V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in German between June 19 and July 13, 1915
Published: First published in Pravda No. 21, January 21, 1949. Sent to Zwolle (Holland). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 191-192.
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,

The weathercock (Drehscheibe) Kautsky and Co. want now, with the help of Left phrases and a purely verbal departure from “the policy of August 4”,[1] to “stifle” the revolutionary ferment which is beginning. We are now for peace, these gentlemen will be saying together with Renaudel and Co., striving thereby to satisfy the revolutionary masses.

There is talk of a conference of the Lefts—and it is more than likely that dirty little souls of the Bernstein-Kautsky type will make use of such a conference in order, once again, to deceive the masses with the help of “passive radicalism”.

It is quite possible that sensible statesmen of both belligerent groups now have nothing against the incipient revolutionary ferment being stifled by an idiotic “peace programme”.

I don’t know whether the German Lefts are already strong enough to upset the manoeuvre of these passive (and hypocritical) “radicals”. But you and we are independent parties. We must do something: work out a programme of revolution, expose the idiotic and hypocritical watchword of peace, denounce and refute it, talk with utter frankness to the workers—in order to tell the truth (without the base diplomacy of the leaders of the Second International). And the truth is this: either one supports the revolutionary ferment which is beginning, and assists it (for this one needs the watchword of revolution, of civil war, of illegal organisation, etc.), or one stifles it (for this one needs the watchword of peace, the “condemnation” of “annexations”, maybe disarmament, etc., etc.).

History will show that it is we who were right, i.e., the revolutionaries in general, not necessarily A or B.

I should like to know whether you (your Party) are able to send your representative (knowing one of the three main languages). And do you think it possible that both our parties officially (in writing or verbally, better: and verbally) should propose a joint declaration (or resolution)?

If there are only money difficultes, let us know exactly how much is needed. Perhaps we will be able to help.

Best greetings.

N. Lenin

My address:

Wl. Uljanow,
Hotel Marienthal in Sörenberg
(Kanton Luzern). Schweiz.


[1] On August 4, 1914 the Social-Democratic group in the German Reichstag voted for war credits.

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