V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 47. Printed from the original in A. Warski’s handwriting and signed by Lenin. Translated from the German.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 253-254a.
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.

Copenhagen, September[1]  2, 1910

Dear Comrades,

The August 28 issue of Vorwärts carried an utterly outrageous anonymous article about the state of affairs in the Russian Party.[2] At the height of the work of the International Congress, when everyone is moved by the desire to preserve socialist unity, to discuss with the utmost caution the internal disputes in the parties of the different countries, to avoid if possible interfering in these disputes, to demonstrate the strength, the grandeur and moral prestige of Social-Democracy in all countries—at this very time the Central Organ of the German Party suddenly, without any reason, without the slightest apparent need, prints an article containing incredible at tacks on Russian Social-Democracy. The above-mentioned article shamelessly criticises the entire Social-Democratic movement in Russia; it strives to represent Russian Social-Democracy to the foreign public in the darkest colours, as being in a state of decline, impotence and degeneration. Further, it assails and slanders all the existing groups and trends in the Party without exception, from top to bottom; and, finally, it contains crude attacks on official central bodies of the Party—the Central Commit tee and the Central Organ—accusing them of factional prejudice, etc,; individual members of these central bodies too are slandered in the most outrageous manner.

Such an article in the Central Organ of the German Party, the anonymous author of which was prompted solely by a desire for revenge for some petty personal grievance, will damage the interests of the Social-Democratic movement in Russia; it constitutes an unexampled violation of international solidarity and brotherhood in relation to Russian Social-Democracy. And if the Russian Party, which has many well-known writers, has for several years   avoided parading its internal affairs on the pages of the German Party press, that is only because it does not consider the foreign press to be a suitable battlefield for settling its disputes. The building of the unity of the Social-Democratic Party of Russia is and remains the paramount and most difficult task for all the comrades in Russia, and primarily for the central bodies of the Party. Clearly, it is essential, in the interests of preserving unity, to avoid anything that is prejudicial to the resolving of internal differences. No one of course should object to the problems of Russian Party life being treated in a calm, objective manner. But we are most emphatically opposed to malevolent, petty and treacherous attacks on the movement, the Party and its central bodies, such as that contained in the above-mentioned article, the more so since the anonymous author who poses as an omniscient outsider is introduced as a correspondent of the Central Organ, the newspaper Vorwärts, which lends the article an official editorial character.

Delegates of the Central Organ of the Russian
Social-Democratic Labour Party Sotsial-Demokrat.
G. Plekhanov
A. Warski

Delegate of the Central Committee, member of
the International Socialist Bureau
N. Lenin (Vl. Ulyanov)


[1] In the original “August”. obviously a slip of the pen.—Ed.

[2] A reference to the anonymous article “Die russische Sozialdemokratie (Von unserem russischen Korrespondenten)” published in Vorwärts No. 201 on the opening day of the Copenhagen Congress of the Second International, August 28, 1910. The author was L. Trotsky. Lenin recalls it in his article “The Anonymous Writer in Vorwärts and the State of Affairs in the R.S.D.L.P.” written in 1912 (see present edition, Vol. 17, p. 535).

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