V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1924. Sent from Geneva to the Isle of Capri (Italy). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 377-378.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
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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February 2, 1908

Dear A. M.,

I am writing to you about two matters.

Firstly, about the Semashko affair. If you do not know him personally, it is not worth while your intervening in the matter described below. If you do know him, it is worth while.

L. Martov made a “statement” in the Berne Social-Democratic newspaper to the effect that Semashko was not a delegate at the Stuttgart Congress, but merely a journalist. Not a word about his being a member of the Social-Democratic Party. This is a vile attack by a Menshevik on a Bolshevik who is in prison. I have already sent my official statement as the representative of the R.S.D.L.P. in the International Bureau.[2] If you know Semashko personally, or knew him in Nizhni-Novgorod, you should write without fail to the same newspaper saying that you are shocked at Martov’s statement, that you are personally acquainted with Semashko as a Social-Democrat, and that you are sure that he is not implicated in the affairs inflated by the international police. I am quoting below the news paper’s address and the full text of Martov’s statement, which M. F. will translate for you. Write to the editors yourself in Russian, and ask M. F. to append a German translation.

The second matter. All three of us have come together here now, having been sent from Russia to establish Proletary (Bogdanov, I and one “Praktik”). Everything is in running order, in a day or two we shall publish an announcement.[3] You are on our list of contributors. Drop us   a line as to whether you could give us something for the first issues (something after the manner of your “notes on philistinism” in Novaya Zhizn, or fragments from a story you are writing[4], etc.

All the very best. Best regards to M. F.!
V. Ulyanov

The following was published in Berner Tagwacht[5] (address of the editorial office: Kapellenstrasse 6, Bern. Social-Democratic organ) No. 24, January 30, 1908.

Erklärung. In einigen Zeitungen stand zu lesen, dass der unlängst in Genf verhaftete D-r Simaschko ein Delegierter der Genfer Gruppe der russischen Sozialdemokratie in Stuttgart gewesen sei. Dem gegenüber erkläre ich, dass D-r Simaschko nicht Mitglied der russischen Section auf dem genannten Kongresse war und kein Delegiertenmandat besessen hat. Er war dort nur als Journalist tätig.

L. Martoff, Delegierter der russischen Sozialdemokratie auf dem Stuttgarter Kongress.” [1]

That’s all. The disgusting thing about it is that Social-Democracy indirectly, as it were, shakes the dust off its the feet, and repudiates Semashko!


[1]Statement. Some newspapers reported that Dr. Semashko, recently arrested in Geneva, was a delegate in Stuttgart of the Russian Social-Democratic group in Geneva. In contradiction to this, I declare that Dr. Semashko was not a member of the Russian section at the said Congress and had no delegate’s mandate. He was there only in the capacity of journalist.

L. Martoff, delegate of Russian Social-Democracy at the Stuttgart Congress. —Ed.

[2] N. A. Somashko was arrested in Geneva at the end of January 1908. Lenin’s statement was published in the newspaper Berner Tagwacht No. 29, for February 5, 1908.

[3] The announcement concerning the resumption of Proletary abroad was issued as a separate leaflet, stating that the publication had been transferred from Russia to Geneva and giving publication dates, the names of contributors and subscription rates.

[4] Gorky’s Notes on Philistinism were published in the legal Bolshevik newspaper Novaya Zhizn in October–November 1905.

[5] Berner Tagwacht—daily, organ of the Swiss Social-Democratic Party, founded in Berne in 1893. At the beginning of World War I the paper published articles by Karl Liebknecht, Franz Mehring and other Left Social-Democrats. From 1917 the paper openly supported the social-chauvinists.

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