V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written prior to June 7, 1913
Published: First published in 1935 in Proletarskaya Revolutsia No. 5. Sent from Poronin to Berlin. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 346b-348a.
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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Dear Comrade,

I sent the draft platform to Herman in Berlin yesterday.[1]

The extract from Berzin’s article,[2] which you have sent me, shows that he is a very stupid conciliator. You must rally around you people who are steadfast and who   understand what’s what, but men like Berzin virtually help the liquidators. They are servants of the liquidators.

Send me a translation (into Russian or German, whichever you find easiest) of Berzin’s whole article.

Berzin should be given a detailed and sharp reply.


Having only a short excerpt from you, all I can say against Berzin for the time being is this:

Berzin tries to present the matter as if the “Bolsheviks”, or rather the 1912 January Conference of the R.S.D.L.P., are effecting a split by ignoring the Stockholm decision. Berzin shows by this that he is simply an ignoramus. He does not know what the Stockholm decision is about.

The Stockholm Congress did not accept federation. It accepted an agreement with the non-Russians (that is, the Poles, Letts and the Bund).[3]

That agreement called for union of non-Russians locally. Why does Berzin side-step this? Through ignorance or to cover up the liquidators?

Proof—the decision of the Party at the 1908 December Conference (i.e., two and a half years after Stockholm).

This decision reads (see p. 46 of the pamphlet All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. of December 1908):

(§ 1) “The Conference directs the C.C. to take steps to wards effecting union of the local organisations ... wherever this, despite the decision of the Stockholm Congress, has not yet been done”,

(§ 2) “amalgamation should be based on the principle of unity”. The Conference “strongly declares against amalgamation being based on the principle of federalism”.[4]

And Berzin, after this, has the impudence to assure us that the Stockholm Congress accepted federation!!

Berzin is distorting the facts!

It is the Bundists who did not carry out the decision of the Congress and the Party, since they did not effect unity, but effected federation against the decision of the Party.

The January Conference condemns the Bundists and condemns   federation.[5] If the Lettish C.C. did not attend the January Conference (against the will of the Conference that invited it) it is its own fault.

Berzin defends liquidator splitters and Bundists, he defends federation against the Party.


[1] See V. I. Lenin, “Draft Platform for the Fourth Congress of Social-Democrats of the Latvian Area” (present edition, Vol. 19, pp. 110–18).—Ed.

[2] This refers to the second article of Berzin’s series “Notes on Tactics”, published in May 1913 in No. 2–3 of Biletens of the Bureau of Lettish Social-Democrat Groups Abroad with the subheading “Principles of Party Unity”. In this article Berzin misinterpreted the decision of the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (1906) concerning the conditions for amalgamation of the Lettish S.D.L.P. with the R.S.D.L.P.

[3] This refers to the decisions of the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., namely: = 1) “Conditions for amalgamation of the Social-Democrats of Poland and Lithuania with the R.S.D.L.P.”; = 2) “Draft conditions for amalgamation of the Lettish Social-Democratic Labour Party with the R.S.D.L.P.”; = 3) “Draft conditions for amalgamation of the Bund with the R.S.D.L.P.” (see KPSS v rezolutsiyakh..., Part I, 1954, pp. 132–35).

[4] See KPSS v resolutsiyakh..., Part I, 1954, p. 203.

[5] Lenin is referring to the resolution of the Sixth (Prague) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. “The Absence of Delegates from the Non-Russian National Centres from the General Party Conference” (see present edition, Vol. 17, pp. 464–65).

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