V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written May 19, 1916
Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 49. Sent from Zurich to Christiania. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 538b-539.
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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Dear A.,

I received your nervy letter[2] and hasten to answer you immediately. You have obviously been fretting a good deal. You have no reason to. Everything has been sent to you. If you haven’t received anything, then one or another censor has not let it through. Zina assures me that she has sent you everything, and if she says she has, she has.

If the censor does not let things through, one must have   patience, patience, and persistence. Expect another letter from N. K.

I have read the material.[3] A lot of splendid stuff. Especially the article on the war industries committees. Altogether, the collector of this material has done a splendid job—my sincerest greetings to him again and again.

I have already written to you about the absolute necessity of terminating all talks with the laps & Co. and I stand by this. A year (!!) has passed since “the differences”, and the people have not been thinking, not been working, only hiding behind others’ backs and talking scandal. If they still fail to understand that it is dishonest (to throw the responsibility onto us, for I am responsible if I form a bloc with an Editorial Board of muddleheaded views), then they are hopeless. And if they want to “publish” and bear the responsibility themselves, then let them publish the pamphlet themselves, they have the money; it’s no use hiding behind others. Let them give an article to the C.O. themselves—we shall put it in!!

We must think seriously about Belenin,[4] please think of it, I beg you. The laps are obviously incapable of doing transport work. Is there anybody else in the town[1] where Belenin recently was? Couldn’t be give this job to some foreigner (they are better than the Russians: more reliable, if slower)? If Belenin is to go away, it shouldn’t be for more than 1/2 year. It would be better though to find work in Copenhagen: I’m sure that’s possible. How much does Belenin need a month to live on? Answer. Put off all personal cares and think, in the interests of the cause, how best Belenin can fix himself up for 1/2 year. Frankly, he will only wear his nerves thin among the laps. They are shallow, mean people, really! I wish you all the best, and beg for two words of immediate reply.



[1] Meaning Christiania.—Ed.

[2] In his letter of May 13, 1916, Shlyapnikov urgently requested that all materials on the Kienthal Conference should be sent to him, and expressed dissatisfaction at the great delays in receiving the I.S.C. Bulletin, the Swiss newspapers and other necessary material.

[3] This refers to the great body of materials which Shlyapnikov collected during his stay in Russia. Prominent among them were documents relating to the activities of the war industries committees. Some of them were published in the Party’s Central Organ—the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat—on April 13, 1916, under the general heading “News from Russia”. Shlyapnikov’s article “The Workers and the War Industries Committees” was published in the same section.

[4] For reasons of secrecy Lenin calls Shlyapnikov Belenin. This letter concerns his forthcoming trip to America. Shlyapnikov left for the States on June 25, 1916, and returned to Europe on September 29 the same year.

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