V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written after June 19, 1915
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XIV. Sent from Sörenberg to Berne. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 329-331.
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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Werter Genosse,[1]

Our letters evidently crossed. At the same time that you were writing to me, I was writing (a postcard) to you and sending you the Miscellany.[8] I hope you have received it.

About a conference of the Left:

I have not been a member of the International Socialist Bureau since 1912 (since 1912 Maximovich, in London, has been the C.C.’s member of the I.S.B.). But, of course, Grigory and I here will do everything necessary on behalf of the C.C.

You write that “Grimm macht das [behind the backs of the C.C.?] ohne Absicht[2] [9]....

I wonder! Es scheint mir wenig glaubhaft zu sein. Ist Grimm wirklich ein Kind? Nach zwei Konferenzen in Bern?[3] [10]

But you in Berne, of course, can see it more clearly, and I should be glad if it turned out that I was wrong and you were right.

And so, if Grimm macht das ohne Absicht, then the thing is simple: Grimm must write to the C.C. (the official address is printed in our C.O.—Bibliotheque russe. 7. Rue Hugo de Senger. 7. Genève. Für das Kom. Central[4] ).

(Of course, it is also possible to write to my address; this will be more direct.)

Unless he does this, Grimm will be acting dishonestly (for to write to Maximovich in London means losing time and risking the letter falling into the wrong hands: the police will intercept it!).

It is unbecoming for us to ask for an invitation: we don’t want to force ourselves on them. We cannot do this!

Now on the substance of the question. You write: “Da wird Grimm und vielleicht [??sicher meines Erachtens!] auch andere die Sache so abwechseln [nur? richtiger: zertreten und verraten!] wollen, dass nur ein Aktionsprogramm [soll heissen: Ermattungsprogramm, a programme of abandoning the struggle, a programme of discouraging the workers from revolution, a programme of pacifying the workers with Leftist phrases] für die Stunde kommt.[5]

My opinion is that the “swing” by Kautsky+Bernstein +Co. (+500+1,000+??) is a swing of shit (=Dreck), who have sensed that the masses won’t stand for it any longer, that it’s “necessary” to make a turn to the left, in order to continue swindling the masses.[11]

This is clear.

Renaudel in l’Humanité is also “going left”!

These shit-heads will get together and say that they are “against the August 4 policy”, that they are “for peace”, “against annexations” and... and ... thereby will help the bourgeoisie to damp down the incipient revolutionary mood.

I conclude from your letter that you share my views.

Ergo[6] , our programme should be:

(1) to go if invited;

(2) to bring together beforehand the “Left”, i.e., the supporters of revolutionary action against their own governments;

(3) to put before the Kautskian shit-heads our draft resolution (the Dutch[12]+ourselves+the Left Germans +0, and that won’t be too bad, for later it will be not zero, but everyone!);

(4) to put forward 2 or 3 speakers at the conference (if you manage to get there, this will be possible).

Would it be possible to get together a few German Left-wingers against Kautsky and Co., for a programme of this kind?

Write what you think of this programme. Its essence = against the stupid and treacherous slogan of peace.

Come and see us!


Is it not clear that the O.C. will side with Drehscheibe[7] —Kautsky and Co.? Eh?

And are you sure that Grey+Bethmann-Hollweg have not “tipped the wink” to Südekum+Vandervelde: time to speak up for peace, chaps, or else there will be a revolution?

P.S. In our hotel (Hotel Marienthal) we have a telephone (No. 111). If you have anything urgent, ring up—at 8.30  a.m. we are always at home.

P.P.S. Please read the enclosed and send it on.


[1] Dear Comrade.—Ed.

Grimm is not doing this deliberately.—Ed.


[3] I think this is highly unlikely. Is Grimm really a child? After two conferences in Berne?—Ed.

[4] For the Central Committee.—Ed.

[5] In that case, Grimm and possibly (I think, surely) others as well will want to try and turn things in such a way (only? more likely: to suppress and betray!) that now only one programme of action (rather: a programme of exhaustion...) will be put forward.—Ed.

[6] Hence.—Ed.

[7] Turntable.—Ed.

[8] An apparent reference to the miscellany, What Russia Expects from the War, published by the Cadets.

[9] Swiss Socialist R. Grimm, an organiser of the Zimmerwald Conference, wanted to carry out preparations for the conference without the Bolsheviks. Later he had to abandon his intentions and a Bolshevik took part in the preliminary meeting on the convocation of the conference.

[10] The two conferences in Berne were: = 1) International Conference of Socialist Women in March 1915 (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 199–203); and = 2) International Socialist Youth Conference in April 1915.

[11] A reference to the “swing” of the Centrists from justifying the war to struggling for peace. A call for peace and party unity “in spite of differences of opinion”, i.e., in essence, unity with the social-chauvinists, was expressed in the “manifesto” Das Gebot der Stunde (Demand of the Time) signed by Karl Kautsky, Eduard Bernstein and Hugo Haase and published in Leipziger Volkszeitung No. 139, June 19, 1915.

[12] The Dutch Left-wing Social-Democrats, Anton Pannekoek, Herman Gorter and D. J. Wijnkoop.

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