Grandizo Munis 1912-1989

 

Grandizo Munis was a Spaniard who was at the Trotsky compound 1940-1943. He was one of three people who spoke at Trotsky's Funeral in Mexico. He fought in the Spanish civil war and was imprisoned when he returned to Spain in the 1950's. He was an independent Socialist all his life. He wrote many books and articles, published the magazine Alarme.

When Natalia Trotsky began criticizing and finally breaking with the IV International, the organization her husband founded, leaders in New York excused her as being under Munis' influence.

Munis and Henry were friends and wrote each other until Munis' death in 1989. He signed his name Manuel. Manuel always thanked him for the contribution. Henry and Munis both had respect and affection for Natalia Trotsky. Munis wrote to Henry Jan 30, 1962, describing Natalia Trotsky's memorial service. Henry had flown to Paris shortly before to pay his respects to the ailing Natalia. (The translation is pretty rough, i will work on it, but i think its relatively clear). In the letter he says Joe Hansen spoke about himself, Pierre Frank bored people, only Margueritte Bonnet and (Andre?) Breton spoke with emotion.

It was important to Munis that Natalia Trotsky's political thoughts were not misrepresented. After her death he published at various times the documents directly concerned with her break from the IV International.

Munis and Arlette Monnerie had a baby girl in 1966. They named her Natalia.

This picture of Munis taken by Henry in May 1946 inside the Trotsky compound. I do not know if this is Arlette Monnerie with him but unlikely.

 

Munis, Henry Schnautz and Natalia Trotsky, in the compound courtyard, May 1946

 

Grandizo Munis internet archive

obituary

A visit with Munis

Munis was selected by Natalia to be one of three speakers at Trotsky's Memorial service in Mexico.

 

Munis spoke at Trotsky's memorial service in Mexico - an account by Joe Hansen

 
   

Munis holding his baby daughter, Natalia.

Munis and Arlette sent the picture in a letter dated 1966-9-25.

 

Paris 30 enero 1962
Querido amigo Henk:


Desde tu partida estamos esperando Arlette y yo unas palabras tuyas que hasta ahora no han llegado. ¿Por qué? Prometiste escribirnos en cuanto estuvieses de represo y nos inquieta que no lo hayas hecho, cual si estuvieses enfadado con alguno de nosotros, o con los dos.


Te pusimos un telegrama tan pronto supimos la muerte de Natalia, el día 23 de este mes. La incineración no ha tenido lugar sino ayer, el lunes día 29. Mientras tanto, Marguerite, la mujer de Alfred Rosmer, de la misma edad que Natalia y amiga suya, murió casi repentinamente. No nos han faltado pues emociones tristes et inquietudes materiales. Y la falta de noticias tuyas es una inquietud mas, y un reproche que te hacemos.


Nuestra vieja amiga murió sin volver en sí, nos han dicho. Por fortuna, la prensa, al dar la noticia indicó claramente que Natalia había roto hace años con la IV Int. Uno de los periódicos incluso citó algunas de las palabras de Natalia en la rectificación a la interviú(el texto que te di yo). No obstante, Frank acaparó la ceremonia de la incineración, no permitiendo que hablase ningún amigo político de Natalia. Sólo Bretón y Margueritte Bonnet hablaron de Natalia con auténtica emoción. Un representante del Partido Socialista Unificado dijo tonterías, Joe Hansen habló mas de su propia persona que de Natalia y Frank aburrió a la gente. Un bravísimo saludo nuestro fue leído por M. Bonnet. Te mando aparte una reseña del acto. Seva asistió a él, pero ha evitado verme. Se limitó a telefonearme ayer diciéndome que regresaría a México hoy o mañana y que le escribiese.


No hemos recuperado todavía el magnetófono, porque esa gente se las da de importante y con tantos quehaceres que es difícil verlos. Pero Frank anunció en su discurso que Natalia había hecho una declaración registrada también en cámara cinematográfica; Eso fue, dicen, varios días antes de su llegada. Nadie lo sabía, la primer noticia procede del discurso de Frank en el acto de incineración. Tampoco sabemos en que consistan las palabras de Natalia.
Nosotros procederemos en los días inmediatos a imprimir en copia fotostática los tres puntos de rectificación que tu tienes. Después publicaremos otras cosas referentes a la posición política de Natalia. ¿Has intentado tu publicar en Estados Unidos ese rectificativo? Su importancia salta a la vista: es un verdadero testamento político.


No sé si supiste, antes de tu salida de aquí, que la mujer de Alfred Rosmer, Margueritte, murió también tres días antes que Natalia. Alfred está desolado y es de temer que el fin de sus días se precipite. Probablemente no podré hablar con él sobre nada antes de que pase cierto tiempo.


Arlette y yo estamos extenuados de tantas inquietudes y agitaciones, que todavía no han terminado. Necesitamos algún reposo y la tranquilidad de espíritu indispensable para reanudar nuestro trabajo cotidiano.


No tardes en contestar. Te abraza cordialmente,

Manuel

Paris 30 January 1962
Dear friend Henk:


From your departure Arlette and I are waiting your words that up to now have not arrived. Why? You promised to write us as soon as you arrived and it disturbs us that you have not made it which if is mad with some of us, or with both.


We put you so soon a telegram we knew Natalia's death, the day 23 of this month. The incineration has not taken place but yesterday, on Monday day 29. Meanwhile, Marguerite, Alfred's wife Rosmer, of the same age that Natalia and his friend, died almost suddenly. We have not lacked because emotions sad et material restlessness. And the lack of your news is a restlessness but, and a reproach that we make you.


Our old friend died without returning in yes, they have told us. For fortune, the press, when giving the news indicated clearly that Natalia had broken up years ago with IV Int. One of the newspapers even mentioned some of Natalia's words in the rectification to the interview (the text that I gave you me). Nevertheless, Frank monopolized the ceremony of the incineration, not allowing that speaks to Natalia's political friend. Only Breton and Margueritte Bonnet spoke of Natalia with authentic emotion. A representative of Socialist Unified Party said foolishness, Joe Hansen spoke but of its own person that of Natalia and Frank bored people. A brave one our greeting was read by M. Bonnet. I send you separated a review of the act. Seva attended him, but he/she has avoided to see me. It was limited to telephone me yesterday saying me that he/she would return to Mexico today or tomorrow and that writes him/her.


Not we have still recovered the magnetófono, because that people give them to him of important and with so many chores that you/he/she is difficult to see them. But Frank announced in his dis course that Natalia had also made a registered declaration in film camera; That was, they say, several days before their arrival. Nobody knew it, the first news comes at once from Frank's speech of incineration. Neither we know in that consist Natalia's words.


We will proceed in the immediate days to print in photostatic copy the three rectification points that your you have. Then we will publish other relating things to Natalia's political position. Have you tried your to publish in United States that rectificativo? Their importance jumps visible: it is a political true testament.


Not I know if you knew, before your exit of here that Alfred's wife Rosmer, Margueritte, also died three days before Natalia. Alfred is lonely and it is of fearing that the end of its days throws. I won't probably be able to speak with him it has more than enough anything before pass certain time.


Arlette and I are exhausted of so many restlessness and agitations that have not still finished. We need some rest and the tranquility of indispensable spirit to renew our daily work.


Don't be late in answering. He/she hugs you cordially,

Manuel