Fighting the Strike in the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs

Leon Trotsky, The October Revolution. November 8, 1917


Original Source: “Vospominaniia ob oktiabrskom perevorote,” Proletarskaia Revoliutsiia, No. 10 (1922), pp. 59-61.

In connection with the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs I should like to say something about Comrade Markin who, to a, certain extent, organized the Ministry. Markin was a sailor in the Baltic fleet and a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Second Congress.

I came to know him through my boys about two or three weeks before the revolution. He offered his services … and when I went into the Ministry he came with me.

When I arrived at the Ministry some kind of prince named Tatishchev told me that there was no one there … I demanded that the officials be summoned … quite a crowd appeared …

After I left, Markin arrested and locked up Tatishchev and Taube … About two days later Markin sent for me, and I found Tatishchev ready to show us about. Markin got hold of the secret documents and proceeded to publish them.” … He was helped by an armless young man of about twenty-five … He was a hard drinker and there were rumors that he was taking bribes. He was discharged for that …

Markin was … an intelligent man with strong will power. But could not write without making many mistakes … Later on he commanded our flotilla on the Volga and there lost his life.

Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, ed., Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918; Documents and Materials (Stanford: Stanford University Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934), pp. 227-228.

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