Leon Trotsky‎ > ‎1939‎ > ‎

Leon Trotsky 19390605 Letter to Rose Karsner

Leon Trotsky: Letter to Rose Karsner

June 5, 1939

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 14, New York 1979, p. 840, title: “A Visa for Elsa Reiss”]

Dear Comrade Rose:

I am writing you in re Elsa Reiss. You know that she wishes to come to the States with her son at any price. There are three or four plans. One is that we obtain a visa to Mexico for her as my secretary. I am, of course, ready to do everything possible, but the plan is very inconvenient. I cannot abuse my privileges in the matter of secretaries. When she comes to Mexico as a secretary she and her son should live in our house, which is already overcrowded. This creates the greatest difficulties for Natalia especially. If she comes here and lives outside the house, the authorities would interpret it as an abuse of confidence, and I wish to avoid such suspicions at any price. Then too, it is Elsa’s aim to go to the States and it would not be easy to go to the States from here.

The second plan is that she marry a Mexican and become a Mexican citizen. It is feasible, but the difficulty of entering the States remains.

The third plan is that she marry a citizen of the United States. It seems that such a plan was accepted with Jim, but to date nothing has been heard about its realization. I should be very thankful if you would let me know what has been done and what will be done.

I wrote a letter to Jim about the social composition of the party. I am afraid that the coming convention will pass over this question with a general resolution, but without energetic, practical measures. Every social milieu has its conservatism and especially the milieu of the Jewish petty bourgeoisie. Without heroic and if necessary surgical measures, a tum in the party’s policy toward a totally different social milieu is impossible.


L. Trotsky