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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

Условия в Питере архитрудные. Патриоты-республиканцы напрягают все усилия. Нашу партию хотят залить помоями и грязью («дело» Черномазова — посылаю о нем документы) и т. д. и т. д. Доверять ни Чхеидзе и Ко, ни Суханову и пр. нельзя. Никакого сближения с другими партиями, ни с кем. Ни тени доверия и поддержки правительству Гучкова-Мил. и Ко. Непримиримая пропаганда интернационализма и борьба с республиканским шовинизмом всюду: и в прессе, и внутри Сов. Раб. Депутатов; организация нашей партии — в этом суть. Каменев должен понять, что на него ложится всемирно-историческая ответственность. See more

The bolsheviks, personally, became exceedingly courteous and I restored my personal relationships with Zinoviev and Lenin. On the referat Lenin also managed to avoid any vehement “expressions”, however, the chasm between us remains deep, and the drivel he spouts regarding our goals is outrageous.

At a border post in the Swedish north in the area of Haparanda my luggage was searched, and a female officer was called to search my person. Fearing for the letter from Lenin, I stowed it away in my corset, but thankfully the officer was more interested in my voluminous hair and asked me to remove the pins that were holding it back. She, of course, found nothing.

Берлинское разрешение для меня неприемлемо. Или швейцарское правительство получит вагон до Копенгагена или русское договорится об обмене всех эмигрантов на интернированных немцев.

Dear Olga! Your marriage plan sounds very reasonable to me, and I shall stand (in the C.C.) for 100 frs. being issued to you: 50 frs. in the fist of a lawyer and 50 frs. to a “convenient old man” for marrying you! 

No, really!! To have the right of entry both into Germany and into Russia! 

Hurrah! A brilliant idea of yours! 

Best regards, 
Yours, Lenin

Дорогой друг! Вы, видимо, нервничаете чересчур — этим объясняю ряд теоретических «странностей» в Ваших письмах. Не надо отличать 1-й и 2-й революций или 1 и 2 этапов?? Именно надо. Марксизм требует различать классы, кои действуют. В России у власти не тот класс, что прежде. Значит, и революция предстоит совсем, совсем иная. Из революции нельзя делать «божка». Керенский — революционер, но пустомеля, лгунишка, обманщик рабочих. Почти несомненно, что даже в СПб. «Совете рабочих и солдатских депутатов» большинство одурачено им (при помощи колеблющегося и путающего Чхеидзе). А что будет с деревней?

В Россию, должно быть, не попадем!! Англия не пустит. Через Германию не выходит.
Привет! Ленин

Dear Vladimir Ilyich and Nadezhda Konstantinovna!

It's only been a week that I'm in the maelstrom of new Russia. The brilliance and power of feeling is such that I won’t even try to convey it. So for now I’ll limit myself to short, concise impressions. See more

Be careful about blocs with the Nachalo people: we are against rapprochement with other parties, are for warning the workers against Chkheidze. Essential! Chkheidze is clearly wobbling: cf. how he is being praised in the Temps of March 22 and in many other papers. We are for the C.C. in Russia, for Pravda, for our Party, for a proletarian militia preparing the way for peace and socialism.
Yours, Lenin

Fraternal greetings. We leave for Petrograd today. Kamenev, Muranov, Stalin.

Our tactics: no trust in and no support of the new government; Kerensky is especially suspect; arming of the proletariat is the only guarantee; immediate elections to the Petrograd City Council; no rapprochement with other parties. Telegraph this to Petrograd. 

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

Dear friends, what an exciting time! . . . We’re all "going crazy" here. We don’t sleep. We don’t sit still. We run around encouraging the Norwegians to rebel. It's hard not to immediately go to Russia! Your slogan "civil war" has fully paid off! I see it everywhere. I want to tightly, firmly shake your hand. Anyway, you must be high spirits. Rejoice! All the best to both of you!

From the very first minutes, as soon as the news of the February Revolution came, Ilyich began to rush to Russia. It is necessary to go illegally, there are no legal ways. But how?Ilyich couldn’t sleep from the moment the news of the revolution came, and at night the most improbable of his plans were built. You can fly on an airplane. But this could only be conjured up in a sleepless, hallucinating state of mind. When it was said out loud, the impossibility, the unreality of this plan became clear. It is necessary to get a passport of some foreigner from a neutral country, a Swede is the best: a Swede will cause less suspicion. See more

Dear A. M., 

We have just received the second set of government telegrams about the revolution of March in Petrograd. A week of bloody battles by the workers—and Milyukov + Guchkov + Kerensky in power!! On the “old” European pattern.... 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. 


Ilyich has not slept for days. This night he said: “You know, I can go with a passport of a mute Swede”. I laughed. “It is not going to work; you might start speaking in your sleep. If you dream of cadets, you will start mumbling: bastards, bastards. Everyone will find out that you are not a Swede.” In any case, the plan of travelling with a passport of some mute Swede was more realistic than flying over in some aeroplane. Ilyich wrote about his plan to Ganetsky in Sweden.

From Russia we receive nothing, not even letters! We relay through Scandinavia.

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, 

Дорогой друг! Вы мне прислали 2 экземпляра французского текста, ни одного английского (будет ли английский, и когда именно будет, не написали). Послали русский текст Абрамовичу? Пошлите, пожалуйста, тотчас, если еще не послали. А французский перевод Вы явно не пересмотрели, и у переписчика тьма пропусков и ошибок.

Привет. Ленин

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.

Age: 46
Birth name: Vladimir Ulyanov
Views: bolshevik
Occupation: revolutionary


in Petrograd
in Moscow