Among the exhibit items are materials from the First
Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). The Congress,
held in Minsk in 1898, did not succeed in joining the separate Social-Democratic
organisations into one united party. V. I. Lenin devoted himself entirely
to the task of forming a party. On the display-stands are photostats of
the articles, "Our Programme", "Our Immediate Tasks", and "An Urgent Question",
in which he substantiated a concrete plan for founding a Marxist party
of a new type. As the first step in completing this task he considered
the organisation of an illegal all-Russia political newspaper.
Lenin's period of exile ended in January 1900. The tsarist
government forbade him to live in the country's capital or in the industrial
centres of Russia, and he decided to settle close to St. Petersburg in
the city of Pskov. En route from Shushenskoye Lenin visited a number of
cities in Russia in order to agree upon the support of the future illegal
newspaper with local Social-Democrats. In Pskov he held a conference in
which declaration of the editors of the future newspaper written by him
was discussed. Having paved the way in Russia, V.I. Lenin went abroad
in July of that same year in order to publish the newspaper. It was almost
impossible at that time to do this in Russia due to police persecution.
The newspaper's first issue, entitled Iskra (The Spark), was printed in
December 1900. Lenin directed the newspaper until November 1903, and then
Iskra fell into the hands of the Mensheviks, and an open struggle against
the Bolshevik Party, against Lenin, was begun on its pages.
See also:other historical documents
and photos at the Defend Lenin mausoleum!
The diagrams, photographs and schemes located to the
left of the hall's entrance portray the growth of the revolutionary climate
in Russia: worker's political strikes, mass demonstrations by peasants,
and student gatherings in various cities throughout Russia.
Various issues of Iskra are featured on the central display.
Among them is an original of the first issue, now yellowed with time,
that contains Lenin's leading article, "The Urgent Tasks of Our Movement"
(in all, nearly 60 articles and notices by Lenin were published in Iskra.
Here is some brief information: "In three years the pnntshop of Iskra
published 56 books, pamphlets and leaflets. In the 44 issues of the newspaper
Iskra, printed before the Second Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic
Labour Party, the correspondence of nearly 500 workers was published."
The editors of Iskra and the house in which Lenin lived
from 1900 to 1901 in Munich are displayed in the photographs. Various
means of transporting Iskra to Russia from abroad are also on exhibit:
a suitcase with a double bottom, a specially cut vest and children's blocks,
Iskra had its own underground and printing-presses in Russia. Among the
exhibit items are the photographs of one printing-press in Kishinev and
a model of another from Baku called "Nina".
V. I. Lenin's book What Is to Be Done (1902).
On the wall opposite the entrance to this room is the first publication
of V. I. Lenin's book What Is to Be Done (1902) and its translations into
In this work V.I.Lenin exposed international opportunism and its manifestation
in Russia, which came to be known as "economism", and laid the basis for
his teachings on a new type of a Marxist party as the leading and directing
force in the development of society, and closely substantiated a plan
for the organised building of a militant, revolutionary party. "Give us
an organisation of revolutionaries, and we will overturn Russia!" wrote
Exact copy of the printing-press in Leipzig where the first issue of
the Iskra was printed.
During his period of emigration V. I. Lenin presented
reports and essays in Paris, Lausanne, Geneva, Berne, Zurich, London and
The photographs showing the places where Vladimir llyich
lived and worked from 1900 to 1905 can be. seen here.
An exact copy of the printing-press in Leipzig where
the first issue of the Iskra was printed is on display between the first
and second exposition halls. The printing-press was presented as a gift
to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union by
the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in 1967.