V. I.   Lenin


To:   N. E. BAUMAN[1]

Published: First published in 1928. Sent from Munich to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 65-66.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). 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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May 24, 1901

We received your letter with the report for January, February, March and April. Thanks for the detailed and clear list of income and expenditure. But as regards your activity in general, we are still unclear what exactly this activity is and what its results are. You wrote that you have your hands full and there is no one to replace you, but you have still not kept your promise to describe, this activity. Is your work confined to forwarding literature to the points named in the report? Or are you engaged in forming a group or groups? If so, where and what kind, what has been done already, and what are these groups for—for local work, for sending to us for literature, or for something else?

We ask about this because the question is very important. Things with us are going none too well. We are bad off financially, Russia gives almost nothing. Shipping is still unorganised and haphazard. Under these conditions, our “tactics” must aim wholly at 1) sending here the fullest possible amount of the money collected in Russia for Iskra, and reducing local expenditure to a minimum; 2) spending money almost exclusively on shipment, as we already have receiving agents functioning in Pskov and Poltava who are comparatively very cheap and no burden on our exchequer.

Please think this over carefully. Our daily bread, by which we barely manage to keep alive, consists as before solely of suitcases. For a couple of them we pay about a hundred rubles, and the chance nature of the persons sent entails a vast amount of delay, carelessness, loss, etc. Nothing is being done to organise the sending of “suitcasers” from Riga (which, according to both Raznotsvetov and   Ernst, is possible). There is no news from Leopold.[2] Nothing is being arranged in Finland, although this is also possible, as we are assured from various quarters. Is it reasonable, in such a state of affairs-, to spend 400 rubles in four months on local reception and intermediaries for forwarding literature?

We think you should move into the immediate vicinity of the frontier for the sake of shipping at least 2-4 suitcases and 10–20 pounds per month by personal handling. What do you say to this?


[1] Bauman, Nikolai Ernestovich (1873-1905)—a professional revolutionary, prominent leader of the Bolshevik Party. Began his revolutionary activities in the early nineties. In 1900 was one of the founders of the Iskra organisation and worked in Moscow as its agent in 1901-02. At the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. joined the Bolsheviks. p. 65

[2] The pseudonym “Leopold” has not been deciphered. Apparently it was the code name given to the shipping group associated with N. E. Bauman. p. 66

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