Leon Trotsky

Trotsky Cables Denial to
AP on Daily WorkerLies

Denounces Repressions AgainstBolshevik-Leninists
by the Stalinist Bureaucracy

(28 January 1936)

Written: 28 January 1936.
Source: New Militant, Vol. II No. 7, 15 February 1936, p. 1.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive (20 March 2018).
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2018. Creative Commons (Share & Attribute).

Editor’s Note: On January 28 Leon Trotsky sent the following cable to the Associated Press from Honefoss, Norway:

Hearst Press published the article about political persecution in the Soviet Union pretending that it was written by me. Friends cabled me requesting to know the truth of the matter through the medium of the Associated Press. I never gave any article to the Hearst press with which I have no relations whatsoever. The articles, which were published or used without my knowledge (in case they really were articles of mine), are naturally not at all directed against the Soviet Union but only against the growing despotism of the ruling clique. During the last month and weeks I have received extremely important news from authentic sources concerning the terrible repressions against political prisoners whose fidelity to the Soviet Union is beyond doubt and whose only “crime” consists in criticizing the ruling bureaucracy.

A short time ago Dr. Anton Ciliga, former leader of the Jugoslav Communist party, returned from the Soviet Union where he spent more than five years in prison and exile as punishment for his critical attitude of the leadership of the Comintern. To obtain permission to leave the Soviet Union Ciliga resorted to a hunger strike and was subjected to forcible feeding. He slashed his wrists but was prevented from suicide. Thousands of expelled members of the ruling party who protested against the growing inequality or the introduction of army-officer titles and the marshal-order, suffer under similar conditions.

Zinoviev and Kamenev, intimate collaborators of Lenin, are now imprisoned for a terroristic crime with which they had nothing whatsoever to do. Kamenev, former chairman of the Political Bureau of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, is in a cell together with 12 others. Last year an additional five years was tacked on to the original five-year sentence for his alleged participation in planning a terroristic assassination of Stalin.

The restrained and absolutely objective information related by Ciliga, Tarov and others prove the increasing antagonism developing between the bureaucracy and the population and prove the need of the bureaucracy to resort to sharpest repressions in the interests of self-preservation. To say this frankly is to do a real service to the people of the Soviet Union.


(signed) Leon Trotsky

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Last updated on: 20 March 2018