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Leon Trotsky 19390214 Letter to Albert Glotzer

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Albert Glotzer

February 14, 1939

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 14, New York 1979, p. 827 f., title “A Trap in Palestine”]

Dear Comrade Glotzer:

Thank you for the information concerning Ruskin. Your letter arrived in time, that is, before his visit. The whole matter has not the slightest importance. Ruskin is interested in the Jewish question and I suppose he has some official function in connection with Palestine.

He questioned me as to what I thought about Palestine and the possible interference of the USSR in favor of the creation of a Jewish state and so on. There are 400,000 Jews in Palestine, but Ruskin and his associates hope to place 500,000 more there. (How? When?) I answered him that they were preparing a fine trap for the Jews in Palestine. Before you settle 500,000 people, you will have an inner Palestine question with the 2,500,000 United States Jews. With the decline of American capitalism, anti-Semitism will become more and more terrible in the United States — in any case, more important than in Germany. If the war comes, and it will come, a good many Jews will fall as the first victims of the war and will be practically exterminated.

But,” he answered, “it is necessary to do something.”

Yes, but something effective. The French Revolution and then the October Revolution accomplished a bit more for the Jews than did Zionism and the other specific “solutions” to a question that has no solution under the regime of declining capitalism. Only the international revolution can save the Jews.

He found these arguments unacceptable. He is very far from sympathetic to our ideas … a conservative and limited petty bourgeois – possibly a despairing petty bourgeois, but no more. My best thanks and greetings.


Leon Trotsky