V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Berne to New York. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 210-211.
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.

November 9, 1915

Dear A. M.,

Only yesterday did we get your letter of October 18 from Milwaukee. Letters take a terribly long time! You have not yet received my letter (and Nos. 45–46 and 47 of Sotsial-Demokrat) about Zimmerwald, and containing all the replies to your questions; yet that letter was written more than a month ago. Try at any rate to calculate where you will be (approximately, in six weeks’ time) and give us addresses (for letters to you), so that they arrive nearer.

As regards the New York Volkszeitung, Grimm assured me today that they are quite Kautskian! Is that the case? I think our German pamphlet[1] might help you to determine the “strength” of their internationalism. Have you had it? (500 copies were sent to you.)

In a few days we are publishing here (in German, and then we hope to put it out in French and, if we can manage the money, in Italian) a little pamphlet on behalf of the Zimmerwald Left. Under this name we should like to launch into international circulation, as widely as possible, our Left group at Zimmerwald (the C.C. + the Polish Social– Democrats+the Letts+the Swedes+the Norwegians+1 German+ 1 Swiss) with its draft resolution and manifesto (printed in No. 45–46 of Sotsial-Demokrat). The little pamphlet (20–30–35 thousand letters and spaces) will contain these two documents and a small introduction.[3] We rely on you to publish it in America in English too (for it is hopeless to do this   in England: it has to be brought there from America) and, if possible, in other languages. This is to be the first publication by the nucleus of Left Social-Democrats of all countries, who have a clear, exact and full reply to the question of what is to be done and in which direction to go. It would be most important if you could succeed in publishing this in America, circulating it as widely as possible and establishing firm publishing links (Charles Kerr (N.B.) at Chicago; the Appeal to Reason[2] at Kansas, etc.), for it is generally most important for us to come out in various languages (you could do a great deal in this respect).

As regards money, I see with distress from your letter that so far you have not managed to collect anything for the Central Committee. Perhaps this “Manifesto of the Left” will help....

I never doubted that Hillquit would be for Kautsky and even to the right of him, because I saw him at Stuttgart (1907) and heard how afterwards he defended the prohibition against bringing yellow peopl einto America (an “internationalist”)....

The Zimmerwald Manifesto itself is inadequate; Kautsky and Co. are ready to put up with it, on condition that there is “not a step further”. We don’t accept this, because it is complete hypocrisy. So that if there are people in America who are afraid even of the Zimmerwald Manifesto, you can brush them aside, and bring in only those who are more Left than the Zimmerwald Manifesto.

I shake you by the hand and wish you every success!


(Ulianow. Seidenweg. 4a. III. Bern)


[1] Reference is to the pamphlet Socialism and War (The Attitude of the R.S.D.L.P. towards the War) (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 295–338).—Ed.

[2] Try establishing contact with them—if only in writing, should you not get to Kansas. Their little paper is sometimes not bad. Be sure to sound them out with our resolution of the “Zimmerwald Left”. And what is Eugene Debs? He sometimes writes in a revolutionary way. Or is he also a wet-rag à la Kautsky?

Write when you will again be in New York, and for how many days. Try everywhere to see (if only for 5 minutes) the local Bolsheviks, to “refresh” them and get them in touch with us.—Lenin

[3] In November 1915 the Zimmerwald Left published a pamphlet in German entitled Internationale Flugblätter No. 1 (Die Zimmerwalder Linke über die Aufgaben der Arbeiterklasse) (International Leaflets No. 1 [The Zimmerwald Left on the Tasks of the Working Class]).

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