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Leon Trotsky 19380330 Letter to Jan Frankel

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Jan Frankel

March 30, 1938

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 14, New York 1979, p 767 f., title: “Roosevelt and a Visa”]

Dear Friend:

We received the clipping concerning the speech only yesterday. Your telegram was not comprehensible before the clipping arrived. The statement is extremely important, especially from the standpoint of general policy. I hope it can also be used from the personal standpoint. In any case, everything possible must now be done.

You are of course well acquainted with the situation. Natalia has required serious medical treatment for a long time. This need is all the greater since the recent tragic events. Permission to stay six months would be truly salutary. A return visa can certainly be assured in advance. It is not necessary to add that while there I shall remain completely outside politics, apart from occasional statements refuting insults and slanders.

How should the question be posed? I could pose it directly and officially from here. But to incur an official rejection would be very disagreeable. What means have you there? The lawyer Ernst725 has been suggested to me, but perhaps there are others. What must happen is that the authorities understand the situation, that is, that I do not have the slightest political ulterior motive. I am quite able to write articles for the press of the Fourth International here. What we need is a change of climate for several months and good medical treatment.

As to the practical questions that you have raised with Van, we will reply to you in the next few days. The overriding question at the moment is that of the visa.

My warmest greetings,

Your Old Man [Leon Trotsky]