V. I.   Lenin

Letter to Volksrecht[1]

Published: First published in Russian in the fourth edition of the Collected Works. Published in Volksrecht No. 75, March 29, 1917. Written after March 6 (19), 1917. Translated from the German. Published according to the Volksrecht text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 23, pages 293-294.
Translated: M. S. Levin, The Late Joe Fineberg and and Others
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 2002 (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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Various German newspapers have published a distorted version of the telegram I sent on Monday, March 19, to certain members of our Party in Scandinavia who were leaving for Russia and who asked my advice about the tactics Social-Democrats should follow.

My telegram reads:

Our tactics: no trust in and no support of the new government; Kerensky is especially suspect; arming of the proletariat is the only guarantee; immediate elections to the Petrograd City Council; no rapprochement with other parties. Telegraph this to Petrograd.”

I sent the telegram in the name of Central Committee members living abroad, not in the name of the Central Committee itself. Reference is not to the Constituent Assembly, but to elections to municipal bodies. Elections to the Constituent Assembly are, so far, merely an empty promise. Elections to the Petrograd City Council could and should be held immediately, if the government is really capable of introducing its promised freedoms. These elections could help the proletariat organise and strengthen its revolutionary positions.

N. Lenin


[1] The letter was published in Volksrecht under the heading “Feststellung” (“Factual Note”), and began with the words: “Comrade Lenin writes...”

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