Letter to Alexandra Kollontai, Between September 8 and 13, 1915
|Written||8 September 1915|
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Sörenberg to Christiania. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 346-347.
Dear Alexandra Mikhailovna,
It will be a great pity if your trip to America finally falls through. We pinned many hopes on this visit: for the publication in the U.S.A. of our booklet (Socialism and War, which you will receive in a few days), for connections with the publisher Charles H. Kerr in Chicago in general, for mobilising the internationalists and lastly for the financial help which we so badly need for all those vital affairs in Russia of which you write (and justly emphasise their urgency, in view of the desirability of our coming closer to Russia. The obstacles there are chiefly financial, and also of a police nature; can one get there safely?).
If the question of a trip has been finally decided in the negative sense, try and think over whether you could (through connections with Charles H. Kerr, etc.) help us to publish our booklet in English? This can be done only in America. We are sending you the German edition of our booklet. Do everything you can for its sale in the Scandinavian countries (it is terribly important for us to cover some of the expenses at least, otherwise we cannot publish it in French!).
Write in greater detail, more concretely and more frequently (if you are not going to America) about the practical questions arising in Russia, who is raising them, how, on what occasions and in what circumstances. All this is of extreme importance for the publication of leaflets—a vital question, as you rightly say. About the conference of the Left (where we rallied well as an opposition, although we did sign the manifesto) you will be partly informed by the delegate you sent, and partly we shall later tell you in writing.
(We are very short of cash! That is the main trouble!)
- Charles H.Kerr—an American publisher of socialist literature, with whom Alexandra Kollontai negotiated by letter on the publication in English of the pamphlet Socialism and War and Internationale Flugblätter No. 1. It did not prove possible to issue the pamphlet in America.
- An apparent reference to T. Nerman, who took part in the First International Socialist Conference as a delegate from the Norwegian Socialist Youth Organisation.