for the Moscow Trial the Pravda described de Brouckere, Citrine,
Schevenels and myself as a "quartet of contemptible advocates for the
Trotskyist murderers" and reproached us with "making an attempt to
libel the Soviet Court, curtail its rights, alter the court procedure and
tone down the Soviet laws in favor of the terrorists." (Translated from
the German Rundschau, pp. 1677-1678).
Yes, we confess that we shall always advocate with all our energy
the "alteration" of this "court procedure," this procedure under which
the reconsideration of verdicts by a second court is excluded and the
death sentence carried out without any respite.
THE OGPU "FRAMES" TROTSKY
The sixteen defendants have "confessed"—but the principal defendant, the true "spiritus rector" of all conspiracies, Leon Trotsky, has not
confessed. On the contrary, he most energetically denies that any of
the accusations against him, which the defendants made in their "confessions," are grounded in truth."' Yet after having sentenced the sixteen
to be shot, the verdict of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court
closes with the following order:
"Leo Davidovitch Trotsky, and his son, Leo Lvovitch Sedov, now abroad, convicted by the evidence of the accused I. N. Smirnov, E. S. Holtzman, Dreitzer, V.
Olberg, Fritz David (I. I. Kruglyansky) and Berman-Yurin, and also by the materials
in the present case as having directly prepared and personally directed the organization in the U.S.S.R. of terroristic acts against the leaders of the C.P.S.U. and the
Soviet State, are subject in the event of their being discovered on the territory of the
U.S.S.R. to immediate arrest and trial by the Military Collegium of the Supreme
Court of the U.S.S.R." (p. 180).
The quality of the "proofs" against Trotsky is known from the
confession of Holtzman, who is supposed to have conveyed a verbal
message from Trotsky, and from the most important document published in the indictment (p. 22) which represents a letter alleged to
have been written by Trotsky personally. The Court learned of the
"text" of this letter from the confession of the defendant Dreitzer, who
was able to recite the letter textually, though two years earlier it had
been—burnt. (That the letter was not burnt, because it had never
existed, is a matter of no great importance compared with the defendant
Dreitzer's achievement). g&
After what is known concerning the demonstrably false evidence
of the accused, nobody can believe all these "proofs" against Trotsky
which are adduced in the confessions.
But on one occasion Trotsky really did write about individual terror
*In the Bulletin de l'Opposition (Bolcheviks-Leninistes) No. 52-53 (Paris, October, 1936)
the Trotskyists abroad have published a voluminous and extremely well-documented statement,
running to 52 pages, on the facts of the trial. This did not arrive until the present article