V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in Geneva at the end of May 1904
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 131-132.
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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To Odessa

From Lenin, C.C. member abroad and member of the


We have been informed privately that the majority of the Nikolayev Committee is accused of incorrect action.[1] I should very much like to be clear on what happened. Be so kind as to reply to me immediately yourselves (and ask for an immediate reply to me also from the comrades who are at present members of the Nikolayev Committee, passing this letter on to them) on the following questions:

(1) Who were the members of the Nikolayev Committee before the raid of March 8–9? A full list of conspirative names is essential. How many members were there in all? How many supported the Minority and how many the Majority?

(2) Were all the members of the Nikolayev Committee arrested on March 8–9? If not, how many remain? How many belong to the Majority, and how many to the Minority?

(3) Was or was there not a formal resolution of the Nikolayev Committee (before the raid of March 8–9) on the nomination of candidates? If there was, when was it adopted, how many candidates were nominated and who precisely were they?

(4) Have there been arrests in the Nikolayev Committee since March 8–9? What changes in its composition did each of these arrests bring about?

(5) Were or were not Comrades S. and O. (members of the Minority with whom there was a dispute) members of the Nikolayev Committee before the raid? Did they or did they not work in Nikolayev earlier? If they did, when, how long, in what capacity, in which group, in which line, etc.? When precisely did S. and O. come to Nikolayev?

(6) How many days after the wholesale arrests (March 8--9) did Comrade N. come to Nikolayev?

(7) What right had Comrade N. to declare Comrades  S. and O. members of the Nikolayev Committee, without consulting Comrades V. and A., members of the Nikolayev Committee, and without obtaining their consent?

(8) Did Comrades S. and O. make any complaint about being members of the Nikolayev Committee without any appointment and without co-optation? If they did, please state in detail on what grounds.

(9) What connections were Comrades S. and O. supposed to hand over to Comrades V., N. and A.? Where did Comrades S. and O. get these connections? Who gave these connections to them, and when?

(10) Why did S. and O. not recognise Comrades V. and A. as the Committee?

(11) What official organisations of the Nikolayev Committee existed at the time of the raid of March 8–9, i.e., what groups of agitators, of organisers, of propagandists, etc., and how many such groups? Please list all without fail, and state how many members there were in each, how many of the Minority and how many of the Majority?

(12) When was the group of agitators whose meeting of 10 on April 20 adopted a resolution in favour of the Majority formed? Was it before the raid or after the raid? Was its composition changed after the raid, and how precisely? Did or did not this group (or some other groups) have a formal or tacit right to nominate candidates for membership of the local Committee?

(13) Do you happen to know from where, and with whose help (in cash, etc.), S. and O. were sent?


[1] Iskra No. 62 of March 15 carried a report on the Nikolayev arrests in the “Chronicle of the Revolutionary Struggle” section: “In the early hours of March 9, the printing press was confiscated and the four men there arrested. In addition, the police arrested ... many others.” = Lenin set forth the essence of the conflict in the Nikolayev Committee during the discussion of the question at the Party Council’s meeting on June 18, 1904 (see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 440–41).

The names of the persons indicated in Lenin’s letter by their initials, or the group of agitators, mentioned at the end of the letter, have not been identified.

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