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Trotsky Saw Homeland Vital for Jews; Laid Anti-semitism to Stalin Regime

August 23, 1940
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Leon Trotsky, former Russian War Commissar once nicknamed “The Napoleon of Bolshevism,” died last night from injuries inflicted by a trusted associate in an attack at his villa in suburban Coyoacan. He was 60.

Trotsky, who was born into a Russian Jewish family named Bornstein, was living in New York with his wife in 1917 when events in Russia prompted him to return there and embark on one of the most spectacular military and political careers of modern times. He became an exile in 1927 after clashing with Stalin. He arrived in Mexico in 1937 after wandering in many countries. During his residence here Trotsky actively worked with his pen for the revolutionary cause that had been his almost since he was born in 1879.

He outlined his views on Jewish problems in an exclusive interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here in 1937. Reversing his advocacy of assimilation of Jews, Trotsky declared that he recognized the Jews’ need for a “common homeland” but emphasized that the final solution of the Jewish question would come only through the “emancipation of entire humanity” by international Socialism.

Trotsky accused the Soviet “bureaucracy” of anti-Semitic tendencies and claimed he had changed his attitude toward the Jewish question because of “historical developments.”

“We must bear in mind that the Jewish people will exist a long time,” he said. “But the people cannot exist without a common territory. Zionism is based on this idea, but the everyday facts do not demonstrate to us that Zionism is capable of solving the Jewish question. I do not believe the Jewish question can be solved within the framework of decayed capitalism and under the control of English imperialism.”

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