V. I.   Lenin



Private, to Yevsei (Malyutkin) from Lenin

Written: Written September 20, 1904
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XV. Sent from Geneva to Nikolayev. Printed from the original in Krupskaya’s handwriting.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 123b-125.
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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Dear Comrade,

Your letter written in the Gritsko code received; we deciphered it with much difficulty since you went by another edition. We are using the same code.

The conciliators here are engaged in liquidating the Majority. When it informed the committees of the peace re stored in the Party, the C.C. forgot to add that it had itself gone over to the Minority and begun to hound the Majority. Besides the points made public in C.C. resolutions, there are also some which are not to be publicised, not because of any considerations of secrecy, but just to avoid temptation. The C.C. has decided: to dissolve the Southern Bureau for agitation in favour of the congress, to disband the forwarding office, to apologise to the book-stitchers, not to publish the minutes of the Council [[BOX-ENDS: for they discredit the Minority and show that before beginning agitation for the congress the Majority (firm) proposed honest peace and insisted on the boycott being ended on both sides while the Central Organ replied to this proposal with ridicule]], to institute a special censorship of writings by the Majority—a special censor has been named from among the conciliators to decide whether one or another piece written by Lenin can be printed, and Lenin has been deprived of   all the rights of a representative abroad. More, the C.C. is arranging a conference with the Minority, completely ignoring the Majority. The Minority of course is rejoicing and lauding the C.C. The composition of the C.C. has changed, two members have been arrested, two have resigned, and one member has been expelled completely unlawfully. The C.C., which in April took the Majority viewpoint, now finds that the C.O. is up to the mark. Yet, if in the beginning there were no differences of principle, now there are plenty. To justify itself, the Minority is smearing the old Iskra. It claims (Dan’s report to the international congress, and Trotsky’s pamphlet) that the old Iskra was not so much a Social-Democratic as a democratic organ, that it was concerned not with organising the working class but with organising the intelligentsia, that Axelrod did not take part in it because it was not really a Social-Democratic organ. Only the new Iskra has put forward the slogan “to the masses”, and so on and so forth. It is difficult to recount all the nonsense they are now spouting, speculating on the ignorance of the public, on its lack of knowledge of the history of the movement. The C.C. is not in the least perturbed by all this and is vastly tickled at having won the forgiveness of the C.O. by its declaration[2] .... On the pretext of preserving the peace in the Party the C.O. does not print resolutions passed by committees in favour of the congress, for example, the Yekaterinoslav, Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhni-Novgorod and Kazan resolutions.

Of the 20 committees in Russia (those with a vote), 12 (the St. Petersburg, Tver, Tula, Moscow, Siberian, Tiflis, Baku, Batum, Yekaterinoslav, Nikolayev, Odessa and Nizhni2Novgorod committees) have already declared for the congress, besides which the Riga and Kazan committees are for it. But the new C.C. has announced that the Samara, Orel-Bryansk and Smolensk committees are now also included among those with a vote. These committees take a conciliatory stand and conduct negligible work....

In view of the aforesaid, the Majority has decided not to allow itself to be silenced and is printing its writings independently, the publishing having been undertaken by   Bonch-Bruyevich.[3] The Council, which said nothing when Ryazanov and Akimov were putting out their pamphlets, has made a fuss and is insisting that the line “Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party” should not figure on the pamphlets. Bonch-Bruyevich editions of the pamphlet Down with Bonapartism! by Galyorka and a collection of articles by Galyorka and Ryadovoi, Our Misunderstandings, have already come out. The pamphlet The Fight for a Congress, containing resolutions adopted by the committees, including the Riga resolution, will be published shortly. The Riga people say that they want to see the Party institutions in the hands of the Majority as the Congress decided, and will press for this at the coming congress too, but that they find it necessary that certain rights be guaranteed to the Minority. The Riga resolution has already been subscribed by the Petersburg and Moscow committees.

That’s how things stand.

Bear in mind that we have already been dissolved,[4] and therefore if you want your letters to reach the right address, write on top: private, for Sharko. I am sending you new postal addresses.

We hope you will give every support to the Majority publications. It would be a good thing if a special resolution were adopted on this question. Send us letters and materials of all kinds.

Your previous letter still remains undeciphered. Let us know what key you used, for although it is old by now, it interests us nevertheless. Do you know what is happening in Yekaterinoslav and Odessa? The Minority is spreading a rumour that the Odessa Committee has withdrawn its resolution on the congress. We haven’t heard from the spot for a long time, but the report does not ring true. Let us know bow things are with Gritsko. Greetings.

P.S. We shall send you all new publications shortly.


[1] Written by Krupskaya on Lenin’s instructions.—Ed.

[2] A reference to the central Committee’s “July Declaration”—Ed.

[3] The reference is to the V. Bonch-Bruyevich and N. Lenin Publishing House of Social-Democratic Party Literature founded by the Bolsheviks in late March 1904, after the Menshevik editors of Iskra refused to print the opinions of Party organisations and members upholding the decisions of the Second Congress and demanding the convocation of the Third Congress of the Party.

[4] The reference is to the dissolution of the executive department of the C.C. as constituted until then, together with its agents abroad, in connection with the appointment of V. A. Noskov to take charge of all its functions.

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