Leon Trotsky‎ > ‎1939‎ > ‎

Leon Trotsky 19390907 Letter to Edward A. Ross

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Edward A. Ross

September 7, 1939

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 14, New York 1979, p. 842 f., title: “A Disagreeable Incident”]

Dear Mr. Ross:

Of course I remember very well our meeting in November 1917. (You were more or less in favor of the Social Revolutionaries!) But I remember incomparably better that you were a prominent member of the Dewey Commission, which demanded moral courage, alas, not very common in our days.

I have never accepted tourists but, of course, I agreed immediately to meet Mrs. Harris with your letter of introduction. I must, however, confess that I had a great disappointment. She came, not alone, but with three gentlemen. While the gentlemen showed some understanding of my position, Mrs. Harris occurred to be a passionate Stalinist. It is her right, of course. But she began to defend the Moscow trials. Totally astonished, I asked her: “But Mr. Ross pronounced himself about the Moscow trials as frame-ups." She answered: “Mr. Ross is an old man and makes mistakes.” “So?” I answered. “The one mistake of Mr. Ross I know of is that he gave you, too generously, a letter of introduction to me." All three gentlemen with her were indignant with her attitude and expressed it openly in her presence. When she left I refused to shake hands with her.

I find it necessary for me to communicate to you this disagreeable incident.

With warmest wishes and greetings, I remain

Yours sincerely,

Leon Trotsky