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Leon Trotsky
photographs of Trotsky from the 1920s
Photograph of Trotsky that appeared on the cover of the magazine Prozhektor in January 1924
People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs of the Soviet Union
In office
13 March 1918 – 6 January 1925
Preceded by Nikolai Podvoisky
Succeeded by Mikhail Frunze
People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR
In office
8 November 1917 – 13 March 1918
Premier Vladimir Lenin
Preceded by Mikhail Tereshchenko
Succeeded by Georgy Chicherin
Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet
In office
8 October – 8 November 1917
Preceded by Nikolay Chkheidze
Succeeded by Grigory Zinoviev
Full member of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th Politburo
In office
10 October 1917 – 23 October 1926
Personal details
Lev Davidovich Bronstein

(1879-11-07)7 November 1879
Yanovka, Yelisavetgradsky Uyezd, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire
(now Ukraine)
Died 21 August 1940(1940-08-21) (aged 60)
Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico
Cause of death Assassination
  • Russian (1879–1917)
  • Soviet (1917–1932)
  • Stateless (1932–1940)
Political party
  • Aleksandra Sokolovskaya
    (m. 1899; div. 1902)
  • Natalia Sedova
    (m. 1903)
  • Zinaida Volkova
  • Nina Nevelson
  • Lev Sedov
  • Sergei Sedov
Signature Trotsky's signature

Leon Davidovich Trotsky (Russian: Лев Давидович Троцкий; also transliterated Leo, Lev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij and Trotzky; October 26 (O.S.) = November 7 (N.S.), 1879 in Kropyvnytskyi (nowadays Ukraine) - August 21, 1940 in Coyoacán, Mexico) was the public name of Leib or Lev Davidovich Bronstein. He was a Russian revolutionary and political theoretician. He was of Jewish-Ukrainian descent. After leading the Red Army in the Russian Civil War he disagreed with other Bolsheviks and had to leave Russia.

Trotsky was a socialist and a Marxist. In 1905 there was a revolution in Russia. Trotsky helped organize a committee of workers in St Petersburg which was called the Soviet. When the leader of the Soviet was arrested, Trotsky became leader of the Soviet in his place. Trotsky helped to expand on the idea of Permanent Revolution, which is a theory originally thought up by Karl Marx.

After the revolution Trotsky left Russia for his own safety. In 1917, he returned to Russia because of the Russian Revolution. He helped to bring about communism in Russia and defend it during the Russian Civil War. He was in charge of the army at this time. When the leader of the Bolsheviks (the party who led the revolution) Vladimir Lenin died, Trotsky became involved in a power struggle with Joseph Stalin for the leadership of the party. He lost, and Stalin came to power. He had to leave Russia because of Stalin, who was now his own enemy and wanted to harm Trotsky. In 1938 Trotsky founded the Fourth International. Stalin had one of his spies, Spaniard Ramón Mercarder, stab Trotsky to death in Mexico in 1940.

People who believe in Trotsky's ideas are called Trotskyists and follow Trotskyism. The main Trotskyist organizations today are the Fourth International (post - Reunification), the Socialist Workers Party in the UK and the International Socialist Tendency.

In the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, Trotsky is represented by Snowball the pig and Stalin is represented by Napoleon who was also a pig.

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