V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written May 12 or 13, 1913
Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No.11. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 495-496.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
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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Maria Ilyinichna Ulyanova,
Yekaterininsko-Dvoryanskaya Street, 40,

Dear Manyasha,

I believe I am in debt to you (to Mark Timofeyevich I most certainly am). At long last I have settled down to write. We moved here a few days ago (partly because of Nadya’s illness—she has thyroid trouble which worries me greatly) to spend the summer in the village of Poronin, in the mountains seven kilometres from Zakopane. It is near the Tatra Mountains,[1] 6--8 hours by rail to the south of Krakow and communication with Russia and Europe is through that town. It is farther from Russia, but that can’t be helped.

We have rented a country house (a huge one, far too big!) for the whole summer up to October 1 (New Style) and after a lot of bother and bustle have moved. I think Nadya is worse from the moving. I shall probably have to take her to Berne for treatment....

This is a marvellous place. The air is wonderful—the altitude is about 2,300 feet. Our rather damp situation on the plains at Krakow cannot be compared to it. We have plenty of newspapers and can work.

The local people are Polish peasants, “Hurals” (mountaineers), with whom I converse[2] in incredibly broken Polish, a language of which I know five words, and the rest in distorted Russian. Nadya speaks a little Polish and can read the language. The villages are almost Russian in type. Thatched roofs, poverty. The women and children go barefoot. The men wear the Hural costume, white cloth trousers and coats, half jacket and half cape, of the same material. This is not a holiday resort (Zakopane is) and, therefore, very quiet. I still hope that Nadya will get better in the quiet and the mountain air. We have started leading the rural life here—we get up early and go to bed almost with the roosters. We walk every day to the post office and the station.

Do you see Pravda and Prosveshcheniye regularly?[4] The people here were glad to see the anniversary issue[5] and to hear of the metalworkers’ victory over the liquidators.[6]

How are you? Will you be able to keep your lessons for the summer? Do you get enough books?

Greetings to Polish friends,[3] and I hope they help you in every way....

Y.V. and Nadya send regards and kisses. I too.

V. U.

Address: Herrn Ulianow, Oesterreich, Poronin (Galizien).

P.S. You had better send this letter to Mother, unless she will be visiting you soon.


[1] The Tatras are part of the Carpathians, 8,500 feet high. Pure Switzerland!—Lenin

[2] (I prefer talking to Jews—in German).—Lenin

[3] Lenin refers to V.V. Vorovsky who was in exile in Vologda.—Ed.

[4] Prosveshcheniye (Enlightenment)—a Bolshevik legal journal dealing with questions of theory published monthly in St. Petersburg from December 1911 to June 1914. Its circulation reached 5,000 copies.

The journal was founded on Lenin’s initiative in place of the Bolshevik journal Mysl, formerly published in Moscow and suppressed by the authorities.

On the eve of the First World War Prosveshcheniye was prohibited by the tsarist government. In the autumn of 1917 the journal was restarted, but only one issue (a double number) appeared; it contained two articles by Lenin, “Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?” and “The Revision of the Party Programme”.

[5] The anniversary issue of Pravda (No. 92) appeared on April 23 (May 6), 1913. The issue carried two articles by Lenin, “The Pravda Anniversary. Workers Support the Workers’ Paper” and “A Few Words on Results and Facts”.

[6] The elections to the Executive of the St. Petersburg Metalworkers’ Union took place on April 21 (May 4), 1913. Some 800 persons attended the meeting and over 400 were unable to get into the overcrowded hall. The Bolsheviks put forward a list of candidates for election that had been published in Pravda No. 91 and distributed among those present at the meeting. Despite the insistence on the part of the liquidators to elect candidates irrespective of political allegiance, the majority of those present voted for the Pravda list; 10 out of 14 members of the Executive were elected from the Bolshevik list. The newly elected Executive sent a telegram to Lenin greeting him as “the true leader of the working class”.

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