Leon Trotsky

Trotsky Fears Fate of Klement, G.P.U. Victim

(July 1938)

Written: 18 June 1938.
First Published: Socialist Appeal, Vol. II No. 31, 30 July 1938, p. 1.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2015. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

My friends in Paris informed New York yesterday by telephone about the disappearance of Rudolph Klement, a German exile living in Paris. Klement, a former Hamburg student, was for two years my secretary at Prinkipo and in France. He was a well educated young man, 28 years old, possessing a fluent knowledge of several languages. From Paris he had continued to give me a great deal of assistance in my literary work. Like Erwin Wolf, my Czechoslovakian secretary, Klement took an active part in the unmasking of the Moscow frame-ups and through this provoked the violent hatred of the G.P.U.

My Parisian friends say that they received a copy of a letter from Perpignan addressed to me by Klement. I have not received this letter yet. But from Klement’s previous letters it is clear that he had no intention of going anywhere. My Parisian friends think that Klement was kidnapped by the G.P.U., just as Erwin Wolf was some time ago. If this be so, it is entirely possible that the G.P.U. forcibly carried him to Spain for bloody revenge. I hesitated whether or not to give this information to the press before final verification. But since every hour lost may spell doom to my young friend, I consider it my duty to make public right now the information received by me.

Coyoacan, D.F. July 18, 1938

Leon Trotsky

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Last updated on: 12 September 2015