Social psychol ogists put the emphasis on Stalin as a product of the tradition of the old Russias, where the Czar was absolute. When Stalin decided in the late twenties to industrialize Russia, he chose the iron path of early capital ac cumulation. He established a firm eco nomic base for the Soviet bureaucracy, thereby killing social egalitarianism, introducing suppression of national ities, stimulating Russification and laying the basis for Soviet expan sionism abroad.
This was a primary reason for Stalin's conflict with the Chinese and Yugoslav revolutions. In his efforts to crush Tito, Stalin used every method of power politics. New documentation reveals that Stalin bargained and haggled with other great powers over the Yugoslavs and the Chinese. He made secret agreements with British and American statesmen about spheres of influence. Stalin sold the Greek partisans to Win ston Churchill. When the British tanks took possession of Athens, Stalin did not lift a finger.
He kept his bargain. Stalin was a power politician. He always weighed carefully how far he could stretch without risking a world confrontation. Such assertions are mistaken; they fly in the face of generally known facts. Trotsky's name certainly did appear side-by-side with Lenin's during the October days, but side-by-side does not mean equal. Even the broad public understood the different political weight of the two men. This was no secret to the enemies of the Bolshevik Party either. As for the "consciousness of the party," there the names of Lenin and Trotsky were not at all equal.
The party had only one leader, Lenin, and he alone was the inspirer and organizer of the October Revolution. It was not accidental that, while praising Trotsky, Lenin noted that the Mezhraiontsy had "hardly been tested in proletarian work in the spirit of our party. The question of Frunze's death was not discussed at the party congress after all, but in the fifth issue of the literary monthly Novy Mir appeared with a story--Pilnyak's "Tale of the Unextinguished Moon"--that clearly implicated Stalin in Frunze's death, although the preface gave the following disclaimer:.
Personally I hardly knew Frunze, I was barely acquainted with him, maybe met him twice I find it necessary to inform the reader of this, so that the reader will not look in this sotry for real persons or events. Pilnyak displayed detailed knowledge of many circumstances surrounding the operation [for Frunze's stomach ulcer] and Frunze's death and stated bluntly that the "order" for the operation came from "Number One, the unbending man," who "headed the triumvirate" It is not surprising that the entire printing of the magazine was quickly confiscated In the next issue of Novy Mir the editors admitted that publication of Pilnyak's story had been an "obvious and flagrant mistake.
Antonov-Ovseyenko has no doubt that Frunze's death was a political act of elimination organized by Stalin. Adam Ulam, the American historian and Sovietologist, in his book on Stalin emphatically rejects this version. He feels that the whole problem had to do with the poor organization of medical service in the Soviet Union in As early as Lenin's time the practice of party intervention in medical affairs had been introduced; obligatory rest or treatment was prescribed for many party leaders. Thus the Politburo's decision about Frunze's operation was not a rare exception.
Ulam considers Pilnyak's story unquestionable slander and comments:. The remarkable thing is that nothing happened at the time to Pilnyak or to the editor Whether out of contempt for the slander or a calculated restraint, or both, Stalin chose not to react to a libel which even in a [bourgeois] democratic society would have provided ample grounds for criminal proceedings against its author and publisher.
Frunze died in October at the height of the Stalin versus Zinoviev-Kamenev contest. He himself had taken no position in the struggle. His successor as War Commissar was Voroshilov. And so rumors began to circulate that his death had been more than simply another case of medical malpractice. The story exploded in the May issue of Novy Mir New World , then as now the leading Soviet literary journal, in an all too transparent fiction about an "army commander" whom "Number One, the unbending man," forces to submit to an unnecessary operation, during which he is medically murdered.
The Real Stalin Series
The issue was, of course, immediately confiscated, and the substitute number of Novy Mir carried the editorial board's frightened apology for printing anti-party slander This was slander, and it is probable that Pilnyak was put up to it by somebody who wanted to strike at Stalin.
The remarkable thing is that nothing happened at the time to Pilnyak or to the editor. In [11 years later] they were both arrested, but on other charges, Whether out of contempt for the slander or a calculated restraint, or both, Stalin chose not to react to a libel which even in a democratic society would have provided ample grounds for criminal proceedings against its author and publisher.
The opposition leaders were able to speak out as late as the autumn of through 'discussion sheets' which Pravda carried in preparation for the 15th Party Congress in December, and Trotsky was able to publish a statement in Pravda as late as August The boldest attempt of the opposition to use the open press was the publication in the literary journal The New World of 'The Tale of the Unextinguished Moon' by Boris Pilniak in May This was a barely disguised version of the death on 31 October of Trotsky's successor in the post of narkom of defense, Frunze.
He had been operated on for a gastric ailment, began to recover, then died. Frunze and Stalin were supposed to have been on good terms and the General Secretary made much of his attempt to visit the patient in the hospital shortly after the operation. The deceased, an old Bolshevik turned military man, received the fullest possible honors, including an eulogy from Stalin and burial near the Lenin mausoleum.
But there was a rumor that it was a case of medical murder. Frunze supposedly had been Zinoviev's candidate for narkom, while Stalin backed Voroshilov, who in fact succeeded Frunze in the post. Allegedly, the General Secretary had arranged a Politburo order to the unwilling Frunze to have the operation, during which he received an overdose of an anesthetic known to be bad for his heart, although he apparently survived the actual operation for several days.
It is impossible in the nature of the case to exculpate Stalin. One might even speculate that he did not feel able to oust Zinoviev from Leningrad, while Frunze headed the armed forces. On the other hand, the evidence against Stalin is not strong, and it seems unlikely that he would have risked murder of such an important personage at this stage in his career. But the rumors that Stalin had murdered Frunze obviously served the opposition It was in any case, a demonstration that the absence of a reign of terror in the Soviet Union in that a writer, even a brash eccentric like Pilniak, would dream of publishing a novel that virtually accused of murder, the man whom the writer called 'Number One' and 'the unbending man'.
Or that a literary journal would accept it. In fact, one journal rejected it, and Pilniak cheekily dedicated the story to the rejecting editor when it was published, adding a preposterous denial that the plot was based on Frunze's death. This was going too far. The offending issue of the journal was withdrawn, and apologies for such 'error' and 'slander', which could 'play into the hands of the small-minded counter-revolutionary', were forthcoming from both editors who were involved and the author. But the whole scandal served as much to advertise Pilniak's tale as to suppress it, and the matter was common knowledge.
Frustrating to historians and journalists, this strange situation has inevitably spawned a heterogeneous collection of purportedly serious writings on Stalin. In the absence of reliable first-hand testimony or revealing written evidence, and in their desperation to understand the man, writers on Stalin and his period have offered the specialized and general public a diverse but sometimes troubling bill of fare.
Although there have been some outright forgeries, the more common tradition has been to infer the details of his personal life and actions. Novelists and novelists pretending to be historians have presented fictitious dialogs and purported soliloquies by the dictator. Others have made dubious claims of having known him closely and many memorists have reported scenes with Stalin that they did not witness. We also now have published collections of myths about Stalin. Consider for example the famous "Letter of an Old Bolshevik.
Internal inconsistencies and other problems cast grave doubt on its accuracy and even its authenticity. Nevertheless, scholars continue to cite it as evidence. Similarly, Orlov's Secret History of Stalin's Crimes has provided the bedrock evidence for another set of historical assertions. We learn here the "insiders" account of Stalin's relations with the NKVD chief Yezhov and other nefarious personalities.
Yet, it turns out that Orlov was abroad during the s and picked up his tantalizing tidbits as second and third hand corridor gossip. But the dubious origins of the works must cast doubt on their claims. How does one know what is true and what is not? Does one accept what one likes and believes and reject the rest?
In most other fields of historical research, such flimsy tales would be rejected as sources out of hand. Were we to do this here, we would discover that we no longer have evidence of Kirov's moderation or Stalin's conspiracy to kill him In addition to suspicious memoirs and pretended letters, there is a large corpus of historical fiction and fictional history. The problems with such literary sources have been analyzed in print. They tend toward fictionalization, are tailored to produce emotional responses, and try to make moral points.
Despite apparent similarities between historical and literary works as texts, they are different genres. Historians conduct research and handle data differently than do creative writers. Hypotheses are tested, discrete interpretations are discussed and documented, and evidence is carefully weighed. For example, Rybakov's Children of the Arbat, which has played a key role in anti-Stalin shock work and is even hailed as a historical source, contains numerous factual errors and flights of literary fancy.
Even Volkogonov's more scholarly Triumph and Tragedy contains invented dialogue between Stalin and his clique. Unlike historians, literateurs are generally unconcerned about verifying their sources. Consider two recent examples. First, Shatrov in his play Dal'she, Dal'she, Dal'she tells the story of Zinoviev and Kamenev being brought from prison to the Kremlin in order to be persuaded to confess. His account of this alleged event in fact closely paraphrases the first account of this tale in the spurious Secret History of Stalin's Crimes, published in the West decades after the event.
It is also noteworthy that no evidence to support this tale was found in the Party Central Committee's recent exhaustive archival examination and documentary publication on the interrogation and trial of Zinoviev and Kamenev. Second, there is the currently popular story that Lenin's Testament was never discussed at a party congress and that, if it had been, Stalinism could have been prevented. In fact, the document was considered by the Party Central Committee shortly after Lenin's death and again in a closed session at the congress in At that time, Pravda published a Stalin speech which included excerpts from it, including the part in which Lenin criticized Stalin's rudeness and called for his removal from the post of General Secretary.
It was like Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" to the 20th party congress in not published until recently. But the congress delegates who heard the Testament consisted of virtually all key party leaders and even a scattering of common folk from across the country The results of historical investigations into the Stalin period have in many cases been colored by two factors inherent in the subject itself. First, as we have seen, the paucity of reliable and creditable sources on the man and even on the basic functioning of the system has given rise to a most diverse and free-wheeling literature that often bears weak allegiance to basic rules of historical investigation.
Secondly, nearly all studies have reflected the moral and political agendas of the authors. We have sometimes seen the eclipse of detailed scholarship by didactic preaching and political advocacy. The tale wags the dog: the critical use of sources, validity of scientific deduction, and strength of argument--the traditional measures of scholarly worth--take second place to the perceived values of the author. Reviewers worry more about the intentions of the author than about the sources or methodology involved and scholarship is transformed into a rite of exorcism.
As we shall see below, this attitude is as prevalent in the former Soviet Union as it is in the West. Politically, writing about Stalinism has meant taking a stance. Alec Nove has clearly shown how attitudes toward Stalin flow from the political agendas of the authors. The overarching importance of the Soviet Union and socialism to twentieth century political history, the strong communist, anti-Communist, and patriotic passions they have inspired, and the tendency of revolutions to create camps of winners and losers have guaranteed a partisan field of study from the beginning.
But without the participation of professional historians, the process of glasnost will remain dangerously inchoate. Unevaluated and undocumented rumors, contradictory claims, and false information will continue to cloud the historical and literary air in the former USSR as they have in the West for decades. Although the "shock work" of publicist is important, it does not generally represent serious historical research. Professional historians in the former Soviet Union privately express dismay at the ability of journalists and publicists to monopolize the discourse, and many of them are appalled at statements emphasizing the primacy of political utility over objective research.
Such unfortunately utilitarian approaches to scholarship sometimes even come from leading scholars. Finally, I wish I could be as "crystal clear" about what happened in the s as Sergo Mikoyan is, but we still have few sources and a lot of work to do. Stories about Stalin have circulated at least since the s and include aspects of his genealogy he was said to be descended from Georgian or Ossetian princes , personal life secret wives, amorous ballerinas, and illegitimate children in the Kremlin , and the circumstances of his youth and death.
Even at this writing, characterizations of Bolshevism as a Jewish conspiracy are routinely heard even in educated circles in Moscow. Given Russian cultural traditions, there is nothing particularly unusual about such folklore. What should be surprising is that so much of the oral tradition has found its way into the corpus of scholarly literature. Secondhand personal memoirs, gossip, novels, and lurid accounts by defecting spies eager to earn a living in the West are soberly reviewed in scholarly journals, cited in footnotes, and recommended to graduate students.
Fictionalized "letters of old Bolsheviks," political histories with invented Stalin soliloquies, and even dramatic plays are routinely incorporated into academic treatments in ways that would be laughable in other national historical studies. Bourgeois propaganda has spread a false but very powerful image of Stalin, an image that is almost impossible to correct, since emotions run so high as soon as the subject is broached. The books about the purges written by great Western specialists, such as Conquest, Deutscher, Schapiro and Fainsod, are worthless, superficial, and written with the utmost contempt for the most elementary rules learnt by a first-year history student.
In fact, these works are written to give an academic and scientific cover for the anti-Communist policies of the Western leaders. They present under a scientific cover the defence of capitalist interests and values and the ideological preconceptions of the big bourgeoisie. Martens, Ludo. Another View of Stalin. Most of the new material seems presented to make two points long accepted in the West: the terror was widespread and that Stalin had a personal role in it.
Virtually all of the latest historical revelations are aimed at illustrating these points and the documents presented seem chosen for this in mind. It is easier to reject contradictory evidence with the deus ex machina [any unconvincing character or event brought artificially into the plot of a story to settle an involved situation] of Stalin's supposed cleverness: All twists and turns, hesitations and contradictions are thus the result of his incredible deviousness, sadism, or calculating shrewdness. There is really no counter to such ahistorical assertions, except that they are based on faith: the a priori presumption of a plan and the belief that anomalies were intentionally part of it.
Such elaborate constructs are unnecessary to explain events; the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions and consistent with the evidence is usually the best. Although there is a role for literary and propagandist works to force a process of rethinking upon closed minds, there is also a need for serious historical work to produce an unemotional and accurate portrayal of reality. So far we have seen relatively few serious historical works on this subject.
Such work will require more than literary creativity; you'll need a professional, objective evaluation of evidence which until recently has not been available for examination. I heard, when I was still in the USSR, all kinds of stories about how my father had "killed people in moments of temporary insanity. Calling a guard, he asked whose footprints they were. The guard did not know--he was seeing them for the first time.
Stalin then drew out his revolver and shot the guard on the spot, remarking that the man "wasn't guarding him properly. But this is no more than a vague surmise, as Trotsky himself states; and it sounds unreal in view of the fact that Trotsky never leveled that charge, or even hinted at it, during the many years of his struggle against Stalin up to , when he raised it for the first time.
Apparently, Trotsky projected the experience of the great purges of the late 30s back to Yet such a projection contradicts Trotsky's own characterization of Stalin. Thus even after he had charged Stalin with poisoning Lenin, Trotsky still treated the Stalin of as an essentially honest but short-sighted man, a characterization that can hardly be squared with the accusation. There is also the fact that Stalin did not dispose of Trotsky himself in a similar manner, while the latter was in Russia, an act of which he would certainly have been capable if he had been capable of assassinating Lenin.
Trotsky, relating the foregoing [accusing Stalin of giving him the wrong date for Lenin's funeral], added, "Stalin It was, therefore, safer to keep me away until after the body had been embalmed, the viscera cremated and a post mortem inspired by such suspicions no longer feasible. Once more he mysteriously failed to act on his suspicions.
Perhaps he only firmed up his suspicions in retrospect, when later he wanted to revenge himself on Stalin, for no other competent source thought Stalin might have poisoned Lenin. Bazhanov, Boris. Bazhanov and the Damnation of Stalin. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, c, p. In the intrigues following Lenin's death, he [Trotsky] was by no means straightforward, but at once "devious and faint-hearted," and his own account is "pathetic in its half-truths and attempts to gloss over the facts. But Trotsky had never failed in his duty to suppress or misrepresent facts in the interests of politics.
And his general reliability on the period in question could have been considered in the light of his accusation that Stalin poisoned Lenin. There is no evidence whatever that this is true, and Trotsky himself only brought it up many years later--in The writer of a Western Sovietological textbook concerned to reduce the estimates to, as he put it, a few hundred thousand or even a few tens of thousands, wrote, "Surely we don't want to hypothesize 3 million executions or prison deaths in or anything like this figure, or we are assuming most improbable percentages of men dying.
Similarly the argument that Stalin could not have killed millions of peasants, since that would have been "economically counterproductive. This was accomplished by saying that those who produced it were opposed to Stalin and Stalinism, and therefore prejudiced, and that some of the material was secondhand. Thus it was not merely a matter of mistaken assessment of the evidence. It was, contrary to the duties of a historian, a refusal to face it. With any of these authors [Western Sovietologists and Russian dissidents], it is not difficult to find many factual errors, in exact formulations, juggling of facts, and outright distortions.
This can be explained on the whole by two reasons. The first is the limited nature of the historical sources which these authors had at their disposal. Thus, the basic research for Conquest's The Great Terror consists of an analysis of Soviet newspapers and other official publications, to which are added references to the memoir accounts of several people who managed to escape from the USSR.
How did Stalin get away with murder?
The second reason is that the majority of Sovietologists and dissidents served a definite social and political purpose--they used this enormous historical tragedy to show that its fatal premise was the "utopian" communist idea and revolutionary practice of Bolshevism. This prompted the researchers concerned to ignore those historical sources which contradict their conceptual schemes and paradigms. Solzhenitsyn's book, Gulag Archipelago, contains no references whatsoever to Trotsky's works. Solzhenitsyn's work, much like the more objective works of Medvedev, belongs to the genre which the West calls "oral history," i.
Moreover, using the circumstance that the memoirs from prisoners in Stalin's camps which had been given to him to read had never been published, Solzhenitsyn took plenty of license in outlining their contents and interpreting them. However, very soon it became clear that the themes of the Great Terror and Stalinism were being used by many authors and organs of the press in order to compromise or discredit the idea of socialism. This anti-communist and anti-Bolshevik approach had largely been prepared by the activity of Western Sovietologists and Soviet dissidents from the s through the s, who had put into circulation a whole number of historical myths.
Bourgeois historiography, despite its superficial objectivity and respectability, is politicized and tendentious This becomes abundantly clear upon reading the most substantive work devoted to the history of the great purge, Robert Conquest's book The Great Terror. Without touching on the numerous other mistakes and juggling of facts which we have found in this work, let us stop to examine the contents of the three pages and no more which the author felt were sufficient to illustrate Trotsky's views and activities.
On these pages, Conquest managed to present no less than ten theses which remain unsupported by citations or by any other evidence, and which do not withstand criticism if they are juxtaposed with actual historical facts. Let us name several of these theses, after arranging them, so to speak, according to the chronological framework of the falsifications. Trotsky was a "leading figure among the 'Leftist' Old Bolsheviks, that is, those doctrinaires who could not agree with Lenin's concessions to the peasantry.
These people, and Trotsky in particular, preferred a more rigorous regime even before Stalin began to carry out such a line. Trotsky "never expressed a word of sympathy for the deaths of millions during collectivization. Trotsky did not oppose Stalin ideologically, nor did he expose him as the gravedigger of the revolution, but "simply quarreled with Stalin about which 'phase' of evolution toward socialism had been attained" in the Soviet Union.
Trotsky "stood, in fact, not for the destruction of the Stalinist system, but for its takeover and patching up by an alternative group of leaders. All these points are logically crowned with "an alternative prognosis" or "a prognosis aided by hindsight": if Trotsky had come to power, then he would have ruled only "less ruthlessly or, to be more precise, less crudely, than Stalin. In turn, Conquest did not think up the argument cited above, which bear the stamp of lightweight journalistic escapades. Rather he copied them from the works of anti-communist ideologues of the s. I didn't know Delbar, but I recalled that he'd collaborated with Bessedovsky.
I was interested and read the book. It was full of lies and inventions. I realized at once that it was Bessedovsky's work. Things I'd told him earlier about Stalin and other Party leaders figured in the book, but completely distorted, full of lies, and in effect an insult to the reader. In addition there was frequent mention that such and such a detail usually false or invented had been given to the author by a former member of Stalin's secretariat. This cast a shadow on me, since there were no other former members of Stalin's secretariat in exile.
Reading the book, a specialist in Soviet affairs could be led to believe I was the source of Bessedovsky's documents. I requested an explanation. He didn't deny having written it all and having mocked his readers. When I threatened to denounce his fabrications in the press, he replied that the book was signed by Delbar, and Bessedovsky was not officially involved: if I attacked him, I could be charged with defamation.
I first met Yeltsin in , and had many private conversations with him. Not everything written in the Soviet Union about Stalin and Stalinism under glasnost exuded great wisdom. Some was plainly wrong, and some writers repeated ideas and arguments that had been voiced decades earlier in the West; even the Nazi literature on the Soviet Union found some latter-day emulators. According to the new mythology that made its appearance under glasnost, much of the blame for the terror, the show trials, and the purges has to go to Trotsky because he called for the physical elimination of Stalin.
Thus, Volkogonov: Trotsky's book The Revolution Betrayed, which was handed to Stalin in early , was one of the last straws that broke the camel's back. What should one make of assertions of this kind? To begin with, the chronology does not fit. The first copies of The Revolution Betrayed appeared in May , and even if the NKVD had worked day and night translating the book, they could not possibly have handed it to Stalin in at the time of the first trials. Indeed, in an earlier publication, Volkogonov had written that Stalin had received the translated manuscript only in late We do not know what made him change the chronology; but whatever the reason, Trotsky's book could not possibly had driven Stalin to his "desperate decision.
Biographers of Stalin, Trotsky, and other political leaders are frequently tempted to engage in descriptions and explanations beyond what the evidence will bear out. Doing so is sometimes inevitable in view of the lack of evidence, and a good case can be made for informed guesses, as long as they are not presented as fact and certitude. Stalin might have said in a small circle that it had been a mistake to let Trotsky go in in the first place, even though there is no evidence to this effect.
But even now, after all the revelations, we cannot possibly know what Stalin thought when he read Trotsky's books or articles or when he received reports about Trotsky's activities in exile, for there is no evidence. If Stalin really believed that Trotsky was a deadly threat, there would have been a change in his behavior once Trotsky had been killed. But that did not transpire; Stalin's behavior in was essentially the same as it had been in the s. We owe the revelations under glasnost about the arrests, interrogations, and the executions to a small number of indefatigable investigators Like Solzhenitsyn, they [Medvedev and Antonov-Ovseenko] relied almost entirely on oral history, that is, the recollections of prominent and not so prominent survivors.
The greatest single quantitative contribution to our knowledge was made, however, by a student in his 20s, Dmitri Yurasov At the age of 16 in , he installed himself in the state archives as a "palaeographer, second rank. A retired Kharkov prosecutor named Ivan Shekhovtsov tried 17 times to bring court actions to restore the honor and good name of Joseph Stalin.
The 18th time, he almost succeeded inasmuch the Sverdlovsk regional court in the city of Moscow agreed to deal with Shekhovtsov's action against the well-known White Russian writer Adamovich, who he claimed in an article in Sovetskaia Kultura had been guilty of criminal libel. The line taken by Shekhovtsov during the trial was that because there were no documents proving that Stalin had ever committed a crime, he must not be vilified.
On the other hand, the victims of the Stalinist period from Bukharin to the academician Vavilov, had all admitted their guilt. According to Shekhovtsov, anti-Stalin hysteria was engulfing the country, and with the help of foreign radio stations, the anti-Stalinists were systematically undermining the prestige of the Soviet system Shekhovtsov was a member of the legal profession, and as far as he was concerned, only documents counted; all the rest was hearsay. Is it possible that this Volkogonov did not know or hear about this speech [complementing Stalin] by Churchill?
It would really be strange. But his main task was to heap abuse and calumny on Stalin and thus on the USSR, on socialism and on communism. That was his main task and the task of his backers who paid for his book to be published. I can say that Volkogonov spent his time without any truth in his diatribe.
His main argument was the "Cult of Personality" and even Stalin's enemies gave him his due. We would have expected a little more objectivity from our historian. Rybin, Aleksei. Next to Stalin: Notes of a Bodyguard. Toronto: Northstar Compass Journal, , p. Those who now accuse Stalin of this and that, absolutely did not know him, did not see him personally--only saw him in photographs or in films, or they read about him from writers who also never saw him or met him, and wrote as they liked, made of him a person who was nowhere recognizable by people like me.
But today, numerous books are written about this--all historical facts are turned topsy turvy, inside out and upside down. They describe him [Bukharin] as the theoretician of the party. Khrushchev, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin all rehabilitated these enemies. In the last 30 years in the press, there were hundreds of articles and many versions of attempts on Stalin's life. These so-called "truths" are nothing but fairy tales. I and my comrades who were the bodyguards of Stalin know what happened and this will be history. After the liquidation of the assassins 'corps,' Trotsky then did not constitute any danger to Stalin or the Soviet Government.
But today's press is full of all versions as to the assassination plots against Stalin. For example, "Pravda" whose current owner is a Greek millionaire , writes that Kavtaradze tried to place a bomb in the Bolshoi Theatre where Stalin was sitting in the theater box. I was then the commandant of Bolshoi Theatre security and there was absolutely no such attempt.
Not Rakov, or Tukov, or Krutashev [Stalin's bodyguards] ever heard of such an attempt. The newspaper "Niedelia-Sunday," in an article about Beria, wrote that in the Ritsa Lake, there was an attempt on the life of Stalin, that Stalin remained alive only because Beria covered him with his own body. Tukov, who was there, said: "Beria would place anyone else in front of a bullet, but never himself.
There was no attempt on the life of Stalin there. This is just yellow journalism by the newspapers. What really happened there was that Beria pushed me into the water when I caught a fish. Stalin was very upset with Beria and scolded him as he would a child for this act of stupidity. The novel by Rybakov, "Children of the Arbat," stated that Stalin was afraid of people. That is why Rybakov states when Stalin was walking on the Arbat, the security closed all the entrances to the street. This is stupid and impossible to accomplish! It is physically impossible to close all the entrances since these are thoroughfares.
Stalin's car never exceeded 30 kilometers an hour and often, went as slow as 10 kilometers an hour. Stalin was never afraid of people or of the dark, as I have already written. The following point is more serious. The modern "democratic journalists" have a field day with the personal life of Stalin, thinking up all sorts of stories, innuendos, and absolute falsifications. The "Komsomolskaya Pravda" newspaper At that time, I was head of the group that traveled with Stalin in Moscow and other cities or districts in the country. We all state that this is a vile lie that Hitler and Stalin met in Lvov!
In a detailed research of archival documents by the newspaper "Glasnost," it was learned that Stalin was in Moscow all that time and was welcoming workers of the country at an official reception. This is Lev Feldbin, twice in Lubyanka jail. He came from the Caucasus, where he commanded some border guards. During the s, this Feldbin ran away across the border of the USSR and there, he wrote this fable. He was never close to Stalin.
He is simply a complete liar. Is it at all possible for him to see Stalin meeting Hitler, while we, his personal bodyguards, were sleeping? Stalin never carried any pistols. He always wore his army clothes, plain and simple with no braids or medals or other decorations. Feldbin states that a bodyguard of Stalin, Evdokimov, was a Trotskyite.
Joseph Stalin - Wikipedia
This is an outright fabrication! From , the personal guards of Stalin were Vlasik, Rumyantsev, and Bogdanov. Regarding Evdokimov, he was only a secretary in the North Caucasus Party demanding of Stalin that he give him permission to arrest Sholokhov. Stalin put him in his place. This same Feldman writes that Stalin asked Pauker to gather for him pornographic photographs. We, his personal guards, living with him 24 hours a day, never ever saw any such trash.
In his study, the only photographs that were seen were of Bedny, Sholokov, Gorky, and Mayakovsky. The other walls were practically bare. He lived very modestly. This Feldbin states that on the road to his Dacha, Stalin had commanded that all house-cottages on the route be demolished. Anyone who knows the reconstruction of Moscow and the outskirts will laugh at such stupidity since these districts had large apartment houses, industries built along this highway! This is so ridiculous that anyone with a single brain cell would know that it's a lie. Now, to touch upon the "new sensation" that Stalin always had a "double.
After that, "Pravda" continued to spread this lie. Why was it necessary for these newspapers to spread such terrible lies? I do not understand. But that was not in the interest of the newspaper "Pravda" as we mentioned before, now owned by a foreign millionaire. My colleagues and I, being with Stalin practically 24 hours a day, years on end, surely, we would have noticed something if there really was a "double Stalin"! For a "Stalin's double" to be in existence, you would need to have another auto, the exact kind Stalin rode in, the same chauffeur, the same bodyguards, the same timetable, the same conference materials, the same answers, and the same mannerisms!
This is absolute rubbish! Or how could you fool the top actors of the Bolshoi Theatre, like Reizen, Lisitsian, Golovanov, Samosud, or Barsov who would have immediately noticed a double, since they were in constant contacts and meetings with Stalin? Here are the statements of bodyguards such as Starostin who stated: "Stalin never had a double. Never did I, through , ever see any 'double' or anyone that I did not recognize.
Lenin vs Stalin: Their Showdown Over the Birth of the USSR
Stalin looked after himself, never asked anyone to shave him and dressed himself and did all the other necessary things that a person does when performing his day to day work. The Germans tried desperately to set up local tribunals with local citizens as nominal heads of the tribunals when they captured cities like Odessa, Kiev, and others which fell to them during their successful march through the south last autumn.
But in no case were they successful. Potential Quislings were all in the work camps of the far north. Stalin knew what he was doing back in Russia's magnificent unity today and her completely unbroken spirit after the dreadful tragedy of that German advance is proof of the fact that Russia accepted the purge and approved of Stalin's "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs" policy.
Riz was, I think, four times expelled from a party and four times reinstated. In the Soviet Union there was a special order of such Party 'expellees', who were of positive value to the cause of humanity. Every expulsion and every reinstatement involved lengthy debates in Party assemblies, and through these the fluctuating strengths and weaknesses of the regime were constantly under review. He [Yefimov] was a sturdy little army engineer, an old Party member, but with no less than 10 expulsions and reinstatement behind him; Zinoviev and Kamenev had been expelled for the third time in , on suspicion of politically inspiring Nikolayev in the murder of Kirov.
The traditional view of the events of which sees them as related and incremental parts of the same terrorist crescendo--needs revision. Fainsod and others described the period as an "almost continuous purge" in the Western Region, and his conceptual framework has dominated nearly all views of the period. It is based on the idea that after or there was a constantly increasing level of "purging" accompanied by a similarly rising curve of fear and panic. According to this view, the continuous purge began in with the chistka.
The assassination of Politburo member Kirov in December "touched off a new round of almost continuous purges," which expanded in "everwidening circles. This view is weakly supported by the available primary evidence. Aside from particular errors First, in terms of their attrition to the Party the membership screenings were actually a decrescendo, in that each operation expelled fewer members than the previous one.
Indeed, these purges were milder than their direct ancestors of the s. Second, most expulsions were for nonideological and nondissident infractions: violations of party discipline, theft, abuse of position. Simple nonparticipation accounted for more of those expelled than did political crimes.
The screenings were hardly "heresy hunts," and to associate the benign exchange of party documents with the "acts of the purge" is at least inaccurate. The chistki were different from the Ezhovshchina, although Yezhov was involved in both. They had different targets and were conducted by different agencies for different reasons. In fact, the membership purges ended before the Ezhovshchina began, and readmission upon appeal began before, and continued during, the terror All political events of 30s were not simply related parts of the same Great Purges crescendo.
Given the one-sided nature of discourse in the field, it may perhaps not be gratuitous to point out some of the minor, more technical aspects of the revisionist view of the origins of the terror that are being confirmed by new archival evidence. The bloc was, then, the catalytic event in the escalation of Stalinist terror. Second, we also now have confirmation of the fact that party expulsions in the period that is, after the Kirov assassination and before the onslaught of the terror were steadily decreasing in number, even after the first show trial in the summer of and were not especially directed against oppositionists, "wreckers," or "spies.
Third, the January Central Committee resolution criticizing excessive vigilance and unjust persecutions was directed against regional party machines and their leaders who, like Postyshev, expelled rank-and-file members to divert attention from their own people. It had nothing to do with the NKVD. In both years of "chistka" only 5. A resolution on a more general purging of the Party was passed by a plenum of the Central Committee on 12 January More than , members were expelled during the year, and another , in Between November and March , including , when the 'Great Purge' was at its most intense, roughly , to , people left the CPSU for any reason.
In , at the height of the Great Purge in Moscow, 33, Some will feel that this study has taken a naive view of Stalin's role as planner and perpetrator. There's no doubt that he had chief responsibility for political leadership, but the present account has more than once failed to conclude that the events were part of a coherent plan. Evidence of high-level confusion, counterproductive initiatives, and lack of control over events has not supported the notion of a grand design. Careful analysis of archival, documentary, press, and creditable memoir sources neither supports nor disproves the existence of a plan.
It is still possible that the events of were parts of a devilish and devious strategy, but the evidence indicates that a master Stalin plan must remain an a priori assumption, an intuitive guess, or a hypothesis. It can be suspected but not established on the basis of the presently available classes of evidence.
Stalin did not initiate or control everything that happened in the party and country. The number of hours in the day, divided by the number of things for which he was responsible, suggests that his role in many areas could have been little more than occasional intervention, prodding, threatening, or correcting. In the course of a day, Stalin made decisions on everything from hog breeding to subways to national defense.
He met with scores of experts, heard dozens of reports, and settled various disputes between contending factions for budgetary or personnel allocations. He was an executive, and reality forced him to delegate most authority to his subordinates, each of whom had his own opinion, client groups, and interests. Further, Getty confirms that it is time to review what has been taught about the Soviet Union of the thirties. Some students of the s view the period from December to as one in which Stalin orchestrated events according to a preconceived plan. To date, there is no evidence to prove that argument, which is based on assumptions about Stalin's intentions.
Everything seems to indicate that Stalin and his lieutenants worked to expand their power at the expense of local leaders, to centralize decision-making power by reducing local authorities use of repression, and to modernize the judicial system by making it more uniform, transparent, and predictable. The eruption of mass repression in the kulak order of mid seems therefore not to have been part of any long-term planning or policy.
Stalin had gone out of his way to identify himself with those who opposed mass operations; this would have been poor strategy indeed had he planned to launch one. Getty, J. Malenkov now gave sound and precise figures on this subject. In one district of Kuibyshev oblast, 50 of Communists had been ousted, but the NKVD found no basis for arrest in 43 of the cases. Two-points stand out here: first, the NKVD began to investigate people after they encountered trouble in their party cells, not before, and second, it appears that the security organs investigated each charge rather than proceeding randomly.
About veterans of the prerevolutionary party were still members of it in March , and , activists from the end of the Civil War were alive and at work. This group made up only 8. Thus it was possible for the Liberal and Socialist press to report day after day the arrests or removal of persons whose political and administrative degeneracy had helped wrecking, almost as if these people were the victims of a dictatorial "Stalin purge. Now the facts about the activity of the workers in the unions and the Party were as prominent in the Soviet press as were the accounts of people who had been dismissed from their posts and put on trial.
But those facts were inconvenient. They did not fit in with the conception of a workers' dictatorship which is held by the Liberal and Socialist press. They do not fit in with the calumny that Stalin--for reasons always unexplained--is waging war on the Old Guard. Campbell, J. Soviet Policy and Its Critics. London: V. Gollancz, ltd. This will enable me to participate with even greater strength in the building of socialism, the party's struggle to surmount problems, and to atone for my guilt Following this, in May , I was appointed chief of the Kuznetsk construction project.
Organizing construction at a new location absorbed all my time. I had to move from Novosibirsk and was, successively, at the construction site in Tomsk and in Moscow. I was subsequently sent on an official trip to America to negotiate a contract with an engineering firm for building the Kuznetsk plant and to place orders for equipment.
I spent eight months altogether in America and Germany. When discrepancies were noted or something seemed unclear, an explanation was demanded of the person undergoing verification or inquiries were dispatched to various institutions. Verification results, including the verified person's own written explanation and other clarifying information, were duly included in the personal file of the person being verified.
The number of documents required for each personal file constantly grew until it included an assessment of qualifications for a given type of work, references, evaluation of previous work performed, documentation of Marxist education, personal attributes, and, finally, Party references. In the file were also put denunciation letters, cadre verification results, and so forth.
During purge committee sessions questions were raised about participation in the revolutionary movement, Party membership, and knowledge of Marxist-Leninist theory. Considering that among the party members who have recently entered the ranks of the Communist Party there are some comrades who are devoted to the cause of the working-class and have manifested this devotion in practice--in production, in the kolkhozes--but have not yet mastered the most elementary political knowledge necessary for a member of the Communist Party--the party Programme and Rules, its most important decisions--the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the party recommend that during the purge such Communists be transferred to the status of candidate member, not as a party penalty but for the sake of their political education and better training, so that in a year's time the question may be raised of transferring them back to party members if during this time they will have succeeded in heightening the knowledge of political fundamentals which is necessary for a party member.
Considering that, due to the same circumstances, among the party candidates there are not a few comrades who not only do not possess the elementary political knowledge necessary for a candidate but still suffer from instability and a lack of the self-command required by party discipline, the party Central Committee and Central Control Commission recommend that during the purge such comrades be transferred from the category of candidates to that of sympathizers, so that in a year's time the question may be raised of transferring them back to candidates or of admitting them to party membership if a check shows that they have fully matured.
The purges it carried out--four between in were aimed at the corrupt, the incapable, and the opportunists as well as "deviationists" and "oppositionists. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. New York: Knopf, , p. Its role vis-a-vis the party was analogous to that of the Commissariat of the Inspectorate vis-a-vis the governmental machine: it audited party morals. It was formed at the 10th Congress, in , on the demand of the Workers' Opposition, with which the Congress had otherwise dealt so harshly. It was in charge of the so-called purges.
These, too, were initiated by the 10th Congress, on the demand of the Opposition. They were intended to cleanse the party periodically of careerists, who had climbed the band-wagon in great numbers, of Communists who had acquired a taste for the bourgeois life, and commissars who heads had been turned by power. Lenin adopted the idea and intended to use it in order to stop his followers departing from the party's puritanic standards. But he also turned one edge of the purges against 'anarcho-syndicalists', waverers, doubters, and dissidents, against the real initiators of the new practice.
The procedure of the purges was at first very different from what it became in later years. The purges were no concern of the judiciary. They were conducted by the party's local control commissions before an open citizens' forum, to which Bolsheviks and non--Bolsheviks had free access. The conduct of every member of the party, from the most influential to the humblest, was submitted to stern public scrutiny.
Any man or woman from the audience could come forward as a witness. The Bolshevik whose record was found to be unsatisfactory was rebuked or, in extreme cases, expelled from the party. The Control Commission could impose no other penalties than these. Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; A Political Biography. New York: Oxford Univ. Police and the courts had nothing to do with the procedure. At public meetings the Control Commissions, i. Every man and woman in the audience could come forward and testify for or against the investigated individual, whom the Control Commissions then declared either worthy or unworthy of continued membership.
The unworthy bore no punishment; but the loss of membership in the ruling party was likely to deprive him of chances of promotion or of a responsible post. Within a short time , members, about one-third of the total membership, were thus expelled. The Control Commission classified those expelled into several categories: vulgar careerists; former members of anti-Bolshevik parties, especially former Mensheviks, who joined after the end of the civil war; Bolsheviks corrupted by power and privilege; and, finally, the politically immature who lacked an elementary grasp of the party's principles.
It seems that people whose only fault was that they had criticized the party's policy or its leaders were not expelled. The Prophet Unarmed. London, New York: Oxford Univ. Levine, Isaac Don. New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, c, p. In May , Lenin wrote in a letter to Stalin: ' This fact is incontrovertible and rather significant.
Towards the end of October he expelled Trotsky from the Politburo. Not a single representative of the Opposition now sat on that body. He deposed Zinoviev from the presidency of the Communist International and then indicted him before the Executive of the International, which confirmed the demotion. A Russian party conference endorsed the changes in the Politburo; and it also granted the requests of Shliapnikov and Medvedev for readmission to the party, after their exemplary recantation.
Elena Stasova lasted right through the Stalin epoch. Fotieva, Lenin's secretary, who must also have known a good deal about what was one of Stalin's most sensitive points--the quarrel with Lenin in his last days--was also spared. So was Nikolayeva, the only woman full member of the Central Committee apart from Krupskaya, who was one of the few who was carried over into the Committee elected in , and she was an ex-Zinovievite at that. Another case was Zemlyachka, member of the Central Committee. A brutal terrorist, she had been Bela Kun's chief colleague in the great slaughter in the Crimea in , to which Lenin himself had objected.
She survived, while Kun went to the execution cellars. Alexandra Kollontai, the star of the Workers' Opposition, had been married to Dybenko and had lived with Shliapnikov. On top of all this, after her acceptance of the Stalin line she remained as ambassador to Sweden , Another "category" to be spared has no such obvious source: the former Bolshevik members of the Duma including Petrovsky, who was under the direct threat in all survived.
Conquest, Robert. The Great Terror. New York : Oxford University Press, , p. At the same time a no less resolute rebuff must be given to anyone attempting to decry as troublemakers and cavillers all those who are sincerely striving to help the party disclose during the purge the alien, unstable, and unreliable elements in its ranks or to point out the actual oversights, short-comings, errors, and defects in the work of one or another comrade or of some whole organization.
What is more, they do not study the party workers, do not know how they are coming along and how they are developing, do not know their cadres at all. That is why they do not take an individualized approach to party members, to party workers. But the individualized approach is the main thing in our organizational work. And precisely because they do not take an individualized approach to the evaluation of party members and party workers they usually act aimlessly--either praising them indiscriminately and beyond measure or chastising them also indiscriminately and beyond measure, expelling them from the party by the thousands and tens of thousands.
Certain of our party leaders strive in general to think in tens of thousands, not troubling themselves over the 'units,' the individual party members and their fate. They consider the expulsion of thousands or tens of thousands of persons from the party to be a trifle and console themselves with the idea that our party is large and that tens of thousands of expulsions cannot change anything in the party's situation. But only persons who are in essence profoundly anti-party can take such an approach to party members.
Such a callous attitude toward persons, party members, and party workers artificially creates dissatisfaction and resentment in one section of the party.
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The practice of adopting a formalistic and callously bureaucratic attitude to the fate of individual party members, to the exclusion of party members from the party, or to the restoration of excluded members to the rights of membership, is condemned. Party organizations are directed to display the maximum care and comradely concern in resolving the question of expelling from the party or restoring expelled persons to the rights of party membership.
The heartless attitude of some of our comrades toward the fate of individual Party members and individual Party workers, artificially engender a number of discontented and embittered people, and thus create these reserves for the Trotskyites. Mastering Bolshevism. San Francisco: Proletarian Publishers, , p. This sort of careerist Communist assumes that once the deposition has been submitted against a party member, regardless of how incorrect or even provocational it may be, this party member is dangerous for the organization and must be gotten rid of immediately in order that he himself will be proven vigilant.
Therefore he feels it unnecessary to make an objective evaluation of the accusations submitted against the communist and decides beforehand on the necessity of expelling him from the party. This sort of careerist communist, anxious to curry favor, indiscriminately spreads panic about enemies of the people and at party meetings is always ready to raise a hue and cry about expelling members from the party on various formalistic grounds or entirely without such grounds. And the party organizations frequently follow meekly along behind such careerist loudmouths.
This sort of careerist Communist is indifferent to the fate of party members and is ready to expel dozens of Communists from the party on false grounds just to appear vigilant himself. He is willing to expel members from the party for unimportant offenses so as to take credit for 'services' in unmasking enemies, and if the superior party organs restore those who have been incorrectly expelled from the party, he is not the least embarrassed but assumes the pose of a man who is satisfied that, in any case, he is reinsured with respect to 'vigilance.
Furthermore, numerous instances are known of disguised enemies of the people, wreckers and double dealers, organizing, for provocational ends, the submission of slanderous depositions against party members and, under the semblance of 'heightening vigilance,' seeking to expel from the Communist party ranks honest and devoted Communists, in this way diverting the blow from themselves and retaining their own positions in the party's ranks. The unmasked enemy of the people and former chief of the leading party organs section of the Rostov oblast committee of the Communist party, Shatsky, together with his accomplices, exploited the political shortsightedness of the leaders of the Rostov oblast committee of the Communist party to expel honest Communists from the party, to impose knowingly incorrect penalties upon the party personnel, to embitter Communists in every way, and at the same time did everything possible to keep their own counter-revolutionary cadres in the party.
In this same Rostov the former chief of the school section of the Rostov oblast committee of the Communist Party, the enemy of the people Shestova, at the behest of a counter-revolutionary organization expelled from the party about 30 honest Communists in the party organization of the Rostov Pedagogical Institute. All these facts show that many of our party organizations and their leaders have not yet succeeded in pinpointing and unmasking those cleverly disguised enemies who try to disguise their hostility with shouts about vigilance, thus to maintain themselves in the party ranks--in the first place--and, in the second, who strive through repressive measures to beat up our Bolshevik cadres and to sow uncertainty and excess suspicion in our ranks.
This disguised enemy--the most vicious traitor--usually shouts louder than anyone else about vigilance, hastens to 'unmask' the greatest number possible, and does all this to cover the up his own crimes before the party, to deflect the attention of the party organization from unmasking the real enemies of the people. This disguised enemy--a repulsive double dealer--strives in every way to create in party organizations an atmosphere of excess suspicion in which every party member speaking in defense of another Communist who has been slandered by anyone at all is immediately accused of lack of vigilance and of ties with enemies of the people.
Instead of bringing to light and unmasking the provocational activity of this disguised enemy, the party organizations and their leaders are frequently led by the nose, create for him an atmosphere of impunity for his slander of honest Communists, and themselves take the course of unfounded mass expulsions from the party, mass penalties, etc.. What is more, even after the enemies who have made their way into the party apparatus and are slandering honest Communists have been unmasked, our party leaders frequently fail to take measures to liquidate the effects of this sabotage in the party organizations--i.
Everyone knows that many of our party leaders turned out to be politically nearsighted big operators who permitted themselves to be duped by enemies of the people and careerists and thoughtlessly relinquished to second-rate persons questions affecting the fate of party members, criminally abdicating their leadership of this matter. The leaders of party organizations naively feel that correcting the errors committed with respect to those who were improperly expelled may undermine the party's authority and damage the cause of unmasking the enemies of the people, failing to understand that every instance of improper expulsion from the party plays into the hands of the party's enemies.
The so-called 'democracy campaign' of resulted in the displacement of about half of the Party's middle and lower-level leadership from their positions--but not generally 'purged,' that is, not expelled from the Party, or accused of treason, spying or sabotage largely as a result of rank and file activities. Zhdanov, who gave one of the main political reports at the Congress, reprimanded the local Party organizations for 'stupid excess of zeal,' citing instance after instance of faked evidence and presumption of guilt by association. The resolution voted by the Congress summed up the purges as both unjust and ineffective.
Party rules adopted at this Congress made new provisions for members' rights of appeal against expulsion, as well as banning the practice of mass purges of membership. Most of these were apolitical, and Stalin intervened on the side of leniency and understanding,toward them. In the Central Committee plenum of June he protested against wholesale expulsion of "passives. The same point was made earlier in an unsigned Pravda editorial written in the hyper-peremptory tone that usually reflected Stalin's personal inspiration.
The purge should be conducted less as a campaign against passive members. Its main target must be "enemy and alien elements. Tucker, Robert. Stalin in Power: New York: Norton, , p. Expulsion is resorted to when there is no alternative. Take Smirnov, who was expelled--he was cautioned several times, and only then was he expelled.
If he were to say that he recognizes his errors, if he were to conduct himself loyally, the decision of the Central Control Commission might be commuted. But far from acting loyally, far from acknowledging his errors, he has flown mud at the Party in his statement.
Obviously, Smirnov's case cannot be reconsidered when he behaves in this way. On the contrary, begotten by the operation of a regime that was clearly out of control and ungovernable and not by the unchallengeable power of an omnipotent dictatorship, the dramatic events of were the manifestation of a kind of civil war with the ruling elite itself. In , 1. Of these approximately , or 11 per cent were expelled.
When they appealed to the Central control commission 37, got their party membership back 22 per cent of those expelled. In Smolensk, as many as 43 per cent of those expelled got their party membership back. When they are further examined, it turns out that the great majority were base members from the working class, who had been expelled by the local party functionaries for passivity. No regard had been taken to the living conditions which made it more difficult for these members to take part in the party activities.
The former constitute 10 per cent of these 10 per cent. Thus, the expulsions for political reasons were not more than one per cent of all expulsions which took place in the purges of . Moreover, the bourgeoisie always alleges, that those expelled met a certain death either in the work camps of the Gulag or just disappeared.
Reality is something else. For the other expelled, life continued as usual, but now without the obligations which accompanied a membership but also without the support which membership did give. Let us now pass to the Soviet Union of the ies. The purges during the ies are precisely that what is always brought forth by those who want to defame socialism and reinforce the myth of the Soviet Union as an oppressive state.
Among the most famous falsifiers of history we find the former police agent of the British secret service, Robert Conquest, the fascist Alexander Solsjenitsyn and the Russian social democrat Roy Medvedev. According to Getty, the allegation is improbable. In The Great Terror Robert Conquest touches upon the purge of and hints that over a million members were expelled for political reasons. As can be seen [from the accusations leveled during a July meeting of the Smolensk town committee], more than a third of the accusations concerns kulaks and men who enriched themselves during NEP the new economic policy.
Another third plus of the accusations pointed at people who had committed severe moral and economic crimes. Only a small part of the accusations, hardly five per cent, had to do with political opposition. Simultaneously, one of six accusations, circa 17 per cent related to the criminal activities of leading cadres and political civil servants. On the national level, the party card control resulted in the expulsion of , members out of the 1. Let us now for a moment discuss some of the lies being divulged in capitalist mass media about the control of As we can see in the examples from the membership meetings in Smolensk the open debates dealt a hard blow against the bourgeois elements who had sneaked into the party, people who were hunting for economic and social gains.
Anything from kulaks and merchants to thieves, former white army officers and tsarist policemen. Contrary to the version of the history falsifiers the [political] opposition was hardly at all affected. What happened during the party card control was above all that the workers of the party threw out from the party bourgeois elements who had been smuggled in. This is what makes the history falsifiers raging mad Another lie originating from the police agent Robert Conquest is that the objective for the control of was to eliminate the Old Bolsheviks.
It is the same old, recurring story about a power crazy Stalin wanting to eliminating all the other Old Bolsheviks leaving him alone in power. The elimination of old Communists is an invented story which has nothing to do with reality. At least half of those expelled could not have been old Bolsheviks.