Letter to Alexandra Kollontai, Between April 19 and May 7, 1916

From Marxists-en
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Author(s) Lenin
Written 19 April 1916

Written between April 19 and May 7, 1916
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Zurich to Christiania. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 389.

Dear A. M.,

You know, of course, that Huysmans is calling the neutrals together for June 26.[1] We must try to have one of “our men” attend from the Scandinavian countries, and we ought to think out his line thoroughly. Please, write as soon as you can whether there is any hope of this (so that we should have time to exchange letters).

Do you read the German Social-Democratic papers? The Braunschweig Volksfreund gave a good answer to Huysmans,[2] while the Chemnitz Volksstimme, which is an organ of the Right, said it was in complete agreement with Huysmans’s criticism of the Zimmerwaldists.[3]

Is there any hope of the sentence on Höglund being quashed? This is unheard-of, incredible ferocity![4]

All the best,



Best regards to Nik. Ivanovich, from whom there was a telegram but no letter. I wish him with all my heart an early rest and quick recovery. How are his finances?

P.S. Isn’t 75 kronen too much for the pamphlet in English?[5] Perhaps we should wait?

  1. The Conference of Socialists of Neutral Countries set by C. Huysmans for June 26, 1916 was held in The Hague on July 31. It was attended by eight delegates from Holland, by K. Branting from Sweden, by Th. Stauning from Denmark, and one delegate each from Argentina and the United States. This Conference of socialist Right-wingers adopted a resolution favouring freedom of trade as a condition of “stable peace and international solidarity”.
  2. A reference to C. Huysmans’s report at the extraordinary congress of the Social-Democratic Party of Holland in Arnhem on January 9, 1916, on the activity of the International. He put forward a programme of “democratic peace” and made the following proposals: = 1) limitation of armaments; = 2) national self– determination; = 3) democratisation of diplomacy; and = 4) establishment of a court of arbitration. = He dealt with the Zimmerwald Conference and its Left wing. The newspaper Volksfreund, in an article entitled “De Brouckère über die Internationale” (De Brouckère about the International) in its No. 38 of February 15, 1916, carried the full text of a letter from the editor of the banned Belgian Social-Democratic newspaper, Le Peuple, L. de Brouckère, to P. Renaudel (the editor of l’Humanité during the First World War). In the concluding part of its article, Volksfreund wrote: “Just as it is impossible to restore, together with Huysmans, the old image of the Second International with the aid of phrases, so the new International, together with de Brouckère, cannot be a shadow repeating the actions of the imperialism of the Entente. The new International will either become a militant, cohesive organisation against the imperialism of the East, the West and of Central Europe, or it will be a mere phrase or a tool of imperialism.”
  3. A reference to the item “Huysmans über die Internationale” (Huysmans on the International) in the newspaper Volksstimme (People’s Voice) No. 8, January 12, 1916.
  4. Zeth Höglund—a leader of the Left-wing Social-Democrats and the youth movement in Sweden; on May 3, 1916, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment at hard labour for his anti-war action.
  5. A reference to the publication of Internationale Flugblätter No. 1 in English.