Leon Trotsky

Coming Trials to Reveal
Secret Plans of G.P.U.

(November 1937)

Published: Socialist Appeal, Vol. 1 No. 16, 27 November 1937, pp. 1 & 8.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2014. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

COYOACAN, D.F., Nov. 16. – In France and in Switzerland sensational trials are imminent over the criminal activities of the G.P.U. upon the world arena. The inquiry is apparently being conducted with energy. A series of facts have already been conclusively established. One of the new facts is the painstaking preparation of an attempt upon the life of Leon Sedoff, my son living in Paris. The Swiss woman, Renata Steiner, has made a precise deposition on this affair totally confirmed by the evidence. As an agent of the G.P.U., Renata Steiner participated, as is known, in the assassination of Ignace Reiss near Lausanne. But during more than a year before this assassination, Renata Steiner and a Russian White Guard accomplice, Smirensky, were occupied in shadowing Leon Sedoff: they prepared the stealing of my archives and attempted the kidnapping of Sedoff himself. Smirensky and Renata Steiner rented an apartment next door to that of Sedoff (Rue Lacratelle 28) so that the respective balconies were only three feet apart from each other.

On November 7 of last year, Smirensky, together with other agents who will be named in time, stole 143 pounds of my archives stored by Sedoff with the Institute of Social History. The crime remained unsolved in spite of the fact that the French police did not have the slightest doubt that all threads led to Moscow.

Planned Assassination of Sedoff

In January of this year, the G.P.U. terrorists tried to arrange a trap for Leon Sedoff at Mulhouse (Muehlhausen) analogous to the one they arranged for Ignace Reiss in Lausanne. Under cover of the name of my Swiss attorney, who is occupied with a suit over slanders made by the Comintern, the conspirators repeatedly urged Leon Sedoff by telegraph and telephone to come to Muehlhausen for a conference. Only accidental circumstances prevented Sedoff from going to Muehlhausen where he was awaited at the railroad station by Renata Steiner and Smirensky. The confession of Steiner shows from what danger Sedoff was saved in January. It was just at the moment that Moscow prepared the second great Trial (Pyatakov-Radek).

The shadowing of Sedoff went on uninterruptedly until last August when Steiner, Smirens-ky, and others received an unexpected order from above to find and kill Ignace Reiss. The Kremlin considered this assassination as the most urgent, in view of the threatening disclosures from the former trusted agent. The new enterprise was, as is known, successful: Reiss was assassinated September 4. But the subsequent arrest of Steiner led to the uncovering of the terrorist G.P.U. organization in France.

Demands Duclos Be Investigated

It is beyond doubt that the judicial authorities will find the solution to a whole series of hitherto unsolved crimes (the assassination of the Russian economist, Navashin, in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris; the kidnapping of General Miller, and so on). These crimes were committed by the same organization which stole my archives, assassinated Reiss, and attempted to trap Leon Sedoff. It is in connection with all these crimes that I recommended by cable to the French authorities that they submit to interrogation, at least as a witness, Jacques Duclos, member of the Polit Bureau of French Communist Party, Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, for many years an agent of the G.P.U.

Permit me to add that such “Friends of the U.S.S.R.,” who are in reality friends of the G.P.U., should prepare themselves for very disagreeable revelations in the coming months.

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Last updated on: 21 November 2014