Question by : Why was Leon Trotsky exiled from the Soviet Union instead of being purged by Stalin a few years later?
Didn’t Stalin just wait until the 1930s to purge virtually all of the Old Bolsheviks to consolidate power?
Why did he force Trotsky out of the country, and only end up having him murdered in 1940?
Answers and Views:
Answer by Slava T
No, he couldn’t wait.Briefly: 1) Stalin did not have full authority by 1929 (the year when Trotsky was exiled abroad). At that time Stalin still had to go a long way to have the ultimate upper hand in both the party and country; 2) Trotsky personally and his ideas were extremely influential among party members in the USSR. Stalin was literally afraid of Trotsky. With numerous supporters at all levels of the state bodies (including the OGPU) Trotsky could organise an armed mutiny against Stalin; 3) The idea with exile is explained by the URGENT need to remove Trotsky as a consolidating centre for really strong anti-Stalinist opposition. 4) The decision to exile Trotsky was made by extra-judicial body of the OGPU. 5) Trotsky’s exile was one of the steps on the way to Stalin’s ultimate authority.
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