Entry into the Socialists in Poland

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THIS letter dated 6 January 1936 is translated from the EDI edition of Trotsky’s Oeuvres (first series, Volume 8, January–February 1936, pp. 52–3) published in Paris in 1980, and so could not be included in the supplementary volumes prepared by George Breitman for the Pathfinder corpus in 1979. The Polish Trotskyists had already taken the necessary steps to carry out the advice contained in it, for Isaac Deutscher had been placed in charge of the workers university, and Stefan Lamed was responsible for the youth work of the Warsaw regional committee of the PPS.

Dear Friend

In addition to my first letter I would emphasise the following:

THE PPS and the Bund are not exceptional cases. These two organisations have fairly long traditions and so cannot be influenced by discussions, articles, etc. The most important work therefore is that of propaganda among the youth. If there were Polish comrades who could give lectures to the youth on the history of the October Revolution, Bolshevism, the Communist International (the last 12 years in particular), the triumph of Hitler in Germany, the situation in France, etc, that would give us the ability to accomplish systematic educational work on an international level, where obviously our people enjoy an immense superiority over the members of the PPS and the Bund, to educate the youth in our spirit without thereby running the risk of being accused of factional activity.

I do not wish to say by this that we must not participate in the general life of the party, including discussions and proposed resolutions. But this work can only be of wholly secondary importance, and it would do real harm to devote more than a tenth of our efforts to it. The other nine-tenths must be devoted to the less spectacular and showy, but deeper and more systematic work of educating young cadres. At least that is how it appears after our experiences in France and Belgium.

Warmest greetings