V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written between January 30 and February 2, 1908
Published: First published in Russian in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 47. Published February 5, 1908, in German in the newspaper Berner Tagwacht No. 29. Sent from Geneva to Berne. Printed from the newspaper text. Translated from the German.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 184b-185a.
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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Statement. Berner Tagwacht No. 24 (Thursday, January 30) carries a statement by L. Martov in regard to the case of Dr. Semashko, a Russian comrade arrested in Geneva.[2] In this statement Martov for some strange reason refers to Semashko only as a journalist who had been present at the International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart; at the same time he calls himself a “delegate of Russian Social-Democracy at the Stuttgart Congress”.

The Swiss workers will unquestionably interpret this statement of Martov’s to mean that Semashko has nothing to do with the Russian Social-Democratic Party.

In order that Martov’s utterly inaccurate mode of expression should not mislead anyone, I, as representative of the Russian Social-Democratic Party in the International Socialist Bureau, hereby declare that Dr. Semashko is an old member of our Party and that he was at the International Congress both as a member of the Party and as a journalist working for the Party press.

I feel this explanation to be necessary inasmuch as our Swiss comrades are clearly evincing considerable interest in Semashko’s arrest. All the Russian comrades who know him are firmly convinced that he is in no way implicated in the Tiflis “expropriation” nor could he have been. And not only because the last (London) Congress of our Party categorically rejected this “method of struggle”, but also because Dr. Semashko has lived uninterruptedly since February   1907 in Geneva, where he has engaged in literary activity.

We are firmly convinced that the international Social-Democratic press will very soon be able to welcome the release of the comrade arrested in Geneva with the same justified joy as Vorwärts (in Berlin) and l’Humanité (in Paris) at one time welcomed the release of the comrades unjustly arrested in Paris.

N. Lenin,
Representative of the Russian Social-
Democratic Labour Party
in the International Socialist Bureau


[1] Berner Tagwacht—a newspaper published by the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland.

[2] The arrests in Geneva were connected with the changing of money expropriated in Tiflis on June 13, 1907. The organiser of the expropriation, Kamo (Ter-Petrosyan), and all the participants in it managed to escape. But the tsarist authorities informed the police abroad of the serial numbers of the 500-ruble banknotes seized in the expropriation; in December 1907, persons changing these banknotes were arrested simultaneously in Berlin, Munich,   Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Geneva. In November 1907, Kamo was betrayed by the provocateur Y. A. Zhitomirsky and arrested in Berlin. The Russian Government, having established Kamo’s identity, secured his extradition as a criminal. During the search for the Tiflis expropriators, arrests were made in the Russian Social-Democratic colonies in Berlin, Paris, Munich, Geneva and Stockholm. Protests against the violation of the right of asylum for political emigrants compelled the West-European police to release the arrested shortly after.

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