V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published April 21, 1963, in the newspaper Moskovskaya Pravda No. 95. Sent from Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 144b-145.
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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12/XII. 04

Dear Leiteisen,

Today we finally, and practically, settled the question of the organ. We propose to begin publishing as of January 1–10; the size will be half the old Iskra (something like Osvobozhdeniye)—100,000 characters, or roughly four rages of the old Iskra. It should come out fortnightly, and still better, weekly.[2]

The cost will be about 400 frs. an issue. For one issue we have the money, and for the rest—promises.... This is on the short side, and the initial period is especially hard going. Because of this, remembering your offer, I turn to you: consider the question thoroughly and write how much you could give to help; we shall count on you in an emergency (besides promises of a “big sum” from Russia, we have some “prospects” of getting a few hundred francs here, and then, apart from this, so far in the past three or four months there has always been a thousand or two francs available for pamphlets). It would be good to know the maximum we can be sure of getting from you in an emergency, when we are unable to raise money anywhere and the paper is threatened with death.

Now about writing for us; We count on having you as our permanent correspondent covering the French movement. We should carry 8,000–12,000 characters once in two weeks about French socialism and working-class movement, etc. Let us have something without fail by January 1.

Further. Since you are au courant as regards French political life (as you told me yourself) and are in a position to follow the latest literature, sometimes better than from Paris, perhaps you could keep us posted on, and at times obtain and forward to us, or review, etc., interesting new books, articles and items published in journals, and the like. The foreign press now writes a great deal about Russia. There is much that never comes to our knowledge; you see far more newspapers, journals, books. For instance, I recently happened to read about the book Rouble et roublards by a French correspondent who fled from Russia after the outbreak of the war. It would be extremely important for the paper to keep abreast of such new books and to carry articles about them. Please give this serious thought and render us all-round literary assistance. Draw our attention to interesting new publications and send us items and extracts from socialist newspapers and journals which we could translate for the paper, etc. For you probably follow practically the entire French (and Belgian?[1] ) socialist press, don’t you?

Bear in mind, then, that we are seriously counting on you.

You must come here on Christmas. It is most important to talk things over, at leisure, thoroughly, concretely.

Did you write Plekhanov about the “Zemstvo” views of the new Iskra? Their letter is stupid, isn’t it?[3] And Starover in No. 78 is simply delightful.

N. Lenin

By the way, Could you send me material to refute Starover’s reference to Clemenceau? For it is incorrect.[4] Please get the material and send it to me. It would be edifying to refute him factually.


[1] We have no correspondent in Belgium. Can you undertake the job or suggest somebody? —Lenin

[2] A reference to the illegal Bolshevik paper Vperyod, published in Geneva under Lenin’s guidance from December 22, 1904 (January 4, 1905) to May 5 (18), 1905.

[3] In a letter from the editors of the Menshevik Iskra published in November 1904, the Mensheviks put forward as the Social-Democrats’ main task the “organised influencing on the bourgeois opposition” by presenting demands to the government through bourgeois liberals and Zemstvo leaders.

[4] In an article “Our Misfortunes” published in Iskra No. 78, A. N. Potresov (Starover), criticising Lenin, cited the programme of the French Radical Party, of which Georges Clemenceau was leader.

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