V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in the second half of October 1912
Published: First published April 21, 1960, in the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda No. 95. Sent from Cracow to Capri. Printed from a typewritten copy certified by Maxim Gorky.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 304b-305a.
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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I had hardly posted my previous letter when I received yours about the library. The plan to collect material on the history of the revolution is magnificent. I welcome it with all my heart and wish it success.

As for Bebutov, he told me when I met him in May in Berlin that he had given the library to the Vorstand (the C.C. of the German Social-Democrats) in such a way that he could not take it back. I have his letter saying that this library was to be donated to the Social-Democratic Party when it was united, etc. I’m afraid that means there’s nothing to be done. But all the same you ought to try to get in touch with Bebutov.

Vl. Ilyin


[1] A typewritten copy of the present letter verified by Maxim Gorky was preserved among the personal papers of V. A. Desnitsky. It was written in reply to a project sent by Gorky for the collection of material on the history of the revolution. Gorky wrote about this project to V. V. Veresayev on October 8 (New Style), 1912 (Maxim Gorky, Collected Works, 30–volume Russian edition, Vol. 29, p. 255).

Gorky proposed to acquire for a museum the library and archives collected by Prince I. D. Bebutov, a Social-Democratic sympathiser. Bebutov had willed the collection to the R.S.D.L.P. and turned it over for safekeeping to the Executive (C.C.) of the German Social-Democratic Party. Through the editor of the St. Petersburg journal Sovremennik, Gorky got in touch with Bebutov, who replied that he did not object to his library being transferred to a reliable institution, but the final decision was left until a personal meeting.

What happened afterwards to the Bebutov library is not known.

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