Lev Davidovich Trotsky (Bronstein)

Russian: Лев (Лейба) Давидович Троцкий (Бронштейн)
Also Known As: "Leon", "Bronhstein", "Lev", "Lev Davidovich Sedov", "Lev Davidovich Trotskii", "Lev Davidovich Bronstein", "Lev Davidovich Bronshtein", "Leon Trotsky", "Trotsky"
Birthplace: Kropyvnytskyi, Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine
Death: August 21, 1940 (60)
Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico (Assassinated)
Place of Burial: Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
Immediate Family:

Son of David Leontyevich Bronstein and Anna Lev Bronstein
Husband of Natalia Sedova
Ex-husband of Aleksandra Lvovna Sokolovskaya
Father of Zinaida Volkova; Nina L'vovna Nevelson; Lev Lvovich Sedov and Sergei Sedov
Brother of Aleksandr Davidovich Bronshtein; Elizaveta Davidovna Bronstein; Clara Bronstein; Ольга Давидовна Каменева and Antonia Davidovna Szmuk

Occupation: Leaders of the Russian October Revolution, A Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army.
Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Leon Trotsky


Note: The hypothesis, that Leon Trotsky was the great grandson of Alexander Pushkin, is disputed.


Leon Trotsky Wikipedia

Trotsky in Switzerland

On 3 August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, in which Austria-Hungary fought against the Russian empire, Trotsky was forced to flee Vienna for neutral Switzerland to avoid arrest as a Russian émigré. Trotsky briefly worked within the Swiss Socialist Party, prompting it to adopt an internationalist resolution. He wrote a book opposing the war, The War and the International, and the pro-war position taken by the European social democratic parties, primarily the German party. 

Leon Trotsky[a] (Russian: Лев Дави́дович Тро́цкий; pronounced [ˈlʲef ˈtrot͡skʲɪj] ( listen); born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein; 7 November [O.S. 26 October] 1879 – 21 August 1940) was a Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army.

Trotsky initially supported the Menshevik Internationalists faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He was a major figure in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War (1918–1923). He also became one of the first members (1919-1926) of the Politburo.

After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s Trotsky was removed from power (October 1927), expelled from the Communist Party (November 1927) and finally deported from the Soviet Union in 1929. As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued in exile in Mexico to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. An early advocate of Red Army intervention against European fascism in the late 1930s, Trotsky opposed Stalin's non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler. He was assassinated on Stalin's orders in Mexico, by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born Soviet agent in August 1940. Most of his family members who stayed in USSR were arrested and executed.

Trotsky's ideas formed the basis of Trotskyism, a major school of Marxist thought that opposes the theories of Stalinism. He was one of the few Soviet political figures who were not rehabilitated by the government under Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s. In the late 1980s, his books were released for publication in the Soviet Union.

Leon Trotsky was born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein on 7 November 1879, in Yanovka in the Kherson guberniya of the Russian Empire (today's Bereslavka (Ukrainian: in the Bobrynets Raion, Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine), a small village 15 miles (24 km) from the nearest post office. He was the fifth child of eight of well-to-do Jewish farmers, David Leontyevich Bronshtein (1847–1922) and his wife Anna Bronshtein (1850–1910). The family was Jewish but reportedly not religious. The language spoken at home was a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian (known as Surzhyk). Trotsky's younger sister, Olga, married Lev Kamenev, a leading Bolshevik.

When Trotsky was nine, his father sent him to Odessa to be educated. He was enrolled in a German school, which became Russified during his years in Odessa, consequent to the Imperial government's policy of Russification.

There has been much attention to Trotsky's original name, by anti-Communists, anti-Semites and anti-Trotskists, who have always stressed his original surname, Bronstein, and this issue has become of political and historical significance.

Revolutionary activity and imprisonment (1896–1900)

In January 1898, more than 200 members of the union, including Trotsky, were arrested, spending, the next two years in prison awaiting trial, where he came into contact with other revolutionaries. There he first heard about Lenin and read Lenin's book, The Development of Capitalism in Russia, and gradually became a Marxist. Two months into his imprisonment, on 1 – 3 March 1898, the first Congress of the newly formed Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) was held. From then on Trotsky identified as a member of the party.

While in the prison in Moscow, in the summer of 1900, Trotsky met and married Aleksandra Sokolovskaya (or Sokolovskaia) (1872–1938), a fellow Marxist. The wedding ceremony was performed by a Jewish chaplain.

In 1900 he was sentenced to four years in exile in Ust-Kut and Verkholensk in the Irkutsk region of Siberia. Because of the marriage, Trotsky and his new wife were allowed to be exiled to the same location in Siberia. Accordingly, the couple was exiled to Ust-Kut and the Verkholensk in the Baikal Lake region of Siberia. They had two daughters, Zinaida (1901 – 5 January 1933) and Nina (1902 – 9 June 1928), both born in Siberia.

In the summer of 1902, at the urging of his wife, Trotsky escaped from Siberia hidden in a load of hay on a wagon. Aleksandra later escaped from Siberia with their daughters. Leon and Alexandra soon separated and divorced, and the children were later raised by Trotsky's parents.[citation needed ] Both daughters married and Zinaida had children, but the daughters died before their parents. Nina Nevelson died from tuberculosis (TB), cared for in her last months by her older sister. Zinaida Volkova died after following her father into exile in Berlin with her son by her second marriage, leaving her daughter in Russia. Suffering also from tuberculosis, then a fatal disease, and depression, Volkova committed suicide.

First emigration and second marriage (1902–1903)

Until this point in his life Trotsky had used his real name—Lev or Leon Bronstein. It was at this time that he changed his name to "Trotsky"—the name he would use for the rest of his life. In late 1902, Trotsky met Natalia Ivanovna Sedova, who soon became his companion and, from 1903 until his death, his wife. They had two children together, Lev Sedov (1906 – 16 February 1938) and Sergei Sedov (21 March 1908 – 29 October 1937), both of whom would predecease their parents. Regarding his sons' surnames, Trotsky later explained that[21] after the 1917 revolution:

"In order not to oblige my sons to change their name, I, for "citizenship" requirements, took on the name of my wife". Trotsky never used the name "Sedov" either privately or publicly. Natalia Sedova sometimes signed her name "Sedova-Trotskaya". Trotsky and his first wife Aleksandra maintained a friendly relationship after their divorce. She disappeared in 1935 during the Great Purges and was murdered by Stalinist forces three years later.

Defeat and exile (1927–1928)

- In October 1927, Trotsky and Zinoviev were expelled from the Central Committee.

- Trotsky was exiled to Alma Ata in Kazakhstan on 31 January 1928. He was expelled from the Soviet Union to Turkey in February 1929, accompanied by his wife Natalia Sedova and his son Lev Sedov.

- After Trotsky's expulsion from the country, exiled Trotskyists began to waver. Between 1929 and 1934, most of the leading members of the Opposition surrendered to Stalin, "admitted their mistakes" and were reinstated in the Communist Party.

Exile (1929–1940)

Trotsky was deported from the Soviet Union in February 1929. His first station in exile was at Büyükada off the coast of Constantinople, Turkey, where he stayed for the next four years.

Before Christmas 1936 he and his wife were deported to Mexico, on a freighter under guard by Jonas Lie. He lived in the Coyoacán area of Mexico City at the home (The Blue House) of the painter Diego Rivera and Rivera's wife and fellow painter, Frida Kahlo, with whom he had an affair.

In 1940, shortly before his assassination, after quarreling with Diego Rivera, Trotsky moved to his final residence on Avenida Viena. He was ill, suffering from high blood pressure, and feared that he would suffer a cerebral hemorrhage. He even prepared himself for the possibility of ending his life through suicide.

On 27 February 1940, Trotsky wrote a document known as "Trotsky's Testament", in which he expressed his final thoughts and feelings for posterity. After forcefully denying Stalin's accusations that he had betrayed the working class, he thanked his friends, and above all his wife and dear companion, Natalia Sedova, for their loyal support:


  • Stalin assigned the organisation and execution of a plan to assassinate Trotsky [citation needed] to Nahum Eitingon who recruited Ramón Mercader during the Spanish Civil War.
  • On 24 May 1940, Trotsky survived a raid on his home by armed Stalinist assassins led by GPU agent Iosif Grigulevich, Mexican painter and Stalinist David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Vittorio Vidale. [citation needed]
  • Trotsky's young grandson, Vsievolod Platonovich "Esteban" Volkov (born 1926), was shot in the foot and a young assistant and bodyguard of Trotsky, Robert Sheldon Harte, was abducted and later murdered, but other guards defeated the attack.
  • On 20 August 1940, Trotsky was attacked in his home in Mexico with a mountaineers' ice axe by undercover NKVD agent Ramón Mercader. The blow to Trotsky's head was poorly delivered and failed to kill Trotsky instantly, as Mercader had intended. Trotsky was taken to a hospital, operated on, and survived for more than a day, dying at the age of 60 on 21 August 1940 as a result of loss of blood and shock.


Trotsky's house in Coyoacán was preserved in much the same condition as it was on the day of the assassination and is now a museum run by a board which includes his grandson Esteban Volkov. The current director of the museum is Carlos Ramirez Sandoval. Trotsky's grave is located on its grounds. A new foundation (International Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum) has been organized to raise funds to further improve the Museum.

Trotsky was never formally rehabilitated during the rule of the Soviet government, despite the Glasnost-era rehabilitation of most other Old Bolsheviks killed during the Great Purges. His son, Sergei Sedov, killed in 1937, was rehabilitated in 1988, as was Nikolai Bukharin. Above all, beginning in 1989, Trotsky's books, forbidden until 1987, were finally published in the Soviet Union.

Trotsky was rehabilitated in 16 June 2001 on the basis of the decision of the General Prosecutor's Office (Certificates of Rehabilitation № 13/2182-90, № 13-2200-99 in Archives Research Center "Memorial").

Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov, who lives in Mexico, is an active promoter of his grandfather. Trotsky's great-granddaughter, Mexican-born Nora Volkow (Volkov's daughter), is currently head of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Leib Bronstein's childhood

Lev Davidovich Trotsky was born on November 7th (O.S. 26 October) 1879 into a farming family who lived in Yanovka in Kherson province in the Russian empire's region of New Russia, which is OTL's modern day southern Ukraine. Trotsky lived as Leiba Bronstein until the age of 23 when he adopted his renowned pseudonym. His family is of Jewish origin and his parents where quite wealthy (something he was embarrassed about being a Marxist).

Trotsky was actually from Gromokleya, the last Jewish agricultural colony to be established in Kherson.

See Trotsky: A Biography, by Robert Service see Chapter 1, pp 13 - 29.



О Льве "Троцкий" Бронштейн (русский)

Лев Дави́дович Тро́цкий (псевдоним, также: Перо́, Антид Ото, Л. Седо́в, Стари́к и др. Имя при рождении Лейба Давидович Бронштейн[1][2][3], 26 октября [7 ноября] 1879, село Яновка, Елисаветградский уезд, Херсонская губерния, Российская империя (ныне Береславка, Кировоградская область, Украина) — 21 августа 1940, Койоакан, Мехико) — революционный деятель XX века, идеолог троцкизма — одного из течений марксизма. Дважды ссыльный при монархическом строе, лишённый всех гражданских прав в 1905 году. Один из организаторов Октябрьской революции 1917 года, один из создателей Красной армии. Один из основателей и идеологов Коминтерна, член его Исполкома. В первом советском правительстве — нарком по иностранным делам, затем в 1918—1925 — нарком по военным и морским делам и председатель Реввоенсовета РСФСР, затем СССР. С 1923 года — лидер внутрипартийной левой оппозиции («Новый курс»). Член Политбюро ВКП(б) в 1919—1926 годах. В 1927 году был снят со всех постов и отправлен в ссылку; в 1929 году — выслан за пределы СССР. В 1932 году лишён советского гражданства. После высылки из СССР — создатель и главный теоретик Четвёртого интернационала (1938). Автор работ по истории революционного движения в России («Наша революция», «Преданная революция»), создатель капитальных исторических трудов по революции 1917 года («История русской революции»), литературно-критических статей («Литература и революция») и автобиографии «Моя жизнь» (1930). Дважды женат, без расторжения первого брака.

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Leon Trotsky's Timeline

November 7, 1879
Kropyvnytskyi, Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine
Age 21
город Иркутск, Иркутская область, Россия
Age 22
Irkutsk Oblast, Russia
February 11, 1906
Age 26
Saint Petersburg, gorod Sankt-Peterburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia
March 21, 1908
Age 28
August 21, 1940
Age 60
Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico