V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written March 16, 1914
Published: First published in the Fourth Edition of the Collected Works. Sent from Krakow to Vologda. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 515-516.
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.

March 16

Dear Maria Alexandrovna,

It is an age since I wrote to you. For some reason it seems difficult to write this year. We are very lonely here—there is really only one family in the whole town with whom we are acquainted. They have an amusing little boy but we do not see eye to eye with the mother. There is one other family but their company is painful, they are so worn out with poverty, so completely crushed. Nor do we get many letters. We live mostly on newspapers.

The weather here is not bad, the grass is showing green and so are the buds on the trees, but the mud on the roads is terrible. Volodya went for quite a long ride on his bicycle but had a burst tyre. We intend to go for long outings in the woods. We go walking a little every day—our house is on the very outskirts of the town and the fields are only five minutes’ walk from us. We have already arranged for the old cottage in the country and are thinking of moving there on May 1. The house there is a bit on the big side for us and is a long way from the shops, but the rooms are very good and have stoves in them, there are two verandahs, and it is some distance from the road.

Perhaps I shall recover my breath there. Again I have thyroid trouble, not as badly as before, my eyes are almost normal and my neck swells only when I am excited, but the palpitation is rather bad. Actually the disease does not yet bother me very much and does not prevent my doing anything, but it is a bore to have to be careful of everything and to have to start an invalid routine again. It is damp   here in Krakow but in Poronin I shall probably get over it all very quickly.

Volodya is very fond of Poronin and particularly likes scrambling up the mountains. This time we intend to take a servant who will live in, so that there will be no bother with the housekeeping and we shall be able to go on long outings.

Anya is spoiling us this year by sending so many books. Has Manyasha received my letter?

Many kisses for her and for you, my dear.

Mother sends regards. She wanted to go to Russia, but it is a lot of trouble.

I wish you all the best and hope you keep well.


Many kisses, Mother dearest, and regards to all. Mitya as well—many thanks for the letter. I have also had a letter from Mark. Here we saw the “Beilis affair”[1] in the cinema (they made a melodrama of it). We went to the Shevchenko[2] celebration—it was in Ukrainian. I understand terribly little Ukrainian. There have been no changes. I embrace you fondly and hope you keep well.

V. U.


[1] The Betlis affair—the trial of the Jew Beilis organised by the tsarist authorities in Kiev in 1913 for purposes of provocation; Beilis was falsely accused of the ritual murder of the Christian boy Yushchinsky (the boy was actually killed by the Black Hundreds). By staging this trial the tsarist authorities hoped to arouse anti-Semitic feelings and by means of anti-Jewish pogroms divert the masses from the revolutionary movement that was developing in the country. The trial aroused tremendous socialunrest; in many towns there were workers’ protest demonstrations. Beilis was acquitted by the court.

[2] Lenin and Krupskaya attended the celebrations in honour of the centenary of Shevchenko’s birth.

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