I must say I am keenly disappointed. In my opinion everybody these days should have a single thought—to rush off. Yet people are “waiting” for something!!...
Yesterday I wrote you a postcard on my way back, thinking that you were doubtlessly planning and had decided to go to Berne to see the consul. But you write that you are undecided and want to think it over. See more
Oh, yes, I nearly forgot. What you could and should do immediately in Clarens is to start looking out for pass ports (α) among Russians who would agree to give theirs (without them knowing it’s for me) to enable another per son to leave the country; (β) among Swiss men or women who would give theirs to a Russian.
Oh, if I could only teach sense to these noodles and riffraff!...
You will say, perhaps, that the Germans won’t give a coach. I bet you they will!
We here in Zurich are in a state of agitation today: there is a telegram in Zürcher Post and in Neue Zürcher Zeitung of March 15 that in Russia the revolution was victorious in Petrograd on March 14 after three days of struggle, that 12 members of the Duma are in power and the ministers have all been arrested.
If the Germans are not lying, then it’s true.
That Russia has for the last few days been on the eve of revolution is beyond doubt.
I am beside myself that I cannot go to Scandinavia!! I will not forgive myself for not risking the journey in 1915!
I haven’t heard from you for a long time.
I suppose you don’t feel like working on the translation of the leaflet into English? In that case, drop it: I’ll send it as it is to Paris, maybe they’ll find some Englishman there.
All the very best,
We have got to come out as strongly and bluntly as possible against the ridiculous pacifism of the French (achieving socialism without revolution, and so on) and the ridiculous belief in democracy.
The other day we had a gratifying letter from Moscow (we shall soon send you a copy, although the text is uninteresting). They write that the mood of the masses is a good one, that chauvinism is clearly declining and that probably our day will come. The organisation, they say, is suffering from the fact that the adults are at the front, while in the factories there are young people and women. See more
There is also a letter from Kollontai, who has returned to Norway from America. N. Iv. and Pavlov had won Novy Mir, she says (I get this paper very irregularly), but ... Trotsky arrived, and this scoundrel at once ganged up with the Right wing of Novy Mir against the Left Zimmerwaldists!! That’s it!! That’s Trotsky for you!! Always true to himself = twists, swindles, poses as a Left, helps the Right, so long as he can....
Nadya is ill: she has caught bronchitis and has a temperature. It looks as though she will be in bed for some time. I called in the doctor today.
I am sending you a leaflet. Will you please translate it into French and English...
Please translate it in vigorous language, in short sentences. Please write it in duplicate on thin paper as clearly as possible to avoid misprints.
Dearest friend! So long without hearing from you! You promised, almost a week ago, to write “tomorrow”, and since then not a word. Can something in particular have happened? Just write me any old rubbish if you can’t think of anything serious to say, otherwise I’ll start worrying.
We were recently visited by two escaped prisoners of war. It was interesting to see “live” people, not corroded by emigrant life. As types: one is a Jew from Bessarabia, who has seen life, a Social-Democrat or nearly a Social- Democrat, has a brother who is a Bundist, etc. He has knocked about, but is uninteresting as an individual because commonplace. The second is a Voronezh peasant, a man of the soil, from an Old Believers’ family. A breath from the Black Earth. It was extremely interesting to watch him and listen. He spent a year in a German prison camp (a mass of horrors) with 27,000 Ukrainians. The Germans build up camps according to nations, and do their utmost to break them away from Russia; for the Ukrainians they sent in skilful lecturers from Galicia. The results? Only 2,000, according to him, were for “self-rule” (independence in the sense more of autonomy than of separation) after months of effort by the agitators!! The remainder, he says, were furious at the thought of separation from Russia and going over to the Germans or Austrians.
As regards the tsar and God, all the 27,000, he says, have finished with them completely, as regards the big landowners too. They will return to Russia embittered and enlightened.
All the yearning of the Voronezh man is to get back home, to the land, to his farm. He traipsed around the German villages working, kept his eyes open and learned a lot.
They praise the French (in the prison camps) as good comrades. “The Germans also curse their Kaiser.” They hate the English: “Swelled heads; won’t give you a piece of bread if you won’t wash the floor for them” (that’s the kind of swine you get, perverted by imperialism!).