In Stalin's time the USSR used Trotskyist as a byword for subversion, sabotage, and all things nasty.

In his 'secret speech', Khrushchev continued to condemn Trotskyist ideas, but depicted Stalin's policies as an overreaction. Did the USSR continue to use Trotsky and Trotskyism in their propaganda, or did they decide it was best just to forget about him?

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    Trotsky is history's archetypal bogey man. In order to retain popular support you need to keep people in a state of fear, and what better than an 'enemy of the state', someone who Bismarck would have called a Reichsfeinde. He is brilliantly re-created in allegory by George Orwell in Animal Farm in the form of the character Snowball. Constant warnings are given to the animals that Snowball (a little pig) is out there doing his damndest to upset the efforts of the Revolution.
    – WS2
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


Yes, Trotsky and Trotskysm was always strongly condemned and criticized in Soviet Union while Soviet Union existed. The history of Communist party was a mandatory subject on all levels of education, and large part of it was criticism of Trotskysm.

This also applies to all other Stalin's enemies in the party, leaders of the opposition, like Kamenev and Zinoviev and Bucharin. These people were never formally rehabilitated, until the "perestroika" in the late 1980-s, when only Bucharin was rehabilitated. Some other victims of Stalin like the military commanders were rehabilitated in Khrushchev time. Mass terror was condemned (to some extent) but Stalin's struggle with rivals inside the party was not.

I do not give references (which can be easily found). Consider this as a first hand account:-)

EDIT. Comments below show that Buharin, Kamenev and Zinoviev were rehabilitated in the late 1980-s (during the "perestroika") but Trotsky was not.


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