V. I.   Lenin

A Letter to J. V. Stalin[1] (December 6, 1912)

For Vasilyev

Written: Written December 6, 1912
Published: First published in the book The Period of of Zvezda and Pravda, 1911–14, Issue III, 1923. Sent from Cracow to St. Petersburg. Published according to a copy made by N. K. Krupskaya.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 430-431.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). 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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December 6.

Dear friend, with regard to January 9, it is highly important to think things over and make preparations in advance. A leaflet must be prepared in advance calling for meetings, a one-day strike, and demonstrations (the latter should be decided on the spot, where it will be easier to decide).[2] We must “correct” the mistake of November 15—correct it against the opportunists, of course. The slogans in the leaflet must be the three main revolutionary ones (a republic, an eight-hour working day, and confiscation of the landed estates), with special emphasis on the 300 years’ “infamy” of the Romanov dynasty. If there is no complete and absolute certainty that we can have the leaflet in St. Petersburg, we must prepare it here beforehand and take it there. The liquidators’ impudence over Jagiello is unparalleled. If all of our six representatives have been elected by the worker curia, we must not tacitly submit to any Siberians. The six must by all means voice the most emphatic protest if they are outvoted; they must print their protest in Dyen and declare that they are appealing to the rank and file, to the workers’ organisations. The liquidators want to inflate their majority and force through a split with the Polish Social-Democrats. Is it possible that the workers’ representatives from six working-class gubernias will submit to the Skobelevs and Co. or to a chance Siberian[3]? Write more often and in greater detail.

The Luch articles against strikes are the height of villainy. We must come out sharply against them in the illegal press. Let me know as soon as possible which of the plans made by you for such action you have chosen.

Best regards.

P.S. Return the document—it is inconvenient to use it, its holder may be in St. Petersburg.


[1] N. K. Krupskaya copied the letter to J. V. Stalin in invisible ink, writing it between the lines of another letter. The letter was discovered in the files of the Police Department, among other letters that had been secretely inspected.

Vasilyev—pseudonym of J. V. Stalin.

[2] The Leaflet on the occasion of January 9, 1913, “To All Working Men and Women of Russia”, was written by J. V. Stalin in December 1912 on the basis of the directives given by V. I. Lenin, and was brought out over the signature of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.

[3] This refers to the Right-wing Menshevik I. N. Mankov, a member of the Fourth Duma.

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