Leon Trotsky exhibition in Leningrad

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Trotsky being portrayed as St George, spearing the bourgeois serpent representing capitalism
Trotsky being portrayed as St George, spearing the bourgeois serpent representing capitalism

An important event for the working class of Leningrad and the entire world by Mikhail Polupanov

This exhibition is dedicated to 130th anniversary of outstanding proletarian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, and was opened 6 November 2009 in the State Museum of Political History of Russia in Leningrad.

It is very symbolical that this exhibition was opened just in Leningrad – the cradle of the October Revolution.

The workers in the Soviet Union for decades had no possibility of receiving direct information about the life, heritage and activities of Leon Trotsky – great practicist and theoretician of the revolution and the closest team-mate of Vladimir Lenin.

It can be only explained by the panic and fear of the Stalinist bureaucracy about any truth regarding the October Revolution and the role in it of Leon Trotsky.

The chairman of Military-Revolutionary Committee and Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies, Leon Trotsky had great popularity among the working class of Petrograd and the whole of Russia. And numerous documents presented at the exhibition gives to workers a clearer understanding of the role and place of Leon Trotsky in the history of the world revolutionary movement.

The Stalinist ruling clique of Leningrad made an attempt to prevent the exhibition taking place.

The Museum administration received some telephone calls with threats; also Nazi skinheads attempted to attack the exhibition itself; however some Nazis were detained by the militia and the museum security.

This is despite the fact that the exhibition organisers are not particularly left-wing or workers activists.

But during the preparations for the exhibition and its production, they received serious support from the working class of Leningrad and this is one of the main factors that decided them to put it on.

Just on the first day of exhibition, it was visited by hundreds of industrial workers, students and soldiers.

It confirms the fact that during the long years of Stalinist counter-revolution, the bureaucrats did not succeed to etch the name of Trostky from the memory of the workers.

Even now, despite huge and numerous obstacles, such idioms as ‘to be as honest as Trotsky’ or ‘to say as honest as Trotsky’ still exist in the Russian language.

The peak of visitors attending was on November 7 – the day of October Revolution and 130th anniversary of the birth of one of its main leaders – comrade Leon Trotsky.

On this day the delegation of the Workers Revolutionary League – the Soviet section of the International Committee of the Fourth International visited the exhibition and distributed a number of our papers and leaflets among the visitors.

Our comrades from Leningrad will continue to distribute our material at the exhibition until it closes on December 9.