V. I.   Lenin


To:   E. Y. LEVIN[2]

Written: Written August 22, 1902
Published: First published in 1921. Sent from London to Kharkov. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 114-115.
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.README

Dear comrades,

We were extremely glad to receive your letter informing us of the views and plans of the remaining editors of Yuzhny Rabochy.[3] We whole-heartedly welcome your proposal for the closest contact and co-operation between Yuzhny Rabochy and Iskra. The most vigorous steps should immediately be taken to consolidate these close relations and pass to united activities resulting from the unity of our views. In the first place, we shall avail ourselves for this purpose of your proposal to negotiate with Chernyshev.[4] Let us have his address. Is he going to be abroad (as we have heard) and will he not visit us?[1] Secondly, let us know also who your official representative is. Give us at once a direct address for letters to you from abroad and from Russia, as well as a rendezvous address to you. We have already taken steps for members of the Iskra organisation in Russia to meet you and confer about everything in detail. Nob to waste time, we ask you, too, to write to us about matters in greater detail. What are the immediate practical plans of the editorial board of Yuzhny Rabochy? Is it in contact with the southern committees and does it have formal relations with them? From your statement that you intend to conduct affairs as they were conducted prior to the formation of the League of Southern Committees and Organisations[5] we infer that both the composition and trend of the present editorial board of Yuzhny Rabochy differ from the composition and trend which existed in the spring, at the   time of the conference. What exactly is the difference between these trends, and what is the position adopted here by the southern committees, i.e., which of them support the trend of the League of Southern Committees and Organisations and which of them are in favour of your trend? What is your opinion of the extent of this divergence, does it prevent Party unity, and what measures are desirable for speedy achievement of solidarity? In what relation do the six provincial groups you have written about stand to the southern committees (and to the two trends which you have mentioned)? We should very much like you to help us to clear up fully all these questions, for that would be of great assistance in bringing closer together your friends and the members of the Iskra organisation in Russia working in the south.


[1] From abroad, write to Dietz in two envelopes, asking him to forward immediately to the editorial board of Iskra. —Lenin

[2] Levin, E. Y. (born 1873)—a Social-Democrat, one of the leaders of the Yuzhny Rabochy group, a member of Yuzhny Rabochy editorial board. At the Pskov meeting of the Organising Committee for convening the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (November 1902) was elected a member of the O.C. At the Second Congress adopted a centrist stand; after the Congress joined the Mensheviks. In September 1903 he was arrested and subsequently retired from political activity. p. 114

[3] This refers to the members of the group and editorial board of the newspaper Yuzhny Rabochy who remained at large after the mass arrests in the spring of 1902. In August 1902 they entered into negotiations with the editorial board of Iskra for joint work to restore the unity of Russian Social-Democracy. The declaration of solidarity with Iskra by members of the Yuzhny Rabochy group (published in Iskra No. 27, for November 1, 1902 and in Yuzhny Rabochy No. 10, for December 1902) was of great importance in consolidating the ranks of Social-Democracy in Russia. In November 1902 the Yuzhny Rabochy group, together with the Iskra organisation in Russia, the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. and the Northern League of the R.S.D.L.P., took part in setting up the Organising Committee for convening the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. and participated in its activities. p. 114

[4] Chernyshev, I. V.—a Social-Democrat, wavering between the Economists and Iskrists, member of the Yuzhny Rabochy group. In August 1902 he went abroad, where he negotiated with the Iskra editorial board for joint work in uniting the Party. In April 1903 joined the Economists and declared himself an adherent of the Union of Russian Social-Democrats Abroad. p. 114

[5] The League of Southern Committees and Organisations of the R.S.D.L.P. was formed in December 1901 at a conference of representatives of the Social-Democratic committees and organisations in the South of Russia (Ekaterinoslav, Nikolayev, Odessa, Kharkov and Kishinev) on the initiative of the Yuzhny Rabochy group. The conference elected a Central Committee of the League and declared the newspaper Yuzhny Rabochy to be its central organ. The group’s attempt (in opposition to the Iskra plan of creating in Russia a centralised Marxist party with the aid of an all-Russia political newspaper) to restore the R.S.D.L.P. by setting up regional Social-Democratic associations proved impracticable, and after the mass police raids in the spring of 1902 the League disintegrated. p. 114

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