Gerry Healy


Statement by the International committee of the Fourth International


News Line, 15 July 1976, page 4

   Today the International Committee of the Fourth International issues a challenge to the leaders of Pabloite revisionism and their hound-dogs.

   We challenge them to answer the charges in the indictment of Joseph Hansen and George Novack of the Socialist Workers Party (USA). More than six months ago – on 1 January 1976 - the International committee presented a carefully documented indictment charging them as accomplices of the GPU.

   Since then neither Hansen nor Novack has even attempted to answer the charges.

   Nor have they replied to the International Committee’s call for an international enquiry along the lines of the Dewey Commission of 1937 which Trotsky used to demolish the frame-up charges of the Moscow Trials.

   To hide the deathly silence by the head men in New York there has been an orchestrated campaign of slander against the International Committee.

   Today’s publication of the book, How the GPU Murdered Trotsky, tears aside the smokescreen which the two desperate men are trying to create.

   We call on Hansen’s boot-lickers to first of all read this document – many of them have rushed to his defence without even doing so!

   Then we challenge them to give an answer-for-answer reply to the charges.

   Without re-presenting all the facts and documentary evidence here, can they give replies to the following charges from the indictment:

1. Why has Joseph Hansen suppressed from the Trotskyist movement for 35 years details of his personal contact with a GPU agent known as “John” in New York in 1938?

   This contact was uncovered by the International Committee in 1975 in previously unpublished US State Department records in Washington DC.

   The evidence shows that “John” was one of the aliases used by Dr. Gregory Rabinowitz, the GPU chief who masterminded operations in the United States aimed at murdering Trotsky.

2. Why have Hansen and Novack suppressed sworn testimony of Thomas L. black before a US Senate committee in 1956?

   Black testified that GPU agents were installed in Trotsky’s household at Coyoacan, Mexico.  

   Hansen, who was ostensibly in charge of Trotsky’s security, never conducted an investigation to discover the identity of these agents.

3. Why do Hansen and Novack continue to this day to defend GPU agent Sylvia Franklin as an “exemplary comrade”?

   They both know that she used her position as the late James P. Canon’s most private personal secretary to obtain letters, minutes and internal documents for the GPU

    They defended her completely although the International Committee has produced evidence showing that a New York grand jury named her as an unindicted co-conspirator with Lavrenti Beria in a Soviet spy trial in the US in November 1960.

4. Why has Hansen set out to disguise and minimise the GPU spy role of Floyd Cleveland Miller?

   He entered the SWP in the late 1930’s as an undercover Stalinist agent where he climbed to a top position in the party’s seamen’s faction.    

   He was able to report to the GPU on the movement of Trotskyist seamen during the war.

5. Why do Hansen and Novack vehemently oppose any investigation of the role of Robert Sheldon Harte, the young guard sent down to Mexico by the SWP headquarters in April 1940?

   It was Harte who opened the gate to the Stalinist murder squad who almost killed Trotsky and his family on 24 May 1940.

6. Why do Hansen and Novack refuse to explain how Stalin’s top anti-Trotskyist agent, Mark Zborowski, was brought from war-torn France to the United Stated in 1941?

   Zborowski was brought over, principally with Novack’s help, even though his activities in the French Trotskyist movement were clouded with suspicion.

   Zborowski masterminded the murder of Trotsky’s son, Leon Sedov, the assassination of Trotsky’s secretaries, Rudolf Klement and Erwin Wolf, and the NKVD defector Ignace Reiss.

   Hansen has never lifted a finger to unmask the activities of Zborowski, although all the information was on his doorstep. He dismissed the International Committee’s revelations as “a dry well.” (Intercontinental Press, 23 December 1975)

7. Why have Hansen and Novack refused to reply to the security questions raised by Trotsky’s guard, Harold Robins, in his open letter to the SWP national committee (23 December 1975)?

   The testimony, documents and records gleaned from official sources in the United States and Western Europe establish an irrefutable case that Hansen and Novack shielded known GPU agents, covered up their crimes and deliberately stifled any attempt to carry out any security investigation.

   That they did this is proved. It is also proved that it was the result of conscious and deliberate suppression of the facts over a period of 36 years since Trotsky’s murder on 20 August 1940.

   We say that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the struggle for Trotskyism. It only aided and abetted the GPU.

   This is why the International Committee of the Fourth International has named them as accomplices of the GPU.

   We call upon the leaders of Pabloite revisionism to stop the shouting and screaming. Be specific. Tell us your answers to the indictment, point for point.

   We reissue our call for a Dewey-type commission to which we will submit all the evidence that has been assembled. The International Committee is willing to have its indictment tested publicly by such a body.

   Speak up Mssrs. Hansen and Novack. Stop prevarication and answer the charges.

14 July 1976