V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written between May 6 and 13, 1916
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Zurich to Christiania. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 390-391.
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 Alexander,

The conference is over, its manifesto has been published (May 1).[2] I hope you receive Berner Tagwacht—or some other Swiss paper? If not, drop us a line, and we shall send you the French text.

Grigory is preparing a circumstantial letter about the conference, and this will be sent to you.

After all, a manifesto was adopted: that is a step forward, because it was accepted by the French deputies (three, one of them the semi-chauvinist Brizon).[3] A resolution criticising pacifism, and a resolution on the International Socialist Bureau, sharply criticising it, were adopted. On the whole, this is none the less, despite the mass of defects, a step towards a break with the social-patriots.

This time the Left was stronger: a Serb, three Swiss and a Frenchman (not a deputy; not from any group, but on his own) reinforced our Left. Then there were two Germans (from the Internationale group)[4] who supported us on the main questions.

Have you seen the Huysmans manifesto? It contains an unmistakable malicious “hint” about us! The Braunschweig Volksfreund gave him a good answer.

As regards the Japanese,[5] we have decided to make another, and, I hope, final, attempt to reach agreement: (1) all the old agreements (verbal) are cancelled; (2) an agreement between the Central Organ’s editorial board, which edits the issue, and the publishers to be concluded from issue to issue, i.e., for each issue separately; (3) No. 3 to be published at Berne (clearly it is impossible at Stockholm).

Try and see whether it will come off or not. If not, we shall publish Sbornik Sotsial-Demokrata. We can’t wait.[6]

Here is the plan for No. 3:

1) Material from Russia (up to 3 sheets).

2) Theses of the Central Organ’s editorial board on self-determination.

3) Lenin’s article on the same subject.

4) The 2nd Zimmerwald Conference. Grigory Zinoviev or Lenin.

5) Bukharin: an economic subject.

6) Lyalin on the high cost of living.

7) Alexander—from Russia.

8) A Serb and an Italian have promised articles.

9) Russian themes—Grigory Zinoviev.

10) Radek—continuation (? hardly worth while. In my opinion, no).[1]

10) Kollontai—from America.

11) A Lett.

12) Varin.

13) The women’s labour movement.

14) Book reviews.

15) About Trotsky, Martov and the Chkheidze group....

Think it over, probe the ground, get the facts, as tactfully as possible, and reply as soon as you can.[7]

All the best, and wishes for every success.


P.S. As Nadya has already written, I agree with you on the Jewish miscellany.[8] Nadya has repeatedly written to Berne for the material. Regards to Alexandra Mikhailovna!



[1] This point is crossed out in the MS. Lenin, had in view a continuation of the Radek article, “A Quarter of a Century of Development of Imperialism”, carried in No. 1–2 of Kommunist.—Ed.

[2] The Second International Conference held in Kienthal ( Switzerland) from April 24 to 30, 1916.

[3] Among the French delegation at the Kienthal Conference were Jean Longuet’s supporters: P. Brizon, A. Blanc and J.  Raffin-Dugens, who after the war joined the French Communist Party; Brizon soon left the party.

[4] The Left wing at the Kienthal Conference was stronger than at Zimmerwald. At the First International Socialist Conference, the Zimmerwald Left consisted of eight persons, and of twelve at Kienthal, and on some issues obtained nearly one half the votes. This was a reflection of the change in the balance of forces in the international working-class movement in favour of the internationalists.

Lenin, referring to the strengthening of the Left at the Conference, has the following delegates in mind: Katslerovich (Serbia), Flatten, Nobs, Agnes Robmann (Switzerland) and Guilbeaux (France), who joined the Zimmerwald Left. The German Internationale group was represented by Berta Thalheimer and E.  Meyer.

[5] The name given to G. Pyatakov and Yevgenia Bosch because they had emigrated from Russia to Switzerland via Japan.

[6] There was no agreement on Lenin’s terms. Sbornik Sotsial-Demokrata was issued in place of Kommunist.

[7] Lenin’s plan was not accepted by the Bukharin-Pyatakov group, who insisted on their own plan, under which, apart from Lenin’s articles on the right of nations to self-determination, the publication was to contain articles by Radek, Pyatakov and Bukharin on the national question.

[8] The miscellany referred to here was to have been published abroad on the basis of material brought by Shlyapnikov from Russia and describing the condition of the Jews during the war. However, it did not appear.

__PRINTERS_P_673_COMMENT__ 43—39
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