Letter to Inessa Armand, November 4, 1916

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Dear Friend,

Thank you very much for the translation. I did not have a chance to read it; I spoke at the very beginning of the congress, when the French delegates had not yet arrived and no French translations were being made. I shall nevertheless try to make use of the translation. I shall send it to Abramovich, etc., and we shall try to get it published somewhere.

I missed the post today: the P.O. closed at 7 p.m., and I was engaged at the congress.

The congress impressed me favourably. For the first time during the war, not only a Left emerged at the Swiss congress (in 1914 it did not exist at all, and in 1915 it only began to take shape) but it started to build up into an opposition to both the Rights and the Centre (Grimm). No little credit for this is due to Radek; previously, in the summer, he had got things mixed up a bit, for Grigory wrote me positively that Radek had written him boasting that he had “reconciled Grimm with Platten” (a fine service!). But Bronski is following a line that is three times more vacillating and three times more foolish than Radek’s.

Radek arrived and we “made it up” (relations had been strained to the verge of a break). On the eve of the congress we managed to arrange a private meeting of the Left delegates (which I had been urging for three weeks, but unsuccessfully until then!). This meeting was attended by all the Left leaders, the Young included.[1] Radek and I easily carried through a resolution of ours, acting in concert and agreeing to acceptable concessions. At the congress the struggle has already begun. The first fight was over an appraisal of the Nationalrat group. The Lefts attacked. The speeches of Name and Platten were splendid. Greulich’s defence of the Right was extremely feeble. Grimm played at Centre again and by aid of “little amendments” obtained a unanimous vote (spoiling the game a bit). He saw that the majority was obviously on the side of Platten. Tomorrow there should be a fight on the question of Kienthal; we have taken a hand here in drafting a Left resolution; it is much better than the one of Nat.-rat. We shall see what will come of it! I’m like an old war horse in battle.

All the very best,



  1. See next letter.—Ed.