Letter to Vorwärts and Wiener Arbeiter-Zeitung
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 21, page 42.
Some days ago, Vorwärts published a brief item regarding the paper I read in Zurich, on the subject of war and socialism, and conveying an entirely false impression of that paper. The impression is created that I limited myself to a polemic against tsarism. In actual fact, however, as one who is convinced that it is the duty of the socialists of every country to wage an unrelenting struggle against the chauvinism and patriotism of their own country (and not only of the enemy), I vehemently attacked tsarism, and, in that connection, I spoke of freedom for the Ukraine. However, the sense of my argument may be utterly distorted if no mention is made of what I said of opportunism and the collapse of the Second International, and against the stand taken by the Social-Democrats of Germany and Austria. Nine-tenths of my paper, whose reading lasted two hours, dealt with that criticism.
I would be grateful for publication, in Vorwärts, of the omissions I have named (or...).
With Social-Democratic greetings
- The notes on Lenin’s report referred to in the article were published in Vorwärts No. 308 of November 10 and in Wienner Arbeiter-Zeitung No. 309 of November 7, 1914. On November 22, 1914, the Vorwärts editorial board published a brief note replying to Lenin’s letter, claiming that the report had criticised the stand taken by the German and Austrian Social-Democrats and gave an appraisal of the Second International’s collapse.