This is the only memoir to be written in the post-Stalin Soviet Union by a member of the Left Opposition, which was formed under the leadership of Leon Trotsky in 1923. Nadezhda Joffe was the daughter of Adolf Abramovich Joffe, the Bolshevik leader and Left Oppositionist who committed suicide in 1927 to protest the expulsion of Trotsky from the Bolshevik Party.
• Socialist opponent of Stalinism dies in New York
• Defending historical truth
Nadezhda Joffe (1906-1999) was a Soviet Trotskyist and the daughter of the Soviet diplomat, Adolf Joffe. Her father committed suicide in 1927 to protest the expulsion of Leon Trotsky from the Communist Party by Stalin. Adolph Joffe had been an early opponent of the growth and consolidation of bureaucratic power in the USSR.
Nadezhda joined the Left Opposition, founded by Trotsky, in 1923. She was first arrested and exiled from Moscow in 1929. In 1936, she was re-arrested and sent to the Kolyma labor camps in Siberia, where thousands of members of the Left Opposition perished. Her husband was arrested at about the same time and executed in 1938 at Kolyma.
Joffe was released from Kolyma in 1941, but re-arrested yet again in 1949. After Stalin’s death in 1953 Joffe was again freed and returned to Moscow. Her memoirs, which she wrote in 1971-1972 but were not published until after the collapse of the Soviet Union, focus on the terrible years of the 1930s. At that time, the Stalinist bureaucracy carried out the physical extermination of socialist opponents to the regime.
In her later years, Joffe emigrated with her family to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York.
Additional biographical information and other commentary can be found in a 1999 obituary entitled, “Socialist opponent of Stalinism dies in New York”, published on the World Socialist Web Site.