Hostages of origin. The tragic fate of Leon Trotsky’s children

Plot World History with Andrey Sidorchik

August 20, 1940 at the Mexican villa Leon Trotsky was visited by a young man who, according to the documents, was a Canadian Frank Jackson. He became close to Sylvia Ageloff, who was part of Trotsky’s inner circle, and was able to ingratiate himself with the “demon of the revolution”. 

Special operation in Mexico

On that day, Jackson, who called himself a convinced Trotskyist, brought his own article to the owner of the villa. When Trotsky was immersed in reading, the guest hit him on the head with an ice pick. The blow was struck from behind and from above. The wounded Trotsky screamed, the guards ran to the screams, beating the attacker. Trotsky was sent to the hospital. They fought for his life for another day, but the wound with a depth of 7 centimeters did not leave a chance. On August 21, 1940, Leon Davidovich Trotsky was gone.

Mexican authorities have not been able to establish the real name of the killer. He received a 20-year prison sentence – the maximum term under the laws of Mexico – and served this term in full.

After his release, he arrived in the USSR. By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated May 31, 1960, Soviet intelligence agent Ramon Mercader — Lopez Ramon Ivanovich He was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.

The liquidation of Trotsky became the peak of the struggle of different currents in the revolutionary movement that won in the USSR. However, Trotskyism as a phenomenon did not perish along with its ideologue, and exists safely in the XXI century. 

Revolutionary love

“The demon of the revolution” was cruel to others, and in return also received cruelty. Moreover, the sad fate fell not only to the revolutionary, but also to all his children.

Trotsky had four children — two by his official wife Alexandra Sokolovskaya, and two more from a common-law spouse Natalia Sedova. 

Trotsky with his wife Natalia and son Lev in Alma-Ata (formerly the city of Verniy) in Kazakhstan, 1928. Photo:

Trotsky formed a relationship with Sokolovskaya, a colleague in the revolution, in 1898. In the exile where the couple got, Alexandra gave birth to two daughters – Zina and Nina. Since the mother was not going to give up revolutionary activities, the care of the girls fell on Trotsky’s parents who lived in Ukraine.

In 1902 Trotsky escaped from exile and went abroad. In France, he met another revolutionary Natalia Sedova, who bore him two sons. Lev and Sergey.

One wife is shot, the other is exiled

Sokolovskaya was engaged in pedagogical activity after the revolution, worked together with By Nadezhda Krupskaya. After the expulsion of her ex-husband from the USSR, she continued to correspond with him, for which she paid. In 1935 she was sentenced to five years of exile, and in 1936 she was sentenced again – this time to five years of camps.

According to the most common version, Trotsky’s wife was sentenced to death in 1938. However, some sources claim that the sentence was never carried out, and under the supervision of special services she lived until the 1960s. However, there is no reliable confirmation of this.

Sedova left the USSR with her husband, survived several assassination attempts before the death of her husband, and after his death remained in Mexico and continued to engage in revolutionary activities.

In the 1950s, Trotsky’s widow quarreled with the leadership of the Fourth International, withdrew from its membership, and then moved to France. She died in 1962, having outlived not only her husband, but also both sons.

Zinaida and Nina: tuberculosis and suicide

Trotsky’s eldest daughter Zinaida married early to Zakhar Moglin, and gave birth to a daughter Alexandra in this marriage. Zina’s second husband became Platon Volkov, from whom she gave birth to a son Vsevolod.

Zinaida was also affected by her father’s political defeat. Both her first and second spouses were persecuted by the special services, and eventually were sentenced to death. Platon Volkov was executed in 1936, Zakhar Moglin in 1937.

Zinaida herself was also dead by that time. Having contracted tuberculosis, in 1930 she received permission from the authorities to leave the USSR for treatment. In 1932, when she was in Berlin, she was informed about the deprivation of Soviet citizenship. At the same time, the German authorities began to demand her departure from the country. She passed away on January 5, 1933.

Zinaida’s sister Nina was the first in the family to become seriously ill with tuberculosis. By that time, my father had lost power and was in exile in Alma-Ata. Despite the fact that Nina’s condition was rapidly deteriorating, Trotsky was not allowed to visit her.

Nina Bronstein (married Nevelson) died in 1928. Her son at the age of 20 was shot in the spring of 1941, there is no exact information about the fate of his daughter.

Leo: appendicitis killed a fiery Trotskyist in Paris

Trotsky’s sons, Lev and Sergei, treated their father’s activities differently. If Lev Lvovich was an associate of the pope, then Sergei preferred to stay away from politics.

At the same time, Lev became an active Trotskyist without the influence of his parent. As a student of the Moscow State Technical University, he participated in the activities of the so-called “left opposition”, for which he was expelled from the Komsomol. Lev Sedov went into exile with his father to Alma-Ata, and then left the Soviet Union.

Abroad, Sedov was engaged in the publication of the “Opposition Bulletin”. In 1938, Lev Lvovich died in Paris at the age of 31 after an operation for appendicitis. Trotsky himself and his associates were sure that Lev Sedov was a victim of the NKVD, but Pavel Sudoplatov Who was responsible for operations of this kind, years later claimed that Soviet agents had nothing to do with the death of Trotsky’s son.

Sergey: a talented engineer who shunned politics was shot in 1937

Sergey Lvovich Sedov graduated from the Moscow Mechanical Institute and was considered a very talented engineer. He was not even thirty when he became a professor.

Accompanying his father into exile, Sergei himself rejected the offer to leave his homeland. Despite the fact that he was far from politics, in 1935 Sergey Lvovich turned out to be one of the defendants in the so-called “Kremlin case” and received five years of exile.

He served it in Krasnoyarsk, working at the Krasnoyarsk Machine-building Plant. A new accusation of sabotage became fatal — On October 29, 1937, Trotsky’s youngest son was shot.

Trotsky’s great-granddaughter is fighting drugs in the USA, and his great-grandson is setting fire to mosques in Israel

The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the “demon of the revolution” were scattered all over the planet. The descendants of Alexandra’s eldest granddaughter, who was also subjected to repression, but, unlike many relatives, survived to rehabilitation, live in Moscow.

Alexandra’s brother Vsevolod, aka Esteban, became a famous chemist in Mexico. One of Esteban’s daughters, that is, Trotsky’s great-granddaughter, Nora Volkova became the director of the National Institute for the Study of Drug Abuse in the USA.

Daughter of Sergey’s youngest son, Julia Rubinstein, became a chemist. In 1979, she emigrated to the United States, and in the early 2000s moved to Israel, where her son David settled.

David Axelrod, Trotsky’s great-grandson, became an orthodox Jew. His son, that is, the great-grandson of the revolutionary, is named Baruch-Meir — in honor of Baruch Goldstein, who shot dead 29 praying Muslims in a Hebron mosque, and a rabbi Meira Kahane, founder of the ultra-orthodox nationalist party. David Axelrod was tried several times in Israel for attempts on Arabs and for setting fire to a mosque. The militant descendant did not speak too flatteringly about the “demon of the revolution”, believing that he fought only for his own benefit and never believed in the ideals he propagandized. Apparently, categorical judgments came to him from his great-grandfather without any admixtures. 


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