V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written in Switzerland,
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XV. Sent to Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 133-134.
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

July 26, 1904

Dear Vladimir Dmitrievich,

Thank you for your letter of 23.7.04 about our affairs.[2] I reply point by point.

As regards general policy, I am still for an armed peace, for retreats with protests (as we said in our talk with Nina Lvovna in the presence of yourself and Martyn Nikolayevich), in short, for our old tactics. Protest against every infringement, publish, agitate, without giving them any pretexts for the coup d’état which they desire. As to the details of particular measures, you can judge better on the spot.

That C.C. agents were not given any papers is the direct fault of Boris, who was the last to leave.[3] I have already written to Martyn Nikolayevich that I advise him to explain to the C.O. editorial board the absurdity of demanding the papers: tell them Boris has been written to twice, there is a report about his arrest, so must we really wait six months for a reply from Russia? Keep protesting—but de facto you will still be carrying on everything.

As regards finance, I have the feeling that we were rash in taking on the library: it’s not luxuries we need, it’s sustenance. Do you remember my telling you this? And the 300 francs have been spent! Please, do be careful, don’t let yourself be carried away by the library,[4] keep your mind on the cause as a whole.

My best greetings to Ignat. How does he feel?

I am terribly worried about Nina Lvovna. Write at once if you hear anything.

To my mind, we must issue a reply to Plekhanov (in pamphlet form, not as a leaflet, and with a short preface) if the C.O. fails to publish it despite all our protests. And don’t be late with this, or it will lose its interest.[5]

Every good wish, and greetings to Vera Mikhailovna and all our friends.

N. Lenin

Write to me (and send newspapers) to Meiringen, postlagernd.[1]


[1] Poste restante.—Ed.

[2] During the stay of Lenin and N. K. Krupskaya in the mountains in July and August 1904 and the trip of V. A. Noskov (a member of the Central Committee’s Section Abroad) to Russia, the section was in the charge of V. D. Bonch-Bruyevich, M. N. Lyadov and P. N. Lepeshinsky, the Central Committee’s agents abroad. Bonch-Bruyevich was in charge of the C.C.’s forwarding office; Lyadov was the treasurer, and Lepeshinsky, the deputy C.C.   representative abroad on connections with Iskra’s Editorial Board. The agents consulted Lenin on all important questions and transmitted to him all the correspondence coming from Russia.

[3] A reference to the official written authorisation that was to have been issued by the C.C. representatives abroad (Lenin and V. A. Noskov) to the collegium of C.C. agents abroad in Geneva, to conduct the business of the C.C.’s Section Abroad in the absence of the C.C. members. V. D. Bonch-Bruyevich informed Lenin of a fresh conflict with Iskra’s Editorial Board, who had refused to deal with the C.C.’s agents abroad without such an official document.

[4] A Party library in Geneva was organised by the C.C.’s Section Abroad and was run on members’ payments from special collections. The 300 francs mentioned by Lenin had been borrowed by the library from the Party treasury and soon repaid.

[5] A reference to the open letter of 37 Bolsheviks (the Geneva group) to Plekhanov on his reply to the open letter of M. N. Lyadov, which the latter addressed to Plekhanov on June 1, 1904 in Iskra No. 67, concerning his article in Iskra No. 66 (May 15, 1904), “Silence Is No Longer Possible!”.

Plekhanov sharply criticised the activity of the C.C.’s representatives abroad and invited C.C. members to repudiate Lenin and his pamphlet One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. Lyadov demanded that Plekhanov make public facts and documents confirming his assessment of this activity, and also state the real grounds for his demand that C.C. members repudiate Lenin. Plekhanov replied to Lyadov in the same issue of Iskra in a rude manner, but said nothing on the substance of Lyadov’s charges. This prompted the group of Bolsheviks abroad to issue their open letter, which stated that Plekhanov had declined to provide factual confirmation of his charges against the C.C. and its representatives abroad, and censured him for his behaviour in this case and towards the majority of the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in general.

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