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This letter is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission.
Wien, IX/2, Lazarethgasse, 32, 3/22
Dear friend and comrade,

     very glad to hear from you; busy I am and so are you. I suppose that N. is not connected with Sheklov's Slate edition of Bakunin, but that he is working for Rjasavow's Institut K. [Larasai] Flugelsa in Moscow. I know the descriptive pamphlet on this Institut and I recognize and admire their intense work in early socialist collecting of documents.

     Now I have the Bulletin, Trovailleur and Arbeiter - [Viting] of [nerae] complete, but, as you know (but should not explain in detail) I have them not to hand. Rjasavow knows all that himself more-or-less and is silent about it - so let us all be.

     The [Cprellcraft] für sociale Forschung of Dr. Felix Weil in Frankfurt, in their own building, Viktoria Allee, west house to the [Senchenbergsche] [Naturgeschichllicle] Gesellclaft (Museum) building--bought this spring in [Yaiferbund] the Bulletin--and the Trovailleur complete - so these are to hand.

     The (Berner) Arbeiterzitang - unless Rocker has got it - is known to me only in the British Museum (complete) and in my own collection (complete). The British Museum has also the complete Trovailleur, but only an incomplete Bulletin [paranien]. So Frankfurt and London present complete fils of the three rare papers -- the Arb. Z. is rarissimo, the Bull. very rare (complete) - the Trov. (Rocker's Review) a trifle less rare because being an jo magazine which was often kept than the falio papers. All these papers had small editions, mostly far below a thousand.

I have not got at all the Oreits de [l'llembue] (where July Guesde wrote) -- it must be looked at in the Paris libraries unless a copy exists in the Perier collection in the Geneva Library. It was not an anarchist paper, but a mixture of French advanced radicalism and socialism.

     --I cannot my where the letters of B.T. Kerren are - anybody can guess: that [Dragonoun] had to return them to where he got them, the Kerren family. This family is very large and can be found easily.

     Are these questions for Sheklow or for Rjasnavow? I reply to Rjasnavow, but I cannot indirectly help Sheklow. So I cannot give indications on unpublished Bakunin matters: I write of this likely to Rjasnavow himself who wanted to have copied the unpublished part of my biography: I explained things to him.--I have letters by Most, but none referring in the slightest way to Rumian refugees - or I would copy out such [panings]: but there are none.

     I can give such information on details within my knowledge, but I am not selling or giving away documents or printed matter, and unfortunately only very few of my things are here with me at my immediate disposal.

     --I suppose Berustein hauled over the Marx [MsS]. left to his and [Debel's] care -- or did he dispose of all his collections, library and all, which ought to be very great? To all going to lucky Moscow + I [fews], all, all these unique centralized materials there will be destroyed on the day of counterrevolution as in Budapest, in fascist Italy

-it is so terrible to think of this--they have the very last things there, from everywhere--and the danger is not over.

     --You heard a rumour -- [Uniona] Lewenthal writes (by some mail, the first letter) that she hears by every letter of Kelly - another American letter congratulates us already -- in short there is leakage where there ought to be the absolute discretion and silence._And this after the Buenos Aires and Paris experience of this summer.--Do not increase the rumour, please.

     I know very little about it. A great American library was ready to take my collection--as a donation--and in return seems ready to pay an amenity as long as they employ me for further completion of this collection or their corresponding general (sociological) department.

     My reply is: what guarantee have I that this employment continues on their side and that I have something to live when invalid in later old age

     Unless this is settled, I will not accept--for I might be disinclined after a year or two or might fall ill, incapacitated for their work (travelling in Europe with expenses paid and buying for them), very soon and then they have the collection for a song and I have nothing.

     --To this I prefer the present miserable life with hard work-and my free disposal of

the collection to whom I like when I die or before.

     If I cannot love the normal life (an appreciable income) and security that this lasts for life, in case of sickness and old age, I prefer to have nothing.

     A lingering state between with uncertainty before us, is not what I wish. It would only destroy my present energy for work by idle hopes mixed with dread uncertainty.--

     I go to New York, if the library wants me there and makes my journey possible. I know nothing on their real intentions.

     It appears to me at the beginning hardly our friend, the doctor, knew my standpoint--much less could Mr. D-M, instructed by him, know of it--much less still, most likely, the Library people.--I have now explained.

     I expect nothing to come of it-it would be a wonder if it should happen otherwise. Before all I go on with my work and with not to loose energy for it by idle dreams.

     I am working in book form, about 200 pages of the German pages of Rocker's Most, the history of the Anarchist Idea up to 1880, writing everything quite independent of the text of the article--the Bird part is done, the rest I intened to do by all means before or until the end of the year--so my hands are full--pleasant, but slow and complicated work.

     Please destroy this sheet, keeping the first sheet for bibliographical information. Excuse my hurry. Send greetings to London.

Not much chance of your travelling there now, after this change of decoration by the election.

     The Berlin Freundenpolizei scandals must amuse you, if you read of them. Who ever thought such things pomille!

     Compare the Austrian Ultimatum of 1914 for Serajevo murders to the present week and

benevolent British proceedings for Egyptian murder of Sirâar.

     The object lessons of history all these years are wonderful, but who heeds them?

     If you can advise me about New York, kindly do so. Tell nobody in Berlin, please, nor others or warn those who told you to be discrete: the danger to my collection still exists undiminished.


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