V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written March 8, 1917
Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 49. Sent from Zurich to Clarens. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 614-615a.
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 Friend,

I haven’t heard from you for a long time.

Things here in Zurich with the German Lefts are as bad as ever. After Nobs and Platten crossed “back to Grimm” the leaders of the Young tagged along after them. Münzenberg turned down Radek’s articles against Grimm; Bucher and other friends of Münzenberg repeat the same phrases about the danger of a “split”!! It would be funny, were it not so disgusting....

I am urging Grigory to try a German newspaper (he is being offered 300 frs. for it?), but it looks as if this last card will be beaten too.

I envy you and Grigory, because you are both able to lecture publicly. After all, when you deliver a public lecture you have fresh people in front of you, workers, a crowd, and not just officials or officials-to-be, or a handful of people browbeaten by officials. In a public lecture you speak to the mass, you make direct contact with it, you see it, meet it and influence it in your own way.

Apparently here, in Zurich, the fuss and bother over the German Lefts is over. The referendum motivation and the resolution of the Lefts in Töss are the only fruits. I don’t regret the time wasted, though (I am in a very angry state of mind just now, as I have come in from a meeting of the Lefts that did not take place: our people scattered!). I don’t regret it because to my theoretical understanding of the rottenness of the European parties has now been added a practical understanding of some use.

Public lectures are a good thing, anyway, and they should be used for a direct fight against both the Centre (Grimm & Co.) and the “Lefts” (like Nobs, Platten, Name, Graber, Droz, etc.).

I suppose you don’t feel like working on the translation of the leaflet into English? In that case, drop it: I’ll send it as it is to Paris, maybe they’ll find some Englishman there.   Abramovich is a good chap, that’s where work is going well!

All the very best,


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