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Krupskaya's “Reminiscences of Lenin”

St. Petersburg and Finland


The December uprising was crushed, and the government took harsh reprisals against the rebels.

In his article of January 4, 1906, ("The Workers' Party and Its Tasks in the Present Situation") Vladimir Ilyich evaluated the situation in the following words:

"Civil war is raging. The political strike, as such, is beginning to exhaust itself, is becoming a thing of the past, an obsolete form of the movement. In St. Petersburg, for instance, the wearied and exhausted workers were not able to carry out the December strike. On the other hand, the movement as a whole, though hard pressed by the reaction, has undoubtedly risen to a much higher plane....

"Dubasov's guns have revolutionized new masses of the people on an unprecedented scale.... What now? Let us look realities squarely in the face. We are now confronted with the new task of assimilating and studying the experience of the latest forms of struggle, with the task of training and organizing forces in the most important centres of the movement." (My italics. – N. K.)

Vladimir Ilyich felt the Moscow defeat very keenly. It was clear that the workers had been poorly armed, and that the organization was weak. Even the link between St. Petersburg and Moscow was poor. I remember the way Ilyich listened to his sister Anna Ilyinichna when she gave him an account of her meeting with a working woman from Moscow at the railway station. The woman had bitterly reproached the St. Petersburg comrades: "Thank you, Petersburgers, for your support. You sent us the Semyonovsky Regiment."

And as though in answer to this reproach Ilyich wrote:

"It would be greatly to the advantage of the government to suppress isolated actions of the proletarians as it has been doing. The government would like to challenge the workers of St. Petersburg to go into battle at once under circumstances that would be most unfavourable for them. But the workers will not allow themselves to be provoked and will be able to continue their path of independent preparation for the next all-Russian action."

Ilyich believed the peasantry would rise, too, in the spring of 1906, and that this would affect the troops. He wrote:

"We must present the colossal tasks of a new action in a more definite and practical way, prepare ourselves for it in a more sustained, systematic and persistent fashion, and in doing so, husband as far as possible the strength of the proletariat which has become exhausted by the strike struggle." (My italics. – N.K.)

"Let the party of the workers clearly realize its tasks. Down with constitutional illusions! We must gather the new forces which are siding with the proletariat. (My italics. – N.K.) We must 'gather the experience' of the two great months (November and December) of the revolution. We must adapt ourselves again to the restored autocracy, and be able wherever necessary to go underground once more."

And underground we went. We spun the network of the secret organization anew. Comrades arrived from all over Russia, and we made arrangements with them about them about the work and the line that had to be taken. People came first to the secret meeting places where they were received by Vera Menzhinskaya and myself or by Mikhail Sergeyevich. For the more intimate and important people I arranged interviews with Ilyich, while for those who came on military business Mikhail Sergeyevich arranged interviews with Nikitich (Krasin). The rendezvous were held at different places: at Dora Dvoires' dental surgery (somewhere in Nevsky), at the dentist Lavrentyeva's, (in Nikolayevskaya Street), at the Vperyod bookstore"and at the flats of various sympathizers.

I remember two incidents. One day Vera Menzhinskaya and I arranged to receive visitors at the Vperyod bookstore, where a special room had been set aside for the purpose. One local Party man came with a bundle of proclamations, while another sat waiting his turn. All of sudden a police officer opened the door, stuck his head in, said, "Aha!" and locked us all in. What could we do? We couldn't very well climb out through the window, so we just sat there staring dumbly at one another. We decided meantime to burn the proclamations and other illegal stuff – that is what we did – and agreed among ourselves to say that we had come there to collect popular literature for the villages. The police officer sneered when we told him that, but he did not arrest us. He took our names and addresses. Naturally, we gave him false names and addresses.

On another occasion I nearly got into a mess. I went to a first secret meeting place at Lavrentyeva's, but instead of House No. 32 I was told No. 33. I was surprised to see that the name-card on the door had been pulled off. Funny sort of secrecy technique this, I thought. The door was opened by a soldier, obviously an officer's servant. I walked straight down the passage without saying sword, loaded up with ciphered addresses and literature. The servant dashed after me, deathly pale and trembling. I stopped and said: "Isn't the dentist in? I've got the toothache." The batman stuttered: "The Colonel is not at home." "The Colonel?" I said. "Yes, Colonel Riman." It appears I had blundered into the flat of Riman, Colonel of the very Semyonovsky Regiment which had crushed the Moscow uprising and taken punitive measures on the Moscow-Kazan Railway.

Obviously he feared an attempt on his life, and that accounted for the card being torn off the door. And here had I burst into his flat and rushed down the passage without announcing myself.

"I've come to the wrong place then, I want the dentist," I said, and beat a hasty retreat.

Sleeping at people's places tired Ilyich out, and besides, he found it very irksome. Being a shy man, he felt embarrassed by the attentions of the kind hosts. He liked to work in a library or at home, and here he had to accommodate himself every time to new surroundings.

I used to meet him at the Vienna Restaurant, but as it was not very convenient to talk there in public, we would sit there awhile, or, meeting at an agreed spot in the street, we would then take a cab to the hotel opposite the Nikolayevsky Station, where we would engage a private room and order dinner. Once we met Juzef (Dzerzhinsky) in the street. We stopped the cab and invited him to join us. He sat down next to the driver. Ilyich kept worrying whether he was comfortable, but he laughed and said that he had been brought up in the village and could ride on the driving-seat of a sledge.

Ilyich got fed up at last with this kind of life, and we took rooms together in Panteleimonovskaya (in a big building opposite the church of that name). Our landlady was a reactionary of the Black-Hundred type.

Of Ilyich's speeches at that period, I remember one on the peasant question at a meeting of propagandists from various districts held at Knipovich's flat. Nikolai from the Nevskaya Zastava district asked him some question. I did not like the stereotyped form in which the question was put nor the way in which Nikolai had spoken. After the meeting I asked Uncle, the local organizer in that district, what kind of a worker Nikolai was. She said he was an intelligent young man closely connected with the village, but complained that he was incapable of doing systematic mass work and wasted his gifts working only with a small group. In 1906 Nikolai was nevertheless an active worker. He turned provocateur during the period of reaction, but he could not stand it, and committed suicide. Nikolai belonged to a group of comrades who tried to penetrate among all sections of the poor population. I remember his going to a doss-house to carry on agitation. Krylenko, who was a cheeky young fellow at the time, gate-crashed at some meeting of a religious sect and nearly got a good hiding. Sergei Voitinsky was another one who was continually getting into all kinds of scrapes.

Ilyich had the sleuths after him. He had been to a meeting (at the lawyer Cherekul-Kush's, I believe), where he had made a report. He was so closely shadowed that he decided not to return home. I sat by the window all through the night, and concluded that he had been arrested. Ilyich barely managed to elude the sleuths, and with the aid of Bask (then a prominent member of Spilka), he escaped to Finland, where he lived up to the time of the Stockholm Congress.

There, in April, he wrote the pamphlet The Victory of the Cadets and the Tasks of the Workers' Party and drafted the resolutions for the Unity Congress. They were discussed in St. Petersburg, Ilyich arriving there for the purpose. The discussion was held at the Witmer's in one of the classrooms (their house was used as a school).

It was the first time the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks had met together in congress since the Second Party Congress. Although the Mensheviks had shown themselves in their true colours during the last few months, Ilyich still hoped that the new wave of the revolution, of whose rise he had no doubt, would sweep them along with it and reconcile them to the Bolshevik line.

I was a bit late at the congress. I travelled there with Tuchapsky, whom I had known before (we had worked together in preparing the First Congress), and with Klavdia Sverdlova. Sverdlov himself had intended coming to the congress, too. He was a very big influence in the Urals. The workers there flatly refused to let him go. I had a mandate from Kazan, but was short of a few votes. The credentials committee therefore gave me only a deliberative vote. A few minutes with the credentials committee was enough to plunge one right away into the atmosphere of the congress – it was decidedly factional.

The Bolsheviks stood solid, united by the conviction that the revolution, despite its temporary setback, was on the upgrade.

I remember how busy Uncle was kept.She knew Swedish well and therefore was given the job of seeing the delegates fixed up. I remember Ivan Skvortsov and Vladimir Bazarov, and the way the latter's eyes used to gleam when he was in a fighting mood. I remember Vladimir Ilyich saying in this connection that Bazarov had a strong political streak in him and enjoyed a good fight. I remember a ramble we took in the country with Rykov, Stroyev and Alexinsky, when we talked about the temper of the workers. Voroshilov (Volodya Antimekov) and K. Samoilova (Natasha Bolshevikova) were at the congress too. Their two sobriquets alone, so full of youthful audacity, were characteristic of the temper of the Bolshevik delegates at the Unity Congress. The Bolshevik delegates came away from it more strongly welded together than ever.

April 27 saw the opening of the First State Duma. There was a demonstration of the unemployed, among whom Voitinsky was working. May Day was marked with great enthusiasm. At the end of April the newspaper Volna (Wave) started publication in place of Novaya Zhizn, and a small Bolshevik magazine Vestnik Zhizni (Herald of Life) began to appear. The movement was building up again.

On our return from the Stockholm Congress we took rooms in Zabalkansky Street, I with a passport in the name of Praskovria Onegina, Ilyich in the name of Chkheidze. The building had a through courtyard, and we would have been fairly comfortable there but for one of the tenants, a military man, who knocked his wife about unmercifully and dragged her up and down the passage by her hair, and the too amiable landlady, who was very inquisitive about Ilyich's kin, and assured him that she had known him when he was a kid of four, only he had then been on the dark side....

Ilyich wrote a report about the Unity Congress to the St. Petersburg workers in which he high-lighted all the differences on vital issues. "Freedom of discussion, unity of action is what we must strive for," Ilyich wrote in his report. "All Social-Democrats agree among themselves in Supporting the revolutionary action of the peasantry and criticizing petty-bourgeois utopias...." "In the elections (to the Duma.-N.K.) complete unity of action is imperative. The congress has decided that we should all vote wherever there are any elections. No criticism for taking part in the elections is to be made during the elections. The action of the proletariat must be united."

The report was published in Vperyod in May.

On May 9 Vladimir Ilyich, for the first time in Russia, addressed a huge mass meeting at Panina's People's House under the name of Karpov. The hall was packed with workers from all districts. The police were noticeably absent. The two police officers who had hung around at the beginning quickly disappeared. "You'd think someone had sprinkled insect-powder on 'em," some wag remarked. After Ogorodnikov, a Constitutional Democrat (Cadet), had spoken, the chairman called upon Karpov. I was standing among the crowd. Ilyich was terribly agitated. He stood silent for about a minute, very pale. All the blood had flowed to his heart. You could sense at once that the speaker's agitation was communicating itself to the audience. Then all of a sudden a burst of hand-clapping swept through the hall – the Party comrades had recognized Ilyich. I remember the puzzled excited face of a worker standing next to me. "Who is it? Who is it?" he asked. No one answered him. A hush descended upon the hall. A wave of extraordinary enthusiasm swept the audience after Ilyich's speech. At that moment everyone was thinking of the coming fight to the finish.

Red shirts were torn up to make banners, and the crowd dispersed to their respective districts with revolutionary songs.

It was a May night, one of those exhilarating St. Petersburg white nights. The police we had expected to be waiting outside were not there. After the meeting Vladimir Ilyich went to sleep at Dmitry Leshchenko's place.

Ilyich did not have another chance of addressing any big public meeting during that revolution.

On May 24 Volna was suppressed. On May 26 it resumed publication under the name of Vperyod, which existed until June 14.

It was not until June 22 that we succeeded in starting publication of a new Bolshevik newspaper Ekho (Echo) which existed up till July 7. The State Duma was dissolved on July 8.

At the end of June Rosa Luxemburg arrived in St. Petersburg. She had just been released from Warsaw prison. Vladimir Ilyich and our leading Bolsheviks met her. Old Papa Rode, a houseowner, whose daughter had been a fellow-teacher of mine in the Nevskava Zastava and had afterwards been in prison with me, placed an apartment at our disposal for the meeting. The old man was anxious to help us in every way he could. The apartment he gave us for the meeting was a big empty place, and for the sake of greater secrecy, he had all the windows whitewashed, thus attracting the attention of all the janitors. At that conference we discussed the situation and the tactics that were to be employed. From St. Petersburg Rosa went to Finland, and thence abroad.

In May, when the movement was gathering momentum, Ilyich gave a good deal of attention to the Duma, which had begun to reflect the moods of the peasantry. During that period he wrote the following articles: "The Workers' Group in the State Duma," "The Peasant of 'Trudovik' Group and the R.S.D.L.P.," "The Land Question in the Duma," "Neither Land Nor Liberty," "The Government, the Duma and the People," "The Cadets Prevent the Duma from Appealing to the People," "The Hapless, the Octobrists and the Cadets," "Bad Advice," "The Cadets, the Trudoviks, and the Workers' Party." All these articles had in view a single object – the alliance of the working class with the peasantry, the necessity to rouse the peasants to the struggle for land and liberty, the necessity to prevent the Cadets from striking a bargain with the government.

Ilyich often made reports on this question during that period.

He addressed a delegates' meeting of the Vyborg District of St. Petersburg at the Engineers' Union in Zago rodny Prospekt. We had to wait a long time, as one hall was occupied by the unemployed, and the other by the longshoremen (their organizer was Sergei Malyshev). They had made a last attempt to come to an agreement with the employers and had failed again. We had to wait until they had gone.

I also remember Ilyich speaking to a group of schoolteachers. Socialist-Revolutionary moods then prevailed among the teachers, and the Bolsheviks had been debarred from the Teachers' Congress. A talk with a group of a few score teachers was arranged in one of the schools. Among those present I particularly remember the face of one of the school mistresses, a hunchbacked little woman. She was the Socialist-Revolutionary Kondratyeva. Ryazanov made a report on the trade unions at this meeting. Vladimir Ilyich spoke on the agrarian question. He was opposed by Bunakov, the S.-R., who accused him of contradicting himself and quoted Ilyin against him (Ilyin was Vladimir Ilyich's pen-name at the time). Vladimir Ilyich listened attentively, jotting down notes, then made short work of this S.-R. demagogy.

When the land question loomed large, and there openly appeared what Ilyich called "a league of the officials and liberals against the muzhiks," the vacillating Trudovik group sided with the workers. Seeing that the Duma could not be relied upon to back it, the government fought with the gloves off. Peaceful demonstrations were beaten up, buildings used for public meetings were set on fire, and pogroms started against the Jews. A government statement on the agrarian question in which violent attacks were made on the State Duma was issued on June 20.

Finally, on July 8, the Duma was dissolved, the Social-Democratic newspapers were shut down, and all kinds of repressions and arrests started. A revolt broke out in Kronstadt and Sveaborg. Our people took a very active part in it. Innokenty (Dubrovinsky) barely managed to get away from Kronstadt; he slipped through the fingers of the police there by pretending to be dead drunk. After a while our military organization was arrested. It had had an agent provocateur planted in its midst. This happened just at the time of the Sveaborg revolt. We waited despairingly that day for telegrams reporting the progress of the revolt.

We were sitting in the Menzhinskys' flat. The Menzhinsky sisters, Vera and Lyudmila, lived in a very convenient apartment, all on their own. Comrades often came to visit them. Frequent visitors were Rozhkov, Juzef and Goldenberg. On that occasion, too, several comrades had gathered there, among them Ilyich. He sent Vera to Schlichter with a message telling him to go to Sveaborg at once. Someone remembered that there was a comrade named Harrik working as proof-reader on the Cadet paper Rech (Speech). I called on him to find out whether there were any telegrams. He was not in the office, but I got the telegrams from another proof-reader. He advised me to make arrangements with Harrik, who lived nearby in Gusev Street. He even wrote the address for me on the galleyproofs on which the telegrams were printed. I went tO Gusev Street. Two women were walking about arm-in-arm in front of the house. They stopped me. "If you are going to flat number so-and-so, you'd better not. The police a'e there – it's a trap. They're seizing everybody who goes in."I hastened to warn our people. As we afterwards found out, our whole military organization, including Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, had been arrested there. The insurrection was suppressed. The reaction began to put the screw on. The Bolsheviks resumed publication of the illegal Proletary, and went underground. The Mensheviks beat a retreat and began to write in the bourgeois press, putting forward the demagogic slogan of a non-party workers' congress, which, under the existing conditions, was tantamount to liquidating the Party. The Bolsheviks demanded the convocation of an emergency congress.

Ilyich was obliged to go into "semi-exile" in Finland. He put up with the Leiteisens in Kuokkala, not far from the railway station. The large rambling country house Vaasa had long been a refuge for revolutionaries. It had been formerly occupied by S.-R.'s, who had made bombs there, and afterwards the Bolshevik Leiteisen (Lindov) and his family lived there. Ilyich had a room to himself in a remote part of the house, where he wrote his articles and pamphlets, and received members of the Central Committee and the St. Petersburg Committee, and Party workers from the provinces. Ilyich practically directed all the activities of the Bolsheviks from Kuokkala. After a while I joined him there. I took a train to St. Petersburg every morning and returned late in the evening. The Leiteisens eventually went away, and we occupied the whole ground Boor – my mother came to stay with us, and Maria Ilyinichna lived with us for a time. The top floor was occupied by the Bogdanovs, and then in 1907 by Dubrovinsky (Innokenty). In those days the Russian police judiciously kept away from Finland, and we enjoyed considerable freedom there. The door of the house was never locked, and every night a jug of milk and a loaf of bread were left in the dining room, where a bed was made on the sofa so that in the event of anyone coming down by the night train he could have a bite and go to sleep without disturbing anyone. In the morning we would often find comrades in the dining room who had come down during the night.

A special messenger came to Ilyich every day with copy, newspapers and letters. Ilyich would look through this mail, then sit down straightaway to write an article and send it back by the same man. Dmitry Leshchenko visited Vaasa nearly every day. In the evenings I would bring the latest news and messages from St. Petersburg.

Naturally, Ilyich yearned to be back in St. Petersburg, and although the closest possible contact was kept with him, a lonesome mood would come upon him sometimes, and we would all try our best to take him out of himself. And so it happened that all the inmates of Vaasa started playing doorak.

Bogdanov played a slow wary game, Ilyich played with careful zest, and Leiteisen with gusto. Sometimes a man calling on business from some Party local would be considerably taken aback to find the Central Committee members engaged in a lively game of doorak. But that was just an interlude.

Spending the whole day in St Petersburg as I did, saw very little of Ilyich. I came home late to find him always fretting, and so instead of asking him any questions I told him about all that I had seen and heard that day.

That winter Vera Menzhinskaya and I made our permanent rendezvous in the canteen of the Technological Institute. It was a very convenient place, as a great number of people passed through it in the course of the day. Sometimes as many as ten of us a day would meet there. We attracted no attention. On one occasion, though, Kamo came to a meeting there in full Caucasian kit, carrying a ball-shaped object in a serviette. Everyone in the canteen stopped eating and began to stare at the striking visitor. "He has brought a bomb," most of them probably thought. But it was not a bomb, it was a watermelon Kamo had brought the watermelon and some candled nuts as a treat for Ilyich and me. "My Aunt sent them," he explained in his bashful way. A daredevil fighter of indomitable will and courage, Kamo was a man of the highest character, a rather naive and affectionate comrade. He was passionately devoted to Ilyich, Krasin and Bogdanov. He used to visit us at Kuokkala, where he made friends with my mother, and used to tell her all about his aunt and sisters. Kamo travelled frequently between Finland and St. Petersburg, and always took arms back with him. Mother used to help him strap the revolvers on his back with affectionate care.

The illegal paper Proletary began to appear in Vyborg in the autumn. Ilyich devoted a great deal of time to it. Contact was maintained through Schlichter. The illegal newspaper was delivered in St. Petersburg and distributed there among the districts. Delivery arrangements were handled by Irina (Lydia Gobi). Although delivery and distribution went smoothly (literature went through the legal Bolshevik print-shop Delo), the addresses had to be obtained to which the literature was to be forwarded. Vera Menzhinskaya and I needed someone to help us. Komissarov, a district man, proposed his wife Katva as assistant. She came – a modest-looking woman with bobbed hair. An odd feeling came over me when first I saw her – a kind of sharp mistrust. I could not account for it, and soon it passed. Katya proved to be a very efficient assistant. She did everything quickly, accurately and with careful secrecy. She showed no curiosity, asked no questions. Once, though, when I asked her where she was going to spend the summer, she winced and gave me an ugly look. Katya and her husband turned out to be agent provocateurs. Katya received a consignment of arms in St. Petersburg and took it down to the Urals. The police came along as soon as she arrived and confiscated the arms which she had brought and arrested everyone. We did not find that out until a long time afterwards. Her husband, Komissarov, became manager for Simonov, the proprietor of House No. 9 in Zagorodny Prospekt. Simonov used to help Social-Democrats. Vladimir Ilyich lived there at time, then a Bolshevik club was organized there, and later Alexinsky lived there. Some time later, during the reaction, Komissarov fixed up illegal comrades there and supplied them with passports, and afterwards those comrades very quickly "happened" to get themselves arrested at the frontier. One of the comrades who fell into this trap was Innokenty, he had returned from abroad to work in Russia. It is difficult, of course, to say exactly when Komissarov and his wife turned provocateurs. At any rate, there were a good many things that the police did not know. They did not know Vladimir Ilyich's whereabouts, for one thing. In 1905 and throughout 1906 the police force was still pretty disorganized. The Second State Duma was to be convoked on February 20, 1907.

Fourteen delegates at the November Conference including those from Poland and Lithuania headed by Vladimir Ilyich had been in favour of the elections to the Duma, but against any bloc with the Cadets (as advocated by the Mensheviks). It was under this slogan that the Bolsheviks had worked for the Duma elections. The Cadets were defeated at the polls. The number of Cadet deputies returned to the Second Duma was only half of what they had had in the First. The elections were very late. A new revolutionary wave seemed to be rising. Ilyich wrote at the beginning of 1907: "How poor our recent 'theoretical' disputes have suddenly become in the light of the brilliant beam of the revolution that has now burst forth!"

The Second Duma deputies came to Kuokkala fairly often to have a talk with Ilyich. The work of the Bolshevik deputies was directed by Alexander Bogdanov. He lived in Kuokkala at the same country house as we did, and consulted Ilyich on everything.

I remember returning to Kuokkala late one evening from St. Petersburg and meeting Pavel Axelrod in the train. He said that the Bolshevik deputies, Alexinsky in particular, were not doing at all badly in the Duma. He began talking about a workers' congress. The Mensheviks were agitating strongly for a workers' congress in the hope that such a congress on a broad basis would help to fight the growing influence of the Bolsheviks. The latter pressed for a speedy convocation of the Party congress. It was finally fixed for April. There was a very big attendance. The delegates went there in a body. They came to the secret rendezvous one after another to show their credentials. The Bolshevik representatives there were Mikhail Sergeyevich (Weinstein) and myself, while the Menshevik representatives were Krokhmal and M. M. Shik (Khinchuk's wife). The police had us shadowed. Marat (Schanzer) and several other delegates were arrested at the Finland Station. We had to take extra measures of precaution. Ilyich and Bogdanov had already left for the congress. I was in no hurry to get back to Kuokkala. I did not arrive home until Sunday evening, and who should I find there but seventeen delegates, sitting cold and hungry and forlorn! The domestic help, who lived with us, was a Finnish Social-Democrat, and she had taken all day off on Sundays to go to the People's House where they held theatricals, and so on. It took me quite a time to feed that crowd. I did not attend the congress myself. There was no one I could turn over my secretarial duties to, and the times were difficult. The police grew more and more meddlesome, and People were afraid to let Bolsheviks have their rooms for sleeping in and holding secret rendezvous. I sometimes met our people in the Vestnik Zhizni office. Pyotr Rumyantsev, the editor of the magazine, was ashamed to tell me himself not to arrange any more meetings at the office, so he set his caretaker on to me. This caretaker was a worker with whom I had often talked about our Party affairs I was vexed that Rumyantsev had not told me himself.

Ilyich was the last to return from the congress. He looked odd, with his moustache clipped short, his beard shaved off, and a big straw hat on his head. On June 3 the Second Duma was dismissed. The Bolshevik group came down to Kuokkala in a body late in the evening, and sat up all night, discussing the situation. Ilyich had come back from the congress utterly worn out. He was overwrought and did not eat anything. I packed his things and sent him off to Styrsudd, where Uncle's family lived, while I remained to hastily wind things up. By the time I arrived in Styrsudd Ilyich had come to himself a bit. They told me there that he had kept falling asleep the first few days. He would sit down under a fir-tree and in a minute he would doze off. The children called him "sleepy-head." We had a wonderful time in Styrsudd – the forest, the sea, nature at its wildest, with only another large summer house next door belonging to engineer Zyabitsky, where Leshchenko and his wife and Alexinsky lived. Ilyich avoided conversations with Alexinsky – he wanted a rest. The latter felt hurt. Sometimes we got together at Leshchenko's to listen to music. Xenia Ivanovna – a relative of the Knipovichs' – was a professional singer with a lovely voice, and Ilyich used to enjoy her singing. Ilyich and I spent most of the day by the sea or cycling. Our machines were old ones and needed repairing all the time, which we did, sometimes with the help of Leshchenko, sometimes without it. We used old galoshes for patches, and I'm afraid we did more repairing than riding. But when we did go cycling it was wonderful. Uncle plied Ilyich with nourishing omelettes and deer ham. Ilyich steadily picked up and became fit again.

From Styrsudd we went to a conference at Terijoki. Ilyich had carefully considered the situation during his leisure hours, and spoke at the conference against the boycotting of the Third Duma. War started on yet another front, a war against the boycottists, who refused to reckon with the grim realities and made themselves drunk with high-sounding phrases. Ilyich warmly defended his position in the little country house. Krasin rode up on a bicycle, and, standing by the window, listened attentively to Ilyich. Instead of going in, he walked away deep in thought. Indeed, there was food enough for thought.

Then came the Stuttgart Congress. Ilyich was very pleased with it. He was pleased with the resolutions on the trade unions and on the attitude towards war.