V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on October 5, 1903
Published: First published in 1927 in Lenin Miscellany VI. Sent from Geneva to Kiev. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 128-129.
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.README

To Claire and Boris from Starik

Dear Friends,

Kurtz is writing to you about yesterday’s meeting.[1] There is no longer any hope, absolutely no hope of peace. You can’t imagine even a tenth of the outrages to which the Martovites have sunk here, poisoning the whole atmosphere abroad with their spiteful gossip, encroaching on our contacts, money, literary material, etc. War has been declared, and they (Lyuba, Kostya, Yeryoma) are already on their way to fight in Russia. Get ready for the most legal but desperate struggle. We must by all means fill the places on all committees without exception with our own people. Special attention should be paid to Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav and Rostov. Is it true that the Kiev Committee has adopted a resolution backing the Minority? Is that possible? Why weren’t we told earlier?

I would very strongly advise you to co-opt Konyaga and Ignat. You will soon see and get to know the former. About the latter I will say this: in wartime he is, truly, useful and essential; he will be quite loyal; he can be kept away from functions for which he is not fit; there is much idle gossip about him; there is no need to fear that he will co-opt God knows whom, because Kurtz will be staying here, and we shall take care of him. I repeat that I strongly advise you to take in Ignat, but, of course, it is entirely up to you; I have made Ignat give me a solemn promise that he would obey his chiefs in all things (and admitted to him that he should be prepared for not being co-opted).

Please be sure to get the Bureau to function properly,   so that we should get weekly letters from you. I would ask you even more earnestly to have Brutus go underground: it’s not worth while perishing cheaply. Let him travel all over the place in the next two or three months, and then come here to replace Kurtz. This step is really essential. We have seen Lebedev. Ruben is here also.

Gurvich and Khinchuk are Martovites.

Hurry up with your reply about the Council. You should at once make a formal appointment of one more member representing you, and he should transfer his vote to Kurtz. Please don’t delay.


[1] A reference to the meeting of all six members of the former Iskra Editorial Board and F. V. Lengnik, a member of the Central Committee, on the question of agreement. Lenin and Plekhanov tried to co-opt Y. O. Martov to the editorial board and get other former Menshevik editors and contributors to Iskra to work on it, but they failed because the Mensheviks demanded the co-optation of all four former editors. Lenin saw the “absurdity” of the demand   and abandoned the idea of negotiations. However, on October  4, 1903, Plekhanov made another effort to co-opt two editors but this was also rejected. For details on the October 4 meeting and the subsequent correspondence, see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 349–57.

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