These two documents were first printed separately. The first is an article that formed the basis of a talk given by Comrade W.B.Bland of the Communist League (UK) to the Stalin Society, and then printed in 1991.

The second article followed the publication of the un-earthed "Stalin’s Letters To Molotov"; and was written and published by Alliance in issue 15, 1994.

Later they were two articles re-printed in the compilation: "The Lie of The "Lenin Testament" – by North Star Compass in Toronto in 1997.

This Version: 1999.


'LENIN'S TESTAMENT' - (1922-23).

By W.B.Bland for the Communist League.

THE CHARGE: That in 1922 Lenin Advised the Russian Communist Party to Remove Stalin from the Top Post of General Secretary.

"In December 1922 in a letter to the Party Congress Vladimir Ilyich (Lenin -- Ed.) wrote . . a political document of tremendous importance, known in the Party history as Lenin’s Testament . Vladimir Ilyich said: "I propose that the comrades consider the method by which Stalin would be removed from this position (of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). " N.S. Khrushchev: Secret Speech to 20th CongressCPSU, in: Russian Institute, Columbia Univ (Ed.):'The Anti-Stalin Campaign and International Communism: A Selection of Documents'; New York; 1956; p. 6, 7. INTRODUCTION

Khrushchev's charge -- as above -- is inaccurate in only one detail. Lenin did not write the document known as 'Lenin's Testament', it was in fact dictated by Lenin to one of his secretaries, Lidya Fotieva*. However its authenticity has never been challenged. The passage concerned in Lenin's letter reads:

However, there are some puzzling features about Lenin's action in dictating this and some other passages in the letter.


One puzzling feature about the document known as 'Lenin's Testament' is that throughout Lenin's political life until late 1922, his assessment of Stalin was extremely high.

For example, as long ago as February 1913 Lenin was describing Stalin, in a letter to the writer Maksim Gorky*, as a marvellous Georgian’:

"We have a marvellous Georgian who has sat down to write a big article for ‘Prosveshcheniye’, for which he has collected all the Austrian and other materials". V.I. Lenin: Letter to Maksim Gorky, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 84. A little later, in December 1913 Lenin was characterising Stalin as the Party's leading Marxist analyst of the national question:

"The situation and the fundamentals of a national programme for Social-Democracy have recently been dealt with in Marxist theoretical literature (the most prominent place being taken by Stalin's article)". V.I. Lenin: 'The National Programme of the RSDLP', in: 'Coll Works', Vol 19; Moscow; 1963; p.539..

And as late as March 1922, at the 11th Congress of the Russian Communist Party, Lenin was defending Stalin against criticism from Yevgeny Preobrazhensky* over the fact that Stalin held the posts of both People's Commissar of Nationalities and People's Commissar of State Control:

"The 'Turkestan, Caucasian and other questions . . are all political questions! They have to be settled. These are questions that have engaged the attention of European states for hundreds of years. . We are settling them; and we need a man to whom the representatives of any of these nations can go and discuss their difficulties in all detail. Where can we find such a man? I don't think Comrade Preobrazhensky could suggest any better candidate than Comrade Stalin... The same thing applies to the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection. This is a vast business; but to be able to handle investigations we must have at the head of it a man who enjoys high prestige, otherwise we shall become submerged in and overwhelmed by petty intrigue". V.I. Lenin: 'The National Programme of the RSDLP', in: 'Coll Works', Vol 19; Moscow; 1963; p.539. Indeed, it was on Lenin's proposal that in April 1922, after the Congress, the Central Committee elected Stalin to the highest post in the Party - that of General Secretary: "On Lenin's motion, the Plenum of the Central Committee, on April 3 1922, elected Stalin . . . General Secretary of the Central Committee". G. F. Aleksandrov et al (Eds.): 'Joseph Stalin: A Short Biography'; Moscow; 1947; p. 74-75.

"After the congress, the Central Committee, on Lenin's proposal, elected Stalin . . as General Secretary of the Central Committee".Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute: 'Lenin'; London; 1943; p. 183

"A new Central Committee.. voted to establish the post of General Secretary to run the Secretariat and named Stalin to this office. It is highly probable that Lenin initiated this decision". R. H. McNeal: 'Stalin: Man and Ruler' (hereafter listed as 'R. H.McNeal:1988'); Basingstoke;1988; p. 67.

"It is.. fanciful for some Soviet historians, official and unofficial, to suggest that Stalin was not Lenin's personal choice for the post of General Secretary of the Central Committee to which he was elevated in April 1922". A. B. Ulam: 'Stalin: The Man and his Era'; London; 1989; p. 205.

"The obvious and indeed the only man with the knowledge, efficiency and authority for this key post (of General Secretary - Ed.) was Stalin. There can be no doubt that Lenin supported the nomination, which he probably initiated".I. Grey: 'Stalin: Man of History'; London; 1979; p. 159.

Clearly, something occurred in late 1922 to cause Lenin radically to alter the opinion of Stalin he had held until that date.

There is a similar puzzling feature about references to Trotsky in the document known as 'Lenin's Testament'. In it Lenin says:

"Comrade Trotsky . . is distinguished not only by outstanding ability. He is personally perhaps the most capable man in the present CC".V.I. Lenin: Letter to the Congress, in: 'Collected Works;, Volume 36; Moscow; 1966; p. 595. It is, indeed, an important feature of Trotskyist mythology that during the period of Lenin's leadership of the Russian Communist Party Trotsky's relations with Lenin and the Party were relations or 'mutual confidence', and that Trotsky's conflict with the Party only began following Stalin's accession to the Party leadership. This picture, however, is quite false. In brief the following major policy disagreements and violent differences between Lenin and Trotsky are traced by dates :

In 1903:

At the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic labour Party in July-August. 1903, Trotsky's sympathetic biographer, Isaac Deutscher*, records that

"Trotsky was one of Lenin's most vocal opponents. He charged Lenin with the attempt to build up a closed organisation of conspiracy not a party of the working class.. . . Lenin . . mildly and persuasively appealed to Trotsky. All was in vain. Trotsky was stiffening in hostility". Deutscher: 'Prophet Armed: Trotsky: 1879-1921' (hereafter : 'I. Deutscher:1989 (1)'; Oxford; 1989; p.80-81. Shortly after the Congress, Trotsky wrote the 'Report of the Siberian Delegation' (of which he was a member). In this report he charged that Lenin 'resembles Maximilian Robespierre'*, although only as ‘a vulgar farce resembles historic tragedy’". L.D. Trotsky: 'Vtoroi Syezd RSDRP (Otchet Sibirskoi Delegatsy)'; Geneva; 1903; p. 33. Deutscher comments: "Once he had made up his mind against Lenin, he did not mince his words. He attacked with all his intensity of feeling and with all the sweep to his invective". L.D. Trotsky: 'Vtoroi Syezd RSDRP (Otchet Sibirskoi Delegatsy)'; Geneva; 1903; p. 33.. In 1904:

In August 1904 Trotsky published his pamphlet 'Our Political Tasks', in which he strongly attacked as 'Jacobinism'** Lenin's concept that a disciplined party was essential to lead the working people to carry through a socialist revolution and supported the idea of a 'workers' party' modelled on the lines of the social-democratic parties of Western Europe:

"Lenin's methods lead to this: the party organisation at first substitutes itself for the party as a whole; then the Central Committee substitutes itself for the organisation; and finally a single 'dictator' substitutes himself for the Central Committee. .... Is it so difficult to see that any serious group . . when it is confronted by the dilemma whether it should, from a sense of discipline, silently efface itself, or, regardless of discipline struggle for survival - will undoubtedly choose the latter course . and say: perish that 'discipline' which suppresses the vital interests of the movement. This evil-minded and morally repugnant suspicion of Lenin, this shallow caricature of the tragic intolerance of Jacobinism. . must be liquidated at the present time at all costs, otherwise the party is threatened by complete political, moral and theoretical decay". L. D. Trotsky: 'Nos Taches Politiques'; Paris; 1970; p. 192. Trotsky's biographer Deutscher comments on this book: "Hardly any Menshevik* writer attacked Lenin with so much personal venom. 'Hideous', 'dissolute', 'demagogical', 'slovenly attorney', 'malicious and morally repulsive', these were the epithets which Trotsky threw at the man who had so recently held out to him the hand of fellowship, who had brought him to Western Europe, who had promoted him" .I. Deutscher: 1989 (1): p. 93. However, Lenin was equally scathing about Trotsky. In October 1904 Lenin wrote: "A new pamphlet by Trotsky came out recently. . . The pamphlet is a pack of brazen lies". V. I. Lenin: Letter to Yelena Stasova and Others, in: 'Collected Works'; Volume 43; Moscow; 1969; p. 129. In 1909:

By August 1909 Lenin was writing:

"Trotsky behaves like a despicable careerist and factionalist. He pays lip-service to the Party and behaves worse than any other of the factionalists". V. I. Lenin: Letter to Grigory Zinoviev, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 34; Moscow; 1966; p. 399-400. In 1910:

In March-June 1910 Lenin was writing:

"Trotsky expressed the full spirit of the worst kind of conciliation, 'conciliation' in inverted commas . . . which actually renders the most faithful service to the liquidators** and Otzovists**. . This position of . . Trotsky is wrong". V. I. Lenin: 'Notes of a Publicist', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 16; Moscow; 1963; p. 211, 251. In December 1910, Lenin was no kinder to Trotsky, whose resolution said Lenin : "Expresses the very aim of the 'Golos'** group - to destroy the central bodies . . . and with them the Party as an organisation". V.I. Lenin: 'The State Volume 17; Moscow; 1968; of Affairs in the Party', in: 'Collected Works', p. 23.

"Trotsky's call for ‘friendly’ collaboration by the Party with the 'Gobs' and 'Vpered'** is disgusting hypocricisy and phrase-mongering. Trotsky groups all the enemies of Marxism. .. Trotsky unites all to whom ideological decay is dear, all who are not concerned with the defence of Marxism. struggle against the splitting tactics and the unprincipled adventurism of Trotsky!" V. I. Lenin: To Russian Collegium of the CC of RSDLP, in: 'Works', Vol 17; Mos; 1963; p. 20, 21, 22 .

And at the end of 1910 Lenin was speaking of : "The resonant but empty phrases of which our Trotsky is a master...Trotsky distorts Bolshevism, because he has never been able to form any definite views on the role of the proletariat in the Russian bourgeois revolution. That Trotsky's venture is an attempt to create a faction is obvious to all. Trotsky . . .represents only his own personal vacillations and nothing more. In 1903 he was a Menshevik; he abandoned Menshevism in 1904, returned to the Mensheviks in 1905 and merely flaunted ultra-revolutionary phrases.

One day Trotsky plagiarises from the ideological stock-in-trade of one faction; the next day he plagiarises that of another, and therefore declares himself to be standing above both factions. I am obliged to declare that Trotsky represents only his own faction and enjoys a certain amount of confidence exclusively among the Otzovists and the liquidators." V.I.Lenin: 'Historical Meaning of Inner-Party Struggle in Russia', in: 'Works', Vol 16; p. 375, 380, 389, 391.

In 1911:

In January 1911 Lenin was referring to Trotsky as : "Judas Trotsky".V. I . Lenin: 'Judas Trotsky's Blush of Shame', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 17; Moscow; 1968; p. 45.

In September 1911 Lenin declared:
"The 'Trotskyites . . .' are more pernicious than any liquidator. The Trotskys deceive the workers". V. I. Lenin: 'From the Camp of Stolypin Labour Party', 'Coll Works', Vol 17; Mos; 1968; p. 243.
In October 1911: "Trotsky expressed conciliationism ** more consistently than anyone else. He was probably the only one who attempted to give the trend a theoretical foundation. Ever since the spring of 1910 Trotsky has been deceiving the workers in a most unprincipled and shameless manner by assuring them that the obstacles to unity were principally (if not wholly) of an organisational nature.
The only difference between Trotsky and the conciliators in Paris is that the latter regard Trotsky as a factionalist and themselves as non-factional, whereas Trotsky holds the opposite view. .Trotsky provides us with an abundance of instances of scheming to establish unprincipled 'unity'". Lenin: 'The New Faction of Conciliators, or the Virtuous', in: 'Works', Vol 17; 1968; p. 258, 260, 264, 270.
and in December 1911: "It is impossible to argue with Trotsky on the merits of the issue because Trotsky holds no views whatever. . In his case the thing to do is to expose him as a diplomat of the smallest calibre".V. I. Lenin: 'Trotsky's Diplomacy and a Certain Party Platform', in:'Works', Vol 17; 1968; p. 362.
In 1912: The Prague conference in January 1912 proclaimed the Bolsheviks alone to be the Party. In his paper 'Pravda'** :
"Trotsky denounced Lenin's venture with much sound and fury. His anger rose to highest pitch in April, when the Bolsheviks began to publish in Petersburg a daily called 'Pravda'. . He thundered against the 'theft' and 'usurpation' . . committed by . . 'the circle which lives and thrives only through chaos and confusion". I. Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 198-99 .
Lenin wrote in July 1912 to the editor of the paper: In August 1912 Trotsky's group got together with the Mensheviks, Jewish Bund** and others to form an anti-Bolshevik coalition known as the 'August Bloc'. Trotsky's biographer Deutscher comments: "Trotsky was that bloc's chief mouthpiece, indefatigable at castigating Lenin's 'disruptive work". I. Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 200. In November 1912 Lenin was writing: "Look at the platform of the liquidators. Its liquidationist essence is artfully concealed by Trotsky's revolutionary phrases". V.I. Lenin: 'The Platform of the Reformists and the Platform of Revolutionary Social-Democrats', in:'Works', Vol 18, Moscow; 1968; p. 380. In 1914: Between February and May 1914 Lenin wrote:

"Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism.. At the present moment he is in the company of the Bundists and the liquidators". V.I. Lenin: 'The Right of Nations to Self-Determination', in: Works, Vol 20; Moscow; 1964; p. 447-48.

In May, 1914: "Trotsky is fond of high-sounding and empty phrases. We were right in calling Trotsky a representative of the 'worst remnants of factionalism'. Trotsky. . possesses no ideological and political definiteness. Under cover of 'non-factionalism' Trotsky is championing the interest of a group abroad which particularly lacks definite principles and has no basis in the working-class movement in Russia. There is much glitter and sound in Trotsky's phrases, but they are meaningless. Joking is the only way of retorting mildly to Trotsky's insufferable phrase-mongering. Trotsky is very fond of using with the learned air of the expert pompous and high-sounding phrases, to explain historical phenomena in a way that is flattering to Trotsky. .

Trotsky is trying to disrupt the movement and cause a split..

Trotsky avoids facts and concrete references .. because they relentlessly refute all his angry outcries and pompous phrases.

At the end of 1903 Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik. . . In 1904's he deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now proclaiming his absurdly Left 'permanent revolution' theory. In the period of disintegration. . he again went to the right, and in August 1912 he entered into a bloc with the liquidators. He has now deserted them again, although in substance he reiterates their shoddy ideas".V.I. Lenin: 'Disruption of Unity under Cover of Outcries for Unity', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 20; Moscow; 1964; p. 329, 331, 332, 333-334, 345, 346-7.

In 1915:

In July 1915 Lenin was declaring:

"Trotsky... as always entirely disagrees with the social-chauvinists** in principle, but agrees as always, entirely disagrees with the social-in principle, but agrees with them ". V.I. Lenin: 'The State of Affairs in Russian Social-Democracy', in: 'Works', Vol 21; Moscow; 1964; p. 284.

In the same month he was referring to

"high-flown phraseology with which Trotsky always justifies opportunism. The phrase-banding Trotsky has completely lost his bearings on a simple issue". V. T. Lenin: 'The Defeat of One's Own Government in the Imperialist War', In.'Works', Vol 15; Moscow; 1964; p. 275

And Lenin was denouncing Trotsky's support for "the 'neither-victory-nor-defeat' slogan.

"Whoever is in favour of the slogan of 'neither victory nor defeat' is consciously or unconsciously a chauvinist; he is an enemy to proletarian policy… a partisan of the existing governments, of the present ruling classes. Those who stand for the 'neither-victory-nor-defeat' slogan are in fact on the side of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists, for they do not believe in the possibility of international revolutionary action by the working class against their own governments". V.I. Lenin: 'The Defeat of One's Own Government in the Imperialist War', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 21; Moscow; 1964; p. 278, 279, 280. Between July and August 1915 we find Lenin saying that : "Phrase-lovers . . like Trotsky defend - in opposition to us - the peace slogan". V.I. Lenin: 'The "Peace" Slogan Appraised', Volume 21; Works; Moscow; 1964; p. 288. and Lenin was asserting that : "In Russia, Trotsky. . . defends unity with the opportunist and chauvinist 'Nashe Zarya'** group". V.I. Lenin: 'Socialism and War', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 29; Moscow; 1964; p. 312. In November 1915 Lenin was saying: "Trotsky . . is repeating his 'original' 1905 theory and refuses to give some thought to the reason why, in the course of ten years, life has been by-passing this splendid theory. From the Bolsheviks Trotsky's original theory has borrowed their call for a decisive proletarian revolutionary struggle and the conquest of political power by the proletariat, while from the Mensheviks it has borrowed 'repudiation of the peasantry's role. .Trotsky is, in fact, helping the liberal-labour politicians in Russia who by 'repudiation' of the role of the peasantry understand a refusal to raise up the peasants".V.I. Lenin: 'On the Two Lines in the Revolution', in ''Works', Vol21; Moscow; 1964; p. 419, 420. In 1916:  In March 1916 Lenin wrote to Henriette Roland-Holst*: "What are our differences with Trotsky? . In brief - he is a Kautskyite** V.I. Lenin: Letter to Henriette Roland-Holst, in: 'Collected 'Works', Volume 43; Moscow 1969;p. 515-16. and in the same month was declaring: "Trotsky . . is body and soul for self-determination, but in his case it is an empty phrase".V.I. Lenin: 'The Peace Programme', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 22; Moscow; 1964; p. 167. In June 1916 Lenin declared: "No matter what the subjective 'good' intentions of Trotsky and Martov* may be, their evasiveness objectively supports Russian social-imperialism".V.I. Lenin: 'Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up in:'Works', Volume 22; Moscow; 1964; p. 360 In 1917:

In February 1917 Lenin was writing respectively to Aleksandra Kollontai* and Inessa Armand*:

"What a swine this Trotsky is - Left phrases and a bloc with the Right . !!. He ought to be exposed". V.I.Lenin: Letter to Aleksandra Kollontai, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 285.

"Trotsky arrived, and this scoundrel at once ganged up with the Right wing of 'Novy Mir'**. . . That's Trotsky for you!! Always true to himself ‘ twists, swindles, poses as a Left, helps the Right". V.I Lenin: Letter to Inessa Armand, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 288.

In April 1917 Lenin reported to the Petrograd City Conference of the RSDLP: "Trotskyism: 'No Tsar but a workers' government'. This is wrong". V.I. Lenin: Concluding Remarks, Debate on the Present Situation, Petrograd City Conference of RSDLP, in: 'Collected Works' Volume 24; Moscow; 1966; p. 150. In May 1917 the Bolsheviks met the 'Inter-Borough Organisation', of which Trotsky was a member, to consider the possibility of a merger. At the meeting Trotsky declared: "I cannot call myself a Bolshevik. We cannot be asked to recognise Bolshevism. The old factional name is undesirable" L.D. Trotsky: Speech at the Mezhraiontsji** Conference, in: Institute of Marxism-Leninism: 'Against Trotskyism: Struggle of Lenin & CPSU against Trotskyism: Collection of Documents'; Mos; 1972; p. l22.. On 15 December 1917, the new revolutionary government of Soviet Russia signed an armistice with Germany, and on 22 December negotiations for a peace treaty began at Brest-Litovsk. The plan of Trotsky, who led the Russia Soviet delegation, was as follows: "We interrupt the war and do not sign the peace - we demobilise the army". I. Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 175. Lenin was strongly opposed to Trotsky's plan: "Lenin opposed . . . my plan discreetly and calmly". L.D. Trotsky: 'Lenin'; New York; 1925; p. 135. And so : "Trotsky made a private arrangement with Lenin. . . What would happen, Lenin anxiously asked, if they (the (;Germans - Ed.) chose to resume hostilities? Lenin was rightly convinced that this was bound to happen. Trotsky treated this danger lightly. but he agreed to sign the peace if Lenin's fears proved justified". I.Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 375. On 9 February Trotsky announced to the peace conference that "While Russia was desisting from signing a formal Peace Treaty, it declared the state of war ended with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria simultaneously, giving orders for the complete demobilisation of Russian forces on all fronts". I.Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 375. Trotsky's delegation then walked out of the peace conference and returned to Petrograd.

On l5 February 1918, as Lenin had foreseen, Germany resumed military operations against Soviet Russia. On 18 February 1918, the Central Committee instructed its delegation to sign a peace treaty immediately. On 23 February 1918 the German government presented new peace terms, significantly harsher than the earlier ones. The Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was formally signed on 23 March 1918.

Lenin commented at the 7th Congress of the RCP in March 1918:

"'That I predicted, has come to pass: instead of the Brest peace we have a much more humiliating peace, and the blame for this rests upon those who refused to accept the former peace". V.I. Lenin: Political Report of the Central Committee, Extraordinary 7th Congress of the RCP, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 27; Moscow; 1965; p.102. As the Foreword to 'Against Trotskyism", issued by the Soviet revisionists in power in 1972, correctly expresses it: "On the question of the Brest Peace Treaty, Trotsky maintained an anti-Leninist stand, criminally exposing the newly emerged Soviet Republic to mortal danger. As head of the Soviet delegation to the peace talks, he ignored the instructions of the Party Central Committee and the Soviet Government. At a crucial moment of the talks he declared that the Soviet Republic was unilaterally withdrawing from the war, announced that the Russian Army was being demobilised, and left Brest-Litovsk.

The German Army mounted an offensive and occupied considerable territory. As a result, much harsher peace terms were put forward by the German Government". V.I. Lenin: Political Report of the Central Committee, Extraordinary 7th Congress of the RCP, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 27; Moscow; 1965; p.102.

And 'The 'Great Soviet Encyclopedia', issued by the Soviet revisionists 1974, comments similarly: "No less adventuristic and demagogic was the position of L. D.Trotsky (People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR at the time) who proposed to declare the war terminated and to demobilise the army but not to sign the treaty. . As Trotsky, the head of the Soviet delegation was leaving for Brest, it was agreed between him and Lenin, the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, that the negotiations were to be prolonged by all possible means until the presentation of an ultimatum, after which the peace treaty should be signed immediately. On January 28 Trotsky presented the adventuristic declaration that Soviet Russia would terminate the war and demobilise its army but not sign the peace. Trotsky refused further negotiations, and the Soviet delegation left Brest-Litovsk". Great Soviet Encyclopedia', Volume 4; New York; 1974; p. 66, 67. In 1920:

In December 1920 Lenin wrote:

"I have had to enumerate my 'differences' with Comrade Trotsky because, with such a broad theme as 'The Role and Tasks of the Trade Unions’, he has, I am quite sure, made a number of mistakes bearing on the very essence of the dictatorship of the proletariat". V.I. Lenin: 'The Trade Unions, the Present Situation and Trotsky's Mistakes', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 32; Moscow; 1965; p. 22. In 1921: In January 1921 Lenin severely criticised Trotsky for dereliction of Party duty and factionalism:

"The Central Committee sets up a trade union commission and elects Comrade Trotsky to it. Trotsky refuses to work on the commission, magnifying by this step alone his original mistake, which subsequently leads to factionalism, becomes magnified and later leads to factionalism"'. V.I. Lenin: 'The Party Crisis', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 32; Moscow; 1965; p. 45.

and in the same month, Lenin criticised him for his proposal to 'militarise' the trade unions: "Comrade Trotsky's theses have landed him in a mess. That part of them which is correct is not new, and what is more, turns against him. That which is new is all wrong. .Comrade Trotsky's political mistakes distract our party’s attention from economic tasks. .All his theses, his entire pamphlet, are so wrong". V.I. Lenin: 'Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin=, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 32; Moscow; 1965; p. 74, 85, 90. Even as Late As In 1922:

There were serious differences between Lenin and Trotsky. Trotsky's biographer Deutscher describes a further rift between Lenin and Trotsky in 1922 over Trotsky's refusal to accept the post of Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars:

"In April 1922 an incident occurred which did much to cloud relations between Lenin and Trotsky. On 11 April . . . categorically and somewhat haughtily Trotsky declined to fill this office. The refusal and the manner in which it was made annoyed Lenin. Throughout the summer of 1922 . . the dissension between Lenin and Trotsky persisted. On 11 September . . Trotsky once again refused the post. . On 14 September the Politburo met and Stalin put before it a resolution which was highly damaging to Trotsky; it censured him in effect for dereliction of duty".. The circumstances of the case indicated that Lenin must have prompted Stalin to frame this resolution or that Stalin at least had his consent for it". I.Deutscher: 'The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky: 1921-1929 (hereafter listed as: 'I. Deutscher: 1989 (2)); Oxford; 1989; p. 35, 65-66. Clearly, something occurred in late 1922 to cause Lenin radically to alter the opinion of Trotsky he had held until that date.


In July 1921 Stalin, speaking to the Tiflis Organisation of the Communist Party of Georgia, referred to the rise of nationalism in Transcaucasia:

"Nationalism Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijanian - has shockingly increased in the Transcaucasian republics during the past few years and is an obstacle to joint effort. Evidently, the three years of existence of nationalist governments in Georgia (Mensheviks), in Azerbaijan (Mussavatists**) and in Armenia (Dashnaks**) have left their mark". J.V. Stalin: 'ImmediateTasks of Communism in Georgia & Transcaucasia', 'Works', Vol 5; 1953; p. 97 For this reason. Lenin proposed that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia should, as a temporary measure, be united in a Federation. On 28 November 1921 Lenin wrote to Stalin stating that : "A federation of the Transcaucasian republics is absolutely correct in principle, and should be implemented without fail". V.I. Lenin: Memo to J. V. Stalin, 28 November 1921, in: 'Works', Vol 33; Moscow; 1973; p. 127.

"This unification (in the Transcaucasian Federation - Ed.) was proposed by Lenin".Great Soviet Encyclopedia', Volume 9; New York; 1975; p. 495.

On 29 November 1921: "That proposal . . . was adopted by the Political Bureau unanimously". J.V. Stalin: Reply to Discussion on CC’s Organizational Report, 12th Congress RCP,Vol 5; 1953; p.234. And it was confirmed by three subsequent decisions of the Central Committee: "The Central Committee has on three occasions affirmed the necessity of preserving the Transcaucasian Federation". J.V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 257. As a result : "The Transcaucasian Federation - the Federative Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of Transcaucasia - was founded on March 12, 1922.. . . In December 1922, the Federative Union was transformed into the Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Republic. The Transcaucasian Federation existed until 1936. In conformity with the Constitution of the USSR adopted in 1936, the Armenian, Azerbaijanian and Georgian Soviet Socialist Republics entered the USSR as Union Republics". Note to: J. V. Stalin: 'Works', Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 421. Stalin reminded the 12th Congress of the RCP in April 1923 why the formation of the Transcaucasian Federation had been considered essential: "In a place like Transcaucasia . . it is impossible to dispense with a special organ of national peace. As you know, Transcaucasia is a country where there were Tatar-Armenian massacres while still under the tsar, and war under the Mussavatists, Dashnaks and Mensheviks. To put a stop to that strife an organ of national peace was needed, i.e., a supreme authority. . . And so . . . a federation of republics, and a year after that.. a Union of Republics was formed". Stalin:Reply to Discussion on CC's Organizational Report, 12th Congress of RCP, WorksVol 5; p. 232

"From very early times Transcaucasia has been an arena of massacre and strife and, under the Mensheviks and Dashnaks, it was an arena of war. That is why the Central Committee has on three occasions affirmed the necessity of preserving the Transcaucasian Federation as an organ of national peace. . The point is that the bonds of the Transcaucasian Federation deprive Georgia of that somewhat privileged position which she could assume by virtue of her geographical position. . Georgia has her own port -Batum - through which goods must flow from the West; Georgia has a railway junction like Tiflis, which the Armenians cannot avoid, nor can Azerbaijan avoid it. . If Georgia were a separate republic, if she were not part of the Transcaucasian Federation, she could present something in the nature of a little ultimatum both to Armenia, which cannot do without Tiflis, and to Azerbaijan, which cannot do without Batum.

There is yet another reason. Tiflis is the capital of Georgia, but the Georgians there are not more than 30% of the population, the Armenians not less than 35%, and then come all the other nationalities. . If Georgia were a separate republic, the population could be reshifted somewhat.. . Was not a well-known decree adopted in Georgia to reshift the population so as to reduce the number of Armenians in Tiflis from year to year, making them fewer than the Georgians, and thus convert Tiflis into a real Georgian capital?". J.V. Stalin: Report on National Factors in Party and State Affairs, 12th Congress 'of RCP, in: 'Works', Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 256, 257, 258-59.

However, both before and after its formation, the existence of the Transcaucasian Federation was opposed by a group of Georgian nationalists within the Communist Party of Georgia, headed by Polikarp ('Budu') Mdivani and Filipp Makharadze* and known as the 'Georgian deviators': "The struggle which the group of Georgian Communists headed by Mdivani is waging against the Central Committee's directive concerning federation dates back to that time (the end of 1921 - Ed.)". J.V. Stalin: Reply to the Discussion on the Central Committee's Organisational Report, 12th Congress of RCP, in:'Works', Volume 5;Moscow; 1953; p. 234.

"The national-deviationist opposition in the ranks of the Communist Party of Georgia arose and took shape in 1921. During the entire period of 1921-24 the Georgian national-deviationists carried on a fierce struggle against the Leninist and Stalinist national policy of our Party". L.P.Beria:'On the History of Bolshevik Organisations in Transcaucasia'; London; 1939; p. 167.

later, many of the 'Georgian deviators' joined the Trotskyist opposition: "In 1924 a considerable number of the national-deyiationists joined what was then the Trotskyite anti-Party opposition". L. P. Beria: ibid.; p. 167. Stalin pointed out to the 12th Congress that fear of Great Russian chauvinism was obviously not the cause of the 'Georgian deviation', since the 'Georgian deviators’ supported the entry of Georgia into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as an independent state: "There has been and still is a group of Georgian Communists who do not object to Georgia uniting with the Union of Republics, but who do object to this union being effected through the Transcaucasian Federation. These statements indicate that on the national question the attitude towards the Russians is of secondary importance in Georgia, for these comrades, the deviators (that is what they are called), have no objection to Georgia joining the Union directly; that is, they do not fear Great-Russian chauvinism, believing that its roots have been cut in one way or another or at any rate, that it is not of decisive importance". J. V. Stalin: Report on National Factors in Party and State Affairs, 12th Congress of RCP, in: 'Works', Volume S; Moscow; 1953; p. 257. He assessed the cause of the 'Georgian deviation’ as the desire of the Georgian nationalists not to lose the geographical advantages which an independent Georgia would possess, advantages of which they wished to take advantage: "It is these geographical advantages that the Georgian deviators do not lose.. that are causing our deviators to oppose federation. They want to leave the federation, and this will create legal opportunities for independently performing certain operations which will result in the advantageous position enjoyed by the Georgians being fully utilised against Azerbaijan and Armenia. And all this would create a privileged position for the Georgians in Transcaucasia. Therein lies the whole danger. The Georgian deviators . . . are pushing us on to the path of granting them certain privileges at the expense of the Armenian and Azerbaijanian Republics. But that is a path we cannot take, for it means certain death to . . Soviet power in the Caucasus". J. V. Stalin: Report on National Factors in Party and State Affairs, 12th Congress of RCP, in: 'Works', Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 258, 261. The 'Georgian deviators', while dominating the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia, formed only a small minority within the Communist Party of Georgia as a whole: "The Mdivani group has no influence in its own Georgian Communist Party. . The Party has held two congresses: the first congress was held at the beginning of 1922, and the second was held at the beginning of 1923. At both congresses the Mdivani group, and its idea of rejecting federation, was emphatically opposed by its own Party. At the first congress, I think, out of a total of 122 votes he obtained somewhere about 18; and at the second congress, out of a total of 144 votes he obtained about 20". J. V. Stalin: Reply to the Discussion on the Central Committee's Organisational Report, 12th Congress of PCP, in: 'Works', Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 234-35. Nevertheless, even after the Transcaucasian Federation had been formed against the objections of the 'Georgian deviators', the latter did all they could to sabotage the functioning of the federation: "Mdivani and his supporters, constituting a majority on the Georgian Communist Party Central Committee, virtually slowed down the economic and political union of the Transcaucasian Republics and were intent, in essence, on keeping Georgia isolated". Note to: V. I. Lenin: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 750.

"The Mdivani group, now joined by Makharadze and his followers, protested the infringement on Georgian sovereignty and did everything in its power to prevent implementation of the federal union's directives". P. G. Suny: >The Making of the Georgian Nation=; London; 1989; p. 215.

"The Georgians sabotaged as best they could the measures taken to bring about the economic integration of the three republics. They installed military guards on the frontiers of the Georgian republic, demanded residence permits, etc." M. Lewin: 'Lenin's Last Struggle'; London; 1969; p. 45.

At the 12th Congress of the RCP in April 1923 Grigory ('Sergo') Ordzhonikidze*, First Secretary of the Transcaucasian Territorial Party Committe':, 'accused the 'deviationists', Mdivani and Makharadze, of a series of improper activities - refusing to take down customs barriers, selling a Soviet ship to foreigners, negotiating with the Ottoman Bank, and closing the frontiers of Georgia to hungry refugees from the North Caucasus and the Volga region... More important, he condemned the Georgian government's failure to implement a radical land reform and eliminate once and for all the noble landlords". R. G. Suny: op. cit.; p. 218. The policy of maintaining the Transcaucasian Federation was continued as preparations were made to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. On 6 October 1922 the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party decided:

"To have Transcaucasia enter the union as one unit". R. G. Suny: op. cit.; p. 216.


"the Georgian leadership in Tiflis insisted on Georgia's separate entry.. . From Tiflis the Georgian leaders wired Moscow in protest and heatedly criticised the authoritarianism of the Transcaucasian Territory Party Committee".R. G. Suny: op. cit.; p. 216.

"The Georgians. . protested to Moscow, demanding the disbandment of the projected federation. To this request Stalin replied on October 16 in the name of the Central Committee, stating that it was unanimously rejected". R. Pipes: 'The Formation of the Soviet Union'; Cambridge (USA); 1964; p.274

A group of the 'Georgian deviators', headed by Kate Tsintsadze* and Sergey Kavtaradze* then telegraphed a protest, making a strong attack on Ordzhonikidze, directly to Lenin, who rebuked them sharply and defended Ordzhonikidze in a telegram of reply dated 21 October 1922: "I am surprised at the indecent tone of the direct wire message sent by Tsintsadze and others. . . I was sure that all the diffferences had been ironed out by the CC Plenum resolutions with my indirect participation and with the direct participation of Midivani. That is why I resolutely condemn the abuse against Ordzhonikidze and insist that your conflict should be referred in a decent and loyal tone for settlement by the RCP CC Secretariat". V. I. Lenin: Telegram to K.M.Tsintsadze and S. I.Kavtarddze, 21 October 1922, in: 'Collected Works', On receiving Lenin's rebuke, the bloc of 'Georgian deviators', who formed nine of the eleven members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia, resigned in protest: "Faced with Lenin's fury and isolated from the central leaders, the Georgian Central Committee took an unprecedented step: on October 22 they resigned en masse. Ordzhonikidze quickly appointed a new Central Committee of people who agreed with the positions taken up in Moscow, but the Mdivani-Makharadze stepped up their protests". R. C. Suny: op. cit.; p. 216. On 25 November the Politburo of the Central Committee decided to send a commission to Georgia, headed by People's Commissar for Internal Affairs Feliks Dzerzhinsky* : "To examine urgently the statements by members of the Central Committee of the Georgian Communist Party who had resigned, and to work out measures to establish tranquility in the Georgian Communist Party". Note to: V. I. Lenin: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; l97O; p. 656-57. Dzerzhinsky reported the findings of his commission to Lenin on 12 December 1922, including the fact that : "The commission had decided to recall to Moscow the leaders of the former Georgian Central Committee, who were held responsible for everything". M.Lewin, op. cit.; p. 68. Then, at the very end of December 1922, Lenin, who had initiated the concept of the Transcaucasian Federation, who had denounced the 'Georgian deviators’, and defended Ordzhonikidze against their attacks, suddenly reversed his position on these questions. In the document known as 'Lenin's Testament' he dictated to his secretary Maria Volodicheva on 30 December 1922, he implied that the charges of 'Georgian nationalism' levelled against the 'Georgian deviators’ were 'imaginary' (and the product of 'Great Russian chauvinism on the part of Dzerzhinsky': "Comrade Dzerzhinsky, who went to the Caucasus to investigate the 'crime' of those ‘nationalist-socialists', distinguished himself there by his truly Russian frame of mind (it is common knowledge that people of other nationalities who have become Russified overdo this Russian frame of mind)". V.I. Lenin: 'The Question of "Nationalities, or "Autonomisation"', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 36; Moscow; 1966; p. 606. However, Lenin placed the main blame for this 'erroneous policy of Great Russian chauvinism’ on Stalin. He declared that it was necessary: "To defend the non-Pussian from the onslaught of that really Russian man, the Great Russian chauvinist, in substance a rascal and a tyrant... I think that Stalin’s . . spite against the notorious 'nationalist-socialism' played a fatal role here. In politics spite generally plays the basest of roles". V.I. Lenin: 'The Question of Nationalities, or "Autonomisation", in: 'Collected Works1, Vol 36; Moscow; 1966; p 606. On the following day, 31 December 1922, Lenin dictated a postcript on the same lines, referring to Stalin as : "The Georgian who. . casually flings about accusations of 'nationalist-socialist', whereas he himself is a real and true nationalist-socialist’ and even a vulgar Great-Russian bully)...The political responsibility for all this truly Great-Russian nationalist campaign must, of course, be laid on Stalin and Dzerzhinsky". V.I. Lenin: 'The Question of Nationalities, or 'Autononisation"', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 36; Moscow; 1966; p. 606 By March 1923 Lenin was dictating a letter to Trotsky asking him to defend the case of the 'Georgian deviators' in the Central Committee: "It is my earnest request that you should undertake the defence of the Georgian case in the Party CC. The case is now under 'persecution' by Stalin and Dzerzhinsky, and I cannot rely on their impartiality. Quite the contrary, I would feel at ease if you agreed to undertake this defence".V.I. Lenin: Letter to L. D. Trotsky, 5 March 1923, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 607 Trotsky declined to intervene in the affair: ".On the plea of ill health". Note to: V. I. Lenin: 'Collected Works;', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 757.

On the following day, Lenin dictated a letter to the leading 'Georgian deviators', giving them his whole-hearted support to their case and offering to assist it with notes and a speech:

"I am following your case with all my heart. I am indignant over Ordzhonikidze's rudeness and the connivance of Stalin and Dzerzhinsky. I am preparing for you notes and a speech". V.I. Lenin: Letter to P. G. Mdivani, F. Y. Makharadze and Others, 6 March 1923, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 608. In conclusion it may be added that Trotsky's efforts in 1923 to persuade the Central Committee to adopt the line of the 'Georgian deviators' and abolish the Transcaucasian Federation were heavily defeated: "Trotsky's motion in the Politburo on March 26 to recall Ordzhomikidze, decentralise the Transcaucasian Federation and recognise that the minority in the Communist Party of Georgia had not been 'deviationists', failed by six to one". R.G.Suny: op. cit.; p. 218. Clearly, something occurred in late 1922 to cause Lenin radically to alter the opinion on Transcaucasia he had held until that date. And this was the same time at which something occurred to cause him radically to alter the opinions he had held of Stalin and Trotsky until that date. LENIN'S ILLNESS Lenin fell seriously ill in 1921 : "Lenin fell seriously ill towards the end of 1921 and was forced to rest for several weeks". M.Lewin: op. cit.; p. 33. On 23 April 1922 Lenin underwent surgery to remove one of the bullets fired at him in an assassination attempt by the Socialist Revolutionary Fanya Kaplan on 30 August 1918. Note to: V. I. Lenin: 'Collected Works', Volume 33; Moscow; 1966; p. 527.

Then, on 26 May 1922,

"Catastrophe struck: his right hand and leg became paralysed and his speech was impaired, sometimes completely so. . his convalescence was slow and tedious. . . He never fully regained his health. The return to public life was not to last long". M.Lewin: op. cit.; p. 33, 34. and on 16 December, Lenin suffered : "Two dangerous strokes". M.Lewin: ibid.; p. xxii.

and furthermore :

"On December 23 he . . . suffered another attack of his illness... He realised next morning that once again a part of his body, his right hand and leg, was paralysed". M. Lewin: op. cit.; p. 73. On 10 March 1923: "A new stroke paralyses half of Lenin's body and deprives him of his capacity to speak. Lenin's political activity is finished". M. Lewin: op. cit.; p. xxiv. Lenin died on 21 January 1924. The doctors who performed the autopsy on Lenin on 22 January found that "The basic disease of the deceased was disseminated vascular arteriosclerosis based on premature wearing out of the vessels. The narrowing of the lumen of the cerebral arteries and the disturbances of the cerebral blood supply brought about focal softening of the brain tissue which can account for all symptoms of the disease (paralysis, disturbance of speech)". R.Payne: Report on the Pathological-Anatomical Examination of the Body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, in: 'The Life and Death of Lenin'; London; 1967; p. 632. The controversial document known as 'Lenin's Testament' was dictated between 23 and 31 December 1922, with a supplement dated 4 January 1923, after Lenin had already suffered four severe strokes which had adversely affected his brain function. Thus. Lenin's radical changes of opinion on Stalin, on Trotsky and on Transcaucasia are partly explicable by psycho-pathologica1 factors.


However, the puzzles of Lenin's remarkable changes of opinion up on Stalin, on Trotsky and on Transcaucasia are not explicable on psycho-pathological grounds alone. The political role of Krupskaya must be examined to unravel the puzzle further. Although on 18 December 1922 a Plenum of the Central Committee, had :

"Made Stalin personally responsible for the observance of the regime prescribed for Lenin by the doctors," R.H.McNeal (1988): p. 73. Nevertheless, Stalin was prevented from seeing Lenin : "Though virtually Lenin's legal guardian, Stalin never saw his charge in person", R.H.McNeal (1988): p. 73. In fact after 13 December, Stalin never saw Lenin alive at all :

"The last time Stalin saw Lenin alive.. Was 13 December", R.H.McNeal (1988): p. 73.

This was supposedly for strict medical rules, since :

"Strict rules were established, and it was agreed that no visitors should be allowed.. Except for the doctors immediate family, he was permitted to see only his secretaries. .. He was to be isolated almost as completely as a prisoner in the Peter Paul fortress". R.Payne: op. cit.; p. 555. In these conditions of isolation, an extremely important role was played by Lenin's wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya*. Her biographer Robert McNeal* speaks of Krupskaya’s : "Long personal antipathy to Stalin". R.H.McNeal: 'Bride of the Revolution: Krupskaya and Lenin= (hereafter referred to as 'R. H. McNeal (1973)'; London; 1973; p. 254. After Lenin's death in 1924, Krupskaya participated in the Opposition. McNeal speaks of her "Readiness to lean towards the opposition. Krupskaya . . . really stood with the opposition. It date on her entry into this status.Krupskaya was in reality coming round to . . signing a manifesto of protest against official policy. This document was the work of Zinoviev*. ... Kamenev*, Krupskaya and Sokolnikov* (the Commissar of Finance) jointly signed a 'platform' attacking the . the leadership. . . It was circulated among members of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission.The 14th Party Congress (in December 1925) was the pinnacle of Krupskaya's career in the opposition. It was left to her to begin the opposition's critique.Krupskaya remained in the opposition . . until October 1926. She signed the major political manifesto that the Trotsky-Zinoviev opposition produced in this period, the 'Declaration of the Thirteen’ ... along with another protest against Soviet policy in the English General Strike of 1926". R.H. McNeal (1973): ibid.; p. 250, 251. 252, 253, 256.   "Krupskaya stood firmly behind Zinoviev and Kamenev.. . She was now eager to testify in favour of Zinoviev U5 interpretation of Leninism and against socialism in one country". I.Deutscher (1989: 2): p. 247. At the 15th Conference of the CPSU in November 1926, Stalin hinted that Krupskaya had broken with the opposition: "Is it not a fact that Comrade Krupskaya, for instance, is leaving the opposition bloc? (Stormy applause)". J.V. Stalin: Reply to the Discussion on the Report on 'The SocialDemocratic Deviation in our Party', in: 'Works', Volume 8; Moscow; 1954; p.371. But not until six months later, in May 1927, did Krupskaya herself confirm this: "On May 20 1927, 'Pravda' carried a short, undated note from Krupskaya to the editor. In it she gave the Party and the public at large the first confirmation that she had left the opposition. . . There was no word of repentance on any specific issue". R. H. McNeal (1973): p. 261-62. Afterwards, "She even explained her membership of the opposition as if it had been quite correct". R.H. McNeal (1973): p. 262-63. Robert Payne* -- a biographer of Lenin who is violently antagonistic to Stalin - admits that Krupskaya took advantage of her role during Lenin's illness to feed selected items of 'information' to him: "Krupskaya . showed not the slightest intention of carrying out the orders of the doctors and the Politburo; and so small scraps of information were fed to Lenin. . . While he lay ill, she was his ears and eyes, his sole powerful contact with the outside world'. R.Payne: op. cit.; p. 555-56. These selected items of 'information' were naturally hostile to Stalin, and favourable to Trotsky and to the 'Georgian deviators' and Krupskaya's biographer agrees that Stalin was justified in suspecting her of having influenced Lenin's attitude towards him in 1923-24: while Payne is even more frank: "Krupskaya did what she had to do: she waged war against Stalin". R.Payne: op. cit.: p. 563. On 22 December Stalin rebuked Krupskaya on the telephone for her role in feeding selective items of 'information' to Lenin and threatened to bring the matter before the Central Control Commission of the CPSU. On the following day she wrote to a letter of complaint to Lev Kamenev* on Stalin's 'rudeness': "Stalin subjected me to a storm of the coarsest abuse yesterday about a brief note that Lenin dictated to me. . I know better than all the doctors what can and what cannot be said to Ilyich, for I know what disturbs him and what doesn't. And in any case I know better than Stalin. I have no doubt as to the unanimous decision of the Control Cormission with which Stalin takes it upon himself to threaten me, but I have neither the time nor the energy to lose in such a stupid farce". N. K.Krupskaya: Letter to Lev Kamenev, 23 DeceLber 1922, in: M. Lewin: op.cit.; p.152-53. When this incident came to Lenin's knowledge, on 5 March 1923 he wrote to Stalin saying: "You have been so rude as to summon my wife to the telephone and use bad language. . . . Wbat has been done against my wife I consider having been done against me as well. I ask you, therefore, to think it over whether you are prepared to . . make your apologies, or whether you prefer that relations between us should be broken off". Lenin: Letter to J. V.Stalin, 5 March 1923, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 607-08. Lenin's sister, Maria Ullyanova*, wrote to the Presidium of the 1926 Joint Plenum of the CC and CCC, stating that : "Stalin offered to apologise". Note to: V. I. lenin: 'Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 75


On 18 May 1924 Krupskaya sent the 'Testament' to Lev Kamenev, who passed it on to Stalin, as General Secretary. On 19 May Stalin passed the documents to the steering committee for the next (13th) Congress, which was due to begin on 23 May 1924.

By a vote of 30-10, the steering conmittee resolved not to publish the document, but to read it to a closed session of delegates

"With explanations that Lenin had been ill". R.H. McNeal (1988): p. 110.
"As regards publishing the 'will', the congress decided not to publish it, since it was addressed to the congress and was not intended for publication". J.V. Stalin: Speech to Joint Plenum of CC & CCC of CPSU, in: 'Works', Vol 10; Moscow; 1954; p. 181..
First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, in his secret speech to the 20th Congress of the CPSU(B) in February 1956, confirmed that Lenin's 'Testament' "Was made known to the delegates at the 13th Party Congress who discussed the question of transferring Stalin from the position of Secretary General". N.S. Khrushchev: op. cit.; p. 7. At the Congress itself, in view of the criticism of him made in 'Lenin's Testament', Stalin offered his resignation as Ceneral Secretary "This question. was discussed by each delegation separately, and all the delegations unanimously, including Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev*, obliged Stalin to remain at his post. What could I do? Desert my post? That is not in my nature. I have never deserted any post, and I have no right to do so. . When the Party imposes an obligation upon ne, I must obey." J.V. Stalin: Speech to Joint Plenum of CC & CCC of CPSU, in: "Works',Volume 10; Mos; 1954; p. 181. Krushchev confirms that "The delegates (to the 13th Party Congress - Ed.) declared themselves in favour of retaining Stalin in this post". N.S.Krushchev: op. cit.; p. 7. At the first meeting of the Central Committee elected at the 13th Congress of the Party, and again a year later, Stalin offered his resignation, and each time it was rejected: "At the very first plenum of the Central Committee after the 13th Congress, I asked the plenum to release me from my duties as General Secretary.. A year later I again put in a request to the plenum to release me, but I was again obliged to remain at my post. What else could I do?" J.V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 181 In 1925 the Trotskyist Max Eastman* published the book 'Since Lenin Died' which included excerpts from 'Lenin's Testament’. As Stalin said in October 1927: "There is a certain Eastman, a former American Communist who was later expelled from the Party. This gentleman, who mixed with the Trotskyists in Moscow, picked up some rumours and gossip about Lenin's ‘will’, went abroad and published a book entitled 'Since Lenin Died', in which he did his best to blacken the Party, the Central Committee and the Soviet regime, and the gist of which was that the Central Committee of our Party was 'concealing' Lenin's 'will". J.V. Stalin: Speech to Joint Plenum of CC & CCC of CPSU, in: 'Works', Vol 10; 1954; p. 178-79. In September 1925, in a statement published in 'Bolshevik', Trotsky publicly dissociated himself from Eastman and denied that Lenin's letter to the Congress constituted any form of 'testament', which would have been quite alien to Party practice: "In several parts of his book Eastman says that the Central Committee tconcealed' from the Party a number of exceptionally important documents written by Lenin in the last period of his life (it is a matter of letters on the national question, the so-called 1will', and others); there can be no other name for this than slander against the Central Comriitee of our Party. From what Eastman says it nay be inferred that Vladimir Ilyich intended those letters, which bore the character of advice on internal organisation, for the press. In point of fact, that is absolutely untrue. . It goes without saying that all those letters and proposals . . were brought to the knowledge of the delegates at the 12th and 13th Congresses, and always, of course, exercised due influence upon the Party's decisions; and if not all of those letters were published, it was because the author did not intend them for the press. Vladimir Ilyich did not leave any 'will', and the very character of his attitude towards the Party, as well as the character of the Party itself, precluded any possibility of such a 'will'. What is usually referred to as a 'will' in the emigre' and foreign bourgeois and Menshevik press (in a manner garbled beyond recognition) is one of Vladimir Ilyich's letters containing advice on organisational matters. The 13th Congress of the Party paid the closest attention to that letter, as to all of the others, and drew from it the conclusions appropriate to the conditions and circumstances of the time. All talk about concealing or violating a 'will' is a malicious invention". L.D.Trotsky: 'Concerning Eastman's Book "Since Lenin Died"', in: 'Bolshevik', 16; 1 Sep, 1925; p. 68. At a Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the CPSU in October 1927, the opposition raised the question of 'Lenin's Testament'. Stalin replied: "The oppositionists shouted here - you heard them - that the Central Committee of the Party 'concealed' Lenin's 'will'. It has been proved and proved again that nobody has concealed anything, that Lenin's 'will' was addressed to the 13th Party Congress, that this 'will' was read out at the Congress (Voices: That's right!), that the congress unanimously decided not to publish it because, among other things, Lenin himself did not want it to be published and did not ask that it should be published". J.V. Stalin: Speech at Joint Planum of CC & CCC of CPSU, in: "Works', Vol 10; Moscow; 1927; p. 173. At this point Stalin publicly confirmed and commented upon the reference in the 'Testament' to his 'rudeness' and on Lenin's proposal that he should be removed as General Secretary: "It is said that in that 'will' Comrade Lenin suggests to the congress that in view of Stalin's 'rudeness' it should consider the question of putting other comrade in Stalin's place as General Secretary. That is quite true. Yes, comrades, I am rude to those who grossly and perfidiously wreck and split the Party. I have not concealed this and do not conceal it now. Perhaps some mildness is needed in the treatment of splitters, but I am a bad hand at that. But rudeness is not and cannot be counted as a defect in Stalin's political line or position." J.V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 180-81, 182. The 15th Congress of the CPSU in December 1927 decided to publish 'Testament' in the Congress Bulletin, so that : "After the 15th Congress of 1927 Lenin's 'Testament' became somewhat more widely known among the Party aktiv". R.A. Medvedev: 'Let History Judge'; London; 1972; p. 29. Finally, after the victory of revisionism in the CPSU following the death of Stalin in 1953, First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev quoted extensively from 'Lenin's Testament in his secret speech to the 20th Congress in February 1956, and copies were: "Distributed among the delegates". N. S. Khrushchev: op. cit.; p. 6.

Later, the 'Testament' was published in Lenin's 'Collected Works'.


The fact that, despite Lenin's reputation as the world's leading Marxist, his call, in his 'Testament', for the removal of Stalin from the post of General Secretary was rejected by 13th Congress of the CPSU, says much about the circumstances in which the document carne to be issued.




*ARMAND, Yelizaveta ('Inessa') F., French-born Soviet women's movement worker (1875-1920); head of Women's Department of CC, RCP (1918-20).

*DEUTSCHER, Isaac, Polish-born British Trotskyist historian and journalist (1907-67); emigrated to Britain (1939).

*DZERZHINSKY, Feliks E.1 Polish-born Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician (1877-1926); Chairman, CHEKA, later OGPU (1917-26); Commissar of Communications and Internal Affairs (1921-24); Chairman, Supreme Economic Council (1924-26).

*EASTMAN, Max, American Trotskyist author and poet (1883-1969).

*FOTIEVA, Lidya A., (1881- ), one of Lenin's secretaries (1918-22).

*'GORKY, Maksim' (pseudonym of Aleksey I. Peshkov), Soviet Marxist-Leninist writer (1868-1936); President, Soviet Writers' Union (1934-36); murdered by revisionist conspirators (1936).

*KAMENEV, Lev B., Soviet revisionist politician (1883-1936); USSR Commissar of Trade (1926-27); Minister to Italy (1927); leader of Trotskyist opposition (1926-28); expelled fron CPSU (1927); readmitted (1928); Chairman, Main Concessions Committee (1929); again expelled from PArty (1932); again readmitted (1933); expelled from Party for third time (1934); sentenced to imprisonment for terrorism (1935); sentenced to death for treason and executed (1936).

*KAUTSKY, Karl J., German revisionist politician (1854-1938).

*KAVTARADZF, Sergey I., Georgian nationalist politician (1885-1971); Georgian Commisar of Justice (1921-22); Georgian Premier (1922-23); 1st Deputy Procrator, USSR Supreme Court (1924-28); expelled from Party (1927); reinstated (1934); USSR Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (l941-5); Ambassador to Romania (1945-52).

*KOLLONTAY, Aleksandra H., Soviet Marxist-Leninist diplomat (1872-1952); Minister to Norway (1923-26, 1927-30); Minister to Mexico (1926-27); Minister, then Ambassador, to Sweden (1930-45); counsellor, USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1945-52).

*KRUPSKAYA, Nadezhda K., Lenin's wife (1869-1939).

*McNEIL, Robert H., American historian (1930- ); Associate Professor of History, University of Toronto (1964-69); Professor of History, University of Massachusetts (1969- ).

*MAKHARADZE, Filipp I., Georgian nationalist historian and politician (1868-1941); President, Georgia (1922-41).

*'MART0V, L. (pseudonym of Yuly 0. Tsederbauw), Russian Menshevik leader and journalist (1873-1923); emigrated to Germany (1920).

*MDIVANI, Polykarp ('Budu') C., Georgian nationalist politician (1877-1937); Georgian Commissar of Light Industry and Deputy Premier (1931-36); expelled from Party for Trotskyism (1928); reinstated (1931); again expelled (1936); sentenced to death for treason and executed (1937).

*PAYNE, Robert, British-born American historian (1911-83).

*ORDZHONIKIDZE, Grigory ('Sergo') K., Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician (1886-1937); 1st Secretary, Transcaucasian Party Committee (1922-26); Chairman, CPSU Central Control Commission and USSR Commissar of Workers' and Peasants Inspect-on (1926-30); Chairman, USSR Council of National Economy (1930-32); member, Politburo, CC, CPSU (1930-37); USSR Commissar of Heavy Industry (l932)

*PRE0BRAZHENSKY Yevgeny A., Soviet revisionist economist (1886-1937); member, Politburo, Secretary of Central Committee, Commissar of Finance (1921-27) expelled from party (1927); tried for treason; died in prison (1937).

*ROBESPIERRE, Maximilien P-M-I. de, French revolutionary leader (1758-94); leader of Jacobin Club (1791-92); leader of Committee of Public Safety (1793-94); guillotined (1794).

*R0LAND-HOLST, Henriette, Dutch 'Christian socialist', later Trotskyist; poet (1869-1952).

*S0KOLNIKOV, Grigory Y., Soviet revisionist lawyer and economist (1888-1939); USSR Commissar of Finance (1921-26); Chairman, Oil Syndicate (1926-28); Ambassador to Britain and USSR Deputy Commissar of Foreign Affairs (1929-34); USSR Deputy Commissar of Forestry Industry (1934-36); expelled from Party (1936); admitted to treason at public trial and sentenced to imprisonment (1937); died in prison (1939).

*TSINTSADZE, Kate H., Georgian nationalist politician (1887-1930).

*ULYANOVA, Marya I. (1878-1937); Lenin's sister.

*ZINOVIEV. Grigory Y., Soviet revisionist politician (l883-l936~; Member, Politburo, CC, CPSU (1925); headed Leningrad opposition (1926); expelled from CPSU (1927); readmitted (1928); again expelled from Party (1932); again readmitted (1~33); imprisoned for terrorism (1935); sentenced to death and executed for treason (1936).


**BUND (The General Jewish Workers' Union of Lithuania, Poland and Russia). A Jewish bourgeois-nationalist organisation formed in 1897 which functioned as a centre of Jewish nationalism in the Russian working class movement.

**CONCILIATIONISM A political trend advocating collaboration, and even unitybetween Marxist-Leninists and opponents of Marxism.

**DASHNAKS. Members of the 'Dashnaktsutyun Party, a nationalist party of the landlords and bourgeoisie in Armenia, formed in the 1890s.

**'GOLOS (The Voice). A Menshevik daily newspaper published in Paris between 1908 and 1911.

**JAC0BINISM. The policies of the Jacobin Club, representing the left-wing of the French Revolution.

**KAUTSKYITE. A follower of Kautsky.

**LIQUIDATORS. Followers of ‘Liquidationism', a reactionary trend within the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party in 1907-10 which advocated the liquidation of the disciplined revolutionary Party of the working class and its replacement by a legal reformist party of the West European social-democratic type.

**MENSHEVIK. Member of the right (social-democratic) minority wing of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party.

**'MEZHRAIONTSYI. Members of the 'Mezhraionnaia' (Inter-borough Organisation), formed in 1913 in St. Petersburg. The organisation joined the Bolshevik Party in 1917.

**MUSSAVATISTS. Members of the ‘Mussavat Party', a nationalist party of the landlords and bourgeoisie in Azerbaijan, formed in 1912.

**NASHE ZARYA' (Our Dawn). A monthly magazine published by the Menshevik 'Liquidators' in St. Petersburg between between 1910 and 1914, when it was suppressed and replaced by 'Nashe Delo' (Our Cause).

**"N0VY MIR' (New World). A pro-Menshevik newspaper published by Russian emigres in New York in 1911-17.

**OTZOVISTS (Recallers). Supporters within the Bolshevik Party of an opportunist trend which oppposed legal forms of activity and called for the recall of Social-Democratic Party deputies from the State Duma.

**SOCIAL-CHAUVINISM. 'Chauvinism' ('Jingoism') takes its name from a French jingoistic soldier, Nicolas Chauvin (b. 1815). ‘Social-chauvinism' is jingoism within the socialist movement.

**'VPERED (Forward). An anti-Party group formed outside Russia which opposed the use of legal tactics; it operated from 1909 to 1913.


This article was first published in the North American journal Alliance -Marxist-Leninist; Number 15 1994; and then was part of the pamphlet "The Lie of the "Lenin Testament" Published by North Star Compass, Toronto, 1997).


The Affair Of The so-called "Lenin Testament" has confused generations of militants, and has played a certain role in bringing honset militnats to the cause of Trotskyism. Fortunatley for Marxist-Leninist, the tawdry history has been convincingly revealed in more or less entirety.

As part of the archival search that took place after the fall of even a pretence of a "socialist state", a cache of letters written by J.V.Stalin to his comrade-in-arms – Viacheslav Molotov was found, translated and published in the volume: "Stalin’s Letters To Molotov"; Edited by Lars T.Lih, Oleg V.Naumov, and Oleg V.Khlevniuk; Yale University press; New Haven, 1995; ISBN: 0-300-06211-7.

Although almost all of the letters shed light on the inner workings of the CPSU, those that are numbered 6-8 – deal in detail with the "So Called Testament Affair". In addition, in order to make sense of Stalin’s letters, the editors also include a very lengthy internal memorandum written by Stalin to the Politburo about the machinations of Trotsky on this affair. This memorandum is referenced from the archives as: "RTsKhIDNI.f.17, op.3, d.507, II.8-23.

Coupled with the letters - It is invaluable both for Marxists-Leninists, and all those who wish to understand the real history of both the so-called "Testament" and Trotsky’s maneuvers. The following article puts the essentials of the story, as drawn by firstly Stalin himself, and by the editors of the re-discovered letters. Alliance poses a pertinent question at the end, that relates to why the Politburo in the end obstructed Stalin’s full and open exposure and why this leads to question the integrity of some leading members of the Comintern.


Max Eastman was an American member of the Communist Party, who was married to a Russian woman, and he then became a close ally of Trotsky. He published in the USA, a book entitled Since Lenin Died"; 1925. This book, accused Stalin of suppressing the "Lenin Testament", and furthermore, it claimed that Trotsky was being unfairly attacked. This claim that Stalin ahd "suppressed" the "Testament" naturally created a furor in the international movement. It was no matter that Sltain ahd insisted upon an open discussion of this issue in CPSU(B) circles The accusations were widely picked up after the French communist press "L’Humanite" published them. Breaching party regulations, various such internal documents were being published by the open communist press was of course a serious matter. How? It appeared to be a provocative act aimed at discrediting the CPSU(B). It was an act that had been intended to discredit, of course.

Immediately following this international provocation, Trotsky was courted by many oppositionist elements worldwide. No matter that the facts were distorted (Such as the denial of access to Lenin by any but Trotsky and Krupskaii etc); and that moreover, Stalin had offered his resignation; and that the Politburo including Trotsky had rejected this. The implications of this international printing and allegation were clear, and the only way to deal with this was an open discussion.

Stalin then again insisted, on the open publication of the full details of the case, including the letters that had passed between Stalin and Trotsky upon the affair. But the Politburo still refused to take this course, even though Trotsky was now clearly exposed as manipulating facts to his advantage. Trotsky attempted to defend himself in a first letter. Nonetheless, he was told to correct the press in a letter. He formulated a "draft" to submit.

A committee of Stalin, Bukharin, Rykov, and Zinoviev vetted this first "draft" letter. In it, Trotsky gave a very watered-down version of events. This flagrant evasion by Trotsky, led to demands that Trotsky's watered down statement, must be more honest, and must be made more explicit upon the Eastman Affair. The committee also did force some further clarifications of facts from Trotsky that he had tried to evade. Stalin now tried to ensure that the entire materials were printed and distributed to the full Central Committee. But nought came of his attempts. Stalin had wanted to have the full book published more openly to the international communist press.

To recapitulate:

i) Stalin wished to see, and argeud inside the Poltiburo, for the full publication of all relevant correspondence dealing with the Testament and Eastman.

ii) The politburo agreed that Trotsky's manoeuvres were exposed, but they refused to publish openly the full details. They did agree however, that Trotsky should write a "correction".

iii) Trotsky wrote a first watered down "draft letter" that put his role in a sanitized light. But the Politburo under Stalin’s’ persistence exposure of Trotsky’s manoeuvres, forced him to enlarge upon the issue.

This general sequence of events can be seen quite clearly from the picture that emerges from the detailed memorandum that Stalin writes to the Politburo explaining how he became are of the affair, and the various manoeuvres and lies of Trotsky on this issue. This memorandum is taken from the newly published edition of "Stalin’s Letters To Molotov". These letters shed a lot of light on the internal party workings. It is a long excerpt, but one that is well worth citing, in order to buttress the clear insight that Trotsky had been playing a devious and in the whole affair.

The following is the text of the memorandum sent by Comrade Stalin to the Politburo outlining the course of events and demanding action. At this point – the international press including L’Humanite had NOT yet obtained (or in reality - as we shall see had leaked to them) the original documents of the correspondence and the so-called "Testament". What the memorandum was reacting to was the clear signals from Comrades in the international movement such as Albert Inkpin of the Communist Party Great Britain who was concerned that a major provocation was taking place.



On 8 May of this year, the POLITBURO received a statement from Trotsky addressed to "Com. Eric Verney" at the periodical ‘Sunday Worker’ in reply to Eric Verney's inquiry about a book by Eastman ‘Once Lenin Died’. Published and widely quoted in the bourgeois press ‘Once Lenin Died’, depicts Com. Trotsky as a "victim of intrigue," and the readers of the book are given to understand that Trotsky regards in democracy and free trade in a favorable light. In view of his presentation, Eric Verney asked Com. Trotsky to provide an explanation that would be published in the ‘Sunday Worker’.

Com. Trotsky's statement, as is known, was printed in Pravda, no. 104, (9 May 1915).

I personally paid no attention to Com. Trotsky's statement at the time because 1 had no notion of the nature of Eastman's book.

On 9 May 1915, Com. Trotsky received an inquiry from the Central Committee of the British Communist Party signed by Com. Inkpin in connection with Eastman's book. Com. Inkpin asks Com. Trotsky to make a statement concerning Eastman's book, because "the enemies of the Communist International in our country exploit your position in Communist Party."

Here is the full text of the letter from Inkpin:

9 May 1915. To Com. L. Trotsky. "Dear Com. Trotsky! The Central Committee of the British party has assigned me to send you the attached copy of the book by Max Eastman, ‘Since Lenin Died’, and the issues of the ‘New Leader’, ‘Lansbury's Weekly’, and ‘Labour Magazine’ containing reviews of the book. These reviews will show you how enemies of the Communist International in our country exploit your position in relation to the Russian Communist Party.

Our Central Committee considers that it would be very useful if you would write and send an answer to these reviewers. Such an article would be of good service to the Communist movement in our country, and we for our part would do everything possible to give it the widest publicity. With Communist greetings, General Secretary Inkpin.’

Trotsky wrote the following letter in reply to Inkpin's letter: Dear Com. lnkpin: Your letter of 9 May was evidently written before my answer to the inquiry from the ‘Sunday Worker’ was received in London.

My brochure "Where Is England Headed?" will be, I hope, a sufficient reply to all the attempts of the Fabian pacifists, the parliamentary careerists, the Philistines, and the MacDonalds to use various events in our party as proof of the advantage of reformism over communism and of democracy over the dictatorship of the proletariat.

As soon as my brochure is reviewed by the Central Committee of our party, I will not delay in sending you the manuscript.

With Communist greetings, L. Trotsky; May 1915.

At the same time, Com. Trotsky sent to the POLITBURO in care of Com. Stalin a letter dated 19 May 1915, wherein Com. Trotsky, without providing a direct reply to the questions raised by Com. Inkpin, attempts to get by with a reference to his brochure "Where Is England Headed?" which has no relationship to Com. lnkpin's inquiry. Here is the text of Com. Trotsky's letter:

‘To Comrade Stalin.

Dear Comrade! In order to avoid any misunderstandings whatsoever, 1 consider it necessary to provide you with the following information regarding the English book by Max Eastman,Since Lenin Died’ (1 have just received this book and have managed to leaf through it quickly).

I became acquainted with M. Eastman as an American Communist at one of the first international congresses of the Comintern.

Three or four years ago, Eastman asked for my assistance in writing my biography. I refused, suggesting that he do some other work of more general interest. Eastman replied in a letter in which he argued that the American worker would become interested in communism not in response to the expounding of theory or history but in response to a biographical story; he and other American writers wanted to fashion a weapon of Communist propaganda out of the biographies of several Russian revolutionaries. Eastman asked me to give him the necessary facts and subsequently to review the manuscript. I replied that in view of his explanation I did not feel I could refuse to tell him the necessary facts, but I definitely refused to read the manuscript and thus accept direct or indirect responsibility for the biography.

Subsequently I gave Eastman information relating to the first twenty-two years of my life, before I arrived in London in 1902. 1 know that he visited my relatives and schoolmates and collected information about that same era. These materials are what gave him, apparently, the opportunity to write the book Lev Trotsky: Portrait of a Youth’, the announcement of which is printed on the cover of the book ‘Since Lenin Died’.

The last time I saw Eastman must have been more than a year and a half ago; I lost track of him altogether after that. I had no notion of his intention to write a book devoted to the discussion in our party. And even he, of course, did not have this intention during that period when he met with me to collect facts about my youth.

It goes without saying that he could not have received any party documents from me or through me. Eastman, however, did speak and write Russian well, had many friends in our party, was married to a Russian Communist, as I was recently told, and consequently had free access to all our party literature, including, evidently, those documents that were sent to local organizations, distributed to members of the XIII Party Congress, etc. I have not verified whether he has cited these documents accurately or from rumor.

The press of the British mensheviks is trying to use Eastman's book against communism (the secretary of the British Communist Party sent me, along with Eastman's book, three issues of Menshevik-type publications that included articles about that book). Meanwhile, my telegram was supposed to appear in the ‘Sunday Worker’ (there is mention of this in the ‘Daily Herald’). I think that my pamphlet "Where Is England Headed?" will be quite timely under these circumstances and will dispel many illusions and much gossip spread by the Menshevik and bourgeois press. I intend to do an appropriate supplement for the English edition.

In a private conversation, I told you that for half a year I have not received any Comintern documents. In particular, I have no idea whatsoever what the "inquiry" Treint raised about me involves. To this day I do not know why Rosmer and Monatte were expelled from the party, I do not know what their disagreements are with the party, and I do not know what they are publishing or even whether they are publishing anything at all."

With Communist greetings, L. Trotsky, Moscow, 19 May 1925.
Only after this letter from Com. Trotsky and only because Com. Trotsky stubbornly refused to reply directly to Com. Inkpin's questions about the Eastman book did it become clear to me that I had to familiarize myself immediately with the contents of that book. (Emphasis by Alliance)

Acquaintance with Eastman's book convinced me that this book was not written naively, that its purpose is to discredit the government of the USSR and the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party, and that for these purposes Eastman indulges in a whole range of slanders and distortions, referring to Trotsky's authority and to his "friendship" with Trotsky and to some secret documents that have not yet been published. I was particularly surprised by Eastman's statements concerning his "chats" with Com. Trotsky about Lenin's so-called testament and about the "main figures in the Central Committee," and also by his statement that the authenticity of [his text of] Lenin's so-called testament was confirmed by "three responsible Communists in Russia," whom "I (that is, Eastman) interviewed separately and who had all recently read the letter and committed its most vital phrases to memory."

For me it became clear that, given everything I have just related, it would be not only intolerable but outright criminal to hush up the question of Com. Trotsky's relationship with Eastman and his book ‘Since Lenin Died’.

In view of that, after discussing the matter with the secretaries of the Central Committee, I ordered Eastman's book translated' into Russian and sent the translation to POLITBURO members and candidates for their review.

I was also moved to act because, meanwhile, all and sundry bourgeois and social democratic parties have already begun to use the Eastman book in the foreign press against the Russian Communist Party and Soviet rule: they take advantage of the fact that in their campaign against the leaders of the Soviet government they can now rely on the "testimonies" of the "Communist" Eastman, a "friend" of Com. Trotsky who has "chats" with him, to the effect that Russia is ruled by an irresponsible bunch of usurpers and deceivers.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Eastman's book is libelous, that it will prove enormously profitable to the world counterrevolution (and has already done so!), and that it will cause serious damage to the entire world revolutionary movement.

That is why I think that Com. Trotsky, on whom Eastman occasionally claims to rely in his book when speaking against the leaders of the Russian Communist Party and the Soviet revolutionary authority, cannot pass over Eastman's book in silence.

I am not thinking at present of proposing to Com. Trotsky that he substantively respond in the press to the fundamental issues covered in Eastman's book, which are the fundamental questions of our disputes as well. Let the party and the International judge who is right and whose political position is correct, the position of the Central Committee or the position of Com. Trotsky.

But certain minimum obligations rest on party members; a member of the Central Committee and POLITBURO, such as Com. Trotsky is at this moment, has a certain minimum moral duty that Com. Trotsky cannot and should not refuse. This minimum requires that Com. Trotsky speak out in the press unequivocally against the crude distortions of facts that are known to everyone, distortions permitted in Eastman's book for the purpose of discrediting the Russian Communist Party. Obviously the silence of Com. Trotsky in this case may be construed only as a confirmation or an excuse for these distortions.

I think that Comr. Trotsky should rebut at least the following distortions:

      1. In the section, "attacking the Old Guard," Eastman's little book says that "Trotsky's letter [the reference is to an appeal to the local committees in I92 in connection with the POLITBURO's resolution on internal party democracy-J. V.Stalin] and some supplementary articles in pamphlet form were practically suppressed by the Politburo.
Further in Chapter 9 of Eastman’s book, it says that: Trotsky’s book (the reference is to Volume 3 of Trotsky’s works & The Lessons of October" J.V.Stalin] was practically suppressed by the Politburo until they [That is the Central Committee of the Russian Communist party] were sure of the success of their maneuver.

Finally, chapter 14 of Eastman's book says that:

"Trotsky's true texts do not appear in public to refute their [that is, the Central Committee's-J.V.Stalin] statements. These texts are read privately, conscientiously, by those minds who have the courage and penetration to resist the universal official hysteria stimulated and supported by the State". 1 think that Com. Trotsky should refute these statements by Eastman as malicious slander against the party and the Soviet government. Com. Trotsky cannot help but know that neither during the party discussions of 1913 or 1914, nor at any time whatsoever, did the Central Committee obstruct the printing of Com. Trotsky's articles and books in any way. In particular, Com. Trotsky must recall that during the 1913 discussion he himself refused in his well-known statement in the press to reply to the arguments of representatives of the party majority. He must also remember the following statement "From the Editors" of Pravda, the central party organ:
  2) The second chapter of Eastman’s book speaks of the Russian Communist Party leader as "suppressing the writing of Lenin’s himself"; and in Chapter 9 it says that they, that is, the party leaders, "clapped the censorship on his [that is, Lenin’s – J.V.Stalin] own last words to his party".

I think that Com. Trotsky should also refute these statements by Eastman as a lie and as libel against the leaders of the party, the Central Committee, and its Politburo. Trotsky knows quite as well as do all other members of the Central Committee that Eastman's reports do not correspond with reality to the slightest degree.

3) In the second chapter of his book, Eastman states that :

I think that Com. Trotsky should also refute this statement by Eastman as an obvious slander. He cannot help but recall, first, that Lenin's plan as set forth in his article was not discussed substantively at this time; second, that the Politburo was convened in connection with the statements in Lenin's article about the possible schism in the Central Committee-statements that could have provoked misunderstanding in the party organizations. Com. Trotsky could not help but know that the Politburo then decided to send to party organizations, in addition to Lenin's printed article, a special letter from the Orgburo and the Politburo of the Central Committee stating that the article should not provide grounds for any perception of a schism in the Central Committee. Com. Trotsky must know that the decision to publish Lenin's article immediately, and to send a letter from the members of the Orgburo and Politburo about the absence of a schism within the Central Committee, was passed unanimously; any notion that the Politburo's decision on the publication of Lenin's article was passed under pressure from Com. Trotsky is a ridiculous absurdity. Here is the text of the letter:
Dear Comrades, Pravda no. 16 of 25 January carries Lenin's article "How We Should Reorganize Rabkrin." One part of this article speaks about the role of the Central Committee of our party and the need to take organizational measures that will eliminate the prospect of, or make as difficult as possible, a schism in the Central Committee if mutual relations between the proletariat and the peasantry become complicated in connection with the changes ensuing from NEP. Some comrades have directed the Politburo's attention to the fact that the comrades in the provinces may view this article by Com. Lenin as an indication of a recent internal schism within the Central Committee that has prompted Com. Lenin to advance the organizational proposals outlined in his article. In order to eliminate the possibility of such conclusions-which do not at all correspond to the real state of affairs-the Politburo and the Orgburo consider it necessary to notify the provincial committees of the circumstances surrounding the writing of Com. Lenin's article.
The return of Com. Lenin to highly pressured work after his illness led to exhaustion. The doctors pronounced it necessary to prescribe for Com. Lenin a certain period of absolute rest without even reading newspapers (Since for Com. Lenin reading newspapers is of course, not entertainment or a means of relaxation but an occasion for intense contemplation of all the current political issues). It goes without saying that Com Lenin does not take part in the Politburo sessions, and he is not even sent -again, in strict accordance with his doctors' advice-the transcripts of the sessions of the Politburo and the Orgburo. The doctors believe, however, that because complete mental inactivity is intolerable for him, Com. Lenin should be allowed to keep something like a journal, in which he notes his thoughts on various issues; when authorized by Com. Lenin himself, moreover, a portion of this journal may appear in the press. These external conditions underlying the writing of "How We Should Reorganize Rabkrin" demonstrate that the proposals contained in this article are suggested not by any complications inside the Central Committee but by Com. Lenin's general views on the difficulties that will face the party in the coming historical epoch.
In this strictly informational letter we will not consider the possible long-range dangers that Comrade Lenin appropriately raised in his article. The members of the Politburo and Orgburo, however, wish to state with complete unanimity, in order to avoid any possible misunderstandings, that in the work of the Central Committee there are absolutely no circumstances that would provide any basis whatsoever for fears of a schism. (Emphasis in JVS)"
This explanation is provided in the form of a strictly secret letter, rather than being published in the press, to avoid giving enemies the opportunity to cause confusion and agitation through false reports about the state of Com. Lenin's health. The Central Committee has no doubt that if anyone in the provinces has drawn the alarming conclusions noted in the beginning of this letter from the article by Com. Lenin, the provincial committees will not delay in correctly orienting the party organizations.
TO: Available Members of the Politburo and Orgburo of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party:

Andreev,  Molotov

Bukharin,  Rykov

Dzerzhinsky, Stalin

Kalinin Tomskii

Kamenev Trotsky


Moscow, 27 January 1923.

  4) Chapter 3 of Eastman's book talks about Lenin's "testament." "One of the most solemn and carefully weighed utterances that ever came from Lenin's pen was suppressed-in the interests of 'Leninism'-by that triumvirate of 'old Bolsheviks,' Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev.... They decided that it might be read and explained privately to the delegates-kept within the bureaucracy, that is to say,-but not put before the party for discussion, as Lenin directed" [28-29].

I think that Com. Trotsky should also refute this statement by Eastman as a malicious slander. First of all, he cannot help but know that Lenin's "testament" was sent to the Central Committee for the exclusive use of the Party Congress; second, that neither Lenin nor Com. Krupskaia "demanded" or in any way proposed to make the "testament" a subject of "discussion before the entire Party"; third, that the "testament" was read to all the delegations to the Congress without exception, that is, to all the members of the Congress without exception; fourth, that when the Congress presidium asked the Congress as a whole whether the "testament" was known to all the members of the Congress and whether any discussion of it was required, the presidium received the reply that the "testament" was known to all and that there was no need to discuss it; fifth, that neither Trotsky nor any other member of the Congress made any protest about possible irregularities at the Congress; sixth, that by virtue of this, to speak of suppressing the "testament" means to slander maliciously the Central Committee and the XIII Party Congress.

5) The second chapter of Eastman's book says that the "article [the reference is to Lenin's article on the nationalities question-J. Stalin] which Lenin considered of 'leading importance,' and which he designed to have read at a party convention, but which constituted a direct attack upon the authority of Stalin, and a corresponding endorsement of the authority of Trotsky, was not read at the party convention, the triumvirate deciding that it was for the welfare of the party to suppress it".

I think that Com. Trotsky should also refute this statement by Eastman as clearly libelous. He must know, first, that Lenin's article was read by all members of the Congress without exception, as stated at a full meeting of the Congress; second, that none other than Com. Stalin himself proposed the publication of Lenin's article, having stated on 16 April 1923, in a document known to all members of the Central Committee, that "Com. Lenin's article ought to be published in the press"; third, that Lenin's article on the nationalities issue was not

published in the press only because the Central Committee could not fail to take into consideration that Lenin's sister, Maria Ilinichna, who had Lenin's article in her possession, did not consider it possible to publish it in the press. Com. Fotieva, Lenin's personal secretary, states this in a special document dated 19 April 1923, in reply to Stalin's proposal to print the article:

"Maria Ilinichna [Lenin's sister-J. Stalin] has made a statement," writes Com. Fotieva, "to the effect that since there was no direct order from Lenin to publish this article, it cannot be printed, and she considers it possible only to have the members of the Congress familiarize themselves with it . . ." and, in fact, Com. Fotieva adds that "Vladimir Ilich did not consider this article to be finished and prepared for the press"; fourth, that Eastman's statement that the Congress was not informed of Lenin's article therefore slanders the party.
6) In the second chapter of his book, Eastman, among other things, writes the following about Lenin's "testament": "There is no mystery about my possession of this and the foregoing information; it is all contained in official documents stolen by the counterrevolutionists and published in Russian, at Berlin, in the ‘Sotzialistichesky Viestnik’ [Socialist herald]"

Here Eastman once again distorts the truth. Not Lenin's "testament" but a malicious distortion of it was published in ‘Sotsialisticheskiy vestnik.’

I think that Com. Trotsky should make a declaration about this distortion.

7) In the second chapter of Eastman's book, Com. Kuibyshev is incorrectly portrayed as an opponent of Lenin's plan set out in the article about the Worker-Peasant Inspection: "The degree to which the policies outlined by Lenin have been followed may be inferred from the fact that Kuibishev.. . is now the People's Commissioner of Workers' and Peasants' Inspection, and the head of the Central Control Committee of the party".

In other words, it seems that when the Central Committee and the Party Congress appointed Kuibyshev commissar of Worker-Peasant Inspection and chairman of the Central Control Commission, they intended not to implement Lenin's plan but to sabotage it and cause it to fail.

I think that Com. Trotsky should also make a declaration against this libelous statement about the party, for he must know that, first, Lenin's plan, developed in the article about the Worker-Peasant Inspection, was passed by the XII Party Congress; second, Com. Kuibyshev was and remains a supporter and promoter of this plan; third, Com. Kuibyshev was elected chairman of the Central Control Commission at the XII Congress (re-elected at the XIII Congress) in the presence of Com. Trotsky and without any objections on the part of Com. Trotsky or other members of the Congress; fourth, Com. Kuibyshev was appointed head of Worker-Peasant Inspection at the Central Committee plenum of 26 April 1923 in the presence of Com. Trotsky and without any objections on his part.

8) Eastman states in the first chapter of his book:

"When Lenin fell sick and was compelled to withdraw from the Government, he turned again to Trotsky and asked him to take his place as President of the Soviet of People's Commissars and of the Council of Labour and Defence".
Eastman repeats the same thing in the second chapter of his book: "He [that is, Com. Trotsky-J. Stalin] declined Lenin's proposal that he should become the head of the Soviet Government, and thus of the revolutionary movement of the world".
I do not think that this statement by Eastman, which, by the way, does not correspond at all to reality, could harm the Soviet government in any way. Nevertheless, because of Eastman's crude distortion of the facts on a matter concerning Com. Trotsky, Com. Trotsky ought to speak out against this undeniable distortion as well. Com. Trotsky must know that Lenin proposed to him, not the post of chairman of the Council of Commissars and the Labor Defense Council, but the post of one of the four deputies of the chairman of the Council of Commissars and Labor Defense Council, having in mind already two deputies of his own who had been previously appointed, Comrades Rykov and Tsiurupa, and intending to nominate a third deputy of his own, Com. Karnenev.

Here is the corresponding document signed by Lenin:

‘To the Secretary of the Central Committee, Com. Stalin. Since Com. Rykov was given a vacation before the return of Tsiurupa (he is expected to arrive on 20 September), and the doctors are promising me (of course, only in the event that nothing bad happens) a return to work (at first very limited) by I October, I think that it is impossible to burden Com. Tsiurupa with all the ongoing work, and I propose appointing two more deputies (deputy to the chairman of the Council of Commissars and deputy to the chairman of the Labor Defense Council), that is, Comrades Trotsky and Kamenev. Distribute the work between them with my clearance and, of course, with the Politburo as the highest authority. " 11th September 1922. V. Ulianov (Lenin)."
Com. Trotsky must be aware that there were no other offers then or now from Com. Lenin regarding his appointment to the leadership of the Council of Commissars or the Labor Defense Council. Com. Trotsky thus turned down, not the post of chairman of the Council of Commissars or the Labor Defense Council, but the post of one of the four deputies of the chairman. Com. Trotsky must be aware that the Politburo voted on Lenin's proposal as follows: those in favor of Lenin's proposal were Stalin, Rykov, Kalinin; those who abstained were Tomskii, Kamenev; and Com. Trotsky "categorically refused"; (Zinoviev was absent). Com. Trotsky must be aware that the Politburo passed the following resolution on this matter: "The Central Commit-tee Politburo with regret notes the categorical refusal of Com. Trotsky and proposes to Com. Kamenev that he assume the fulfillment of the duties of deputy until the return of Com. Tsiurupa."
The distortions condoned by Eastman, as you can see, are glaring. These are, in my opinion, the eight indisputable points, Eastman's crudest distortions, that Com. Trotsky is obliged to refute (emphasis editors) if he does not wish to justify through his silence Eastman's slanderous and objectively counterrevolutionary attacks against the party and the Soviet government.

In connection with this, I submit the following proposal to the Politburo:


As for the general political profile of Mr. Eastman, who still calls himself a Communist, it hardly differs in any way from the profile of other enemies of the RCP [Russian Communist Party] and the Soviet government. In his book he characterizes the RCP Congress as nothing but a "ruthless" and "callous bureaucracy," the Central Committee of the party as a "band of deceivers" and "usurpers," the Lenin levy (in which 200,000 proletarians joined the party) as a bureaucratic maneuver by the Central Committee against the opposition, and the Red Army as a conglomerate "broken into separate pieces" and "lacking defense capability," and these facts clearly tell us that in his attacks against the Russian proletariat and its government, against the party of this proletariat and its Central Committee, Eastman has outdone runof-the-mill counterrevolutionaries and the well-known charlatans of White Guardism. No one, except the charlatans of the counterrevolution, has ever spoken of the RCP and the Soviet government in such language as the "friend" of Com. Trotsky, the "Communist" Eastman, permits himself. There is no question that the American Communist Party and the Third International will properly evaluate these outstanding exploits of Mr. Eastman.’

Dated 17 June 1925. J.V.Stalin.

________________END STALIN'S MEMO TO POLITBURO_____________


"On the following day, 18 June, the Politburo affirmed Stalin’s proposal about Trotsky's statement of rebuttal in the press. Trotsky himself promised that within three days he would submit the text of his statement. On 22 June, Trotsky in fact sent Stalin material entitled "On Eastman's Book ‘Since Lenin Died’." (Lih T.L. et al Ibid; p.82).
But in fact the first "draft" by Trotsky, was evasive in the extreme. Stalin pointed this out and replied that in his opinion the draft was unsatisfactory. As the editors Lih et al cite it: "Without citing any accusations, Stalin replied with a brief note: "If you are interested in my opinion, I personally consider the draft completely unsatisfactory. I do not understand how you could submit such a draft regarding the counterrevolutionary book by Eastman, filled with lies and slander against the paty after you accepted a moral obligation at the Politburo session of 18 June to disassociate yourself resolutely from Eastman and to rebut categorically the factual distortions." Cited from: RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 3, d. 507, 11.8-23. Lih T.L et al Ibid; p. 82. Trotsky then tried to appeal to the Politburo, but could not actually show that he had not been evasive. He was over-ruled by the Executive Committee of the Politburo. They insisted upon a more detailed rebuttal of Eastman by Trotsky: "In an appeal to the Politburo, Trotsky tried to defend himself, attempting to prove that Stalin's accusations were nonsense. After meeting the usual rebuff, however, he began to revise the text of his statement for the press. Oversight of his revision was assumed by Bukharin, Zinoviev, Rykov, and Stalin. They demanded from Trotsky harsher accusations against Eastman and a categorical denial of the facts cited in Eastman's book. Trotsky conceded to all demands. The final text of his statement, which had satisfied the censors from the "seven," was ready by 1 July 1925." Lih T.L. et al Ibid; p.82). By now there could be no little doubt that this affair was a part of a concious plan of disruption. Therefore there were plans to distribute the materials to this point, much more widely: "Now Stalin and his supporters decided to take the affair outside the framework of the Politburo by first briefing a broad circle of party functionaries about it and then publicizing it generally. In early July, Central Committee members L. M. Kaganovich, V. Ya. Chubar, and G. I. Petrovskii submitted a statement that contained a request that "all the members of the Central Committee be sent all materials on the publication of Eastman's book" and that members of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party be briefed. On 7 July 1925, after a poll of Politburo members, this request was fulfilled." Lih T.L. et al Ibid; p.82). So, a small book was published and it was indeed distributed to the Central Committee: " The materials on the Eastman affair were typeset, published in the form of a small book (containing Stalin's letter, the Politburo's resolutions, Trotsky's correspondence with Stalin and with other members of the Politburo, and drafts of Trotsky's statement), and sent to Central Committee members." Lih T.L. et al Ibid; p.83 But Stalin had further plans to publish, both in the West and later in the USSR, the following documents: Trotsky's statement, a letter prepared by N. K. Krupskaia, in which she, as Lenin's widow would refute Eastman, and the letter from Stalin himself that demonstrated his role in the struggle for party interests. But these plans, to which Stalin repeatedly referred in his other letters to Molotov, were never realized.

This was at least in part, because a new element entered the already complicated scene. Somehow the journal of the French Communist party had got hold of, and had published the first watered down "draft’ of the Trotsky letter, that had been rejected by the sub-committee. As the editors of "Stalins’ Letters to Molotov comment:

"Soon after the materials on the affair were sent to Central Committee members, Trotsky had occasion to take the offensive. On 16 July 1925, the French Communist newspaper, ‘L'Humanite;’ published the original version of Trotsky's statement." Lih T.L. et al Ibid; p.82 Trotsky now acted indignantly and demanded that Bukharin investigate the source of this leak. He himself denied any responsibility - and implied that it was a deliberate leak that was designed to discredit him –Trotsky! Trotsky in fact implied that Stalin had been responsible for the leak to L’Humanite: "On 27 July, Trotsky addressed a letter to Bukharin, who at that time was acting as chairman of the Comintern's Executive Committee. Trotsky expressed his puzzlement and protest over the French publication and demanded that the circumstances of the leak be investigated, hinting that publication had deliberately been arranged even after he, Trotsky, had made all the necessary concessions and had demonstrated his readiness to cooperate with the Politburo majority in defending the party's interests. That day, after a poll of Politburo members, the following resolution was passed:

a) To request ‘L'Humanite’ to publish [a notice] that the text of Com. Trotsky's letter regarding Eastman's book that appeared in ‘L'Humanite’ is incomplete and distorted.

b) To request ‘L'Humanite’ to publish the full (final) text of Com. Trotsky's letter about Eastman's book."

Bukharin, in turn, ordered an investigation into the circumstances of the incident and informed Trotsky of this decision." Lih T.L. et al Ibid; p.83.

Soon it became clear that the original version of Trotsky's article had been given to ‘L'Humanite’ by D. Z. Manuilskii, a member of the Comintern's Executive Committee presidium, during his trip to France. Clearly Dimitri Z.Manuilskii had thrown more flames on the fire. He had "lent" the original watered down Trotsky Letter to the press. This was moreover, done against the previously stated express wishes of the politburo. In fact, before Manuilskii's departure from a politburomeeting, Stalin had reminded him to return all documents. Manuilskii had agreed. However…. he then gave them to the French communist journal, ‘L'Humanite’.

As Stalin points out in 'Letter 6' To Molotov, dated 1 August 1925 this was not a "mistake":

"I was told that Manuilskii sent L'Humanite the first draft of Trotsky's article for publication. If this is true it's an outrage. If that's true, then we are not dealing with a 'mistake'.. but with the policy of a few people who for some reason are not interested in publishing Trotsky's's article in its final edited form.. I propose raising the issue .. and condemning Manuilskii's actions, since he has placed the Russian CP and L'Humanite in a ridiculous position" Lih T.L. et al Ibid; p.90. Unfortunately we do not know exactly what happened at subsequent meetings, since there was still no open publication of the documents. We must assume that the Politburo refused Stalin’s request. Presumably also, Manuilskii's ‘condemnation’ was blocked by the PB.

The international dimensions of the leak, first to Eastman, and then to L’Humanite, of an inadequate and not a full picture of the full events, only becomes clear if the international situation is briefly considered.

Of course the German revolution had been recently defeated, and still at this stage, the USSR was the sole Socialist state. The capitalist encirclement was complete. At this stage Zinoviev was still in a very prestigious position, as the Chairman of the Comintern. But it was rapidly becoming clear that Zinoviev obstructed a clear and revolutionary line in all situations involving the Comintern.

The ULTRA-LEFT line had coalesced around Zinoviev. In fact, for Stalin, Zinoviev represented more of a danger than Trotsky. Why this was so, is detailed in Stalin’s "Letter" number 21, dated 25, June 1926 :

"1) Before the appearance of the Zinoviev group, those with oppositional tendencies (Trotsky the Workers' Opposition, ad others) behaved more or less loyally but were tolerable.

2) With the appearance of the Zinoviev group those with oppositional tendencies began to grow more arrogant and break the bounds of loyalty;

3) The Zinoviev group became the mentor of everyone in the opposition who was for splitting the party; in effect it has become the leader so the splitting tendencies in the party;

4) This role fell to Zinoviev's group because :

      1. it is better acquainted with our methods than any other group,
      2. It is stronger in general than the other groups and has control of the Comintern Executive Committee (Zinoviev is) chairman of the Comintern Executive Committee, which represents a serious force; c) because of this it behaves more arrogantly than any other group, providing examples of "boldness" and "determination" to those with other tendencies." See "Stalin's Letters To Molotov." Ibid; p.115.
It is for this reason that events in the COMINTERN took on a particular edge as Zinoviev and Trotsky both manoeuvred to gain control within the USSR. Zinoviev allied with M.M.LASHEVICH to hold anti-party, underground and factional meetings in the USSR (letter 20; dated 15 June 1926). That Stalin knew that this was happening is shown by the letters : "If Lashevich is organizing illegal meetings, if Zinoviev is organizing R.Fischer's flight to Germany, and if Sokolnikov is being sent to France to the French CP V Congress- it means they have decided along with Trotsky to break the party through the Comintern." "Stalin's Letters.."; Ibid; p.113. Stalin is pointing out a concatenation – a whole series of coordinated and significant international manoeuvres of the revisionists. Obviously other events on the international front were occurring where there was a concerted attempt by either Zinoviete or the Trotskyites to disrupt the Marxist-Leninist position. Briefly the Zinoviev-ites pursed the ultra-leftist policy of creating splinter Red Unions. This was fought against by Stalin, and led to some very different positions on the question of the British General Strike. (Again the "Stalin’s Letters To Molotov" are significant in this regard. They are quoted in the discussion on the adoption of Ultra-Left tactics on Trade Unionism in "the theory of the black nation. See ). On another front, Trotsky had long been pushing an ultra-leftist line in the Chinese Revolution. Stalin advocated for the Chinese Revolution a classic Leninist policy. This was to implement a two stage national democratic revolution followed by the socialist revolution.  FINALLY : IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE "TESTAMENT" WAS A FALSE REPRESENTATION OF THE TRUE RELATIONS OF LENIN TO TROTSKY; AND OF LENIN TO STALIN.


ML Review     |     Alliance ML     |   WB Bland Archive    |    Albania Society