N. Krupskaya


To Lenin’s Sister Maria

Written: 28 March, 1900. Letter sent from Shushenskoye to Podolsk
Published: 1929 in the journal Proletarshaya Revolyufsiya No. 11 Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 583-585.
Translated/Edited: George H. Hanna and Robert Daglish.
Transcription/Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 2008. You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as the source/editing/transcription/markup information noted above.

March 28

There have not been any letters from you or Anyuta for a long time. It looks as if my last “collective” letter was not to your liking. Somehow I could not write at that time. The Siberians recently gave me a good trouncing for a “collective” letter. Volodya came in for a good dose, too; he wrote a letter of twenty lines for five persons and expected to get five letters in answer to it. They made merciless fun of him. So that was that. Congratulations, dear Marusya, and here’s wishing you all the best, Since I have written all the gossip about myself in a letter to Maria Alexandrovna,[This letter has been lost.—Editor] I am going to write about mutual acquaintances. Yegor came to see us. I was awfully glad to see him because I had not known what to think about him. He looks radiant and very much alive. He kept talking the whole time without a stop: He told us that Vastly Vasilyevich had got a good job in Omsk. that Tonya had given birth to a girl and that both were doing well, E.E. is in ecstasies over her granddaughter (she was quite indifferent to the first). Gleb has also got a good job, assistant manager of a railway depot near Tomsk. So far, Zina is still in Nizhneudinsk. And so everything is all right with them. But poor M.A. is having a bad time in Riga. He wrote that the barracks were worse than a prison; he is not allowed out alone, always in the company of a soldier, and then only as far as the shop. They took away all his books except the German dictionary and Civil Law. The food is bad and he cannot take any into the barracks, it would be stolen immediately. The clothing they gave him is so bad he had to get some of his own. The worst thing of all is that MA. has been posted to the very company that dealt brutally with the workers; the soldiers received an award of 10 rubles each for killing a worker, and when they were on patrol they opened fire on their own initiative. So you see!

The comrades in Minusinsk are all keeping well. I recently received a letter from them which made me very glad. Altogether, I never imagined that I had become so fond of the Minusirisk crowd. Baramzin, the man we left our dog with, intends to bring us (really to Volodya) a drawing of her, he draws very well. Our dog seems to be having a good time end has become a general favourite. Talking of the dog reminds me of Lirochka. She once passed on some instructions through ne, and one of them concerned a most detailed description of a moth-eaten mongrel. One of our mutual friends recently got a letter from her and sent me an extract from It. I was not at all pleased with the theoretical part of the letter. She says that Bernstein offers nothing in the way of theory- “That is some sort of idiocy!” But the practical significance of the book, she says, is tremendous; he has turned his attention to the needs of the masses and calls for reality, for concrete things. She believes the book to be a success because the orthodox trend had begun to pall. She says about the resolution[This apparently refers to the “Protest by Russian Social-Democrats” (Collected Works, Vol. 4, pp. 167-182).—Editor] that here energy ands an outlet in Inventing a path that development must follow. In general, Lirochka to me is now an X. She and I formerly held astonishingly identical views, but something has been happening to her in the past three years and I don’t understand her any more. Perhaps we would come to an agreement if we met, but there’s something lacking in our correspondence. She is not the Liroclika I knew and it is no use writing about mists, weather and so on, and she doesn’t seem to want to write about anything else, and she can’t, anyway. To tell the truth, I cannot reconcile myself to her marriage. Her husband[K. M. Takhtarev.—Editor] created the impression on me of a kind of narrow self-assurance …. But I have said too much on this subject. Good-bye. Kiss Anyuta and give M.T. my regards.