V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 11. Sent to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, page 72b.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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Salzburg, May 14 (2), 1895

I am making use of a two-hour stop at a small Austrian town (not far,[1] now, from my destination) to fulfil my promise to write on the way.[3]

This is my second day of travel abroad and I am practising the language; I have discovered that I am weak at this and have the greatest difficulty in understanding the Germans—or rather, I don’t understand them at all.[2] I ask the guard on the train a question, he answers and I don’t understand him. He repeats the answer more loudly. I still don’t understand, and so he gets angry and goes away. In spite of this disgraceful fiasco I am not discouraged and continue distorting the German language with some zeal.

Regards to all,
V. Ulyanov

I shall probably not be able to write another letter very soon.


[1] A little over 24 hours.—Lenin

[2] Their pronunciation is so strange and they speak so quickly that I do not understand even the simplest sounds—Lenin

[3] On April 25 (May 7), 1895 Lenin went abroad on the instructions of St. Petersburg Marxists to establish connections with the Emancipation of Labour group and familiarise himself with the West-   European working-class movement. Lenin visited Switzerland, France and Germany and returned to Russia in the autumn of 1895.

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