V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 46. Sent from Munich to Paris. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 71b-72a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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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10.XI. 01

Dear Leiteisen,

I saw the gentleman[1] to whom you revealed a League[5] secret and who is now raising a fuss.

I must say that you made a rather big mistake.

First, why did you speak about this gentleman to Leibov and Wasserberg, who are not members of the League?? He complains particularly bitterly about this. And he is right. The attitude of the League towards third persons should be known only to League members. I think you ought to tell Leibov and Wasserberg off properly and not trust them so much in the future: if you found it possible to tell them, they should have kept silent without fail.

Second, why didn’t you put an end to the affair at once, thereby preventing the gentleman from making the trip to see G. V. and us?? After all, you are an official functionary, a member of the administration. You should have therefore accepted from the gentleman whatever statement he wanted to submit, and after discussing it with others, given him a proper collective answer. You should have told him that he could contact the League only through you and that hence he was obliged to submit to you what ever complaints he had against the League in general or one of its members in particular and had no right to take the matter up with the wrong people (G. V. or us).

As I see it, you departed from the rules (according to   which all complaints are to be dealt with by the administration) and are guilty, besides indiscretion, of failure to exercise your authority.

Well, so much for that. Do not be offended by my frankness. Now l’incident est clos.[2] We, needless to say, told the gentleman this: we do not advise you to turn to the League concerning yourself (i.e., to ask whether the League trusts you, etc.). There is no point in doing that. The League is not obliged to reply. What you ought to do is this: do everything you can to throw light on the Ruma affair (in all its aspects), collect all the evidence and ask the League to review the case and publish the findings (i.e., the accusation against Ruma and, eventuellement,[3] the exoneration of others).

He agreed that this was the only way to go about it and set to work putting down his own testimony. If you know of any other witnesses, take steps yourself to get their evidence.

And so our tactics now are: within the League, a reserved attitude towards the “gentleman” for the time being. But not a word about it outside the League, or even to the more aloof members of the League. N’est ce pas?[4]



[1] A reference to A. Y. Finn-Yenotayevsky.—Ed.

[2] The incident is closed.—Ed.

[3] Eventually.—Ed.

[4] Agreed?—Ed.

[5] The League of Russian Revolutionary Social-Democracy Abroad was founded on Lenin’s initiative in October 1901 as an organisation uniting revolutionary Marxists abroad. After the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. the Mensheviks gained control in the League and in October 1903, after its Second Congress, the Bolsheviks left it and founded their own organisation abroad.

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