Andreu Nin (el Vendrell, Baix Penedès, 1892 - Alcalá de Henares, 1937) was a politician, essayist and translator.
He studied Education in Tarragona and Barcelona and, having completed his studies, worked as a teacher in the progressive school for working-class children, Escola Horaciana, and the Ateneu Enciclopèdic Popular, a grassroots municipal cultural association. His political activity began in 1911 when he joined the Republican Nationalist Federal Union.
In 1913 he joined the Catalan Socialist Federation and, during this period, wrote for several newspapers and other publications including El Baix Penedès, La Justicia Social, El Poble Català and La Publicidad. In 1919 he joined CNT, the confederation of anarcho-syndicalist unions and, in 1921, attended the First Red Trade Union International in Moscow, where he resided until 1930, participating actively in Soviet political life and studying the Russian classics. In 1926 he joined the International Left Opposition, which was founded by Trotsky, and was consequently expelled from the USSR in 1930. On his return to Barcelona he organised the Communist Left, the Spanish section of the Trotskyite International Left Opposition. In 1935 he took part in the founding of the revolutionary anti-Stalinist Workers Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) and, after the outbreak of the Civil War, he was appointed Minister for Justice in the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia. On 16 July 1937 he was detained and murdered by the Soviet secret police.
Among the books he wrote are Les dictadures dels nostres dies (Dictatorships of Our Times, 1930), Els moviments d'emancipació nacional (National Emancipation Movements, 1935), El proletariado español ante la revolución (The Spanish Proletariat and the Revolution, 1931), Los Soviets: su origen, desarrollo y funciones (The Soviets: Origins, Development and Functions, 1932), Manchuria y el imperialismo (Manchuria and Imperialism, 1932) and Las organizaciones obreras internacionales (International Workers’ Organisations, 1933). Apart from his political texts, Andreu Nin made a significant literary contribution with his translations of such Russian authors as Bogdanov, Dostoyevsky, Pilniak, Chekhov, and Tolstoy, among others. He also translated works by Trotsky and Lenin into Catalan and Spanish.
Page by Toni Terrades for AELC.
Documentation: Toni Terrades.
Photographs © El Jove Andreu Nin. Textos periodístics. Calafell: Llibres de Matrícula, 2007.
Translated by Julie Wark.