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New International, August 1934


For the Man on the Planet Without a Visa

From New International, Vol. I No. 2, August 1934, Inside front cover.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


A few months ago the French authorities made a raid on the residence of Leon Trotsky and immediately thereafter issued an order for his deportation. The reactionary press of France unleashed its pack of journalistic hounds to bay for Trotsky’s prompt removal from the soil of France, if not his removal from the realm of the living. Having little to fear as yet from the Fourth International as an organization, the Fascists nevertheless had cause to be disturbed by the ideas of the new International of Communism and its leader.

Trotsky to the door! has become a watchword of the reaction in France. The Stalinist spokesmen, determined to find a spot on the name of Communism which they have not yet covered with shame so that they might promptly blacken it, took every precaution to let the world know that they were not in the least interested in the fate of Trotsky. Taking the hint, the Fascists aim to see to it that whatever the fate, it will be a horrible one.

They are planning the assassination of Trotsky!

A recent issue of the New Leader of London prints an account from a Paris correspondent which we reproduce in its essential parts:

The French Fascists have discovered that the ex-Soviet War Commissar is still in France. The following note in the organ of M. Chiappe, the former Chief of Paris police, is regarded as the opening of a campaign to secure Trotsky’s assassination:

“H. Sarraut not only protects the killer Bonnefoy-Sibour. He also protects Trotsky.

“One fine morning we read in the papers that the revolutionary agitator had gone to Switzerland. The news was incorrect. Trotsky is still in France. He lives in a little village where he continues to dream of civil war.

“What is the Minister of the Interior waiting for to execute the order of expulsion? Or must we call upon the ex-servicemen themselves to conduct Trotsky to the frontier?

Trotsky’s whereabouts is at present a close secret. During the past week, however, widespread efforts have been made to extract the name of the village from police officials. At the same time. Fascist organizations in the provinces have been instructed to do their utmost to locate Trotsky.

The truth of the matter is, of course, that the present French government is as anxious to be rid of Trotsky as are the Fascists. Its only difficulty in executing the deportation order has been the want of a country to send him to. All efforts made up to the present time to obtain a visa for Trotsky, have failed. And assuming that a reactionary assassin does not murder Trotsky in the meantime – and this is becoming increasingly likely with the passage of time – the French authorities intend to put into effect the plan they have been harboring in their minds:

To deport Trotsky to a living death on a French island colony off the south-easternmost shores of Africa!

Never before has his life – to say nothing of his work – been so imminently endangered as at present. Every effort must be made to prevent the execution of the sinister plans of the French reaction.

In this country it is an elementary duty of every progressive-minded person to insist that Leon Trotsky be granted a visa, the right to asylum for a political refugee on American soil. The right of asylum was once jealously cherished not only by the radical revolutionist in the United States, but even by every liberal.

We are in a position to state that Trotsky would welcome the opportunity to come to the United States, if the legal arrangements were effected, to live here, to study, and to do his literary work, placing himself, of course, under the obligation to observe the laws of the country of his refuge.

A committee of noted persons is at the present moment being constituted for the purpose of bending efforts to obtain the necessary visa from the. United States authorities at Washington. The New International urges all its readers and friends to give unstinting assistance to this committee as soon as they are called upon.

Trotsky is now living on a planet without a visa. Let us help get one for him.

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Last updated on 25 February 2016