Natalia Sedova Trotsky
Written: April 1941.
Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 16, 19 April 1941, p. 5.
Online Version: Natalia Sedova Internet Archive, October 2015.
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
The unsuccessful attempt of the terrorist Siqueiros against the life of Leon Trotsky on May 24, 1940, was connected directly with and led to the bloody crime committed by the terrorist “Jacson” on August 20, 1940. Both crimes were perpetrated by one and the same organization called the GPU which is international in its character and which has at its disposal a mighty apparatus and unlimited resources. Both of the terrorists mentioned above are agents of this organization of Stalin’s.
This is clear – and nobody in the whole world doubts it. Everything to the contrary, which is stated in this connection, is said in order not to say that which really is, in other words, a lie, and a very deliberate lie. The infamous speech delivered by the attorney of Siqueiros before the tribunal called upon to judge, i.e., to analyze the crime impartially and to render its highly competent verdict on the basis of a thorough investigation of all the evidence – this speech rings like a vicious mockery of the investigation of the court, of the blind-folded judges and of public opinion.
The connection between the two crimes is incontestable. The court did not take this connection into account. “Jacson” succeeded in accomplishing what his predecessor Siqueiros failed to do – failed owing to a fortunate accident.
”Jacson” also participated in the first attack: he devoted three to four months prior to the attack of May 24 to studying our gates and the methods of our defense when the gates were opened. He would ride up to the gates in an automobile, ring the bell, ask questions of this or that comrade, call him out, engage him in conversation on the street in front of the locked gates or transmit something, for example, an assembly kit of a toy plane for our grandson, etc., and then would leave immediately.
This was repeated systematically. The fact is that he did not once request an interview with L.D. and made no attempt whatever to enter the patio. He confined himself to the gates. At this stage of the joint plan with Siqueiros this was entirely sufficient for him. Nothing else interested him. He needed the gates. His role in this bloody conspiracy came down to this: open the gates at the necessary moment. The role, it will be observed, was small but nevertheless central: to open the gates for Siqueiros.
He thus accustomed our guards to open the gates for him; the guards knew him as the husband of Sylvia, who was a member of our organization, and considered him a sympathizer of our organization. Some of the comrades of our defense guard visited Sylvia and consequently visited him also. If during the night of May 24, after a four-month long experiment with having the gates opened for him, “Jacson” rode up at 4 A.M. to the house as usual, although not at the usual hour, but with a warning message – immediately to inform about a danger threatening L.D. – he would in that case have had the gates opened for him: the GPU gang in this way gained entry to the premises.
The slander circulated by the GPU concerning Bob Sheldon Harte and the latter’s agreement with the head of the gang, Siqueiros, is a lie. Harte was to have been relieved by another guard and remained at his post only accidentally because the comrade scheduled to relieve him was late. The gang captured Bob Sheldon Harte like it captured the police guard outside and felt it self the masters of the situation.
During the original examination in Coyoacan of the captured members of the gang, the defendants testified to the presence among them of a foreigner who spoke with a French accent. Unfortunately the identity of this invidual was not established by the investigation nor was he apprehended. The defendants gave the same testimony during a subsequent examination. But not enough attention was paid to this detail. The defendants testified that they had not seen this “Frenchman” prior to the attack and they did not know him.
In this there is nothing strange. According to the plan of the conspiracy they were not intended to know him. The more responsible the task of a member of a terrorist organization, the less must he be known to the rank-and-file associates. This could have been – this was “Jacson.’’ This supposition is confirmed further also by “Jacson’s” subsequent conduct.
Siqueiros in his testimony lies and seeks to confuse. But his military actions on the terrain of our premises are quite clear and logical. In his book The Comintern and the GPU, the victim of the attempt wrote the following:
“The preparation and the execution are remarkable in their scope, thorough planning and painstaking care. The terrorists were perfectly acquainted with the layout of the premises and the internal life. (When ‘Jacson’ was searched a pencil sketch of the plan of our house was found – according to the duped Sylvia Ageloff, it was made for Siqueiros – N.S.T.) They obtained police uniforms, weapons, an electric saw, rope ladders, etc. They succeeded completely in tying up the police guard outside; they paralyzed the guard inside with a correct strategy of machine-gun fire; they penetrated into the victim’s room, directed a cross-fire with impunity for a period of three to five minutes, hurled incendiary bombs and left the arena of attack without leaving a trace behind. Such an undertaking is beyond the resources of a private group. Observable here is tradition, training, great resources, a careful selection of executors. This is the work of the GPU.” (Leon Trotsky, The Comintern and the GPU)
Siqueiros seeks to confuse and lie. He declared that he issued to his gang an instruction: “Not to kill.” At the same time he says that he had nothing in common with the gang and was not the commander of the gang; that he did not enter the patio and that the detachment of twenty men was not an organized one.
But if he was not the commander he could not have issued orders, he could not have issued an instruction “not to kill” to an unorganized mob. Whether he was present in the patio or not is unimportant; far more decisive is the circumstance that he commanded, issued instructions to his subordinates and consequently bears wholly and completely the responsibility for the actions of the entire undertaking up to and including the kidnapping and murder of Bob Sheldon Harte. This is clear to everybody.
Siqueiros issues an order “not to kill” but what was the gang he organized supposed to do at night in a strange house? Was it perhaps to look for a mysterious package containing documents of the conspiracy of Trotsky against Mexico? The agent of the GPU keeps silent on this point and not without reason because inanimate objects which do not lie and which it is impossible to circumvent, testify against him. I shall not dwell on the fact that doors, windows, walls, in all the rooms through which the criminals passed, were riddled with bullets. In the door leading to our bedroom sixty bullet holes were left. The door to the bedroom was literally left a sieve. The angle at which the shots were fired proves incontestably that eight bullets which left traces in the wall at the head of the two beds, and which penetrated both mattresses in four places, and lodged themselves in the door under the beds, could have been fired only inside the bedroom itself.
There is also the testimony of the cartridge shells found on the floor, the two traces in the blankets with singed bindings and also the wounded foot of our grandson. No speech of the cleverest attorney, no lies and pretexts of the criminal can refute the mute, inanimate evidence of the gaping bullet holes left behind by the political murderers. The court of Coyoacan saw all this, when it visited our house and conducted its investigation carefully and thoroughly. But this was not taken into account by the Corte Penal Primero (the court to which the case was transferred). And in this circumstance is hidden the malice and the premeditation of the decision which freed the terrorist on bail.
The public opinion of Mexico has been aroused by the court’s order. The entire press speaks ironically of the conditional freeing of the criminal and terrorist, enumerating all his crimes. The lie already meets with no credence. And history will take everything into account, will disclose everything, will deepen all the circumstances relating to the case, all the details, cast light on its political side, sweep away the falsifications arid once again reveal the impeccable political activity of the victim of these two indissolubly connected crimes of the GPU.
Only by the turn of our epoch towards black reaction permits the existence of such institutions as the GPU and the Gestapo. Hitler and Stalin personify this black reaction. The Hitler-Stalin alliance crowns the obscurantism of the Middle Ages raised to the nth power. Stalin has destroyed the entire generation of the October revolution and he has gone even further. Here is what Ignace Reiss had to say in this connection in a note on Slutsky, an important functionary of the GPU:
“In May 1937, Slutsky under the influence of some fresh impressions became frank and bitterly complained that the Leningrad Komsomols who faced the firing squads went to their death with the cry: Long Live Trotsky.”
Among them might have been our grandchildren. “Long Live Trotsky!” This is the fundamental reason for the crimes of Stalin.
Mexico City, D.F.
Last updated on: 3 October 2015