Letter to Cecile and Emmanuel Jr.

 

In 1975, Henry got a letter from a friend named Cecile in Luxemburg, perhaps they met during the war. The man's son was interested in Trotsky, and asked Henry about his experiences with him. Henry wrote a letter sending him some negatives of the compound along with some other items. When no reply came, Henry sent another letter asking if they had been received. Cecile apologized and sent back the negatives, saying they were gratefully appreciated and he had made copies. He also included Henry's original letter. In the letter, Henry describes a little bit about the last day. Unfortunately Cecile did not return the photostat of the last Trotsky guard list Henry mentions.

Sun. Feb 2, '75

Dear Cecile and Emmanuel Jr.,

25 years! It seems only yesterday that our commpany was billeted on Wiesenstrasse. And a few moments ago I received a picture of a very small (but very handsome lad) who was called Emmaneul. Jr. Perhaps I've been aleep? Now he writes a letter in perfect English!

I have not written sooner because I wanted to send some color transparencies. Usually it takes 2 weeks to have them duplicated. This time it has taken four weeks. Three pictures are of the outside of the home in Coyoacan, Mexico (a suburb of Mex. City). The other 3 are of the garden inside the walls. The young man standing beside L.D.'s tomb (Leon Davidovich) is his grandson. Until 3 years ago the grandson still hlived there, now the Mex. govt. has taken it over as a museum, I believe.

I am enclosing some photos of L.D. and a photostat of the last guard roster. In 1940 I had not heard of E.S.P. (extra-sensory perception) but that Tuesday morning when we met to discuss our shifts, for the week ahead, almost every man there felt extremely uneasy and several said, "It will come today." They thought the next attack would be like that of May 5 when 22 men (led by the painter Alfaro Sequieros) had killed a guard and machine-gunned the place. They threw 2 fire bombs into the house.

I rather expected that they'd fly over very low in a plane and drop a big bomb, destroy the whole place with several howitzer shells - or perhaps explode a min under the building after having first dug a tunnel beneath it.

Walt and I had had been on duty when J.Mornard, the assassin, arrived. Walt let him into the ante-room, gave me the signal, and I ( in the corner tower) opened the garden gate by remote control. This was about 2:40. At 3:00 I was relieved, went to my room and was writing a letter to my sister. I had just written these words "I've never felt so depressed in my life" --[she saved the letter] when I heard a horrible bellowing scream - Monard had struck L.D. with the Piolet he had concealed in his raincoat (he had cut the handle very short).

I am pleased that your English is so polished and am particularly gratified that you are interested in Trotsky. The pencil sketch shows what he was like - and shows his intelligent, humorous, kindly disposition as well. Since I don't know whether your interest lies in his political theories or his personality, I can't recommend any books.

Pioneer Publishers, New York N.Y. have all his works in English plus the account of the assassination etc. I do not have any of the books myself, I loaned and lost them. I believe that you can get a lmost as much (possibly more) in French from Mlle. Nicole Espgnol, 125 Rue Corelaincourt 75 Paris 18.