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InternationalThe grandson of Leon Trotsky, the last witness to his assassination there...

The grandson of Leon Trotsky, the last witness to his assassination there in 1940, died in Mexico

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The news was announced by the Mexican newspaper “La Hornada”, referring to the statements of his family and friends on social networks

Vsevolod Volkov, who is the grandson of Lev Trotsky – one of the organizers of the October Revolution in 1917, died at the age of 97 in Mexico, the Mexican newspaper “Hornada” reported, citing statements by his family and friends on social media networks.

Volkov was born in the former Soviet Union in 1926, and in 1939, together with his grandfather Leon Trotsky, he arrived in Mexico, where he studied chemistry. In 1990, the grandson turned the family home in the Mexican capital into a house-museum of Trotsky, writes in “Hornada”. The newspaper notes that Volkov was the last witness to the assassination of Trotsky in 1940 in Mexico.

Shortly before Lenin’s death in 1924, an internal power struggle began in the Leon Trotskyof Russia, in which Leon Trotsky was defeated. In November 1927 he was expelled from the party, and in 1929 he was expelled from the former Soviet Union. In 1932, Trotsky was also deprived of his then Soviet citizenship, TASS recalls.

In 1937, Trotsky received political asylum in Mexico, from where he sharply criticized Stalin’s policies. It soon became known that his assassination was being prepared by agents of the then Soviet intelligence. On May 24, 1940, the first assassination attempt was made on Trotsky, but he survived. On August 20, 1940, however, the secret agent of the then People’s Commissariat of the Interior, Ramon Mercader, a pro-Stalinist Spanish communist who had been introduced in the 1930s in his immediate environment, came to visit him and managed to kill him at his home in the Mexican capital.

Trotsky knew that he was a constant target for Stalin, and that he would be hunted down with a vengeance. He predicted that there would be further attempts to take his life, and he was right. What Trotsky didn’t expect was that an odd fellow named Ramón Mercader, who was living under the pseudonym Jacques Mornard and was dating Trotsky’s secretary Sylvia Ageloff, would be the one to finally kill him. Mercader pretended to sympathize with and support Trotsky’s views so as to not seem suspicious or raise any cause for concern. 

On August 20, 1940, Trotsky was back to his daily routine of enjoying nature and writing about politics. Mercader had asked to meet with him that evening to show him an article about James Burnham and Max Shachtman. Trotsky obliged, though Natalia notes that he would have rather stayed in the garden, feeding the rabbits or left to himself; Trotsky always found Mercader to be a bit off and irritating. Natalia accompanied the two men to Trotsky’s study and left them there. She found it bizarre that Mercader was wearing a raincoat in the middle of summer. When she asked him why he was wearing it along with rainboots, he replied curtly, (and for Natalia, absurdly), “because it might rain.” No one knew at the time that the murder weapon, the ice axe, was concealed underneath the raincoat. Within a matter of minutes, a piercing and terrifying cry could be heard from the next room over. 

Photo: Leon Trotsky, photographed c.1918. Rijksmuseum.

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