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Albert Glotzer


Albert Glotzer was expelled from the Communist party and its youth organization in 1928 for demanding a discussion of Trotsky’s views and expulsion from the Russian CP and exile to Siberia.

Together with others that were also expelled from the CP, Glotzer founder the Trotskyist Communist League of America in May, 1929. He was mainly responsible for preparing the founding conference in Chicago and also a member of the National Committee and Political Committee, 1930-34.

During this period Trotsky was deported from the Soviet Union and living in Turkey. Glotzer visited Trotsky there for several weeks. (He later visited Trotsky in France, 1934 and in Mexico, 1937). The visit to Turkey was followed by a tour he made of the US and Canada in 1932 on the most important theme of the day: the danger of fascism in Germany and Trotsky’s warning that unless there were a united front of struggle against the Nazis, all would be lost. For the Americans, that period meant putting out their paper, The Militant, three times a week.

A court reporter by occupation, Glotzer was the verbatim court reporter for the John Dewey Commission of Inquiry in Mexico to take testimony of Trotsky on the Moscow Frame-up trials.

Glotzer was a member of the Socialist Party in 1936-37 and one of the founders of the Socialist Workers Party in 1938. During the 30’s Hitler came to power in Germany. The Hitler-Stalin Pact was signed and WWII began with the Nazi invasion of Poland.

During 1938-39, a dispute broke out in the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party in which Glotzer and other leaders of the party, and a minority of members, rejected Trotsky’s view that the Soviet Union was a Workers’ State. Instead they maintained that it was a new totalitarian society and not defensible on the grounds it violated freedom and democracy.

This break with Trotsky led to the formation of the Workers’ Party in 1940 (later renamed Independent Socialist League). Al Glotzer was a founder, member of its National and Political Committees and at various times, editor of Labor Action and The New International, as well as National Secretary of ISL. In 1958 the ISL entered the Socialist Party, which later became Socialist Democrats, USA. He is a long time member of its National.

Retired since 1974, Glotzer resides in New York City. He has also authored several pieces on his long-time associates such as Max Shachtman and Martin Abern, and the book Trotsky, Memoir and Critique in 1990. The personal papers of Albert Glotzer are at Hoover Institution.(S.Ryan)

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Last updated: 16.2.2005