My Life, by Leon Trotsky

Chapter 15

Trial, Exile, Escape

The second prison cycle began. It was much easier to bear than the first, and the conditions were infinitely more tolerable than those of eight years before. I was in the “Kresty” prison for a short time, then in the Peter-Paul fortress, and finally in the House of Preliminary Detention. Before we were sent to Siberia we were moved to a transfer-prison.

Altogether, I was in prison for fifteen months. Each prison had its peculiar features to which one had to adapt oneself. But it would be too dull to dwell on them, for, different as they were, prisons are really all alike. Again I entered on a period of systematic scientific and literary work. I studied the theory of rent and the history of social relations in Russia. The big work on rent, though still unfinished, was lost during the first years after the October revolution. To me this was a most tragic loss, next to that of my work on freemasonry. My studies of the social history of Russia were embodied in an article, The Results of the Revolution and Its Prospects (Itogi Perspectivi), which represents, for that period, the most finished statement in proof of the theory of permanent revolution.

After our transfer to the House of Preliminary Detention, lawyers were allowed to visit us. The first Duma brought with it a stimulation of political life. The newspapers again grew daring. Marxist publishing enterprises took a new lease on life. The new conditions made it possible to return to militant political writing. I wrote a great deal in prison; the lawyers would carry my manuscripts out in their brief-cases. My pamphlet, Peter Struve in Politics, belongs to this period. I worked over it with such zeal that the walks in the prison yard seemed an annoying duty to me. The pamphlet, which was directed against liberalism, was essentially a defence of the St. Petersburg Soviet, of the December armed uprising in Moscow, and of the revolutionary policy in general, as opposed to the criticism by the opportunists. The Bolshevik press received the pamphlet in a decidedly friendly manner; the Menshevik press was silent. Tens of thousands of copies of the pamphlet were sold within a few weeks.

D. Sverchkov, who shared my imprisonment with me, later described the prison period in his book At the Dawn of the Revolution. He wrote: “L. D. Trotsky, working under great pressure, wrote and handed in for printing parts of his book, ’Russia and the Revolution,’ a book in which he definitely advanced for the first time 1 the idea that the revolution which had started in Russia could not end until the Socialist regime was fulfilled. His theory of ‘permanent revolution,’ as it was called, was accepted by few, but he held firmly to his position, and even then discerned in the state of the world all the symptoms of decomposition of the bourgeois-capitalist economy, and the relative nearness of the Socialist Revolution . . . ”

“Trotsky’s prison cell,” continued Sverchkov, “soon became transformed into a sort of library. He was supplied with all the new books that deserved attention; he read them all, and the entire day, from morning until late at night, he was occupied with his literary work. ‘I feel splendid,’ he would say to us. ‘I sit and work and feel perfectly sure that I can’t be arrested. You will agree that under the conditions in Czarist Russia, that is rather an unusual sensation.’”

For relaxation, I read the European classics. As I lay in my prison bunk I absorbed them with the same sense of physical delight that the gourmet has in sipping choice wines or in inhaling the fragrant smoke of a fine cigar. These were my best hours. The traces of my classical studies, in the shape of epigraphs and quotations, were evident in all of my political writings at that time. It was then for the first time that I really acquainted myself with the “grands seigneurs” of the French novel in their original French. The art of story-telling is primarily French. Although I know German perhaps somewhat better than French, especially as regards scientific terminology. I read French fiction more easily than German. To this day I have retained my love for the French novel. Even in a railway-car during the civil war, I found time to read the latest ones.

Taking it all in all, I can hardly complain about my life in prison. It was a good school for me. I left the hermetically sealed cell of solitary confinement in the Peter-Paul fortress with a tinge of regret; it was so quiet there, so eventless, so perfect for intellectual work. The House of Preliminary Detention was, on the contrary, filled with people and bustle. Not a few there were sentenced to death; terrorist acts and so-called armed “expropriations” were sweeping the country. The prison regime, on account of the first Duma, was very liberal; the cells were not locked during the day, and we could take our walks all together. For hours at a time we would go into raptures over playing leap-frog. The men condemned to death would leap and offer their backs as well as the rest of us. My wife came to visit me twice a week. The officials on duty winked at our exchange of letters and manuscripts. One of them, a middle-aged man, was especially well disposed toward us. At his request, I presented him with a copy of my book and my photograph with an inscription. “My daughters are all college students,” he whispered delightedly, as he winked mysteriously at me. I met him later under the Soviet, and did what I could for him in those years of famine.

Parvus walked with old Deutsch in the prison yard. I joined them occasionally. There is a photograph showing all three of us in the prison kitchen. The indefatigable Deutsch was planning a wholesale escape for us and easily won Parvus over, insisting that I join them too. I resisted because I was attracted by the political importance of the trial ahead. Too many people were included in the plans, however. In the prison library where they conspired, one of the guards discovered a set of tools. The prison administration hushed the affair up, because the secret police were suspected of planting the tools there to bring about a change in the prison regime. And, after all, Deutsch had to effect his fourth escape not from the prison but from Siberia.

The factional disagreements in the party were sharply renewed after the defeat in December. The high-handed dissolution of the Duma raised all the problems of the revolution anew. I made them the subject of a pamphlet on tactics, which Lenin published through a Bolshevik publishing house. The Mensheviks were already beating a retreat along the entire front. In prison, however, the factional relations had not yet reached the acute stage which they had in the world outside, and we were able to publish a collective work dealing with the St. Petersburg Soviet in which some of the Mensheviks still appeared as contributors.

The trial of the Soviet of Workers’ Delegates opened on September 19, 1906, in the early days of Stolypin’s court-martial justice. The yard of the court building and the adjoining streets were turned into a military camp. All the police of St. Petersburg were mobilised. But the trial itself was carried on with a certain amount of freedom; the reactionary government was out to disgrace Witte by exposing his “liberalism,” his weakness in dealing with the revolution. About four hundred witnesses were called; and more than two hundred witnesses came and offered evidence. Workers, manufacturers, members of the secret police, engineers, servants, citizens, journalists, post-office officials, police chiefs, gymnasium students, municipal councillors, janitors, senators, hooligans, deputies, professors, soldiers, all passed in file during the month of the trial, and, under the crossfire of the judges’ bench, of the prosecution, of the attorneys for the defence, and of the defendants especially the latter reconstructed, line by line, and stroke by stroke, the activity of the workers’ Soviet. The defendants gave their explanations. I spoke of the importance in the revolution of an armed uprising. The chief objective was therefore obtained, and when the court refused our demand to call to the witness-stand Senator Lopukhin, who in the autumn of 1905 had opened a printing-press in the Police Department to disseminate pogrom literature, we broke up the trial by forcing the court to take us back to prison. The counsel for the defence, the witnesses and the public all left the court-room after us; the judges remained alone with the prosecutor. They passed the verdict in our absence. The stenographic report of this unique trial, which lasted for a month, has not been published, and it seems that to this day it has not even been located. The most essential facts about the trial I related in my book 1905.

My father and mother were at the trial. Their thoughts and emotions were divided. It was now impossible to explain away my conduct as a boy’s foolishness, as they had in my Nikolayev days when I lived in Shvigovsky’s garden. I was an editor of newspapers, the chairman of the Soviet, and I had a name as a writer. The old couple were impressed by all this. My mother tried to talk with the lawyers for the defence, hoping to hear further complimentary remarks about me from them. During my speech, which she could scarcely understand, she wept silently. She wept more when a score of attorneys for the defence came up to shake my hand. One of the lawyers for the defence had demanded a temporary adjournment before that, because of the general excitement caused by my speech. This was A.Z. Zarudny; in Kerensky’s government, he was the Minister of Justice and kept me in prison on a charge of state treason. But that happened ten years later.

During the intervals of the trial the old folks looked at me happily. My mother was sure that I would not only be acquitted, but even given some mark of distinction. I tried to persuade her to prepare for a sentence to hard-labour. Some what frightened and puzzled by all this, she kept looking from me to the lawyers as if trying to understand how such a thing could be possible. My father was pale, silent, happy and distressed, all in one.

We were deprived of all civic rights and sentenced to enforced settlement in exile. This was a comparatively mild punishment. We were expecting hard-labour. But enforced settlement in exile is quite a different thing from the administrative exile to which I had been sentenced the first time. The enforced settlement was for an indefinite period, and every attempt at escape carried the additional punishment of three years at hard-labour. The forty-five strokes with the lash which used to go with this had been abolished several years before.

“It is about two or three hours since we came to the transfer prison,” I wrote to my wife on January 3, 1907. “I confess I parted with my cell in the Detention House not without nervousness. I had become so used to that tiny cubicle in which there was every chance for me to work. In the transfer prison, we knew we would all be placed in the same cell what could be more tiresome? And after that the familiar dirt, the bustle, and the stupid muddling of the journey to exile. Who knows how long it will take before we reach our destination? And who can tell when we will return? Wouldn’t it have been better if I could have stayed as I was in cell No.462, reading, writing, and waiting?

“We have been brought here today unexpectedly, without notice. In the reception-hall we were ordered to change into the prison clothes. We did so with all the curiosity of school boys. It was interesting to see one another in the gray trousers, the grey coats, and grey caps. There was no diamond of classic fame on the backs of these, however. We were allowed to keep our own underwear and boots. We returned to our cell in our new costumes, a great, excited crowd.”

My keeping my boots was of no small importance to me, for in the sole of one I had a fine passport, and in the high heels gold pieces. We were all to be sent to the village of Obdorsk, far within the Arctic circle. The distance from Obdorsk to the railway-line was fifteen hundred versts, and to the nearest telegraph-station eight hundred. The mail comes once a fortnight there. When the roads are bad, in spring and autumn, it does not come at all for six or eight weeks.

Exceptional measures were taken to guard us during the journey. A St. Petersburg convoy was not considered reliable. And, indeed, the sergeant on guard, his sword unsheathed, declaimed the latest revolutionary poems to us in our convict car. The adjoining car carried a platoon of secret police who surrounded our car at every stop. At the same time, the prison officials treated us with the utmost consideration. Revolution and counter-revolution were still in the balance, and nobody knew which side was to win. The officer of the convoy began by showing us the order from his superiors authorising him not to handcuff us, as the law demands.

On January 11, during the journey, I wrote to my wife:

“If the officer is considerate and civil, the lower ranks are even more so; nearly all of them have read the reports of our trial, and they treat us with extreme sympathy. The soldiers did not know whom they would be taking, or where they would be taking them, until the last moment. From the precautionary measures which accompanied their sudden transfer from Moscow to St. Petersburg, they concluded that they were to take some prisoners condemned to death to Schhisselburg. In the reception-hall of the transfer-prison, I noticed that the soldiers of the convoy were very excited, and seemed, in rather an odd way, anxious to be obliging, as if they felt guilty of something. It was only in the train that I learned why. They were terribly pleased when they discovered that their charges were workers’ delegates sentenced only to exile. The secret police who act as a super-convoy never show themselves in our car. They keep guard outside, surround the car at the station, stand at the outside door, but it would seem that their especial watch is the convoy-men.” Our letters from the road were secretly mailed by the soldiers of the convoy.

On the railway, we went as far as Tiumen. From there we continued by horse. To guard the fourteen prisoners there were fifty-two soldiers, in addition to a captain, a senior police officer, and a police sergeant. The party had about forty sleighs. The route from Tiumen via Tobolsk was by way of the river Ob. “Every day,” I wrote to my wife, “we have been going from 90 to 100 versts farther north, that is, nearly one degree. Owing to this continuous advance, the lessening of culture, if one may speak of culture in this case, becomes strikingly evident. Every day we descend one degree farther into the kingdom of cold and barbarism.

After we had crossed districts completely infected with typhus, on February 12, the thirty-third day of our journey, we reached Berezov, the place in which Prince Menshikov, Czar Peter’s right-hand man at one time, had lived in exile. In Berezov a two-day halt was announced. There was still an other 500 versts to be made before we got to Obdorsk. We walked about in complete freedom. Our guardians had no fear of attempts at escape. The only way back was by the river Ob, along the telegraph-line; any runaway would have been caught. Among the residents in Berezov was the land-surveyor, Roshkovsky. I discussed the question of escape with him, and he told me that one might try to follow a straight course due west along the river Sosva in the direction of the Urals, going by deer as far as the mining settlements, then getting on to a narrow-gauge railway at the Bogoslovsky mines and travelling to Kushva, the junction with the Perm line. And then Perm, Viatka, Vologda, St. Petersburg, Helsingfors . . .

There were no roads along the Sosva, however. Beyond Berezov the country is utterly wild. For thousands of versts there are no police, and not a single Russian settlement, only occasional Ostyak huts. No sign of a telegraph. There are no horses along the entire route, as the track is exclusively for deer-travel. The police could not overtake one, but there was the possibility of getting lost in the wilderness and perishing in the snow. And it was February, the month of blizzards.

Dr. Feit, an old Revolutionary and a member of our group of prisoners, taught me how to simulate sciatica in order to be able to stay in Berezov for a few more days. I carried out this modest part of the plan successfully. Sciatica, as is known, cannot be verified. I was placed in a hospital. The regime there imposed no restriction whatever on me. When I felt “better,” I would go out for several hours at a time. The doctor encouraged me to walk. As I said, nobody was afraid of any attempt to escape at this time of the year.

I had to make up my mind. I decided in favour of the western route, straight across to the Urals. Roshkovsky obtained the advice of a local peasant nicknamed “The Goat’s Foot.” This dry, intelligent little man organized the escape, quite disinterestedly. When his part was discovered later on, he was severely punished. After the October revolution, “The Goat’s Foot” did not learn for some time that I was the man he had helped to escape ten years before. Only in 1923 did he come to me in Moscow, and our meeting was very friendly. He was given the full-dress uniform of the Red Army, taken around to the theatres, and presented with a gramophone and other gifts. Shortly after this the old man died in his far-away North.

The journey from Berezov had to be made by deer. The difficulty was to find a guide who would risk the certain danger of a trip at that time of year. “The Goat’s Foot” found a Zyryan, a clever and experienced fellow, like all the Zyryans.

“Is he a tippler?”

“Of course, a frightful tippler. But he speaks Russian and Zyryan fluently, and two Ostyak dialects which barely resemble each other. Another driver like him is not to be found a shrewd one, he is.” It was this shrewd fellow who afterward gave “The Goat’s Foot” away. But he got me away success fully. 2

The departure was set for Sunday at midnight. That day the officials were having amateur theatricals. I appeared at the barracks, which served as the improvised theatre, and when I met the local chief of police I told him that I felt much better and would be able to leave shortly for Obdorsk. This was a ruse, but a necessary one.

When the church-bells struck twelve, I stole into “The Goat’s Foot’s” yard. The sleigh was waiting. I stretched myself on the bottom and lay on my spare fur coat; “The Goat’s Foot” spread frozen hay over me, bound it with a rope, and we set off. The hay thawed, and cold water dripped on my face. After we had driven for a few versts, we stopped. “The Goat’s Foot” unbound the hay, and I got out. Then he whistled.

Several men answered him, in voices that were alas! quite unmistakably drunken. The Zyryan was drunk, and he had brought his friends with him. This was a bad start, but there was no choice. I was transferred with my small luggage to a light deer-sleigh. I had on two fur coats — one had fur in side, the other outside fur stockings, fur boots, a double-lined fur cap, and fur gloves; in short, the complete winter out fit of an Ostyak. In my bag I carried a few bottles of liquor, the best medium of exchange in a desert of snow.

“From the fire lookout in Berezov,” Sverchkov relates in his memoirs, “one could see all movements to and from the town over the white expanse of snow for at least a verst around. It was only reasonable to expect the police to question the fireman on duty whether he had seen anybody driving out of town that night. Acting on this presumption, Roshkovsky arranged for one of the local men to take a slaughtered calf down the Tobolsk road. As we anticipated, the move was detected, and when Trotsky’s escape was discovered two days later, the police rushed after the calf and lost two more days in this way.” But I only learned of this much later.

We took the course along the Sosva. The deer that my guide had bought were the pick of a herd of several hundred. Early in the journey the drunken driver had a way of falling asleep frequently, and then the deer would stop. This promised trouble for both of us. In the end he did not even answer when I poked him. Then I took off his cap, his hair quickly froze, and he began to sober up.

We drove on. It was a magnificent ride through a desert of virgin snow all covered with fir-trees and marked with the footprints of animals. The deer kept up a lively trot, their tongues out at the side, breathing heavily with a “chu-chu chu-chu.” The track was narrow, the beasts herded close together, and it was a wonder they did not get in each other’s way. Amazing creatures, knowing no hunger or fatigue! They had had no food for twenty-four hours before our sudden departure, and it was another twenty-four hours from the time we started before they got any. According to the driver, they were just getting into their stride. They ran evenly, without effort, at a speed of eight to ten versts an hour. They found their own food. A log of wood was tied about their necks, and they were let loose; they chose a place where they sensed the presence of moss under the snow, dug deep holes with their hoofs, going in almost to the tops of their ears, and then fed themselves. I had the same feeling for these animals that an aviator must have for his motor when he flies over an ocean at an altitude of several hundred feet.

The leader of the three deer went lame. We were much upset about it; he had to be changed. We looked around for an Ostyak settlement. They are scattered here, many versts away from each other. My guide would find camps by almost imperceptible signs several versts away he could smell the odor of smoke. The changing of the deer lost us another full day. But, on the other hand, I was lucky enough to see a beautiful thing at dawn: three Ostyaks, riding full-tilt, lassoed some deer, already marked, from their herd of several hundred while the dogs drove the deer toward them.

We drove on again through woods, over snow-covered swamps, and through vast forests that had been destroyed by fires. We boiled snow for water, sat on the snow and drank tea. My guide preferred liquor, but I saw to it that he did not over-indulge.

Although it looks always the same, the road is constantly changing, and the deer know it. Now we are going through an open field, between the birch woods and the river. The road is terrible. Behind us, the wind blows away the narrow track which the sleigh has left. The third deer keeps missing the trail. He sinks in the snow up to his belly and even deeper, makes a few desperate leaps, climbs to the road, pushes against the middle one and knocks the leader off the track. In another place the road, warmed by the sun, is so difficult that the straps on the front sled snap twice, and at each stop the sleds freeze to the track; it is only with much effort that they can be made to move again. After the first two runs, the deer seem tired.

But now the sun has set, the road is frozen over, and driving is better again. Soft, but not mushy the most “business-like” road, as the driver expresses it. The deer trot on almost noiselessly, and pull the sleigh without effort. In the end, we have to unharness the third deer and tie him behind because easy driving makes them prance about, and they might smash the sleigh. The sleigh glides smoothly and in silence, like a boat on a crystal-clear lake. In the darkening twilight the woods seem even more gigantic. I cannot see the road; the movement of the sleigh is hardly perceptible. The enchanted trees rush toward us, the bushes run away on the sides, slim birches and old stumps covered with snow fly past us. Every thing is filled with mystery. Chu-chu-chu-chu resounds the even breathing of the deer in the wooded silence of the night.

The journey lasted a week. We had done 700 kilometres and were nearing the Urals; we were meeting whole trains of sleighs more often now. I posed as an engineer and a member of the polar expedition of Baron Tol. Near the Urals, we met a clerk who had worked on this expedition and knew its members. He overwhelmed me with questions. Fortunately he was not quite sober. I tried to get out of this fix with the aid of a bottle of rum which I had taken for use in emergency. Everything went off beautifully. Once in the Urals, I travelled by horse. Now I posed as an official and, together with an excise controller who was surveying his district, finally reached the narrow-gauge railway. The secret police at the station looked on indifferently as I extricated myself from my Ostyak fur coats.

My position on the local Ural line was still far from secure; on that line, where every “stranger” is noticed, I might easily be arrested by cabled instructions from Tobolsk. I went on fearfully. But a day later, when I found myself in a comfortable car of the Perm railway, I began at once to feel as if my case were won. The train passed through the same stations at which we had been received with such solemn ceremonies by the secret police, guards, and local police chiefs, not so long ago. But now my way lay in a different direction, and I was travelling with different emotions. For the first few minutes the almost empty car seemed too crowded and stuffy, and I went out onto the front platform, where the wind was blowing, and it was dark. A loud cry burst from me spontaneously a cry of joy and freedom.

At one of the nearest stops, I telegraphed my wife to await me at the station at the junction-point. She had not been expecting this telegram, at least not so soon. And no wonder! Our trip to Berezov had taken over a month. St. Petersburg papers were full of reports of our progress toward the North; reports were still arriving by mail. Everybody thought that I was on my way to Obdorsk. And yet I had made the entire return journey in eleven days. Obviously, the possibility of meeting me near St. Petersburg must have seemed utterly incredible to my wife. That was all the better, and the meeting took place just the same.

This is how N.I. Sedova described it: “When I received the telegram in Terioki, a Finnish village near St. Petersburg where I was staying alone with my baby son, I was beside my self with joy and excitement. That same day, I received a long letter from L.D. written on his way to exile, in which, aside from its description of the journey, he asked me to take with me when I left for Obdorsk a number of articles necessary in the north, among them certain books. It now looked as if he had changed his mind and was flying back in some mysterious way, and was even arranging for me to meet him at a station where the trains cross. But strangely enough, the name of the station was left out of the telegram. Next day I went to St. Petersburg and tried to find out from the railway guide what station I had to book a ticket for. I was afraid to make inquiries, and finally set off on my journey without knowing the name of the station. I booked for Viatka and left in the evening. The car was full of landowners returning to their estates from St. Petersburg, with parcels of table delicacies for the feast of Carnival week. The conversations were about pancakes, caviare, smoked sturgeon, wine, and such things. I could scarcely endure this talk I was so excited about the meeting ahead of me, and I was worried by the fear of possible accidents . . . And yet, I felt sure that we would meet.

“I could hardly wait for the morning when the train was to arrive at the station of Samino I had found out its name on the way, and memorized it forever. The trains stopped; ours and the other. I ran out to the station. Nobody there. I jumped into the other train, ran through one car after another, and he was not there. Suddenly I recognized L. D.’s fur coat in a compartment. So he had come with the train. But where was he? I leaped out of the car, and immediately ran into L.D., who was rushing out of the station looking for me. He was indignant about the mutilation of the cable and wanted to make a complaint about it right away. I could stop him from doing so only with difficulty. After he had sent me the cable, he of course realised that instead of me, he might be met by the secret police, but he felt that being with me would make it easier for him in St. Petersburg, and he trusted to his lucky star. We took our seats in the compartment, and continued our journey together. I could not help being amazed at L.D.’s freedom and ease as he laughed and chatted aloud in the train and at the station. I wanted to keep him invisible, to hide him away, because of that threat of hard-labour hanging over him for his escape. But he was in full view and said that it was his best protection.”

From the station in St. Petersburg, we went straight to our loyal friends at the School of Artillery. I never saw people so startled as Dr. Litkens’ family. I stood like a ghost in the large dining-room, while they all looked at me breathless. After we had kissed each other they still could not believe their eyes and kept expressing their surprise. Finally they were convinced that it was I. Even now I feel that those were happy hours. But I was not out of danger yet. The doctor was the first to remind us of this. In a sense, the danger was just beginning. There was no doubt that the authorities of Berezov had already sent telegrams about my disappearance. In St. Petersburg, I was known to a great many people, thanks to my work at the Soviet of Delegates. So I decided to go with my wife to Finland, where the liberties won by the revolution were in operation much longer than in St. Petersburg. The most dangerous place was the Finnish terminal in St. Petersburg. Before the train started, several secret police entered our car to look over the passengers. My wife sat facing the entrance-door, and I could tell from her eyes what danger we were in. We lived through a minute of terrific nervous tension. The police looked us over indifferently and walked on. That was all they were capable of.

Lenin and Martov had left St. Petersburg long before, and were living in Finland. The union of the two factions that had been effected at the Stockholm congress was again showing a breach. The tide of the revolution was still ebbing. The Mensheviks were recanting the mad acts of 1905. The Bolsheviks were not recanting anything, and were getting ready for a new revolution. I visited both Lenin and Martov, who lived in neighboring villages. Martov’s room, as usual, was in a state of unutterable disorder. In the corner, newspapers were piled as high as a man. During my conversation with him, Martov dived into the pile now and again to bring out an article that he wanted. Manuscripts covered with ashes lay on his table. The pince-nez that was never quite clean drooped on his thin nose. As always, Martov had many ideas, brilliant and subtle ones, but he had not the one idea that was more important than any other: he did not know what to do next.

Lenin’s room was the usual picture of order. Lenin did not smoke. The necessary newspapers, earmarked, lay close at hand. And above all, there was in his prosaic but extraordinary face that expression of indomitably biding his time. It was then not yet clear whether the tide of revolution had definitely turned back, or had only slowed down before rising again. But in either case, it was equally necessary to fight the sceptics, to review the experience of 1905 theoretically, to educate the rank-and-file for a new turn of the tide, or for a second revolution. Lenin spoke approvingly of my work in prison, but he taunted me for not drawing the necessary conclusions, in other words, for not going over to the Bolsheviks. He was right in this. As we parted, he gave me some addresses in Helsingfors which proved invaluable to me.

The friends to whom Lenin directed me helped me to establish myself with my family in a comfortable little place in Oglbu, near Helsingfors, where some time afterward Lenin also came to stay. The chief of police in Helsingfors was an activist, or revolutionary Finnish nationalist. He promised to give me due warning in case of any danger from St. Petersburg. I stayed several weeks in Oglbu with my wife and infant son, who had been born while I was in prison. In the solitude of this village, I described my journey in a book entitled, There and Back, and with the money that I received from it went abroad by way of Stockholm. My wife and son stayed in Russia for the time being. I was accompanied to the frontier by a young Finnish woman who was also an activist. At that time the activists were friendly. In 1917, they became Fascists, and bitter enemies of the October revolution.

On a Scandinavian steamer, I set forth on a new foreign exile which was to last for ten years.

1. Inexact. — L.D. Trotsky

2. In my book 1905 this part of my escape was purposely described in different way. At that time, to tell the truth would have meant putting the Czar’s police on the track of my accomplices. To-day, I still hope that Stalin will not prosecute them either, especially since their sentences would have expired, and since Lenin himself helped me at the last stage of my escape, as I will later show. — L.D. Trotsky

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/t/trotsky/leon/my_life/chapter15.html

Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 20:05