Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Visit to Trotsky's house
A day out that I had been meaning to do for a long time, I finally got myself along to Leon Trotsky's house, site of this great socialist ideologue's death. Assassination by an icepick had always been one of the more intriuging details of my highschool history classes, and I was very pleased with the visit.
The most interesting part of it was seeing the life of this poor old comrade in exile, holed up in a house with high walls and reinforced windows for security. He tried to keep himself occupied with gardening, a rigourous routine of writing and chronicle keeping, and picnics with friends such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and amazingly Andres Breton (just goes to show the melting pót of intellectuals that was Mexico in the 40s.)
There were a couple of assassination attempts - the most famous involving Siqieros, a famous Mexican artist and muralist, who for his art is amazing but for his Stalinist views and murderous (allegedly) qualities seems too interesting and freaky.
The final and successful plot against Trotsky's life occurred in his study room pictured here. A hired Spanish dude came in to do the trick.
Besides countless cool photos of Lenin and Trotsky, and also seeing trotsky's books and things... the most impressive thing was seeing an outline of Trotsky's family tree - siblings from two wives, nieces, nephews... practically all wiped out by Stalinists. They came for them in far flung reaches of the globe. all gone. pow.