November 21, 2017

Letters From Lenin


 Dear Comrade, 
I found your letter on my return home. Be sure and send as much material as you can about the nationalities problem in the Caucasus (since you, unfortunately, cannot write yourself), send us both the article by Kostrov and his booklets, reports by the delegates translated into Russian (I hope you will find someone to do this), statistics of nationalities in the Caucasus and material on the relations between the nationalities in the Caucasus, in Persia, Turkey and Russia. In a word, send everything there is and that you can collect. Don’t forget also to look for comrades in the Caucasus who could write articles about the problem of nationalities there.
Greetings and wishes for success.

Yours, V. Ilyich

Written on August 24, 1913 Sent from Poronin to Astrakhan 

April 6, 1917


Leaving Berne tomorrow 10.45 a. m. Come immediately.

April 7, 1917
Final departure date Monday.Forty people. Make sure Lindhagen, Ström in Trelleborg.

July 7 (20), 1917
Only just now, at 3.15 p.m., July 7, I learned that a search was made at my flat last night, despite the protests of my wife, by armed men who produced no warrant. I register my protest against this and ask the Bureau of the C.E.C. to investigate this flagrant breach of the law.

At the same time I consider it my duty to confirm officially and in writing what, I am sure, not a single member of the C.E.C. can doubt, namely, that in the event of the government ordering my arrest and this order being endorsed by the C.E.C., I shall present myself for arrest at the place indicated to me by the C.E.C.

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov
(N. Lenin)
Member of the C.E.C.
Petrograd, 7/VII.1917 

June 30, 1918

People’s Commissar Stalin

Today, June 30, information was received from Joffe in Berlin that Kühlmann had a preliminary conversation with Joffe. From this conversation it is evident that the Germans agree to compel the Turks to cease hostilities beyond the Brest frontier, having established a precise demarcation line for us. They promise not to allow the Turks into Baku, but they want to receive oil. Joffe has replied that we shall adhere strictly to Brest, but quite agree with the principle of give and take. Pay the greatest attention to this information and try to pass it oil as soon as possible to Shahumyan, for now there are very serious chances of holding on to Baku. Some oil, of course, we shall give.


Written on June 3, 1919
Zinoviev for Stalin
Okulov points to the isolation of the 7th Army from the Revolutionary Military Council of the Western Front, which causes confusion, relieves front workers of responsibility, and deprives them of energy in their work. Petrograd Military District, subordinated to the Western Front, is giving all its reserves to the 7th Army, not giving them to the front for the remaining armies. Pozern stays in Petrograd all the time, has poor connections with the Council of the front, and sets up parallel supply bodies instead of utilising the front-line bodies already existing. Okulov proposes either the complete subordination of the 7th Army to the command of the front, or giving it a special status of direct subordination to the General Headquarters.

Knowing Petrograd’s constant tendency towards independent activity, I think you should help the Revolutionary Military Council of the front to unite all the armies. The other Western armies besides the 7th should be taken care of, too. Report what you have done.

The conflict with Okulov must not be allowed to grow. Think it over well, for it is impossible simply to recall him.

Today I learned of the desertion to the enemy of yet another Petrograd regiment and of the refusal of two regiments to attack. Supervision should be strengthened and more workers added.
Regarding foreigners, I advise not to hurry with deportation. Would not a concentration camp be better, so that they can afterwards be exchanged?

In code

4. VI. 1919
I think it necessary to release Natsarenus for the Ukraine, which is badly in need of workers, while you have a surplus. Further, I request you to visit the Western Front, which has been terribly weakened as regards commissars. It is absolutely essential to support the front as a whole. Would you not find it useful in this connection to have a meeting with Smilga?

I have received the material with your letter, and have begun to examine it.

5. VI. 1919
Stalin, Zinoviev
I am referring the question of Natsarenus to the Central Committee. It must be borne in mind that there has been a huge deterioration in the south, threatening catastrophe. They are disastrously understaffed there, while you have enough and to spare.[1] I have informed Chicherin. I have no objection, of course, to your orders to shoot back.[2]

June 13, 1919 
Stalin, copy to Zinoviev
Code message received. Both your requests Have been fulfilled. Two armoured trains and 500 Communists are leaving today. Trotsky is here. Telegraph, first, whether you have received this reply; second, how you appraise the situation, whether you have recovered what was lost, and what measures have been taken; third, whether you consider possible your arrival tomorrow or the day after or quite impossible; fourth, your opinion about the publication of the document you sent, not in full but parts of it. I urge publication. We ourselves will select what can be published. I await a reply.

September 1, 1919
Headquarters, Western Front
The Politbureau asks you to explain the motives for your decision in regard to Marchlewski. We are surprised that you countermand a decision of the Central Committee all on your own without letting us know.
On behalf of the Politbureau,

In his reply to Lenin on September 2, 1919, Stalin wired that on the day of Marchlewski’s arrival to conduct negotiations with the Lithuanians, the latter suddenly launched an attack. Obviously, the telegram pointed out, the Lithuanians had used talk about negotiations as a cover in order to lull the vigilance of the Soviet Government. Stalin stated that he had not received any decisions of the Central Committee about conducting negotiations. “Today,” he wrote further, “our counter-offensive has begun. We have issued an order to Front Headquarters to heighten vigilance and not allow any envoys to pass the front line without its knowledge and consent.”

------------------ February 10, 1920 

To be handed to the duty commissar for immediate,
priority transmission
Notify Kremlin, Moscow, of delivery

Ukrainian Revolutionary Committee
I am still hopeful that after your talks with Tukhachevsky and the removal of Sokolnikov, things will adjust themselves without your transference. Therefore, for the time being, we are not notifying Smilga. Be sure to inform me in good time and in detail by code or by telephone from Kharkov. I consider it most important that the troops disengaged after the capture of Odessa should not be kept on the Dniester, but moved to the Western Front as a safeguard against the Poles. Let me know your opinion.


August 3, 1920

 In code

I do not quite understand why you are dissatisfied with the separation of the fronts. Let me know your reasons. It seemed to me to be necessary since the Wrangel danger is increasing. As to a deputy, let me know your opinion   about a candidate. Please inform me also what promises the Commander-in-Chief is late with. Our diplomacy is subordinated to the C.C. and will never disrupt our successes, if the Wrangel danger does not cause vacillations within the Central Committee. From the Kuban area and the Don Region we are getting alarming, even desperate, telegrams about the menacing growth of the insurgent movement. They are insisting on more speed in defeating Wrangel.


This telegram was written in reply to the following telegram from Stalin, sent on August 2, 1920, from Lozovaya: “Fierce   fighting is continuing with growing intensity; today we shall probably lose Alexandrovsk. I received your note concerning the separation of the fronts. The Politbureau ought not to concern itself with trifles. I can go on working at the front for two weeks at the most, I need a rest, find someone to replace me. I do not believe the promises of the Commander-in-Chief for a single minute, by his promises he only lets us down. As regards the sentiments of the Central Committee in favour of peace with Poland, one cannot help remarking that our diplomacy sometimes very successfully torpedoes the results of our military successes” = (Collected Works, Fifth Ed., Vol. 51, p. 441). 

August 7, 1920

I apologise for the delay in replying, due to the end of the work of the Comintern. The plenary meeting of the Central Committee did not adopt any decisions[1] that alter the established policy. Britain is threatening war, she does not want to wait later than Monday, August 9. I don’t much believe the threats. Kamenev in London is also standing firm so far, and I am convinced that your successes against Wrangel will help to put an end to the vacillations within the Central Committee. In general, however, much still depends on Warsaw and its fate.[2]


V. I. Lenin
 December 14, 1920 

Comrade Chicherin,

Yesterday Ter-Gabrielyan came to see me and he also spoke of the terrible danger of a pogrom.

(1) 600,000 Armenian refugees are said to be in danger of losing their lives.

(2) Without Kars, Baku is said to be threatened.

I think we should separate No. (1) from No. (2) and do everything to help in No. (1).

What is your opinion? and what are you doing on No. (1)?

With communist greetings,