V. I.   Lenin


To:   A. A. JOFFE

Written: Written on June 18, 1918
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, pages 106c-107a.
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.README


Comrade Joffe,

I am extremely astonished and angry at the absence of news from Switzerland. I am told that couriers travel there weekly. Yet not a word!

What are Berzin and Shklovsky doing?

Please forward this letter to them and take measures to receive a reply.

It is urgently necessary to have sent here from Switzerland 

Junius’s pamphlet, 

Karl Liebknecht’s pamphlet, 

a set of cuttings from Berner Tagwacht and other publications (all documents on the movement of the Lefts in Germany and Austria).[1]

This must be republished immediately in book form (separate issues) in Switzerland.

Commission someone in Germany (in Berlin) to do the same job, using the materials of the Partei-Archiv or of any library having complete sets of newspapers for the war years (Rühle’s article on the split in Vorwärts, 12. I. 1915 or 1916,[2] etc.).

Referenten-Material from Niederbarnim (quoted in Legion’s pamphlet: Warum müssen die Gewerkschaftsführer, u.s.w.)[3] and everything of this kind to be collected immediately.

It’s really scandalous that nothing is being done in this field.

For this work two Germans (Borchardt would be suitable) and two Swiss can (and should) be hired, and it should be published immediately in German, French and English.


Regarding the ships in Novorossiisk the matter has not yet been fully cleared up. But we have taken all measures and I hope the order will be carried out.[4]


[1] Lenin is referring to the following writings: the pamphlet by Rosa Luxemburg—Junius, Die Krise der Sozialdemokratie; the pamphlet circulated in Germany in manuscript form: Klassenkampf gegen den Krieg! Material zum “Fall” Liebknecht (Class Struggle Against the War. Material to Liebknecht’s “Case”); cuttings from the newspaper Berner Tagwacht, organ of the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland.

[2] The article by the German Left Social-Democrat 0. Rühle, “Zur Parteispaltung” (On the Split in the Party), was published on January 12, 1916, in No. 11 of Vorwärts, the central organ of the German Social-Democratic Party.

[3] Referenten-Material aus Niederbarnim’a (Niederbarnim—suburb of Berlin) was quoted in Legien’s pamphlet entitled Warum müssen die Gewerkschaftsfunktionäre sich mehr am inneren Parteileben beteiltgen? (Why Must Trade Union Functionaries Take More Part in the Party’s Internal Affairs?).

[4] This refers to the German Government’s demand for the ships of the Black Sea Fleet to be transferred from Novorossiisk to Sevastopol. See this volume, Document 88 and Note 60.

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