Perhaps you have previously heard the name “the man with the ice ax” mentioned , Ramón Mercader , a very important figure who had the mission to assassinate the political revolutionary León Trotsky , who had sought refuge after being exiled from the USSR in Mexico , the Latin American country. A man who, in addition to having served as a spy for the Soviets, had an important evolution in the field of politics that led him to adopt false nationals and personalities in order to commit a crime unprecedented in world history.
- When was he born: 02/07/1913
- Where he was born: Barcelona, Spain
- When did he die: 10/18/1978
- Where he died: Havana, Cuba
Who was Ramón Mercader?
Ramón Mercader was a political activist of Spanish nationality who was part of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia and who also had a very important role in the Spanish civil war as part of the secret services of the Soviet Union.
- What did Ramón Mercader do
- Biography of Ramón Mercader
- Presence in popular culture
- Curiosities about Ramón Mercader
What did Ramón Mercader do
To understand what Ramón Mercader did, it is important to mention Trotsky , who was considered one of the most important leaders during the Russian revolution in 1917 who also created the Red Army , a group that with the passage of time would be the USSR army. He was part of the Republican side when he started the Spanish Civil War and in 1937 he was persuaded by his mother to join the Soviet secret services to assassinate to Leon Trotsky, who was exiled in Mexico .
In 1939 , the operation called ” Utka ” or Operation Duck began , in which Stalin ordered the assassination of Trotsky with the aim of completely eliminating the threat of power that was reflected in him. The first time he approached his target, he did so by infiltrating Trotskyist circles under the name of Jacques Mornard , who was supposedly a militant of Belgian nationality.
Once he managed to enter, he set his eyes on a woman who had the total confidence of Trotsky, Sylvia Agelof . With her he began a romantic relationship and this made it possible for him to get closer to his victim. Later, he assumed a new identity, making himself known as Frank Jackson . He traveled to Mexico with Sylvia, who at the time introduced him to Trotsky, and, from that moment, began his second plan, to gain the full trust of the Russian leader to be able to be solar with him.
On August 20, 1940 , he attended Trotsky’s house to supposedly deliver a series of documents to him. When he approached the window to see the documents, Ramón Mercader managed to drive an ice ax ( ice pick ) into his head, which caused a serious and fatal wound that killed him in just twelve hours. The Russian leader’s bodyguards were unable to prevent the attack but they did manage to capture the assassin. His mother, who was waiting for him a few meters away in a car, managed to flee the place.
Biography of Ramón Mercader
Ramon Mercader of the river was born in the city of Barcelona in Spain a 7 February of the year 1913 . He was also known by the names of Jacques Mornard, Frank Jackson and Ramón Ivánovich López. His father Pablo Mercader Medina a Catalan conservative nationalist and his mother Caridad del Río Hernández who served as a communist militant for Cuba and who also worked as an agent of the Soviet NKVD . His mother little by little began to meet in more anarchist environments and this caused him to move away from his family, which is why Ramón was left in charge of his father, however, in his roots, he already had communist militancy planted .
After finishing his prison sentence in 1960 , Mercader managed to return to Russia where he joined the KGB , the intelligence service of the USSR where he reached the rank of general . Some time later he settled in Cuba , where he worked as an advisor to Fidel Castro. In 1978 , he died as a result of cancer , although many claimed that he had been poisoned with polonium by the KGB. His body was brought to Moscow in total secrecy and was subsequently buried in the Kúntsevo cemetery. , a special place for the heroes of the Soviet Union.
His mother was Caridad Mercader , a woman who had been born in Cuba in 1892 , the daughter of a very wealthy family of Cantabrian origin who came to live in Barcelona, Spain, before the independence of Cuba. She had five children with Pablo Mercader and was recognized in Barcelona thanks to her husband’s last name.
Instead of dedicating herself to her chores at home and as a mother, she decided to become an anarchist who was also in total service to Stalin . According to historians, she fell in love with a pilot of French nationality and for this reason her brothers decided to intern her in a psychiatric hospital , from where she was taken by her anarchist colleagues. After this experience, he decides to break up with his marriage and moves to France where he becomes even closer to communism .
Once back in Barcelona, he was part of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia and it was at that moment that he began his work in the service of Soviet espionage . Together with his son, Ramón Mercader , they elaborate a plan to end the life of Trotsky , who had taken refuge in Mexico.
His father was Pablo Mercader Medina , a man recognized in his country thanks to the different textile companies he owned. He also belonged to the bourgeois class of the place and never fully agreed with the thinking of his wife, Caridad Mercader.
He married Lena Imbert Roquelia Mendoza .
Along with Lena Imbert, Ramón Mercader had three children, Laura , Arturo and Jorge .
His importance was mainly for the communist regime of the Soviet Union , for which he was seen as a true hero because he had managed to exterminate the ideologue of the permanent reform of the political system that wanted to be imposed in the USSR.
His most recognized phrase that is known was the following:
- You don’t need to be an experienced climber to be able to use an ice ax correctly.
Presence in popular culture
The story of Ramón Mercader can be read and observed in current popular culture. There are a wide variety of books that narrate the events that surrounded his life as well as that of the protagonists who were part of his existence. Readings and documentaries such as Trotsky’s Assassination , Asaltar los Cielos and Ramón Mercader’s Second Death , are literatures where his story is told.
Also in cinematographic art, the story of Ramón Mercader was told in the film “ El Elegido ” where the entire process that he followed to assassinate Trotsky is narrated. A novel in his honor called ” The Obedient Murderer ” also provides information as well as several series and documentaries that tell about the past of this protagonist.
Curiosities about Ramón Mercader
Some curious aspects that surrounded the life of Ramón Mercader are mentioned below:
- According to historians, he had a short romantic relationship with Frida Kahlo .
- He spent a total of 20 years locked up in a Mexican jail for the murder he had committed.
- He was decorated after serving his sentence with the Order of Lenin and the Gold Medal.
- The weapon or ice pick with which he murdered Trotsky remained missing for forty years.
- After his mother was arrested he had to flee quickly to the USSR .