Letter to Wilhelm Koenen, August Thalheimer and Paul Fröhlich, June 16, 1921

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 16 June 1921

First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 52. Printed from the original. Translated from the German.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 187b


Comrades Koenen



Dear Comrades!

I have received a copy of your letter to our Party’s Central Committee. Thank you very much. I communicated my answer orally yesterday. I take this opportunity to emphasise that I do most resolutely withdraw the rude and impolite expressions I used, and hereby repeat my oral apology in writing.[1]

With communist greetings,


  1. In a letter to the RCP(b) Central Committee, on June 16, 1921, Wilhelm Koenen, August Thalheimer and Paul Fröhlich declared that the German delegation at the Third Congress of the Comintern, while approving the theses on tactics worked out by the Russian delegation, demanded that in the event of the congress adopting a special resolution on the March action, it should include the following propositions: = 1) the March action was not a putsch, but a step forward in the development of the German revolution and the Party, and it is wrong to characterise it as an offensive without sufficiently extensive preparation; = 2) Paul Levi’s expulsion from the Party is correct; = 3) all factional activity in the U.C.P.G. is prohibited, etc.
    In saying that he had given a verbal reply to the letter, Lenin must have meant his speech at the sitting of the German delegation with the members of the Politbureau of the RCP(b) Central Committee on June 15, 1921, in which ho sharply criticised representatives of the “Left” wing of the U.C.P.G. There is no record of his speech, but the notes of the speeches by Karl Radek, Wilhelm Koenen, August Thalheimer, Béla Kun and others, which Lenin made at the sitting, contained the following remark: “cursing of the German Leftists of the VKPD (15/VI. 1921)” (Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the CPSU Central Committee).
    For the section of the theses on tactics “Lessons of the March Action” and the resolution “The March Events and the United Communist Party of Germany”, adopted by the Third Congress of the Comintern, see Kommunistichesky Internatsional v dokumentakh. 1919–1932. Moscow, 1933, pp. 194, 225.