V. I.   Lenin


To:   I. E. HERMAN

Written: Written prior to May 6, 1913
Published: First published in 1935 in Proletarskaya Revolutsia No. 5. Sent from Cracow to Berlin. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 342b-343a.
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,

We shall be living at Poronin till October 1 (Galizien, address: Herrn Ulianow), 4–6 hours from Cracow by the Zakopane line. Write to the new address.

Thanks for the leaflet of your C.C. which you sent me.[1] Discuss as quickly as you can and when decided let me know whether, for the purpose of general agitation before the congress, you wish to issue a platform of the Lettish Bolsheviks (or partyists, or anti-liquidators).

I think it ought to be done. If you haven’t the money, it could be hectographed.

I think that special emphasis in the platform should be made on three points:

(1) The liquidators’ renunciation of revolutionary tactics. Their appraisal of the moment is a (veiled) liberal one. This should be made clear.

(2) About the liquidators; reprint (or quote in detail Luch No. 101, editorial) and tell the Lettish workers the truth.

(3) The national question. Separatism and federalism of the Bundists, which have “won” the liquidators. The harm of cultural-national autonomy.

Would it not be better if your group moved resolutions on these questions? Or would it be better to write a platform? What would be more convenient for pre-congress agitation and for the election of congress delegates?

Write your opinion (and that of your friends). If a resolution or a platform is needed we could help write it. What is the time limit? When is the congress?[2]

All the best,


[1] Exactly what leaflet of the C.C. of the Lettish Social-Democrats Lenin is referring to has not been established. Probably it was a notice about the convocation of the Fourth Congress of the Lettish Social-Democrats, issued abroad shortly before, and published in the Central Organ Zihna (Struggle) on March 29, 1913.

The leaders of the Lettish Bolsheviks reprinted this notice in their organ Biletens (Bulletin) with critical comments concerning the agenda of the congress drawn up by the liquidationist C.C., as it revealed a tendency to evade key issues of principle. They criticised most sharply the point of the C.C. decision which stated the latter’s intention of making no preparations for the congress until 3,000 rubles had been paid in to the C.C. account or t is purpose. The Lettish Bolsheviks regarded this as a further attempt to put off the congress, the convocation of which was insistently demanded by the bulk of the membership.

[2] Following Lenin’s advice the Lettish Bolsheviks came out at the Fourth Congress of the Lettish Social-Democrats with their own platform and draft resolutions. The draft platform for the congress was written by Lenin in May 1913 and published in August 1913 in the newspaper Ci&nwhatthe;as Biedrs No. 4 (see present edition, Vol. 19, pp. 110–18).

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