Special pages :
Denial to Associated Press on Daily Worker Lies
|Written||28 January 1936|
Published: The New York Times, 28 February 1936.
Version published in New Militant[edit source]
Trotsky Cables Denial to AP on Daily Worker Lies
Denounces Repressions Against Bolshevik-Leninists by the Stalinist Bureaucracy
Editor’s Note: On January 28 Leon Trotsky sent the following cable to the Associated Press from Honefoss, Norway:
Hearst Press published the article about political persecution in the Soviet Union pretending that it was written by me. Friends cabled me requesting to know the truth of the matter through the medium of the Associated Press. I never gave any article to the Hearst press with which I have no relations whatsoever. The articles, which were published or used without my knowledge (in case they really were articles of mine), are naturally not at all directed against the Soviet Union but only against the growing despotism of the ruling clique. During the last month and weeks I have received extremely important news from authentic sources concerning the terrible repressions against political prisoners whose fidelity to the Soviet Union is beyond doubt and whose only “crime” consists in criticizing the ruling bureaucracy.
A short time ago Dr. Anton Ciliga, former leader of the Jugoslav Communist party, returned from the Soviet Union where he spent more than five years in prison and exile as punishment for his critical attitude of the leadership of the Comintern. To obtain permission to leave the Soviet Union Ciliga resorted to a hunger strike and was subjected to forcible feeding. He slashed his wrists but was prevented from suicide. Thousands of expelled members of the ruling party who protested against the growing inequality or the introduction of army-officer titles and the marshal-order, suffer under similar conditions.
Zinoviev and Kamenev, intimate collaborators of Lenin, are now imprisoned for a terroristic crime with which they had nothing whatsoever to do. Kamenev, former chairman of the Political Bureau of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, is in a cell together with 12 others. Last year an additional five years was tacked on to the original five-year sentence for his alleged participation in planning a terroristic assassination of Stalin.
The restrained and absolutely objective information related by Ciliga, Tarov and others prove the increasing antagonism developing between the bureaucracy and the population and prove the need of the bureaucracy to resort to sharpest repressions in the interests of self-preservation. To say this frankly is to do a real service to the people of the Soviet Union.
|(signed) Leon Trotsky|
Version published in The New York Times[edit source]
During recent months and weeks I have received extremely important news, from authentic sources, relative to the terrible régime against political prisoners, whose fidelity toward the Soviet Union is beyond doubt and whose only “crime” is that of criticizing the ruling bureaucracy.
Friends have requested me by cable to let them know the truth of this matter through the Associated Press.
A short time ago, for example, Doctor Anton Ciliga, former leader of the Yugoslavian Communist Party, arrived from the Soviet Union, where he spent more than five years in prison and exile as punishment for his critical attitude toward the leadership of the Comintern.
In order to force his expulsion from the country, Ciliga began a hunger strike. He was then fed forcibly and prevented from committing suicide. Thousands of expelled members of the ruling party are in similar circumstances because they protested against the conditions of growing inequality, introduction of army-officer titles, dissipation, and autocracy.
Zinoviev and Kamenev, close collaborators of Lenin, are now imprisoned for a terrorist crime with which they had nothing whatsoever to do. Kamenev, the former chairman of the Political Bureau, is kept in a cell together with twelve others. Last year an additional five years were added to his original five years imprisonment for his alleged participation in plotting a terrorist assassination of Stalin.
Accurate and absolutely objective information by Ciliga, Tarov, and others proves increasing antagonism between the bureaucracy and the developing population. The bureaucracy is compelled to have recourse to the sharpest repressions, in the interests not of the Soviet state, but of its own self-preservation.
It is indisputable that enemies of the Soviet Union and of its friendly relations with the United States make use of such information for their own purposes. But the way to avoid such misuse is not to conceal the facts of the bureaucratic crimes, but to put an end to the crimes themselves.