Vladimir Ilyich Lenin



Published: Published in Pravda No. 85, April 19, 1922. Sent to New York. Printed from the typewritten text corrected by V. I. Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 552-553.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
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.

Moscow. April 10, 1922

Dear Mr. Steinmetz,

I thank you cordially for your friendly letter of February  16, 1922. I must admit to my shame that I heard your name for the first time only a few months ago from Comrade Krzhizhanovsky, who was the Chairman of our State Commission for Working out a Plan for the Electrification of Russia and is now Chairman of the State General Planning Commission. He told me of the outstanding position which you have gained among the electrical engineers of the whole world.

Comrade Martens has now made me better acquainted by his accounts of you. I have seen from these accounts that your sympathies with Soviet Russia have been aroused, on the one hand, by your social and political views. On the other hand, as a representative of electrical engineering and particularly in one of the technically advanced countries, you have become convinced of the necessity and inevitability of the replacement of capitalism by a new social order, which will establish the planned regulation of economy and ensure the welfare of the entire mass of the people on the basis of the electrification of entire countries. In all the countries of the world there is growing—more slowly than one would like, but irresistibly and unswervingly—the number of representatives of science, technology, art, who are becoming convinced of the necessity of replacing capitalism by a different socio-economic system, and whom the “terrible difficulties”[1] of the struggle of Soviet Russia against the   entire capitalist world do not repel, do not frighten away but, on the contrary, lead to an understanding of the inevitability of the struggle and the necessity of taking what part in it they can, helping the new to overcome the old.

In particular, I want to thank you for your offer to help Russia will) your advice, suggestions, etc. As the absence of official and legally recognised relations between Soviet Russia and the United Stales makes the practical realisation of your offer extremely difficult both for us and for you, I will allow myself to publish both your letter and my reply, in the hope that many persons who live in America, or in countries connected by commercial treaties both with the United States and with Russia, will then help you (by information, by translations from Russian into English, etc.) to give effect to your intention of helping the Soviet Republic.

With very best greetings.

Yours fraternally,


[1] These words were written by Lenin in English.—Ed.

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