Written: 28 January 1936.
First Published: The New Militant [New York], 15 February 1936.
Translated: The New Militant.
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters.
Public Domain: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive 2005; This work is completely free. In any reproduction, we ask that you cite this Internet address and the publishing information above.
During recent months and weeks I have received extremely important news, from authentic sources, relative to the terrible régime against political prisoners, whose fidelity toward the Soviet Union is beyond doubt and whose only “crime” is that of criticizing the ruling bureaucracy.
Friends have requested me by cable to let them know the truth of this matter through the Associated Press.
A short time ago, for example, Doctor Anton Ciliga, former leader of the Yugoslavian Communist Party, arrived from the Soviet Union, where he spent more than five years in prison and exile as punishment for his critical attitude toward the leadership of the Comintern.
In order to force his expulsion from the country, Ciliga began a hunger strike. He was then fed forcibly and prevented from committing suicide. Thousands of expelled members of the ruling party are in similar circumstances because they protested against the conditions of growing inequality, introduction of army-officer titles, dissipation, and autocracy.
Zinoviev and Kamenev, close collaborators of Lenin, are now imprisoned for a terrorist crime with which they had nothing whatsoever to do. Kamenev, the former chairman of the Political Bureau, is kept in a cell together with twelve others. Last year an additional five years were added to his original five years imprisonment for his alleged participation in plotting a terrorist assassination of Stalin.
Accurate and absolutely objective information by Ciliga, Tarov, and others proves increasing antagonism between the bureaucracy and the developing population. The bureaucracy is compelled to have recourse to the sharpest repressions, in the interests not of the Soviet state, but of its own self-preservation.
It is indisputable that enemies of the Soviet Union and of its friendly relations with the United States make use of such information for their own purposes. But the way to avoid such misuse is not to conceal the facts of the bureaucratic crimes, but to put an end to the crimes themselves.
Last updated on: 17.3.2007