Chapter three: Prison and freedom

Submitted by Noa Rodman on February 23, 2017

Chapter Three: Prison and freedom


When the prison doors closed behind Sverdlov on 10 June 1906, he was aware that they would not open for a long time. Insufficient evidence would not save him from being held, tried, and given a severe sentence.

At first the police had no material proof that he had been campaigning against the government. He had a false passport and they did not even know his real name. He had managed to destroy all incriminating documents, and when they searched him they found only a few insignificant notes. All that was irrelevant, though; they knew they were at last holding Comrade Andrei, who had eluded them for so long.

Meanwhile there were more arrests. Ultimately 36 people were charged with membership of a criminal organisation, which, 'taking the name of the Perm RSDLP committee, did knowingly incite the populace to overthrow the government, subvert the monarchy and set up a democratic republic, with the aim of establishing a socialist order in Russia'. Most of the accused were 22 or 23; the eldest was 30, and Shura Kostareva was only 17. Sverdlov had had his twenty-first birthday the week before his arrest.

As a result of these arrests and the discovery of our press, the prosecution finally managed to lay hands on some documents, including the drafts of leaflets and the committee's accounts for May. Although they were not signed, a handwriting expert testified that Sverdlov had written them, but this was still not adequate grounds for accusing him of leading the Ural Party organisation, and none of us would give any information about our roles within the Party. It was a Bolshevik rule not to admit anything that would help to reveal the secrets of our underground network–the fainthearted who broke under questioning were always expelled. But the gendarmes did not need us to tell them Andrei's role.

We were transferred from cell to cell, from prison to prison, and still the investigations continued. The trial finally took place in the autumn of 1907, a year and a half later. We received varying sentences: Sverdlov was given two years in a strict security prison in addition to the 18 months that he had already been detained; my sentence was 12 months in a strict security prison, making two and a half years in all. But we counted ourselves lucky, for it was the last trial in which Bolsheviks received such comparatively light sentences; later defendants were condemned to convict labour or to longer prison terms.

Strict security imprisonment was the harshest kind, reserved for particularly dangerous enemies of the autocracy. In principle, prisoners should have been held in solitary confinement, but, as the only strict security prisons in the Urals, in Perm and Ekaterinburg, were both permanently overcrowded in those days, there were no individual cells available.

While awaiting trial we were held first in Perm and later allocated to prisons all over the Urals. At the end of 1906 a number of the accused, including Sverdlov, were transferred to a penal institution in Nikolaevka, a place which had the most dreadful reputation. We had heard that prisoners were brutally beaten and tortured there: one method was apparently to take prisoners to the yard in sub-zero temperatures and douse them with water. Sverdlov and others had been condemned to this hell-hole.

He was put into solitary confinement immediately on arrival but the other political prisoners chose him as their spokesman, so that he did not have to suffer in total isolation from his comrades. Taking advantage of his position, he visited the other cells, checked on the food and the condition of the sick, and obtained books for the prisoners.

The trial was held after Sverdlov had spent about a year in Nikolaevka. He was then moved to the overcrowded prison in Ekaterinburg, where I had been for some time, to serve the remainder of his sentence in one of the ordinary cells there.

For Sverdlov the fight continued even in prison. He maintained his links with the outside world–no easy task in his circumstances, as he was allowed no parcels and few visitors. Only members of his immediate family would be permitted to see him, and he had been out of touch with them since leaving Nizhni Novgorod, though his youngest sister did visit him once, in the spring of 1907.

We were able to keep up spasmodic and precarious contact, exchanging a few words through my casement when he was taken to the exercise yard, or passing occasional notes to each other. Though we spent over two years in the same prisons, we met rarely, and then thanks to the `liberal' condescension of the prison authorities. And how immeasurably brief those meetings were! We were never left alone together, were never able to express even a hundredth part of all we wanted, needed so badly, to say.

Many of the political prisoners, especially those whose families lived nearby, were in a much better position than Sverdlov. They regularly received parcels and were sometimes allowed visitors, who could keep them in touch with the outside world. Notes would covertly change hands in any of a dozen cunning ways: hidden in pots with a false bottom, in loaves, in the covers of books, which prisoners in those days were still permitted to receive, in the birch-bark containers used in the Urals for milk or beer.

It was also sometimes possible to bribe certain of the junior warders, who often had a hard time managing on their less than ample wages. Some of the prison administrative staff also secretly sympathised with the political prisoners and were brave enough, as the opportunity arose, to do various jobs for them.

As his communications with the outside world expanded and stabilised, Sverdlov began to send his advice and instructions to those comrades who had not been arrested. He also used his contacts to inform the organisation of decisions taken by the imprisoned Bolsheviks, to tell them the results of their debates and to get the drafts of political leaflets out to them. He gave those who were leaving the prison advice on contacts to make and methods to adopt.

But he was still behind bars, and longing to be free, to return to the battle. His inventive mind was constantly turning over outrageously daring plans of escape, although he soon came to see that escape in the near future was out of the question. He then turned his attention to his colleagues' education, and continued his own study of revolutionary theory; he read extensively, made notes and prepared articles. I have before me one of his notebooks from those days, which contains synopses of Lenin's The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats, What Is To Be Done! and One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, and also of works by Kautsky, Plekhanov, and Mehring, of Louis Paul's L'Avenir du Socialisme, The History of Trade Unionism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Charles Gide's La Cooperation, Victor Clark's The Labour Movement in Australasia, Rozhkov's The Economic Development of Russia in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century, and Werner Sombart's Der Moderne Kapitalismus.

Sverdlov read works such as What Is To Be Done?, Capital and the letters of Marx and Engels several times while in prison, each time making new notes and synopses. He made sure somehow that his personal copy of Capital, studded with pencil marks and comments, was never taken from him when he was moved from one prison to another.

His cell-mates could hardly believe his diligence. He often worked far into the night, taking advantage of the sleepy silence in the cells. Sverdlov's working habits were, of course, familiar to me; I often remember him returning home after an exhausting meeting and immediately taking up a book. Maybe it was hereditary or maybe the result of long practice, but he seemed to find five hours' sleep sufficient.

He had what I can only describe as a tremendous thirst for life; he tried to live every moment to the full and hated wasting time. Never lukewarm about anything, he devoted himself wholeheartedly to whatever he was doing, be it work, study or even relaxation when he found time for it.

From prison he wrote: 'Life is a wonderful thing–varied, interesting, inexhaustibly profound. No matter how hard we try, we can only grasp a tiny part of it–but it is our duty to make that tiny part as large and as interesting as we can...'


Sverdlov was released in September 1909 and went back into the thick of things without delay, finding that the situation in the country and in the Party had changed beyond recognition during his imprisonment. The police had ruthlessly crushed the Party, arresting the local leaders and destroying the workers' newspapers. Underground work was even more difficult than before.

The suppression of the first Russian revolution between 1905 and 1907 had totally demoralised the Mensheviks, who were now urging the working class to compromise with the bourgeoisie. They had taken a liquidationist position, openly insisting on the abolition of our underground network. Meanwhile Trotsky and his followers were sitting on the fence, recommending conciliation with the liquidationists– simply playing into their hands.

Even some Bolsheviks had begun to vacillate, advising us to stop using legal methods of furthering the class struggle.

The Party was undergoing a crisis, and it was clear to Lenin that only by relentlessly opposing opportunism, in whatever guise and from whatever source, could the organisation emerge from that crisis and lead the people to victory in the forthcoming revolution.

Sverdlov was released with no money at all, with the clothes he had on, a change of linen and a bundle of books. He had nowhere to live; he did not even have a coat to protect him from the autumn chill.

Fortunately there were still a few comrades left in Ekaterinburg. They scraped some money together and begged a second-hand coat from a rich liberal sympathiser; it had to be taken up, for it reached to Sverdlov's heels, but was more or less wearable. Indeed, it served him long and faithfully, accompanied him to prison and exile, and was still with him when he became Chairman of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. He just never troubled to buy another.

Although he could have stayed in Ekaterinburg for a while, living with his colleagues, he had definitely decided in prison that he could no longer work there; reaction was rife and almost every policeman, every spy, knew his face. Besides, he felt unprepared– he needed to study the latest Party literature, to find out from the Central Committee where they felt he would be most useful. So he stayed only long enough to collect his fare for Petersburg, which seemed the best place to contact the Central Committee. He knew that I was waiting for him there.

I had been released the year before, in the autumn of 1908, and had settled in the capital, where I joined the local Party organisation through Baturin, a comrade from the Urals, and began my work anew.

I soon found a job, as a clerk in the Provincial Book Wholesalers, with pay which was meagre but regular. I took a small room on Vassilyevsky Island, and began to wait for Sverdlov with mounting agitation, naturally enough, because, except for a few fleeting moments under a warder's eye, we had not met for almost three and a half years. One evening when I came home I found him waiting for me.

That evening and the next few days seemed to fly by–we had so much to say to each other. Of course we were comrades in arms, and good friends, but we were also in love, and our love was a constant source of joy and strength to us. Sverdlov once wrote to me from prison: I am doing all I can to conserve my strength, and knowing that you're there gives me that air of cheeriness and optimism that is a vital part of me.'

Sverdlov's full and interesting letters reflect their author so clearly; it is unfortunate that I no longer have them all. I kept them with me during my days in the underground, when I was imprisoned, transported and in exile, and in the years when every scrap of paper had to be destroyed in case the gendarmes laid their dirty hands on it; I gave them to friends for safe keeping; I made secret caches; then I spent years collecting them together. It is hardly surprising that some of them are lost.

Sverdlov confided his plans to me; more than anything else he wanted to go abroad, if only for a month or two, and meet Lenin. In prison his long-standing dream had grown into a consuming desire.

But it was not to be, for at that time every Party worker of note was needed in Russia and money was short. And he was soon to be arrested again and exiled, to enjoy a few days of freedom and then to be sent back for a second term of exile in Siberia.

A number of colleagues in Petersburg advised him to go to Finland and meet Sergei Gusev, 1 who was in close touch with Lenin and the Central Committee.

Sverdlov did not hesitate. His reputation had preceded him, and Gusev welcomed him with open arms, immediately invited him to stay and produced the most recent Party magazines and newspapers. He also brought him up to date with developments within the Party. He was a particularly useful informant because he had recently visited a number of Party organisations at Lenin's request and was well acquainted with the situation at the grass roots.

Sverdlov stayed there for about a week. On the first Sunday I went to Finland–not a complicated trip in those days–to spend a few hours with him. As I had suspected, he was deep in study and working between 16 and 18 hours a day, hurrying to make up for lost time.

In the late autumn of 1909 he suddenly received orders from the Central Committee to go to Moscow, where the Party was in disarray, having suffered several major setbacks of late. Sverdlov's assignment was to set things right.

He left for Petersburg without delay, with a passport in the name of Ivan Ivanovich Smirnov. We had one more day together and parted, not knowing what the future would bring. A day later He was in Moscow and set to work to re-establish broken contacts, bring the more politically conscious workers into the Party and give new life to the Moscow area RSDLP committee and Party bureau. His experience and energy brought rapid results.

But Moscow was teeming with informers (or, as the Moscow Bolsheviks put it, completely `spyified') and it was not long before he was betrayed to the secret police. He was arrested on 13 December 1909 at a meeting of the Moscow Party Committee, only three months after his release from prison.


When the gendarmes arrested the Moscow committee they did not find any incriminating documents nor did their search of Sverdlov's flat or their interrogations reveal anything.

I have before me the record of one of his last interrogations, dated 13 January 1910; it now belongs to the USSR Museum of the Revolution. It shows, incidentally, that this 25-year-old man was in police custody for the seventh time. The record is brief; it consists of one sentence, written in a clear firm hand: 'I hereby refuse to testify, Yakov Sverdlov.' This meant that the charges had to be based on the reports of informers, which no court would accept as sufficient evidence. Sentences of imprisonment, convict labour and exile for life could only be given by a court. The police had to content themselves with exile by administrative order.

In all the years he spent in prison and exile, it was rare for Sverdlov to ask a personal favour of the tsarist administration. But the idea of going abroad had seized him again, this time so strongly that he wrote on 17 March 1910 to the police department:

'Shortly before my arrest I spent three and a half years in prison, which did considerable harm to my already weak constitution. The spring weather has further impaired the condition of my lungs.
'On these grounds I request the Police Department not to exile me to some distant part of the Empire, if such is to be my sentence, but to permit me to emigrate. '

Sverdlov's file also includes a certificate from Kolesnikov, the prison doctor, who could hardly be accused of over-indulgence towards Bolsheviks, stating that 'Sverdlov suffers from chronic catarrh of the upper left lung, apparently tubercular in origin'. But despite this the request was not granted.

The police had no intention of letting him emigrate now that they had caught him. It was fine that he was ill, and all the better if it was serious; they counted on illness taking its toll in the dreadful Siberian environment where so many dedicated champions of the working class perished, victims of some grave illness from which they could easily have recovered if their conditions had been even slightly improved.

I heard from Sverdlov regularly up to December 1909, when we suddenly lost touch. Fearing that he had been arrested, I took a week's leave and went to Moscow, where I met his sister, Sara, who confirmed my suspicions. Sverdlov was in the police cells on Arbat street. It seemed so unfair that he had enjoyed only three months of freedom after three and a half years in jail.

I asked to see him, if only briefly, but was refused. Even close relatives needed official permission and we were not even legally married. I persisted in going to the police station, and standing in the yard for hours in the snow, not really knowing what I was hoping for. But one day my patience was rewarded–Sverdlov saw me and had time to shout that he was going to be exiled, that I was to keep calm and wait for news. Then they dragged him away from the window.

On 31 March 1910 the Ministry of Internal Affairs exiled him to Narym territory for three years. The following August I was taking a holiday in Ekaterinburg, when who should appear but Sverdlov! He had escaped after less than four months in exile.

He did not plan to stay in Ekaterinburg, for he valued every moment of freedom, was desperate to make contact with the Central Committee and get back to work. Besides, he was known in the town; it would be terribly risky to stay, especially now that he was a fugitive. We left immediately for Perm, intending to go on from there as soon as we could.

During his brief time in Ekaterinburg Sverdlov had met a few of his old colleagues, including Mikhail Permyakov, who gave him his own passport, which he used until he was arrested again.

The scenery on the boat ride from Perm to Nizhni Novgorod along the Kama and Volga rivers was truly lovely. Sverdlov had long wanted to make this trip and it was all the more wonderful because we did it together.

After a few days in Nizhni Novgorod, where we stayed with Sverdlov's father, whom he had not seen for over five years, we proceeded to Moscow. Sverdlov had an arrangement to meet one of the leaders of the regional Party group. Not wanting to take any unnecessary risks, he asked me to go to the rendezvous in his stead. After numerous attempts I still had not succeeded in making contact with this comrade; we never knew whether he had been arrested or had simply gone away. A week passed; there was no point in staying and my leave was almost over. We went on to Petersburg.


We needed money to live, so I went back to work. We stayed with Glafira Okulova, 2 who was living with her two children in a smallish flat. Her husband, Ivan Teodorovich, had been sent directly from Ekaterinburg prison to a term of forced labour.

Okulova had heard a lot about Sverdlov from her husband's prison letters and she was glad to take us in. Her life was extremely difficult at that time, as she had two small children to provide for and was also trying to send money to her husband. We would both often come home late after work, worn out, to find the children fast asleep. On the evenings when he was free, Sverdlov would give the children their supper and put them to bed.

As he had hoped, he was able to reach Lenin and the Central Committee through his Petersburg comrades. He first contacted Mikhail Olminsky 3 and they soon became close friends. Olminsky felt that Sverdlov was too careless of his own safety and especially foolhardy to stay with Okulova, the wife of a well-known Bolshevik, whose flat could well be under police surveillance. Sverdlov took this to heart, and we tried several times to find another flat but failed.

This was how Lenin viewed the changed political situation in November 1910: 'The three-year period of the golden days of the counter-revolution (1908–10) is evidently coming to a close and being replaced by a period of incipient upsurge. The summer strikes of the current year and the demonstrations on the occasion of Tolstoy's death are a clear indication of this.'4

Sverdlov was of the same opinion. He wrote on 31 October 1910 to his friends in Narym:

'It gets better every day–our links expand, grow stronger and more stable. And there has been a noticeable change in the atmosphere during the last couple of weeks. A number of comrades have returned to us and the organisation is heaving, if you'll pardon the expression, with young workers and the formerly benighted masses. Groups are springing up in the colleges and institutes to discuss social issues. There are more strikes. This all clearly shows that things are looking up–it's not just wishful thinking, it's absolutely, palpably real...'

The growing revolutionary mood among the people prompted the Central Committee to increase their demands on the Petersburg Bolsheviks, Sverdlov among them. It was a time to stand up and be counted, to come out into the open, to abandon the hints and innuendoes that we had used when writing for the legal liberal press. The Bolsheviks should speak to the workers again through their own newspaper Zvezda.5 The cream of the Party should be united and a militant monolithic organisation created, capable of leading the working class in its mood of mounting revolutionary enthusiasm.

The Central Committee heard that Sverdlov was back in Petersburg and looked to him to restore the local organisation, which had suffered at the hands of the secret police. He was also to help create Zvezda.

On their advice he proceeded with extreme caution; it was known that the organisation in Petersburg, like its Moscow counterpart, was rotten with informers. The Central Committee itself arranged his first secret appointments with Bolshevik workers from the local factories; he had decided to begin his reconstruction work in Petersburg in this way.

Sverdlov's understanding of the political situation enabled him to turn any event into an agitational vehicle. He proved invaluable, for example, in the Bolshevik campaign during the State Duma 6 debates on the abolition of capital punishment.

He also gave detailed advice to the workers when they began to set up their own Bolshevik groups, explaining the importance of a broad base and helping them to establish efficient communications and plan their public addresses. He was in close contact with the Bolshevik deputies in the Duma.

I was able to help him in two ways. I checked all his contacts in advance, as a security measure. In the evening after work I would go to the working class districts on the city limits, give the password and question the person I found there closely on his political background and role in the Party. Only when I was convinced of his reliability would I arrange the meeting with Sverdlov. If the flat seemed totally secure Sverdlov would go there; otherwise they would meet at the house of some comrade already known to be trustworthy. Of course I named no names; I spoke only of Comrade Andrei, a Party worker, which gave Sverdlov some measure of security against betrayal. Through each of these individuals he made further contacts among the Petersburg factory workers.

I also helped him put his letters to Lenin and the Central Committee into his own special code. There is even a mention of this, referring to me by name, in police records dating from 1910.

At times the informers in our ranks managed to complicate our work considerably. We needed to act in total secrecy, while at the same time we had a bitter fight on our hands against the liquidationists and those who wanted to recall our deputies from the Duma.

Zvezda was also a bone of contention; the Mensheviks tried to take it over and turn it into a mouthpiece of liquidationism. But Sverdlov, Olminsky and Poletaev, in recruiting the editorial board and chief editor, did their best to ensure that the paper would be truly Bolshevik. In early November 1910 Sverdlov reported to the Central Committee:

'Dear comrades, first about the paper... A group of objectors invited me, as you said they would, to a meeting to elect a candidate for the editorship. It pains me to report that there was absolutely no one in any way suitable... Baturin would have been more or less adequate and I wanted to put his name forward but was not sure that he would want me to...'

This letter was never dispatched. On the evening of 14 November I came home from work and settled to the arduous task of encoding it but it was not even half finished when there was a hammering on the door and the gendarmes burst in. During the time it took them to get to our room I managed to destroy the half-coded letter and the code itself. That was most important. The police discovered the original, written in Sverdlov's hand but it had no address and no signature. They turned the place upside down, broke the furniture, tore the paper off the walls and slit open the mattresses, but found nothing else– not for the first time–because we had been expecting a raid since 9 November, when Sverdlov noticed that he was being followed. At first he eluded them with his usual skill but he knew that he was a marked man; the remarkably zealous informers soon put the police on to his trail again. At that stage we began the essential business of passing everything we could to our colleagues.

One would have thought that, once his whereabouts were known, arrest would follow shortly. We were sufficiently familiar with the gendarme mentality, however, that we were not surprised when they held back. They thought he did not suspect he was being followed and were waiting for him to betray his contacts to them first.

We were sure that it was only a matter of time and hurriedly began to look for a place where Sverdlov could go into hiding for a while. But they forestalled us. After first arresting him not far from our flat, they came and took me.

After only three months, in February 1911, I was released, expelled from Petersburg and sent to Ekaterinburg under strict police surveillance. I had got off so lightly because they could hardly detain a woman in an advanced state of pregnancy, as I then was, especially as there was little material evidence against me.

Until his trial Sverdlov was kept in solitary confinement. Immediately before his arrest–and in fact during all our years in the underground–we were in bad financial straits. Sverdlov had no regular source of income and depended, when driven to it, on tiny and erratic sums made over to him as a professional revolutionary by the Party from its own meagre reserves. My income was less than generous and it was hard to make ends meet.

When I was released I got a little money together and sent it to him, insisting that he spend it primarily on food, as I was concerned for his health. He reassured me but once admitted: 'Not scrimp on food? I confess–through scrimping I have bought over eight roubles' worth of books, including the fourth volume of Marx's7 Theories of Surplus Value, and a change of linen–you know how badly off I am in that line.'

Meanwhile my confinement was approaching, which disturbed Sverdlov greatly, especially as he was in prison and unable to help directly. He tried to give me moral support by quoting medical texts on the subject of hygiene and the care of infants. He also went into the question of marriage and birth in some detail, studying the opinions of Plato, Thomas More, Tolstoy and various contemporary sociologists–for Sverdlov never considered any issue superficially.

Our son was born on 4 April (17 April, New Style) 1911. Long before that, however, Sverdlov was reflecting on how to bring the child up as a `real' human being. On 29 March 1911 he wrote:

'Upbringing is the decisive, if not the exclusive, influence. Inherited traits are merely potential–they can be realised or not, depending on several circumstances, which we can summarize as ``environment''.'

There was so much tenderness, so much concern in every line of those letters, such bitterness at being separated from his wife and child at such a difficult time. 'I can't tell you,' he wrote, 'how much it hurts to sit here uselessly when the dearest person in the world is in distress, when all I want is to look after you. But here I am, a thousand miles away... I'd do anything, absolutely anything, to make things easier for you. I'm trying to think of something cheerful to write but I can't– not because I'm lacking myself in that respect, for what we have between us makes me rich indeed. If we were together, how different things would be! But I want you to feel the strength of my love from far away–may it warm you, ease your sufferings, make them easier to bear.'

Though we spent little time together, there was no happier or closerknit family, and no better father than Sverdlov.

Thinking about his wife and child did not prevent him from working with his usual concentration. In almost every letter he asked for more books and reported on those he had read. In his first letter to me, dated I March 1911, he asked for Bebel's Aus meinem Leben, Spinoza's Ethica, the letters of Marx to Sorge and of Lassalle to Marx. Later he asked me to send a one-volume edition of Heine in German, and 'as many German books as you can', then Finn's Industrial Development in Russia in the Past 20 Years, Marx's Theory of Surplus Value, Parvus' Der Weltmarkt und die Agrdrkrisis, Bernstein's Historical Materialism, and the third volume of Capital.

He wrote: 'There is not much change here. I am working an average of ten hours a day... I am still reading a lot, though at times my brain refuses to come to grips with a complicated concept and then I take up a more mechanical task, such as making notes. I can hardly wait for some maths books to arrive.'

With the approach of spring Sverdlov's impatience to hear his sentence grew. He was not afraid of Siberia.

  • 1Sergei Gusev became a Bolshevik in 1902. After the 1917 revolution he was a member of the RSFSR Revolutionary Military Committee ( Revvoensovet) and of the Central Control Committee, and was also an alternate member of the All-Russia Communist Party Central Committee. Towards the end of his life he worked on the Presidium of the Comintern Executive Committee.
  • 2Glafira Okulova (Teodorovich) was a member of the Party from 1899. After the October Revolution she served on the All-Russia Central Executive Committee and on a Revolutionary Military Council attached to one of the Fronts. Towards the end of her life she worked in the Museum of the Revolution in Moscow.
  • 3Mikhail Olminsky was one of the earliest revolutionary activists in Russia, first arrested in 1885. He was one of Lenin's closest confederates, helping to found the Bolshevik newspapers Zvezda and Pravda. After the October Revolution he headed the History Department of the Communist Party Central Committee.
  • 4V. I. Lenin, Collected Works[, Vol. 16, p. 339.
  • 5Zvezda (The Star) was a legal Bolshevik paper, the precursor of Pravda. It began publication in December 1910 in Petersburg, under the supervision of Lenin, who was abroad at that time.
  • 6The Third State Duma (a kind of parliament–Tr.) sat from 1 November 1907 to 9 June 1912. Bolsheviks stood for election in order to use it as a platform.– Ed.
  • 7(In an evident mistake the text here attributed authorship to Mehring – note by NR.)