Fighting antisemitism

Previously untranslated articles by Trotsky on antisemitism

Articles by Leon Trotsky on antisemitism and Jewish questions, translated into English by Stan Crooke. • The Decomposition of Zionism – And What Might Succeed It (1904) • The Tsar’s Footsoldiers at Work (1908) • The Tsar's Footsoldiers at Work (1909) • The Jewish Question in Romania (1913) • Under the Sign of the Beylis Affair (1913) • "Stalin never had qualms about using antisemitism" (1936) The 1909 "Tsar's Footsoldiers" has had a previous English translation, as chapter 12 of Trotsky's book 1905: online here. The 1913 article on Romania has had a previous English translation, appearing in...

"Stalin never had qualms about using antisemitism" (1936)

Above: Grigorii Zinoviev, one of the Jewish defendants in the 1936 Moscow show trial Extract from) Letter to Michael Puntervold (26/10/36) Translated by Stan Crooke from: Letter to Michael Puntervold (26/10/1936), International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam), inventory number 279. Puntervold was Trotsky’s lawyer during his exile in Norway. In the first half of the letter Trotsky discusses a recent Moscow show trial (19th-24th August), in which the defendants were accused of being Gestapo agents who were plotting to murder Stalin on Trotsky’s instructions. A number of the defendants...

The Jewish Question in Romania (1913)

Trotsky worked as a correspondent for a liberal paper in Kiev during the Balkan wars of 1913. In this article he demolished the liberal pretences of the Romanian monarchy by pointing to its oppression of the country's Jewish population. The ultimate and most authentic manifestation of Romania is to be found in its Jewish question. King Carol is proud of the fact that he has never deviated from the “strictly constitutional” path. The Romanian press enjoys a large degree of freedom, and from time to time it publishes quite fantastic “expressions” to describe the King, without suffering any...

The Tsar's Footsoldiers at Work (1909)

A follow-up article by Trotsky on the pogroms of 1905, further to the 1908 article also entitled The Tsar’s Footsoldiers at Work. Above: a 1905 cartoon denouncing the pogroms. The Soviet ended the October strike in those terrible dark days when the weeping of battered infants, the frenzied curses of mothers, the death-rattles of old men and the terrible cries of despair echoed to the skies the length and breadth of the country. A hundred of Russia’s cities and towns were transformed into hell on earth. The sun was blotted out by the smoke of conflagrations, flames consumed entire streets – and...

The Tsar’s Footsoldiers at Work (1908)

Above: members of the Jewish socialist organisation, the Bund, in Odessa, with comrades killed in 1905. This article by Trotsky dissects official reports giving information about anti-Jewish pogroms carried out by counter-revolutionaries especially in 1905. (“Materials Concerning the History of the Russian Counter-Revolution”, Volume One, “The Pogroms According to Official Statistics”, Saint Petersburg, 1908) This voluminous book, consisting of monotonous bureaucratic paperwork, makes a striking impression on the reader. We have in front of us a portrait of Tsarism in the period of the...

That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic: an anti-racist analysis of Left antisemitism

Steve Cohen's "That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Antisemitic: an anti-racist analysis of Left antisemitism", first published in 1984, was a seminal work. Workers' Liberty is selling copies of the third edition, published in 2019: 212 pages for £5, plus postage. This now classic book should be read by everyone active on the left. It looks at the history of Left antisemitism from a Marxist perspective. Get the book Buy the book for £5, plus postage (£1.50 UK, £5 international), from Workers' Liberty. UK postage International postage eBook and PDF You can buy the ebook here. The second, 2005 version...

Under the Sign of the Beylis Affair (1913)

Under the Sign of the Beylis Affair [1913], an article by Leon Trotsky translated by Stan Crooke. The case of Menahem Mendel Beilis, a Russian Jew framed for the "ritual murder" of a Ukrainian boy who disappeared in 1911 and was later found dead, triggered a great international outcry against the notoriously antisemitic Tsarist regime in Russia. Eventually, in 1913, Beilis was acquitted by a jury in Kiev.

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