11/12 – Trotsky’s Exile

Leon Trotsky in 1918. (source: Wikimedia Commons)

On this day in 1927 Ukrainian politician Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party. Trotsky and a colleague, Ukrainian Grigory Zinoviev, had attempted to stage a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Bolshevik victory during the October Revolution in November 1917; Joseph Stalin and Trotsky’s other opponents had the celebrations broken up and Trotsky expelled. Trotsky was one of Stalin’s least favourite members of the Soviet Party (Stalin hated Bolsheviks). Since Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin had held various positions of authority in the party, but with Trotsky finally gone, “Uncle Joe” Stalin gained complete control of the Soviet Union. Stalinism prevailed and the period between 1927 and 1953 was perhaps the bloodiest peacetime era in Eastern European history. Trotsky was assassinated in 1940 and was erased from Soviet history books for his anti-Stalinist stance.

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