Trotsky was writing Joseph Stalin’s biography, which is one of the most profound biographies ever written because he knew Stalin as nobody else knew him: Trotsky was the second topmost man in the revolution. Stalin was nowhere; he was somewhere around eleventh or twelfth. But Trotsky was alert that this man was dangerous – because he never spoke; he was always keeping quiet, everything about him was secret. His friends – who are his friends? His enemies – who are his enemies? Nothing was ever revealed. Trotsky was concerned about this man – he seemed to be a dangerous type. So he started collecting facts about him.
And when Stalin started murdering, the procedure that was adopted was a beautiful conspiracy: Lenin was given daily poison in the name of medicine. The doctor was a hired man of Stalin. The poison was to be given in such small doses that it would kill him over a long period of time. While he remains alive, he remains the leader because the masses still know him. He should not die right now, because if he dies right now Trotsky will be the man to control the country. Before Lenin dies Stalin should make his base solid, and all others should be removed, so after Lenin, Stalin will be the second man. So he had to be kept alive but almost in a coma. He became paralyzed and slowly, slowly was dying. He was confined to his bed; his eyesight was disappearing, and whatsoever Stalin was bringing him, he was signing it – he could not read it. Stalin killed everybody necessary to his cause, and then he killed Lenin: the last dose was given to Lenin.
The time that Trotsky remained in Mexico he devoted to writing the biography of Stalin. It is a rare book because never has an enemy written a biography with such great insight, with such profundity, with no hatred – just factual, no fiction. He was killed when he was completing the last page. It remains incomplete – the last page. It is a big biography, nearabout twelve hundred pages. He was writing the last page when he was killed with a hammer from behind. The hammer hit his head many times. His head fell on the book and splashed his blood onto the last page. In a way, that made the book an absolutely authoritative biography of what he had been saying all along about how people had been killed. He was killed on the last page; he died on the book, and the first edition was printed with the blood marks.
Stalin had never killed a single man before; he had never committed a single crime. In fact, his education had happened in a Catholic monastery – he was a Christian – and the monks had raised him. He lived in the monastery because his village was far away in the Caucasus, and the monastery was the only place where education was possible, so his father – he was a poor man – had left him there. The monks at the monastery, out of compassion, accepted the boy, trained him, educated him – and this is what he turned out to be. After gaining power he must have killed millions of people. There is no way to count them; he simply went on killing. Anybody, who was not for him, had to be killed. There was no other punishment. He made it very simple: “Either you are for me, or you are no longer.”