The following letters, originally in Russian, were only recently found in the police files on Andres Nin in the National Historical Archives in Madrid (Ministerio de gobernación, policía [histórico], h.394). This material represents a significant historical discovery. Most importantly, Trotsky’s correspondence is an important political weapon for today’s revolutionary movement.

Eighty years after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and 40 years after the end of the Franco dictatorship which followed it, this is an issue which in Spain raises white hot passions. Far from this being an historical question, it is a burning one today. As a new revolutionary upswing is starting, the new generation is attempting to come to terms with the lessons of the past.

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. On 17 and 18 July, 1936, General Franco began his military uprising in Morocco, a prelude to the fascist uprising throughout Spain. The Popular Front government, elected in February, was suspended in mid-air. The landlords and capitalists went over to Franco. The workers, however, responded in a spontaneous fashion. Had the revolutionary upsurge been successful, it could have changed the whole course of history.