From Fourth International, September 1946, Vol.7 No.9, p.284.
Transcribed, edited & formatted by Einde O’Callaghan in 2009 for ETOL.
One of the main obstacles in France to the crystallization of the Trotskyist movement was the absence of a central and regular publication. The letter appearing below is a second document written by Trotsky in this connection (a previous one, A Letter to Souvarine, appeared last month).
With the exception of Brandler, head of the right wing tendency in Germany, the references in the text of the letter are to figures in the French movement at the time.
Souvarine, upon his expulsion from the French Communist movement, flirted with the Left Opposition and then became one of the advocates of unity with the Brandlerites.
Rosmer, one of the most influential figures in the French trade union movement and in French Communism, closely collaborated with Trotsky at the time.
Treint was at one time General Secretary of the French CP. He was by profession a teacher. After his expulsion from the CP, he also flirted with the Left Opposition, only to become one of its bitterest opponents when the programmatic issues were posed point-blank by Trotsky.
Naville and Gerard were French intellectuals who remained on the periphery of the revolutionary Communist movement prior to the inception of the Trotskyist organization.
Naville was a literary man who became attracted to the Left Opposition. He took an active, and later a leading part in the French Trotskyist organization. He severed his connections with the organization after the outbreak of World War II.
Gerard, a lawyer by profession, was likewise attracted to the Trotskyist movement in 1929. He collaborated closely with Naville throughout the latter’s stay in the French section of the International Left Opposition.
For previous documentation the reader is referred to the May and August 1946 issues of our magazine.
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Last updated on 12.2.2009