Petersburg philologist Vera Sokolinskaya recalled in her blog a strange event from Soviet life that took place on June 8, 1960, when the chairman of the KGB, Alexander Shelepin, presented the gold star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin to Ramon Ivanovich Lopez.
Under this name, Ramon Mercader, the murderer of Leon Trotsky, began a new life in the USSR. But the story of how he became a world famous murderer is most similar to either Shakespearean or ancient Greek tragedy:
“Everyone knows about Trotsky and the ice ax, but the story of Mercader is not easy. Personality is always more of a cliché.
Ramon was 5 years old when his parents not only parted, and his father (railway tycoon, manufacturer, oligarch, in a word), convinced that his wife had gone mad, placed the mother of his 5 children (!) In a Barcelona mental hospital. She managed to bribe the staff, and anarchist acquaintances attacked the mental hospital, she fled, taking the children, to France! (Mexican TV series of some kind! Maybe they really have it there).
She tried to do business. First a farm, then opened a restaurant - it didn't work. Since then, she has come to hate capitalism, right Alice Rosenbaum, aka Ayn Red, on the contrary.
Then the imperious aristocrat fanatically took up politics, joined the Communist Party (where else from her oligarch husband?) In 1937, she was recruited by the NKVD, or rather, by her lover, a Soviet resident. All her life she remained a staunch Stalinist.
“She was destined to be the mistress of the house in a big bourgeois family, but just a few years later she became an anarchist, ready to blow up her husband’s factories, and then joined the Third International,” Gregorio Luri said in an interview with the BBC Spanish-language service Mundo. author of the book “The Promised Heaven. A woman who worked for Stalin".
Imagine, an aristocrat who knew 3 languages, who appeared in the NKVD as "mistress", died in her house in France under a huge portrait of Stalin at the head of the bed! In 1975!!! (Well, this is already a stage for a big movie).
The Cuban ambassador in Paris said that Caridad is "a greater Stalinist than Stalin himself".
And her funeral was taken over by the Soviet embassy.
She recommended her son for the role of the killer. Gertrude is resting. Such is the anti-Hamlet: the mother helps her lover and makes her son a murderer. Maybe her husband was not so wrong about her?
Looking ahead, her son never forgave her. And the Soviet government paid her a pension until her death. This is how she lived in her own house in France on a pension from the USSR (while Soviet citizens who received the same order of Lenin for the same were already shot).
And Ramon went through a lot to the ice ax: a youth communist organization (my mother managed to bring up), prison and civil war. He was wounded, a combat major, handsome, he was 25 years old at the time of its development. He saw the death of his comrades, believed that he was fighting on the side of the world, for ideals. Who doesn't believe something!
After the famous blow with an ice pick, the guards pounced on him and he would have been killed, but Trotsky (with an ice pick in his head !!!) was conscious and said: "Stop, he must tell." So the murdered man saved the life of the murderer. (Please note: all photographs of the trial show Mercader in bandages, with a broken head and signs of beatings).
Soviet agents paid for the lawyers, but Ramon was given a maximum of 20 years. The first 6 years he was tortured. Everyday.
They were woken up in solitary confinement without windows when the executioners' working day began, and tortured until the working day was over. Six years in a row. He insisted that he was a loner, out of personal enmity, no connection with the NKVD. Only 6 years later, the jailers managed to establish his identity - from a defector who recognized him.
After 6 years, they left him behind, transferred to the city prison, the other 14 he sat quite comfortably, worked as the head of a radio workshop. (By the way, his brother, having gone through the war in the Soviet army, taught radio communications systems for 13 years at the Moscow Electrotechnical Institute of Communications. And then - at the University of Barcelona he was the head of the communications department).
Ramon has served from call to call for 20 years.
The first wife did not wait for him from prison, but she was also transported to Moscow, where she died in 1942.
But in prison he will be supported by Raquel Mendoza, who has become his real wife. In her youth, she performed in a variety show, and then worked as a nurse in a prison. She treated him after beating and torture, and wore parcels outside of work. In prison, they got married (Just "Parma abode")
When it comes out 20 years later, in May 1960, the world has already forgotten about it: in the USSR, Khrushchev had already condemned the cult of personality, Beria was shot, and the film where he, Ramona Mercader, will be played by Alain Delon, will be released in 14 years.
He will be transported to Cuba and then to Moscow. There he will become Ramon Ivanovich. They will even come up with a legend: from Spanish children, a hero of the Second World War. He will be given a huge pension for those times - 400 rubles. (Figner was appointed the same for the murder of the tsar, the murder was valued by the Soviet authorities), a 4-room apartment, a car, a summer house. pin the star of the hero.
He will send his wife to Moscow, they will adopt 2 children, whose parents died in Spain. And he will become a silent employee of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the CPSU. The wife will work as an announcer in the Spanish edition of Radio Moscow. Such is the Lopez family.
Only a few knew who he was. An employee was assigned to him, with an order "not to get into the soul", to limit the circle. Only one of the Spaniards, with whom the Mercader family became friends in Moscow, once talked to him about the murder and then left memories. Like, he suffered from insomnia, dreamed of nightmares, how they woke up in prison (to beat and torture), but did not speak about murder. But when he is sent to Spain, and he is in prison, Mercader (and then his wife) will regularly send him parcels.
And knowing his history, it is not surprising that he is remembered as a kind person.
He was uncomfortable in Moscow, he referred to the climate, asked to let him go. This was not how he imagined, probably, the ideals for which he gave so much.
He was released only in 1970. Counselor to Cuba. He will live there for the last 8 years and will die very hard from lung sarcoma. And they will be buried in Moscow, like Ramon Ivanovich Lopez at the Kuntsevo cemetery, and it is written on the monument.
In Moscow, not far from him lived his brother, Louis (who taught at the Electrotechnical). Even though he ended up in the USSR at 18 - just in 1941. But he also asked to go to Spain. He too (like the Spanish children) was released in the 1970s when he was 55 years old. But Luis Pavlovich (why not Ivanovich?) Still had 20 years to live in Spain, to teach at the University of Barcelona ... And his ashes will also be delivered to Moscow, buried next to his brother. A strange attachment to the remains.
Their sister will live the longest of all the Mercader! - the wife and widow of director Vittorio de Sica! (God, how incredible the fate!) Beauty, she will live an artistic life, without prison and war, only with love experiences and a fight for de Sica with his former wife, will die in 2011 at the age of 92 in Rome. (Well, at least she was not taken to Moscow, she was lucky).
Imagine, I started in silent films, and the last films - in the 90s! "Italian and French Actress".
One family, but such a different movie! .. (They don't write about two Mercaders anywhere else).