V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on June 25, 1920
Published: First published in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV. Printed from the typewritten text signed by Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, page 392b.
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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Comrade Zinoviev, Chairman of the Petrograd Executive

The famous physiologist, Pavlov, asks to be allowed to go abroad in view of his straitened circumstances. To have Pavlov leave the country is hardly advisable, since he has previously made statements to the effect that, being a truthful man, he could not, in the event of the subject being brought up in conversations, avoid expressing himself against Soviet power and communism in Russia.

On the other hand, this scientist is such a great cultural asset that his forcible detention in Russia in conditions of material insecurity is unthinkable.

In view of this it would be desirable, by way of exception, to allow him a special ration and in general to ensure more or less comfortable circumstances for him exclusively.

I have heard that in the Petrograd rest homes life is very well ordered for those living there. Something of the kind could be done for Professor Pavlov at his apartment.

Comrade Lunacharsky will make the appropriate proposal to Comrade Badayev. I ask you to support him in this respect.[1]




[1] Lenin thought highly of the great Russian physiologist, Academician I. P. Pavlov, the founder of the materialist theory of higher nervous activity in animals and man. Lenin took a solicitous interest in his well-being and gave him every possible assistance and support.

In view of Pavlov’s outstanding scientific services, which were of tremendous importance for the working people of the world, the Soviet Government, on the initiative of Lenin, in the   hard years of economic dislocation and the immense difficulties resulting from the Civil War and foreign armed intervention, passed a special decree creating facilities that would enable Academician Pavlov and his assistants to effectively carry on their scientific work (see present edition, Vol. 32, p. 69).

In his well-known letter to Soviet youth written shortly before his death, Pavlov touched on the immense opportunities which the Soviet socialist system offered for the development of culture and science. “Our country,” he wrote, “is affording great scope to scientists and—it must be owned—science in our country is being fostered with a generous hand. A most lavish hand!

What is there to say about the status of our young scientist? Here surely everything is quite clear. Much is given to him, but much is expected from him. For the youth, as for us, it is a point of honour to justify the great trust that our country puts in science.” = (Pravda No. 58, February 28, 1936.)

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