V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on January 22, 1917
Published: Published for the first time in the Fourth (Russian) Edition of the Collected Works. Sent from Zurich to Clarens (Switzerland). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 275-276.
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 Friend,

Your lecture was yesterday, and I am impatiently waiting for news of how it went off. When I got your express letter on Thursday, I hurried to Radek at the other end of the town and collected some cuttings from him. I wanted very much to write you a long letter on pacifism (an extremely important subject in general, a basic one from the point of view of the whole international situation today, about which I wrote in the article[1] --I have received it, merci!—and lastly a particularly important subject for Switzerland). But I did not manage it: both on Thursday and on Friday we had meetings of the Lefts.

Things have gone badly for the Lefts here, because Nobs and Platten have become frightened of a war against Grimm, who furiously attacked the referendum[2] and frightened our young friends!! Sad!! In Berne, judging from Grigory’s letters, things are better. Radek, at my insistence, has written a little pamphlet against the “Centre” here and Grimm, but yesterday the “Lefts” defeated (!!) the plan that it should be published by the Lefts: they have been frightened by the fright of Nobs and Platten. What warriors! What Lefts!

I think you should consider your lecture last night a rehearsal, and make ready to repeat it in Geneva and La Chaux-de-Fonds. It is worth working up this subject, and lecturing on it more than once. It will do the Swiss   a tremendous lot of good. Write in as much detail as possible how you put the question, what arguments you advanced, what objections you met, etc.

Have the draft resolutions for the Swiss Congress on defence of the fatherland and the question of the war been translated into French? I mean translation in the press: Grütlianer, Sentinelle, etc. Or not?

It would be well to arrange for their translation, if it has not been done, and to think about agitation and propaganda.

Probably this question will go ahead in connection with your visit to Chaux-de-Fonds. I shall await news from you.

Abramovich is working wonderfully, and he should be supported in every possible way.

All possible greetings.

Yours, Lenin

P.S. Trotsky has sent in a silly letter. We shall neither print it nor reply to him.

Has any campaign begun in the press of French Switzerland about (1) the referendum and (2) the resolutions on the war question for the Congress? Or is there no campaign? Do you see, and regularly, Volksrecht and Berner Tagwacht? This is essential now; we have to help the Swiss Lefts.

Did I write to you that Guilbeaux refused to sign the resolution against Grimm? (Or maybe you have heard this already from Grigory?) He’s not up to much, our Guilbeaux; he’s afraid of a war with Grimm, he’s afraid of Sokolnikov, who is afraid of a split; he’s afraid of Merrheim, who is afraid of “Monsieur” Jouhaux!! Well, what warriors!! I want to write about this to Olga.


[1] Reference is apparently to the article “Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism” (see present edition, Vol. 23, pp. 175–94).—Ed.

[2] The referendum was on the question of holding an extraordinary congress of the Swiss Social-Democratic Party to discuss the attitude to be adopted to militarism and war. The referendum was declared by the Swiss Left Social-Democrats in connection with the decision of the Executive of the Swiss Social-Democratic Party to postpone the congress indefinitely.

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