Letter to Inessa Armand, Prior to September 28, 1914

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Dear Friend,

Hugeous regards from all of us to Abram. Let him visit friends in Lausanne. He will find interesting documents there[1] and I will address a demand to you to translate these documents in French & send to Sentinelle (and to me send also with an occasion).[2] (What party? Where published? Is it a decent organ? Please send me one copy of the most characteristic issues of this paper.)

I am extremely anxious & angry with the position of the European socialists in the present War. My conviction is that all—& the German socialists first of all & chief of all—got “chauvinists”. It is quite insupportable to read German and French (l’Humanité!!) socialist papers!! Extreme “chauvinism"! I am afraid that many, too many socialists, have lost their head (if I dare say so) in the present crisis, and that in the last end it is the opportunism which is responsible for this extreme “infamie” of the European socialism. I am told Martynov (liquid.) in Zurich has had a conference (private, I suppose) and firstly at tacked German socialists—but later on (the second day of discussion) a changé d’avis (sons l’influence funeste d’Axelrod) et a denie tout ce qu’il avait dit plus abord!!![3] Shame!! We must in that or other manner tell our opinion—but it is extremely difficult, very difficult in such times.... Please let Abram go to Lausanne and bring you news.

Grigory has arrived with his family. We are remaining in Berne. A dull little town, but... better than Galicia and the best there is!! Never mind. We shall adjust ourselves. I am poking around the libraries—I have missed them.[4] Very very kind regards and hearty shakehands. Please write more about yourself.

Yours truly,

W. I.

I hope we shall soon meet? Do you think so?

P.S. What is weather in Les Avants? Do you make walks?

Do you feed better now? Have you books? papers?

Arrangements should be made in Lausanne to collect all Swiss newspapers in French containing socialist comments on the war, on the German and French socialists, etc. Let Abram tackle this. No effort should be spared in collecting documents!![5]

  1. ["*" DUPLICATE 1 OF 2.]
    * The italicised passages marked with an asterisk are in Russian in the original.—Ed.
  2. The reference is to the Manifesto of the CC of the RSDLP “The War and Russian Social-Democracy” and “An Answer to Emile Vandervelde” which Lenin planned to publish in French in the newspaper La Sentinelle.
    La Sentinelle—organ of the Swiss Social-Democratic organisation of the Neuchâtel canton (French Switzerland), founded in 1890. During the First World War, the newspaper adopted an internationalist stand; On November 13, 1914, the paper (No. 265) published an abridged version of the Manifesto of the CC, RSDLP “The War and Russian Social-Democracy”.
    The answer to Vandervelde in connection with his telegram to the RSDLP Duma group was published in the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat No. 33, November 1, 1914.
  3. He changed his opinion (under the pernicious influence of Axelrod) and denied everything he had said before.—Ed.
  4. ["*" DUPLICATE 2 OF 2.]
    * The italicised passages marked with an asterisk are in Russian in the original.—Ed.
  5. This paragraph is in Russian in the original.—Ed.