V. I.   Lenin


To:   A. A. JOFFE

Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Sent to Berlin. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, page 112.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
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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1. VII. 1918

Dear Comrade Joffe,

I am, to tell the truth, extremely angry with you. We are short-handed, everyone is devilishly overworked, yet you go and do a thing like this: you write a lot on business matters in a personal letter to me (the last one, in pencil) and insert a number of personal thrusts, attacks, pinpricks and so on against Chicherin (“not a real” m-r[1] and so on). To Chicherin, on the other hand, you write: “prospects in the letter to Lenin”.

Damn it, it’s the frozen limit!

Chicherin, naturally, asks me for the letter, and I can’t show it, because I don’t want to be an instrument of squabble. The result is that the work suffers and relations suffer.

Chicherin is a splendid worker, most conscientious, shrewd, knowledgeable. Such people should be highly appreciated. That his failing is lack of “commandership” does not matter. There are plenty of people in this world who have the opposite failing!

Chicherin is a man you can work with, he is easy to work with, but the work can be spoiled even with him.

You find fault with him, but the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs has a right to complain of you, too, because you do not reckon with him, and without the knowledge and permission of the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, ambassadors are not, of course, entitled to take decisive steps.

I hope you will take all measures to eliminate these Mi&Bwhatthe;stände.[2]

That you have got Krasin “on the move” is very good. Keep on at Shklovsky with all your might; he is a lazybones; demand reports and more reports, use threats.

All the best,


[1] Apparently “minister”.— Ed.

[2] Shortcomings.—Ed.

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