Nguyen Ai Quoc (future Ho Chi Minh) photographed with Trotsky, 1924

Editing copyright © 2005 by Hugo S. Cunningham.
Original photo and caption may be copyright © 1924 by "the Workers' Monthly"
first posted 20050128
latest update 20050214

The Workers Monthly

December 1924, p. 53

Union of the Proletariat and the Oppressed People: Trotsky with Lunion, French Negro, and Nguen-Ai-Quack, China.


"The Workers Monthly" was a US Communist journal printed in Chicago Il.

Note the quaint 1920s phrasing, which would come across as patronizing today.

For those familiar with Ho Chi Minh, the spelling "Nguyen Ai Quoc" would be more recognizable than the unintentionally comic one shown here.

Joseph Gothon-Lunion has been described as a "militant young lawyer from Guadeloupe" (a French colony in the Caribbean) by researcher Brent Hayes Edwards.
Edwards, Brent Hayes, "The Shadow of Shadows," printed in the journal Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, Volume 11, number 1 (Spring 2003), pp. 11-49; p. 27.

Ho (Nguyen Ai Quoc) and Gothon-Lunion both attended and spoke at the Fifth Congress of the Communist International in Moscow (1924) [Edwards, pp. 27-28]. Presumably this photograph was taken there.

The Edwards article gave only one paragraph to Gothon-Lunion and the 1924 Comintern Congress. Edwards in turn cited an article "Babel Ó Moscou" in the French magazine L'illustration, 16 August 1924, p. 135.
Edwards's principal focus was on Third World (colonial) radicals in Paris in the 1920s, with special attention on two: Nguyen Ai Quoc and Lamine Senghor. (Lamine Senghor should not be confused with Leopold SÚdar Senghor, 1906-2001, first President of Senegal.)

Comments by the Ideology Department:

Some of our comrades were shocked at this picture of Ho Chi Minh, an admired comrade, with the vile Trotsky. Might the favorable historical view of Ho Chi Minh be mistaken?

Others pointed out, however, that Trotsky's treachery was not known to many foreign comrades in 1924. Quite likely Trotsky, misusing Comintern credentials, lured Comrade Ho into this photograph in order to entrap him for the bourgeois French secret police.

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