V. I.   Lenin




Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 47. Printed from the original. Translated from the German.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 231-232a.
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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22/I. 1910

Dear Sir,

I am very well aware of the scientific character of the dictionary and would gladly give you all the information you wish concerning the history of Social-Democracy in Russia. But at the moment, unfortunately, I could not possibly write a brief essay on the history of Social-Democracy.[2]

There is some good information up to 1904 in the report to the Amsterdam International Congress of 1904—Lidin, [M.] Explanatory Material Bearing on the Crisis in Russian Social-Democracy (Geneva) [1904] and several articles by different authors in Neue Zeit.

In August 1910 an international congress will be held in Copenhagen. Presumably the official report of our Party (Social-Democratic Labour Party of Russia) will appear within a few months.

There have been two major trends in the S.D. movement in 1903–09—“Mensheviks” and “Bolsheviks”. In Neue Zeit you will find articles by representatives of both trends.

Bibliography: Cherevanin (Menshevik), reviews in Vorwärts and Leipziger Volkszeitung.[3] Trotsky, middle position (Vermittlerstellung) (Russland in Revolution, 1910).

I myself belong to the “Bolshevik” trend.

[There are] articles by Trotsky in German also in Kampf (Austrian S.D. review).[4]

Please excuse me for not being able to give you a systematic essay.

Respectfully yours,
Vl. Ulyanov

4. Rue Marie Rose. 4. Paris. XIV.


[1] The word “Lenin” was added later in pencil.—Ed.

[2] Who asked Lenin to write an essay on the history of Social-Democracy in Russia has not been established. It may have been the editor of “Schulthers’ Europäischer Geschichts-Kalender”.

[3] Leipziger Volkszeitung—a Social-Democratic daily published from 1894 to 1933. For a number of years it was edited by Franz Mehring and Rosa Luxemburg and was the organ of the Left Social-Democrats. From 1917 to 1922 it was the organ of the German Independents, and after 1922, of the Right-wing Social-Democrats.

[4] Der Kampf—a monthly, organ of the Austrian Social-Democrats, published in Vienna from 1907 to 1934. Its orientation was opportunist, Centrist, camouflaged with Left phraseology.

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