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Leon Trotsky 19380304 Corrections and Observations on the Testimony of the Accused

Leon Trotsky: Corrections and Observations on the Testimony of the Accused

March 4, 1938

    [Writings of Leon Trotsky 1937-1938, New York 1970, p. 214 f.]

    1. In 1927, Krestinsky wrote me a letter from Berlin to Moscow, in which he informed me of his intention to capitulate to Stalin and advised me to do the same. I replied with an open letter, breaking off relations with Krestinsky, as with all other capitulators. A great amount of material about the irreconcilable struggle between the Oppositionists ("Trotskyists") and the capitulators was revealed by me in April 1937 to Dr. John Dewey's investigative commission. But the GPU continues to base its fake trials exclusively on capitulators who have been toys in their hands for years already. That is why it is necessary for Prosecutor Vyshinsky to show that my break with Krestinsky had a "fictitious character."

Showing this was entrusted to another capitulator, the sixty-five-year-old Rakovsky, who declared that the capitulation was a "maneuver," and that this maneuver had somehow taken place with my approval. Rakovsky did not explain, however, and the prosecutor of course did not ask him, why he himself, Rakovsky, had not carried out this "maneuver" for a period of seven years, but had preferred to stay in the difficult conditions of exile in Barnaul (Altai), isolated from the whole world. Or why, in autumn 1930, Rakovsky wrote from Barnaul, in an indignant letter against the capitulators, his famous phrase, "the worst thing is not exile and not solitary, but capitulation." Why, finally, he himself capitulated only in 1934, when his physical and moral forces were completely exhausted.

    2. After denying his guilt (in complete accordance with the GPU script), Krestinsky admitted the correctness of all the accusations brought against him and told of a mythical meeting with me in Merano, in October 1933. I declare that after 1926 I never met Krestinsky and never had any connections with him. I was never in Merano in my life. I spent October 1933 as a patient in France, under the eyes of friends and the doctor and under the observation of the French police. The facts concerning this were completely established by Dr. Dewey's investigative commission in New York. If Prosecutor Vyshinsky had consulted the French authorities, they would have given him exact information about where I was in October 1933. But that is precisely why Vyshinsky did not consult the French authorities!

    3. The accused Rosengolts testified that he met my son Leon Sedov in Carlsbad and received through him from me all sorts of criminal instructions. The desertion of Mr. Rosengolts from the ranks of the Opposition twelve years ago had such a shameful character that there could be no possibility of any further relations between me and him. Leon Sedov was not in Carlsbad in 1934 or any other year, and this can be proved on the basis of letters and documents in the daily dossier of his short life, just as it was shown by Dr. Dewey's commission that in November 1932 Sedov was not in Copenhagen. Leon Sedov's calendar, as we see, did not coincide with the GPU's calendar. And that is why the GPU brought Leon Sedov to an untimely death.

    4. Krestinsky and Rosengolts both testified that I had given them instructions on the necessity of forming an alliance with Tukhachevsky and other generals, with the aim of "overthrowing Soviet power." The phantom of the executed marshal Tukhachevsky is evidently, in general, hovering over the proceedings. Fearing the dissatisfaction of the best generals, Stalin beheaded the Red Army and thus evoked deep resentment in the whole world. Now he is trying, retrospectively, to show the public opinion of the USSR and of the whole world that the generals who were shot really were traitors.

I declare that in the testimony of Krestinsky and Rosengolts there is not a word of truth. I had neither personal meetings, nor correspondence, nor any kind of indirect link with Tukhachevsky since spring 1925, i.e., from the time I left the leadership of the Red Army. Tukhachevsky, and the other executed generals, despite close military connections with me, never were Trotskyists politically. They were soldiers. If, in the last period, Tukhachevsky rose in opposition to Stalin, he was led exclusively by feelings of patriotism. Tukhachevsky and the other generals could not fail to see that Stalin's policy was striking irreparable blows at the defense interests of the USSR.