V. I.   Lenin


To:   S. G. SHAHUMYAN[1]

Written: Written on August 24, 1913
Published: First published in 1925 in Lenin Miscellany III. Sent from Poronin to Astrakhan. Printed from the handwritten copy found in police records.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, page 110.
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.README

Dear Comrade,

I found your letter on my return home. Be sure and send as much material as you can about, the nationalities problem in the Caucasus (since you, unfortunately, cannot write yourself), send us both the article by Kostrov and his booklets, reports by the delegates translated into Russian (I hope you will find someone to do this), statistics of nationalities in the Caucasus and material on the relations between the nationalities in the Caucasus, in Persia, Turkey and Russia. In a word, send everything there is and that you can collect. Don’t forget also to look for comrades in the Caucasus who could write articles about the problem of nationalities there.

Greetings and wishes for success.[2]

V. Ilyich


[1] Shahumyan, S. G. (1878–1918)—outstanding figure in the Communist Party and the Soviet state. Joined the R.S.D.L.P. in 1900. From 1904 to 1910 he was one of the leaders of Party work in the Transcaucasus and one of the organisers and editors of Bolshevik legal and illegal publications. An active opponent of the Mensheviks. He was co-opted as an alternative member for the Central Committee by the Central Committee which had been elected by the Sixth (Prague) Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. While exiled to Astrakhan (1911–14), he wrote, on Lenin’s instructions, the work National-Cultural Autonomy, in which he upheld the principles of proletarian internationalism. On his return from exile in 1914 he became leader of the Baku Bolshevik organisation.

[2] In reply to this letter Lenin received a letter from S. G. Shahumyan written on September 7, 1913 in Astrakhan. Shahumyan wrote that later he would send statistics of nationalities in the   Caucasus, and gave the following provisional figures—5 million Moslems, 2 million Armenians and 2 million Georgians. Concerning the distribution of nationalities in uyezds, gubernias and the cities—Tiflis, Baku, Batum, Elisavetpol, etc., he suggested using the Caucasian Calendar. He also sent the pamphlet he had promised and a translation of two reports on Armenian affairs.

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