V. I.   Lenin


To:   G. I. BOKII

Published: First published in 1945 in Lenin Miscellany XXXV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 248b-249a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Bokii:

In your letter about Shelekhes (Yakov Savelyevich) you say: “many are putting in a word for him”, including Lenin, and you request “permission to ignore all petitions and pressures on the Gokhran case”.[1]

This is something I cannot allow.

The inquiry I sent in is neither “intercession”, nor “pressure”, nor even “petition”.

It is my duty to inquire, once doubt about the correctness of the proceedings has been brought up with me.

It is your duty to give me a reply in substance: “the reasons or the evidence are serious, they are such-and-such,   I object, to his release, to any mitigation” and so on and so forth.

Those are the lines, in substance, on which you must reply to me.

You are free to reject any petitions and “intercessions”; “pressure” is an unlawful act. But, I repeat, it is a mistake on your part to have confused an inquiry from the Chairman of the C.P.C., and a petition, intercession or pressure.

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman, C.P.C.


[1] The Gokhran (State Depository of Valuables) case mentioned in the letter arose as a result, of the discovery of a large shortage of diamonds. Gokhran valuer, Y. S. Shelekhes, was accused of stealing valuables and was arrested by the All-Russia Cheka. On August 8, 1921, Lenin sent an inquiry to Deputy Chairman of the All-Russia Cheka, I. S. Unschlicht, over Shelekhes’s arrest and received a reply on August 9, from G. I. Bokii, a member of the Collegium of the Cheka. The present letter was written by Lenin in connection with his unsatisfactory reply.

See this volume, Documents 173, 180, 216 and 221; and also Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Edition, Vol. 53, Document 215.

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