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Trotskyist Victims of Stalinist and Fascist Reaction

We Pay Tribute to Our Many Martyrs
in the Cause of Liberty

(April 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 17, 26 April 1943, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

More than two and a half years after the murder of Leon Trotsky, Stalin’s henchman and confessed assassin, Jacques Mornard, alias Frank Jacson, was sentenced last week to serve twenty years in a Mexican prison. He was convicted for premeditated murder. Although the court which passed sentence did not directly link Jacson to Stalin’s GPU, there can be no question in anyone’s mind that Jacson’s act was carried through at the behest of the destroyer of the Russian Revolution, Joseph Stalin, and that Jacson himself was for a long period an agent of the notorious GPU. During his thirty-two-month imprisonment Jacson had plenty of money, and it most likely came from the Stalinist machine.

On August 20, 1940, when Jacson struck an alpenstock into the brain of Leon Trotsky, Stalin succeeded in crowning his long, bloody record of murder and assassination of the men and women who had devoted their lives to creating the first workers’ republic. For over fifteen years now, Stalin has been systematically wiping out not only the Old Bolsheviks, not only the Trotskyists, but all who oppose his counter-revolutionary regime. This terror has not been confined to the borders of Russia, nor has it ceased to this day. The GPU has spread its tentacles throughout the world.

Ever since his expulsion from the Russian Communist Party in 1927 and his deportation from Russia in 1929, Leon Trotsky had been hounded by Stalin’s agents. After a few years in Turkey, Trotsky took up residence in France. That was during the days of the long-since forgotten Franco-Soviet pact. Stalin saw to it that Trotsky was expelled from France. Norway, his next place of asylum, was pressured by Russia into expelling the world’s outstanding revolutionist. He was virtually a prisoner in Norway until Mexico agreed to offer Trotsky refuge. The Mexican Stalinists conducted an endless campaign to have Trotsky deported from Mexico. The GPU made several attempts on his life in Mexico. In August 1940 Stalin had his way.

From 1927 up to the time of his death Trotsky remained the indefatigable revolutionist he had been ever since he first entered the workers’ movement in the small Russian town of Nikolayev in 1896. His years of exile were spent in the most creative work. The large collection of books and articles written in those thirteen years is testimony of the fact that Trotsky never for one moment faltered in his devotion and faith in the idea of socialist emancipation, and that he worked with every resource at his command to hasten the day of working class victory.

Stalin thought he could destroy Trotsky by exiling him from Russia. He thought he could end Trotsky’s influence by slander. The Moscow Trials, the most infamous of all frame-ups, were used to smear Trotsky’s name, to tie him to the Gestapo, but the prosecutors only succeeded in revealing the depraved depths to which they had sunk. Trotsky’s record was vindicated by the Dewey Commission hearings held in Mexico City, and the Moscow Trials were exposed for what they were – a sham to cover the physical annihilation of the few remaining Old Bolsheviks, comrades of Lenin, who might serve as a reminder of the once-glorious Russian Revolution.

The outbreak of the Second World War, which found Stalin in a shameless partnership with Hitler, stripped the Russian bureaucracy of its last disguises. It stood revealed for all to see – a class which lives off the toil and sweat of the Russian workers, which conquers and plunders foreign territories for its own profits, and engages in imperialist war. Only the voice of the Fourth International rang out clearly against the war. It alone pointed to socialism as. the way out of the capitalist morass.

In his craven stupidity, Stalin sought to wipe out the Fourth International, the program and idea of proletarian solidarity and socialism, by killing its leader, Leon Trotsky. Like all despots before him, like all contemporary tyrants and oppressors, he seeks to still the inevitable revolt of the millions and hundreds of millions by jailings and bullets.

How wrong, how very wrong, Stalin is! His victory is but a fleeting one, for to destroy the idea of socialism, he would have to destroy the working class itself. A thousand and one times “Trotskyism” has been declared “liquidated,” finished, dead – and yet it lives on. It lives in the prisons of Stalin, in the concentration camps of Hitler, in the underground movements of Europe; it lives in the Indian and Ceylonese jails, in the faraway reaches of China and Indo-China; it lives and grows in every country where there is oppression and where men fight back. For Trotskyism is the hope and dream of human liberation; it is the road to the socialist revolution and to the international brotherhood of man. It can be hounded, it can be jailed, its leaders can be killed – but its ideas cannot be destroyed.

On this May Day 1943, when the entire world is aflame, when thousands are dying on the altar of profits, when the rulers Of the capitalist countries do not know how to extricate themselves from this chaos, we pause to pay our tribute to our fallen comrades, martyrs in the struggle against capitalist and Stalinist reaction, who saw clearly the road ahead and remained loyally at their posts until the very end. We remember also and honor the nameless hundreds and thousands who have given their full measure to the cause of socialist liberation.

BELGIUM: Leon Lesoil – executed by the Nazis, 1942.

BRAZIL: Hilcar Leite, Honorio de Frecras Guimaroes, Carlos Prestes.

CUBA: Gosron Medina – died of tuberculosis contracted in Cuban jail, 1938.

FRANCE: Jean Meichler – executed by the Nazis, 1942.

GERMANY: Rudolph Forko – died in Nazi concentration camp, 1937. Rudolph Klement – kidnapped and killed by the GPU in Paris, 1938.

GREECE: Scalaios – died in a concentration camp.


RUSSIA: Add to the thousands of proletarian fighters in the Siberian concentration camps; to the thousands murdered in the Stalinist purges: Glasman – suicide, 1924. A.A. Joffe – suicide, 1927. Heinrichsen, Butov, Sulov, Rabinovitch, Rosanoff, Zinzadze – died in Stalinist concentration camps. Blumkin – shot by GPU, 1929. Nina Trotsky – died in Russian hospital because of lack of medical care. Zinzaide Trotsky – driven to suicide by Stalinist persecution, 1933. Sergei Sedoff – missing in Russian exile. Leon Sedoff – died in hospital in France, undoubtedly at hands of GPU. Christian Rakovsky – reported dead in Russia exile. Ignace Reiss – murdered by GPU, 1937.

SPAIN: David Rabull – executed by Franco, 1939. Andres Nin, Moulin, Edwin Wolf – killed by GPU in Spain. Hans Freund – killed by fascists in Spain.

UNITED STATES: Sheldon Harte – kidnapped and killed by GPU in Mexico, 1940.

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