Trotsky, Leon

(Lev Davidovich Bronstein)
(1879–1940)
   Russian revolutionary leader. The son of a farmer, Trotsky grew up in the Ukraine. Scholars disagree about the extent of his Jewish education - in any case, he quickly rebelled against his origins. He joined the militant Social Democratic Party, and in 1898 was arrested and exiled to Siberia. He escaped to England but returned to play a key role in the abortive 1905 revolution. In 1917 he joined the Bolsheviks and after the October Revolution became commissar for foreign affairs, in which capacity he negotiated the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, much against his own judgment.
   As people’s commissar for military affairs from March 1918, Trotsky was the founder of the Red Army, which he led to victory against the ‘White’ counter- revolutionary forces in 1918–20. He then reconstructed the Russian railway system. LENIN on his death-bed favoured Trotsky as his successor, but in the ensuing power struggle, Trotsky proved little match for STALIN, who relentlessly deprived him of all positions of power, expelled him from the party, exiled him, and finally arranged for his murder in Mexico in 1940. Trotsky was brilliant as a political organizer, military strategist, orator and writer. He believed firmly that the seizure of power in Russia was only a prelude to world revolution, and rejected Stalin’s policy of ‘Socialism in one country’. After his ousting, Soviet history was rewritten to discredit his major role in the revolution. In 1938 a Trotskyite Fourth International was proclaimed at a conference in Switzerland, but produced only marginal groups of his disciples in the left-wing movements in various countries. During his exile, he wrote a three- volume History of the Russian Revolution (1932–3) as well as ah autobiography, My Life (1930), and The Permanent Revolution (1931). These works were translated into many languages, and are regarded as modern classics. Trotsky’s revolutionary universalism had no room for any element of distinctive Jewish identity. The best solution for the Jewish problem, he contended, was total assimilation. Anti-Semitism was a disease of bourgeois society and would disappear after the revolution, which Jews therefore had a special reason for supporting. He was violently critical of Zionism (though it is only a myth that he debated the subject with Dr WEIZMANN in Switzerland) and also of the Jewish autonomist revolutionary party, the Bund. Yet his enemies inside and outside the Bolshevik Party were ready to use anti-Semitism as a weapon against him. A newspaper report shortly before Trotsky’s death had it that, faced with the fact of Nazi persecution, he conceded that a territorialist nationalist solution of the Jewish problem might be possible, though not in Palestine.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Trotsky, Leon — orig. Lev Davidovich Bronshtein born Nov. 7, 1879, Yanovka, Ukraine, Russian Empire died Aug. 20, 1940, Coyoacán, Mex., near Mexico City Russian communist leader. Born to Russian Jewish farmers, he joined an underground socialist group and was… …   Universalium

  • Trotsky, Leon — (originally Lev Davidovich Bronstein) (1879–1940)    One of the central figures in the establishment of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Leon Trotsky was a leading figure in the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik), a major Marxist theoretician and …   Historical dictionary of Marxism

  • Trotsky, Leon — (1879–1940)    Born Lev Davidovich Bronstein, Trotsky adopted the name of one of his prison guards and had a distinguished career as a revolutionary before the 1917 Revolution. As a Menshevik, he took part in the Revolution of 1905 in St.… …   Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence

  • Trotsky,Leon — Trot·sky or Trot·ski (trŏtʹskē, trôtʹ ), Leon. 1879 1940. Russian revolutionary theoretician. A leader of the Bolshevik Revolution (1917), he was later expelled from the Communist Party (1927) and banished (1929) for his opposition to the… …   Universalium

  • Trotsky, Leon (Bronstein, Lev Davidovich) — (1879 1940)    Born in Yanovka in the Ukraine, he was involved in revolutionary groups and arrested in 1898 and exiled. He escaped in 1902 and went to London where he joined Lenin. He then moved to Geneva. In 1905 he returned to Russia and was… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Trotsky, Leon (Lev Davidovich Bronstein) — (1879 1940) A Bolshevik revolutionary leader, Foreign Minister, and Commissar of War after the 1917 Revolution, who was ousted by Stalin in 1927, exiled in 1929, and murdered in Mexico in 1940. In 1938 he founded the Fourth International in order …   Dictionary of sociology

  • León Trotsky — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Lev Davídovich Bronstein Лев Давидович Бронштейн Archivo:Trotsky.jpg Trotsky en una pintura soviética. 1.er …   Wikipedia Español

  • Leon Trotsky — Léon Trotski Léon Trotski Naissance 7 novembre 1879 Ianovka …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Léon Davidovitch Trotsky — Léon Trotski Léon Trotski Naissance 7 novembre 1879 Ianovka …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Léon Trotski — Trotski en 1929. Mandats …   Wikipédia en Français

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