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Albert Glotzer (#103)


The New York Times, February 21, 1999, Sunday

From family members and relatives

GLOTZER-Albert. 90. Adored husband of Marguerite, died of cancer February 18. Born in Ivaniki, north of Pinsk, Belarus, he was brought to this country at the age of four. He produced, as verbatim reporter, two volumes of the 1937 John Dewey Commission Report. The Commission exonerated the exiled Leon Trotsky and exposed the frameups and horrors of Stalinism. His book Trotsky: Memoir and Critique (1989) attacked the totalitarian origins of the USSR and espoused democracy. He was a four term President of the Federation of Shorthand Reporters, AFL-CIO. A leading Social Democrat, he spoke, wrote, and consulted to the end. He was passionate about books, music, art, photography, travel, nature, Chicago and Martha's Vineyard and human rights above all. Paterfamilias to loving family and friends: son Jonathan; grandsons Jeff, Mike and David Craine; niece Elissa, nephew Bob, grandnephew Matthew White; nephews Robert, Richard and Roland; cousins Leon and Vera, Wlady and Rita Rozenbaum. Memorial service to be announced.

The New York Times, February 23, 1999, Tuesday

From Social Democrats, National Committee

GLOTZER-Albert. Died on February 18th, 1999. He will be long remembered for his commitment to human rights, equality and democracy, and for his historic book about Leon Trotsky (Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY). Al's articulate speaking style and his warm friendship will be missed. From his friends on the national committee. Social Democrats, USA

Forward, March 12, 1999
Albert Glotzer

Albert Glotzer, a member of the labor movement who at one time served as personal secretary to Leon Trotsky, died on February 18 at the Cabrini Hospice in Manhattan. The cause of death was cancer. He was 90.

After the Communist Party expelled him for Trotskyism, Glotzer traveled in 1931 to Turkey, where Trotsky was living in exile. For several weeks, Glotzer was Trotsky's personal guard and secretary, reading parts of Trotsky's work-in-progress on the history of the Russian Revolution and handling Trotsky's correspondence. The two men subsisted on fish that they caught with nets in the Sea of Marmara, Glotzer's wife, Marguerite, said.

In 1937, Glotzer crossed paths with Trotsky once again when he served as a court reporter in Mexico City for the John Dewey Commission of Inquiry, which exonerated Trotsky of Stalin's charges. As well as clearing Trotsky's name, the commission served to expose the horrors of Stalinism.

Despite his previous support for Trotsky, Glotzer changed his position in the wake of World War II, and he denounced the totalitarianism of both Trotsky and the Soviet Union. In 1938, he split with the Socialist Workers Party over his rejection of the claim that the Soviet Union was a workers' state. In 1940, Glotzer co-founded the Workers Party, which later became the Independent Socialist League. "Al considered his work extremely important because people had illusions about the USSR. Particularly during World War II, many people were blind to what Russia was really like," his wife said.

In the 1960s, while Glotzer was president of the Federation of Shorthand Reporters of the AFLCIO, he successfully lobbied for a raise for the stenographers he represented.

Glotzer served on the national committee of Social Democrats USA during the 1970s and 1980s, where he was a favorite speaker of the organization's youth group, said the former national executive director of Social Democrats USA, Rita Freedman. He was also a baseball fan, Ms. Freedman said. "He would write letters about baseball to my two sons, and he had a tremendous baseball card collection from his childhood," Ms. Freedman said.

In 1989, Glotzer published a book about his dealings with Trotsky titled Trotsky: Memoir and Critique (Prometheus Books). Born in Belarus, Glotzer moved to America with his family at age 4. His first marriage, to Reva Craine, ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Marguerite Horst, and a son from his previous marriage, Jonathan Craine of Monsey, N.Y.