have no need to introduce Trotsky for our readers – few names are as well known
in the world as his."
24, 1932. One of the biggest newspapers in Denmark, writing before the visit of
Trotsky in Copenhagen)
Wednesday the 7 of November a big meeting organised by the Danish
Marxist tendency, Socialistisk Standpunkt, will take place in Copenhagen to
celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. However,
2007 marks another anniversary, and one with special importance for Denmark. It
is 75 years since Leon Trotsky held his last public speech in November 1932,
which was held at a huge meeting in Copenhagen, where Trotsky was invited by
the Social-Democratic Students Association.
At that time
Trotsky had been forced into exile by the Stalinists, and lived in the island of
Prinkipo in Turkey. From that rather isolated location he tried to follow world
events closely, and to influence the course of the class struggle through the
building of the International Left Opposition. So he seized the invitation to
come to Denmark with both hands, and used every opportunity to speak to the
press and activists in the Danish labour movement.
In the days
before and during the Trotsky’s stay in Denmark, the visit of the Great Russian
revolutionary was a hotly debated issue and was covered daily by the press.
While the Stalinist leaders of the Danish Communist Party tried to organise
demonstrations against Trotsky, The Danish Royal Family protested against the
decision to permit the visit, because they saw Trotsky as being responsible for
the death of the Russian Tsar and his family, who were their relatives.
In spite of
all this, the meeting was held in a packed hall with more than 2,500 in attendance
and many more standing at the entrance to hear Trotsky’s speech. We invite
everyone to read the Copenhagen speech (see here)
for themselves – a speech that contains a brilliant defense of the October Revolution
and the planned economy it established in the USSR.
The meeting on November 7, 2007 thus is historically
important: It is being held in order to reclaim the legacy, both of Bolshevism
and of Leon Trotsky, the founder of the Red Army and a great Marxist
It will take place in the Hall of the Workers’
Museum in Copenhagen, a building which was one of the first meeting places of
the Danish Labour movement from the 1880s. In the years of the First World War,
the first floor of this building hosted the Socialdemokratisk
Ungdoms-Forbund, the original youth organization of the Social-Democratic
Party, that was won over to support the Russian Revolution and to join the
Communist International. So it will not be the first time, that this building
has hosted a revolutionary meeting!
will be featuring two main speakers:
Volkov, Trotsky’s grandson, who lived together with Trotsky during the last
years of his life in Mexico. Esteban will speak about the Trotsky’s last years and
his legacy today.
The other speaker
will be Alan Woods, editor of www.marxist.com and author of several books on
the Russian Revolution and an authoritative History of the Bolshevik Party.
Alan will be speaking about the Russian Revolution.
books that have been published by Socialistisk Standpunkt will be launched at
The first is
"Lenin and Trotsky – what they really stood for", written by Alan Woods and Ted
Grant. It is published for the first time ever in Danish, in order to rediscover
the real ideas defended by Lenin and Trotsky. These ideas have been discredited
and falsified over decades, both by the reformists and the Stalinists.
is a republication of John Reed’s classical eye-witness account "Ten Days that
Shook the World", which has been out of print and thus unavailable for a long
time. This book is a brilliant narrative that gives an inspiring introduction
to the events of 1917 and the revolutionary ferment in St. Petersburg in the
weeks of the revolution. Lenin said about this work, "Here is a book which I should like to see published in millions of
copies and translated into all languages. It gives a truthful and most vivid
exposition of the events so significant to the comprehension of what really is
the Proletarian Revolution and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat."
publication of these books and the holding of this meeting will serve as the
first steps in reclaiming the revolutionary legacy of the Russian October
Revolution and of Leon Trotsky. We believe that these ideas are a useful tool
for activists in the Danish workers’ movement and youth today and we hope that
these initiatives will help to make them available to a wider layer of people.
We invite everyone to come along to the meeting
on 7th of November 2007 in Copenhagen:
Rømersgade 22, 1362 København K. 6pm-10pm. Entrance fee:
(in Danish): www.oktober1917.dk