Letter to Pavel Axelrod, October 10, 1900

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October 10, 1900

Dear P. B.,

I have received your letter with the enclosures. Thanks for these.

About the English journal (there were two messages in it) my sister[1] says that she doesn’t remember the title exactly —something like Family Pictures[2]—a yellow cover with red drawings, an illustrated journal, somewhat larger than Neue Zeit,[3] about 10 sheets; she says she gave it to you, in the presence of your wife, to pass on to me.

Alexei is well, writing, busy organising contacts. He will be free in six or eight weeks, hardly earlier. My brother[4] is still here, keeps putting it off.

The statement will be ready in a few days, and I shall of course send it on to you.[5] There is already plenty of copy for the paper; only a pity that it’s mostly highly specific workers’ stuff, strikes and strikes, and descriptions of the workers’ condition. Nothing at all on internal questions.

Dietz has undertaken to publish the journal for us. The type has been bought, but there is still no responsible editor[6]: one arrangement has fallen through, but there are others in view. If we fail to find a responsible editor, we shall move the printing press elsewhere.

How is your health? Do you manage to do any work? I suppose Paris has completely worn you out? Let us know about the article on Liebknecht[7] for the journal and for the paper—how do matters stand, and when can we expect to have it?

I shake you warmly by the hand, and wish you the best of health and more free time.



Here is the best address:

Herrn Dr. Med. Carl Lehmann,

Gabelsbergerstrasse 20a, München.

Inside, on the second envelope: for Petrov.

(Excuse the scribble!)

P.S. We have just had a letter from Nakhamkis, from which it appears that there has been a misunderstanding about the subject of the Paris congresses.[8] You asked Gurevich to write, and of course this was very good. Koltsov wrote to tell us that he intended to deal with the same subject, and even informed Nakhamkis that we had “commissioned” him to write about it, which was not actually the case. Would you write to Koltsov suggesting that he should rather take up some other subject? Will you do this, please, since we don’t know exactly where he is at present. We are writing to tell Nakhamkis that he and Gurevich should divide this work between them.

  1. A reference to A. I. Yelizarova.
  2. Family Pictures—a journal which was used for the secret transmission of reports or articles for Iskra.
  3. Die Neue Zeit—a theoretical journal of the German Social-Democratic Party, published in Stuttgart from 1883 to 1923. Up to October 1917, it was edited by K. Kautsky and then by Heinrich Cunow.
  4. A reference to A. N. Potresov.
  5. A reference to the draft declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra on the publication of a newspaper. It was drawn up by Lenin in late March and early April 1900 (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 320–30). The draft was rewritten by Lenin when he arrived abroad, after the August 1900 conference with members of the Emancipation of Labour group (G. V. Plekhanov, P. B. Axelrod, and V. I. Zasulich). In the first half of October, the declaration was published as a leaflet (ibid., pp. 351–56).
    In contrast to the original draft, which set forth a programme for the two organs—newspaper and journal—the declaration issued by the Iskra editors concerned only the newspaper, it having been decided that the tasks of the journal Zarya would be dealt with separately, in its first issue. For reasons of secrecy it was decided not to circulate the declaration abroad until it reached Russia.
  6. A reference to the Marxist scientific and political journal Zarya and its “responsible editor” as required by German press laws.
  7. A reference to P. B. Axelrod’s article, “Wilhelm Liebknecht”, carried in Iskra No. 1. Apart from this short article on the death of the prominent leader of the German and international working-class movement, Axelrod was also writing a long article for Zarya, which, however, was not published.
  8. A reference to the congress of the Second International and the congress of the French Socialist Party held in Paris in September 1900. Neither Iskra nor Zarya carried E. L. Gurevich’s or Y. M. Steklov’s article on the subject.