V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on May 23, 1902
Published: First published in 1928 in Lenin Miscellany VIII. Sent from London to Samara. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 112.
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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And so your task now is to turn yourself into a committee for preparing the congress,[1] to accept the Bundist into this committee (after assessing him from every angle— this N.B.!), and to push your own people through into the largest number of committees possible, safeguarding yourself and your people more than the apple of your eye, until the congress. Remember: all this is of the utmost importance! Be bolder, more pushy and more inventive in this respect, and in all others, as discreet and as careful as possible.

Wise as serpents—and (with the committees: the Bund[2] and St. Petersburg) harmless as doves.

Yours ever,


[1] A reference to the re-establishment of the Organising Committee for convening the Party’s Second Congress, as the first committee, elected at the Belostok conference, had nearly all been arrested. N.K. Krupskaya, informing F.V. Lengnik of this, wrote in her letter: “Of all those elected to the committee for preparing the Congress, only one man, a Bundist, escaped arrest. We are sending him to you, and the two of you will have to make preparations for the Congress. But you must be diplomatic with him and not show your hand” = (see Lenin Miscellany VIII, p. 238). In this way Lengnik was to be co-opted to the Organising Committee. A month later, Lenin wrote about it to I. I. Radchenko in St.  Petersburg (see pp. 113–14).

The “Bundist” was K. Portnoi.

[2] Bund—General Jewish Workers’ Union of Lithuania, Poland and Russia; was founded in 1897. It consisted mainly of Jewish handicraftsmen from Russia’s Western regions. The Bund conducted a nationalist and separatist policy in the Russian working-class movement. Inside the R.S.D.L.P. it supported opportunist and Menshevik views.

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