V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written March 19, 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 616c-618a.
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 am writing you in reply to the letters I received from you today and in connection with the talk we had on the telephone.

I must say I am keenly disappointed. In my opinion everybody these days should have a sing]e thought—to rush off. Yet people are “waiting” for something!!...

I am sure that I will be arrested or simply detained in England if I go under my own name, as it was England that not only confiscated a number of my letters to America, but asked (her police) Papasha in 1915 whether he corresponded with me and whether he was in touch with the German socialists through me.

It’s a fact! Therefore, I cannot personally make any move unless very “special” measures have been taken.

What about the others? I was certain that you would rush off to England, as only there could you find out how to get through and how great the risk is (they say via Holland, London—Holland—Scandinavia, the risk is slight) and so on.

Yesterday I wrote you a postcard on my way back,[1] thinking that you were doubtlessly planning and had decided to go to Berne to see the consul. But you write that you are undecided and want to think it over.

My nerves, naturally, are overstrung. No wonder! To have to sit here on tenterhooks....

Probably you have special reasons, your health maybe is bad, and so on.

I shall try to persuade Valya to go (she came running down to see us on Saturday after having kept away for a year!). But the revolution doesn’t interest her much.

Oh, yes, I nearly forgot. What you could and should do immediately in Clarens is to start looking out for pass ports (α) among Russians who would agree to give theirs (without them knowing it’s for me) to enable another per son to leave the country; (β) among Swiss men or women who would give theirs to a Russian.

Anna Yevg. and Abram should be made immediately to go to the embassy to get a pass (if they are refused, to complain by wire to Milyukov and Kerensky) and leave, or, if they don’t intend to leave, to let us know on the basis of facts (and not words) what the procedure is for getting a pass.

All the best,

In Clarens (and the vicinity) there are many wealthy and not-so-wealthy Russian social-patriots, etc. (Troyanovsky, Rubakin, etc.), who should ask the Germans to allow the passage of a railway coach to Copenhagen for various revolutionaries.

Why not?

I cannot do it. I am a “defeatist”.

But Troyanovsky and Rubakin+Co. can.

Oh, if I could only teach sense to these noodles and riffraff!...

You will say, perhaps, that the Germans won’t give a coach. I bet you they will!

Of course, if they get to know that this idea comes from me or from you, the thing will be ruined....

Are there any fools in Geneva for this purpose?...


[1] See previous letter.—Ed.

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