Archives 1937: Leon Trotsky tells the Guardian about Moscow trials

Editor’s note

“Trotskyism” is undoubtedly a very mysterious concept, but even the most ardent defender of Stalin is unlikely to deny that those who ascribe to it, should be regarded as authoritative experts, it savvy. We were guided by not a passing interest when on 15 January, we published an article about the Moscow trials, written by the son of Trotsky, and now we publish the message of Trotsky sent to them from Mexico. They both strongly deny the accusations in a criminal conspiracy with the poor prisoners in the current and previous political courts. Of course, it would be much easier to say that they are telling the truth, but regardless of the veracity of their statements, you may want to consider their testimony is the testimony of people whose lives may depend on their words. In addition, we can say that the proposal of Trotsky to defend himself and to accuse Stalin before an impartial international court is not entailed almost a no-brainer in light of the extremely low probability that his offer will be accepted. However, there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of this proposal and in the courage of Trotsky. Because Trotsky, who was expelled from half of European countries, could find an impartial court? It’s nice to know that at the present time Trotsky wrote a book in which he sets out his arguments: like Julius Caesar, Mr. Winston Churchill and other figures, whose brilliant works have helped to explain their role in history, he does not need a protector among the descendants. But at the moment, for the sake of himself and those political prisoners whose cases are being heard in Moscow, it would be right to make his appeal for justice was heard.

The response of Trotsky to the charges (special telegram to Trotsky’s newspaper Manchester Guardian)

All of the most dishonest trials of political prisoners in the history are just naive jokes in comparison with the judicial farce that Stalin had prepared in Russia. The current judicial process contains its own refutation. Since 1928 I had no relationship with either Radek, Pyatakov any who have offended me in the official press. Dimes never visited me in Oslo. I was visiting Oslo, accompanied by the Knudsen family and my secretaries. I’ve never met Vladimir Romm, who allegedly acted as a mediator between me and Radek.

Questions to Stalin

There are two or three fundamental questions, which will not be able to avoid any state Prosecutor Vyshinsky, nor indifferent defender D. N. Pritt. First, as to believe that all those who went through the revolution, except for Stalin suddenly turned into terrorists, enemies of socialism, agents of the Gestapo, ready to tear apart the Union of Soviet republics? Second, how could these “criminals”, who for ten years had committed terrible crimes, suddenly repent and demand for the death penalty? Thirdly, how can we explain that Zinoviev, Kamenev and other leaders of this alleged “group of Trotskyists” knew nothing about this absurd plan for the collapse of the Soviet Union in the interests of Hitler and the Mikado, while Radek, whom none of us never took seriously, now calls himself the head of this global conspiracy?

The Dictatorship Of Stalin

The totalitarian dictatorship of Stalin came into serious conflict with the economic and cultural development of the country. He is the epitome of bureaucracy. The spirit of the confidence which he picked up in the school revolution, is now used only to maintain his own omnipotence by using methods that are fantastic for their criminal ingenuity. This trial proves that Russia is a terrifying political crisis. I am willing to condemn Stalin without waiting for the decision of any impartial international Commission.

I appeal to all the respectable people and the press which remained honest and independent. And I’m sure that the Manchester Guardian will be one of the first Newspapers to have risen to the defense of truth and humanity.

[The result is indicative of the Moscow processes of Trotsky was found guilty in his absence. He was killed by Soviet agent in Mexico in 1940.]