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Project 1917 is a series of events that took place a hundred years ago as described by those involved. It is composed only of diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers and other documents

The more committed a socialist is to the cause of the workers, the more the bourgeoisie slander him. The Bolsheviks, with Lenin at their head, are the representatives of revolutionary socialism in Russia now. Perhaps nowhere else has the hatred of the bourgeoisie, slander and persecution reached the levels we see now in Russia. See more

On our front blood is being spilled again, again they are mutilating our husbands and brothers in the name of capitalists' and landowners' interests. Contrary to the wishes of the people, contrary to the wishes of our soldiers, our troops are being thrown into an offensive. See more

I received two packages for you — those, which were taken out of your bin. How are you? Are you pleased with Moscow? I wish all the best in the work, and in living with children. With pleasure, I see sometimes from Moscow's "Sotsial-Demokrat", as you take different jobs in different regions, but of course you can not see much of the newspapers.

We have so far "all the same" that you have seen here, and there is no end to fatigue... I start to "surrender," to sleep three times more than others, etc.

Your's Lenin.

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

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!

Best greetings. 


Dear Friend, 

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.

Dear Friend, 

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

Dear Friend,

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.

Yours, Lenin

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!).

Age: 43
Lives in: Clarens, Switzerland
Occupation: revolutionary


in Petrograd
in Moscow