MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People



Tranmael, Martin (1879-1967)

Leader of the Norwegian Labor Party and editor of its paper. After refusing to expel dissidents at the demand of the Executive Committee of the Comintern, he broke completely with the International and later helped merge the Norwegian Labor Party into the Socialist International.


Tresca, Carlo (1879-1943).

Carlo Tresca (1879 Sulmona, Italy - January 11, 1943 New York City) was an Italian-born American anarchist, newspaper editor, and labor agitator.

Labor organizer

He was active as the branch secretary of the Italian Railroad Workers’ Federation and editor of the newspaper Il Germe. Tresca moved to the United States in 1904, to escape a prison term for his radical political activities in Italy. He settled in Philadelphia, where he became the editor of Il Proletario, the official newspaper of the Italian Socialist Federation (ISF). Tresca helped shift the political orientation of the ISF to Syndicalism.

Tresca and anarchism

Tresca’s political views became increasingly more radical and he soon came to identify himself as an anarchist. Tresca resigned as editor of Il Proletario and began publishing his own newspaper, La Plebe. He would later transfer La Plebe to Pittsburgh and, with it, revolutionary ideas to Italian miners and mill workers in Western Pennsylvania.

Tresca joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1912, when he was invited by the union to Lawrence, Massachusetts to help mobilize the Italian workers during a campaign to free strike leaders Joseph Ettor and Arturo Giovannitti, who were in prison on false murder charges. After the victorious strike in Lawrence, Tresca was active in several strikes across the United States; the Little Falls, New York textile workers’ strike (1912), the New York City hotel workers’ strike (1913), the Paterson silk strike (1913), and the Mesabi Range, Minnesota, miners’ strike (1916).

Opposition to fascism, Stalinism, and the Mafia

Tresca became a major figure among Italian-Americans in trying to halt Benito Mussolini’s attempts to organize Italian immigrants into Fascist support groups. At this time, Tresca was editing an anti-Fascist newspaper named Il Martello, where he blasted Mussolini as a class enemy and traitor (the latter accusation made reference to the socialist roots of Fascism). Tresca’s activities were being monitored in Rome, while, in the United States, he was under heavy surveillance from the American government. In 1926, Fascists attempted to assassinate Tresca with a bomb during a rally. He was part of the defense committee for accused murderers Sacco and Vanzetti, and frequently spoke in their defense at rallies and in articles.

During the 1930s, Tresca became an outspoken opponent of Soviet Communists and Stalinism, particularly after the Soviet Union had engineered the destruction of the anarchist movement in Catalonia and Aragon during the Spanish Revolution.[1] Prior to this, Tresca had supported the Bolsheviks, reasoning that a Communist state was preferable to a capitalist state, regarding Soviet Communists as allies in the fight against Fascism.

Tresca was a member of the Dewey Commission which cleared Trotsky of all charges made during the Moscow Trials.

In early 1938 Tresca publicly accused the Soviets of kidnapping Juliet Poyntz to prevent her defection from the Communist Party USA underground apparatus. Tresca alleged that, before she had disappeared, Poyntz had talked to him about her disgust over Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror. In 1941 Tresca, in a revealing moment, admitted to Max Eastman that Nicola Sacco was guilty of the crime with which he was charged, though Vanzetti was innocent.

In New York, Tresca also began a public campaign of criticism of the Mafia in his weekly newspaper, Il Martello. Tresca appeared to be well aware of the risk he was running to his life. At the end of an article published shortly before his death, Tresca stated, “Morris Ernst, my attorney, knows all the facts. He knows that if an anti-fascist is assaulted or killed, the instigator is Generose Pope” (this is believed to be a reference to Generoso Pope Sr., a New York political power broker with ties to mobster Frank Costello, whose Italian-American newspaper interests included the Corriere d’America and the daily Il Progresso Italo-Americano).


By 1943 Tresca, on parole at the time, was under police surveillance. On January 9, 1943, his surveillance team witnessed an incident in which a speeding car attempted to run Tresca over.

Two days later, Tresca was leaving his parole officer’s offices when he dodged surveilling officers by jumping into a car that was waiting for him. Two hours later, Tresca was crossing Fifth Avenue on foot when a black Ford pulled up beside him. A short, squat gunman in a brown coat jumped out and shot Tresca in the back and head with a handgun, killing him instantly. The black Ford was later found abandoned nearby with all four doors open. It was widely believed at the time that Mafia enforcer Carmine Galante was the suspected assassin, acting on orders from Vito Genovese, who was at the time intent on gaining Mussolini’s favor by eliminating a long-time enemy.

Others have theorized that Tresca was eliminated by the NKVD as retribution for criticism of the Stalin regime of the Soviet Union.

Gleaned from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Tresca


Treves, Claudio (1868-1933)

Italian socialist. Critique of Bolshevism.



Trotsky, Leon (1879-1940)

Became a revolutionary in 1896. Later worked with Lenin on Iskra in 1902. He broke with Lenin the next year over the nature of the revolutionary party and aligned himself with the Menshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. He broke with the Mensheviks in 1904 and tried during the next decade to reunite the factions of the RSDLP. In the 1905 revolution, he was the leader of the St. Petersburg Soviet and developed the theory of Permanent Revolution. In 1915 he wrote the Zimmerwald manifesto against the war.

Trotsky joined the Bolshevik Party in 1917 and was elected to its central committee. Shortly following Trotsky helped organize the October Revolution.

Trotsky's first government post in the R.S.F.S.R. was as commissar of foreign affairs. In 1918 he became commissar of war, organizing the Red Army and leading it to victory through the civil war and imperialist intervention.

In 1923 Trotsky formed the Left Opposition and for the ensuing decade battled the reactionary wave of Stalinism sweeping through the Soviet Union. The opposition was unsuccessful, and Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party and the Comintern, and exiled to Turkey in 1927. In 1933 he gave up his efforts to reform the Comintern and called for the creation of a new International. He viewed his work on behalf of the Fourth International as the most important of his life. See the Leon Trotsky Internet Archive