The Red Book

On the Moscow Trials


This Red Book is only a first contribution to the analysis of the Moscow trial.

Except for the first chapter, which is of a general political character, and the second, which recalls previous facts, both of which are likely to be of less immediate interest to the reader, this work, based on the official record, is dedicated to the analysis of the trial itself. It has already appeared in Russian, as an editorial article in the Bulletin of the Opposition: the author has revised it for the French edition.

The inquiry is in its first few stages. New information and new evidence will not be lone in coming. Certain documents have not been given space in these pages because we do not consider it possible to render them public before they have been rigorously verified, as well as the circumstances connected with them.

The author of these lines keeps himself apart from active politics. He has never addressed himself to public opinion. He is only doing so today because compelling reasons have constrained him.

In Moscow, men have been trampled in the mud, shot for crimes they never committed and assassinated.

Leon Trotsky – the author’s father – has been slandered ignominiously, slandered as very few have been in history. All his revolutionary honor and all his work of forty years have been implicated.

And the slanders have already born fruit; Leon Trotsky is interned and condemned to silence so that, once accused, he may not become the accuser.

The author of these lines is also one of the accused in the Moscow trial. He has the right to defend himself. But it is above all a two-fold duty which is required of him. The duty of the only accused still at liberty to establish the truth; the duty to defend Trotsky’s honor.

The real trial, that of the Moscow executioners, has only just begun. Our only weapon is the truth. We are pursuing our task to the end, without weakening, whatever the difficulties that must be overcome. The truth will emerge.

Not a stone will remain standing of the monstrous Stalinist plot. The dreadful responsibility will come down on the Moscow Thermidorians.

Stalin’s crime will appear as it is, one of the greatest of modern history.

October 28, 1936

L. Sedov

Last updated on: 13.2.2005