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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to her father Sydney Strong regarding Trotsky and the situation in Germany, January 27, 1923|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to her father, Anna Louise Strong updates him on her interactions with Leon Trotsky. Trotsky has agreed to "write a preface for my book on the New Russia" as Strong hopes it will emphasize the seriousness of her work there. Trotsky was only hesitant because he worried that "it would compromise the book as official soviet propaganda" .
Trotsky has been occupied with preparing a program for heavy industry for the upcoming Communist Congress. Strong suspects that this signals a shift in responsibilities for Trotsky: she comments that he is not a military figure, and had been assigned responsibility for the army due to his organizational skills, which she feels will now be more critical to industrial efforts. She and Trotsky have been discussing the occupation of the Ruhr in western Germany -- Trotsky feels there will be a compromise because German capitalists will not wish "to provoke a workers revolution which would surely come if war came". He believes that the "stupidity of the German government... together with the wildness of Poland, might lead to such a situation that Russia would also be involved. In that case it would be a life and death struggle involving all of Europe." But Trotsky feels this war is not imminent, and that the occupation of the Ruhr is merely "one of a series of spasms" which will lead slowly to this larger conflict, which he envisions as "a national and class war combined" .
She and Trotsky have been discussing how to continue his English lessons. He has promised that, once the business of the Congress has been attended to, he will take a "tour to the Donetz" and invites her to accompany him to "have systematic lessons in both English and the bases of Russian industry". Strong has discussed the situation with the local Associated Press correspondent, who she describes as "totally uninterested in communism but much interested in folks that are running things in any big country". The A.P. man advises her not to leave Moscow between now and the trip to the Donetz, as her access to Trotsky is an enormous asset, and any chance to continue meeting with him will be more valuable to her than travel back to the United States (as she had envisioned doing). The A.P. man seems to be interested in hiring her, but she is reluctant to take that step without discussing the situation with Trotsky .
As a result of these events, Strong feels it may be a better use of her time to spend the next months learning Russian. She hopes to become fluent enough "to understand the workers and peasants in Baku, Don Bas, etc." which will greatly enhance the value of the trip with Trotsky. She sees this as a necessary step to becoming something more than "an outside correspondent in Russia". She assures her father that her health is excellent, and that her limited social life helps keep her nerves calm but does not depress her with feelings of loneliness, as she had faced at home. She encourages her father to "stay on" in Berlin to look into what is really happening in Germany. She says, "Germany seems to be trying the Gandhi stunt, but I fear it is because she can't do anything else".
|Contextual Notes||Anna Louise Strong (1885-1970) was an American journalist and political activist throughout her life. After spending much of the 1910s working as a progressive advocate for child welfare, she became involved in the labor movement in Seattle, and through that movement increasingly identified herself with international communism. This advocacy, along with her work for the Seattle Union Record, connected her to the events surrounding the Seattle General Strike in 1919. Strong later left Seattle, and spent much of the 1920s and 1930s living in the Soviet Union, meeting with men such as Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, and writing books about her experiences for Western audiences in an attempt to build support for the USSR. During World War II, she continued to promote the cause of communism, although her support for the Chinese communist movement ultimately alienated her from the government in Moscow, limiting her to one visit to the Soviet Union in the final two decades of her life. She spent most of those years living in the People's Republic of China, befriending Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, and continuing to publish books and articles in support of communism until the end of her life.|
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Correspondence
Strong, Sydney, 1860-1938--Correspondence
Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0381|
|Ordering Information||To order a reproduction or inquire about permissions contact: email@example.com. Please cite the Order Number.|
|Repository||University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division|
|Repository Collection||Anna Louise Strong papers. Accession No. 1309-001. Box 3/17|
|Physical Description||2 leaves; 34 x 20 cm.|
|Digital Reproduction Information||Scanned from original text or image at 150 dpi saved in TIFF format, resized and enhanced using Adobe Photoshop, and imported as JPEG2000 using Contentdm software's JPEG2000 Extension. 2010.|