Written: 15 August 1936
First Published: Socialist Appeal [Chicago], Volume 2, No. 8 pages 10-11
Translated: Socialist Appeal
Transcription/HTML Markup: Damon Maxwell and David Walters
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2008. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
At the moment when I am preparing this statement, I have not had available the original text of the sensational TASS report. I am familiar with it only through a secondary source. But the main features of it, which have been transmitted to me, are sufficient to brand this report immediately as one of the greatest falsifications in the history of politics.
The TASS agency speaks of a conspiracy of the so-called Trotsky-Zinoviev group. The ruling bureaucracy calls every criticism directed against it a conspiracy. I assume that criticism is spreading to wider and wider circles in the Soviet Union. This phenomenon I can only greet with joy. It is quite possible that many, and quite diverse, elements who represent this critical feeling have referred to my name—i.e., to my ideas and my writings. But the TASS report also declares that the charges concern a terroristic plot against the leaders of the regime, and that this conspiracy is directed by me from Norway.
I herewith declare that this contention does not contain an iota of truth. To everyone who is acquainted with recent political history, it is indubitable that the report circulated by TASS stands in sharpest contradiction to my ideas and to the whole of my activities, which at the present time are devoted exclusively to writing.
Ever since my entry into the revolutionary movement in 1897, I have been, as have all Russian Marxists, an uncompromising opponent of individual terror as a method of struggle, a method which in the final analysis can only serve the interests of absolutism and Bonapartism.
I emphatically assert that since I have been in Norway I have had no connections with the Soviet Union—nor have I received a single letter from the Soviet Union, neither have I written a single letter to anybody there either directly or through other persons.
My sole activity in connection with the Soviet Union has been restricted to the writing of articles which were published in the world press and to a book which will be published in the near future in several countries. My wife and I have not been able even once to exchange a single line with our son, who has been employed in the Soviet Union in a scientific capacity and who has had no political connections whatsoever.
Because I am a man without a country and am now utilizing the right of asylum in Norway, I believe that the accuracy of the contention that has been advanced that I have directed a terroristic conspiracy from Norway can be best determined by the appointment of a competent government commission which would investigate the charges contained in the documents. On my part, I am prepared to furnish such a commission a full accounting of my activities in Norway—day by day, and hour by hour. It is also my opinion that this measure could be made more complete by the nomination of an impartial international commission by the labor organizations of the entire world, or better still of it international leaders, to investigate the charges made in the Soviet Union. This commission could make a public report of their investigation. I maintain that their report would expose the charges in all their falsity. I am also prepared to accept any other method of investigation that would give public opinion a better explanation of the principal motives which have prompted the charges against the others and myself. In this matter I have nothing to fear and nothing to hide. As for myself, I am only concerned with establishing the truth.
— Signed, LEON TROTSKY.
Kristiansand, August 15, 1936.
Last updated on: 20.4.2007