Communist League of China

Memory of Trotsky

(23 August 1940)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. 4 No. 39, 29 September 1940, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The Central Executive Committee of the Communist League of China issued the following statement on the death of Leon Trotsky:

The Communist League of China, section of the Fourth International, deeply mourns the passing of Leon Trotsky, who met his death at the hands of a brutal assassin employed by Stalin’s international Mafia. To Natalia, his devoted wife and comrade, we send all our sympathy in this irreparable loss which we so sadly share.

After several unsuccessful attempts, the Borgia of the Kremlin has finally succeeded in stilling the voice of the greatest leader of the revolutionary socialist movement. Trotsky was murdered because, as the legitimate bearer of the traditions of the October Revolution in Russia and the pre-eminent leader of the worldwide movement of the revolutionary proletariat and the oppressed masses, he represented the greatest menace to the totalitarian (bureaucracy which, with Stalin at its head, dominates the Soviet Union and crushes the masses under the weight of its lucrative privileges and the violent rule by which it maintains them.

The murder of Trotsky was also an act of personal vengeance by Stalin, the foul crowning deed in a series of murders which has claimed the lives of Trotsky’s two sons and two daughters and thousands of his devoted followers in Russia.

By the death of Leon Trotsky, the workers and oppressed peoples of all the world, including China, have lost their most gifted and ardent champion. Tirelessly and selflessly and without thought for his personal welfare or safety, he battled for more than forty years in the cause of the downtrodden and oppressed. To this great liberating struggle he brought a diversity of talents rarely given to a single man. Together with Lenin he led the Russian Revolution to victory and created the Red Army which fought off its enemies. Despite the later degeneration of the Soviet state, he continued its most able revolutionary defender and labored indefatigably for its revival by promoting the cause of the international socialist revolution. He kept undeviatingly to this course in the face of streams of slander, monstrous frame-ups and continual threats against his life by the Kremlin clique and their hired agents.

The hand of Stalin, guiding the hand of the assassin who encompassed his death, has brought the career of the great revolutionist to a premature end. In his writings and labors, as well as by his exemplary life as a man and a revolutionist, Leon Trotsky has bequeathed a rich heritage to the international proletariat and all the oppressed. Under the banner which he unfurled and so bravely upheld until his last breath – the banner of the Fourth International – his great work will reach fruition. This will be an imperishable monument to Leon Trotsky, who lived and died for the emancipation of mankind.

Shanghai, August 23, 1940

Central Executive Committee
Communist League Of China


* * *

The following letter was sent to Comrade Natalia Trotsky by the Executive Committee of the Communist League of China on Aug. 23:

The Chinese comrades send you these few words in the hope of comforting you in the dark days of sorrow which you are now passing through because of the loss of our beloved Comrade Trotsky. We wanted to send you a cable or radiogram, but circumstances here are such that we must write instead.

We had always hoped that you and we would he spared the grief which has now fallen upon us, but it was not to be. Despite all the precautions which were taken, an assassin employed by Stalin succeeded in carrying out his vile task.

We had hoped that Comrade Trotsky would live many more years to continue his great work in the cause of the socialist revolution. Now we can only take comfort – and we ask you to take comfort – in the thought that before he died Comrade Trotsky had already performed enormous labor for our cause. This work must now be carried to completion by others, less fitted for the task, but inspired by his selfless and gifted devotion to the cause of the downtrodden and the oppressed.

We recall with especial gratitude the great contributions which Comrade Trotsky has made to the revolutionary movement in China. His labors have armed us with a program which in the end will triumph. When the masses of China, marching under the banner of the Fourth International, throw off the chains of imperialism and step forward on the road to socialism, they will learn of the great part that Comrade Trotsky played in assuring their triumph, and they will appropriately honor his memory.

Dear Comrade Natalia: we grieve with you in this terrible bereavement and we honor you as the beloved wife and comrade of our departed leader. Please accept our fraternal love and sympathy. We shall continue to uphold the banner of international socialism, the banner of the Fourth International under which Comrade Trotsky lived and died.


Executive Committee
Communist League of China
(Section of the IV International)
Li Fu-jen

Last updated on 15 August 2020