DEWEY: I have an announcement or two to make, part of which Will be repeated in Spanish by Mr. Beals. The following persons and organizations have been invited by the Commission to attend these hearings or send their representatives. The following have declined:
Hernan Laborde, Secretary of the Communist Party of Mexico.
Vincente Lombardo Toledano, Secretary-General of the CTM.
Prof. David Vilchis. President of the Association of Mexican Professors of the Federal District.
From the following the Commission received no reply, but their refusal to be present by representatives was announced through the press:
The Soviet Government, through its Ambassador in Washington.
Communist Party of the United States.
Joseph Brodsky, New York attorney, and well known member of the Communist Party.
The following person and organizations have accepted the invitation of the Commission to attend its hearings:
Liga Communista Internacionalista.
Confederación General de Trabajadores.
Confederación Regional Obrera Méxicana.
Federacion de Sindicatos Obreras del D.F.
Casa del Pueblo
Sindicato de Obreras Panaderos Biacocheros y Reposteros del D.F
Liga Culturar Israelita
Louis Sanchez Ponton, Correspondent of the Secretariat of the League of Nations,
The following organizations have also been invited, but replies from them have not as yet been received:
Partido Nacional Revolucionarao, Sindicato Unico de la Construccion.
Sindicato de Trabajadores Petrôleros de la Republica Mexicana.
Federacion Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria Electrica.
Hearing yesterday that the Partido Nacional had not received their invitation, the Commission has dispatched a second invitation to the Party. Mr. Beals will now translate these remarks into Spanish.
DEWEY: The original letters of invitation, together with all replies received, the acceptances and refusals, will be appended and published with the permanent record, I wish to say that the press table was reserved exclusively for the journalists of the daily papers and the news services. Any visitors sitting at the press table Will please take seats in the rear.
I wish also to announce that the Commission has made a change in the order of the procedure from that which was announced Saturday. In order to avoid duplication, the direct examination of Mr. Trotsky will be completed before the cross examination takes place. That does not mean there may not be questions in cross examination, but the main cross examination will be reserved. In this connection, I wish to announce that the representatives of the Mexican labor organizations will have a full opportunity to cross examine Mr. Trotsky during this latter period of cross examination.
DEWEY: I will now ask the attorney for Mr. Trotsky to State the topics upon which he proposes to conduct his direct examination of Mr. Trotsky, and, as far as possible, the order in which these topics will probably be taken up. I have to make one more announcement, that arrangements are being made so that abstracts in Spanish will be provided for the first two sessions.
BEALS: Mr. President, since I am not fully aware of the regular order of proceedings to be followed in today’s cross examination, I should like, before they are instituted, to address several brief questions to the defendant which have bearing upon yesterday’s hearings and also bearing upon the Commission’s own statements, and perhaps to make a brief rectification of essential importance for the working of this Commission.
Mr. Trotsky, it has been stated that you have made repeated demands that the Soviet Government ask for your extradition. Is that true?
TROTSKY: Not to the Government directly, but in the press, I asked many times. The only loyal way for the Soviet Government is to ask for my extradition. I declared it for the first time during the first great trial of Zinoviev-Kamenev in August. 1936. And after that, I repeated it each time in the press and in my statements, and also in my Hippodrome speech in New York.
BEALS: You didn’t make any direct, official demand to the Soviet Government to that effect?
TROTSKY: I believe the Soviet Government understand themselves what to do. I am not formally a Soviet citizen, and my declaration to the world press is surely known. I declared the same thing in my writing to the Norwegian Government: “Instead of making me a prisoner of yours, you must ask the Soviet Government for proofs before your courts.” I addressed the same letter to the League of Nations, the letter saying in sense: “On the initiative of Moscow you are preparing a special court for the terrorists. I ask you, if the court is a real court, to put my case on your order of the day.” I addressed the French examining judge who conducts the investigation concerning my archives, the theft of my archives, and proposed that I am ready to appear before any French court in order to prove that the accusation is false. In France there is also interest in this case, as in the Soviet Union, because it concerns my alleged alliance with Hitler against France. I am ready, together with my son, to appear before the court in France immediately. I believe I did everything I could in this respect.
BEALS: Was it ever stated by the press, to your knowledge, that the Soviet Government had sought to extradite you from Norway?
TROTSKY: The Soviet Government demanded only my expulsion, not my extradition, because expulsion is an administrative matter, and extradition must be demonstrated before the court.
BEALS: In the opening statement of the Commission delivered yesterday morning by Dr. Dewey, it was stated that such demands, had the Soviet Government acted, would have automatically brought you before a Norwegian or Mexican court. Is it not true that there is no extradition treaty between Mexico and the Soviet Union, and that in fact there are no relations between the two countries?
TROTSKY: The absence of relations between these two countries is not imputed to me even by Vyshinsky.
DEWEY: May I say that any error there was the fault of the Commission and not of Mr. Trotsky?
BEALS: Mr. Chairman, in view of the foregoing it behooves me to make here at this time, and to enter it upon the permanent record of the Commission, a statement of my own position in respect to this and certain other matters covered in your opening address yesterday which in the name of the Commission gave the scope and purpose of this inquiry. I feel that this is justified and necessary since I was in no way consulted regarding the formulation of or the contents of the statement which was issued to the press as the official position of the Commission.
I do not do this because of any lack of harmony or because of disagreement with the essential purpose and meaning of that significant document, but merely that any suggestions will be accepted by the rest of the Commission which so capably drew it up; and in any case it is essential that my own attitude with regard to the affairs of the Commission of which I am a part shall not be ignored and shall be a matter of permanent record. I do this to promote and make sounder the work of the Commission, and not in any way to hamper it. I am, let me repeat, entirely in favor of the already recorded purpose of the Commission: I believe that a man condemned for high crimes and misdemeanors without a personal trial should have every opportunity for a hearing and for a presentation of his case before the world. I am honored and glad to be a member of the Commission which furthers this just purpose. But I wish it definitely on record that I engage in the work of this Commission without any prior commitments. I do not subscribe to the doctrines of Mr. Trotsky or to any of the groups that utilize his name. I am not motivated by animosity toward any existing government involved or toward any partisan groups that favor or oppose Mr. Trotsky. I should not wish that the work of this Commission be improperly utilized by any such groups against any person or government.
Therefore, I desire above all that the Commission itself shall make no mistakes of fact. even the slightest, that it shall be stringently faithful to the accepted canons of evidence and of truth. Therefore it is necessary, so far as this Commissioner is concerned, to modify, before its incongruity is pointed out by others, the sentence referring to Mr. Trotsky’s desire for extradition. This change, let me repeat, does not at all modify the lofty position of the Commission as it has been outlined by Dr. Dewey.
It is also declared in the same statement of this Preliminary Commission that our function is to give the results of our investigation obtained here to the Full Commission, of which we are a part, so that the results obtained here, in connection with those secured by other investigating bodies, may bring to light the objective facts upon which judgment in the case of Leon Trotsky must rest.
This Commissioner would have desired, had he been previously consulted, that the nature of those auxiliary investigating bodies be precisely defined in this statement, that the nature and source of evidence – so far as it be known prior to investigation – which was not available to the Moscow courts, be indicated. This Commissioner had also been assured that the present Preliminary Commission, while fully cognizant of the fragmentary nature of its own investigations, would at the earliest possible moment give, not merely to the larger or full Commission of which we are also a part, but to the general public, a résumeé of these preliminary findings, together with its own conclusions. Though our work will not be completed here, since the accused is in Mexico, the most important source of information is being tapped. This Commissioner feels that the opening statement of the Commission should have contained an assurance to this effect, and an assurance that such a résumeé would be issued at the very earliest date.
The necessity for this is obvious. New trials are said to be scheduled in the Soviet Union, trials of a nature similar to those which have caused the sentencing, imprisonment and execution of large numbers of persons charged with having committed acts similar to those which have caused the official condemnation of Trotsky, whose life has not yet been taken because he has been in exile. Such a preliminary report as I have suggested is highly essential, and I feel should be previously announced, for if after our examination of the evidence garnered here there should arise any reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused Leon Trotsky, this would not only cast doubt upon the guilt of the defendants already executed, but might have some restraining influence which would save the lives of others soon to be in danger. If, on the other hand, this Preliminary Commission fails to raise any reasonable doubt and finds that so far as the evidence at hand is concerned the previous Moscow trials cannot be impugned, then this equally should help to free Soviet justice from unfair imputations and permit it to punish those who are properly guilty, without the disturbance of outside propaganda. The responsibility resting upon the Preliminary Commission is a heavy one, but it must be faced, and we must present our honest conclusions at the earliest date feasible.
Like the other members who drafted the opening statement by Dr. Dewey, this Commissioner now likewise goes on record as in favor of limiting the scope of our inquiry to the truth or falsity of the testimony given in so far as it implicated Mr. Trotsky. But he emphatically regrets the unfortunate statement that the Commission should go on record as not being concerned with the testimony so far as it bears upon the guilt or innocence of those who were present at the Moscow trials and had a hearing. While for obvious reasons we have no means at our disposal of so fully examining into the guilt or innocence of the other parties, and whereas the scope of the hearings has been properly limited, nevertheless Mr. Trotsky’s own guilt or innocence is greatly involved in the testimony concerning the other prisoners who have been sentenced, imprisoned or executed. I merely wish to suggest that while we are obliged to limit our investigations, which must perforce be very specialized, they are, nevertheless, far more important than even the innocence or guilt, or the person, of Leon Trotsky, and cannot be thus easily dissociated from the larger problems of the trials already held, of Soviet law and justice.
Permit me to repeat that there is not, in these suggestions and In my personal reservations, the slightest hint of antagonism toward the other members of the Commission. My purpose is purely constructive and in full harmony with the statement made by the other members of the Commission. It is necessary that this be made part of the permanent record.
DEWEY: The Commission is glad to have in the permanent record Mr. Beals’s statement, particularly as he was not here in time to be consulted in the preparation of the statement that was read Saturday morning. I regret the error regarding extradition to Moscow, and I assume responsibility myself for permitting that error in the statement that was made on Saturday.
FINERTY: May I have the privilege as counsel to say a word on this? Extradition is possible in the absence of an extradition treaty. While it may be there is no extradition treaty between – I think Norway was referred to – between Russia and Mexico, it does not preclude either Government recognizing the demand of extradition.
BEALS: There are no diplomatic relations to make that demand.
FINERTY: It is not a correct legal statement.
TROTSKY: I am ready to go either to Norway or France or any other country.
BEALS: I am not raising that question – just that the statement of the Commission should be absolutely correct. I wish to say further that I wish also to get on record that I was here when this report was drawn up and was not consulted.
DEWEY: Will Mr. Goldman please state the topics upon which he will examine Mr. Trotsky, as far as the probable order of it is concerned.
GOLDMAN: Asking the Commission not to limit me very strictly to the order of the topics which I will present, now I will give you an idea of that order as I intend to present the evidence at the present moment. First, I wish to declare that the section of the evidence which I already presented was done so under the heading that I might call the biographical section of the evidence.
I wish today to attempt to present evidence with reference to the relationship, both political and personal, which Mr. Trotsky had with the defendants in the last two trials.
The next section – that is, number three – will deal with Mr. Trotsky’s actual friends in the Soviet Union – that is, if he had any friends in the Soviet Union, if he had any followers, loyal followers of the Opposition.
The fourth section will deal with the very important evidence which we shall present, the aim of which will be to contradict the testimony of those defendants who actually claimed to have had contact with, seen, or corresponded with Mr. Trotsky personally.
The next section, number five, I believe will deal in a sketchy way, because we are not in a position to introduce evidence on that point to a great extent, with the question of sabotage, “explosive acts and diversions,” as they are called in the indictment and in the evidence at the Moscow trial. We shall produce some evidence to Indicate that the existence of alleged acts of sabotage, “explosions and diversions” attributed to Mr. Trotsky’s so-called followers in Russia can be explained on the basis of the bureaucratic leadership in industry in the Soviet Union.
The next section will deal with the question of individual terror, since Mr. Trotsky is accused of having originated a conspiracy for the purpose of assassinating the leaders in the Soviet Union. We shall present evidence to the effect, first, what Mr. Trotsky’s beliefs have been on the question of individual terror, what they are now, and, second, Mr. Trotsky’s attitude with reference to the possible removal of Stalin at the present time through democratic means.
The next section will deal with the question of the defense of the Soviet Union. Since Mr. Trotsky is accused in the indictment, and since testimony was produced during the trials which indicated that Trotsky was an enemy of the Soviet Union, we deem it relevant to introduce testimony showing his real attitude towards the Soviet Union.
Section eight will deal with certain international phases, since Mr. Trotsky was accused by the Prosecution in the Soviet Union of trying to get an alliance and actually making an alliance with German fascism on the one hand and Japanese militarism on the other hand. We deem it to be of sufficient importance, and quite relevant, to introduce evidence showing Mr. Trotsky’s real attitude to the question of Hitler, German fascism and to the question of Japanese militarism.
In the last section. which I might term a sort of omnibus Section. I shall deal in short with the struggle between the Left Opposition led by Leon Trotsky and the majority of the Communist Party led by Stalin. I shall show the fundamental principles involved in the struggle, the methods used by both sides in the struggle, the predictions that Mr. Trotsky has made with reference to the possible methods to be used in the future, the nature of the previous trials held – that is, previous to the last two trials – and the attitude that Mr. Trotsky had to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist International prior to 1933 and subsequent to 1933.
DEWEY: Will you proceed?
GOLDMAN: Do you want to make a statement, Mr. Trotsky?
TROTSKY: Yes. It is my bad English that puts me in error, but it seems to me that Mr. Beals named me the “accused.” If Mr. Beals is insisting upon exactitude, I will also. I am not the “accused” here; I am a witness.
BEALS: I accept that qualification, Mr. Trotsky. I understand this is an investigation.
TROTSKY: Thank you.
BEALS: I was referring at that moment not to the present trial, but to the attitude of the Soviet Government which has accused you.
GOLDMAN: For the purpose of the record, I also wish to make a statement to the effect that sometimes I shall call, without thinking – I might call Mr. Trotsky the defendant, the accused, the witness, because it has always been emphasized that the real defendant in the Soviet court was Trotsky. But we consider Mr. Trotsky as a witness. Of course, as far as I am concerned, and as far as Mr. Trotsky is concerned, we accuse the Soviet court. We feel ourselves to be the accusers, and they the accused. But that is a matter for the Commission.
Now, Mr. Trotsky, I shall begin the direct examination.
GOLDMAN: At the last session you stated that you were twenty-three years old when you wrote the pamphlet referred to by Vyshinsky in his argument, the pamphlet called Our Political Tasks. Do you want to make a correction of that?
TROTSKY: It was written in the middle of the summer of 1903 and published at the beginning of 1904. During the writing I was not yet twenty-four years old, but I was almost twenty-four.
GOLDMAN: You were not twenty-four yet?
TROTSKY: Twenty-three and nine or ten months.
GOLDMAN: You want to tell us how much wiser you were nine months later?
TROTSKY: It is difficult to judge.
GOLDMAN: On the question of your relations with Lenin, I would like you to tell the Commission about something you wrote in your autobiography, namely about a blank paper upon which Lenin wrote his name giving you complete authority to do what you deemed best while you were the leader of the Red Army. Will you tell us something about that?
TROTSKY: During the Civil War, I had to take upon myself a very heavy responsibility. I discharged these responsibilities before the whole public opinion and before the working class. Many people opposed my direction of the Civil War. Stalin guided that opposition behind the scenes. Lenin proposed to me and gave me, without any insistence from me, a paper on which, at the end, was written in red ink the following:
Comrades: Knowing the strict character of Comrade Trotsky’s orders, I am so convinced, so absolutely convinced, of the correctness, expediency, and necessity for the success of the cause of the order given by Comrade Trotsky, that I unreservedly indorse this order.
I must say it was not an official document because, as head of the Red Army, I had all the necessary right to give any orders concerning the war. On the contrary, Lenin did not have himself any possibility of giving direct orders. It was merely a document of concern to the Communists, and critics and oppositionists in the Red Army.
GOLDMAN: Where is the original of that document?
TROTSKY: I explained that there was a certain opposition in the ranks of the Party directed by Stalin.
GOLDMAN: You did not understand me. Where is the original of the document?
TROTSKY: The original of the document, as all the originals written by Lenin at any time, to anybody, are in the Institute of Lenin in Moscow. There was an order by the Central Committee that any Party member who had any document written by Lenin must transmit it to the Institute of Lenin in Moscow. But we received legal copies of all the documents transmitted to the Institute of Lenin. I have three or four legal copies of all the documents. One of the collections of these copies was given by me to the Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. The others are in my possession.
GOLDMAN: You are ready to produce these legal copies for the Commission whenever the Commission requests?
FINERTY: When you say legal copies, do you mean certified copies?
TROTSKY: It was a representative of the Institute of Lenin who visited all the Ministers of all the bureaus for them to transmit all the documents. The secretariat of the Ministry, of the respective Ministries and bureaus, with the representative of the Institute of Lenin, they accordingly testified to the copies.
FINERTY: Is the Institute of Lenin an official government body?
TROTSKY: It is a Party body. In the Soviet Union, Party bodies are connected with the Soviet bodies.
FINERTY: These documents are made for the public record?
TROTSKY: Yes, they were made public many times, and never denied by anybody.
GOLDMAN: Before proceeding to any further questions, I want to call the attention of the Commission to the fact that some questions were raised about Lenin’s “last testament,” during the examination on Saturday. I want to call the Commissioners’ attention to the fact that Vyshinsky, on page 127 of the Report of the Court Proceedings in the Case of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center, makes the following statement, in the middle of the fifth paragraph, the second sentence. Mr. Finerty, have you a copy of that?
GOLDMAN (reading): “It was under their leadership, under the leadership of Comrade Stalin, that great executor and keeper of Lenin’s will and testament, that the counter-revolutionary Trotskyite organization was routed.”
If Vyshinsky referred to the official Lenin’s will and testament. I want the Commission, each one of the members of the Commission, to get a copy of Lenin’s will and testament. Copies will be furnished. Read that document, and see whether Stalin was designated as the “great executor and keeper of Lenin’s will and testament.”
On the same page, page 127, the last paragraph beginning: “That is why the Trotskyites and Zinovievites,” the second sentence reads:
That is why, in March 1932, in a fit of counter-revolutionary fury, Trotsky burst out in an open letter with an appeal to “put Stalin out of the way” (this letter was found between the double walls of Holtzman’s suit case and figured as an exhibit in this case).
I want to read into the record a very short excerpt from the letter which Vyshinsky refers to – I read now from The Militant of April 9, 1932, containing the Open Letter to the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, by Leon Trotsky. I read from the third to the last paragraph:
Read again the resolutions of the plenums of the Central Committee for the years 1926 and 1927, read again the statements of the Opposition; you have a fuller set of documents than I have. And you will be convinced again that the whole evolution of the Party, of the apparatus, of the Stalinist clique were foretold by us; all the milestones were indicated before.
I want to make a remark here that the English translation of the next sentence is not a correct translation. The English translation of this sentence has no meaning. It reads as follows: “The decomposition of the Stalinist system accuses with the exact observance of the manner indicated by the Opposition.” This is not the meaning I check, but you are at liberty to check up with the original in the Russian. I continue to quote:
Do you want to follow this road further? But there is no road further. Stalin has brought you to an impasse. You cannot come out on the road without liquidating Stalinism. You must trust to the working class, give the proletarian vanguard the possibility through free criticism from top to bottom to review the whole Soviet system and pitilessly cleanse it of the accumulated rubbish. It is time, finally, to fulfill the last urgent advice of Lenin, to remove Stalin.
TROTSKY: May I say that in the French edition – the English edition of the Verbatim Report says: “Put Stalin out of the way.” In the French edition it says: “Kill or assassinate him.” The translations do not coincide.
GOLDMAN: Now, Mr. Trotsky, I am going to read to you and to the Commission the names of the defendants in the first trial, and ask you whether you recognize any of the names of the persons who at the time of the trial were followers of yours and could be correctly designated as “Trotskyites”: G.E. Zinoviev, L.B. Kamenev, G.E. Evdokimov, I.N. Smirnov, I.P. Bakayev, V.A. Ter-Vaganyan, S.V. Mrachkovsky, E.A. Dreitzer, E.S. Holtzman, I.I, Reingold, R.V. Pickel, V.P. Olberg, K.B. Berman-Vurin (I am at a loss to know what the dash indicates, whether it indicates that the person had two names, an alias, or whether it was actually the name of the person). Fritz David (I.I. Kruglyansky), M. Lurye and N. Lurye.
Were any of these persons, Mr. Trotsky, at the time of the trial in August 1936, correctly to be considered your followers, or “Trotskyites?”
TROTSKY: Not one of them.
GOLDMAN: I read the names of the defendants in the second trial: Y.L. Pyatakov, K.B. Radek, G.Y. Sokolnikov, L.P. Serebryakov, N.I. Muralov, Y.A. Livshitz, Y.N. Drobnis, M.S. Boguslavsky, I.A. Knyazev, S.A. Rataichak, B.O. Norkin, A.A. Shestov, M.S. Stroilov, Y.D. Turok, I.Y. Hrasche, G.E. Pushin, V.V. Arnold.
FINERTY: Mr. Chairman. May I suggest, Mr. Goldman, this question is not of great help to the Commission. Obviously, at the time of the trial, these men were not followers of Trotsky, on their own statement, The real question is whether at any time they had been followers of Trotsky.
GOLDMAN: We shall go into that. I ask you whether immediately prior to the trial any of these defendants were followers of yours, or could correctly be designated as Trotskyites?
TROTSKY: Not one of them that I know, because there are some people whose names I learned for the first time from the reports of the court. Theoretically, it would be possible to admit that there might be former Trotskyites. I don’t know. But the people who are known to me were my adversaries for years before the trial.
GOLDMAN: Now, we shall proceed to the individuals in these trials, Mr. Trotsky. You can tell us more in detail about that. I shall take Zinoviev and Kamenev, Mr. Trotsky, and ask you when was the first time you met them, if you remember, approximately?
TROTSKY: I met Kamenev for the first time in 1902, as a young student; Zinoviev later. I was acquainted with Kamenev during all the time after 1902. Zinoviev I saw for the first time at the Party Congress in 1907 in London. But I approached him for the first time only in 1917.
GOLDMAN: What were your political relations with Kamenev and Zinoviev up to the time of the October Revolution – that is, between the time that you came to Russia in May 1917 up to October 1917?
TROTSKY: No personal communication with Zinoviev; personal communication with Kamenev. He was the husband of my sister. I had personal relations with him. I did not belong to the Bolshevik organization at the time, and that is the reason our political relations reflected totally my relations to the Bolsheviks, and the attitude of the Bolshevik center to myself.
GOLDMAN: You entered the Bolshevik Party in August 1917?
GOLDMAN: After that, what were your political relations with Zinoviev and Kamenev?
TROTSKY: They were personally friendly, and also, as before 1917, with Kamenev. But the attitude of Zinoviev and Kamenev during the period of the armed insurrection and the October Revolution hindered our good relations, because they were adversaries of the October insurrection. Lenin proposed even to expel them from the Party. I opposed this proposition, and we had a great majority in the Central Committee against the expulsion. Lenin was very satisfied, because it was for him only a matter of putting pressure on them. They became known to the entire Party during this period as oppositionists to the October Revolution.
GOLDMAN: Did you have any political quarrels with them after the October Revolution?
TROTSKY: Not immediately. I have many documents, or some documents, which are friendly, of a political and personal nature from Zinoviev and Kamenev. They are favorable characterizations of my activity after the October Revolution.
GOLDMAN: What we are mainly interested in is your relationship with them after Lenin’s death and their rôle in the struggle between you and Stalin.
TROTSKY: They became, Zinoviev and Kamenev – with Stalin they created the so-called “Troæka,” or Triumvirate, which was the directing body of the Central Committee of the Party and of the country during the period from the end of 1922 to 1925.
FINERTY: Mr. Goldman, I think the record ought to show the date of Lenin’s death.
GOLDMAN: What was the date of Lenin’s death?
TROTSKY: It was January 1924.
TROTSKY: The 21st of January 1924. But before his death he was sick for a long time. He became sick in October 1922, and he was totally eliminated from the directing work for many months. That was the time of a provisional situation. We awaited his reestablishment in Party work. He came to work for some months, I believe for three months. I will establish that more exactly. But he became sick again and definitely – it was the 5th or 6th of March 1923. This time his illness lasted until his death. During this period the bureaucracy found its head in this Triumvirate of Zinoviev-Stalin-Kamenev. I can present here to the Commission, if you permit me, a pamphlet directed against me, written by Zinoviev, Stalin and Kamenev, in the English language, with an introduction by one of the leaders of the American Communist Party, Bittelman. He represents Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Stalin as the genuine emanation of Bolshevism against me. He is the representation, or the entire spirit ―
GOLDMAN: The witness here refers to the pamphlet called Leninism or Trotskyism, written by G.E. Zinoviev, J. Stalin, and L. Kamenev, in February, or published in February 1925, for the Workers Party of America – at that time the Communist Party was called the Workers Party of America – by the Daily Worker Publishing Co., 1113 West Washington Boulevard, Chicago, Ill. We will introduce this pamphlet as Exhibit No.5.
TROTSKY: May I quote some lines from the introduction of Bittelman?
GOLDMAN: Yes, you can quote some of the lines.
FINERTY: Before Mr. Trotsky testifies, can the record be cleared up to show whether the Triumvirate originated during Lenin’s first illness or during his second illness?
FINERTY: Was the Triumvirate formed during Lenin’s first illness or second illness?
TROTSKY: When it was built? Mr. Attorney, it is very difficult to say. We had no investigation about the organization of this bloc. I made a remark that during the first illness the situation was such that they were very cautious before the impossibility of the physical reestablishment of Lenin was confirmed by the doctors. They adopted in the beginning a fight against me, with the perspective of becoming the leaders of the Party. But during the second illness of Lenin they became even more courageous. Then it was officially an institution, the “Troæka” – “Troæka” means three. It did not become an official institution until Lenin’s second illness. During the second illness it became not official in a constitutional sense, but in the opinion of the Communist Party.
GOLDMAN: It became an open institution during the second illness of Lenin. You want to read some excerpts?
TROTSKY: Yes. Mr. Bittelman writes: “He [Trotsky] will not make peace with the fact that the Russian Communist Party and the entire Communist International are led by the old Bolshevist guard along the road of Leninism as against Trotskyism.” Zinoviev is listed as the first contributor, not in the order of the alphabet, however. It is a political order. But the same Mr. Bittelman published the following in Trotsky, the Traitor, a new pamphlet in the last few days, and in it we read:
Trotsky, Zinoviev, Pyatakov and Company are “Old Bolsheviks,” some people say. They are the “fathers” of the Russian Revolution, it is claimed. On this false basis, the question is asked: How is it possible for these “founders” of the Soviet system to try to betray it, and to join for this purpose with the worst enemies of Socialism? Those who genuinely ask such questions apparently do not know that this gang of counterrevolutionary bandits have had a long history, that their transformation into allies of fascism is no sudden or overnight affair. They were moving in that direction for a long time. [Page 12 – A.M.G.]
For the moment, suffice it to say that just as the American Revolution had its Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, and just as our period of the Civil War had John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Lincoln, so the Soviet Union is having its Trotsky, Zinoviev, Pyatakov and others. [Page 3-4 – A.M.G.]
In the year 1925 Zinoviev was referred to as the genuine “Old Bolshevik Guard” Now, he is “The Booth of Russia.”
GOLDMAN: The witness refers to the pamphlet written by Alexander Bittelman, the same one who wrote the introduction to Exhibit No.5, Leninism or Trotskyism. Alexander Bittelman is a well known member of the Communist Party. Mark this pamphlet Exhibit No.6.
FINERTY: Mr. Goldman, Commissioner Stolberg thinks it would be well to show what positions in the Government the Triumvirate – what positions were held by Zinoviev and Kamenev and Stalin during the Triumvirate.
GOLDMAN: Did you understand that, Mr. Trotsky?
TROTSKY: It is not a question directly of the Government. Zinoviev was never a member of the Government; nor Kamenev. But both were members of the Politburo, which is the genuine guiding center of the Party and of the country. The Government, the official Government, submits to the orders of the Politburo, and a member of the Politburo is incomparably more important than the highest Minister. It is only a technical post, the Minister. Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin – they built the “Troæka,” not with a Party status, nor with an official status in the country. But it was sustained by the Party apparatus, and that was absolutely sufficient for their dominant rôle. At the Party Congress, which was held in 1923, during the illness of Lenin – it was the Twelfth Party Congress – one member, a prominent member of the Party, Ossinsky, attacked Zinoviev, and Stalin immediately answered.
GOLDMAN: Is it a short excerpt?
TROTSKY: It is not long.
Comrades. I cannot ignore the attack of Comrade Ossinsky against ... Comrade Zinoviev. He praised Comrade Stalin, praised Comrade Kamenev. and struck Out at Comrade Zinoviev, thinking that at first it is enough to eliminate one, and that then will come the others’ turn. He has taken the course of destroying the nucleus which has been formed inside the Central Committee during years of work, in order to destroy everything later, step by step. If Comrade Ossinsky seriously intends to undertake such attacks against one or another member of our Central Committee, I must warn him that he will bump into a stone wall on which, I fear, he will smash his head.
It was a moment when Stalin officially represented himself before the country as a member of the “Troika” and totally connected with Kamenev and Zinoviev – or, better, with Zinoviev and Kamenev. My name was not mentioned, but the fact that it was not mentioned was very well understood by all the bureaucrats – that it was directed against me.
FINERTY: I have one more suggestion, and that is, that it would be well for him to show the structure of the Party, what the functions of the Central Committee are, and what the function of the Politburo is. The record does not show what the constitution of the Party is, as distinct from the constitution of the Government.
DEWEY: Can that be done subsequently?
GOLDMAN: I have no objection. I think that Mr. Finerty would like to have it, and perhaps he can develop that on cross examination.
FINERTY: It may be necessary for an intelligent determination of these questions.
GOLDMAN: Yes. I don’t want to take up my time with all these matters. Have you any other short excerpt that you want to quote on the question of Stalin’s relations with Zinoviev and your relations with Zinoviev?
TROTSKY: I believe it is more or less sufficient at this moment. We can present more quotations about the “Troæka.” The most important thing I explained.
GOLDMAN: Now will you tell us, give us an idea of the development of the struggle, the political struggle, between you and the Triumvirate. What happened in the later years? Did this bloc, this Triumvirate, remain as a bloc or did it split up? What happened after that?
TROTSKY: It split. I must introduce, that after the split of Kamenev and Zinoviev from Stalin, all the secrets of the “Troæka” became known by me as an ally of Zinoviev and Kamenev. Zinoviev and Kamenev explained – it was an official explanation in Party meetings and Party sessions – that among the members of the Politburo it was a mutual obligation never to attack one another, but only Trotsky.
GOLDMAN: When was the split between Zinoviev and Kamenev, and Stalin?
TROTSKY: It was during the preparation, the secret preparation of the split. It was in the second half of 1925. It appeared openly at the Fourteenth Congress of the Party. That was the beginning of 1926.
GOLDMAN: With reference to your relationship with Kamenev and Zinoviev, will you tell the Commissioners what actually occurred after the split?
TROTSKY: Zinoviev and Kamenev were the most embittered adversaries of mine during the time of the alliance with Stalin. Stalin was more cautious in the fight against me. But Zinoviev was the chairman of the Petrograd Soviet. Kamenev was the chairman of the Moscow Soviet. These are very important circumstances. They were under the pressure of workers, of the best workers we had – of Petrograd and Moscow – the most developed and most educated workers. Stalin’s support was in the provinces, the bureaucracy in the provinces. At first they did not themselves understand – that is, Zinoviev and Kamenev, as others also – why the split came. But it was the pressure of the workers of both capitals. The pressure of the workers pushed Zinoviev and Kamenev into contradictions with Stalin. It was the fundamentals of Socialism – the foundations of Socialism. It was not possible to explain this by personal ambitions, and so on. I am not denying the rôle of the factor of personal ambitions, but personal ambitions begin to play a rôle only through the push of social forces. Without that, they become purely personal ambitions.
GOLDMAN: Did they make a bloc with you?
TROTSKY: They did, but not immediately after the Fourteenth Congress. About two or three months after, we entered into an alliance with Zinoviev and Kamenev.
GOLDMAN: How long did that alliance last?
TROTSKY: Will you permit me to quote a declaration of Zinoviev?
TROTSKY: It was in the Central Committee of July, 1926, Zinoviev said – it is from the report of the Central Committee:
I have committed many mistakes. I think that the most important of my mistakes are two in number. My first mistake of 1917 is known to all of you ... I consider my second mistake more dangerous because the mistake of 1917 was committed in Lenin’s presence, it was corrected by Lenin, and also by ourselves with Lenin’s help a few days later. But my mistake of 1923 consisted in this:
Ordjonikidze: That you deceived the whole Party?
Zinoviev: We say that now there can no longer be any doubt that the fundamental core of the opposition of 1926, as the evolution of the present ruling faction has demonstrated, warned with justice of the dangers of the deviation from the proletarian line and of the menacing growth of the apparatus regime. Yes, in the question of the bureaucratic-apparatus oppression, Trotsky was right against us. (Verbatim Report of Central Committee, IV, p.33)
STOLBERG: Mr. Trotsky, the first mistake which Zinoviev there speaks of, you characterize as his opposition to the October Revolution. Wasn’t it rather an opposition to the October insurrection?
TROTSKY: To the October Revolution, because without the October insurrection, it could not become the October Revolution.
GOLDMAN: How long did your bloc with Zinoviev and Kamenev last?
TROTSKY: Almost two years – nineteen months, to be exact. It began in the Spring of 1926 and finished in the Fall of 1927.
GOLDMAN: What was the occasion of the split between the forces of Zinoviev and Kamenev and your own?
TROTSKY: The reason was the repressions of the bureaucracy against the Opposition. At the beginning it was possible, it seemed possible, that Zinoviev and Kamenev, to Zinoviev and Kamenev – we had great discussion about this – that by our fight we could change in a short time the policy of the Party. The reaction in the masses and the active reaction in the bureaucracy showed that it was impossible. The bureaucracy became hardened and persecuted the Opposition. Then the question was: Break with the bureaucracy and the apparatus, with legal existence, or go back and capitulate.
GOLDMAN: Did the break-up of your bloc with Zinoviev occur after or before your expulsion from the Party?
TROTSKY: Before, some weeks before, but not formally. It was clear to us, and we were prepared for the expulsion. It was clear that my group was totally ready to accept the expulsion; that the Zinoviev group would avoid the expulsion at any price.
GOLDMAN: Did the Zinoviev group succeed in avoiding expulsion?
TROTSKY: Not immediately by the capitulation. They remained six months expelled from the Party.
GOLDMAN: At the Congress where you were expelled, were they also expelled?
TROTSKY: Yes, all the Oppositionists were expelled, in spite of the capitulation.
FINERTY: Mr. Goldman. Commissioner Stolberg thinks it would be well also to show what was the basis of the bloc between Zinoviev and Trotsky.
STOLBERG: The agreement.
TROTSKY: The basis is formulated in our platform published also in English in a book under the title, The Real Situation in Russia. It is an important document of 150 pages, embracing all the questions of social and political life in the Soviet Union, of its international policy and questions of the Communist International. As I explained, it was a question of democracy against bureaucracy, equality against privileges, more industrialization – at that time, the bureaucracy was against industrialization – for collectivization in villages, an international revolutionary policy as against a narrow national policy in diplomacy, a total change in the policy of the Communist International, more independence of the sections of the Comintern, and, at the same time, more of an international revolutionary policy of the sections.
DEWEY: Will that document be put into evidence?
GOLDMAN: This program Mr. Trotsky refers to, published as a book, if I am not mistaken, in 1927, with an introduction by Max Eastman, is also translated by Max Eastman, and is called The Real Situation in Russia. They are not available here.
DEWEY: We will take a short recess now.
GOLDMAN: What happened to Zinoviev and Kamenev after they were expelled from the Party, Mr. Trotsky?
TROTSKY: After the second capitulation, the second declaration of capitulation, they were admitted to the Party, in five or six months after the expulsion.
GOLDMAN: You mean that five or six months after the expulsion they capitulated?
TROTSKY: They capitulated at the time of the Fifteenth Congress, but they remained expelled for some months.
GOLDMAN: Then I understand you to say at the Fifteenth Congress they capitulated, and they signed a second statement admitting their errors?
FINERTY: Can you give us that date?
GOLDMAN: When was this Congress held, Mr. Trotsky?
TROTSKY: It was held the end of December 1927.
GOLDMAN: They were expelled from the Party at that Congress. Were they exiled at all after that, immediately after?
TROTSKY: Yes, they were exiled, but not too far, in Siberia – in the provincial towns of Russia.
GOLDMAN: I understood you to say that six months after that they capitulated once more.
TROTSKY: Yes, they made a second declaration, and they were admitted as Party members.
GOLDMAN: Can you give – have you a copy of that capitulation statement, or can you refer the Commission to the Pravda?
TROTSKY: It is very regrettable that we could not prepare all the documents of the capitulation. They are all published in the Pravda, and they are now in the New York Public Library. We could cable New York for a copy.
GOLDMAN: In your records, do you find the date of the Pravda where the capitulation statement was published?
FINERTY: Mr. Goldman, will you furnish for the record the date of the capitulation in the Pravda mentioned?
GOLDMAN: Yes, we shall give the Commission the date of the capitulation and the copy of the Pravda.
TROTSKY: There is a great deal of material.
GOLDMAN: When was the last time you saw Zinoviev and Kamenev?
TROTSKY: It was the end of 1927.
GOLDMAN: Did you see Kamenev at a different time?
TROTSKY: At the same time, together, both of them.
GOLDMAN: Did you have a conversation with them?
GOLDMAN: What was said at the conversation?
TROTSKY: The subject of the conversation was that they were permitted to return – they returned to political life. I said it was their political death. Capitulation is political death.
GOLDMAN: Did you have any correspondence with Zinoviev and Kamenev?
TROTSKY: The last letter I received from Zinoviev was on the 7th of November 1927. It finishes with the words:
I admit entirely that Stalin will tomorrow circulate the most venomous “versions.” We are taking steps to inform the public. Do the same. Warm greetings, Yours, G. ZINOVIEV.
GOLDMAN: The witness quotes from a letter from Zinoviev dated November 7, 1927, addressed to L.B. Kamenev, L.D. Trotsky, and Y.P. Smilga. A copy will be furnished the Commission.
FINERTY: You had better identify who these other persons were, like Smilga.
GOLDMAN: Kamenev is the same Kamenev you read about.
GOLDMAN: How about Smilga?
TROTSKY: Smilga is an old member of the Party, a member of the Central Committee of the Party and a member of the Opposition, of the center of the Opposition at that time. Now he is in prison, if he is not assassinated. I am not sure.
STOLBERG: What do you mean by the center of the Opposition? The executive committee?
TROTSKY: It was an executive committee, yes, the same as a central committee.
GOLDMAN: Of the leading comrades of the Left Opposition?
BEALS: By the remark “assassination,” you mean he had just been put in prison and never given a trial?
GOLDMAN: You don’t know whether he is alive or not?
TROTSKY: I am not sure whether he is alive. On the list of the accused are appended only the names of people who signed confessions. Of the others, I don’t know. He is named as a terrorist and so on, here.
GOLDMAN: In the Verbatim Report. Did you have any correspondence with Zinoviev and Kamenev after you were exiled to Alma-Ata?
GOLDMAN: Did you have any correspondence with Zinoviev and Kamenev after you were deported from the Soviet Union?
GOLDMAN: Did you have any correspondence with them through any intermediaries?
GOLDMAN: Did you ever talk with anyone giving any message for the purpose of transferring that message to Zinoviev and Kamenev?
GOLDMAN: Beginning with your exile up to now?
TROTSKY: Beginning with the 7th of November 1927.
GOLDMAN: The last correspondence, then, you had with Zinoviev was November 7, 1927?
STOLBERG: Zinoviev and Kamenev?
GOLDMAN: Yes, and Kamenev, too?
GOLDMAN: Have you ever written any articles or letters in which you dealt with the rôle of Zinoviev after that capitulation?
TROTSKY: Dozens and dozens.
GOLDMAN: Will you give us the most important articles and letters that you wrote with reference to their capitulation and to their general rôle in the movement subsequent to your break-up of the bloc with them?
TROTSKY: The articles about the so-called capitulators are eighty-four.
GOLDMAN: Eighty-four articles?
TROTSKY: Eighty-four articles, in the Bulletin of the Opposition, in different papers of our movement. Eighty-four articles, and in twelve books and pamphlets the question is also analyzed.
GOLDMAN: Are all of those articles, to the best of your knowledge, translated into English in The Militant?
TROTSKY: It is – this is the list of The Militant only.
GOLDMAN: I introduce into evidence the list of articles, also books ―
TROTSKY: Also books.
GOLDMAN: Articles and books in which Leon Trotsky dealt with the capitulators, Zinoviev and Kamenev.
TROTSKY: And in general on the question of capitulation.
GOLDMAN: And other capitulators, in which he also dealt with the question of capitulations in general. I introduce this into evidence. Let the record show that copies of this list will be furnished to the Commissioners. They are all found in The Militant, a former organ of the Trotskyites in the United States, and cover a period beginning December 15, 1928, to June 6, 1936. I introduce this as Exhibit No.7.
FINERTY: May the Commission assume that these articles are all critical of Zinoviev and Kamenev?
GOLDMAN: The articles speak for themselves, and we can furnish the Commission at least one copy of the bound volume of The Militant. They are very hostile to the capitulators. In this connection, I wish to read an excerpt from Vyshinsky’s speech of January 28. It is found on Page 464 of the Verbatim Report of the trial:
The Trotskyites went underground, they donned the mask of repentance and pretended that they had disarmed. Obeying the instruction of Trotsky. Pyatakov and the other leaders of this gang of criminals, pursuing a policy of duplicity, camouflaging themselves, they again penetrated into the Party, again penetrated into Soviet offices, here and there they even managed to creep into responsible positions of the state, concealing for a time, as has now been established beyond a shadow of doubt, their old Trotskyite, anti-Soviet wares in their secret apartments, together with arms, codes, passwords, connections and cadres.
FINERTY: Commissioner Stolberg suggests that it would aid the Commission to tell us what other leading members of the Opposition bloc did not capitulate.
GOLDMAN: You mean the Zinoviev faction?
STOLBERG: Here was a bloc of Zinoviev, Kamenev and Trotsky.
Of the leading personalities, who capitulated and who did not capitulate?
GOLDMAN: We can ask Mr. Trotsky the names, but we are going through all the defendants.
STOLBERG: I think it will clarify it.
GOLDMAN: Will you tell us, Mr. Trotsky, the names of the leading members of the bloc who, after the expulsion from the Party at the Fifteenth Congress, did not capitulate?
TROTSKY: I can name only two members, who capitulated in the last years. They were firm until 1934. I am referring to Rakovsky and Sosnovsky. Rakovsky is the former ambassador, and Sosnovsky is a very well known author in Russia, a journalist, and one of the best of our country. The others capitulated one after another.
GOLDMAN: Did you ever discuss with anyone the possibility of organizing a united center between your political followers and the followers of Zinoviev and Kamenev in the Soviet Union, after the break-up of your bloc with Zinoviev and Kamenev?
TROTSKY: Never. My articles show that it is absolutely impossible. My appreciation of them, my total contempt after the capitulation, my hostility to them and their hostility to me, excluded that absolutely.
GOLDMAN: Have you read the testimony of Zinoviev and Kamenev and the other defendants in the first Moscow trial?
GOLDMAN: Wherein these defendants claimed that you instructed several of them to establish a united center between your political followers and their political followers? Have you read such testimonies?
GOLDMAN: What have you to say about that?
TROTSKY: It is a falsehood organized by the GPU and supported by Stalin.
GOLDMAN: Now, proceeding to the other defendants in the first trial, I ask you whether or not you know or knew I.N. Smirnov?
GOLDMAN: How long did you know him?
TROTSKY: Beginning with the Civil War. He was one of the prominent figures in the Civil War.
GOLDMAN: And what rôle did he play in the Civil War?
TROTSKY: An important one. He was with me in the Fifth Army. He led the forces in Siberia. He organized and insured the victory against Admiral Kolchak.
GOLDMAN: In the struggle between you and Stalin, what position did he take?
TROTSKY: He was with me against Stalin all the time until 1929.
GOLDMAN: Was he expelled at the Fifteenth Congress?
GOLDMAN: What happened to him – was he exiled?
TROTSKY: He was exiled, yes. He capitulated later, a bit later than Radek.
GOLDMAN: Somewhat later than Radek?
TROTSKY: At the end of 1929, November 1929.
GOLDMAN: Do you happen to have in your archives a copy of the statement of his capitulation?
TROTSKY: A part of it only is reproduced in the Bulletin.
GOLDMAN: You mean the Bulletin of the Opposition?
TROTSKY: If you permit me, I will show you the quotation: “November 3rd, there was printed in Pravda a miserable document of Smirnov and Boguslavsky” ...
GOLDMAN: What are you reading from now?
TROTSKY: I am reading the article of mine in the Russian Bulletin, which is No.7, November-December 1929.
GOLDMAN: No.7 of the Bulletin?
TROTSKY: Of November 3rd. It was printed in Pravda, “a miserable document of Smirnov and Boguslavsky.” It is contained in theBulletin, and differs little from the cowardly declaration of Radek. And this was Smirnov, who was one of my best friends in comparison to Radek and Pyatakov.
GOLDMAN: After his capitulation in November 1929 did you have any connection with Smirnov?
TROTSKY: I, directly, not. My son met him in Berlin in 1931, in the street.
GOLDMAN: Did your son give you any information?
TROTSKY: Yes, he told us that the man is absolutely unhappy and disoriented, without any political orientation, that he gave him some information about old friends, capitulators and non-capitulators, and that he was very friendly in conversations with him – he knew my son as a boy, and then as a young lad – contrary to Pyatakov, who met my son also on the street, but turned his head away. My son called him traitor. That was on Unter den Linden.
GOLDMAN: I want to state before the Commission that I am not going into the testimony of the defendants now – that is, the testimony that is contained in the Report – but simply to set down the attitude of Leon Trotsky towards the defendants now and what it was at that time, just for that purpose, and I am notifying the Commission that I am not going into a detailed analysis of the testimony. Do you know E.A. Dreitzer, Mr. Trotsky?
TROTSKY: Yes, he was of the younger generation. Dreitzer was an officer of the Red Army. During and after my expulsion from the Party he had, together with ten or twelve officers, organized a guard around my home. He was among them. I totally forgot his name. My wife reminded me that it was Dreitzer.
GOLDMAN: Was he a member of the guard?
GOLDMAN: A member of the Left Opposition?
GOLDMAN: Was he expelled from the Party at the Fifteenth Congress?
TROTSKY: Yes, and also capitulated in 1928.
GOLDMAN: Was he exiled, do you know?
TROTSKY: I am not sure; I don’t know.
GOLDMAN: When did he capitulate?
TROTSKY: I believe in 1928.
GOLDMAN: Do you have in your records a statement of the capitulation that he made at that time?
TROTSKY: I am not even sure it was published. He was not so prominent.
GOLDMAN: Have you had any communication with him since 1928?
TROTSKY: Never; I forgot his name.
GOLDMAN: Will you please wait until I finish the question?
TROTSKY: Yes. (Laughter)
GOLDMAN: Have you ever had any communications with him in any way through third parties?
GOLDMAN: Tell us your relationship with S.V. Mrachkovsky?
DEWEY: Mr. Goldman. might I interrupt for a moment? On Page 22 of the official report of the August trial, it is stated by the Prosecutor that Dreitzer was “one of the people most devoted to him and at one time was chief of his personal ‘bodyguard’.” Was Dreitzer ever your bodyguard?
TROTSKY: I explained that after I left the Kremlin, after my expulsion, I occupied a private house. Some of the officers of the Red Army organized this bodyguard. He was among them. They were young people, not prominent people. I forgot even the name of Dreitzer. My wife reminded me of that. But he was never close to me – a friend of mine.
GOLDMAN: Is that all, Dr. Dewey?
DEWEY: That is all.
GOLDMAN: Now, will you tell us your relationship with S.V. Mrachkovsky?
TROTSKY: Mrachkovsky was also a so-called “Trotskyite.” He was one of the proven heroes of the Civil War in the Urals. He was the commanding general of the Military Ural District. In so far as he was connected with me, it was only in our military activity. As an Oppositionist, he was very active until 1929 or the end of 1928. He capitulated, also.
GOLDMAN: Have you any record of his statement of capitulation in your archives?
TROTSKY: We will find all the records. It was published in all the papers.
GOLDMAN: You haven’t got that at the present time?
TROTSKY: We will get all of them to the Commission.
GOLDMAN: Did you have any communication with him since the capitulation?
GOLDMAN: Either direct or indirect?
GOLDMAN: Either by word of mouth or by writing?
GOLDMAN: Now, I ask you whether you knew E.S. Holtzman?
TROTSKY: Yes. I suppose that I knew him. I am not sure, because in the Party there were several Holtzmans. I am not sure that is the Holtzman whom I have in my mind. Before our deportation to Siberia, one Holtzman came to our house with greetings and good wishes. I knew him at that time, that he was a sympathizer for a certain time of the Opposition, in 1926; but he separated himself from the Opposition in 1927, before the Fifteenth Congress – before the expulsions – he separated himself from the Opposition.
DEWEY: Is there any documentary evidence on this?
TROTSKY: It is mentioned in the Verbatim Report, but the prosecutor believes it was a hypocrisy. That is another question.
GOLDMAN: Have you in any way had any communications with any Holtzman since you left Russia?
GOLDMAN: Directly or indirectly?
GOLDMAN: Have you ever seen anyone whom you recall as Holtzman?
GOLDMAN: Can you tell us anything about G.E. Evdokimov?
TROTSKY: He is also an old Party member, a Zinovievist, a worker from Leningrad and a member of the Central Committee and a friend of Zinoviev.
GOLDMAN: He was not a member of the Trotskyite Left Opposition?
GOLDMAN: Have you ever had any correspondence with him since you were in exile?
GOLDMAN: Directly or indirectly?
GOLDMAN: Now, tell us something about V.A. Ter-Vaganyan.
TROTSKY: Ter-Vaganyan was a younger scholar, a Marxist scholar, an editor of a Marxist review. I had connections with him because I wrote from time to time articles for his review. I remember very well that he was an Oppositionist, not active because he was an abstract man, not a political man – a theoretical man, he never belonged to the leading center of the opposition, and he capitulated officially with the others after the Fifteenth Congress.
GOLDMAN: How long after?
TROTSKY: I am not sure, but I believe during the year 1928.
GOLDMAN: When was the last time you saw him?
TROTSKY: It is possible that it was during 1927.
GOLDMAN: Did you see him since you were expelled from Moscow?
GOLDMAN: You had no communication with him?
GOLDMAN: Oral or written communication?
GOLDMAN: Do you know the defendant I.I. Reingold?
TROTSKY: Reingold? Yes.
GOLDMAN: Who was he?
TROTSKY: He was connected with Sokolnikov in work in the Ministry of Defense. He was connected politically, more or less, with Kamenev. In this manner he belonged, more or less, to the bloc, the working bloc with Zinoviev, but had no active rôle at all.
GOLDMAN: When was the last time you saw him?
TROTSKY: It is difficult to say. It was more by chance that I saw him. I believe it was during 1927.
GOLDMAN: Did you see him since your exile?
GOLDMAN: Did you write to him since your exile?
GOLDMAN: Have you received any communications from him since your exile?
GOLDMAN: Do you know I.P. Bakayev?
GOLDMAN: Who is he?
TROTSKY: He was also a worker from Leningrad; he was a member of the Central Control Commission and a Zinovievist. He belonged to the bloc. He belonged to the central group of the bloc with Zinoviev and Evdokimov.
GOLDMAN: Do you know whether be capitulated?
TROTSKY: At the same time with Zinoviev.
GOLDMAN: Some time in 1928?
FINERTY: When you say “capitulated.” you don’t always state that they were expelled. May we assume that they were expelled prior to capitulation?
GOLDMAN: All those who belonged to the bloc with Zinoviev were expelled at the Fifteenth Congress?
GOLDMAN: That is, the leading members, I presume – not all the Communists who adhered.
TROTSKY: We had our platform, our program, and everybody who signed it was automatically expelled.
GOLDMAN: And that program refers to the program contained in The Real Situation in Russia?
TROTSKY: Yes. The condition for readmission into the Party was to resign from the platform, to renounce the platform, and to declare the platform false.
GOLDMAN: Do you remember the name of R.V. Pickel?
GOLDMAN: What can you tell us about him?
TROTSKY: He was a certain time, I believe, working in the Military Inspection. Then he was a secretary of Zinoviev, and, I believe, head of his secretariat.
GOLDMAN: Was he a member of the bloc?
TROTSKY: I suppose he was, but not a leading member. I never met him as an Oppositionist.
GOLDMAN: By the way, I forgot to ask you whether you had any communication at all, while in exile, with I.P. Bakayev?
GOLDMAN: Oral or written?
GOLDMAN: Do you know whether Pickel was expelled from the Party at the Fifteenth Congress?
TROTSKY: I didn’t pay any attention to his fate – I suppose with all the Zinovievists who capitulated. He was connected with Zinoviev, as well, personally.
GOLDMAN: During the period after you left Russia, have you heard of him, written to him, or communicated with him in any way?
GOLDMAN: Do you know the name of Fritz David, also named I.I. Kruglyansky?
TROTSKY: Never have before the trial.
GOLDMAN: The first time you saw his name was when you read the reports of the trial; is that right?
TROTSKY: Yes. The first cables about the trial.
GOLDMAN: Do you know the name of M. Lurye?
GOLDMAN: N. Lurye?
GOLDMAN: When was the first time you ever saw their names?
TROTSKY: In the cable, the Moscow cable, the Tass cable, concerning the trial.
GOLDMAN: Before that you never knew the people by such names?
GOLDMAN: Never had any relationship with them?
GOLDMAN: Do you remember the name of K.B. Berman-Yurin?
TROTSKY: The same as the others – never have before the trial.
GOLDMAN: Do you recall the name of V.P. Olberg?
GOLDMAN: Will you tell us something about him? What do you know about him?
TROTSKY: He wrote me from Berlin – it was in 1929, I believe, or the beginning of 1930 – as many other young people from different countries, asking me information about the situation in Germany; and about the situation in Russia he also wrote. I answered the more or less serious letters I received. We had a correspondence over some months. All his letters are in my possession. I have copies of my answers also. During the sojourn of my son in Berlin – Leon Sedov – he came in relations with him and furnished me from time to time quotations from Russian books, Russian books from the libraries, and some services. Then he wished to enter into collaboration with me as my Russian secretary. I needed a Russian secretary. I asked my friends in Berlin, Franz Pfemfert, the editor, and his wife, who is my translator in German, Alexandra Ramm, what was their opinion about the young man. They notified him to come and see them, and on that occasion, he made an absolutely negative impression. I have in my possession both letters. They describe him as a very doubtful young man, and maybe an agent of the GPU.
GOLDMAN: Did you ever see Olberg personally?
GOLDMAN: All your relations with him were through correspondence?
TROTSKY: From political and theoretical correspondence.
GOLDMAN: With the permission of the Commission, I want to read into the record an excerpt from the letter of Franz Pfemfert dated April 1, 1930. The letter, I presume, is to you, Mr. Trotsky?
GOLDMAN: These are only quotations from the letter: “Olberg produces the most unfavorable and the most untrustworthy impression.” I want to inform the Commission that this letter is a translation, I presume from the German, and you will see by the language that it is a translation. Perhaps a better translation will be made.
TROTSKY: It is written in good German.
FINERTY: I understand, Mr. Goldman, that all these letters will be at the disposal of the Commission in originals.
TROTSKY: The originals are in my possession.
FINERTY: And will be in our possession.
He had hardly taken a seat in my study ... when he put a couple of questions so tactless that I answered with counter-questions: When did you come to Germany? Answer: I have been living here a long time. What is your profession? Answer: Journalist. Where do you work? Answer: Until January I was on the Inprecorr editorial staff.
The Inprecorr is a magazine published weekly by the Communist International for the benefit of the Communist Parties and distributed to all the Organizations of the Communist Parties in the world.
RUEHLE: The press correspondence.
STOLBERG: It is an official organ?
GOLDMAN: Yes. I am continuing Franz Pfemfert’s letter:
I really had enough at that point ... it was painfully dear to me ... that he had so suddenly been transformed and now was attempting to find out internal matters about T. [referring to Trotsky] and the Opposition in general ...
... I observed that he ... was already chattering (to Nayville and Shachtman, who were present) about his trip to L.T. as secretary, and that he was molesting the comrades with insistent questions: How strong is the group of the Vérité? [Vérité was the French Trotskyite newspaper.]
... How strong in the United States? What will he have to do at L.D’s? etc.
... Sch. had the same impression as A. and I. ...
... We should not underestimate Stalin’s gang. They will attempt by every means to introduce spies into our ranks, at least in order to obtain our list of addresses and to know our illegal work.
... Perhaps Olberg is only a journalist and not yet a direct agent of Stalin. But he has not yet been tested
... I consider it my duty as your comrade and as a revolutionary to state how I view the matter.
... Olberg has no place in your house, because in twenty-four hours he would be an insupportable burden to you and – possibly ... fabricate reports for the GPU.
FINERTY: What is the date of that letter?
GOLDMAN: April 1, 1930.
TROTSKY: Permit me to communicate to you that Franz Piemfert did not belong to the organization. He is a personal friend of mine, an editor, but he is not a Trotskyite.
GOLDMAN: Now, I have in my possession many documents referring to the correspondence between Trotsky and Olberg, and either a copy or an original of the letter I just quoted. These will be made available to the Commission. I simply introduce these as the “0lberg Exhibit.” Such as are possible, we will translate for the Commission before the Commission leaves.
GOLDMAN: I presume that our technical equipment is not of such a nature as to do that, so that all of the exhibits referring to Trotsky’s relations with Olberg, and that which will be brought out later referring to the passport of Olberg, will be made available to the Commission either here or more probably in New York.
FINERTY: Does that exhibit include correspondence between Trotsky and Olberg?
GOLDMAN: These contain correspondence between you and Olberg? There are a lot of Russian letters.
TROTSKY: Yes, they are the original letters of Olberg and the copies of my answers to him.
GOLDMAN: Did you hear that, Mr. Finerty?
TROTSKY: It is the originals of the letters of Olberg and the copies of mine answering him, and also the originals of letters of Olberg to my son, but not the copies of his answers to him.
GOLDMAN: There is a supplementary sub-exhibit entitled, “Who is Olberg and What is Olberg’s Passport?” all about the question dealing with the Honduran passport. That is one of the exhibits here.
FINERTY: Mr. Trotsky, is your complete correspondence with Mr. Olberg present?
TROTSKY: Absolutely complete. After the letters of Pfemfert, it was very difficult for me to enter into any more intimate correspondence with him.
GOLDMAN: The entire list of exhibits deals with copies of letters and originals of letters from friends of Trotsky, and Trotsky dealing with Olberg; this information which they gave him about Olberg containing especially the original letter of Franz Pfemfert to Trotsky.
TROTSKY: Franz Pfemfert and his wife.
BEALS: Pardon me, in this question did you use the name of Vladimir Romm?
TROTSKY: Alexandra Ramm. She is my translator in the German language.
GOLDMAN: There are parts of the exhibits containing some information not directly connected with Olberg, but information in reference to Nathan Lurye, one of the defendants.
TROTSKY: Excuse me, there is a great difference. There you have documents written to me after the Moscow trials by different people informing me about what they knew about Lurye and Berman-Yurin. It was after the Moscow trials. The first exhibit contains original letters belonging to the period indicated by me – preceding the trial.
GOLDMAN: A list of the documents with reference to Olberg, classifying these documents and, in short, giving you an idea of these documents, will be handed you before you leave. But, if not possible, all of these will be translated and given to the Commission some time after they leave, as soon as our technical equipment is better than now.
LAFOLLETTE: I understand that at this moment they are at the disposal of the Commission.
GOLDMAN: Yes. Now, I have other documents. One, a statement of Dr. Maria Blume, an affidavit, a sworn affidavit of the said Maria Blume, who lives in New York. She mentions something and gives information about N. Lurye, one of the defendants. I will introduce it for whatever it is worth, and the Commission can have a chance to read it, as it is in English. Second, a letter in German by Georg Jungclas, written in Copenhagen, October 30, 1936, dealing with Berman-Yurin. I also introduce it for whatever it is worth.
FINERTY: I understand the purpose of introducing these documents is to give the Commission lines of investigation which they may apply in tracing the history of the witnesses whom Mr. Trotsky says he does not know personally.
GOLDMAN: Also to give the Commission every authority and source existing to cross-examine other than here, and to give the Commission an idea of the character of these defendants as far as revealed through these sources by further investigation.
BEALS: Is there an indication of the whereabouts of these various people?
GOLDMAN: In the Maria Blume affidavit it states: “I, Maria Blume, resident ...,” giving you an idea as to where she is. She can be investigated further if you so desire.
DEWEY: She can be cross examined in New York?
GOLDMAN: She is available. I personally do not know her. We received this, and the Commission can make all efforts to see her in New York.
FINERTY: I might suggest, Mr. Goldman, you should not file with the Commission persons whose addresses you cannot give us.
GOLDMAN: Well, suppose we do this: Supposing we file with the Commission such documents, subject to be stricken from the record if we do not inform you of the addresses.
FINERTY: We do not want to receive any names or documents without ―
TROTSKY: Initially, is – excuse me. We can indicate the person and get the address.
FINERTY: That is what I mean, Mr. Trotsky; we must have a means of reaching the person for investigation.
GOLDMAN: Here I have two documents of Maslow, a former member of the German Communist Party, expelled some time, I believe in 1927 ―
TROTSKY: I am not so sure, 1927 or 1928.
GOLDMAN: 1927 or 1928. He is now residing in Paris, and his address we shall furnish to the Commission. These are documents dealing, one with Moses Lurye, one of the defendants, and the other with Berman-Yurin. Here he is referred to as Alexander Stauer. Evidently, he had another name beside Berman-Yurin. [In the report of the first Moscow trial, his alias is given as Alexander Fomich – Ed.]
And here we have a photostatic copy of the article written by Moses Lurye, under the name of Alexander Emel, in the International Press Correspondence. This is the official organ of the Communist International and is No.96, written in German.
THE REPORTER: What is the date?
GOLDMAN: It does not appear from the appended document. We shall, however, furnish – oh, yes, the 13th of November, 1932.
FINERTY: How do you identify him with the pseudonym?
GOLDMAN: Maslow’s statement declares that Alexander Emel is the same as Moses Lurye – subject, of course, to being cross examined in Paris, where Maslow is residing. [Moses Lurye is referred to as Alexander Emel on page 175 of the Report of the Court Proceedings of the first Moscow trial – Ed.]
TROTSKY: Maslow is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International.
GOLDMAN: So. I repeat, I am introducing documents with reference to Olberg.
STOLBERG: Is Maslow now in the Left Opposition?
TROTSKY: More or less.
GOLDMAN: I am introducing documents with reference to Moses Lurye, Berman-Yurin, and also one document with reference to Nathan Lurye.
FINERTY: You are marking them as separate exhibit numbers?
GOLDMAN: Yes. The Olberg Exhibit, containing numerous documents, was marked Exhibit No.8. The documents with reference to Moses Lurye, Berman-Yurin and Nathan Lurye will be bound in one exhibit and identified as Exhibit No.9, A, B and C.
GOLDMAN: These, I repeat, are available for the Commission’s inspection. That finishes, as far as I recall, the defendants involved In the first trial, the Zinoviev trial, held in August, 1936. When did you first meet Karl Radek?
TROTSKY: I believe it was in 1909 or 1910, during one of the International congresses.
GOLDMAN: What political relationship did you have with him before October 1917?
TROTSKY: No political relationship, in the strict sense of the word. From time to time we exchanged a letter about a book, or we met at international congresses. He belonged at that time to the German party, not the Russian party. He was working in Leipzig or Berlin.
GOLDMAN: What group was he connected with in the German party?
TROTSKY: He was connected with Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogisches – with the left wing. Then he separated from Rosa Luxemburg, but he remained to the right of the left wing of the Social Democratic Party.
GOLDMAN: When did you first see him – in Moscow, when you returned, or Leningrad, at that time Petrograd, when you returned from the United States?
TROTSKY: It was, I believe, during 1918. He came with Lenin through Germany to the Scandinavias, but he remained in Stockholm. He could not go to Russia at that time. It was the work largely of Germany and Austria. He was an Austrian citizen, and he remained in Stockholm as the literary representative of the Russian Bolsheviks.
GOLDMAN: He arrived in Russia when, to the best of your knowledge?
TROTSKY: It seems to me at the end of 1918.
GOLDMAN: Of 1918?
STOLBERG: I didn’t hear your question.
GOLDMAN: When did Radek arrive in Russia? To the best of your knowledge, when did he become a member of the Bolshevik Party?
GOLDMAN: Upon his arrival in Russia?
GOLDMAN: What rôle did he play in the Russian Revolution at the time?
TROTSKY: He didn’t play a rôle during the Revolution, in the exact sense of the word. He came later. He was active for a certain time – throughout he was active as a journalist. He is a journalist.
GOLDMAN: That is his main profession?
TROTSKY: That is his profession; that is his nature. (Laughter) He was active for a certain time in the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, but the diplomats claimed that it was absolutely impossible to say anything in his presence, because tomorrow it was known by all the city. We removed him immediately.
He became a member of the Central Committee, and as a member of the Central Committee he had a right to assist in the sessions of the Politburo. Lenin organized our meetings, of the Politburo, somewhat secretly to avoid Radek, because we did, as you understand, discuss very delicate matters in the Politburo. His reputation in these matters is absolutely established.
FINERTY: Will you give the dates when he was a member of the Central Committee?
GOLDMAN: When was he a member of the Central Committee?
TROTSKY: I believe it was in 1921; 1920 or 1921, I am not absolutely sure.
DEWEY: Was he removed?
TROTSKY: He was not re-elected.
GOLDMAN: To the best of your knowledge, do you remember any articles by you, or Lenin, or Stalin, or some other people, characterizing Radek as you have characterized him just now?
TROTSKY: Yes. During the Seventh Party Congress, in 1918, when Brest-Litovsk was being discussed, the question of Radek’s words, “Lenin yields ground to gain time,” Lenin remarked – the quotation is from the verbatim report: “I will return to Comrade Radek, but here I must observe that he has accidentally spoken a serious phrase.” And again, in the same speech: “This time it has come about that Comrade Radek had an entirely serious word.”
GOLDMAN: Any further quotations?
TROTSKY: Stalin, in a speech, January 1924, at a Party Congress – it was some days before Lenin’s death – said: “Most men’s heads control their tongues; Radek’s tongue controls his head.” Excuse me, these are not my words.
GOLDMAN: That is Stalin’s?
TROTSKY: Stalin, yes.
GOLDMAN: What position did he take in the struggle of the Left Opposition against the bureaucracy?
TROTSKY: Which opposition? To each opposition – not a firm one. During 1923, between 1923 and 1926, he hesitated between the so-called Trotskyites and the Right Opposition in Germany, the Brandlerites. He hesitated between them and us, but remained in good relations with me personally. At that time he wrote his very well known article, Leon Trotsky, the Organizer of the Victory, in the Pravda of March 14, 1923.
GOLDMAN: This is the article written by Karl Radek in Russian, excerpts of which have been translated, appearing in Pravda, March 14, 1923, entitled, Leon Trotsky, the Organizer of the Victory. (Mr. Goldman hands document to the Commission.)
I shall read a few excerpts into the record:
The history of the proletarian revolution has shown how one can change the pen for the sword. Trotsky is one of the best writers on world socialism, and his literary qualities did not prevent him from being the first head, the first organizer of the first army of the proletariat. The Revolution changed to a Sword the pen of its best publicist.
The Marxist Trotsky did not see merely the external discipline of the army, the cannon, the technique, but he also saw the living persons who serve as instruments of war, he saw the ranks which advanced on the battlefield. Trotsky is the author of the first pamphlet which gives a broad analysis of the fall of the International ...
Referring to the Second International, obviously.
At the time of its worst degeneration, Trotsky did not lose confidence in the future of socialism ...
One of the most remarkable documents of his comprehension of the class structure of the army, of the spirit of the army, was his speech on the July offensive of Kerensky, pronounced, it seems, at the first Congress of the Soviet, and to the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ deputies in Petrograd. In this speech, Trotsky predicted the checking of the offensive; this prediction was not on the basis of information on the state of military technique at the front, but on the basis of the analysis of the political situation of the army, You, he said, addressing himself to the Mensheviks and the SR’s, you ask the government to revise the ends of the war. You say to the army that the former ends in the name of which Tsarism and the bourgeoisie asked unheard-of sacrifices do not correspond to the interests of the Russian workers and peasants. You have not arrived at the point of revising the ends. In the place of Tsar and country you have set nothing, and you ask the army in the name of this nothingness to enter into a severe struggle, pour out its blood. It is impossible to fight in the name of nothing. Thus, in Trotsky’s manner of posing the question, there is the whole secret of his greatness as organizer of the Red Army ...
Without for a moment admitting that a voluntary army could save Russia, Trotsky built it like an apparatus that was necessary for him in creating the new army. But if already in this was shown the organizing genius of Trotsky, this firmness of thought found an even clearer expression in his courageous fashion of approaching the question of utilizing the military specialists for the building of the army ...
But Comrade Trotsky did not only know, thanks to this energy, how to submit the old corps of officers to himself. He did more. He won the confidence of the best elements among the specialists, and changed them from enemies of Soviet Russia into its convinced partisans ...
It needed a man, an incarnation of the summons to the struggle, who, submitting himself to the necessity of the struggle, became the bell which calls to arms, the will which exacts, from all, absolute submission to the great, bloody necessity. Only a man who works as much as Trotsky. only a man as pitiless toward himself as Trotsky, only a man who knows how to speak to the soldier as Trotsky spoke, could become the standard bearer of the armed workers. He was all these in one person. He made the advice of the specialists into a part of his mind, and knew how to integrate it with the appreciation of the social relationships of forces, the driving forces from fourteen fronts united as one coming from tens of thousands of Communists who said, What makes up an active army, how can one work with it, under what form must one’s influence be exercised? 1-le knew how to forge it under a strategic plan and an organizational scheme. And during all the enormous work, he knew how to employ, as few can, the science of the importance of moral factors in war-time ...
If our Party goes down in history as the first party of the proletariat which knew how to build a great army, this burning page of history of the Russian Revolution will always be allied with the name of Lev Davidovitch Trotsky, a man whose work and actions will be the objects not only of love but also of the science of the study of the new generation of the working class which is preparing itself for the conquests of the whole world.
GOLDMAN: These are translations. The original is in Russian, and the excerpts were translated to show what Radek thought, in 1923, of the witness, Leon Trotsky.
TROTSKY: He wrote another article on the 21st of August 1936, entitled: The Fascist Band, Trotskyist-Zinovievist, and its Hetman Trotsky.
TROTSKY: During the trial, during the Zinoviev trial, when Radek belonged to the alleged parallel Trotskyite center.
GOLDMAN: The first document, the one written by Radek March 14, 1923, I am identifying as Exhibit No.10.
GOLDMAN: The second document, the article by Karl Radek, in the Pravda, the article which has not been translated, but which, I hope, will be for the benefit of the Commission, was published in Pravda on the 21st ―
GOLDMAN: Isvestia, that is right – on the 21st of August, 1936, and is entitled The Fascist Band, Trotskyist-Zinovievist, and its Hetman Trotsky.
TROTSKY: Some quotations are translated.
GOLDMAN: I read a few excerpts:
The super-bandit Trotsky was in Norway, organizer of the assassination of the best leaders of the world proletariat ... The thing takes place in the presence of hundreds of persons, tens of foreign correspondents, and no one who has not lost his reason believes that the accused are calumniating themselvs or Trotsky.
FINERTY: Mr. Goldman, the last article which you referred to is one referred to by Vyshinsky on Page 485 of the transcript of the second trial?
GOLDMAN: That’s right, where Vyshinsky mentions the article of Radek. I will introduce it as Exhibit No.11.
TROTSKY: There is another article by Radek, of November 21, 1935, in Pravda, on the Red Army. He speaks of its organization, its victories and so on. In this article my name is not mentioned. That was in November 21, 1935, during the time when Radek directed the “parallel Trotskyite center.“
GOLDMAN: Now, Mr. Trotsky, was Radek a member of the bloc of Trotskyites and Zinovievites in 1926 and 1927?
GOLDMAN: What happened to him at the Fifteenth Congress?
TROTSKY: The same as with the others. He was expelled and banished to Siberia. He became very hesitating in Siberia, and he capitulated in 1929.
GOLDMAN: So, he was in Siberia between the time of his expulsion from the Party and the time of his capitulation in 1929?
GOLDMAN: Did you have any correspondence with him during that time?
GOLDMAN: Did you write articles about his capitulation?
TROTSKY: I had an involuntary and indirect communication with him.
GOLDMAN: What connection did you have with him?
TROTSKY: Blumkin, a member of the Bolshevik Party and a former member of my military secretariat, was in Constantinople on an official mission.
TROTSKY: In Constantinople, he visited me and also met my son in the street.
GOLDMAN: In Constantinople?
TROTSKY: In Constantinople. He took him to his room, to his hotel. My son saw Blumkin. Blumkin said: “I will see the old man.’ My son came to me and said: “He will see you.” I said, “Absolutely impossible. It is too risky.” He insisted so that I had to accept, but very secretly. He went to Russia, to Moscow. Radek came from Siberia as a capitulator. He had absolute confidence in Radek – an old confidence.
GOLDMAN: You mean Blumkin had?
TROTSKY: Yes, Blumkin. He was younger than Radek. He visited him, and Radek denounced Blumkin immediately to the GPU.
GOLDMAN: Blumkin visited Radek, and, according to your information, what did Blumkin say to Radek?
TROTSKY: He informed him about his visit to me, on his own initiative. Because, if he had asked me about telling of this visit, it would have been absolutely impossible for him to do such a stupid thing.
GOLDMAN: What did Radek do after Blumkin informed him of his visit to you?
TROTSKY: He denounced him for his visit to me.
GOLDMAN: What happened to Blumkin?
TROTSKY: He was shot.
GOLDMAN: How did you acquire that information?
TROTSKY: We had many letters about this event from Moscow. The event itself was published in the world press.
GOLDMAN: From whom did you receive these letters?
TROTSKY: From my friends, from Trotskyites.
GOLDMAN: You are ready to produce them in executive session?
TROTSKY: They are published in the Bulletin without the names. They are published.
GOLDMAN: In the Opposition Bulletin?
GOLDMAN: Have you made any translations of certain letters?
TROTSKY: Yes; I can quote that information.
GOLDMAN: Will you please first mention the date when these articles appeared in the Bulletin?
TROTSKY: Yes, there is also a very interesting letter about his trip from Siberia – of the highest interest. It is an original letter from an Oppositionist. on a postal card from Siberia. It would be good to submit to the Commission.
GOLDMAN: Just for the Commission to see what kind of cards were written from Siberia to Trotsky. You could not possibly read it. (Attorney Goldman exhibits postal cards written to Trotsky in microscopic writing) This is part of the illegal correspondence from Russia to Trotsky.
STOLBERG: Addressed to him?
GOLDMAN: Addressed to him.
TROTSKY: My address in Turkey, Constantinople.
GOLDMAN: To what name?
TROTSKY: L. Sedov.
GOLDMAN: Will you ―
DEWEY: Mr. Goldman, I suppose at some time there will be an opportunity for going into the matter of the underground work and the method or technique of communication?
GOLDMAN: Yes, we shall deal with that.
TROTSKY: It is not underground, Mr. Chairman.
GOLDMAN: I think it was written – it was legal, because the card was sent out.
DEWEY: I don’t mean this particular thing.
TROTSKY: It is not signed by the genuine name of the individual from whom it comes.
FINERTY: Was it written with a code?
TROTSKY: No, it was in 1929. It was a time when there were too many Oppositionists in Siberia everywhere. The GPU was demoralized by the consequences of its own action. A certain democracy was established among the deported Oppositionists. They had an opportunity to send letters and discuss. But the beginning of 1931 or at the end of 1930, this beautiful era was finished.
GOLDMAN: This post card – this stamp on it contains the numbers 2/10/1929 – sent to L. Sedov, Turkey, Constantinople, deals with the affair of Blumkin and Radek?
TROTSKY: No. It precedes the affair. It is about Radek. On the ride from Tomsk to Moscow he met Oppositionists. As a capitulator, under the convoy of the GPU, he met some Oppositionists who held a conversation with Radek. Shall I give you some translations from this letter?
GOLDMAN: Does the Commission care to hear it?
TROTSKY: At one of the railroad stations in Siberia he had a conversation with the exiles which one of the participants revealed in a letter abroad. It is published in the Russian Bulletin, No.6, October 1929. It is only part of the quotation. “Question: And what is your attitude towards L.D. [Trotsky]? Radek: I have definitely broken with L.D. From now on we are political adversaries. With the collaborator of Lord Beaverbrook we have nothing in common.
I do not know what I have in common with Lord Beaverbrook, but it is so written. The next speaks of Article 58. It is the penal code on the ground of which we were all arrested and banished to Siberia. I read on: “Question: Do you demand the abolition of Article 58? Radek: Not at all! For those who come along with us it will be abolished by itself. But we will not abolish Article 58 for those who follow a path of undermining the Party, which will organize the discontent of the masses. – The agents of the GPU do not let us talk ...” And so on.
GOLDMAN: This is a translation from the post card?
TROTSKY: Yes, it is a translation.
GOLDMAN: I will mark this post card Exhibit No.12.
TROTSKY: Will you permit a quotation on Blumkin?
DEWEY: All right.
TROTSKY: In the summer of 1929, Blumkin visited me in Constantinople. Here is what I find stated in the Bulletin on the basis of letters received from Moscow. The date is December 25, 1929. And the quotation: “Radek’s nervous babbling is well known. Now he is absolutely demoralized, like the majority of the capitulators ... Having lost the last remnants of moral equilibrium, Radek stops before no abjection.” The correspondence relates how “Blumkin was betrayed after his meeting with Radek.” From that time on he became the most odious figure of the Left Opposition, because he was not only a capitulator, but a traitor.
LAFOLLETTE: Do you mean, odious to the Left Opposition or of the Left Opposition?
TROTSKY: To the Left Opposition, yes.
DEWEY: Mr. Goldman, there is considerable material in this book based on the Platform of the Opposition. Will you please have it looked through, so that the passages can be identified for the record as part of the evidence?
GOLDMAN: I think the whole platform will be introduced.
DEWEY: We will adjourn until four o’clock.
Last updated on: 3.4.2007