10 Seemingly Insignificant Choices That Changed The World Forever

6. Leon Trotsky's Decision Not To Check The Date Of Lenin's Funeral

In the immediate aftermath of the death of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1924, a number of big name players jostled to seize power; including an up and coming young Bolshevik named Stalin. Stalin had been earmarked by Lenin as a potential troublemaker, but the conniving future dictator successfully circumvented these claims by hiding documents which would have discredited him. In order to climb to the pinnacle of Russian power Stalin had to surpass Leon Trotsky; a man who had been the logistic heart of the Red Revolution; a man who had the respect and trust of Lenin. How did Stalin leapfrog his way above Trotsky? By telling Trotsky that Lenin's funeral was a day later than it was in reality. As a direct result of this Trotsky appeared as disrespectful towards the memory of Lenin; this mistake would eventually prove fatal when Stalin sent an assassin to brutally murder Trotsky in his Mexican exile. Stalin's rise is not just the result of this deception; he used similar tactics to discredit many other opponents. However, Trotsky was one of the biggest contenders to succeed Lenin, so it was crucial that Stalin knocked him out of the fight as early as possible. Had Trotsky taken the small amount of time to corroborate this, Stalin's rise could have been halted or slowed. Yet Trotsky's minuscule decision to trust the soon-to-be tyrant was to herald in an age of unprecedented repression and despair in Russia.
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