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The Militant, 7 February 1942

GPU Continues Terror Drive in Mexico

Assassinations of Anti-Fascist Refugees
Are Feared as GPU Forces Are Mobilized

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 6, 7 February 1942, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Communist Party and the GPU apparatus in Mexico are intensifying their terrorist campaign against the anti-Stalinist refugees from the fascist countries. Stalinist clamor is growing for their imprisonment, deportation to certain death or assassination.

Already, the present GPU terror drive has claimed its first victim, through the murder of Tina Modotti, former GPU agent and ex-wife of Carlos Contreras, head of the GPU machine in Mexico.

This latest campaign to wipe out the working-class opponents of Stalinism was opened by a declaration of the Mexican CP calling for the formation of “Vigilante Committee” to deal with anti-Stalinist “spies” and “shock troops of the Fifth Column.” The GPU plans to destroy those it has selected for death by disguising its murder gangs as secret bands of irate citizens.

Just such a GPU “Vigilante Committee” invaded Leon Trotsky’s house in May 1940, raked it with machine gun bullets, and kidnapped and murdered Sheldon Harte, one of Trotsky’s American guards.

Victims Selected

Among those on whom the Stalinists have put the “finger” now are Victor Serge, former French representative on the Executive Committee of the Communist International; Julian Gorkin, leader of the Spanish POUM; Marceau Pivert, once secretary to Leon Blum and later head of the left wing of the French Socialist Party that formed the PSOP; Gustave Regler, former commander of the Stalinist International Brigade in Spain; and Grandizo Munis, Spanish Trotskyist refugee from the Franco terror.

Serge, Gorkin, Pivert and Munis were attacked on Jan. 13 by seven Mexican deputies, led by the Stalinist Deputy Carlo’s Zapata Vela, who called for their deportation along with all other “well known traitors” and “anarcho-Trotskyist gangsters.” The charge was made that these antifascist refugees, who had fled death at the hands of Franco, Hitler and Petain, were “Nazi agents.”

Typical Campaign

It is the typical campaign of character assassination that precedes and accompanies the GPU’s physical assassinations. It follows the pattern of the Stalinist press campaign prior to Trotsky’s assassination, except that Trotsky was denounced then – the Stalin-Hitler pact was in effect – as an agent of “American and British imperialism.”

The GPU is seeking to stamp on the public mind the idea that anyone who is against Stalinism is a “traitor” and “tool of Hitler”. The hirelings of the Kremlin believe they can gain popular support for their criminal acts because of the favorable sentiment for the Soviet Union aroused by the recent Red Army advances and because they hope the Mexican government, how maintaining harmonious relations with the Soviet government, can be prevailed upon tp protect the GPU and CP.

Paul Castelar, in the Jan. 31 New Leader, discloses the names and connections of the GPU agents now being mobilized in Mexico to silence the anti-Stalinist working-class groups and particularly the anti-fascist refugees.

GPU Mobilization

Carlos Contreras, alias Arturo Sormenti, long in Comintern service and ex-husband of the murdered Tina Modotti, heads the GPU apparatus in Mexico. He was associated with André Marty, who led the GPU purges in Spain during the civil war and organized the murder of Andres Nin, Mark Rein and hundreds of other anti-fascist fighters.

Contreras is being assisted by Juan Comorera, former chief of the GPU in Catalan, linked with the assassination of Nin; Juan Checa, boss of the Spanish CP; Santiago Garces, head of the GPU Military Information Service and a friend of Lombardo Toledano; and other GPU agents who saw service in Spain, such as Joe Gordero Luis Munoz, Jose Armise, Serafin Areas and A. Gozzel Santa Fe.

Exposure of the GPU’s terror campaign both in the United States and Mexico has brought a howl of vituperation from the Stalinist press.

Stalinist “Answer”

Walter Winchell recently wrote that “GPU assassins have arrived in Mexico, and a commission of American Communists has gone down to confer with them.” Mike Gold’s “answer” to Winchell in the Daily Worker of Jan. 28 was that he was, helping “to split the United Nations, by slandering Hitler’s most difficult enemy, the Soviet Union.” Reminding Winchell of the recent victories of the Red Army and the Nazis’ torture of the Jewish people, Gold went on:

“And now I would like to ask Walter Winchell, son of Jewish parents, a simple question:

“What hope is there left to these Jews of Poland but the Red Army?

“What can they be praying for in their synagogues but the rapid approach of the Soviet liberators?

“If you told them that some smug American Jews still sneer at the Soviets, would they be grateful to such stupid and heartless people?”

Gold and his poison-pen brethren are trying to claim that because the Red Army is fighting a progressive war, the GPU terrorism against working-class militants and anti-fascist refugees is also progressive. The truth is that the criminal acts of Stalinism repel the sympathy of the world masses for the Soviet Union and the Red Army, and thus weaken the defense of the first workers’ state.

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