V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on June 2, 1921
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 52. Printed from a typewritten text signed by Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 173b-174a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Urgent. Secret

Comrade Unschlicht, Deputy Chairman,
All-Russia Extraordinary Commission

Make inquiries and let me have precise and exhaustive answers to the following questions not later than tomorrow:

1) Is it true that arrests were made in Petrograd on May 27 of: Prof. P. A. Shchurkevich (Electrotechnical Institute), Prof. N. N. Martinovich (University and Oriental Institute), Prof. Shcherba (University, Professor of Comparative Linguistics), Prof. B. S. Martynov (University, Professor of Civil Law), Senior Zoologist A. K. Mordvilko   (Academy of Sciences), Prof. Tikhanov’s wife (Institute of Civil Engineers) and Prof. B. Y. Vorobyov (First Polytechnical Institute)?

2) Is it true that Prof. Pantelei Antonovich Shchurkevich is being arrested for the fifth time, and Prof. Boris Yevdokimovich Vorobyov, for the third?

3) What is the reason for the arrests, and why is arrest used as the measure of suppression—after all, they will not run away?

4) Do the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission, the Gubernia Chekas or any other Chekas issue warrants not for personal arrests, but for “discretionary” arrests, and if they do then specify to which personnel (degree of responsibility, post, political maturity)?

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars


[1] The document was apparently written in connection with P. S. Osadchy’s report. On the list of those arrested on the night of May 27, 1921, in which the names of P. A. Shchurkevich and B. Y. Vorobyov were underlined, Lenin made a number of remarks: “Osadchy personally knows both the underlined”; “Same as I am”; “Perhaps they could be placed only under house arrest? Couldn’t other measures of suppression be applied? After all, they are not running away”, etc.

At the same time, Lenin wrote the following note: “1) In the recent period warrants have been issued for ‘arrest at discretion’. 2) Personal warrants are desirable.”

On June 3, the Chairman of the Petrograd Gubernia Cheka informed I. S. Unschlicht that all the persons mentioned in Lenin’s telegram had been released; the arrests in Petrograd were carried out among former members of the Cadet Party, because some of them had taken part in a plot uncovered in Petrograd; persons without compromising material were released. Those detained were kept under arrest from 12 hours to 36 hours (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

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