Vladimir Ilyich Lenin



Dictated: Dictated by phone on April 18, 1922
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54. Printed from a text in Natalya Lepeshinskaya’s hand.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 531b.
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.


Comrade Zinoviev

Top secret
Not to be retyped

Comrade Zinoviev:

Please raise at the Executive Committee of the Comintern (I am not sure whether it should be raised at an enlarged sitting or at a sitting of the narrow bureau) the question of sending a special correspondent or several correspondents from the Comintern to South Africa to collect the most detailed information and the fullest set of local literature, both legal and illegal, relating to the recently suppressed workers’ uprising. This should be done as soon as possible, and not otherwise than with the maximum precautions because the British are sure [to do everything][1] to prevent the slightest possibility of any contact between us and the insurgents who have not yet been shot or jailed.[2]

We, for our part, should at all costs establish the rule that Comintern agents should manage to put in a secret appearance at all places of such uprisings to make timely collection of the fullest material on the history of the uprising

Please reply in a couple of words.



[1] Omitted words inserted in accordance with meaning.—Ed.

[2] A reference to the uprising of white miners in Witwatersrand, Union of South Africa, in March 1922, which was sparked off by the mining companies’ intensified exploitation of the miners. Following a drop in the world price of gold, the companies tried to maintain their old profit margins by pressing down wages and massive sackings. The workers took over the cities of Benoni and Branpan, and the suburbs of Johannesburg—Fordsburg and Jeppe. The young Communist Party of South Africa took an active part in the uprising. Many Communists, including the strike leaders, Fischer and Spendiff, died as heroes in the armed struggle.

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