Trotsky Essay

1761 words - 7 pages

Russian Jewish Revolutionary leader and Soviet politician, a close friend of Lenin. Trotsky's theory ofpermanent revolution' became unpopular after Stalin had gained power in the Soviet Union. Trotskywas assassinated by one of Stalin's agents. Although Trotsky later condemned the Red Terror, he was, perhaps, one of its first proponents."Things are not going well. The Greek soldiers landed on the shores of Crimea, according to the reports of Allied diplomats and newspapermen, were mounted on Crimean donkeys, but the donkeys were not able to arrive in time at the Perekop Isthmus. Things are not going well. Evidently even donkeys have begun to shake off the imperialistic harness." (from Trotsky's speech on April 1919)Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Leon Trotsky) was born in Yanovka, Ukraine, as the son of an illiterateJewish farmer. Trotsky's father, David Bronshtein, had bought land near the small town of Bobrinets, and eventually he became a substantial landowner. During the revolution he lost his estate, but Trotsky set him up as the manager of a flour mill near Moscow. Trotsky's mother, Anna, came from Odessa, where she had received a modest education. "We were not deprived, except of life's generosity and tenderness", Trotsky later said. His mother loved to read to her eight children and encouraged them to acquire a good education. She died in 1910. Only Lev, two sisters and a brother survived beyond childhood. After Trotsky was deported in 1929, his brother Alexander publicly disowned him, but he was shot in 1938. Liza, Trotsky's elder sister, died in 1924. Trotsky's younger sister Olga married an influential Bolshevik leader, Lev Kamenev, but she was shot in 1941. Her two young sons were shot in 1936.After attending a Jewish primary school, Trotsky studied at a state school in Odessa. He was a very good student, who especially loved mathematics, but was expelled for a year when he fell foul of the French teacher. "I can hardly think of a single teacher whom I might remember with affection", he recalled.Trotsky become an ardent disciple of Karl Marx already in his youth. In 1896 Trotsky joined the Social Democrats and two years later he was arrested as a Marxist and exiled to Siberia. Four years later he escaped and reached England by means of a forged passport that used the name of a jailer in Odessa's prison, Trotsky.In London Trotsky met Lenin and other Russian Revolutionary thinkers and collaborated in publication their journal of Iskra (The Spark). When the party split in 1903, and Trotsky broke with Lenin, he gained position as a leader of the Menshevik wing of the Social Democratic party, as opposed to the Bolshevik one under Lenin, prophesying that Leninist theory would result in a one-man dictatorship. In the abortive 1905 revolution Trotsky organized the first revolutionary Soviet council in St. Petersburg and was appointed president of the Soviet. About this time he propounded the doctrine of 'permanent revolution,' which implied that...

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