Letter to Georgi Plekhanov, July 2, 1902

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July 2, 1902

Dear G. V.,

Excuse my writing in such a hurry. I have come here to Brittany for a rest (I am awaiting my family here as well),[1] but in Paris Berg gave me his item, and I have received the article over the signature of Veteran which you sent.

I am completely in agreement with Veteran. On account of the note about Lekkert in Iskra I had a little battle with Berg and Velika Dmitrievna, who both, as usual, had an attack of nerves, and began to talk about the inevitability of terror, and the need for us to express this (in one way or another). The item in Iskra was thus a compromise: that was all I managed to secure.[2]

Now Berg himself has become more resolutely opposed to terror, even that of the Lekkerts.

But the question is whether it is all right to insert your article with the Veteran signature. Of course, if you wish, it will certainly go in (and there is time for it to go into the next issue)—but wouldn’t it be better for you to turn it into a leading article for No. 22, combining it, so to speak, with Berg’s article “How to Fight”? I enclose this article which, in my opinion, contains passages requiring corrections, passages which are undesirably evasive on the question of Lekkert.

I also enclose an item about the priest’s letter. What is your opinion?

And so please reply as soon as possible, dear G. V., and send all three articles straight back to London (J. Richter, 30. Holford Sq. 30. Pentonville: London W. C.). Write to me at the same address.

I think a leader would be the best place to say what you do say: the substance of the matter will be brought out (the “objection” to Iskra will be smoothed out) and the integral impression will be made stronger. You will find it easy and natural to develop your article into a leader, thereby substituting it for the article “How to Fight”. Such a substitution would, in my opinion, be the best result.

All good wishes,



  1. From the end of June to mid–July 1902, Lenin lived in Loguivy (on the northern coast of France) together with his mother, M. A. Ulyanova, and his sister, A. I. Yelizarova.
  2. A reference to an unsigned editorial note to a letter from Vilna (about the mass corporal punishment of demonstrators arrested on May Day). It was published in Iskra No. 21, June 1, 1902, in the “From Our Social Life” section, and dealt with the attempt on the life of the Vilna Governor von Wal by the worker G. D. Lekkert (Lekukha). Lenin and Iskra had repeatedly exposed the harmful effect of individual acts of terrorism on the mass workers’ movement, and in the event censured Martov and Zasulich who approved of Lekkert’s act.
    Further on, there is a reference to G. V. Plekhanov’s article on Lekkert’s act, which was to be published in Iskra’s next issue. Plekhanov accepted Lenin’s proposal and wrote an editorial for Iskra No. 22, entitled “The Russian Working Class and the Police Whipping”.