Trotsky - the Early Years

Лев Троцкий
The Early Years

Leon Trotsky, [born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein; 7 November [O.S. 26 October] 1879 – 21 August 1940) was a Jewish Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army.
Trotsky was initially a supporter of the Menshevik Internationalists faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.
He joined the Bolsheviks immediately prior to the 1917 October Revolution, and eventually became an important leader within the Party.

Trotsky Reviewing Soldiers of the Red Army
Лев Троцкий
Leon Trotsky
During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army as People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs.
Logo of the Fourth International
He was a major figure in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War (1918–20).
He was also among the first members of the Politburo.
After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s and the increasing role of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was successively removed from power (1927), expelled from the Communist Party, and finally deported from the Soviet Union (1929).
As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued in exile in Mexico to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union.

An early advocate of Red Army intervention against European fascism, in the late 1930s, Trotsky opposed Stalin's non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler.

Treaty of Non-Aggression
between Germany and the Soviet Union

The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, officially the 'Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union', and also known as the 'Ribbentrop–Molotov Pact', was a non-aggression pact signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939.
The Pact assured a non-involvement of the Soviet Union in a European War, as well as separating Germany and Japan from forming a military alliance, thus allowing Stalin to concentrate on Japan in the battles of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan).The pact remained in effect until 22 June 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

Trotsky was eventually assassinated on Stalin's orders in Mexico, by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born Soviet agent in August 1940.
(Most of his family members were also killed in separate attacks.)
Trotsky's ideas were the basis of 'Trotskyism', a major school of Marxist thought that is opposed to the theories of Stalinism.

Childhood (1879–1895)

Leon Trotsky was born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein (Лев Давидович Бронштейн) on 7 November 1879, in Yanovka (Яновка), in the Kherson guberniya of the Russian Empire (today's Bereslavka (Береславка) in the Bobrynets Raion, Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine).
He was the fifth child of eight of well-to-do Jewish farmers, David Leontyevich Bronshtein (1847–1922) and his wife Anna Bronshtein (1850–1910).
The family was Jewish but reportedly not religious.

Lev Bronshtein - 1888
The language spoken at home was a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian.
Trotsky's younger sister, Olga, married Lev Kamenev, a leading Bolshevik.

When Trotsky was nine, his father sent him to Odessa to be educated.
He was enrolled in an historically German school, which became Russified during his years in Odessa, consequent to the Imperial government's policy of Russification.
Odessa was then a bustling cosmopolitan port city, very unlike the typical Russian city of the time.

Потёмкинская лестница - Odessa Steps

The most celebrated scene in Eisenstein's film 'The Battleship Potemkin' is the massacre of civilians on the Odessa Steps. In the scene, the Tsar's soldiers in their white summer tunics march down a seemingly endless flight of steps in a rhythmic, machine-like fashion, firing volleys into a crowd. A separate detachment of mounted Cossacks charges the crowd at the bottom of the stairs. The victims include an older woman wearing Pince-nez, a young boy with his mother, a student in uniform and a teenage schoolgirl. A mother pushing an infant in a baby carriage falls to the ground dying and the carriage rolls down the steps amidst the fleeing crowd.

This environment contributed to the development of the young man's international outlook.
Although Trotsky stated in his autobiography 'My Life' that he was never perfectly fluent in any language but Russian and Ukrainian, it is reported that Trotsky spoke fluent French.

Revolutionary Activity and Exile (1896–1902)

Trotsky became involved in revolutionary activities in 1896 after moving to Nikolayev (now Mykolaiv).
At first a narodnik (revolutionary populist), he was introduced to Marxism later that year, which he originally opposed.
Лев Троцкий
Leon Trotsky - 1897
During periods of exile and imprisonment, he gradually became a Marxist.
Instead of pursuing a mathematics degree, Trotsky helped organize the South Russian Workers' Union in Nikolayev in early 1897.
Using the name 'Lvov', he wrote and printed leaflets and proclamations, distributed revolutionary pamphlets, and popularized socialist ideas among industrial workers and revolutionary students.
In January 1898, more than 200 members of the union, including Trotsky, were arrested.
He spent the next two years in prison awaiting trial.
Two months into his imprisonment, on March 1-March 3, 1898, the first Congress of the newly formed Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) was held.

Aleksandra Sokolovskaya
Trotsky and Friends
From then on Trotsky identified as a member of the party.
While in prison, he married Aleksandra Sokolovskaya (or Sokolovskaia) (1872–1938), a fellow Marxist.
While serving his sentence, he studied philosophy.
In 1900 he was sentenced to four years in exile in Ust-Kut and Verkholensk, in the Irkutsk region of Siberia.
His wife was also sent there to join him.
Their two daughters, Zinaida (1901 – 5 January 1933) and Nina (1902 – 9 June 1928), were born in Siberia.
They were raised by Trotsky's parents after Leon and Alexandra soon separated and divorced.
Both daughters married and Zinaida had children, but the daughters died before their parents.
Nina Nevelson died from tuberculosis (TB), cared for in her last months by her older sister.
Zinaida Volkova died after following her father into exile in Berlin with her son by her second marriage, leaving her daughter in Russia.
Suffering also from TB, then a fatal disease, and depression, Volkova committed suicide.
In Siberia, Trotsky became aware of the differences within the party, which had been decimated by arrests in 1898 and 1899.
Some social democrats known as "economists" argued that the party should focus on helping industrial workers improve their lot in life, and were not so worried about changing the government, or thought that these societal reforms would grow out of the worker's struggle for higher pay and better working conditions.
Others argued that overthrowing the monarchy was more important, and that a well-organized and disciplined revolutionary party was essential.
The latter was led by the London-based newspaper 'Iskra', or in English, 'The Spark', which was founded in 1900.
Trotsky quickly sided with the 'Iskra' position and began writing for 'Iskra'.

First Emigration and Second Marriage (1902–1903)

'Development of Capitalism in Russia'
In early, 1898, Trotsky was arrested for subversive activities while working to unionize workers in the harbor town of Nikolayev on the Ukrainian coast with the Black Sea.
Imprisoned in Nikolayev, then Kherson, and then Odessa, Trotsky was transferred to a Moscow prison.
In the prison in Moscow, Trotsky came into contact with other revolutionaries.

Lennin - 1900
Here he first heard about Lenin and read Lenin's book, the 'Development of Capitalism in Russia'.
While in the prison in Moscow in the summer of 1900, Trotsky met and married Alexandra Sokolovskaya.
The wedding ceremony was performed by a Jewish chaplain.
Because of the marriage, Trosky and his new wife were allowed to be exiled to the same location in Siberia.
Accordingly, the couple was exiled to Ust-Kut and the Verkholensk in the Baikal Lake region of Siberia.
Here Trotsky remained until the summer of 1902, when he escaped from Siberia hidden in a load of hay on a wagon.
He escaped from Siberia at the urging of his wife.
There were two children as result of this marriage who later escaped from Siberia with their mother.
Until this point in his life Trotsky had used his real name - Lev or Leon Bronstein.
It was at this time that he changed his name to "Trotsky"—the name he would use for the rest of his life.
It is said he adopted the name of a jailer of the Odessa prison in which he had earlier been held, which became his primary revolutionary pseudonym.

Once abroad, he moved to London to join Georgi Plekhanov, Vladimir Lenin, Julius Martov and other editors of 'Iskra'.

 Гео́ргий Валенти́нович Плеха́нов
Georgi Plekhanov
Гео́ргий Валенти́нович Плеха́нов - Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (November 29, 1856 – May 30, 1918) was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. He was a founder of the Social-Democratic movement in Russia and was one of the first Russians to identify himself as "Marxist." Facing political persecution, Plekhanov emigrated to Switzerland in 1880, where he continued in his political activity attempting to overthrow the Tsarist regime in Russia. During World War I Plekhanov rallied to the cause of the Entente powers against Germany and he returned home to Russia following the 1917 February Revolution. Plekhanov was hostile to the Bolshevik party headed by Vladimir Lenin, however, and was an opponent of the Soviet regime which came to power in the autumn of 1917. He died the following year.

 Ю́лий О́сипович Цедерба́ум
Julius Martov
 Ю́лий О́сипович Цедерба́ум - Julius Martov ( real name Yuliy Osipovich Tsederbaum) (November 24, 1873 – April 4, 1923) was a Russian politician who became the leader of the Mensheviks in early twentieth century Russia.
Both Martov and Lenin based their ideas for party organization on those prevailing in the European social democratic parties, in particular that of Germany. When the vote was taken on the disputed question, the group led by Lenin lost and split. However, they were referred to as Bolsheviks throughout the Congress and subsequently as they had won a vote to determine the composition of the Iskra editorial board, hence their adoption of the name Bolshevik which literally means 'person of the majority'. The minority or Menshevik faction adopted that title. Ironically, the vote on the editorial board was not seen as important by any of the disputants at the time, and in fact the Bolsheviks were generally in a minority but some delegates had not been present for the crucial vote who would otherwise have voted for the Mensheviks.

Under the pen name Pero ("feather" or "pen" in Russian), Trotsky soon became one of the paper's leading authors.
Unknown to Trotsky, the six editors of 'Iskra' were evenly split between the "old guard" led by Plekhanov and the "new guard" led by Lenin and Martov.
Not only were Plekhanov's supporters older (in their 40s and 50s), but they had spent the previous 20 years together in exile in Europe.
Members of the new guard were in their early 30s and had only recently come from Russia. Lenin, who was trying to establish a permanent majority against Plekhanov within 'Iskra', expected Trotsky, then 23, to side with the new guard and wrote in March 1903:
'I suggest to all the members of the editorial board that they co-opt 'Pero' as a member of the board on the same basis as other members. ... We very much need a seventh member, both as a convenience in voting (six being an even number), and as an addition to our forces. 'Pero' has been contributing to every issue for several months now; he works in general most energetically for the Iskra; he gives lectures (in which he has been very successful). In the section of articles and notes on the events of the day, he will not only be very useful, but absolutely necessary. Unquestionably a man of rare abilities, he has conviction and energy, and he will go much farther.'
Because of Plekhanov's opposition, Trotsky did not become a full member of the board, but, from then on he participated in its meetings in an advisory capacity, which earned him Plekhanov's enmity.

Ната́лья Ива́новна Седо́ва
Natalia Ivanovna Sedova
In late 1902, Trotsky met Natalia Ivanovna Sedova, who soon became his companion and, from 1903 until his death, his wife.

Ната́лья Ива́новна Седо́ва - Natalia Ivanovna Sedova (April 5, 1882, Romny – January 23, 1962, Corbeil) is best known as the second wife of Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary. She was, however, also an active revolutionary in her own right and wrote on cultural matters pertaining to Marxism. Her father was Ivan Sedov, a famous explorer of the Arctic.
Her life was marked by the same tragedy as that of her lover, as she accompanied him into his final exile from Russia. Her son, Lev Sedov, was an active and leading member of the Bolshevik-Leninist movement that his father led and was almost certainly assassinated as a result of that. Her other son, Sergei Sedov, who was not politically active and remained in Russia, was almost certainly murdered by agents of Joseph Stalin.
After her husband's assassination in 1940, Natalia Sedova remained in Mexico and maintained contact with many exiled revolutionaries. Her best known work in these last years was a biography of Trotsky, which she co-authored with fellow Russian revolutionary Victor Serge. She was also close to the Spanish revolutionary Grandizo Munis who had led the tiny Spanish 'Sección Bolchevique-Leninista' during the revolutionary events in the 1930s. Under his influence, she came to adopt the position that the USSR was a state capitalist society and that the Fourth International founded by Trotsky no longer held to the revolutionary programme of Communism. Therefore, she broke from the FI in 1951.

They had two children together, Lev Sedov (1906 – 16 February 1938) and Sergei Sedov (21 March 1908 – 29 October 1937), both of whom would predecease their parents.

Лев Львович Седов
Lev Lvovich Sedov
Лев Львович Седов - Lev Lvovich Sedov (also known as Leon Sedov; 1906, Saint Petersburg – February 16, 1938, Paris) was the son of the Russian Communist leader Leon Trotsky and his second wife Natalia Sedova. He was born when his father was in prison facing life imprisonment for having led the first Soviet Revolution of 1905.
Lev Sedov's major political work is 'The Red Book on the Moscow Trials' (1936). At a time when a wide consensus accepted the verdicts of the Moscow trials, this book analyzed them with the aim of discrediting them. It was the first thorough-going exposé of the frame-ups upon which the trials were based. Trotsky himself described it as a "priceless gift... the first crushing reply to the Kremlin falsifiers."

Sergei Lvovich Sedov
Sergei Lvovich Sedov (1908–1937) was Leon Trotsky's younger son by his second wife, Natalia Sedova, and an engineer. He was allegedly killed in the 'Great Purges'.
Sedov was a Moscow-based engineer who published works on thermodynamics and diesel engines. He became a professor at the Moscow Institute of Technology while still in his twenties.
Unlike his parents and his older brother Lev Sedov, Sergei Sedov was not active in politics, nevertheless, he was caught up in the Great Purges as Trotsky's son. He was arrested in Moscow in early 1935 and sentenced to 5 years in exile in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, in August 1935. After unsuccessfully searching for work in Krasnoyarsk, he was re-arrested in 1936 and sent to a labor camp.
Sedov was killed in the next round of Stalin's purges in 1937, although the exact details of his death are unknown. The Soviet secret police, NKVD, announced in early 1937 that Sedov had been charged with trying to poison factory workers and the date of his final death sentence is believed to be October 29, 1937, but there have also been unconfirmed reports that he died in a prison uprising. His wife and her relatives were also arrested and spent years in exile and prisons.

Regarding his sons' surnames, Trotsky later explained that after the 1917 revolution:
'In order not to oblige my sons to change their name, I, for "citizenship" requirements, took on the name of my wife.'
Trotsky never used the name "Sedov" either privately or publicly.
Natalia Sedova sometimes signed her name "Sedova-Trotskaya".
Trotsky and his first wife Aleksandra maintained a friendly relationship after their divorce.
She disappeared in 1935 during the Great Purges, and was murdered by Stalinist forces three years later.

Split with Lenin (1903–1904)

In the meantime, after a period of secret police repression and internal confusion that followed the first party Congress in 1898, 'Iskra' succeeded in convening the party's 2nd congress in London in August 1903.
Trotsky and other 'Iskra' editors attended.
The first congress went as planned, with 'Iskra' supporters handily defeating the few "economist" delegates.

Jewish Bund
Then the congress discussed the position of the 'Jewish Bund', which had co-founded the RSDLP in 1898 but wanted to remain autonomous within the party.

'Bundism' is a Jewish socialist and secular movement that originated with the General Jewish Labour Bund, founded in the Russian Empire in 1897. Bundism was an important component of the social democratic movement in the Russian empire until the Russian Revolution of 1917; the Bundists initially opposed the October Revolution, but ended up supporting it due to the anti-Jewish pogroms by the White Army during the Russian Civil War. Split along communist and social democratic lines throughout the Civil War, each faction eventually disbanded.

Shortly thereafter, the pro-Iskra delegates split into two factions.
Lenin and his supporters, the Bolsheviks, argued for a smaller but highly organized party while Martov and his supporters, the Mensheviks, argued for a larger and less disciplined party.
In a surprise development, Trotsky and most of the 'Iskra' editors supported Martov and the Mensheviks, while Plekhanov supported Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
During 1903 and 1904, many members changed sides in the factions.
Plekhanov soon parted ways with the Bolsheviks.
Trotsky left the Mensheviks in September 1904 over their insistence on an alliance with Russian liberals and their opposition to a reconciliation with Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
From 1904 until 1917, he described himself as a "non-factional social democrat".

Алекса́ндр Льво́вич Па́рвус
Alexander Lvovich Parvus
Trotsky spent much of his time between 1904 and 1917 trying to reconcile different groups within the party, which resulted in many clashes with Lenin and other prominent party members. Trotsky later maintained that he had been wrong in opposing Lenin on the issue of the party. During these years Trotsky began developing his 'Theory of Permanent Revolution', which led to a close working relationship with Alexander Parvus in 1904–1907.

Алекса́ндр Льво́вич Па́рвус - Alexander Lvovich Parvus, born Israel Lazarevich Gelfand (1867-1924), was a Marxist theoretician, revolutionary, and a controversial activist in the Social Democratic Party of Germany. He also is said to have acted as a German intelligence agent.

Lenin later denounced Trotsky as a "Judas", a "scoundrel" and a "swine".

1905 Revolution and Trial (1905–1906)

The unrest an agitation against the Russian government came to a head in St. Petersbrg on January 3, 1905 (old style calandar), when a strike broke at the Putilov Works in St. Petersburg.
This single strike grew into a general and by January 7, 1905 there were 140,000 strikers in St. Petersburg.

Father Georgi Gapon
at the Winter Palace
On Sunday, January 9, 1905, Father Georgi Gapon led a peaceful procession of citizens through the streets to the Winter Palace to beseech the Czar for food and relief from the oppressive government.
The peaceful demonstration was fired upon by the Palace Guard resulting in the death of 1,000 demonstrators, thus, Sunday January 9, 1905 became known as 'Bloody Sunday'.
Following the events of 'Bloody Sunday', Trotsky secretly returned to Russia in February 1905, by way of Kiev.
At first he wrote leaflets for an underground printing press in Kiev, but soon moved to the capital, Saint Petersburg, where he worked with both Bolsheviks, such as Central Committee member Leonid Krasin, and the local Menshevik committee, which he pushed in a more radical direction.
The latter, however, were betrayed by a secret police agent in May, and Trotsky had to flee to rural Finland.
There he worked on fleshing out his 'Theory of Permanent Revolution'.
On September 19, 1905, the typesetters at the Sytin Print Works in Moscow went out on strike for shorter hours and higher pay.
By the evening of September 24, the workers at fifty (50) other printing shops in Moscow were also on strike.
On October 2, 1905, the typesetters in printing shops in St. Petersburg, decided to strike in support of the Moscow strikers.
On October 7, 1905, the railway workers of the Moscow-Kazan Railway went out on strike.
The confusion engendered by these strikes made it possible for Trotsky to return from Finland to St. Petersburg on October 15, 1905.
On the same day that he returned to St. Petersburg, Trotsky appeared before the St. Petersburg Soviet Council of Workers Deputies which was meeting at Technological Institute in St. Petersburg.
Not only were the elected Deputies present a this meeting, but also attending were some 200,000 people—about 50% of all workers in St. Petersburg.
After returning to the capital, Trotsky and Parvus took over the newspaper Russian Gazette and increased its circulation to 500,000.

Nachalo - (The Beginning)
Trotsky also co-founded, together with Parvus and Julius Martov and other Mensheviks, Nachalo ("The Beginning"), which also proved to be a very successful newspaper in the revolutionary atomosphere of St. Petersburg in 1905.

Nachalo's editorial board consisted of Peter Struve, Mikhail Tugan-Baranovsky, V. G. Veresayev, V. Ya. Bogucharsky, and A. M. Kalmykova. Contributors included Legal Marxists as well as revolutionary Marxists living in exile or abroad like Georgy Plekhanov, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Vera Zasulich. In all, there were five issues published between January and May 1899, although the April issue was confiscated by the censors. Starting with issue 2, the magazine was supportive of Eduard Bernstein's revision of Marxism, which caused frictions with Plekhanov, an opponent of Bernstein's and the leader of orthodox Marxism in Russia.
The editors also made an attempt to build up a literary section in collaboration with Anton Chekhov and Russian Symbolists, but were unsuccessful, which made them turn to Maxim Gorky and early Russian Modernists. The magazine was closed down by the government in June 1899, and the Legal Marxists were forced to join Posse's Zhizn as originally planned.

Just before Trotsky's return, the Mensheviks had independently come up with the same idea that Trotsky had: an elected non-party revolutionary organization representing the capital's workers, the first Soviet ("Council") of Workers.
By the time of Trotsky's arrival, the St. Petersburg Soviet of Workers Deputies was already functioning headed by Khrustalyev-Nosar (Georgy Nosar, alias Pyotr Khrustalyov).

Khrustalyov-Nosar or Georgy Nosar ( 1877 - 1918 ), also known as Pyotr Khrustalyov (as in Russian : Хрусталев Петр Алексеевич or Носарь Георгий Степанович ) was the president of the first Soviet of the Russian Revolution of 1905 .

Khrustalyev-Nosar had been a compromise figure when elected as the head of the St. Petersburg Soviet.
Khrustalev-Nosar was a lawyer that stood above the political factions contained in the Soviet, however, since his election, he proved to be very popular with the workers in spite of the Bolsheviks' original opposition to him.
Khrustalev-Nosar became famous in his position as spokesman for the St. Petersburg Soviet, indeed to the outside world, Khrustalev-Nosar was the embodiment of the St. Petersburg Soviet.
Trotsky joined the Soviet under the name "Yanovsky" (after the village he was born in, Yanovka) and was elected vice-Chairman.
He did much of the actual work at the Soviet and, after Khrustalev-Nosar's arrest on 26 November 1905, was elected its chairman.
On 2 December, the Soviet issued a proclamation which included the following statement about the Tsarist government and its foreign debts:

Emblem of the Imperial Autocracy
'The autocracy never enjoyed the confidence of the people and was never granted any authority by the people. We have therefore decided not to allow the repayment of such loans as have been made by the Tsarist government when openly engaged in a war with the entire people.'
The following day, the Soviet was surrounded by troops loyal to the government and the deputies were arrested.
Trotsky and other Soviet leaders were tried in 1906 on charges of supporting an armed rebellion.
At the trial on October 4, 1906, Trotsky delivered one of the best speeches of his life.
It was this speech that solidified his reputation as an effective public speaker.
He was convicted and sentenced to deportation.

Second Emigration (1907–1914)

Lenin at the
5th Congress of the RSDLP
While en-route to exile in Obdorsk, Siberia, in January 1907, Trotsky escaped at Berezov, and once again made his way to London, where he attended the 5th Congress of the RSDLP.
In October, he moved to Vienna where he often took part in the activities of the 'Austrian Social Democratic Party' and, occasionally, of the 'German Social Democratic Party', for seven years.

Адо́льф Абра́мович Ио́ффе
Adolph Joffe
In Vienna, Trotsky became close to Adolph Joffe, his friend for the next 20 years, who introduced him to psychoanalysis.

Adolph Abramovich Joffe (alternative transliterations Adolf Ioffe or, rarely, Yoffe) (October 10, 1883, Simferopol – November 16, 1927, Moscow) was a Jewish Communist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and a Soviet diplomat of Karaite descent.

In Russia, Joffe was close to the Menshevik faction within the Russian Social Democratic Party. However, after moving to Vienna in May 1906, he became close to Leon Trotsky's position and helped Trotsky edit Pravda from 1908 to 1912 while studying medicine and psychoanalysis. He also used his family's fortune to support 'Pravda' financially.
In 1912 Joffe was arrested while visiting Odessa, imprisoned for 10 months and then exiled to Siberia.
From November 30, 1917 until January 1918, Joffe was the head of the Soviet delegation that was sent to Brest-Litovsk to negotiate an end to the hostilities with Germany.
Joffe remained a friend and loyal supporter of Leon Trotsky through the 1920s, joining him in the Left Opposition. By late 1927, he was gravely ill, in extreme pain and confined to his bed. After a refusal by the Stalinist leadership of the Communist Party to send him abroad for treatment and Trotsky's expulsion from the Communist Party on November 12, 1927, he committed suicide.

 Правда - 'Pravda'
In October 1908 he started 'Pravda' ("Truth"), a bi-weekly, Russian-language social democratic paper for Russian workers, which he co-edited with Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and Victor Kopp.
It was smuggled into Russia.
The paper appeared very irregularly, only five issues appeared in the first year of publication, however, the paper avoided factional politics, and proved popular with Russian industrial workers.

Правда - Pravda ("Truth") is a Russian political newspaper associated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The newspaper was started by the Russian Revolutionaries during the pre-World War I days and emerged as a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution. The newspaper also served as a central organ of the Central Committee of the RSDLP and the CPSU between 1912 and 1991.

Matvey Skobelev
Матве́й Ива́нович Ско́белев
Матве́й Ива́нович Ско́белев - Matvey Ivanovich Skobelev (November 9, 1885, Baku – July 29, 1938, Moscow) was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and politician.
Skobelev was born in the family of a wealthy Baku oilman. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903. After the Russian Revolution of 1905 he went abroad to study at a polytechnic in Vienna. While in Vienna, he became a friend and supporter of Leon Trotsky, whose bi-weekly Pravda he helped edit in 1908–1912. Skobelev and another editor, Adolph Joffe, both scions of wealthy families, also helped Trotsky finance the paper.
Opposed to the Bolshevik regime, Skobelev moved to his home city of Baku in then-independent Azerbaidjan ca. 1919. After the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War and re-annexation of Azerbaidjan in 1920, he fled to Paris. Once the Bolshevik government instituted the NEP policy of partial liberalization, Skobelev became reconciled with the new regime and eventually joined the Bolshevik party in 1922 (over Trotsky's objections). In late 1922, he worked on facilitating trade relations between France and Russia  and then returned to Russia, where he continued working in the Soviet foreign trade system until his arrest and execution in 1938 during the Great Purge.

Both the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks split multiple times after the failure of the 1905–1907 revolution.
Money was very scarce for publication of 'Pravda'.
Trotsky approached the 'Russian Central Committee' to seek financial backing for the newspaper throughout 1909.
The 'Central Committee' was controlled by a majority of Bolsheviks at this time in 1910.
Thus, Lenin agreed to the financing of 'Pravda', but required a Bolshevik be appointed as co-editor of the paper.
When various Bolshevik and Menshevik factions tried to re-unite at the January 1910 RSDLP Central Committee meeting in Paris over Lenin's objections, Trotsky's 'Pravda' was made a party-financed 'central organ'.

Лев Бори́сович Ка́мене
Lev Borisovich Kamenev
Lev Kamenev, Trotsky's brother-in-law, was added to the editorial board from the Bolsheviks, but the unification attempts failed in August 1910 when Kamenev resigned from the board amid mutual recriminations.

Kamenev and Lenin

Лев Бори́сович Ка́менев - Lev Borisovich Kamenev (18 July [O.S. 6 July] 1883 – 25 August 1936), born Rozenfeld (Russian: Ро́зенфельд), was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a prominent Soviet politician. He served briefly as the first head of state of Soviet Russia in 1917, and from 1923-24 the acting Premier in the last year of Vladimir Lenin's life.
Under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, Kamenev fell out of favor and, following a show trial, was executed.
After Kamenev's execution, his relatives suffered a similar fate. Kamenev's second son, Yu. L. Kamenev, was executed on 30 January 1938, at the age of 17. His eldest son, air force officer A.L. Kamenev, was executed on 15 July 1939, at the age of 33. His first wife, Olga, was shot on 11 September 1941 on Stalin's and Beria's orders, in the Medvedev forest outside Oryol, together with Christian Rakovsky, Maria Spiridonova and 160 other prominent political prisoners. Only his youngest son, Vladimir Glebov, survived Stalin's prisons and labor camps, and died in 1994.

Trotsky continued publishing 'Pravda' for another two years until it finally folded in April 1912.
The Bolsheviks started a new workers-oriented newspaper in St. Petersburg on 22 April 1912, and also called it 'Pravda'.

Никола́й Семёнович Чхеи́дз
Nikolay Chkheidze
Trotsky was so upset by what he saw as a usurpation of his newspaper's name that in April 1913 he wrote a letter to Nikolay Chkheidze, a Menshevik leader, bitterly denouncing Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
Though he quickly got over the disagreement, the letter was intercepted by the police, and a copy was put into their archives.

Никола́й Семёнович Чхеи́дз - Nikoloz Chkheidze (commonly known as Karlo Chkheidze; 1864, Kutaisi – June 13, 1926, Île-de-France) was a Georgian Menshevik politician who helped to introduce Marxism to Georgia in the 1890s and played a prominent role in the Russian and Georgian revolutions of 1917 and 1918.
Chkheidze was one of the authors of the Republic's first constitution in early 1921, but, like others, he was forced into exile when the Bolsheviks took control of the country in March. He escaped to France, where he lived until committing suicide on June 13, 1926.

Shortly after Lenin's death in 1924, the letter was pulled out of the archives and made public by Trotsky's opponents within the Communist Party to portray him as Lenin's enemy.
This was a period of heightened tension within the RSDLP, leading to numerous frictions between Trotsky, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

большевики -  Bolsheviks - derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903.
Coat of Arms of the
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Bolsheviks were the majority faction in a crucial vote, hence their name. They ultimately became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks came to power in Russia during the October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and founded the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic which would later in 1922 become the chief constituent of the Soviet Union.
Vladimir Lenin
The Bolsheviks, founded by Vladimir Lenin and Alexander Bogdanov, were by 1905 a mass organization consisting primarily of workers under a democratic internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic centralism, who considered themselves the leaders of the revolutionary working class of Russia. Their beliefs and practices were often referred to as Bolshevism.
Bolshevik revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky commonly used the terms "Bolshevism" and "Bolshevist" after his exile from the Soviet Union to differentiate between what he saw as true Leninism and the state and party as they existed under Joseph Stalin's leadership.

Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Богда́нов
lexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov
Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Богда́нов - Alexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov (born Alyaksandr Malinovsky, (22 August 1873 [O.S. 10 August] –7 April 1928) was a Russian physician, philosopher, science fiction writer, and revolutionary of Belarusian ethnicity.
He was a key figure in the early history of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, being one of its co-founders and a rival to Vladimir Lenin until being expelled in 1909. In the first decade of the Soviet Union, he was an influential opponent of the government from a Marxist perspective. The polymath Bogdanov received training in medicine and psychiatry. His scientific interests ranged from the universal systems theory to the possibility of human rejuvenation through blood transfusion. He invented an original philosophy called “tectology,” now regarded as a forerunner of systems theory. He was also an economist, culture theorist, science fiction writer, and political activist.
In 1924, Bogdanov started his blood transfusion experiments, apparently hoping to achieve eternal youth or at least partial rejuvenation. Lenin's sister Maria Ulianova was among many who volunteered to take part in Bogdanov's experiments. The fellow revolutionary Leonid Krasin wrote to his wife that "Bogdanov seems to have become 7, no, 10 years younger after the operation". In 1925-1926, Bogdanov founded the Institute for Haemotology and Blood Transfusions, which was later named after him. But a later transfusion cost him life, when he took the blood of a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis. (Bogdanov died, but the student injected with his blood made a complete recovery.) Some scholars (e.g. Loren Graham) have speculated that his death may have been a suicide, because Bogdanov wrote a highly nervous political letter shortly beforehand. Others, however, attribute his death to blood type incompatibility, which was poorly understood at the time.

Julius Martov

меньшевик - Mensheviks were a faction of the Russian revolutionary movement that emerged in 1904 after a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, both members of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The dispute originated at the Second Congress of that party, ostensibly over minor issues of party organization. Martov's supporters, who were in the minority in a crucial vote on the question of party membership, came to be called "Mensheviks", derived from the Russian word меньшинство (men'shinstvo, "minority"), whereas Lenin's adherents were known as "Bolsheviks", from bol'shinstvo ("majority").
Neither side held a consistent majority over the course of the congress. The split proved to be long-standing and had to do both with pragmatic issues based in history such as the failed revolution of 1905, and theoretical issues of class leadership, class alliances, and bourgeois democracy. While both factions believed that a "bourgeois democratic" revolution was necessary, the Mensheviks generally tended to be more moderate and were more positive towards the "mainstream" liberal opposition.

The most serious disagreement that Trotsky and the Mensheviks had with Lenin at the time was over the issue of "expropriations", i.e., armed robberies of banks and other companies by Bolshevik groups to procure money for the Party.
These actions had been banned by the 5th Congress, but were continued by the Bolsheviks.
In January 1912, the majority of the Bolshevik faction, led by Lenin and a few Mensheviks, held a conference in Prague and expelled their opponents from the party.
In response, Trotsky organized a "unification" conference of social democratic factions in Vienna in August 1912 (a.k.a. "The August Bloc") and tried to re-unite the party.
The attempt was generally unsuccessful.
In Vienna, Trotsky continuously published articles in radical Russian and Ukrainian newspapers, such as 'Kievskaya Mysl', under a variety of pseudonyms, often using "Antid Oto". In September 1912, Kievskaya Mysl sent him to the Balkans as its war correspondent, where he covered the two 'Balkan Wars' for the next year, and became a close friend of Christian Rakovsky.
The latter was later a leading Soviet politician and Trotsky's ally in the Soviet Communist Party.

Christian Rakovsky

Christian Rakovsky (August 13 [O.S. August 1] 1873 – September 11, 1941) was a Bulgarian socialist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and Soviet diplomat; he was also noted as a journalist, physician, and essayist. Rakovsky's political career took him throughout the Balkans and into France and Imperial Russia; for part of his life, he was also a Romanian citizen.
A lifelong collaborator of Leon Trotsky, he was a prominent activist of the Second International, involved in politics with the Bulgarian Social Democratic Union, Romanian Social Democratic Party, and the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Rakovsky was expelled at different times from various countries as a result of his activities, and, during World War I, became a founding member of the Revolutionary Balkan Social Democratic Labor Federation while helping to organize the Zimmerwald Conference. Imprisoned by Romanian authorities, he made his way to Russia, where he joined the Bolshevik Party after the October Revolution, and, as head of the Rumcherod, unsuccessfully attempted to generate a communist revolution in the Kingdom of Romania. Subsequently, he was a founding member of the Comintern, served as head of government in the Ukrainian SSR, and took part in negotiations at the Genoa Conference.
He came to oppose Joseph Stalin and rallied with the Left Opposition, being marginalized inside the government and sent as Soviet ambassador to London and Paris, where he was involved in renegotiating financial settlements. He was ultimately recalled from France in autumn 1927, after signing his name to a controversial Trotskyist platform which endorsed world revolution. Credited with having developed the Trotskyist critique of Stalinism as "bureaucratic centrism", Rakovsky was subject to internal exile. Submitting to Stalin's leadership in 1934 and being briefly reinstated, he was nonetheless implicated in the Trial of the Twenty One (part of the Moscow Trials), imprisoned, and executed by the NKVD during World War II.

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Trotsky - Power and Beyond


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