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Leon Trotsky, Dupe of the NKVD

Leon Trotsky and the Fourth International, efforts to destroy,
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Trotsky, Dupe

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Yacov Blumkin
As already stated, the GPU was in full control of Trotsky's correspondence with oppositionist comrades in Russia. That control began with his exile to Alma Ata. The physical conditions of this exile were pleasant. He and his family were not even under house arrest. They were accorded full freedom of movement within Alma Ata and an unrestricted supply of Party and other literature. There was no ban on correspondence by mail or wire. The GPU agents attached to the household were ostensibly concerned only with his safety and comfort. Trotsky himself duly informed the leading comrades among the oppositionists about his status, so that they felt free and safe in expressing their political views and ambitions in the exchange of correspondence. The fatal consequences of this fallacy became obvious years later in the great purge trials, executions, and suicides of 19301937.
For the same ostensible purpose of protection, CPU agents accompanied Trotsky to his exile in Turkey. He insisted on having as his personal bodyguards two persons of his own choice. In communications with GPU chief Fokin in Istanbul he named two of his loyal friends, former secretaries who had been with him at Alma Ata. The two were promised, but they never came. According to Trotsky they disappeared without a trace.13 Those assigned to Trotsky's household were subsequently dismissed by him after he signed a receipt for $2,000 allowed as subsistence money from the Soviet government.14
The overt GPU agents dismissed from Trotsky's household were promptly replaced by two different types of informants: teams from the Soviet consulate to keep the residence villa on Prinkipo Island under covert surveillance, and individual penetration agents engaged by the GPU from among the Left Opposition in Germany. The former, in addition to watching the coming and going of visitors, made occasional forays to steal Trotsky's documents and, on one occasion, to set the place on fire. The individual GPU agents, always under cover as loyal followers, took turns as residents in the household. One of these, Sobolevicius, because of his more complex activities in the GPU program to destroy the movement, will be discussed subse
13 The two were Poznansky and Sermuk, both of whom were shot, according to Natalia Sedova's account.
14 The sum given Trotsky by the GPU in Istanbul was disputed by Mrs. Trotsky (Natalia Sedova) in her accounts to Victor Serge (Vie et Mort de Trotsky. AmintDumont, Paris, 1951, p. 201). She wrote that the amount was $5,000. On the other hand, Stalin's propaganda machine claimed that Trotsky got away with millions of dollars of Soviet money.
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:33 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 02:27 PM