Joe Hansen - 1940-9-4

Joseph Hansen was Trotsky's chief aide at the time of the assassination. He continued to be a key leader in the Socialist Workers Party until until his death in 1980(?) Around 1975 he became the subject of a brittle attack accusing him of being an agent of either Soviet or FBI influence, and having some responsibility for Trotsky's death.

This is a scan from a book. The Gelfand Case, Labor Publications, Detroit, 1985, Vol1. It is a letter recording a visit from Joseph Hansen, Trotsky aide, to the American Consul in Mexico in the days after Trotsky's death, purportedly to share information for the sake of tracking down details on the assassin. There were several of these visits, and they continued after Hansen was in New York. Before these documents became public, he denied they ever took place, and was silent afterwards. He also denied Sylvia Caldwell (Franklin) was a Soviet agent, even with undeniable evidence. These odd stands led to charges that Hansen was himself a Soviet agent, or FBI agent, or some combination. Gelfand was an SWP member who was expelled for pressing these issues, and filed suit to try to make public all the documents. In this letter, Hansen tells the American consul that the long involved plan to insinuate the assassin into the house, involved introducing him more than two years before to a woman named Sylvia Ageloff. Her friend who manipulated her into meeting Mornard, the NKVD assassin, a woman named Ruby Weil, an American communist, was from Evansville, Indiana.