. All the Duma deputies arrived except Samoilov; others attending were two Moscow electors – Novozhilov and Balashov, Rozmirovich from Kiev, Sima Deryabina from the Urals, Shotman from St. Petersburg and others. Prosveshchenie was represented by Troyanovsky, and the Poles by Ganiecki and Domski and two other Rozlamowcy (the influence of the Rozlamowcy at that time extended to the four largest industrial centres of Warsaw, Lodz, Dabrowa and Kalisz).
Of the Duma deputies present I remember only Malinovsky. The conference discussed the affairs of Rabochayn Pravda, of the Moscow newspaper, of Prosveshchenie, the Priboy Publishing House, and the tactics to be pursued at the forthcoming cooperative and shop-assistants' congresses and other current tasks.
Inessa Armand arrived at the conference when it was half through. Arrested in September 1912, she bad been kept in prison under an assumed name in conditions that had seriously undermined her health (she developed symptoms of tuberculosis). She had lost none of the old energy, however, and threw herself into Party work with all her usual zest. All our people in Cracow were delighted to see her.
In all there were twenty-two persons present at the conference. It was decided to raise the question of convening a Party congress. The Fifth London Congress had been held six years ago, and since that time many changes had taken place. The growth of the working-class movement made a congress imperative. The questions before the conference were the strike movement, preparation for a general political strike, the tasks of agitation, the publication of a number of popular pamphlets, and the inadmissibility of watering down the slogans calling for a democratic republic, the confiscation of the land owners' estates and the eight-hour day, in the course of agitation work. The questions of conducting activities in the legal societies and Social-Democratic work in the Duma were also discussed. Of special significance were the decisions on the need for securing equal rights for the Bolshevik and Menshevik groups in the Social-Democratic group of the Duma, on the inadmissibility of the Bolsheviks being voted down in the group by a majority of one on the part of the "Seven," *[The Social-Democratic group in the Fourth Duma consisted of thirteen members (not counting one representative of the Polish Socialist Party Jagiello, who had no vote), of whom six were Bolsheviks and seven Mensheviks. The Bolshevik group consisted exclusively of workers and represented the broad masses of the Russian proletariat, whereas the "Seven" represented mostly the interests of the petty bourgeoisie and the radical intelligentsia. The Mensheviks forced an advantage for themselves out of this one-man majority by putting through their own resolutions on all fundamental issues in the name of the whole group. The "Six" demanded equal rights in making decisions on all Duma questions. The Mensheviks refusing, the "Six" withdrew from the united S.-D. group and formed a Russian Social-Democratic group of their own. – N.K.] who represented the views of only a negligible minority of the workers. Another important resolution adopted was that on the national question which wholly reflected the views of Vladimir Ilyich. I remember the arguments on that question in our kitchen, the heat with which it was discussed.
Malinovsky worried more than ever. He got drunk night after night, became maudlin and complained that he was being treated with suspicion. I remember Balashov and Novozhilov, the Moscow electors, resenting his behaviour. They sensed a false note and play-acting in the way he carried on.
We stayed in Poronino for about another fortnight after the conference. We took long walks, went once to Czarny Staw, a mountain lake of remarkable beauty, and other places in the mountains.
That autumn all of us – -our entire Cracow group – were drawn very close to Inessa. She was just brimming with vitality and exuberant good spirits. We had known her in Paris, but the colony there had been a large one, whereas in Cracow we lived together in a small close and friendly circle. Inessa rented a room in the same house where Kamenev lived. My mother was greatly attached to her. Inessa often came to have a chat with her, or sit and smoke. Things seemed cosier and more cheerful when Inessa was there.
We were completely absorbed by Party cares and affairs. Our home life was more like that of students, and we were very glad to have Inessa. During this visit of hers, she told me a great deal about her life and her children, and showed me their letters. There was a delightful warmth about her stories. Ilyich and I went for long walks with Inessa. Kamenev and Zinoviev called us the "gadding party." We used to go for long walks outside the town, to the meadows – called blon in Polish. Inessa in fact took the pseudonym of Blonina. She loved music, and persuaded us all to attend the Beethoven concerts. She was a good musician herself and played many Beethoven pieces very well. A particular favourite of Ilyich's was the Sonate pathetique, and he always asked her to play it. He loved music. Later, in Soviet times, he would go to Tsyurupa's to hear that sonata played by some famous musician. We talked a lot about literature – fiction, "What we are really starved for here is fiction," I wrote home to Ilyich's mother. "Vladimir knows Nadson and Nekrasov almost by heart, and has read Anna Karenina – the only odd volume we have – about a hundred times. We left our fiction library in Paris (an insignificant part of what we had in St. Petersburg), and here no Russian books are obtainable. We sometimes read with envy the advertisements of second-hand book-dealers offering twenty-eight volumes of Uspensky, or ten volumes of Pushkin, etc. As luck would have it, Vladimir has taken a sudden liking to belles-lettres. And he's such an out-and-out nationalist, too. You couldn't get him to go and see the Polish painters for love or money, yet he picked up an old catalogue of the Tretyakov Gallery at a friend's place and very often buries himself in it."
It was originally planned that Inessa was to remain in Cracow and bring her children over from Russia. I had even gone with her to look for rooms. Life in Cracow, however, was very secluded, and reminded one a bit of Siberian exile. Inessa's energies, with which she was bubbling over at the time, found no outlet there. She decided to make the round of our groups abroad and deliver there a series of lectures before taking up her residence in Paris, where she was to organize the work of our Committee of Organizations Abroad. Before her departure we had long talks together about women's work. Inessa strongly urged that propaganda work be widely developed among the women workers and a special women workers' magazine be published in St. Petersburg. Ilyich wrote to his sister Anna about the necessity of such a magazine, which began to make its appearance shortly afterwards. Inessa eventually did a great deal towards developing work among working women, and devoted no little time and energy to the business.
In January 1914 Malinovsky arrived in Cracow, and together with Vladimir Ilyich, went to Paris, and thence to Brussels to attend the Fourth Congress of the Lettish Social-Democrats, which opened on January 13.
In Paris Malinovsky delivered what Ilyich described as a very able report on the work of the Duma group, while Ilyich delivered a lengthy address on the national question. He also spoke at a 9th of January commemoration meeting, and at a meeting of the Bolshevik group in Paris in connection with the attempt of the International Socialist Bureau to intervene in Russian affairs with the aim of reconciliation and in connection with Kautsky's speech at the December meeting of the International Bureau to the effect that the Social-Democratic Party in Russia was dead. This meddling in Russian affairs on the part of the International Socialist Bureau worried Ilyich, who was afraid that it would merely act as a drag on the growing influence of the Bolsheviks in Russia. Ilyich sent a report to Huysmans concerning the state of affairs in the Party. The Fourth Congress of the Lettish Social-Democrats resulted in a victory for the Bolsheviks. Among those who attended the congress were Berzins, Lacis and Hermans. Ilyich spoke at the congress and appealed, to the Letts to line up with the Central Committee. In a letter to his mother Ilyich wrote that his trip to Paris had refreshed him.
"Paris is an uncomfortable place for anybody with modest means to live in, and very tiring," he wrote. "But for a short visit or a joy-ride there is no better or jollier city. It did me good."
In the winter, shortly after Vladimir Ilyich had returned from Paris, it was decided to send Kamenev to Russia to run Pravda and direct the work of the Duma group. Both Pravda and the Duma group were in need of help. Kamenev's wife came for him with their little son.
Kamenev's little boy and Zinoviev's son, Styopa, gravely debated whether St. Petersburg was a city or Russia. Preparations were made for departure. We all went to the station to see them off. It was a cold wintry evening. Very little was said. Kamenev's boy alone kept up a steady chatter. Everyone was wrapped up in his own thoughts. Would Kamenev hold out long there, we wondered. When would we meet again? How long would it be before we went to Russia? Everyone was thinking about Russia, longing to be back there. I used to dream of Nevskaya Zastava in my sleep. We avoided the subject, although secretly it was on everyone's mind.
The first number of the popular magazine Rabotnitsa (Woman Worker) came out in St. Petersburg on March 8, 1914. It cost four kopeks. The St. Petersburg Committee issued leaflets on Women's Day. Inessa and Staël sent in articles for the magazine from Paris, and Lilina and I from Cracow. Seven numbers of this magazine were published. The eighth was to carry articles on the forthcoming Socialist Women's Congress in Vienna, but that issue never appeared – the war broke out.
We planned to hold the Party congress at the same time as the International Socialist Congress, which was to take place in Vienna in August. We hoped that some of the delegates would be able to come legally. As for the rest, we planned to organize the crossing of the border en masse under the guise of an excursion party. This plan was to be carried through by the Cracow printers. In May we moved back to Poronino again.
Kisilev, Glebov-Avilov and Anya Nikiforova were specially assigned to conduct the campaign of preparation for the congress in St. Petersburg. They came to Poronino to make arrangements about it all with Vladimir Ilyich. On the day of their arrival we sat for a long time on the slope near our country house, listening to them talk about the work in Russia. They were all young people, full of energy, and Ilyich took a liking to them. Glebov-Avilov had been a pupil at the Bologna school, and was now a staunch Leninist. Ilyich advised the visitors to go for a walk in the mountains. As he was feeling indisposed, they went without him. On their return, they gave us a humorous account of the climbing they had done (they had climbed a very steep height), of how their knapsacks had been a nuisance, and they had carried them in turns, and how, when it was Anya's turn, all the passers-by had laughed at them and advised her to carry her gentlemen friends as well while she was at it.
The nature of the agitation for the congress was decided upon. Having received all the necessary instructions, Kiselev went to the Baltic provinces, and Glebov-Avilov and Anya Nikiforova went to the Ukraine.
Romanov, an ex-pupil of the Capri school, who had become an agent provocateur, arrived from Moscow too. I forget on what pretext he came, but it was in connection with the forthcoming congress. The secret police wanted all the information they could get about it.
Inessa had had her children over from Russia for the summer, and lived in Trieste by the seaside. She was preparing a report for the International Women's Congress, which was to be held in Vienna at the same time as the International Socialist Congress. She had work to do in other fields too. The International Socialist Bureau planned a conference in Brussels for the middle of June consisting of representatives of eleven organizations of the R.S.D.L.P. of all trends in order to organize an exchange of opinions there with the aim of establishing unity. It was obvious, however, that things would be carried further, that the Liquidators, the Trotskyists, the Bundists and others would take this opportunity to limit the activities of the Bolsheviks and bind them by a number of resolutions. The influence of the Bolsheviks in Russia was growing. As Badayev pointed out in his book The Bolsheviks in the State Duma, by the summer of 1914 the Bolsheviks had a majority on the executives of fourteen out of the eighteen trade unions that existed in St. Petersburg. The biggest trade unions, including the Metal-Workers' Union, which was the largest and most powerful in St. Petersburg, were on the side of the Bolsheviks. The same ratio existed among the workers' group of the insurance institutions. Of the Insurance Fund delegates elected in St. Petersburg and Moscow, thirty-seven were Bolsheviks and only seven Mensheviks, while in the case of the all-Russian insurance institutions forty-seven were Bolsheviks and ten Mensheviks.
Election of delegates to the International Socialist Congress in Vienna was organized on a broad scale. The majority of the workers' organizations elected Bolsheviks.
Preparations for the Party congress were making good headway too. Beginning with the spring this campaign steadily gained strength. "The task confronting us," Badayev writes, "during the period preceding the congress – namely, the consolidation and extension of the local Party units, was largely fulfilled thanks to the tremendous upsurge of the revolutionary movement in the country during the past few months. The workers' swing towards the Party increased; new cadres of revolutionary-minded workers joined the Party organizations, and the work of the leading bodies showed a steady improvement. In this connection, the forthcoming congress and the questions on its agenda were assured of a heightened interest on the part of the working-class masses of the Party."
Badayev received considerable sums of money collected for the organizing fund of the congress. He had already received a number of mandates, draft resolutions, instructions, etc. He gives a striking picture of how legal activities were linked with illegal. "The summertime," he writes, "favoured the organization of illegal meetings in the woods outside the city, where we were more or less safe from police raids. When it was necessary to call wider meetings, these were arranged under the guise of country excursions supposedly sponsored by some educational society. After riding out of St. Petersburg some twenty or thirty versts we would strike off into the woods 'for a walk,' and once there, we would post patrols to show people the way after the password had been given, and then hold our meeting. Police spies fairly swarmed around all the labour organizations, paying particular attention to the editorial offices of Pravda and our group premises, which were known to be the centres of Party work. But while the secret police increased their activity, our own secrecy technique steadily improved as well. Of course, comrades were still being arrested, but there were no big and disastrous breakdowns."
Thus, the line adopted by the Central Committee aimed at increasing legal publications, and giving the legal press a definite angle towards developing the work of the Duma group inside and outside of the Duma, towards framing all questions in a clear and definite manner and combining legal with illegal work, proved to be absolutely correct.
The attempt to override this policy through the International Socialist Bureau made Ilyich furious. He decided not to go to the Unity Conference in Brussels, but to send Inessa instead. She knew French well (it was her mother tongue), was able to keep a cool head, and had plenty of character. She could be depended upon not to surrender positions. Inessa lived in Trieste, and Ilyich sent her the report of the Central Committee which he had drafted, together with instructions how she was to act in particular circumstances. He thought out every detail. The delegation of the Central Committee, in addition to Inessa, consisted of M. F. Vladimirsky and N. F. Popov. Inessa read out the report of the C.C. in French. As was to be expected, things went beyond a mere exchange of opinions at the conference. Kautsky, on behalf of the Bureau, submitted a motion condemning the split and declaring that no serious differences existed. All voted for the resolution except the delegates of the Central Committee and the Letts. The latter refused to vote in spite of Huysmans' threat that he would report to the Vienna Congress that those who did not vote were taking upon themselves the responsibility for side-stepping the attempt to bring about unity.
At a private meeting in Brussels the Liquidators, Trotskyists, Vperyod-ists, Plekhanovists and the Caucasian regional organization formed a bloc against the Bolsheviks, and decided to take advantage of the situation to bring pressure to bear on the Bolsheviks.
Another very painful affair that completely absorbed Ilyich in the summer of 1914 besides this Brussels unity business was the Malinovsky affair.
When General Junkovsky, the newly appointed Deputy Minister of the Interior, discovered the role of agent provocateur that Malinovsky was playing, he reported it to Rodzyanko, the Chairman of the Duma, with a view to preventing a grave political scandal.
On May 8 Malinovsky handed Rodzyanko his resignation from the Duma and left the country. The local and central Party organizations condemned Malinovsky's action as being anarchistic and disruptive, and expelled him from the Party. As for the charge of being a police spy, this seemed to be so monstrous at the time, that the Central Committee appointed a special commission of enquiry under the chairmanship of Ganiecki, with Lenin and Zinoviev as members.
Rumours that Malinovsky was an agent-provocateur had been creeping about for a long time. These rumours originated in Menshevik circles. Elena Rozmirovich had strong suspicions of him in connection with her arrest – she had been working for the Duma group, and the gendarmes who interrogated her were informed of details which only an inside agent could have supplied them with. Bukharin, too, had heard various reports about Malinovsky. Vladimir Ilyich thought it utterly incredible that Malinovsky could be an agent-provocateur. Only once did a fleeting suspicion cross his mind. I remember once in Poronino, as we were returning from the Zinovievs and talking about these sinister rumours, Ilyich suddenly stopped on the bridge we were crossing and said: "What if they are true!" A look of dismay showed on his face. "That's impossible," I answered. Reassured, Ilyich fell to cursing the Mensheviks, who had no scruples as to the means they used in fighting the Bolsheviks. He had no further doubts on this score.
The commission of enquiry investigated all the rumours about Malinovsky received Burtsev's statement to the effect that he considered the charge improbable, considered the evidence of Bukharin and Rozmirovich, but could not establish Malinovsky's guilt.
Malinovsky hung around in Poronino, feeling utterly miserable and lonely. God knows what he must have lived through during that time. Then he disappeared from Poronino. No one knew where he had gone to. The February Revolution showed him up in his true colours.
He returned to Russia of his own free will after the October Revolution and gave himself up to the Soviet authorities. He was sentenced to death by the Supreme Tribunal and shot.
Meanwhile, in Russia the struggle was becoming more acute. The strike movement was building up, particularly in Baku. The working class supported the Baku strikers. The police opened fire on a crowd of 12,000 Putilov workers gathered at a meeting in St. Petersburg. Clashes with the police assumed a more violent character. The Duma deputies were becoming leaders of the rising proletariat. Mass strikes became the order of the day.
A hundred and thirty thousand workers came out on strike in St. Petersburg on July 7. The strike grew in intensity rather than waned. Barricades were erected on the streets of red St. Petersburg.
But war broke out.
Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, on France on August 3, and on Belgium on August 4. On the same day Britain declared war on Germany. On August 6 Austria-Hungary declared war on Russia, and on August 11 France and Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary.
It was the beginning of the world war, which temporarily checked the rising revolutionary movement in Russia, turned the whole world upside down, precipitated a number of grave crises, gave new and much sharper emphasis to vital issues of the revolutionary struggle, accentuated the role of the proletariat as the leader of all the working people, roused new strata to the struggle, and made the victory of the proletariat a question of life or death for Russia.