V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written after September 8, 1915
Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 49. Sent from Sörenberg to Hertenstein. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 489-490a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). 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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We must start preparing an issue of the C.O. devoted wholly to the conference. Subjects or articles.[3]


  1. 1. Vorgeschichte[1] and correspondingly the III International.
  2. 2. Reports (Balkans apart).
  3. 3. Debates with Ledebour (discussion in general on points of principle). (Three shadings among the Germans.) Comparison with women’s ||
  4. 4. Significance of the conference (first step to the III International; half-hearted and inconsistent step towards a split with opportunism. Possibility of a “relapse”).
  5. 5. Our resolution and our draft Manifesto, our statement on the Manifesto.
  6. 6. The Bund and O.C. men+Trotsky (Massenaktionen).
  7. 7. Official Manifesto.

Do you agree to my taking Nos. 3 and 4?

Let us make haste with this issue of the C.O.

I am sending Bauer.

Be sure to send me
1) Legien’s collection+ ...[2]
2) the pamphlet on Liebknecht.

Return Radek’s letter.

Plan of leaflets is drawn up; will send it tomorrow; detailed.

Best regards,

P.S. I have mislaid the letter of the Dutch to the C.C.[4]

Extremely important arguments against participation in the conference.


[1] Pre-history.—Ed.

[2] One word in the manuscript illegible.—Ed.

[3] This refers to the First International Socialist Conference, held in Zimmerwald from September 5 to 8, 1915. A sharp struggle developed at the conference between the revolutionary internationalists led by Lenin and the Kautskyite majority at the conference led by the German Social-Democrat Ledebour.

During the proceedings a Bureau of the Zimmerwald Left was formed headed by Lenin.

The Zimmerwald Left did a great deal towards organising the internationalist elements in Europe and America.

Sotsial-Demokrat No. 45–46 published Lenin’s articles “The First Step” and “Revolutionary Marxists at the International Socialist Conference, September 5–8, 1915” (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 383–88 389–93). In accordance with Point 2 of the letter, the newspaper published a column of extracts “From Re ports Read at the International Socialist Conference in Zimmerwald” first place in which was given to the Bulgarian M. P. Vasil Kolaroff. In accordance with Point 6 of the letter, the following paragraphs were published in the “News Items” column: “The Bund Has No Time”, “All Is Well With the 0.C.”, “Trotsky ‘Does Not Know’ What Mass Revolutionary Action Is”.

[4] This refers to Wijnkoop’s letter of August 6, 1915, in which two documents were mentioned: = 1) the report of the representative of the C.C., R.S.D.L.P. concerning the preliminary conference held on July!11, 1915, dealing with the question of convening the international conference, and = 2) the draft resolution of the Zimmerwald Left for the First International Socialist Conference written by Lenin (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 345–48).

Wijnkoop wrote “we fully and wholly agree with the proposals of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. concerning the terms for convening the conference. In speaking of “extremely important arguments” against participation in the conference, Lenin had in mind the following passage in Wijnkoop’s letter: “Our Party Committee earnestly requests you to declare ... that your Party, like ours, will not attend any conference that does not accept this minimum as a basis for convening the conference, as it will not be possible then to declare that it is a conference of the revolutionary section of the International” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the C.C., C.P.S.U.).

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