Letter to Pavel Axelrod, November 16, 1900

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November 16

I have just received, dear P. B., your remarks on the article “The Urgent Tasks”.[1] Many thanks. What do you think about the unpopularity of this article? It won’t sound discordant, will it?

I enclose the preface to the pamphlet May Day Demonstrations in Kharkov (some, but very small, corrections were made in the manuscript you have). Please, let’s hear what you think of it, and do not hesitate to make your remarks on it, in ink or in pencil.

I am also sending you a document received from Russia about the amalgamation of the St. Petersburg Workers’ Organisation and the League of Struggle.[2] They say the St. Petersburg people are terribly proud of it, and Kiev is said to have adopted the programme already. It must be written about. Would you like to do so? (After reading this “document”—this “specimen”, as my brother calls it—please send it on to G. V., if you don’t need it.)

We have at last found a responsible editor. Ettinger has undertaken to sign two numbers in any case, giving up all claims about the “tone”, etc., and reserving the right after these two issues to make a statement in the press about her disagreement with the content, and so forth. Let us hope that she will keep to this condition (she only asks very earnestly that we should say nothing about it to anyone until publication), and in the meantime we shall either find someone else, or make other arrangements.[3] I personally negotiated with Ettinger with the aid of Buchholtz, who resigned from the Union for the purpose of taking some steps in the spirit of conciliation. I shall write in more detail about these steps later, considering that there is little of interest in them.

We now hope to begin setting in a few days.

With all good wishes,



  1. Lenin’s article, “The Urgent Tasks of Our Movement”, was published as an editorial in Iskra No. 1, in December 1900 (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 366–71).
  2. A reference to the Programme of the St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class and the Charter of the Allied Workers’ Organisation. The propositions set out in the documents served as a basis for agreement on the merger of these organisations in the autumn of 1900.
  3. On the reverse of the title page of Zarya’s first issue was the following inscription: “Verantwortlich für die Redaktion: K. Fentz in Stuttgart” (Responsible Editor: K. Fentz in Stuttgart).
    K. Fentz—Y. S. Ettinger, a Social-Democrat, who joined Iskra in 1900, a member of the League of Russian Revolutionary Social-Democracy Abroad; she subsequently sided with the Mensheviks.