V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on May 19, 1922
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 555-556a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Dzerzhinsky:

On the question of deporting the writers and professors helping the counter-revolution.

This needs more thorough preparation. Without it we shall make mistakes. Please discuss these measures of preparation.

Gall a conference of Messing, Mantsev and some other persons in Moscow.

Put the duty on the Politbureau members to devote 2–3  hours a week to looking through a number of periodicals and books, verifying execution, demanding reviews in writing, and securing the dispatch to Moscow of all non-communist publications without delay.

Add to this the reviews by a number of Communist writers (Steklov, Olminsky, Skvortsov, Bukharin, etc.).

Collect systematic information about the political record, work and literary activity of the professors and writers.

Assign all this to an intelligent, educated and scrupulous man at the G.P.U.

My opinion on the two Petrograd publications:

Novaya Rossiya No. 2.[2] Closed down by the Petrograd comrades.

Perhaps it has been closed down too early? Circulate it to the Politbureau members and discuss more thoroughly. What is its editor Lezhnev? Is he from Dyen? Could information about him be collected? Of course, not all the people working on the magazine are candidates for deportation.[3]

The Petrograd magazine Ekonomist, published by the XIth Department of the Russian Technical Society, is another matter.[4] I think this is clearly a whiteguard centre. Its No. 3 (only No. 3!!! this nota bene!) carries a list of its members on the cover. These, I think, are almost all the most legitimate candidates for deportation.

These are all patent counter-revolutionaries, accomplices of the Entente, an organisation of its servitors and spies and corrupters of the student youth. We should make   arrangements to have these “military spies” caught and once caught constantly and systematically and deported.

Please show this confidentially, without making any copies, to the Politbureau members, returning it to you and to me, and inform me of their opinion and your conclusion.

19/V. Lenin


[1] Written in connection with preparations for deporting anti-Soviet-minded intellectuals.

[2] Novaya Rossiya (New Russia)—a socio-literary and scientific monthly inclining to the Smena Vekh trend (see Note 415); published from 1922 to 1926 under the editorship of I. G. Lezhnev; the first two issues appeared in Petrograd in March and June 1922. Subsequently, from August 1922, it was published in Moscow under the title Rossiya. See next note.

[3] Having examined on May 26, 1922, on Lenin’s proposal, the question of the journal Novaya Rossiya, the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. instructed the Central Press Board “as the highest instance to permit the further publication of the journal Novaya Rossiya, rescinding the decision of the Petrograd Executive Committee on its closure” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee).

Dyen (Day)—bourgeois literary daily; published in St.  Petersburg from 1912. Among those participating in its publication were Menshevik-liquidators, who secured full control after the bourgeois-democratic revolution in February 1917. It was closed clown by the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet on October 26 (November 8), 1917.

[4] Ekonomist—a journal of the industrial and economic department of the Russian Technical Society, whose membership consisted of bourgeois technical intellectuals hostile to the Soviet power and former owners of enterprises. It was published in Petrograd from December 1921. In his article “On the Significance of Militant Materialism”, Lenin called the journal “an organ of modern feudalists” (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 227–36). In June 1922, the journal was closed down.

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