Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) | Student Handouts
 
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Leon Trotsky
(1879-1940) Лев Давидович Троцкий
 
 
Born on November 7, 1879, in Ukraine, Leon Trotsky was a Bolshevik leader during the Russian Revolution of 1917. From 1918 until 1926, he led the Red Army to defeat counter-revolutionaries in the Russian Civil War. Under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, Trotsky was exiled to Kazakhstan in 1928, then expelled from the Soviet Union entirely in 1929. Greatly displeased by Trotsky's continued criticisms from abroad, Stalin in 1940 notoriously had Trotsky assassinated (an act done via an ice pick) in Mexico City, Mexico. Many of today's socialists support Trotsky's views on socialism and share his distaste for the USSR under Stalinism, such as the CWI (Committee for a Workers' International) and its American affiliate, Socialist Alternative.
 
 
  Photo Portrait of Leon Trotsky   Trotsky's Grave in Mexico City   Trotsky at Age Nine     Anti-Semitic White Army Propaganda Poster  
  Photo Portrait of Leon Trotsky   Trotsky's Grave in Mexico City   Trotsky at Age Nine   Leon Trotsky at Age 20   Anti-Semitic White Army Propaganda Poster  
 
 
  Giacinto Menotti and Trotsky   Lenin and Trotsky in Petrograd in 1921   Trotsky in 1918   Leon Trotsky with Daughter Nina in 1915   Trotsky, Lenin, and Kamenev  
  Giacinto Menotti and Trotsky   Lenin and Trotsky in Petrograd in 1921   Trotsky in 1918   Leon Trotsky with Daughter Nina Nevelson   Trotsky, Lenin, and Kamenev  
 
 
Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) - Facts and photos on this leader of the Russian Revolution and Red Army.
 
 
  Trotsky During the Russian Civil War (1919)   Trotsky in Mexico, 1931              
  Trotsky During the Russian Civil War (1919)   Trotsky in Mexico, 1931              
 
 
Joseph Stalin ruthlessly pursued Leon Trotsky and members of Trotsky's family. Trotsky's first wife and all four of his children preceded him in death. Stalin was responsible, directly or indirectly, for all of their deaths.
 
First wife: Aleksandra Lvovna Sokolovskaya (1872-circa 1938), a Russian Marxist revolutionary who died in the Great Purges in or after 1938; she had last been seen at Kolyma labor camp.
 
  First daughter: Zinaida Volkova (1901-1933). Zinaida was married twice; both of her husbands died in Stalin's Great Purges following her death. In 1931, Zinaida was permitted to leave the Soviet Union with one of her two children, Vsevolod (later Esteban) Volkov. The following year, 1932, her family's Soviet citizenship was revoked. Zinaida killed herself in Berlin on 5 January 1933 due to tuberculosis and depression.
 
  Grandson: Vsevolod (later Esteban) Volkov (1926-present), who runs the Museo Léon Trotsky in Mexico. Esteban came to live with his grandfather, Leon Trotsky, in 1939. He was interviewed by Socialist Appeal in 1988 here and by Jacobin in 2017 here.
 
  Great granddaughter: Nora Volkow (1956-present), director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in the United States and professor at SUNY Stony Brook.
 
  Second daughter: Nina Nevelson (1902-1928), a Trotskyist. Nina died of tuberculosis at age 26 on 9 June 1928. Her husband, Man Nevelson, was also a Trotskyist; he was exiled from Moscow in 1928, then shot by the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs).
 
Second wife: Natalia Sedova (1882-1962), a Russian revolutionary. She survived Trotsky and died at age 79 in Paris. Following her husband's assassination, she co-wrote a popular biography of him, Life and Death of Leon Trotsky, with Victor Serge.
 
  First son: Lev Sedov (1906-1938), a Trotskyist leader. While living in Paris, an NKVD secret agent led him to a hospital run by a white émigré for an appendectomy; he was said to have died of untreated complications from the surgery. His assassination (many assume by poisoning) was likely in retaliation for his publication of The Red Book on the Moscow Trials in 1936.
 
  Second son: Sergei Sedov (1908-1937), an engineer who taught at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Despite not being involved in political action himself, because he was Leon Trotsky's son, Stalin had him arrested in 1935 and sent to Siberia under false charges that he had attempted to poison factory workers. In 1937, he was executed by the NKVD. His wife, along with her family, spent years in Stalin's gulags after they were arrested along with Sergei.
 
 
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