V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in the magazine Krasny Arkhiv No. 1, 1934. Sent from Paris to Tiflis. Printed from a copy written by Yelena Stasova.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 28-30.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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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March 28, 1912

Dear Friends,

I am terribly upset and disturbed by the complete disorganisation of our (and your) relations and contacts. Truly, it is enough to make one despair! Instead of letters, you send various telegraphically brief exclamations which are quite incomprehensible.

(1) Nothing from Ivanovich. What is he doing? Where is he? How is he getting on? It’s devilishly necessary to have someone legal in Petersburg or near Petersburg, because things are bad there. This is a furious and difficult war. We have neither information nor guidance, nor supervision of the paper.

(2) Not one of the Conference delegates gives us any contacts. Not one, and not a single contact. Why, that’s complete collapse!

(3) No resolutions from anywhere which are sensible, clear, stating what organisations adopted them, supporting the decisions, confirming that their delegate attended, came back, reported!! Is it really not clear how different such formal resolutions are from letters of an intimate character: “decent”, “jolly good”, “we won”, etc.? There are no resolutions from Kiev or from Savka’s town.[2] Nikolai has sent in a letter full of joyful exclamations but absolutely   senseless. It is quite unsuitable either for the press or for official use. Were all the resolutions read out? Were they approved? What is the text of resolutions on the Conference? Are they joining forces with the local liquidators? Not one (not one!) of these fundamental elementary questions is answered. Not a single word of communication with that town (most important!) has been transmitted to us. Is not that collapse? Isn’t that a parody of work?

(4) No resolutions from anywhere, not a single one, demanding the money! Simply a disgrace.

(5) Neither from Tiflis nor from Baku (terribly important centres) is there any word of sense about reports having been delivered. Where are the resolutions? Shame and disgrace!

(6) Not a single reprinting from anywhere of the Announcement or even part of it, either in print or hectographed! A disgrace.

(7) No precise reply in writing about the platform either. Will it be published? When? Has it been approved completely? We have to print it in the Central Organ, but have no precise information.

(8) They will have to go round all the organisations again and everywhere get resolutions adopted which are precise, formal, detailed, sensible, clear (a) on representation at the Conference and on its substance, (b) on support for the Central Committee, (c) and against the liquidators, specifically against the local ones, and in general, and (d) demanding return of the money.

(9) About the money, things are bad, send us a resolution which gives us the right to bring an action. The Germans have sent a refusal. Unless it is taken to court, we shall have a complete breakdown in three or four months.

(10) If you have no financial resources, the budget must immediately be radically reviewed: we have gone beyond all limits, and are approaching bankruptcy.

(11) In Vorwärts[3] of March 26, there was a furious and malicious article against the Conference, from the editorial board. Clearly this is Trotsky. There is a great battle over the Conference—but Russia is silent. It is no use putting on a bold show and boasting; everyone knows about Vorwärts and the protests, but nothing comes from Russia.

Summing up: this is collapse and disorganisation. A round of visits and contacts. Precise correspondence. Reprinting of the Announcement, even by hectograph. Otherwise it’s all boasting.


Pass on the letter to S.  for further transmission. Greetings.


[1] Novoye Vremya (New Times)—daily newspaper published in St.  Petersburg from 1868 to 1917. At first moderate-liberal in tone, it became an organ of reactionary aristrocratic = circles and officialdom after it was taken over by A. S. Suvorin in 1876. From 1905 onwards it was an organ of the Black Hundreds. It was closed down by the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet on October 26 (November 8), 1917.

[2] Savka’s town—Ekaterinoslav, where Y. D. Zevin, who used the pseudonym “Savka”, was working.

[3] Vorwärts (Forward)—daily newspaper, central organ of the German Social-Democratic Party, started in Berlin in 1891. In the late nineties, after the death of Engels, the editorship of the paper fell into the hands of the Party’s Right wing and regularly published articles by opportunists.

In the issue for March 26, 1912, Vorwärts carried an anonymous slanderous article written by Trotsky against the Sixth (Prague) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. and its decisions. The German opportunists on Vorwärts refused to publish Lenin’s reply to Trotsky. In order to give the German workers a true picture of the Prague Conference, Sotsial-Demokrat printed Lenin’s reply in German and published it as a separate pamphlet Der Anonymus aus dem “Vorwärts” and die Sachlage in der Sozialdemokratischen Arbeiterpartei Russlands (The Anonymous Writer in “Vorwärts” and the State of Affairs in the R.S.D.L.P.).

The pamphlet was sent out to 600 German addresses— editorial boards of Social-Democratic publications, local committees, and libraries.

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