Letter to Inessa Armand, April 11, 1914

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Saturday, 11/IV. 1914

Dear Friend,

I still do not know whether you received my letters in which I wrote about the loss of the letter concerning Rakhmetov, and, what you have done in this connection.

The package (containing, the first part of the collection The Beginning[1]) has been received by you, but very late. If you still have the wrapper with the postmarks on it, I would advise you to lodge a complaint with the ministry, enclosing the wrapper. The loss of the letter concerning Rakhmetov is simply exasperating, and I consider complaints, protests, etc., absolutely necessary. I have a strong suspicion that the letters of the Russian emigrants are stolen in Paris (and taken by the police to be read before delivery to the addressees). The dates on which letters are received should be kept track of.

I hope you have finished with Alexinsky? The only remedy in such cases (I speak from my own long, over 15 years, experience) is an absolute boycott by the entire section (but I suppose there are a lot of snivellers in it, who won’t apply a boycott and so will have themselves to blame for the “squabbles”).[2]

I am awfully glad that your children are coming to see you and that you will soon go off to spend the summer with them.

All the very, very best,



P.S. I apologise for today’s brief letter. I am in a great hurry.

I have not yet received the collection (The Beginning).

Is it the post again!??

  1. The collection The Beginning was published in Saratov in 1914. The first item in this collection was an article by N. Vladimirov “Encounters and Reflections”, describing meetings with G. V. Plekhanov, P. B. Axelrod, V. I. Lenin, L. Martov, A. N. Potresov and Maxim Gorky.
  2. This refers to the campaign started against A. V. Antonov (Britman), a member of the Committee of the RSDLP Organisation Abroad, by the Vperyod group and G. A. Alexinsky, who accused him of betraying, during the interrogation, his comrades charged with him in connection with the case of the Kronstadt organisation of the RSDLP in 1906. This accusation was quashed as far back as in 1907 by the decision of a committee of ten political convicts (Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and non-party people) of whom six were former codefendants in the trial. The committee’s decision was communicated the same year to Lenin and the CC of the RSDLP, who considered Antonov not guilty and did not restrict his rights as a Party member. Alexinsky raised the “Antonov case” again in 1912–14 with the aim of using it against the Bolsheviks, who, he alleged, had been “shielding a traitor”.
    On April 18 (N.S.), 1914, the Paris section of the RSDLP Organisation Abroad adopted a resolution expressing indignation at Alexinsky’s behaviour and breaking off all relations with him. On June 10, 1914, the Committee of the Organisations abroad passed a resolution calling on the socialist organisations in Paris and all Party centres (Russian and national) to vigorously rebuff the provocative tricks of Alexinsky and members of the Vperyod group, to deny recognition of the Vperyod group as a political organisation and not to enter into any relations with it. On June 20 this resolution was supported by a general meeting of the Paris section of the RSDLP Organisation Abroad. This fact was mentioned by Lenin in the Report of the CC of the RSDLP to the Brussels Conference (see present edition, Vol. 20, p. 525).