V. I.   Lenin


To:   J. A. BERZIN

Published: First published in part on January 21, 1925, in Pravda No. 17. Published in full in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth Ed., Vol. 50. Sent to Berne. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 153b-155a.
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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15/X. 1918

Comrade Berzin

Dear Comrade,

I have received from you odd copies, as always, of foreign newspapers (can’t you have someone make cuttings of (a) everything about Russia; (b) everything about the socialist parties of all countries).

I see from them, incidentally, that Graber and Grimm have stupidly and basely attacked Guilbeaux. How could you see something bad in his taking the money? I don’t understand.

You can’t censure a valuable comrade without formally going into the matter!? Who of the Party members ( appointed by you) went into it? No one! Yet from Guilbeaux’s information and from the decision of the Geneva Commission it is as clear as clear can be that the case is in favour of Guilbeaux.

N.B. Send me: Longuet, La politique internationale du marxisme. Karl Marx et la France. Vandervelde, L’Etat et le socialisme[1] and all similar pamphlets in French, German, English and Italian, all, all, all! Also: La Russie socialiste (socialistes-révolutionnaires de gauche), see La Feuille = (Genève),[4] 3. X. 1918.[2] Pierre Loti, Quelques aspects du vertige mondial, Paris ( Flammarion). Leon Frapie, Les contes de la guerre (ibid.).

I have just received from Sverdlov a set of your publications (it would do no harm if you sent this set to me as well).

Too little! Too little!! Too little!!!

Engage a group of translators and publish 10 times as much. Peluso can (and should) write three small pamphlets a week (on all subjects, compilations from our newspapers— you provide the themes and a list of the articles suitable for compilation). His article in Droit du Peuple[3] “( Counter-Revolutionaries”) is good. Pay him well and publish 10 times as much. (Translators must be engaged, in order to publish in 4languages: French, German, English and Italian. You have nothing in the last two. Scandalous! Scandalous!!)

You have plenty of money. (Send without fail an account of the sums you have spent.) We shall give more and still more, in plenty. Write how much.

A 100 times more must he published, in 4 languages, pamphlets of 4–8--16–32 pages. Engage people for this.

Collect a set of Spartakusbund (I have seen No. 11, IX. 1918)[5] and republish the entire set in 4 languages. Also Junius and Liebknecht. Commission a history of the struggle against social-chauvinism in Britain, France, Germany,   Italy. Form groups for this purpose (Gorter, Balabanova+? +??, etc.).


P.S. What is your optimism about revolutions in the countries de l’Entente based on? Facts? Considerations? If necessary, send in code, but write more precisely.

If you are ill, undergo treatment seriously and do not leave the sanatorium. Keep in touch by telephone, and send your deputy for visits.


[1] Apparently this refers to E. Vandervelde’s pamphlet Le Socialisme centre l’Etat, Paris, 1918.—Ed.

[2] I think the Left S.R.s have here lied terribly. It is necessary at once to commission someone (Leiteisen even) to make a compilation from Pravda and Izvestia against the lies of the Left S.R.s (and also from Znamya Trudovoi Kommuny and from Volya Truda[6]). —Lenin

[3] Droit du Peuple—a weekly, organ of the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland, and of the party branches in the canton of Vaud and the city of Lausanne.—Ed.

[4] On October 3, 1918, the newspaper La Feuille reported the publication of the book La Russie socialiste, which had been compiled by Left Socialist-Revolutionaries.

La Feuille—a daily newspaper published in Geneva from 1917 to 1920. While not formally the organ of any particular party, its views were those of the Second International.

[6] Znamya Trudovoi Kommuny (Banner of the Labour Commune) —a newspaper, published originally, from July 26 to August 18,   1918, under the title Znamya Borby (Banner of Struggle) as the organ of a group of Left Socialist-Revolutionaries. Later, from August 21, it was the organ of the Party of Narodnik Communists, a break-away from the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party. The newspaper ceased publication in November 1918, when an extraordinary congress of the Party of Narodnik Communists passed a resolution dissolving the party and merging it with the R.C.P.(B.).

Volya Truda (The Will of Labour)—a newspaper, the organ of the Party of Revolutionary Communism, which broke away from the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party in September 1918. It appeared from September 14 to December 4, 1918. From December 29, 1918, the daily newspaper was replaced by a periodical with the same title; it was published until October 1920, when the Party of Revolutionary Communism merged with the R.C.P.(B.).

[5] This refers to the illegally published “Letters” of the Spartacus group; twelve such letters were issued between September 1916 and October 1918.

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