Pierre Broué

Trotskyism in Poland

(Summer 1996)

From Revolutionary History, Vol. 6 No. 2/3, Spring 1995, pp. 111–122.
Transcribed by Alun Morgan for the Revolutionary History Website.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dear Editor

Congratulations on your Polish issue. I would have liked to have done something similar, but Hass has always been so aggressive towards me (I don’t know why) that I never attempted it. I must, however, raise some points.

It is stated on page 41 that Artur Redler was ‘probably’ out of the country. This was certainly the case. I learnt from Stefan Lamed that he went to New York, where he refused to see anyone connected with his political past. Therefore I was unable to visit him. Lamed, on the other hand, was very approachable.

As far as Badowski is concerned, I corresponded with him in the 1950s. He sent me some very valuable letters and even articles. I got a duplicator to him with the help of a student from the École normale supérieure. He told me that he was in contact with other groups. Then the PCI, to which I belonged, decided that Gérard Bloch should take over responsibility for this work, so I handed over all the documents to him, and I know nothing more about Badowski except what I read in the press. He had a young protégé called Tejkowski, who came to a bad end, and about whom he was very enthusiastic in his letters to me. Perhaps this should have been mentioned, because he has been slandered in the West with regard to this matter.

Why did you not mention the reasons why Hass was not sentenced along with Badowski? Kuron has written some things about this which are very well known in France, to which there is no answer.

Finally, I was a little disturbed to read in the course of note 53 on page 103 that Deutscher’s biography of Trotsky is ‘the best’. You may be right, though I am not convinced. But it is not fair to assert it like that in passing, without the slightest argument.

Pierre Broué

The Editor Replies

Thank you for your letter. You are more than justified in being irate about Deutscher’s biography. However, the footnotes for Grzegorz Soltysiak’s article in Revolutionary History, Volume 6, no. 1 were translated from the original article in Karta, which was in all probability written before your biography was published, or before copies of it arrived in Poland. It was not intended to be read as any form of criticism of your book.

Last updated on 31.10.2011