V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on January 27, 1916
Published: First published in 1929 in Lenin Miscellany XI. Sent from Berne to Zurich. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 365.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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Dear Comrade,

I should very much like to go to Zurich for two or three weeks to work in the libraries on a piece of research.[1] My wife also. So far we have no papers, but hope soon to get them. The question is whether we shall be able to overcome the financial difficulties. I would very much ask you to reply frankly and without exaggeration to the following questions:

(1) What net income can there be (i.e., for me) from a lecture? Minimum and maximum? The subject: “Two Internationals”: the growing division and rupture with the social-chauvinists throughout the world. Is it possible to increase the income by giving two lectures, and by how much?[2] (2) Will the local comrades help the two of us to get cheap accommodation? (3) How much will it cost to have a room (for two, even if with a single bed) per week? The cheapest, preferably in a worker’s family? (4) Dinner in a canteen, if there is one (here we pay 65 centimes in a students’ canteen)? (5) Morgenkafee and coffee in the evening, because, of course, we cannot do our own housekeeping in Zurich?

The cost of the journey will be 7x4=28 francs; extra expenditure on living in another town? That is the question. The room situation here is bad. Do you happen to know a worker’s family which could reliably promise to put us up cheap?

I shall be very grateful for a frank reply, but without any wild promises.

Beste Grüsse,

P.S. Are there any cheap self-service food counters or the like, and what are the prices?


[1] A reference to Lenin’s work on his book Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.

[2] In Zurich, Lenin read two lectures: on February 17, 1916, “Two Internationals”, and on February 26, 1916, “‘Conditions of Peace’ in Connection with the National Question”.

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