V. I.   Lenin


Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XIII. Sent from Munich to Paris. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 67-68.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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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February 3, 1901

Dear Comrades,

We are deeply distressed over your letter of refusal to co-operate. Our letter to Nevzorov (a letter with a special enclosure for you of the “statement,” the No. 1 of Iskra, and a proof of Ryazanov’s article) and your refusal letter must have crossed, having been sent off at the same time.

This alone will show you how far it was from us to keep you from taking part in our affairs. We ask you to excuse the delay—that is indeed our fault, but you must bear in mind that we suffer as much as you do from the “indefinite state of relations”. We have strictly abided by our group’s decision not to circulate the newspaper abroad before it is circulated in Russia, making an exception only for our closest associates, including your good selves. Until quite recently, we had been altogether uncertain as to whether the paper would circulate in Russia (even today we cannot vouch for it); we had our hands full in this matter in connection with some fresh negotiations (with the liberal democrats—so far a big secret!),[2] and this delayed fulfilment of the decision adopted a fortnight or so ago to send you the issue of Iskra.

Our statement has not yet been circulated in Russia but has only been shown to several persons.

We repeat that what has happened is the result not of any lack of concern but of the indefiniteness and bustle from which we ourselves have not yet emerged. We should   be very happy to see the misunderstandings produced by this cleared up and find you taking your old attitude to our common cause.

Comradely greetings,


[1] In starting the newspaper Iskra and the journal Zarya, Lenin set the task of uniting around the editorial board all Russian Social-Democrats who could be of use for literary work. That is why he tried to have the small Borba group work with Iskra, though it was not important either ideologically and politically or in respect of ties with the workers’ mass movement.

[2] A reference to the talks between the Iskra editorial board and P. Struve, on behalf of the liberals, about the publication of a general political supplement to Zarya called Sovremennoye obozreniye (Contemporary Review). The talks lasted through January 1901 (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 380–82; Vol. 34, pp. 55–57). They were subsequently broken off and no supplement appeared.

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