DescriptionLeon Trotsky Typed Letter Signed. One page, 8.5" x 11", Coyoacan [Mexico], February 7, 1938. The letter, to an unknown recipient, reads in full:
"Naturally in view of the fact that I agreed to arbitrate the case before Den Norske Sakforerforening, Oslo Krets, I shall pay the sum which I have been asked to pay as soon as possible.
"But your request finds me in a very difficult financial situation. You know, I am sure, that your government under orders from the G.P.U. held me in prison for four months, depriving me of the possibility of working and made me pay for the imprisonment at least two times more than I would have expended normally.
"Your government confiscated my bank deposit which represented the earnings from more than a year's work. Concurring with the government, the 'Socialist' municipality imposed a monstrous tax upon me in absolute discrepancy with my means and my kind of life.
"After my liberation from the 'Socialist' prison in Norway the new Moscow Trials obliged me to devote almost a year in refuting the infamous accusations.
"That is precisely why I am now in the greatest financial difficulty. I shall not repeat again that I didn't receive any real help from Mr. Michael Puntervold. But in spite of all I hope that I can send the necessary money during the month of March."
Trotsky, a Russian revolutionary, was obliged to seek exile in Norway in 1934 with the consent of the Norwegian government, but in 1936, under pressure from the Soviet Union (here he mentions the GPU, the State Political Directorate, the secret police of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Soviet Union, which had actually been reorganized into the NKVD two years before), he was imprisoned by the Norwegians, according to his diary, "...for having refused to halt the political activity that is the very essence of my life - that gives my life its meaning." Michael Puntervold, a Norwegian lawyer, represented him during his time in Norway.
In August of 1936, Trotsky (in absentia) with sixteen others, mostly Old Bolsheviks, were put on trial in Moscow, accused of plotting against the life of Joseph Stalin and other high ranking Soviet leaders. All were found guilty and sentenced to death. Trotsky was in Mexico, where a separate committee reviewed the charges and found him not guilty. Trotsky was assassinated by an agent of the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB, in 1940.
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