Letter to Inessa Armand, January 15, 1916

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1916[edit source]

15/I. 1916

Dear Friend,

Today the parcel containing papiers d’affaires, three notebooks sent from Berne by registered mail to Belinsky[1] in Paris, has been returned. The sender forgot to put the number of the house, and those damned post-office people went and returned it!! I have sent it off today to Belinsky registered.

We have the beginning of “friction” with our Polish friend,[2] who seems to have “taken offence” over the discussion and wants to keep our theses out of No. 2 of the journal.[3] This looks like war with him. From Roland-Hoist an extremely friendly letter reporting that her Dutch league on 2.I.1916 had unanimously joined the Zimmerwald Left! Trotsky has lost another ally!! The journal, Dutch-German, is already being set up; contributors from other countries are badly needed, but everything and all contacts should be given only to me or to my young Russian friend (by no means to the non-Russian, vous comprenez?).

Now quite another story:

It is a glorious sunny day today, with a light snow. After influenza my wife and I took our first walk along the road to Frauen-Kapellen where the three of us—you remember?—hid that lovely stroll one day. I kept thinking of it and was sorry you were not here.

By the way. I’m rather surprised that there is no news from you. Let me confess, while I’m at it, that the thought occurred to me for a moment that you might have “taken offence” at my not having gone to see you off the day you left. I did think that, I must confess, but I dismiss the unworthy thought, I have driven it from my mind.

This is my second postcard to you. Maybe the first one went astray? I repeat the important advice: reread Nos. 5 and 6 of Nashe Slovo ever so carefully!! Kollontai sends good news from America, she is publishing Internationale Flugblätter. From Russia too there is good news.

All the very best,


V. Lenin

  1. This refers to G. Y. Belenky.—Ed.
  2. Meaning K. B. Radek.—Ed.
  3. This refers to the theses of the Editorial Board of Sotsial-Demokrat drafted by Lenin and entitled “The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination”. They were published in No. 2 of Vorbote in April 1916 and in Sbornik Sotsial-Demokrata No. 1, October 1916 (see present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 143–56).
    Vorbote—a theoretical journal, organ of the Zimmerwald Left; appeared in German in Berne. Its official publishers were Henriette Roland-Hoist and Anton Pannekoek. Lenin took an active part in founding the journal, and after the issue of No. 1 in organising a French translation of it for wider circulation.