Letter to Alexandra Kollontai, Earlier than December 16, 1914

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 16 December 1914

Written earlier than December 16, 1914
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Berne to Copenhagen. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 35, pages 177-178.

Dear Comrade,

I have received your letter and the English enclosure.[1]

Many thanks!

I send you both the things you wrote about. Let us know— if you translate them and send them off—what happens to them.

It is said that in Hamburger Echo there was a leading article “Über unseren Verrat an der Internationale”,[2] which staled that the Germans (i.e., the German opportunist scoundrels) are all in it, and that Plekhanov, Maslov and Chkheidze are for them.[3]

Is it true? And what do yon think about it?

Greetings and best wishes,

V. Ilyin

P.S. Ask Alexander to make the acquaintance of Kobetsky (Kobezky. Kapelwej. 514. Kjobenhavn VI) and to take from him my letter to himself (Alexander).

It is useless to advocate a well-meaning programme of noble wishes for peace, if we do not at the same time and in the first place advocate the preaching of illegal organisation and civil war of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie.

N. Lenin

The European war has brought this great benefit to international socialism, that it has exposed for all to see the utter rottenness, baseness and meanness of opportunism, thereby giving a splendid impetus to the cleansing of the working-class movement from the dung accumulated during decades of peace.

N. Lenin

  1. The enclosure was a letter from Shaw Desmond, correspondent of the British Social-Democratic paper The Labour Leader, which he wrote on November 29, 1914 asking for information on the attitude of the RSDLP to the questions of war and peace. Lenin wrote his reply on Shaw Desmond’s letter and in this letter.
  2. On Our Betrayal of the International.”—Ed.
  3. Hamburger Echo—daily newspaper, organ of the Hamburg organisation of the German Social-Democratic Party.
    Lenin refers to the article by Haenisch, “Der deutsche ‘Verrat’ an der Internationale” (“The German ‘Betrayal’ of the International”), published in Hamburger Echo No. 286, December 8, 1914.