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Leon Trotsky 19380302 Krestinsky's Repudiation

Leon Trotsky: Krestinsky's Repudiation

March 2, 1938

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 14, New York 1979, p 762 f.]

In the first session of the [current Moscow] trial, Krestinsky, Stalin's predecessor as secretary of the party, then commissar of finances, and later ambassador to Berlin for five years, repudiated the preposterous confessions he had made during his secret examination by the GPU. What does this signify? It is possible that this reawakening of dignity and courage might induce other defendants to do the same. That would represent the most disgraceful fiasco of the whole judicial machinery. It would be the political end of Stalin. That is why it is necessary to be cautious with predictions. During the night Krestinsky, like all the other defendants, has to return to his cell. During that time the GPU is the master of the situation. What will Krestinsky say tomorrow if he discovers during the night that his wife and daughter can become the first victims of his boldness? Let us therefore await the further development of the trial. To compensate, let us keep this moral denunciation in mind, even if it is short-lived. It demonstrates, even to the blind, how this trial was prepared.

Poor old Rakovsky confessed that he had hatched a conspiracy with the Japanese when he was in Tokyo on an official mission representing the Soviet Red Cross in 1934, all this after his political capitulation to Stalin.

For his part, Bukharin confessed that during his visit to Paris in 1936 he had received instructions for terrorist acts from Leon Sedov, my recently deceased son. For the moment I do not want to stop to examine the intrinsic absurdity of this testimony, but I permit myself to reproduce below a brief dialogue taken from the stenographic transcript of Dr. Dewey's commission of inquiry at Coyoacan. This is what can be read on pages 338-39 [of The Case of Leon Trotsky]:

"GOLDMAN: Do you care to give us any opinion about any future trial involving Bukharin and others? ... Do you expect that Bukharin and Rykov also will be connected with you?

"TROTSKY: Everything is possible. ... I know only that Bukharin was sent abroad in 1936, the beginning of 1936. ... He was in Prague, a tourist. Now, I ask myself if it was not with the purpose of preparing with him a new combination. He gave a lecture in Prague, totally in the official spirit. But it is possible they sent him in order to have the possibility to affirm that abroad he entered into communications with Trotskyites and German agents. I don't know, but it is quite possible. The same with Rakovsky. Immediately [after his capitulation], he was sent to Japan. I was a bit astonished. What was the meaning of it? It was at the end of 1934, and the British friends of the Soviet Union . . . declared: 'You see, the repentance of Rakovsky is totally sincere. The government sent him abroad.'. . . Now, I ask myself if it did not have a second purpose, to frame him afterwards—that he was connected with the Japanese military chiefs in the government, and so forth."

This prediction, made in April 1937, has been confirmed. It was easy to do: when one knows the coefficients of a geometric progression, one can easily calculate the terms n, n+1, etc. When one knows the coefficients of a frame-up, one can, after the earlier trials, foresee the outcome of a new trial.