V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on October 11, 1914
Published: First published in 1929 in Lenin Miscellany XI. Sent from Lausanne to Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, page 158.
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.
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Dear Friend

I spoke here today at Plekhanov’s lecture, against his chauvinism.[1] I intend to deliver a lecture here on Tuesday. I should like to lecture at Geneva (the European war and European socialism) on Wednesday.[2] Arrange it, after proper discussion—as conspiratively as possible, i.e., so that no permission will be required (of course, it is also desirable that there should be a maximum audience). You are the best judge of how to do this. It should combine the maximum audience with the minimum of police publicity and police interference (or police threats). At Berne I lectured to members of the groups and guests whom they recommended (about 120–130 persons), without notices, etc. Would not this method be best?

Reply immediately to Mr. Ryvline. Villa Rougemont. Chailly sur Lausanne. For me. On Tuesday I am lecturing here at Lausanne, and your reply should be here by Tuesday afternoon. When we meet, we can have a more detailed talk about our affairs. And so, if permission is required at Geneva, then think it over ten times, whether a closed meeting would not be best. In general, of course, you decide. If it is all right for Wednesday (to arrange the lecture for Wednesday evening), I will arrive on Wednesday morning.

All the best,


[1] Plekhanov’s lecture “On the Socialists’ Attitude to the War” was organised by the local group of Mensheviks in Lausanne on October 11, 1914.

Only Lenin spoke in the discussion of the lecture. Some brief notes by Lenin on Plekhanov’s lecture and reply to the discussion, and also the rough plan of Lenin’s speech on the lecture, have been preserved. A newspaper report of Lenin’s speech was printed in Golos (Voice) No. 33, October 21, 1914. A report on the meeting, containing the text of Plekhanov’s lecture, was published in the same paper.

[2] Lenin lectured on “The Proletariat and the War” in Lausanne on October 14, 1914, and on “The European War and Socialism” in Geneva on October 15.

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