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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.

Zurich, October 9, 1935

Dear Comrade A.B.,

   Your letter of July sent to Vienna, was forwarded to Barcelona, thence to Zurich where I found it today when arriving. My next address will be really Vienna, after leaving here end of the month.

   It is painful to see you struggle with ill health, as many people now, and I hope that the application of thorough and perserverant treatments will do you good, as every illness demands such symptomatic counter-action before all. I saw and heard not a little of this on my pleasant travels though personally quite well.

   I must ass that your letter was also painful to me for your summary treatment of the campaign against me for writing in Prob****re. Of course everyone may critique, but then in **se whom we consider is comrades and, in general *eruis, as friends, we like to see a minimum, if not a maximum, of fairness and common sense and conscientiousness, and if there are absent or much reduced, orit**** amounts to fanaticism, party mongering, superficiality, second hand thought and slander and has no moral value nor effect. I resent such inferiority in friends and comrades and try to make them see what is necessary to arrive at a proper judgement and I am not influenced, if as did happen, people who do not see Rassuet nor Prob*****, establish as a dogma: R. is monarchist, Or. is the same as R., ergo Or. should be ostriscized and its contributors more or less the like. This is being some and much dictation I so not accept. I know of almost all the great polemics and rows among anarchists appears, groups, personalities, and this is another one of these and I will not be drawn into it. -- I remember that there was an American Iquestie in Russia and this was an algamated with Rassveh and then there was R. alone and there is now. I remember pages upon pages by Volin in Dielo Tr**ds, criticizing many passages in R. I remember a Ramian pamphlet with all this and grievances between groups referring to some printing and **inery. There was the organization of groups of h. L. A. and Couada, and their conferences and quarrels


and grievances. All that I had no reason to read in detail; it looked like theoretical br***ring and practical jealousy about some property and it can be not much else, as no on would waste pages or conferences or pamphlets just to prove that a paper was anarchist, or anything else which would at once discredit it and couple be stated in three line and vouched for by recognized signatures. The more polemics are extensive and never ending, the less there is in them, as there is no convincing proof which would settle the question. Such it is perfectly possible -- and seems the reality which happens in this case, -- that from all this a few words: monarchist, grand duke N., ***tisuetitic went from mouth to mouth with nobody of the many verifying the real basics of such charges.

   To me, the origin seems to lay in the fact that as a poor foreign language paper in an American town, but local emigrant influence some stupid articles got into the paper as the legendary grand duke N. article years ago. Also most likely, according to the sentiment of many emigrants, bosherism was more bitterly fought than it is sometimes in our publications, witness ****inuou's *ench and for it. But such deviations do not yet constitute a "monarchist" paper and I see anarchism and laborism propitiated in very many numbers by sepri**ts, translations etc. especially, which sends to show that they have few direct contributors who can write on anarchism themselves. Probut**mic had two epochs, me when the memory of Karelin was prominent etc. and me since 1928 or 1929, when Ghey incited much on Kropotkin and looked for foreign country labors (myself among them) and translations. They wished to improve the series in thie **g and were eager also for Russian contributors, especially Voline, M. Golds**.. etc., in spite of Voline's p***paign against Rasev**ation Dido Thada. In correspondence with me which was always c**dited by comrad Lheveyny, as the editor, they protested against the


charges (anti semitism, m***lism etc.) as calumnies and the review since then, as far as you saw it since 1930, was unexceptional.

   To whom, then, am I to believe -- to those of the review who write to me correctly, who produce the review properly, who made the effort of the Kropotkin issue (Feb. 1931), who protest against the calamines -- or to such no doubt excellent comrades who seldom see these publications, who harp on the grand duke article of years ago, who knew *est things from hearsay, who give no real proof of anything, who identify Prob. with Rassveh, who ind**tion one Mor***shi as the editor of both, but, once more i say it, who appear to be unaware that such charges must be properly proved, when, as here, they are desired by those concerned ( as in the letters sent from Detroit to me for years now).

   So I have two sets of indications before me, neither of which I can fully examine myself -- 1. the allegations manifestly arising from quarrels of groups and personalities (about the priceting planet, about the theoretical insufficiencies as discussed in Dido Tenda etc.) and -- by transitions of results -- nor taking the formula: both are monarchist organs or, as Mr****ny put it, organs representing "anarcho-antisemitism."

   2. the absolute denials and repardiations of the monarchist and similar allegations by those in Detroit, who produce the review, as expressed by Lheo**tny, the editor, in his letters to me -- the fact that they publish what I write and which is certainly uncomprisingly anarchist, anti-nationalist, anti-every religious conception, and as such any-bourgeois, as it is anti-blochevist and anti-stalinist. - I have moreover your lost money as a more expert reader of the review as a whole, since 1930, that it is a correct anarchist organ: if there were in it subtle monarchism or religious propaganda, you would have noticed that and told me, even


if I, one has no time to read all of it, had overlooked it. You would see this at a glance, as our eye takes in Russian text when looking at it, as my eyes embrace a German text rapidly.

   So I have these two series of allegations by other who usually do not see these publications and of personal experience before me -- and it would be a miserable levity and lack of conscience, if I bowed before the voice of those who hunch down this review which they scarcely know or do not know or may or are not able to read, like that precious lade in Paris, Ha**dame Lucile Pelletier, of whom -- being directed to her by the advice of a correspondent -- they asked the loon of a Spanish paper with an article by Bo***nov and who sent them a letter of insults.

   To ** thus, I do not call criticism -- I must call is caprice or levity of conduct, spreading insults without having verified them. Therefore this is a blot, a serious insufficiency of those who do this and as they are comrades, I am sorry to see them act so unfaid and I try to appeal to their better self -- that is all. Will it attract to me the bo**solt of all the Jewish and Russian anarchists, ourself and all the other included? I cannot help this. I am not "giving a dog a bad name and hang him" which is exactly what the Probut**mic-crowd does. I gave the best of my writing to them (recieveing 10 dollars -- a sum fixed by myself -- for an article of 8,10,12 large printed pages, or reciveing it not or not yet, as they are very poor and have much expense for the t***** ) and I had 50 dollars for the 90 pages and all the other worth in the Kropotkin-issue. That is all and now the La***ns and *era* changes are hunting me from the Fo. Cerl. *h. and I find no support in my friends like I believed to be yourself. So let it be done; I am sorry for those who do it on their behalf, though of course this is no concern of mine. I am not bowing before "strong sentiment" that may exist against Prob**deure -- I should how before facts and proofs but I see only "strong sentiments" and I usually side with the persecuted and the hunted down, not the with the baiting crowd -- us to watching, it would be better if you looked at his articles. All this would be sent to you directly from New York to our address, if you expressed the wish by a few lines, no doubt H**pingly that your health will improve, with best wishes

       **** Nettlau


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