V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the original. Translated from the German.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 218b.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
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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Comrades Richard Müller and Heinrich Malzahn

Dear Comrades:

I was able to read your letter of 18/VII only today.[1] I have spoken with Comrade Heckert on the question you raised only ones and quite briefly. When he asked what I thought about it, I told him that I was too inadequately informed to judge, that those expelled should of course be organised in some way, and that in this sense Heckert’s proposal seems to be correct.

That is all.

I know nothing about “unions”, or the tactless actions of individual Communists (which made expulsion easier for the social-traitors).

The resolution adopted by the congress (which you have sent me) tells me that the unions are not approved (“insignificant”, “diffuse”, “sow confusion”). The practical slogan is: “Do not pull out more workers’ groups from the centralised free unions.”

What is there to be said against it?

Moreover, you yourselves hope to secure control of the unions.

I shall send your letter to Comrades Lozovsky and Zinoviev, to obtain fuller information.

With communist greetings,


[1] A letter sent to Lenin by Richard Müller and Heinrich Malzahn, members of the German trade union delegation at the First International Congress of Revolutionary Trade Unions (July 1921), over the resolution of the congress on the organisational question relating to the trade unions in Germany.

Following its establishment, the United Communist Party of Germany set up communist groups in a]l the trade unions. In an effort to isolate the Communists from the trade union membership, the trade union bureaucrats expelled leading Communists and some local organisations in toto.

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