Iskra (Russian: И́скра, IPA: [ˈiskrə], Spark) was a political newspaper of Russian socialist emigrants established as the official organ of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). Initially, it was managed by Vladimir Lenin, moving as he moved. The first edition was published in Leipzig, Germany, on December 1, 1900. Other editions were published in Munich (1900–1902) and Geneva from 1903. When Lenin was in London (1902–1903) the newspaper was edited from a small office at 37a Clerkenwell Green, EC1, with Henry Quelch arranging the necessary printworks.
In 1903, following the split of the RSDLP, Lenin left the staff (after his initial proposal to reduce the editorial board to three - himself, Julius Martov and Georgi Plekhanov - was vehemently opposed), the newspaper fell under the control of the Mensheviks and was published by Plekhanov until 1905. The average circulation was 8,000.
Iskra's motto was "Из искры возгорится пламя" ("From a spark a fire will flare up") — a line from the reply Alexander Odoevsky wrote to the poem by Alexander Pushkin addressed to the anti-tsar Decembrists imprisoned in Siberia.
Initial staff members:
- Vladimir Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov)
- Dmitri Ilyich Ulyanov, his younger brother
- Georgi Plekhanov
- Vera Zasulich
- Pavel Axelrod (Pinchas Borutsch)
- Julius Martov (Ilija Cederbaum)
- Aleksandr Potresov
- Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein)
One of the people who financed the paper was Savva Morozov
- Rappaport, H., Lenin In Exile (New York : 2012), p. 61
- Glancey, Jonathan. G2: Architecture, The Guardian, 21 June 2004
- John Saville, "Quelch, Henry [Harry] (1858–1913)", rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
- The Prophet Armed Isaac Deutscher (1957)
- Allan K. Wildman, "Lenin's Battle with Kustarnichestvo: The Iskra Organization in Russia," Slavic Review, vol. 23, no. 3 (Sept. 1964), pp. 479-503. In JSTOR.
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