Leon Trotsky Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1879 - 1940 *** Full Name: Lev Davidovich Bronshtein and later changed his name to Leon Trotsky *** Occupation: Marxist Revolutionary, Theorist, Soviet Politian and founder of the Red Army *** Date of Birth: Leon Trotsky was born on November 7th 1879 *** Place of Birth: Leon Trotsky was born in Yanovka in Kherson guberniya of the Russian Empire *** Family background: His father was David Leontyevich Bronshtein and wealth farmer and his mother was Anna. Both of his parents were of Jewish descent and he was their fifth child of eight children *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his siblings and his parents *** Education: Leon Trotsky was sent to Odessa at the age of nine by his father to receive an education, enrolled in a German school, over the years he attended the school became Russified ***
Leon Trotsky Fact 1: Leon Trotsky was born on November 7th 1879 and during the 19th century period in history when there was much change across Europe and the world, the first and second French, Spanish, Chinese and Holy Roman Empires all collapsed and Europe would see two World Wars.
Leon Trotsky Fact 2: In 1896 he would become involved in activities of a revolutionary type after he had moved to the harbor town of Nikolayev on the coast of the Ukraine and the Black Sea.
Leon Trotsky Fact 3: When he was supposed to be acquiring his mathematics degree he was instead organizing the South Russian Workers’ Union in Nokolyev during 1897.
Leon Trotsky Fact 4: The following year he was arrested with more than two hundred fellow union members and held in prison for two years while awaiting trial.
Leon Trotsky Fact 5: While in prison he read books about Lenin and in 1898 when the newly formed Russian Social Democratic Labor Party was held he declared himself a member.
Leon Trotsky Fact 6: During 1900 he married Aleksandra Sokolovkaya with their wedding being performed by a Jewish chaplin.
Leon Trotsky Fact 7: The couple would be exiled together in Siberia. Eventually after only a few years the couple separated and divorced and their two children would raised by Trotsky's parents.
Leon Trotsky Fact 8: Having eventually managed to escape imprisonment he managed to travel to England and also around this time changed his name from Bronshtein to Trotsky, which was alleged to be the name of one of his jailers in Siberia.
Leon Trotsky Fact 9: In 1902 he met Natalia Ivanovna Sedova and the following year they married and she would remain his wife until he died. They also had two children, Lev died from complications of appendicitis and Sergei during the Great Purge a time of political repression in the Soviet Union.
Leon Trotsky Fact 10: Between 1904 and 1917 Trotsky would describe himself as a “non-factional social democrat.” It was also during this time that Lenin condemned Trotsky for a “Judas”, “scoundrel” and “swine”.
Leon Trotsky Fact 11: In January of 1907 he again escaped exile and made his way to London and in October that year moved to Vienna taking part in activities with groups such as the German Social Democratic Party and the Austrian Social Democratic Party.
Leon Trotsky Fact 12: Whilst in Vienna Leon Trotsky met and developed a great friendship with Adolph Joffe with whom he would have a lifelong friendship.
Leon Trotsky Fact 13: A repositioning within the ranks of the RSDLP took place when World War I broke out of which Trotsky advocated an anti-war stance.
Leon Trotsky Fact 14: Leon Trotsky moved to France in November 1914 and in January of 1915 he moved to Paris where he became the editor of the Nashe Slovo which was an international socialist newspaper.
Leon Trotsky Fact 15: During 1916 Leon Trotsky found himself deported from France to Spain because of his anti-war undertakings. Spain soon deported him as well and he ended up in the United States by December that year. In January of 1917 Leon Trotsky arrived in New York City where he wrote for a Russian Language socialist newspaper as well as gave speeches to Russian émigrés.
Leon Trotsky Fact 16: Later that year when the February Revolution overthrew Tsar Nicholas II. On his way back to Russia the British intercepted the ship carrying Leon Trotsky and detained him at Amherst Internment Camp in Nova Scotia. Once the Russian foreign minister demanded his release, Leon Trotsky was set free and completed his journey to Russia.
Leon Trotsky Fact 17: After the revolution and the Bolsheviks were in power he would become the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
Leon Trotsky Fact 18: At that time the Red Army was a voluntary army but lacked the numbers to be as successful as it needed to be. It would be at Trotsky’s urging that a military council of former Russian generals be formed. It was not a popular stance but one that he believed was right.
Leon Trotsky Fact 19: In 1918 Leon Trotsky became the appointed People’s Commissar of Army and Navy Affairs as well as chairman of the Supreme Military Council.Leon Trotsky Fact 20: By 1925 however he would lose his postition as the head of the Red Army and and by 1927 Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Central Committee.
Leon Trotsky Fact 21: In 1929 Leon Trotsky found himself deported from the Soviet Union. Originally staying in turkey for four years he was offered asylum in France but was forbidden to enter Paris. Instead he moved to Norway and from there on to Mexico where he spent his time writing various books including the History of the Russian Revolution.
Leon Trotsky Fact 22: Leon Trotsky initially survived an attempted assassination attempt on his life in Mexico City. He was taken to hospital where he survived surgery, but less than a day later on August 21st 1940 Leon Trotsky died aged sixty years. The body of Leon Trotsky was laid to rest in the grounds of his home, Coyoacan.
Influence & Legacy of Leon Trotsky: A leading Russian history would say of him “Trotsky bears a great deal of responsibility both for the victory of the Red Army in the civil war, and for the establishment of a one-party authoritarian state with its apparatus for ruthlessly suppressing dissent.... He was in ideologist and practitioner of the Red Terror. He despised 'bourgeois democracy'; he believed that spinelessness and soft-heartedness would destroy the revolution, and that the suppression of the propertied classes and political opponents would clear the historical arena for socialism. He was the initiator of concentration camps, compulsory 'labour camps,' and the militarization of labour, and the state takeover of trade unions. Trotsky was implicated in many practices which would become standard in the Stalin era, including summary executions.”
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