[Lenin] was the great-grandson of Moishe Itskovich Blank and the grandson of Srul Moishevich Blank. At his baptism, Blank changed his name and patro-nymic to Aleksandr Dmitrievich...
Lenin's Jewish origin on his maternal grandfather's side became, after his death, a matter of controversy between Lenin's sisters and Stalin. In a letter to Stalin, Anna, Lenin's elder sister, wrote: "It is probably no secret for you that the research on our grandfather shows that he came from a poor Jewish family, that he was, as his baptismal certificate says, the son of a 'Zhitomir burgher, Moishe Blank' and this fact could serve in combating anti-Semitism."
Furthermore, she claimed, that Lenin's Jewish origins were "further confirmation of the exceptional abilities of the Semitic tribe... Lenin always valued the Jews highly." Stalin replied: "Not one word about it."