V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in part in 1961 in the book: Biblioteka V. I. Lenina v Kremle (Lenin’s Library in the Kremlin). Published in full in 1965 in Collided Works, Fifth Ed., Vol. 51. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 325b-327a.
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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4/1. 1920

Comrade Chicherin,

Please forward to Litvinov (and if possible, transmit in abridged form by telegraph in code):

I have received from him a small batch of pamphlets and newspapers and am extremely disappointed. The selection has been utterly casual and careless. Obviously, no one has shown the slightest care in such an important matter as supplying Russia with Western socialist literature.

There are no pamphlets and books by the socialist leaders (although their titles and the names of the authors can be found in the Austrian, German, French, Italian and English newspapers).

The newspapers have been so poorly selected that 9/10 of them is rubbish, while, for example, out of a heap of issues of Freiheit,[1] the really important issues (even the most important, perhaps the only important ones) have been left out, namely, the reports of the Leipzig Congress[2] and the text of the resolutions.

Absolute carelessness, negligence or lack of understanding and unwillingness to understand what is needed.

We must have them (Litvinov and all members of the R.C.P. abroad and all “bureaux” and agencies) see to it that people conversant with the literature are engaged in each country (to begin with, Denmark, Holland, etc., will suffice), their duty being to collect 4–5 copies of
||| N.B.
every socialist and anarchist and communist pamphlet and book, every resolution, all reports and minutes of congresses, etc., etc., in all languages. All to be delivered to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna, etc. (to Berlin as well).
N.B. |||
Messengers are available—infrequently, but they are available. The literature must be collected in good time by employed persons ( Russians are slovenly and will never do this meticulously).

It is stupid to grudge money for this.

Ask Litvinov to tell this to
Z. Höglund

Rothstein, etc.

Have 3–5 and more collectors, otherwise we shall never get what is absolutely necessary.


P.S. Please send a copy of this (or this letter itself after it has been dealt with) to Klinger.


[1] Die Freiheit—a daily newspaper, organ of the Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany, published in Berlin from November 15, 1918, to September 30, 1922 

[2] Lenin is referring to the Extraordinary Congress of the Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany, held in Leipzig between November 30 and December 6, 1919. Under pressure from Left-wing members of the party, the Congress adopted a programme of action which supported the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the system of Soviets. At the Congress, the proletarian wing of the party proposed “immediate and   unconditional affiliation to the Third International”. (See present edition, Vol. 31, p. 74.)

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