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Leon Trotsky 19321219 Letter to Osvobozhdenie

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Osvobozhdenie

December 19, 1932

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 5, 1932-33, New York 1972, p. 37 f., title: “A Letter to Bulgaria]

To Osvobozhdenie

Dear Comrades:

1. The news of the death of Christian Georgevich is false. We recently received a photograph of Rakovsky and his wife from Barnaul. Despite difficulties and privations and advancing age, Rakovsky appears extremely energetic. You get the impression of a positively youthful sparkle in his eyes. Loyalty to ideas keeps people well. A large number of copies of the photo will be reproduced in Paris. You will receive some.

2. You will read of the most important episodes connected with the visit to Copenhagen in La Vérité or the next issue of the Russian Biulleten, which is appearing shortly.

3. It is not the second volume of The History of the Russian Revolution which is being sold in Bulgaria, but only the first part of the second volume. [The two parts have already reached Bulgaria. — Ed. (Osvobozhdenie)] The whole second volume (about 750 pages) has appeared in German. The second part in Russian is appearing shortly. In my opinion my work on the history of the Russian Revolution is now completed.

4. Great events are taking place in the Soviet Union. The Stalinist group is completely isolated politically. Total confusion reigns inside the party apparatus. Stalin is bolstering himself through the GPU. The arrests are reaching unheard-of proportions. They are arresting members of the Central Committee, former people's commissars, Old Bolsheviks, etc. The most skeptical among our comrades and sympathizers write about the exceptional increase in the Left Opposition's authority and influence.

5. The temporary difficulties of Osvobozhdenie are no grounds for pessimism. In the special conditions of political development in Bulgaria over the last eight-nine years, the appearance of the Left Opposition coincided with a wave of sympathy and votes for the official party. That wave has a generally radical, partly oppositional, partly revolutionary character, unconscious, unthought-out, undifferentiated. In such conditions the working masses feel temporary satisfaction in the mere fact of their awakening and in the mere possibility of expressing their feelings by voting for workers' deputies. Taking power in the Sofia city council gives new satisfaction to the workers. Osvobozhdenie's criticism "dampens" these moods and appears unnecessary, unintelligible, even hostile. This stage is completely unavoidable.

However, things will not stop at platonic satisfaction with the election results. Questions of strategy and tactics will arise, and probably have arisen already, all the more sharply the more the party's circle of influence spreads. Much of what has already been said by Osvobozhdenie has sunk into people's minds, and under the influence of the demands of the class struggle they will take on new life and acquire more strength, and that will lead to a renewal of Osvobozhdenie.

6. In Copenhagen I had an opportunity to see some thirty comrades who came from various countries, and I received a very favorable impression. In particular, there are fine workers in Germany; however, there are also some elements of the past — skeptics, whiners, intriguers. On the eve of the German conference a crisis in the leadership is being observed there; this need, however, cause no confusion among the German Opposition. On the contrary, its strengthening is to be expected.

A warm handshake and a militant greeting.

L. Trotsky