Following his exile from the Soviet Union in 1929, Leon Trotsky looked for asylum in European countries like France, Norway and Turkey. After being granted asylum in Mexico in 1936, this is the house Leon Trotsky lived with his wife Natalia Sedova in Mexico City and in which he was assassinated in 1940.
The assassination would be carried out by a Spanish Stalinist called Ramón Mercader who gained access to Trotsky’s house by posing as a Canadian student called Jacson Mornard. Despite Leon’s many precuations which included watchtowers and fortifications that still stand in the house, Mercader would successfully attack him with a climbing axe in August 1940, in an attack that would lead to his death.
The Soviet revolutionary would be mourned by Mexican intellectuals and friends like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Others more aligned with Stalinism, like fellow muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, would be less grieving. The bullet holes found in the house are the consequence of a previous attempt on Trotsky’s life that some theorize Siqueiros took place in.
Following its declaration as a National Historic Monument in 1982, by 1990 the house was turned into a small museum preserving Trotsky’s personal items. The house and museum are also the home of an NGO dedicated to assisting asylum seekers in Mexico and throughout the world. In the backyard, visitors can find a tomb containing the ashes of both Trotsky and his wife.
Know Before You Go
Located in Coyoacán, just a few blocks from the Casa Azul. Open Tuesday through Sunday 10 am to 5pm. Cost is $40 MEX (about $2.19 USD). They also provide both Spanish and English guided tours for free.