Leon Trotsky was a Russian marxist revolutionary and theorist, who played an instrumental role in the 1917 revolution and servied as the founder and commander of the Red Army. However, he soon came to oppose Joseph Stalin's policies during the 1920s and was later exiled to Mexico, where he was assassinated on Stalin's orders.
His memorabilia is of great historical importance and, with the rise of Russia's middle-class, is becoming highly sought after as more collectors join the market. Those pieces that are not already housed in institional collections are quickly snapped up by private collectors.
This one page typed letter is written in French and signed by Trotsky. Measuring 7¼ x 11" and dated May 6, 1939, Trotsky writes to his lawyer, Gerard Rosenthal:
"We have received with delay the new copy of the letter of Jeanne Molinier concerning the documents and things left by Leon, the first copy of which had been burned on the 'Paris'
"All the precautionary measures will naturally be taken to ensure that the handing over of the documents be protected from possible attacks"
The Paris is an ocean liner that caught fire in April 1939. Leon was Trotsky's son (and husband of Jeanne Molinier) who died in a Paris hospital in 1938 following an unsuccessful appendectomy, some say as a result of Stalin's orders.
At the centre of the family conflict were bundles of documents belonging to Trotsky that were in Molinier's possession. The majority of these survived, and are now held in three major collections at Harvard University, Amsterdam's International Institute for Social History and Stanford University.
This letter serves as a who's who in Trotksy's life while in exile in Mexico. Rosenthal was his attorney and agent in Paris as well as a member of the French Bolshevik-Leninist movement.
An intriguing piece of correspondence which carries with it all of the mystery and intrigue of Stalinist Russia.