V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written before December 16, 1915
Published: First published in 1929 in Lenin Miscellany XI. Sent from Berne to Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 362.
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 Comrade Olga,

Forgive me for writing on this scrap of paper.

It seems to me that you acted correctly. Indeed, unless there is a break with Nashe Dyelo, all the rest is deception. This is clearer than ever, now that the O.C. informers, in alliance with the reactionaries, have “won” in Petrograd (by rigging the election).[2]

Add to the resolution condemnation of the rigged second election.[3] And to the preamble, the impermissibility of taking part in “defence”, once the war is of an imperialist, i.e., annexationist, i.e., plundering, i.e., oppressive, nature (in general, I advise drawing up the preamble as carefully as possible, on the basis of Sotsial-Demokrat, selecting the arguments from the relevant articles and resolutions of the Petrograd workers).

We shall pass on the letter to Inessa.

All the best, and regards to everyone.


P.S. One request: Inessa tells us that there is a girl in Geneva who used to live in Arras.[1] You know her. We are told that she has a good command of French. Will she undertake to translate from German into French (for Roland-Holst’s magazine, published here with our participation[4])? Free of charge or for a fee? How much? Find out, please.


[1] The person referred to is not identified.—Ed.

[2] A reference to the second election of representatives from the workers to the war industries committees (central and regional). The social-chauvinists were defeated at the first election on September 27 (O.S.), 1915, when the Bolsheviks carried through their resolution to the effect that it was impermissible for representatives of the proletariat to take part in “organisations which in anyway promoted the present war”. With the help of the bourgeoisie, the social-chauvinists launched a successful campaign to nullify the first election. At the second election held on November 29 (O.S.), 1915, the Bolsheviks read out a statement censuring the actions of the defencists and walked out. In this way, the defencists, with the aid of the bourgeoisie, managed to elect 10 of their men to the “workers’ group” from among the Mensheviks and S.R.s.

[3] A possible reference to the resolution of the Geneva Bolshevik   group on the election to the war industries committee in Petrograd.

[4] A reference to Vorbote (Herald), organ of the Zimmerwald Left, whose No. 1 was issued in Berne in January 1916, and No. 2 in April 1916. Anton Pannekoek and Henriette Roland-Hoist were its official publishers. Among those taking part were Lenin, K. Radek, H. Gorter and D. Wijnkoop. The magazine carried Lenin’s “Opportunism and the Collapse of the Second International ” and “The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination (Theses)” (see present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 108–20 and 143–56).

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