Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov, on the 72 Anniversary of Trotsky's Assassination

Published in the UK's Guardian newspaper. [1]

Transcript of the interview.


After being deported from the Soviet Union in 1929, Leon Trotsky, the founder of the Red Army, sought exile in Mexico in 1937.
His was a very complete life.
He dedicated it to his ideas and putting them into practice.
On 24 May 1940, an attempt is made to assassinate Trotsky.
His grandson Estaban Volkov was there.

Esteban Volkov:

I was sleeping in the neighbouring bedroom when someone came in from the garden.
They pushed the door and it scraped the floor and made a noise, waking me up.
I saw a silhouette and someone came in.
I thought it was someone from the house. I didn’t imagine it was a stranger.
Then shortly afterwards the shots started.


Estaban Volkov, Leon Trotsky’s grandson.

Esteban Volkov:

There was the smell of powder.
I threw myself to the floor and covered myself with a blanket in the corner.
They shot up my bed too, six or seven bullets in the middle of it.
Fortunately I was covered and only got a scratch.
They fired from three angles. From the garden window, my bedroom and the office.
With a Thompson machine gun.
Well we knew, grandfather knew, that it would happen again soon.
Each morning he would say to [his wife] Natalia, ‘They’ve given us one more day of life.’
The problem is the fight against imperialism. The attempt  to dominate all these countries.
To take away their natural resources.
We’re seeing that now in Iraq, the second biggest oil producer in the world.
Where’s all that going?
Trotsky was a key player in these historical events.
He documented every detail of his experience leaving an immense political arsenal.
He dedicated 40 years of his life to the cause of socialism.
He first prepared the revolution with Lenin and then he made it happen.
In the aftermath of the revolution and Stalin’s bureaucracy he fought the reaction against it and brought the movement back to life.
And it was in that struggle that he died.
Stalin hadn’t lost his obsession for annihilating and killing.


On 20 August 1940 Trotsky was in his study when he was attacked with an ice pick.
His assassin was a Stalinst agent who had infiltrated Trotsky’s inner circle.
Trotsky died in hospital the next day.

Esteban Volkov:

I went through the door and saw the young bodyguard Harold Robbins.
He was very upset and had his pistol in his hand.
I walked towards the house and saw a man who was bleeding, being restrained by the police.
I didn’t recognise him then.
And later when I walked into the library I saw my grandfather injured on the ground.

He managed to say to the secretaries who were around him that they should keep me far away that I shouldn’t see the scene. And he also said when the guard was beating up the man who attacked him not to kill him. That he should talk. 

The belief he had in himself was so impressive.
His confidence was contagious.
Marxism remains the most precise theory for understanding historical processes.
I hope something better comes along, but it hasn’t yet.
We’re seeing that capitalism is a complete disaster.
It is unable to solve humanity’s problems. Quite the contrary.
Every day there is more chaos, more misery. No, it’s really an obsolete system.


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