Leon Trotsky Typed Letter Signed "Leon Trotsky." Five pages, 7.25" x 11", in French, Coyoacán, D.F. [Mexico City], April 10, 1939. In this letter to his Paris attorney, Gérard Rosenthal, Trotsky outlines his case to gain custody of his grandson Sieva [Vsevolod Volkov]. Leon Trotsky fathered four children by two wives. One of his two sons by his second wife was executed, the other, Leon Sedov, went into exile. Of his children by his first wife, two daughters, one died of tuberculosis and the other, Zinaida, committed suicide, leaving Trotsky's only grandson in the custody of Leon Sedov. When Sedov died in 1938, the grandson Sieva, was placed in the care of Jeanne Martin de Pallières, also known as Jeanne Molinier. Trotsky hoped to have Jeanne bring his grandson to him in Mexico, but she fought to keep the child, invoking a law protecting "mistreated and abandoned children." In her suit she alleged that Trotsky had no right to Sieva's custody, since he had not been legally married to either Zinaida's mother or Leon Sedov's mother. Trotsky won the case, and, in August 1939, Sieva was reunited with his grandfather in Mexico City.

    In the letter Trotsky lays the blame for Jeanne Molinier actions on the political machinations of her husband Raymond Molinier, the leader of the French Oppositionist movement and bitter rival of Trotsky. "In this case Jeanne Molinier has acted as an instrument of Raymond Molinier."

    In part he states: [translated] "The words such as acts of Jeanne Molinier demonstrated at every step it became an instrument of an extremely dubious and fierce hostility to me and all my friends. Could I leave my little son in this poisonous atmosphere? I continued to insist that [Jeanne] Molinier come here with the boy. She dodged. She tacked. Each letter was a sham cold, whether my little [grand]son or my archives. In this situation, I was left with nothing but to resort to legal means. Jeanne Molinier is, in the latest attempt, enjoying my predicament without [access to] proscribed documents and denied the freedom of movement. [Her legal action] denies the most obvious facts. She invents others. It distorts my biography. She tries to induce justice in error. She even dares to invoke the French law on abused and morally abandoned children."

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
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